Luke 2:50
But they did not understand the statement He was making to them.
Sermons
First Sunday After EpiphanyJ. A. Seiss, D. D.Luke 2:39-52
Glimpses of the Divine ChildhoodE. Johnson, M. A.Luke 2:39-52
NazarethJ. Stalker, L. A.Luke 2:39-52
The Early Years of Christ T. D. Woolsey, D. D.Luke 2:39-52
The Life of JesusJ. C. Jones.Luke 2:39-52
The Personality of JesusPrincipal Fairbairn, D. D.Luke 2:39-52
The Training of Jesus ChristG. D. Boardman.Luke 2:39-52
The Visit of Jesus to Jerusalem When a BoyR.M. Edgar Luke 2:41-52
A Great Love and a Great LessonDean Goulburn.Luke 2:50-51
Christ an Example in Filial DutiesW. H. Lewis, D. D.Luke 2:50-51
Christ's Life of SubmissionDean Goulburn.Luke 2:50-51
Development of Christ Through the Influences of HomeStopford A. Brooke, M. A.Luke 2:50-51
Duty to ParentsLuke 2:50-51
Every Duty has its Proper Place and TimeH. C. Trumbull.Luke 2:50-51
God's Lessons Slowly LearnedJohn Brown, M. A. .Luke 2:50-51
Gratitude to ParentsH. W. Beecher, from his last public letter.Luke 2:50-51
His Mother Kept All These Sayings in Her HeartH. Bushnell, D. D.Luke 2:50-51
Home DutiesH. R. Haweis, M. A.Luke 2:50-51
Mr. Cecil's ObedienceLuke 2:50-51
Obedience to ParentsWansidal.Luke 2:50-51
Obedience to ParentsLuke 2:50-51
Subjection of ChildrenLuke 2:50-51
The Christian FamilyH. W. Beecher.Luke 2:50-51
The Eighteen Silent YearsJohn Brown, M. A.Luke 2:50-51
The Filial Dutifulness of JesusDean Goulburn.Luke 2:50-51
The Holy FamilyWeinzierl.Luke 2:50-51
The Home At NazarethCanon Vernon Hutton, M. A.Luke 2:50-51
The Memory of the HeartG. Matheson, D. D.Luke 2:50-51
The Obedience of ChildhoodSunday School TimesLuke 2:50-51
The True Order of ObedienceBishop Chris. Wordsworth.Luke 2:50-51
Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business? There comes a time in our history - usually in the days of later youth or early manhood - when all things begin to wear a more serious aspect to us; when "the powers of the world to come" arrest us; when we ask ourselves very grave questions; when we have to confront a new future. It is the dawn of sacred duty in the human soul.

I. AS IT PRESENTED ITSELF TO JESUS CHRIST. His parents thought that his absence from their company was due to thoughtlessness or to absent-mindedness; they supposed it was to be explained by the fact that their Son was still a boy. On the contrary, the one thing that accounted for it was that he was beginning to be a man; that the burden of manhood's responsibilities was already resting on his shoulders; that the gravest solicitudes were already stirring in his soul. And the form which this sacred anxiety took was a holy and filial concern to be "about his Father's business." It had dawned upon his mind that his heavenly Father had sent him into the world to accomplish a special work, and that the hour had struck when he must address himself to this high and noble task. Therefore it behoved him to learn all that he could possibly acquire, to understand the things he had been taught, to receive from parents and teachers every truth he could discover and preserve. And the deep earnestness of his own spirit made it a matter of surprise that others, especially his elders and superiors, should not have perceived the same thing. "Wist ye not," he said wonderingly, "that I must be about my Father's business?"

II. AS IT APPEARS TO OUR MINDS NOW. There are various ways in which sacred duty may dawn on the human mind; the special form which this holy earnestness will take is affected by peculiarities of mental constitution, of parental training, of personal experience. It may be a deep sense of:

1. The value of the human soul, with its possibilities of nobility on the one hand and of degradation on the other.

2. The nearness and the greatness of the invisible and eternal world.

3. The seriousness of human life in view of the glorious and true success to which it sometimes attains, and also of the pitiable failure into which it sometimes sinks.

4. The strength and weight of filial and fraternal obligations. How much is due to the earthly father, and how wise it is to be guided by his ripe experience! how serious a thing it is to be setting an example to those who are younger!

5. The attractiveness of Jesus Christ - his purity and lovableness, his worthiness of the full affection and devotion of the human heart.

