16 March 2014

posted 13 Mar 2014, 20:16 by C S Paul

16 March 2014

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Quotes to Inspire


  • "Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly." – Robert F. Kennedy
  • "The worlds of thought and action overlap. What you think has a way of becoming true." – Roger von Oech
  • "It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life, that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself." – Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • "Always give without remembering and always receive without forgetting." – Brian Tracy
  • "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." – Norman MacEwan
  • "Giving is the greatest way to receive." – Rick Beneteau
  • "It is easy to be wise after the event." – Proverb
  • "The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment." – Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • When we ask of the Lord cooly, and not fervently, we do as it were, stop His hand, and restrain Him from giving us the very blessing we "pretend" that we are seeking. - Charles Spurgeon
  • When we get full of this grace we want to see every one blessed--we want to see all the churches blessed, not only all the churches here, but in the whole country. That was the trouble with Christ's disciples. He had hard work to make them understand that His gospel was for every one, that it was a stream to flow out to all nations of the earth. They wanted to confine it to the Jews, and He had to convince them that it was for every living being. - D.L. Moody
  • The Lord has given us a table at which to feast, not an altar on which a victim is to be offered; He has not consecrated priests to make sacrifice, but servants to distribute the sacred feast. - John Calvin

Faith of the Apostles

The disciples of Jesus gave their lives for the preaching of the gospel.

DO YOU KNOW HOW THE APOSTLES DIED?

This will serve as a reminder that our personal and business sufferings are minor... compared to the intense persecution and cold cruelty the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ faced in those times... because of their undying Faith.

Matthew 
Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, killed by a sword wound.

Mark 
Died in  Alexandria, Egypt, after being dragged by horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke 
Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous preaching to the lost.

John 
Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution in Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered from death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison island of Patmos. He wrote his prophetic "Book of Revelation" on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa  in modern Turkey. He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully

Peter 
He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James 
Just "The Leader" of the church in Jerusalem, he was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller's club. This was the same pinnacle where Satan had taken Jesus during "The Temptation."

James the Great 
Son of Zebedee, James was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem. The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew 
Also known as Nathaniel, he was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew 
He was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece. After being whipped severely by seven soldiers, they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: "I have long desired and expected this happy hour. The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it." He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired.

Thomas 
Thomas was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude 
Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias 
The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Paul 
Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at  Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament.

This is an important message for all Christians, and a testament of faith for all others. Through out  history, Christianity has proven to be the most loving, giving and profoundly devout religion known to man.


Christmas Envelope
Unknown

It's just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so. It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas-oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma-the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son Kevin, who was 12 that year, was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended; and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church, mostly black. These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in their spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes. 

As the match began, I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler's ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford. Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn't acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, "I wish just one of them could have won," he said. "They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them."

Mike loved kids-all kids-and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse. That's when the idea for his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church. 

On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years. For each Christmas, I followed the tradition-one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on. The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn't end there. You see, we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more. Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad. The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope. Mike's spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

May we all remember the Christmas spirit this year and always.


If I Could Do It All Over Again 
BY JOYCE MAYNARD

Raising kids is an on-the-job education. Too bad we don't start out with half the expertise we pick up along the way.
 
I started writing about parenting 19 years ago, when I was pregnant with my first child, Audrey. Last June, she graduated from high school. Charlie, my middle child, recently entered high school. Willy, the baby, will be joining his brother next year.

None of this means my days of parenting are over. I remember when my kids were six, two, and two weeks old, and how I'd sometimes took with envy at mothers and fathers whose children were the same Age as mine are now. But I've since learned that my presence is just as necessary to my teenagers these days as it was when I was changing their diapers and getting up in the middle of the night.

I wasn't mistaken that life with older kids is physically less taxing and filled with more freedom and independence for the parent-not to mention the child. What I hadn’'t realized was that it would still be emotionally and intellectually demanding to have these three people, whose expanded world had become so interesting and complex, in my life. I hadn't anticipated what it would feet like to have my three beloved children reach the age where their heartbreaks could no longer be repaired with a hug and five minutes on my lap or their desires satisfied by a $2.99 plaything from Toys "R" Us.

