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Not the least remarkable feature of the teaching of Christ is the fact that this wide influence was exerted without His having committed to writing so much as one single statement of the vast wealth of doctrine which fell from His sacred lips. Had such a plan ever been conceived by the Divine Mind, it was possibly set aside as impracticable, for, among other reasons which we cannot conjecture, "the world itself would not be able to contain the books that should be written."'87 Neither did He impose upon His disciples, to whose care He committed the deposit of faith which He desired to communicate to mankind, the obligation of writing anything which He had taught them. The fact that the Evangelists have done so, however, does not argue any transgression of His sacred will, for 1) there was no command to abstain from writing, and 2) though the writing of His teaching was not necessary for its transmission, it was nevertheless not contrary to the will of Christ, for the Evangelists wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. The teaching of the Great Master was accomplished 1) by His life, 2) by His miracles, 3) by His oral instructions, consisting a) of His literal discourses, and b) of His Parables. We shall attempt to point out the various lessons taught us by these several means, indicating the presence of apperception in each mode of teaching, and in this way prove that Christ was the greatest teacher of all times and of all countries, and that no other man in the history of the world has exerted such a far-reaching influence upon humanity.

The teaching of Christ began with His incarnation and continued up to the last moment of His presence upon earth. By the very act of His assuming human form in the womb of His blessed Mother, our Saviour imparts to us the lessons of obedience, humility, purity, and detachment. The Word became Flesh in order to do the will of His Father, thereby teaching us that He wishes to be served with a religious obedience to all His commandments. By His utter annihilation of Himself, by subjecting Himself to human infirmities, He teaches the necessity and excellence of humility. In the choice of Mary, the purest of virgins, for His Mother, He inculcates the necessity and value of purity; and by His selection of a poor mother, when He might have chosen one of great wealth, He teaches the necessity and value of detachment from all the pleasures and allurements of this world.

The same moral virtues are inculcated and the same great lessons taught by the birth of the Divine Teacher. He subjects Himself to the command of an idolatrous prince, permits Himself to remain unknown and to be treated as a stranger by the people, allows Himself to be considered merely as the son of a poor artisan, contents Himself with a manger for His first resting-place, in the society of animals, and silently submits Himself to all the weaknesses of infancy. Can there be any lesson of humility taught more effectively? He who is the Ruler of Heaven and earth becomes the willing victim of the elements, of the circumstances of time and place, and of his own creatures. He also teaches the great lesson of poverty, by being born in a strange country where He lacks all the conveniences afforded by even a humble home, in a lowly cave open to the wind and rain, and having only straw for a pillow. He is surrounded by poverty, His parents, and the shepherds who are sent to Him by the angels, being poor and belonging to a low rank of society. The Master also gives us an example of obedience by carrying out in every detail of His birth the will of His heavenly Father. He is also a model in suffering, both physical and mental. His tender body is exposed to cold, wind, and rain, and to contact with the rude straw; His soul suffers from the rebuffs of His people, the indifference and even the contempt of the inhabitants of Bethlehem, the inconveniences and troubles experienced by Mary and Joseph in their efforts to find a suitable lodging for the Son of God.

The lessons taught us by the Hidden Life of the Master are equally profound and salutary. They are those of obedience, labor, perfection in common actions, recollection, and modesty. By remaining in the Temple with the Doctors, He exhibits the perfection of obedience, for He follows the will of His heavenly Father in spite of the pain He thereby causes His parents, toward whom He always shows great reverence and filial devotion. He also teaches children the obligation of obedience to the call of God, and sets forth to parents the warning that they have no right to hinder their children from following the vocation bestowed upon them by their Heavenly Father. During the long years spent in the seclusion of Nazareth, there is again enforced the lesson of obedience; but this time it is obedience to those inferior to Himself, for, though eminent in virtue, Mary and Joseph were nevertheless His creatures, and did not partake of

the Divine Nature. An example of labor is also given us in the devotedness and assiduity with which the Child and the Youth assists His parents in their daily work. The Saviour of the world spent almost His entire life in manual labor, thus teaching us that "honest hand work is dignified and dignifying. The discipline of bodily toil and struggle, wisely regarded, may exert a wholesome influence on the higher nature, may serve noble purposes, and is fitted, under certain conditions, to form vigorous, high-toned, resolute souls. ''88 Moreover, the humble work of the carpenter is performed by Christ with great perfection in every detail, is accompanied by prayer and a spirit of mortification, and constant submission to the will of His Father, from which we learn the perfection that we should strive to attain in our common actions, the merit of manual labor, and the means by which it may be sanctified. There is also afforded us in the Hidden Life an example of modesty and recollection, in the quiet, dignified movements, the gentle tone of voice, the calmness of mien and manner, and the elevation of soul with which the work of the carpenter's Son was accomplished.

