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CONVERSATION XXVI.

LUKE III.

Olympas. In the conclusion of chapter ii. we learn that Jesus went down with his parents from Jerusalem to Nazareth, and was subject to them. What precept of the Jews' law required this, Susan?

Susan. The fifth says, “Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

Olympas. He honoured this precept, and was subject to them. How long was he subject to them, William ?

William. During thirty years; for such is the age assigned to him when he commenced his own work.

Olympas. Then he worked for his earthly parents and honoured them till he was thirty, and to his heavenly Father he exclusively devoted the remainder of his life. True, he glorified God in honouring his parents; but a portion of that time he laboured for the family, as the phrase " being subjeot” intimates; and, therefore, the fair presumption is that he wrought at the carpenter's trade. The Jews required their children to assist them, if need required, till they were thirty, and sometimes longer. Besides, they all taught their sons a useful trade, whatever their future prospects might be. All the presumptions are in favour of the idea that our Saviour actually submitted to work with his hands for the support of the family till he was of the appointed age of majority, or freedom from the parental yoke. What think you, Eliza, is intimated by the saying, “His mother kept all these sayings in her heart ?"

Eliza. Such as the saying which he uttered when he was twelve years old, alluded to last evening—“Know you not that I should be about my Father's business," or "at my Father's house." Your remark on his being subject to his parents, would commend the propriety of reading “Father's house" rather than “Father's business.

Olympas. You mean, then, that the phrase, “ kept all these sayings” imports all such mysterious and unusual things said by him, or concerning him by others; and what, then, means her • keeping them in her heart,” William ?

William. Memory, I suppose; for in looking over the Scriptures I see “ heart” often means memory and understanding: and so our teacher in the Academy commands us to “get our lessons by heart"-meaning to memorize them.

Olympas. “To memorize” is scarcely good English. Within my memory this phrase has been gaining a new currency. It is growing into use like the words resurrect and resurrected, which are gross innovations upon our good old English language. To memorize" is to record in writing, or, according to Shakspeare, who is of high authority with one class of lexicographers, it means “to cause others to remember,” But this new acceptation of the word is, upon the whole, an act of violence upon the legitimate province of the ancient memorize, as much as the outlandish so resurrected” is upon the dominions of the verb to resuscitate. I would, indeed, have

you

to observe

that “to keep a thing in the heart” in Jewish idiom, is to remember it, and to ponder upon it. Jesus, we are informed by Luke, “ increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man." What think you of this expression, Thomas ?

Thomas. It would indicate that Jesus was a child like other children-at first imperfect in wisdom and stature ; and that as he increased in both, so he also grew in public favour-in favour both with God and man, because of his early and vigourous virtues and excellencies. The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom, and a divine gracefulness was upon him," would seem to convey the same idea.

Olympas. We shall now hear you read, William, the third chapter of Luke, so far as the eighteenth verse, with a special reference to the chronology of the Messiah's birth and times,

[William reads.] Olympas. What date is fixed in this passage, Thomas ?

Thomas. The commencement of John the Baptist's ministry.

The word of the Lord came to John in the fifteenth year of Tiberias Cesar.

Olympas How many Cesars in all reigned over Rome, William ?

William. They are said to have been twelve, and arranged in some histories as follows :-Julius. Cesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius, Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellus, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian.

Olympas. But does the true line of descent continue to Domitian?

William, I think it terminated in Nero, the

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sixth of that blood. Other six assumed the title of Augustus, or Cesar, of different families. In the New Testament I think you told us that Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero are simply addressed or spoken of under the general name of Cesar. Olympas. "I appeal unto Cesar," says Paul;

; that was to Nero, then Emperor of Rome. “Render unto Cesar the things that are Cesar's,' says the Messiah speaking of Tiberius. When, Eliza, was the first of the twelve Cesars born ?

Eliza. The tenth day of the fifth month, called Quintilis by the Romans; that is with us the tenth day of July, one hurdred years before the Christian era.

Olympas. Did not the fifth month receive the name of July, and the sixth month receive the name of August from the two first of this Julian family?

William. So the Roman historians say; but after these two they resumed the Latin names for the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth months, called September, October, November, December.

Olympas. The Roman year began with March, so called from Mars the god of battles, because in this month the Romans generally commenced their military campaigns. The Jewish ecclesiastical year began in the latter half of that month called ABIB, which occupied about the last half of March and the first half of April, so far as their lunations permitted. But to return to the Cesars : How long did Julius reign as Emperor ?

Thomas. Born July tenth, Ante-Christo one hundred years, and being assassinated in the Senate House, died in the fifty-sixth year of his age, at the ides of March, being the fifteenth day of that month. He, Crassus, and Pompey his son-in-law, formed the first triumvirate, and by degrees, after the death of these two illustrious men, he ascended to the title of Pontifex, Maximus, and Imperator, having been appoivted Consul for five years, Dictator one year, and Tribune for life ; and again Dictator for ten years, Censor for life, with his statue placed in the Capital; but he only enjoyed the sovreignty expressed by Emperor a few months. His nephew, the son of his sister Julia, called. Caius OCTAVIUS CESAR AUGUSTUS, succeeded him, being appointed in Julius' Will his heir, and declared to be his adopted son. He was finally seated on the imperial throne, and lived to the advanced age of seventy-six. He died August nineteenth, A.D. 14, having under various titles, commanded the destinies of Rome for almost fifty years. Tiberius succeeded him. In the fifteenth year of his reign John the Baptist commenced his ministry, as Luke informs us. These three Cesars, Julius, Augustus, and Tiberius, were monsters of iniquity; and though of high intellectual character, wanted all the attributes and elements of moral dignity and real worth. He died march sixteenth, A.D. 37, aged seventyeight years, having reigned twenty-three years.

Olympas. Susan, can you tell us who was governor of Judea and the Syrian provinces of those days?

Susan. Pontius Pilate governed Judea, Herod ruled over Galilee, Philip was tetrarch of Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene.

Olympas. William, explain these officers and the countries over which they presided.

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