For most of you who read these pages, the stage of parenthood I've reached is still a long way off. But be advised: You'll get here sooner than you think. As endless as the days seem now when you're rereading for the millionth time the page where Curious George gets a new bicycle-you'll wake up one morning wishing you could relive them.

Because I can't revisit those days, this will be my last reflection on parenting for this column. And because my kids have either left or are leaving childhood, it seems appropriate to look back and assess the long term implications of all the little short-term choices I've made as a parent.

One thing that stands out about raising young children is how little opportunity there is to step back to examine the big picture. A parent rarely has the luxury of taking the time to make sense of what worked and what didn't. In many cases, those things that we once considered so incredibly important now seem, with the benefit of hindsight, equally insignificant.

And although I'm certainly proud of the job my children's father and I have done raising them, you can't help but recognize what you might have done better. So how would I have done things differently if I were just now beginning to raise my first child instead of seeing her off to college?

Maybe it was because my husband and I had so little money the year Audrey was born, but back then I cared an inordinate amount about the trappings that go along with having a baby. I used to walk through fancy stores stocked with baby layettes and tiny smocked dresses, wishing I could buy them. When my mother sent me a birthday check, I raced right out and bought an expensive mobile to hang over our not-yet born infant's crib.

These days, I'd have less difficulty coming up with the money for baby clothes and toys. Oddly enough, though, I'd be far less interested in buying them. And I'm not just talking about the baby stuff. Most of us buy much more for our children than they need. More, even, than is good for them. I know I did. My newborn daughter would have been just as delighted with a bunch of measuring spoons and interesting scarves over her crib. I could have played her my favorite Irish folk records instead of buying a half dozen lullaby tapes.

Not that any of these purchases caused my children emotional distress down the line. Toys made them happy, and that made me happy, too. But, in effect, I was establishing a pattern, modeling a way of life. And that model was based on consumption and acquisition.

Another consequence of giving our kids too much is that-it raises their expectations. The more a child has, the more she wants. Carried to an extreme, a parent's overzealous buying habits can actually inhibit a child's ability to entertain herself or make her feel as though life just isn't worth living without that coveted item of the minute.

If I had the past 19 years to do over, I'd focus on a very different lesson: You can get by with very little. The most important thing is what's inside yourself.

Some of the times that I feel best about as a parent have been those my children spent with me, and with their father, exploring the natural world-camping, hiking, riding bikes. Likewise, I realize that some of our very best adventures centered around making our own toys building forts, sewing doll clothes, constructing doll house furniture. All these things taught our kids valuable lessons about finding joy in simple ways.

In retrospect, I'd also spend less time with my vacuum cleaner and more time with my children. It's so easy to continuously pick up after kids-and feel frazzled as a result. When Charlie was in second grade, his teacher had the class put together a little book for Mother's Day, titled My Mom, in which each child was asked to write a description of his mother. When I opened the book to Charlie's page, I read: "My mom cleans our house a lot."

This was not, in fact, the whole story of Charlie's life with me. But for my son to perceive me this way, I couldn't avoid the conclusion that my priorities were off base. "Do you realize," my daughter asked me a while back, "that the majority of our worst fights have been about housework?"
She was right. But some of those arguments were important, because they dealt with respecting a parent's time and energy and learning personal responsibility. Children need to learn to look after themselves, to take care of the house and pets, and make their own meals at times. It's not good for parents-or our children-when we do their work for them.
And I might go so far as to keep television out of the house completely. Or keep one around only for watching movies on video. Not as a baby sitter but as an occasional family event. To me, the politicians are dead wrong when they cite violent or explicit television programming as the main culprit in corrupting today's youth. The fundamental problem with television isn't what kids are viewing but how much. When a child is watching TV, she's disengaged from the world instead of involved in it.
In the spiritual realm, I didn't raise my children within a particular religion, and not having grown up with a clear set of religious convictions of my own, I don't know how it could have been otherwise. What I tried to do, and wish that Id done more of, was to make room in our lives for spiritual exploration.
In recent years, we started observing the Jewish holidays whenever we could. (My mother was a nonpracticing Jew.) Likewise, the small act of pausing to say grace before eating our dinner every night became important to my kids. I should have taken this one step further and established a pattern of prayer (whatever form it might take), which offers comfort to a child. Id also set up a routine of contributing, regularly and consistently, to our community and the world beyond, and not just, during the holiday season.

