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by explaining the Holy Scriptures. That was his business. We, all of us-the common children of menhave, or shall have, as we grow up, the usual business of the world to attend to, in order that we may provide ourselves with food, clothes, and other necessaries of life; but we must remember that we have a Heavenly Father, whose higher business we are bound to perform, by frequenting the Temple, by learning to read and understand the Scriptures, and imitating, as far as we can, in our lives, the piety and love for holy things, of which our Saviour gave so early an example.
When Jesus found it was his parents' wish that he should return with them to Nazareth, he immediately left the Temple, where his wonderful abilities had excited so much admiration, and cheerfully accompanied them to their humble home, where, for many years, he lived with them, paying them all the respect and obedience of a dutiful and affectionate Son.
You, I hope, will imitate his obedience to his earthly parents. He was in reality their God, their King, their Saviour; yet you see He obeyed their wishes, and “ was subject to them ;” and He did so, for this reason, among others, to leave for ever after, this holy example to all children. I am sure you would wish to follow it, and be as like him as you can; therefore, I entreat you never to disobey your papa and mamma, and on no account to say a disrespectful word to them: you must not only obey them, but you must obey them cheerfully, at once, and without grumbling: never let any one hear you say, “ I won't,” or “ I shan't,” or “Why must I do so ?” but always do directly what you are told, and leave off doing what you are desired not to do.
If you behave thus, you will be in some degree like the Son of God, when he was on earth; and if you try to be like what he was on earth, you may be sure that, when you leave this world, He will make you still more like what He is now in Heaven.
“ Children, obey your parents in all
things, – for this is well-pleasing " unto the Lord.”—Colossians, iii. 20.
I told you that Zacharias, the father of John, was very old when his son was born; and, therefore, was not likely to live to complete his education; so he took him, while he was yet very young, into a wild and remote part of the country, and gave him into the care of a few holy people, who had, it seems, retired to those solitudes to pass their lives in quiet and devotion.
John, who is called the BAPTIST, for a reason which this story will explain, was no doubt informed, either by his
father or by the inspiration of God, of the great duty which he was to perform; namely, that of being the harbinger, the forerunner, and the first witness of the public appearance of the Saviour; and he remained from youth to manhood in this retirement, preparing himself, by prayer and fasting, for his sacred office.
He was dressed in rude clothes, made of camels' hair, and wore leather girdle or belt round his waist. His food was as simple as his dress, and he lived chiefly on locusts and the wild honey which he found in the wil. derness; for the holy people with whom he lived thought it their duty to be thus plain in their dress and food.
At length, when he had attained full manhood, John, by God's command, came forth to tell the people