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fore, on the arrival of Jesus, directed Simeon to proceed to the temple. As soon as he beheld the glorious infant, therefore, his joy may easily be conceived: he took him in his arms, and blessing* God, said: " Lord, nowlettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy salvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of thy people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel." Simeon then blessed Joseph and Mary: "Behold, this child," he said, "is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be spoken against, (yea, a sword shall pierce thro' thy soul also," addressing Mary,) "that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
What did he mean, Mamma?
He warned Mary, that it would be like a sword piercing her heart, when she beheld her glorious and beloved Son crucified, and himself despised. So you perceive, my child, that although Mary was thus blessed in giving birth to God, she was still to experience the deepest sorrows and afflictions on earth, in becoming the witness of the sufferings and persecutions of her Son; and she was still to continue the poor lowly Mary, the wife of a humble carpenter: but, my love, she had an all-sufficient comforter in God the Spirit. • .
"O thon who driest the mourner's tear,
How dark this world would be,
We could not fly to thee i.
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown;
Must weep those tears alone.
Bat thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which like the plants that throw Their fragrance from the wounded part, Breathes sweetness out of woe." Joseph and Mary had no sooner recovered from the marvellous prophecy of Simeon, than Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser, (who was of great age, being a widow of about fourscore and four years, who departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and praying night and day,) coming in on that instant, gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
"Star of my hope, depart not,
Though many a star of splendour
Their beans no comfort render,
Bat thou, tho' far, canst lighten
Now, my sweet child, look; yonder comes Papa. I must hasten to tell him how dear thou art to thy mother.
Our beloved Lord continued to grow a fine child. It was, however, customary with his parents to visit Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. It occurred, that when Jesus was 12 years of age, on the occasion of visiting Jerusalem for the performance of this ceremony, and on his parents' returning home, they missed the holy child. Their consternation and alarm may easily be conceived: they returned, therefore, to the temple, where to their delight, yet surprise, they found him, at that tender age, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions: all who heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. "Son," enquired Mary, "how hast thou thus dealt with us? Behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing." "How is it that ye sought me?" replied Jesus: "wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" This is the first intimation of our beloved Lord's work on earth: it was the work of God his Father he was about,