Our family was fortunate to do quite a bit of traveling together over the years-sometimes to distant and exotic places, more often a simple road trip a few miles from home. And although the places we visited were important, even more significant were the lessons we learned about each other. Leaving home-getting away from familiar territory and the distractions of work, friends, television, and ringing phones-focuses our lives. In just two weeks on the road, I'd see my children grow more than I might in a full two months at home. And because of that, I wish we'd gone even more places together.

Like most parents, I think I've done a decent job of meeting my kids' needs. On the other hand, recognizing the importance of balancing my needs with theirs was much harder. For years I was so preoccupied with taking care of them that I neglected myself. From the age of 23 to nearly 35, 1 drove my children to their sporting events, then sat on a bench waiting for them, without ever playing tennis or taking a dance lesson or going to a gym myself. And because of those small deficits, accumulated over long periods of time, I constantly carried around a sense of martyrdom and frustration.

If I were to name my single greatest regret about my approach to parenthood, it would be that I tried to be perfect. Needless to say, I didn't succeed. But the sheer effort of trying was enough to take away a lot of the fun. And fun is something it's easy for parents to lose sight of. Which is a shame, because raising young children should be tons of fun.

Having grown up in a family where way too much anxiety existed, I brought to my own mothering the desire to spare my children that feeling. I didn't want them to have to experience even the small disappointments of birthday party invitations that didn't arrive, not winning the baseball game, not getting to wear the prettiest dress.

I tried to protect them and was often successful, but no parent can ever succeed in shielding her children from the real sorrows life delivers. And recently, I've realized that as much as I love my children, I wouldn't want them to experience life without disappointment or hardship or grief. I've come to realize that adversity actually makes a person compassionate and strong. I now understand that there's no avoiding disappointment, no way to control your child's universe. And it's just as well.

These days, when I watch my son get defeated at a tennis tournament or tell my daughter that we can't afford a college that doesn't provide scholarships, what seems most important is not to make my children's lives perfect or spare them pain but to raise them to be strong in the face of life's inevitable roadblocks.

I believe my three children are happy people today, because they carry an internal sense of well-being that's dependent on no person or thing but only on their own strong identity. I plan to be around to mother my kids for many years to come. But it's reassuring to know that they could get along without me. And that, of course, is what all parents are trying to accomplish.
Joyce MAYNARD is a contributing editor of PARENTING and the publisher of the quarterly newsletter Domestic Affairs (P.O. Box 1135, Keene, NH 03431;
 
A foot has no nose
 "African Wisdom" by Ellen K. Kuzwayo

Of the many interactions I had with my mother those many years ago, one stands out with clarity. I remember the occasion when mother sent me to the main road, about twenty yards away from the homestead, to invite a passing group of seasonal work-seekers home for a meal. She instructed me to take a container along and collect dry cow dung for making a fire. I was then to prepare the meal for the group of work-seekers.

The thought of making an open fire outside at midday, cooking in a large three-legged pot in that intense heat, was sufficient to upset even an angel. I did not manage to conceal my feelings from my mother and, after serving the group, she called me to the veranda where she usually sat to attend to her sewing and knitting.

Looking straight into my eyes, she said "Tsholofelo, why did you sulk when I requested you to prepare a meal for those poor destitute people?" Despite my attempt to deny her allegation, and using the heat of the fire and the sun as an excuse for my alleged behaviour, mother, giving me a firm look, said ""Lonao ga lo na nko" - "A foot has no nose". It means: you cannot detect what trouble may lie ahead of you.

Had I denied this group of people a meal, it may have happened that, in my travels some time in the future, I found myself at the mercy of those very individuals. As if that was not enough to shame me, mother continued: "Motho ke motho ka motho yo mongwe". The literal meaning: "A person is a person because of another person".