6. The claims of the heavenly Father, of him from whom we came, in whom we live, and by whom we are momently sustained; of him who has loved us with so patient and so ceaseless an affection. Must we not listen when he speaks, respond to his call, be found in his service, become the object of his Divine approval? When this solemn and sacred hour dawns upon the mind of the young, it is a time

(1) for profound and prolonged consideration;

(2) for earnest prayer;

(3) for unreserved consecration; it will then prove to be a time for

(4) true and lasting joy (Psalm 108:1). - C.







And was subject unto them
How significant a sentence! God, whom the angels obey, is subject to Joseph and Mary I Children, behold your model, and learn from the example of Jesus to be obedient to your parents.

I. BY REVERENCE. Reverence is required —

1. By the law of nature.

(1)God has planted in the hearts of men a reverential feeling towards those to whom they owe their lives. Hence, even the heathen honour their parents.

(2)Reverence is due to every superior from his subjects; consequently due to parents from their children, because they are the God-given superiors and guardians.

2. By the duty of gratitude. The parents are, next to God, the greatest benefactors of their children; it is from them that they receive food, clothing, education.

3. By an explicit commandment of God (Exodus 20:12).

(1)The first commandment with promise (Ephesians 6:1-8).

(2)The most dreadful, because of the threats imposed upon its violation (Deuteronomy 27:16).

II. BY LOVE. Love is required —

1. By God Himself (Proverbs 30:17).

2. By reason. Parents love their children, wherefore they deserve to be loved in return. The children of the Gentiles loved their parents, AEneas carried on his shoulders his old father out of Troy.

3. Love is excited by the example of good children. Joseph. Jesus.

III. BY DEEDS.

1. Obedience, which is required

(1)by nature;

(2)by God Himself.

2. By active charity in their necessities. Children must

(1)bear their imperfections and infirmities;

(2)console them in their adversities and relieve their wants if necessary;

(3)assist them in their advanced age;

(4)in time of dangerous illness provide for spiritual and medical help;

(5)pray for them. Conclusion: If children would comply with these duties towards their parents, their reward would be temporal and eternal happiness.

(Wansidal.)

There is a pious legend that St. Luke, an artist as he was, painted several pictures of Jesus and Mary; however this may be, we know at any rate that he drew some lovely pictures of the youth of Jesus, and of the Holy Family in which he dwelt.

I. THE DOMESTIC VIRTUES OF THE HOLY FAMILY.

1. Fear of God. This was manifested by their journey to Jerusalem, made by Mary the tender Virgin, though not required by law, and by Jesus hardly yet bound by law. An admonition to Christian families not to stay away from public worship.

2. Their activity.

(1)Joseph was a carpenter, and supported the Holy Family by handiwork. Mary managed the household. Jesus assisted both of them.

(2)They were united in their daily works. Co-operation.

3. Peacefulness and meekness.

II. THE CHARACTERISTIC VIRTUES OF THE INDIVIDUALS COMPOSING THE HOLY FAMILY.

1. Joseph. An Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile; a model to all.

(1)His willingness to yield to God's arrangements. Protection of Mary. Flight into Egypt.

(2)His loving care of Jesus and Mary.

2. Mary. Full of grace; a model to all women.

(1)Her innocence, resignation, humility.

(2)Her discretion and love of retirement.

3. Jesus is your model, ye sons and daughters.

(1)His conduct at the Temple school. He manifested His knowledge, but without ostentation.

(2)His obedience. This is the touchstone of the inner value of a child, and the path to wisdom and happiness.

(3)His growth in wisdom and grace.

(Weinzierl.)

In the life of Christ we have the actual union of pure Divinity with ordinary human life. He traversed all its stages — childhood, boyhood, youth, and manhood; He touched all that was universally common to pure humanity in each, and from henceforth there is no life, even to the very lowest, in which the real may not become what it is in its purity — the ideal; no office, no work, which, done in His spirit, the making of a book or the digging of a garden, may not accord with the highest imagination of your spirit, and chime in with your most poetical vision of perfection. Trace the influence of His home-life upon the character of Christ.

I. IT ESTABLISHED HIS LOVE OF MAN UPON A SURE FOUNDATION. He grew naturally in love. It was a normal, slow development of the affection which was to die for the world.

