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him ; three days after, they found him in the temple, sitting amongst the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions. When they saw him, they were filled with astonishment; and Mary said to him, my son, why hast thou served us thus ? Behold thy father and myself, who have sought thee in great affliction. Jesus answered them, Why did you seek me? Did not you know that I must be employed about my Father's business ? afterwards he returned with them to Nazareth, and lived with filial submission to them: but his mother laid up all these things in her heart. The gospel says nothing more of the virgin Mary, till the marriage at Cana of Galilee, where she was present with JESUS her son.

The blessed Jesus, in the thirtieth year of the vulgar æra, resolved to manifest himself to the world, and therefore, went to be baptised by St. John, from thence into the wilderness, and thence to the above-mentioned wedding, to which he, with his mother and disciples, had been invited. At this entertainment, the provision of wine being somewhat scanty (probably because the friends of the married couple were in humble circumstances) Christ's mother told her son, they had no wine, not doubting of his power to supply them : to which Jesus answered in terms which had some appearance of a rebuke, Woman, what have I to do with thee? nine hour is not yet come.

Six great stone pitchers being in the room, Jesus ordered them to be filled brimfull of water; and afterwards commanded the servants to fill out and carry it to the master of the feast, who, on tasting it, found it to be excellent wine. This is the first miracle Jesus wrought at the beginning of his public ministry; and from hence our Lord went to Capernaum with his mother and brethren.

It is true, we learn from the third chapter of St. Mark, that on a certain day in the year of CHRIST thirty-four, and vulgar æra thirty-one, that as JESUS Christ was teaching in a house at Capernaum, so great a crowd of people stood about him, that neither he nor his disciples had time to take any refreshment; which caused a report to be spread abroad, that he had fainted away, or fallen into a swoon. The virgin and the brethren or relations of Jesus came to see what had given occasion to this report ; and when they could not get into the house for the throngs of people, they caused a message to be conveyed from one to another, till it was told Jesus, “ That his mother and his brethren were at the door, and desired to speak with him.” Jesus being accordingly informed of their coming, and that they waited to speak with him, being at that instant engaged in the work of his ministry, preaching the word of God, he made this reply, Who is my

mother, and who are my brethren? And looking upon those that were round about him, he said, These are my mother and brethren ; declaring, That whosoever did the will of his heavenly Father, the same was his mother, and sister, and brother. This was what Christ had taught in another place, that we must prefer God to all human relations, and give the preference to his service : but this saying could not reflect upon his mother, who was amongst the principal of those who did the will of his heavenly Father.

Immediately upon Mary's approach, a woman of the company said with a loud voice, directing her words to JESUS : Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. To which he replied, Yea, rather blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it. Not intimating hereby, that she who had the honour to bear him, did not deserve to be called blessed throughout all generations; but that even her happiness consisted more in doing the will of Christ than in giving him a human body, which was indeed not her own act, but effected by the power of God..

We have no further account of the holy virgin from this time, till we find her in Jerusalem at the last passover our Saviour celebrated there ; which was in the thirty-sixth year of Christ, and thirty-third of the vulgar æra. In this city she saw all that was transacted against him, followed him to Mount Calvary, and stayed at the foot of the cross during the passion of her blessed Son. We cannot doubt but her soul was at this time pierced through, as old Simeon had prophesied, with the most acute pains, for the death of such a Son. Yet her constancy was remarkable : for

a when the apostles were all frightened away from their Master, she, with a courage undaunted, and worthy of the mother of Christ, continued even in the midst of the executioners, being prepared to die with her Son, who was now become her Saviour ; who being now ready to leave the world, and seeing his mother at the foot of the cross, and his beloved disciple St. John near her, he bequeathed her to him by his last will and testament, saying to his mother, Woman, behold thy Son ; and to his disciple, Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her home to his own house, and provided for her.

Some authors of the fifth century think the virgin Mary died and was buried at Jerusalem, or rather in her sepulchre at Gethsemane, near that city, where to this day, it is shewn in a magnificent church dedicated to her.

The ancient fathers of the Eastern and Western churches, asserted her perpetual virginity, and St. Augustine tells us, that this is one of those points which we ought to receive as of apostolic tradition, since the Holy Scripture gives us no more account of it, than by only remarking how fully the blessed virgin was resolved to serve God with an entire purity. The title which hath been constantly appropriated to her in all ages, as often as she is inentioned, is a good argument to confirm our belief concerning this: See Ezekiel xliv. 2.

MARY MAGDALENE. This remarkable convert was a native either of Magdala, a town in Galilee, on the other side of Jordan, or Magdalos, a town situated at the foot of Mount Carmel, and had her surname from the place of her birth. Some affirm, that she was the sinner mentioned by St. Luke, ch. vii. 37, &c. but this opinion is built only on conjecture. Both St. Matthew and St. Mark tell us, that Jesus had cast out of her seven devils; which some understand in a literal, and others in a figurative sense.

Mary became, however a constant attendant on the blessed Jesus, after he had removed her plague. She followed him to Mount Calvary, continued amidst the Roman guards at the foot of the cross, with the holy virgin, and saw his precious body laid in the tomb; after which she returned to Jerusalem, in order, after the Sabbath, to embalm her Lord.

She also carried the welcome tidings to Peter and John, and our blessed Lord himself appeared to her first after his resurrection. The apostles, however, did not believe her report, till it was confirmed by others, and they themselves had seen their Saviour. After this event, she is not mentioned in sacred writ.

MARY, THE SISTER OF LAZARUS. Mary, the sister of Lazarus, with her sister Martha, lived with their brother at Bethany, a village near Jerusalem. Our dear Redeemer had a particular affection for this family, and often retired to their house with his disciples. One day (and perhaps the first time that Jesus went thither) Martha received him with remarkable affection, and took abundance of pains in providing a proper entertainment for him ; but Mary her sister continued sitting at her Saviour's feet, listening to his words with peculiar attention. This Martha considered as an instance of disrespect, and therefore said to Jesus, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve thee alone? Bid her, therefore, that she help me. But our Lord justified Mary, by telling her sister; that she had chosen the better part, which she should never be deprived of.

Lazarus their brother, some time after this, fell sick, and his sisters sent to acquaint Jesus of the misfortune; but he did not arrive at Bethany till after Lazarus was dead. Martha hearing Jesus was come into the neighbourhood, went to him, and told him, that if he had not been absent her brother had been still alive. Jesus promised her, that her brother should rise again : to which Martha answered, I know that he shall rise again at the last day. Jesus replied, I am the resurrection and the life : he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die, believest thou ihis? Martha answered, Yea Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. Having said this, she departed, and gave her sister notice privately, that Jesus was come. Mary, as soon as she heard the welcome tidings, arose and went to Jesus: and, as Martha, had done before her, said, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. The blessed Jesus was greatly moved at the pathetic complaints of these worthy sisters, and on asking where they had buried him, they conducted him to the sepulchre. On his arrival at the place where the body of Lazarus was deposited, the great Redeemer of mankind groaned deeply in his spirit; he wept, he prayed to his father, and then cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. The dead obeyed the voice of the Son of God; Lazarus immediately revived, and Jesu's restored him to his sisters.

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