Did you know ?

  • Your body contains enough iron to make a spike strong enough to hold your weight.
  • The surface area of a human lung is equal to that of a tennis court.
  • Most people have lost fifty per cent of their taste buds by the time they reach the age of sixty.
  • The amount of carbon in the human body is enough to fill about 9,000 'lead' pencils.
  • One square inch of human skin contains 625 sweat glands.
  • When you blush, your stomach lining also reddens.
  • The human body has less muscles in it than a caterpillar.
  • As the earth turns, the stars come back to the same place in the night sky every 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.09 seconds. This is a sidereal day (star day).
  • When Neil Armstrong stepped on the Moon for the first time, he said these famous words: “That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”
  • From the moon, astronauts brought back 380 kg of Moon rock.
  • During the moon landing, a mirror was left on the Moon’s surface to reflect a laser beam which measured the Moon’s distance from the Earth with amazing accuracy.
  • The stars in each constellation are named after a Greek alphabet.
  • The brightest star in each constellation is called the Alpha Star, the next brightest Beta, and so on.
  • The distance to the planets is measured by bouncing radar signals off them and timing how long the signals take to get there and back.
Not Just for laughs

Appropriate Attire 

One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin. Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out Bible. 

The church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories. As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it. 

As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what he thinks would be appropriate attire for worship." The old cowboy assured the preacher he would. The next Sunday, he showed back up for the services wearing the same ragged jeans, shirt, boots, and hat. Once again he was completely shunned and ignored. 

The preacher approached the man and said, "I thought I asked you to speak to God before you came back to our church." "I did," replied the old cowboy. "If you spoke to God, what did he tell you the proper attire should be for worshiping in here?" asked the preacher. "Well, sir, God told me that He didn't have a clue what I should wear. He said He'd never been in here before." 


BEN-HUR: A TALE OF THE CHRIST 

by Lew Wallace

Part Eight

Biblical references: Matthew 27:48-51, Mark 11:9-11, 14:51-52, Luke 23:26-46, John 12:12-18, 18:2-19:30

During the next three years, Jesus preaches his gospel around Galilee, and Ben-Hur becomes one of his followers. He starts to believe that Balthasar may be right, when he sees that Jesus chooses fishermen, farmers and similar people, considered "lowly", as apostles. Judah believes Jesus to be wasting valuable time by not proclaiming himself king immediately. Yet, he has seen Jesus perform miracles, and is convinced that the Christ really had come.

During this time Malluch, armed with the Hur fortune, has bought the old Hur house and renovated it, restoring it to splendor. He then invites Simonides and Balthasar, with their daughters, to live in the house with him, and they become regular occupants of the house. Judah Ben-Hur seldom visits the house. The day before Jesus plans to enter Jerusalem and, finally proclaim himself, Judah returns and gives them a full account of what has happened through the years he has followed Jesus. When he tells of the healing of ten lepers, Amrah realizes that Judah's mother and sister could be healed, and the next morning, alone, hurries to the lepers' cave to tell them the good news. The three wait along a road, and amidst all the rejoicing and din during the Triumphal Entry, they ask Jesus to heal them, and their request is granted. When they are cured, Judah sees them and Amrah and the family are finally re-united.

Several days later, Iras talks with Judah, saying he has trusted in a false hope, for Jesus had not started the expected revolution. She says that it is all over between them, saying she loves Messala. Ben-Hur remembers the "invitation of Iras" that led to the incident with Thord, and accuses Iras of betraying him and spying on him for Messala's gain. That night, he realizes how different Balthasar and his daughter are, and resolves to go to Esther.