II. IT ESTABLISHED IN HIS MIND A DEEP SENSE OF THE WORTHINESS OF DOMESTIC AND SOCIAL RELATIONS. He gives no sanction to the error of those who think that in separation from all domestic and social ties they can live more purely and worship God with a more entire devotion; that a systematic contempt for all the bonds which bind mother to son, and wife to husband, is a proof of the highest spirituality; whose spiritual religion consists in a denial of the natural piety of the heart, and whose efforts for a reformation of human nature are founded on a denial of human nature. Think of Him at the marriage feast; at the grave of Lazarus; see how tenderly He deals with the widow of Nain, and afterwards with His own mother at the Cross.

III. FRIENDSHIP.

IV. PATRIOTISM. The source of the tears He shed over Jerusalem arose, humanly speaking, in the heart of His mother.

(Stopford A. Brooke, M. A.)

I. In this one verse we are admitted to see the home life of Jesus. Home life is the God-appointed training ground of the human character; from the home life of childhood springs the maturity of manhood for good or for evil.

II.

1. Let children and young people learn from the example of the Divine Child that home life, with all its little duties and trials, is the discipline which God has appointed as the best training for the duties and trials of a wider sphere.

2. Not infrequently when in youth the spiritual eye is opened to the things of God, and a desire is kindled after a higher life, there follows a restlessness which rebels against the irksomeness of the small details and daily duties of common life. At such a time it is well to remember that it was immediately after the Child Jesus had recognized more clearly the Divine mission to which He was summoned, that He went down to Nazareth and there lived in subjection to His earthly guardians, conscious that in so doing He was most truly "about His Father's business."

3. Let parents also learn, from the example of the Virgin Mother, to reverence the child-mind.

(Canon Vernon Hutton, M. A.)

The fact that Jesus loved Bible study did not keep Him from going with His parents when they called Him, or from obeying them so long as they had a right to His obedience. Duties never conflict. The wish to go to a prayer-meeting, or to a Sunday school, or to any other church service will not justify the neglect of any well-defined duty elsewhere. God approves of no devotion on the part of any servant of His which makes that servant less loving and considerate and faithful toward mother, sister, wife, or child.

(H. C. Trumbull.)

The only acts recorded of Christ's childhood are acts of obedience — to God His heavenly Father, and also to His earthly parents. He thus shows what the special duty of childhood and youth is; and teaches what the true order of obedience is, viz., that the foundation of obedience to man is to be laid in obedience to God; a lesson made more cogent by the particular circumstances of our Lord's relationship to Joseph, which was not one of natural, but of putative filiation; and therefore teaches the duty of obedience to parents, natural, civil, and ecclesiastical.

(Bishop Chris. Wordsworth.)

He was subject — He, the great God of heaven and earth, continually submitted Himself to His parents. In little things doubtless; for domestic life consists of little things; and submission could not otherwise have been shown. If they sent Him on a message to a neighbour, He the Great Sender of the apostles, delivered the message faithfully. If they bade Him sweep the house and search for a lost coin, He, "the wisdom of God," who seeks diligently for lost souls, did even as He was bade. If they taught Him joiner's work, and showed Him how to make a plough or a yoke for oxen, He, who lays on men an easy yoke and a light burden, learned cheerfully and gladly, and threw His mind into the trade. If they bade Him work in their little plot of garden ground, and train the creepers or water the flowers, He, the great Dresser of the vineyard of His Church, who rears souls by the Jews of His grace and the discipline of His providence, Look in hand the water-pot and the gardening tools.

(Dean Goulburn.)

A great love, inasmuch as He yielded this submission in our nature for our sakes; and we are freely welcome to all the benefits of it. A great lesson; for, if submission were the law of His life, how much more fitting is it that it should be the law of ours I Oh, that we may embrace the love I Oh, that we may learn the lesson! In doing both these things the Christian life consists.

(Dean Goulburn.)

The earthly call found Him, too. It was His duty, when found, to go with His parents, and He went. Ponder that. Hint of universal significance. Never trust a heavenly call which bids you neglect your obvious duties whilst they remain such. The things that lie near to your hand, round about you, are as much the Father's business as anything else. Don't think that being off to early, communion, and neglecting, . your children, and your husband and your housework, is doing your Father s business. Don't suppose that charity out of the house, and dancing attendance on the clergyman to the neglect of hearth and home, is your Father's business. Learn of the Saviour. When the home claim came He immediately left what, at the moment, was of absorbing interest to Him; He left the excitement of Jerusalem, the high pressure atmosphere of religious emotion — with its thrills of new knowledge and its vistas of new thought — and went quietly back eighty miles to the little rustic hamlet in the north, and the carpenter's shop at Nazareth. What divinity lies here I What Divine philosophy and Divine life, which is also a most human, a most simple, a most homely life.

