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ger from God, and that that feast was the last scene of the old life. And, moreover, He made use of one remarkable expression, which seems to imply that this change of condition really was in His thoughts, if we may dare so to speak of them, or at all to interpret them. For when His Mother said unto Him, “They have no wine,” He answered, “What have I to do with thee??He had had to do with her for thirty years. She had borne Him, she had nursed Him, she had taught Him. And when He had reached twelve years old, at the age when the young may expect to be separated from their parents, He had only become more intimately one with them, for we are told that “He went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them.” Eighteen years had passed away since this occurred. St. Joseph (as it seems) had been taken to his rest. Mary remained; but from Mary, His Mother, He must now part, for the three years of His ministry. He had gently intimated this to her at the very time of His becoming subject to her, intimated that His heavenly Father's work was a higher call than any earthly duty. “Wist ye not,” He said, when found in the Temple, “that I must be about My Father's business : ?” The time was now come when this was to be fulfilled, and, therefore, when His Mother addressed Him at the marriage feast, He answered, “What have I to do with thee?What is between Me and thee, My Mother, any longer ?

? «The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

And hence the words which I have quoted were but the introduction to others like them, in which He seemed to put His Mother from His thoughts, as being called to the work of a divine ministry. When He was told that His Mother and His brethren stood without, and sent unto Him, calling Him, He seemed to answer, that henceforth He had no mother and no brethren after the flesh, for He was called on to fulfil His own precept, as fulfilling all righteousness, and to “hate His father and mother, and brethren and sisters, yea, and His own life also 1." “ He answered and said unto him that told Him, Who is My Mother ? and who are My brethren ? and He stretched forth His hand towards His disciples, and said, Behold My Mother and My brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of My Father which is in heaven” (about whose“ business," in His own former words, He was then engaged), “the same is My brother and sister, and Mother"

1 John ii. 3, 4.

2 Luke ii. 51.

8 Luke 49.

& Mark i. 15.

At another time, when“ a certain woman of the company lift up her voice, and said unto Him, Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked," He answered, “ Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it."

Nor is there any token recorded in the Gospels of His affection for His Mother, till His ministry was brought to an end, and we know well what were the tender words which almost immediately preceded “It is finished.” His love revived, that is, He allowed it to appear, as His Father's work was ending. “ There stood by the cross of Jesus, His Mother, and His Mother's sister, Mary

1 Luke xiv. 26.

2 Matt. xii. 48–50. 3 Luke xi. 27, 28.

[8. D.]

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the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His Mother, and the disciple standing by whom He loved, He saith unto His Mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith He to the disciple, Behold thy Mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."

He took leave then of His Mother at a feast, as He afterwards took leave of His disciples at a feast. But there is perhaps 'a still closer connexion between the feast of Cana and His Paschal Supper, and, as we are already engaged in the subject, it may be allowable to proceed with it.

It will be observed, then, that though He was bidding farewell to His earthly home in the one, and His disciples in the other, yet in neither case was He leaving them for good, but for a season.

His Mother He acknowledged again when He was expiring; His disciples on His resurrection. And He

gave

both the one and the other intimations, not only that He was then separating Himself from them, but also that it was not a separation for ever.

Observe, He said to His Mother, “ What have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.” Perhaps this implies that when His hour was come, then He would have to do with her again as before; and such really seems to be the meaning of the passage.

“ What have I to do with thee now? I have had, I shall have ; but what have I to do with thee now as before? what as yet? what till My hour is come?” He says here that His hour is not yet come, but just before His passion He said, “The Master saith, My time is at hand;" and again, “Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners”;" and it was during His passion that He acknowledged His Mother again. While His work was in progress, He turned from His Mother; but in alluding to an hour that was to come, He gave her to understand that her separation from Him was to end in that hour.

1 John xix. 25–27.

And moreover let this too be observed, that on several occasions, the evil spirit, whom He was about to cast out, used towards our Lord the same phrase which He used towards His Mother. “ There was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with Thee, Thou Jesus of Nazareth ? art Thou come to destroy us* ?It is observable, too, that in another instance the devils alluded to the destined time.“ They cried out saying, What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God ? art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?They knew a time was coming when He was to reign, and they to be punished; but they miscalculated it, and thought that because His work was not yet done, their torment was not yet to begin. And as when they said, “What have we to do with Thee, before the time ?” they implied that they should have to do with their Judge when the time came, and merely meant to say, “ What have we to do with Thee yet?” so when our Lord says to St. Mary, What have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come;" He too means, “What have I to do with Thee, I Matt. xxvi. 18. 45. 2 Mark i. 23, 24.

8 Matt. viii. 29.

as I once had, as yet,-before that hour ?” and implies that in that hour He should have to do with His Mother again. And similar to this is His language to St. Mary Magdalene, when He says to her after His resurrection, “ Touch Me not, for I am not yet ascended to My Father';" implying, as we may reverently infer, that leave would be given to her after His ascension. He withdrew Himself only for a time.

And now let us turn to that other most sacred and sad feast to which the text relates; sad because it was designed to introduce, not His ministry, but His passion, yet in this respect agreeing with the feast in which He began to manifest His glory, that it was a feast of valediction, a sort of sober carnival, before He entered upon His trial. We shall find, as in the former feast, that He intimated both that He was leaving those with whom He had hitherto companied, yet that it was for a time only, not for ever.

To His Mother He had said, “What have I to do with thee?” and now to His Apostles, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek Me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say unto you.” On this, “ Simon Peter said unto Him, Lord, whither goest Thou?" and when our Lord answered him, that whither He went, he could not follow Him then, the zealous and impatient Apostle persisted, “Lord, why cannot I follow Thee now?

On the other hand, He promised that the separation should be but for a season. As to St. Mary, He had 1 John xx. 17.

3 John xiii. 33. 36.

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