While he is lost in thought, he sees a parade marching down the street, and falls in with it, confused. He notices that Judas Iscariot is leading the parade, and many of the temple priests and Roman soldiers are all marching together. They go to the olive grove of Gethsemane, which confuses Ben-Hur even more, and he sees, ahead of him, Jesus walking out to meet them. Ben-Hur understands the betrayal, is spotted by a priest who tries to take him into custody; he breaks away and flees. When morning comes, Ben-Hur learns that the Jewish priests have tried Jesus before Pilate, and although he was originally ruled "not guilty", has nevertheless been sentenced to crucifixion at the crowd's demand. Ben-Hur is shocked at how his legions have all deserted him in his time of need. They head to Calvary, and Ben-Hur resigns himself to watch the crucifixion of Jesus. The sky darkens. Ben-Hur offers Jesus wine vinegar to return Jesus' favor to him. Jesus utters his last cry.

Ben-Hur and his friends commit their lives to Jesus, who they now realize is not the earthly king they had previously hoped for, but a heavenly king and a savior of mankind.


PART VIII - CHAPTER - IX 

Next morning, about the second hour, two men rode full speed to the doors of Ben-Hur's tents, and dismounting, asked to see him. He was not yet risen, but gave directions for their admission.

"Peace to you, brethren," he said, for they were of his Galileans, and trusted officers. "Will you be seated?"

"Nay," the senior replied, bluntly, "to sit and be at ease is to let the Nazarene die. Rise, son of Judah, and go with us. The judgment has been given. The tree of the cross is already
at Golgotha."

Ben-Hur stared at them.

"The cross!" was all he could for the moment say.

"They took him last night, and tried him," the man continued. "At dawn they led him before Pilate. Twice the Roman denied his guilt; twice he refused to give him over. At last he washed
his hands, and said, 'Be it upon you then;' and they answered--"

"Who answered?"

"They--the priests and people--'His blood be upon us and our children.'"

"Holy father Abraham!" cried Ben-Hur; "a Roman kinder to an Israelite than his own kin! And if--ah, if he should indeed be the son of God, what shall ever wash his blood from their
children? It must not be--'tis time to fight!"

His face brightened with resolution, and he clapped his hands.

"The horses--and quickly!" he said to the Arab who answered the signal. "And bid Amrah send me fresh garments, and bring my sword! It is time to die for Israel, my friends. Tarry without till I come."

He ate a crust, drank a cup of wine, and was soon upon the road.

"Whither would you go first?" asked the Galilean.

"To collect the legions."

"Alas!" the man replied, throwing up his hands.

"Why alas?"

"Master"--the man spoke with shame--"master, I and my friend here are all that are faithful. The rest do follow the priests."

"Seeking what?" and Ben-Hur drew rein.

"To kill him."

"Not the Nazarene?"

"You have said it."

Ben-Hur looked slowly from one man to the other. He was hearing again the question of the night before: "The cup my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?" In the ear of the Nazarene he was putting his own question, "If I bring thee rescue, wilt thou accept it?" He was saying to himself, "This death may not be averted.

The man has been travelling towards it with full knowledge from the day he began his mission: it is imposed by a will higher than his; whose but the Lord's! If he is consenting, if he goes
to it voluntarily, what shall another do?" Nor less did Ben-Hur see the failure of the scheme he had built upon the fidelity of the Galileans; their desertion, in fact, left nothing more of it.
But how singular it should happen that morning of all others! A dread seized him. It was possible his scheming, and labor, and expenditure of treasure might have been but blasphemous contention with God. When he picked up the reins and said, "Let us go, brethren," all before him was uncertainty. The faculty of resolving quickly, without which one cannot be a hero in the midst of stirring scenes, was numb within him.

"Let us go, brethren; let us to Golgotha."

They passed through excited crowds of people going south, like themselves. All the country north of the city seemed aroused and in motion.

Hearing that the procession with the condemned might be met with somewhere near the great white towers left by Herod, the three friends rode thither, passing round southeast of Akra. In the valley below the Pool of Hezekiah, passage-way against the multitude became impossible, and they were compelled to dismount, and take shelter behind the corner of a house and wait.

The waiting was as if they were on a river bank, watching a flood go by, for such the people seemed.

There are certain chapters in the First Book of this story which were written to give the reader an idea of the composition of the Jewish nationality as it was in the time of Christ. They were also written in anticipation of this hour and scene; so that he who has read them with attention can now see all Ben-Hur saw of the going to the crucifixion--a rare and wonderful sight!