(H. R. Haweis, M. A.)

Sunday School Times.
There is an Oriental proverb which says, "The first deities which the child has to acknowledge are its parents"; and another, that "Obedient children are as ambrosia to the gods." The parent is to the child God's representative in a sense. Jesus places filial obedience and obedience to God together when He says (ver. 49), "Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?" If a king places a viceroy over a portion of his dominions, it is the duty of loyal subjects to obey the viceroy. If they make war against the viceroy, they are actually making war against the king who appointed him. So a child disobeying its parents is disobeying God. And obedience is made easy by love. What wings are to a bird, or sails to a ship, love is to the child. Heaven is high, and the path of obedience slopes up to it.

(Sunday School Times.)

Though the words, "He was subject unto them," apply especially to the period of our Lord's youth, they would be a perfectly true motto for His course in after-years. His whole life was one of subjection and submission. He submitted Himself, and He taught submission, to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake. He submitted to receive John's baptism though He had no need of it. He submitted to pay the tax for the support of the Temple, though, as the only-begotten Son of the Father, whose house the Temple was, He was rightfully exempt from the tax. He bade the Jews submit themselves to the Romans who had conquered them, and render unto Caesar the dues which were Caesar's. He bade His disciples observe and do all that the Scribes and Pharisees enjoined, because they sat in Moses' chair, and held a position of authority. And, finally, He became obedient unto the sentence of death, drinking with the utmost meekness, even to the dregs, the cup of suffering which the Father had given Him.

(Dean Goulburn.)

The Rev. Herbert Palmer, master of Queen's College, Cambridge, who died in 1647, was remarkable for his dutiful affection to his parents, not only when he was a child, but during his whole life. He was peculiarly attentive to his pious, aged mother; promoting, to the utmost of his power, both her temporal and spiritual comfort, even to the day of her death, which happened not long before his own. He used frequently to enforce this duty in his ministry, observing the emphasis which God puts upon it through the whole of the Scriptures. He used to say that he had noticed the effects of disobedience to parents, so that he scarcely ever knew undutiful children escape some visible judgment of God in the present life; he also thought that the mischiefs which occur in society frequently take their rise in the contempt of parental authority.

When the Rev. Richard Cecil was but a little boy, his father had occasion to go to the India House, and took his son with him. While he was transacting business, the little fellow was dismissed, and told to wait for his father at one of the doors. His father on finishing his business went out at another door, and entirely forgot his son. In the evening, his mother missing the child, inquired where he was; on which his father, suddenly recollecting that he had directed him to wait at a certain door, said, "You may depend upon it, he is still waiting where I appointed him." He immediately returned to the India House, and found his dear boy on the very spot where he had been told to remain. He knew that his father expected him to wait, and therefore he would not disappoint him.

1. The family gives a practical solution to the great problems of moral truth. It is the typical form of the vast organizations that belong to human life. It teaches subordination in love, and subordination is only another word for fitting together.

2. Order and government are likewise taught in the family, and it is the government or order which springs from paternal love that carries with it a sense of its fitness and its necessity. Love is the supreme governor.

3. It is in the family that we for the first time learn with some degree of clear intelligence what is the meaning of vicarious suffering.

4. The family also teaches, as we can scarcely find it taught otherwise, the true doctrine of sin and penalty. It is of the first importance that we should frame our theology respecting sin and penalty, not on the theory of universal civil governments, which is an artificial thing, derived from the ideas of different nations, and which has never been wisely administered. The administration of pain and penalty in governments and courts is exceedingly rude and imperfect; but the administration of pain and penalty in the family is beautiful from the beginning to the end. The mother's frown, the mother's refused kiss, the mother's hand, carries pain, or the execution of penalty; but it is never odious, and it is never cruel.

5. We learn in the family likewise the doctrine of the liberty of law. Nowhere else is there more law than in the household law unwritten, but well understood; and yet there is no law there that violates love.

6. We learn also, from the household, the true nature of forgiveness — what it is, and the conditions of it. Harmony with the spirit of love is forgiveness.

(H. W. Beecher.)

