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Father Almighty; and shall come from thence to judge the quick and the dead; then shall we also appear with Him in glory. Oh, with what holy joy should a Christian child repeat the creed; calling to mind our glorious birthright, and not minding earthly things: for what are all the kingdoms of this world, and all the glory of them, compared with our heavenly inheritance, the many mansions in our Father's house, and the crowns of righteousness laid up for His faithful ones?

And so, dear children, let us give ourselves with a glad and thankful heart to learn meekness and lowliness; and let us still hope continually, and yet praise God more and more; and if day by day, and year by year, bring with them a deeper experience of suffering and of sorrow in this present evil world, we shall but find ourselves brought nearer unto Him, who for the joy of our salvation, endured the cross; and we shall learn more and more of the peace and joy told out in Mary's song; just as you see the stars one by one, shining out brighter and brighter in the darkening sky, till we cannot count the number of them; reminding us how the seed of faithful Abraham, the children of the Promise, with whom is our portion, shall one day shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever.


The song of blessed Mary, through each advancing year
It soundeth ever in my heart like music drawing near ;
I lov'd it when a little child, but now I love it more,
As day by day it seems to breathe sweetness unheard before

It hath a tone for every mood, a boon for every hour,
A shadow for the noontide heat, a rainbow for the shower;
It soareth like the joyous lark, it nestleth like the dove,
It telleth out the lowly trust, the depths and heights of love.

From rosy lips, whose ready play each passing thought reveals,

How in the joy of innocence its matin music steals!

Yet hath it not a deeper lore for sorrow's meekest mood, Learn'd but by those whose place is found beside the Holy Rood?

Yes, I have heard from woman's lips its sweetest accents


When on the pale calm brow was traced the token of our


And aged saints have loved to breathe their heart in every line,

In calm of holiest confidence, in gladness all divine.

Then learn it well, ye little ones, in brightness of your morn, So may it bring round noontide paths the freshness of the


And still the true and childlike heart the blessing shall prolong,

Till sweeter than our matin-chime rings out our even-song.

Oh, in the jubilee of morn, when on our ravish'd ears
The wondrous harmony shall burst, the music of the spheres,
Shall we not recognise the strain we learn'd and lov'd of


Chanted in glory round the throne, an even-song no more?


The Marriage in Cana of Galilee.

AND the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

And both Jesus was called, and His disciples to the marriage.

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto Him, They have no wine.

Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.

His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.

And there were set there six water-pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water-pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew ;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory; and His disciples believed on Him.

After this He went down to Capernaum, He, and His mother, and His brethren, and His disciples: and they continued there not many days.

St. John ii. 1st to 13th verses.


The appointed time had at length arrived when our Blessed Lord (who, as we learn from the Gospel of St. Luke, "began to be about thirty years of age;" the time from which, under the law, the Levites were numbered for the service of their ministry; Numbers iv. 47) was to be separated from Mary for a season; that He might enter upon His public ministry, and accomplish the work which was given Him to do.

Long, indeed, had it been Mary's especial privilege "to watch His brow, to be His care," to hang upon His words, and, as far as might be, to share the thoughts of that lonely heart of love; but now the scene was changed, and we find the Virgin mother not as heretofore, at Nazareth with Joseph and the Holy Child, but in Cana of Galilee ; and from the way in which she is mentioned at the marriage, as though she were one of the household, rather than as a guest invited for a day; we may suppose her to have found a home there for a season, with some of her kindred.

From the silence about Joseph, it is generally believed that the foster-father of our Lord had already fallen on sleep; and thus the mother of Jesus would be more immediately thrown upon his tender care; nor can we for a moment suppose that He would leave her unsheltered and uncared for, when He came from Galilee to John, to be baptized of him in Jordan. The circumstances of His baptism, the opening of the heavens, the Father's voice, and the descending Dove, are

related by St. Matthew. The Gospel of St. John passes over the forty days of fasting and temptation in the wilderness, which, as we learn from the other Evangelists, followed immediately upon His baptism, and shews Him to us returning from thence by Bethabara, where John was baptizing; and there for three successive days did the holy Baptist bear record of Him unto the priests and scribes who came down from Jerusalem, as of One among them whom they knew not; while unto his own disciples, prepared to receive a fuller testimony, he pointed Him out as the Lamb of God; and thus was his work of preparation completed, by leading them to the Christ, the Son of God; the Bridegroom, whose friend he was, and in hearing whose voice, his joy was fulfilled.

It was shortly after this, that the Lord's forerunner, having borne his record, was cast into prison by Herod, whose wickedness he had reproved, to win, ere long, the crown of martyrdom. The disciples mentioned as being with him in the first chapter of St. John's Gospel seem to have gone back to their home and occupation in Bethsaida; understanding perhaps from the words of their master, when he bade them behold the Lamb of God, that his own ministry to them was at an end; and it was here that Jesus, returning "in the power of the Spirit into Galilee," again met with them, and called them to follow Him.

Probably it was in Cana of Galilee, the city of Nathanael (St. John xxi. 2), that Philip found his friend, and called him from the shadow of the

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