Half an hour--an hour--the flood surged by Ben-Hur and his companions, within arm's reach, incessant, undiminished. At the end of that time he could have said, "I have seen all the castes of Jerusalem, all the sects of Judea, all the tribes of Israel, and all the nationalities of earth represented by them." The Libyan Jew went by, and the Jew of Egypt, and the Jew from the Rhine; in short, Jews from all East countries and all West countries, and all islands within commercial connection; they went by on foot, on horseback, on camels, in litters and chariots, and with an infinite variety of costumes, yet with the same marvellous similitude of features which to-day particularizes the children of Israel, tried as they have been by climates and
modes of life; they went by speaking all known tongues, for by that means only were they distinguishable group from group; they went by in haste--eager, anxious, crowding--all to behold one poor Nazarene die, a felon between felons.

These were the many, but they were not all.

Borne along with the stream were thousands not Jews--thousands hating and despising them--Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Syrians, Africans, Egyptians, Easterns. So that, studying the mass,
it seemed the whole world was to be represented, and, in that sense, present at the crucifixion.

The going was singularly quiet. A hoof-stroke upon a rock, the glide and rattle of revolving wheels, voices in conversation, and now and then a calling voice, were all the sounds heard above the rustle of the mighty movement. Yet was there upon every countenance the look
with which men make haste to see some dreadful sight, some sudden wreck, or ruin, or calamity of war. And by such signs Ben-Hur judged that these were the strangers in the city come up to the Passover, who had had no part in the trial of the Nazarene, and might be his
friends.

At length, from the direction of the great towers, Ben-Hur heard, at first faint in the distance, a shouting of many men.

"Hark! they are coming now," said one of his friends.

The people in the street halted to hear; but as the cry rang on over their heads, they looked at each other, and in shuddering silence moved along.

The shouting drew nearer each moment; and the air was already full of it and trembling, when Ben-Hur saw the servants of Simonides coming with their master in his chair, and Esther walking by his side; a covered litter was next behind them.

"Peace to you, O Simonides--and to you, Esther," said Ben-Hur, meeting them. "If you are for Golgotha, stay until the procession passes; I will then go with you. There is room to turn in by the house here."

The merchant's large head rested heavily upon his breast; rousing himself, he answered, "Speak to Balthasar; his pleasure will be mine. He is in the litter."

Ben-Hur hastened to draw aside the curtain. The Egyptian was lying within, his wan face so pinched as to appear like a dead man's. The proposal was submitted to him.

"Can we see him?" he inquired, faintly.

"The Nazarene? yes; he must pass within a few feet of us."

"Dear Lord!" the old man cried, fervently. "Once more, once more! Oh, it is a dreadful day for the world!"

Shortly the whole party were in waiting under shelter of the house. They said but little, afraid, probably, to trust their thoughts to each other; everything was uncertain, and nothing so much so as opinions. Balthasar drew himself feebly from the litter, and stood supported by a servant; Esther and Ben-Hur kept Simonides company.

Meantime the flood poured along, if anything, more densely than before; and the shouting came nearer, shrill up in the air, hoarse along the earth, and cruel. At last the procession was up.

"See!" said Ben-Hur, bitterly; "that which cometh now is Jerusalem."

The advance was in possession of an army of boys, hooting and screaming, "The King of the Jews! Room, room for the King of the Jews!"

Simonides watched them as they whirled and danced along, like a cloud of summer insects, and said, gravely, "When these come to their inheritance, son of Hur, alas for the city of Solomon!"

A band of legionaries fully armed followed next, marching in sturdy indifference, the glory of burnished brass about them the while.

Then came the NAZARENE!