These eighteen years are of immeasurable importance in any human life. They cover the period when human nature is most impressionable, most receptive, most plastic. The seeds of all future production are sown then. Year by year, month by month, day by day, the life is built up — life physical, moral, spiritual. By processes slow hut sure, never to be undone, by steps never to be retraced, development is gained, the coil of life is lengthened and unwound. At thirty the man's character is formed. What he will be in the future depends on what he is then. Now, it is the history of this time — all-important — that St. Luke describes in these verses "obscurely bright"; revealing, yet enveloping in sacred and profound mystery, the life of the Second Adam who regenerates, redeems the world. What is here recorded is the earthly and human side of Christ's preparation for that work. What you and I are to-day, what the Church is to-day, what the world is to-day, is the outcome of those eighteen silent years. Study, then, this short, sweet record of the human life of Jesus Christ; and study it, not only to admire, but to imitate. Our motto should be — "Christ for me, Saviour, example, Lord: I for Christ, scholar, follower, servant." In this record we may trace some lessons which may enable us the better to fight the good fight.

1. Submission. The characteristic virtue of childhood, its natural and necessary condition. The daily round of home life, with its routine of duties, its continual calls for submission, often all the more difficult to obey because we cannot, even to ourselves, dignify them with the name of hardships or great trials — this Christ has consecrated by these eighteen silent years.

2. Work. Doing each day's work in its appointed time — be the work what it may — fitted Him for the future, when the work was different. Surely the lesson is not what you do, but how you do it.

3. Growth.(1) This does not necessarily mean imperfection. The child is not to blame because he is not a man all at once. It is the law of his being to grow. He lives by growth. Up to his measure he may be perfectly developed; but that measure, that capacity, is continually expanding. So we learn to think of growth as inseparable from healthy human life, of progress as the law of our nature, of increase in wisdom as perfectly compatible with all moral and spiritual excellence. In Christ this earth has for once been permitted to witness the natural development of a sinless childhood — development, not by sudden miracle, but by Divine indwelling. The glory that dwelt in Jesus shone in those eighteen quiet years in the orderly progress, step by step, of the boy to the youth, the youth to the man. For(2) nothing can be more plain than this, that the Lord's humanity was real indeed. Every line of the gospel tells us this; every word of these verses, which record, while they do not reveal, these eighteen years. We do not doubt it, indeed; perhaps we dwell on it with appreciation and thankfulness. But let us never forget that the same Lord, who thus lived and toiled, rose, ascended, lives, reigns. It is not simply by contemplation, even devout contemplation, of the perfectly human Jesus, that our spirits live. It is by personal fellowship with the God-man, as human now as ever, but God then in the days of His flesh, as now. This is the message of redemption, God's message to the Church and to the world, to the soul that suffers, sins, dies, to the world that sickens, staggers, swoons — God made man for you!

(John Brown, M. A.)

All these eighteen years were years of preparation. Thirty years of obscurity, and only two, or at the most three, of active work. "What extraordinary want of proportion! what failure of moral perspective!" we should have said. But God's lessons are only to be slowly learned. Mark this point. See, then, how Christ used the discipline of this preparation. See Him when He cams forth from the thirty years of silence and toil. See Him as He moved among men — calm, unruffled, unresting indeed, but unhurried. Did He not know the depth of human need? "Lord, to whom shall we go but to Thee for words to express man's utter emptiness? Who has gauged sin like Thee? Who sees sin as the man does who views it in Thy light?" Did Christ, then, not feel how short the time is? Well, He knew that "the night cometh, when no man can work." Yet, knowing man's need and life's shortness, He moves among men like a wise physician in a sick-room, the only one not flurried, not distracted, because the only one who adequately knows at once the greatness of the crisis, and the right remedies to use. Whence, then, hath this Man this wisdom and these marvellous gifts? How knoweth this Man letters, having never learned? Surely the answer on the human side is this: Because He has used rightly the opportunities of preparation, the times of waiting All that we mean by the discipline of life. Remember, then, that God's lessons are only to be slowly learned. "First the blade; then the ear; after that" — not before — "the full corn in the ear." "What is the use of all this drudgery, all this taking pains, all this monotonous attention to little wearisome details of duty? I want to strike out boldly for the shore. I am tired of buffeting with these tiresome little waves": — it is the child's voice that speaks thus, not the full-grown man's. Experience teaches that painful, laborious learning must go before successful activity. Day by day you go on drudging, slipping, failing, hoping, blundering: at last the moment comes when you find out that you have mastered your lesson, and you sweep along the icy path with confidence and power. So in all things. God's lessons are to be mastered only by the man. First you receive some spiritual truth — say, e.g., the fact of personal sinfulness — as an outside thing altogether; then by degrees it becomes more real and living; you begin to see that it has a meaning for you as a thing to be striven after; until, at last, you hardly know how, it becomes a part of your very self, nothing in the world for you more real than this, your sinful soul in God's presence. Fully to attain such knowledge you must do as Jesus did — go apart by yourself along the divinely-chosen road of difficult duty — content to fill a little space, if God be glorified — ready to learn, ready to obey, because, above all, more ready to pray. All this can only be deliberately, consciously chosen, as an act of the whole man, when you have mastered the spiritual alphabet, the sinful soul drawn and drawing toward the Divine Saviour. It is blessed, though it is very hard, and we learn but slowly, to be taught by Him. So, so only, we find rest to our souls. No higher wish can be framed, no better prayer offered than this: that all may be able to learn those lessons of daily life which Christ Himself had practised before He taught.