Within the few years that elapsed between the Divine Master's farewell to His Blessed Mother and His departure from this world to His heavenly Father, we have a marvellous wealth of lessons taught us by the practice of the most sublime virtue. It would be impossible to give an adequate exposition of these numerous instances, either within the scope of a few pages or in the space of innumerable volumes. We shall merely indicate briefly the various occasions, and it will readily be seen that there is no virtue ever conceived by the human mind which was not practised in an eminent degree of perfection by the Great Teacher of all times during these few years of His public life. He exhibits heroic courage in leaving His Mother to face a world from which He will receive only ingratitude, contempt, and persecution; in fasting and praying for forty days in the desert, and resisting the three-fold temptation of Satan; in driving the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, regardless of the consequences that He might be made to suffer; in rebuking those deserving of reprehension, without respect to the dignity of the offender, not even sparing His own friends and apostles, Peter, James, and John; in working miracles on the Sabbath, realizing that scandal would be taken therefrom by His ene88 Young, The Christ of History, p. 38. New York, 1855.

mies; in raising Lazarus to life, though He knows that this action will give His enemies the long-desired pretense for carrying out the wicked designs that they had long plotted against Him. Extraordinary courage is manifested by the Divine Teacher also in His mental sufferings-in His brave endurance of the ingratitude of the lepers, the false accusations heaped upon Him when His enemies called Him an imposter and attributed His power of working miracles to Beelzebub; in His silent submission to the indignities and jeers of the multitude during His Passion; in His bitter anguish suffered in the Garden of Olives, in the realization that His death would be without fruit to so many for whom He sacrificed His life. Courage was also coupled with His fatigue, His poverty, His hunger, His patience, the manifold sufferings of His Passion, all of which were borne without murmur or complaint.

Another characteristic virtue exemplified in the public life of the Great Master was charity. He teaches a remarkable lesson of love and compassion in His constant daily intercourse with all classes of people, in His behavior toward His enemies and toward those who were indifferent to Him, as well as toward His friends and followers. We may recall briefly His great consideration for the multitude who had followed Him to hear His preaching; He realized that they were at a considerable distance from their homes and had listened to His words for many hours, without taking any food. He miraculously supplies nourishment for them in sufficient quantity to satisfy the appetites of all. At another time, after His resurrection, appearing on the shore of the lake early in the morning, He finds His apostles who have labored all night, without taking any fish. To relieve their fatigue and disappointment, the kind Master invites them to breakfast with Him, and leads them to a spot where He has Himself prepared a repast for them. Actuated by charity, He wrought many miracles in order to relieve the suffering and distress of those in affliction-He cured the sick, gave sight to the blind, restored hearing and the power of speech to the deaf and dumb, and even raised the dead to life in order to assuage the grief of the sorrowing relatives. He was a Friend to whom all could turn in affliction without fear of disappointment, for "He went about doing good."'89 In many instances His works of charity were accomplished by a depth of tender

ness which is seldom found in human nature, except in the heart of a mother for the little ones whom God has entrusted to her care. Such was, for example, His gentle treatment of sinners, particularly of the woman taken in sin, and Mary Magdalene. In neither case does He reproach the offender, but on the contrary receives both of them kindly, readily accepts their expressions of repentance whether offered by word, deed, or thought, and sends them from His presence forgiven and consoled. The same tenderness is shown in his manner of giving correction, as in the cases of Peter, James and John, Thomas, and even the traitor Judas; in His gentle forbearance toward ignorance, as in His kindly instruction to the disciples on the way to Emmaus; in His solicitude for those in sorrow as instanced in His conduct toward Mary and Martha, and to the holy women of Jerusalem who met Him on His journey to Calvary; in His forgiveness of injuries, as in His prayer for His executioners, and His words of comfort to the good thief, both uttered at a time when a merely human person would have been wholly taken up with his own sufferings. His tender Heart manifested itself in a most remarkable manner also when He wept over Jerusalem, and again when He wept at the grave of Lazarus. Lastly, though many other examples might be cited, we have a most touching picture of the tenderness of the Great Master in His attitude of blessing the little children, imposing His hands upon them, and permitting them great freedom in approaching Him, when His disciples were inclined to forbid them this privilege.

As in the earlier periods of the Master's life, we find also in His public life abundant lessons of obedience, poverty, and humility. His obedience is shown in His great respect for the law, though not strictly bound by its regulations; He visits the Temple at the time enjoined, He sanctifies the Sabbath-day, celebrates the Passover, and even pays honor to the Scribes and Pharisees in His injunction to His apostles: "The Scribes and Pharisees have sitten in the chair of Moses. All things, therefore, whatsoever they shall say to you observe and do. He teaches the most salutary lessons of poverty in that He is often in want of even the necessaries of life, as food and lodging, for which He depends upon the charity of His friends and pious followers. This is seen in His answer to the scribe who expressed himself as desirous of following Christ, to whom He


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