He was nearly dead. Every few steps he staggered as if he would fall. A stained gown badly torn hung from his shoulders over a seamless undertunic. His bare feet left red splotches upon the
stones. An inscription on a board was tied to his neck. A crown of thorns had been crushed hard down upon his head, making cruel wounds from which streams of blood, now dry and blackened, had run over his face and neck. The long hair, tangled in the thorns, was clotted thick. The skin, where it could be seen, was ghastly white. His hands were tied before him. Back somewhere in the city he had fallen exhausted under the transverse beam of his cross,
which, as a condemned person, custom required him to bear to the place of execution; now a countryman carried the burden in his stead. Four soldiers went with him as a guard against the mob, who sometimes, nevertheless, broke through, and struck him with sticks, and spit upon him. Yet no sound escaped him, neither remonstrance nor groan; nor did he look up until he was nearly in front of the house sheltering Ben-Hur and his friends, all of whom were moved with quick compassion. Esther clung to her father; and he, strong of will as he was, trembled. Balthasar fell down speechless.

Even Ben-Hur cried out, "O my God! my God!" Then, as if he divined their feelings or heard the exclamation, the Nazarene turned his wan face towards the party, and looked at them each one, so they carried the look in memory through life. They could see he was thinking of them, not himself, and the dying eyes gave them the blessing he was not permitted to speak.

"Where are thy legions, son of Hur?" asked Simonides, aroused.

"Hannas can tell thee better than I."

"What, faithless?"

"All but these two."

"Then all is lost, and this good man must die!"

The face of the merchant knit convulsively as he spoke, and his head sank upon his breast. He had borne his part in Ben-Hur's labors well, and he had been inspired by the same hopes, now blown out never to be rekindled.

Two other men succeeded the Nazarene bearing cross-beams.

"Who are these?" Ben-Hur asked of the Galileans.

"Thieves appointed to die with the Nazarene," they replied.

Next in the procession stalked a mitred figure clad all in the golden vestments of the high-priest. Policemen from the Temple curtained him round about; and after him, in order, strode the sanhedrim, and a long array of priests, the latter in their plain white garments, overwrapped by abnets of many folds and gorgeous colors.

"The son-in-law of Hannas," said Ben-Hur, in a low voice.

"Caiaphas! I have seen him," Simonides replied, adding, after a pause during which he thoughtfully watched the haughty pontiff, "And now am I convinced. With such assurance as proceeds from clear enlightenment of the spirit--with absolute assurance--now know I that he who first goes yonder with the inscription about his neck is what the inscription proclaims him--KING OF THE JEWS. A common man, an impostor, a felon, was never thus waited upon. For look! Here are the nations--Jerusalem, Israel. Here is the ephod, here the blue robe with its fringe, and purple pomegranates, and golden bells, not seen in the street since the day Jaddua went out to meet theMacedonian--proofs all that this Nazarene is King. Would I could rise and go after him!"

Ben-Hur listened surprised; and directly, as if himself awakening to his unusual display of feeling, Simonides said, impatiently,

"Speak to Balthasar, I pray you, and let us begone. The vomit of Jerusalem is coming."

Then Esther spoke.

"I see some women there, and they are weeping. Who are they?"

Following the pointing of her hand, the party beheld four women in tears; one of them leaned upon the arm of a man of aspect not unlike the Nazarene's. Presently Ben-Hur answered,

"The man is the disciple whom the Nazarene loves the best of all; she who leans upon his arm is Mary, the Master's mother; the others are friendly women of Galilee."

Esther pursued the mourners with glistening eyes until the multitude received them out of sight.

It may be the reader will fancy the foregoing snatches of conversation were had in quiet; but it was not so. The talking was, for the most part, like that indulged by people at the seaside under the sound of the surf; for to nothing else can the clamor of this division of the mob be so well likened.

The demonstration was the forerunner of those in which, scarce thirty years later, under rule of the factions, the Holy City was torn to pieces; it was quite as great in numbers, as fanatical
and bloodthirsty; boiled and raved, and had in it exactly the same elements--servants, camel-drivers, marketmen, gate-keepers, gardeners, dealers in fruits and wines, proselytes, and foreigners not proselytes, watchmen and menials from the Temple, thieves, robbers, and the myriad not assignable to any class, but who, on such occasions as this, appeared no one could say whence, hungry and smelling of caves and old tombs--bareheaded wretches with naked arms and legs, hair and beard in uncombed mats, and each with one garment the color of clay; beasts with abysmal mouths, in outcry effective as lions calling each other across desert spaces. Some of them had swords; a greater number flourished spears and javelins; though the weapons of the many were staves and knotted clubs, and slings, for which latter selected stones were stored in scrips, and sometimes in sacks improvised from the foreskirts of their dirty tunics. 

