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The subject, too, on which His youthful mind was set, may teach you a further lesson—it was God's word. He sought to know the Holy Scriptures. Let it be the same with you. In these days of wide-spread knowledge, with books on all subjects, light and grave, open to your perusal, see that you be well acquainted with the Bible. Store up against the time to come, before all other treasures of learning, the wisdom that maketh wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Again,—to note another point in which the Lord may be our pattern in youth. Mark how at twelve years of age the thought of God and duty had stamped itself upon Him-How is it that ye sought Me, wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business?
What words from the mouth of one yet a child! Yet surely, brethren, they only express what, at the same age, ought to be in all our children's minds. We cannot teach them too early that they are God's, that He is their Father, that they have His work to do in the world.
Happy that child who learns these great truths betimes! Happy that child whose parents have taught it to acknowledge and to love God, and to serve God!
For it is this early acquaintance with God-this enlistment of our children from tender years, in the Lord's cause and service—that more than anything else will make their path plain for them to walk in : will save them from many a snare, and many a fall, and finally preserve them to His everlasting kingdom.
There is yet one other and that a most noticeable particular in which the Lord sets an example to the young. At the remonstrance of Mary, His mother, He left the
Temple, and with her and Joseph went down to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.
He was then twelve years old —when next we hear of Him in the Gospel, He is thirty; and all that interval, those eighteen years, He remained at Nazareth in the poor carpenter's home, paying to His supposed parent Joseph, and to Mary His Mother, all the duty, honour, love, obedience, of a son-all that time He was subject unto them!
And what a lesson does this read us! How greatly is it needed! Young men and young women-it is a common complaint in these days—are sadly wanting in subjection to their parents.
So soon as a lad can earn ever so little, he becomes independent of his father and mother. If he lives still with them, he lives more as a lodger than as a son. At the least rebuke he is apt to take affront, and to talk of leaving them. Fearing this, the parents soon cease to check him, and though they see him going wrong, refrain from saying a word. Much harm is thus done on both sides—harm by the parents, because the son makes himself vile, and they restrain him not; harm by the son, because he sets up too soon to be his own master, and will not be advised by those who have most right to advise, and who, in giving their advice, can only have his good at heart.
The evil, you will admit, is one very widely spread. But there is a remedy for it, and that remedy lies in following Christ.
He, we have seen, was in subjection. Though not like any other child, though not simply a son in that
house at Nazareth where He was brought up, but, by a higher birthright, Lord and Master, He did not the less shew to Joseph and Mary the duty and obedience of a true son-He lived at home and was subject unto them.
Surely, for our sakes has it been written—for your sakes especially, my younger friends, who are inclined to break loose from parental authority at home.
Let me pray you to lay it to heart. Do not seek to be above your Saviour; to be wiser than your Saviour, in the way you treat your parents. Think of Him, so far above them as He was, yet quietly submitting to be ruled by Joseph and Mary, those many years at Nazareth. Think, too, of what the Bible says everywhere ab th respect due to father and mother. You all know what is in the fifth commandment. But look to other parts of the Book as well. Search both Old and New Testament, and you will find no duty more strongly advocated, none to which more surely God's blessing is attached, than this of obedience to parents.
Nay—and I would send you to one other monitor to enforce what I am saying-look calmly into your own hearts, put aside all prejudice and borrowed notions of corrupt custom, and look simply to what your conscience witnesses on this matter. Is not the voice there in close harmony with Scripture ? Does not nature go with God in declaring, that the first duty of the young is, to show piety at home, and to requite their parents?
This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested
forth His glory: and His disciples believed on Him.
Our Church on this Sunday brings before 'us the account of our Lord's first miracle—that which He wrought at Cana of Galilee, when He made the water wine.
It is a miracle most rich in matter for our instruction -and, without further preface, I shall propose to make it the subject of some remark to you this morning.
The circumstances of the miracle are soon stated. Jesus, His mother, and His disciples, were all invited to a marriagę feast. In the course of the entertainment, the wine which had been provided fell short. And the mother of Jesus—and it is thought from her doing this that she was a relation, and knew the arrangements of the house--said unto Him, They have no wine. Why she said it; whether, from an expectation that her Divine Son would be able to help in the difficulty, or simply because she was accustomed to consult Him and seek
counsel at His hands, we know not. Our Lord in His reply appears to object to her interference- Woman, what have I to do with thee : mine hour is not yet come. But that very answer, mine hour is not yet come, gave her hope that in His own time something would be done, and so she turned to the attendants and said, Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece—making in all a very large quantity—126 gallons. They were empty, and Jesus now bade the servants fill 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. And when the ruler of the feast (he was not the master of the house, but a person appointed by the master to preside at the table, whose business it was to taste and distribute the wine) had tasted the water that was made into wine, and knew not whence it was, (but the servants which drew the water knew,) he called the bridegroom-or rather, he called to the bridegroom, spoke to him from his place, and bore witness to the excellency of the wine newly produced—he said, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine, and when men have well drunk, then that which worse ;
but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles (adds the evangelist) did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth His glory, and His disciples (there were but five at that time with Him) believed on Him.
Such is the account of our Lord's first miracle— let us consider what lessons there are in it for our learning.