(John Brown, M. A. .)

1. First, we may remark, that the subjection of our Lord to His parents was that of love. Again, the love of children to their parents should manifest itself in a ready compliance with their wishes, and in a disposition to correct everything in the temper or conduct which gives them pain.

2. Another point in the subjection of Christ to His parents worthy of notice is, that it was yielded to those who were so much His inferiors.

3. Again, the subjection of Christ to His parents included obedience to them.

4. And another point in our Lord's example of subjection to His parents is, the returns He made to them. If we were favoured in childhood with wise and religious guardians, they have laid us under a debt of obligation for which we can never be too thankful to them and to God. Jesus Christ toiled as a carpenter with His father until nearly thirty years of age, and probably supported the family after Joseph's death; while many a young lad among us feels that he is hardly dealt with if he does not receive his earnings before he comes of age.

(W. H. Lewis, D. D.)

"Whatever else you teach, or omit to teach, your children," said the Rev. T. Scott, "fail not to teach them subjection, and that to the mother as well as the father. This is as essential to their own welfare, temporal and eternal, as to that of the family, the Church, and the State. Establishing authority — which is quite consistent with kindness and affection — so that from childhood they shall never deliberately think of having or doing what a parent disapproves; this is the greatest safeguard you can place around young persons. Subjection to authority is God's ordinance, essential to the belief and practice of religion. If it be true," he adds, "that there are more pious women than men," he ascribes it much to this circumstance, "that they are more used to restraint and subjection."

A pious servant girl, who had "lived out" for a number of years, and laid by a considerable sum of money, hearing that her aged parents were feeble and in needy circumstances, left her situation, and went home to take care of them. She spent her savings for their comfort, making the money last as long as possible; but in time it was all gone, and her own health began to fail. Worldly-wise friends uttered their sympathetic regrets that she should have spent all her supply when she needed it so much herself. "I have only done my duty to my parents," she said. "God will provide for me somehow. He will never let me perish for doing right." God did provide for her. She was able to continue her loving ministrations till the death of both her father and mother; and then a whole applauding neighbourhood united to place her in circumstances of comfort for the rest of her life.

I thank God for two things — yea, for a thousand; but for two among many — first, that I was born and bred in the country, of parents that gave me a sound constitution and a noble example. I never can pay back what I got from my parents. If I were to raise a monument of gold higher than heaven, it would be no expression of the debt of gratitude which I owe to them for that which they unceasingly gave, by the heritage of their body and the heritage of their souls, to me. And next to that I am thankful that I was brought up in circumstances where I never became acquainted with wickedness.

(H. W. Beecher: from his last public letter.)

His mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
Not in her memory, nor her understanding, nor her diary, but in her heart — that well of silence in the bosom of true motherhood, where all freshest, purest waters are kept fresh and pure. Infiltered there, and stored by loving thought, they are not vapourized and shallowed by much talk, and seem to be only the sweeter the deeper fill they make. Her family story she cannot carry into the street, or even speak of with her friends. And things are occurring with her Jesus every day, in which stamps and signatures of His divinity are distinctly, and even visibly, manifest, but which cannot be advertised without becoming tokens of weakness in the mother and precocity in the child. She sometimes wants to even strike a song of triumph, but her loudest song will be silence — a hymn that she keeps hid in her heart, as she does all the sayings and great acts of her wonderful Son.

(H. Bushnell, D. D.)

They tell us that memory is one of the intellectual powers. I think that the strongest memory is a power of the heart. There are memories of the intellect which are short-lived and evanescent; they are like the morning cloud that vanishes away. But the things that are kept in the heart are not evanescent; they last for ever. There are those who complain of having short memories, but how often does it spring from want of sufficient interest? If we could transfer our duties from the intellect to the heart, we should rarely forget them. Love photographs impressions of the past, in colours that do not fade; the things which are kept in the heart are kept for ever.

(G. Matheson, D. D.)

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