Among the mass here and there appeared persons of high degree--scribes, elders, rabbis, Pharisees with broad fringing, Sadducees in fine cloaks--serving for the time as prompters and directors. If a throat tired of one cry, they invented another for it; if brassy lungs showed signs of collapse, they set them going again; and yet the clamor, loud and continuous as it was, could have been reduced to a few syllables--King of the Jews!

Room for the King of the Jews!--Defiler of the Temple!--Blasphemer of God!--Crucify him, crucify him! And of these cries the last one seemed in greatest favor, because, doubtless, it was more directly expressive of the wish of the mob, and helped to better articulate
its hatred of the Nazarene.

"Come," said Simonides, when Balthasar was ready to proceed--"come, let us forward."

Ben-Hur did not hear the call. The appearance of the part of the procession then passing, its brutality and hunger for life, were reminding him of the Nazarene--his gentleness, and the many
charities he had seen him do for suffering men. Suggestions beget suggestions; so he remembered suddenly his own great indebtedness to the man; the time he himself was in the hands of a Roman guard going, as was supposed, to a death as certain and almost as terrible as this one of the cross; the cooling drink he had at the well by Nazareth, and the divine expression of the face of him who gave it; the later goodness, the miracle of Palm-Sunday; and with these recollections, the thought of his present powerlessness to give back help for help or make return in kind stung him keenly, and he accused himself. He had not done all he might; he could have watched with the Galileans, and kept them true and ready; and this--ah! this was the moment to strike! A blow well given now would not merely disperse the mob and set the Nazarene free; it would be a trumpet-call to Israel, and precipitate the long-dreamt-of war for freedom. The opportunity was going; the minutes were bearing it away; and if lost! God of Abraham! 

Was there nothing to be done--nothing?

That instant a party of Galileans caught his eye. He rushed through the press and overtook them.

"Follow me," he said. "I would have speech with you."

The men obeyed him, and when they were under shelter of the house, he spoke again:

"You are of those who took my swords, and agreed with me to strike for freedom and the King who was coming. You have the swords now, and now is the time to strike with them. Go, look everywhere, and find our brethren, and tell them to meet me at the tree of the cross making ready for the Nazarene. Haste all of you! Nay, stand not so! The Nazarene is the King, and freedom dies with him."

They looked at him respectfully, but did not move.

"Hear you?" he asked.

Then one of them replied,

"Son of Judah"--by that name they knew him--"son of Judah, it is you who are deceived, not we or our brethren who have yourswords. The Nazarene is not the King; neither has he the spirit
of a king. We were with him when he came into Jerusalem; we saw him in the Temple; he failed himself, and us, and Israel; at the Gate Beautiful he turned his back upon God and refused the throne of David. He is not King, and Galilee is not with him. He shall die the death. But hear you, son of Judah. We have your swords, and we are ready now to draw them and strike for freedom; and so is Galilee. Be it for freedom, O son of Judah, for freedom! and we will meet you at the tree of the cross."

The sovereign moment of his life was upon Ben-Hur. Could he have taken the offer and said the word, history might have been other than it is; but then it would have been history ordered by men, not God--something that never was, and never will be. A confusion fell upon him; he knew not how, though afterwards he attributed it to the Nazarene; for when the Nazarene was risen, he understood the death was necessary to faith in the resurrection, without which
Christianity would be an empty husk. The confusion, as has been said, left him without the faculty of decision; he stood helpless--wordless even. Covering his face with his hand, he shook with the conflict between his wish, which was what he would have ordered, and the
power that was upon him.

"Come; we are waiting for you," said Simonides, the fourth time.

Thereupon he walked mechanically after the chair and the litter. Esther walked with him. Like Balthasar and his friends, the Wise Men, the day they went to the meeting in the desert, he was being led along the way.

to be continued


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