Lyman Abbott.

Jesus of Nazareth: His life and teachings; founded on the four Gospels, and illustrated by reference to the manners, customs, religious beliefs, and political institutions of His times online

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THE HOLY LAXD,



JESUS OF NAZARETH:



HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS;



FOUNDED ON THE FOUR GOSPELS,

AND ILLUSTRATED BY REFERENCE TO THE MANNERS,
CUSTOMS, RELIGIOUS BELIEFS, AND POLITICAL
INSTITUTIONS OF HIS TIMES.

By LYMAN ABBOTT.

With Designs by Dork, De Laroche, Fenn, and others.




"Come and See." .,



NEW YORK






J } -J J ^ J 3 J > '



HARPER & BROTHERS, .PUBLISHERS,
franklin square.
1869. -^



Entered, according to Act of Congi'ess, in the year 1868, by

Harper «fe'BROTHERS,

Ih the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District of

New York.



• • • .



» » »



Preface.




jN^^P one can hope to write a complete biography of
Jesus of Nazareth, whose life is the pattern,
whose death is the sacrifice, and whose resiu -
rection is the hope for all humanity. No one
can aspire to do more than illustrate some
phases of his incomparable life and character. It is prop-
er, therefore, briefly to state tlie specific object of this Life
of Christ.

It seems to have been no part of the divine purpose to
give in the Gospels a connected Life of Jesus. The Bible
is a book of original materials, not of constructed systems.
The evangelists, therefore, have given us, not biographies,
but biographical memorabilia. They have not imdertaken
to trace the history of Christ from the cradle to the grave,
but to collect and preserve the various incidents and teach-
ings in his ministry. Matthew and Mark accompany liim
only through Galilee. Luke gives a glimpse of his life in
Perea. John alone recounts his experience and reception
in Judea. Only the history of the Passion Week is re-
corded by them all.

Not one of them has followed a chronolosfical order.
Not one affords us a single date. The years' of Christ's
birth and his crucifixion are ahke involved in uncertainty.

Mv first purpose, then, has been to gather up these sin-

A



iv PREFACE.

gle threads and weave them into a connected narrative ; to
learn, if possible, the course of his earthly life, the order of
his ministry, the gradual unfolding of his divine pm-poses,
and the secret causes which so operated on the pubhc mind
as to lead the people to offer him a crown in Galilee and
award him the cross at Jerusalem. This task has been less
simple than it might seem. Among the so-called harmo-
nists there is no harmony. In such a work the uncertain
guidance of sm-mise has been of necessity sometimes ac-
cepted, where there were no clear indications in the origin-
al accounts to determine the chronological order.

Neither have the evangelists illustrated the events they
recount by any detailed explanation of the manners and
customs of their age. For the most part they have as-
sumed that their readers possess the knowledge so familiar
not only to them, but to their contemporaries. This life
of the past, which has faded from sight before the brighter
light of Christian ci\dlization, I have endeavored, in these
pages, to restore by borrowing the pen of history to trans-
port the reader into the atmosphere of the first century.
I have thus sought to give to the life and teachings of
Christ that significance which is afforded by a knowledge
of his times and circumstances; to present the Life of
Christ in its appropriate setting.

Many systems of so-called Christianity have appeared in
the world, differing greatly from each other, and from that
which is to be deduced from the words and doings of Je-
sus, It is well sometimes to go back to the Fountain-head,
to t^ace this affluent stream of Christian civilization to its
Source, to . study, in the life and teachings of Jesus, the
Christianity of Christ.

With the prosecution of this general purpose no consid-
erations have been permitted to interfere.



PREFACE. . y

Believing the Bible to be the inspired Word of God, it
has been enough for my purpose to assmne that the Gos-
pels are authentic narratives. The reader will therefore
iind in these pages no discussion concerning the authority'
of the Scriptures, or the authenticity of particular passages.
This belongs to the critic, not to the historian.

Believing that God is immanent in nature and in life, I
liold that Christian faith in the Christian miracles is the
truest rationalism. But it is the province of the philoso-
pher, not of the historian, to discuss this question. To the
philosopher, therefore, I have remitted it, writing this rec-
ord of Christ's life in the same faith in a present helpful
God in which the inspired records were written which con-
stitute my authorities.

Belie\dng Jesus to be the Incarnate Son of God, I have
not written to advocate that article of the Christian's faith.
This is not a theological treatise under guise of an historic-
al monograph. It contains no discussions of even funda-
mental doctrines. To the skepticism which still inquires
incredulously, "Can there any good tiling come out of
IS^azareth ?" there is no better answer than that of Phihp,
" Come and see."

The language of imagination has been sometimes em-
ployed, but only in the narration of well-authenticated facts.
The minutest reference to dress, manners, customs, and
scenery are founded upon a careful and conscientious study
of reliable authorities. It would not probably add to the
real value of the book to encumber its pages with refer-
ences to them, but tlie .reader will find in an Apj)endix a
list of the more important Enghsh works consulted. If he
is desirous to examine any doubtful point, he has thus, at
least, a clew to his investigations. The foot-notes are con-
fined mainly to Scripture references. These are not al-



vi ' PREFACE.

ways cited as authorities. They are often only referred to
as illustrations of the statements in the text.

In a few cases notes are added referring to critical in-
vestigations, the results of which only are indicated in the
body of the work.

Finally, I have not interwoven in this narrative of Christ's
life any eulogy of his teachings or his character. It is but
a poor device, that of ancient art, which puts a halo round
His head that it may designate Him. Reverencing Jesus
MS the only-begotten Son of God, accepting him as the
Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, in whom
alone is the remission of sins, and loving him with daily-
increasing love as my Savior and my Lord, I have sought
simply to tell the story of his life, belie^^ng that his char-
acter is its own best evidence of his divinity,^ his life its
own liighest eulogy. The pen Avhich I took up with en-
thusiasm I lay down with regret. Whatever reception the
Christian public may accord to this fi'uit of my. studies, I
shall be ever grateful for the impulse which led me to
them, for in those studies themselves I have found my
highest and best reward.

Lyman Abbott.

New England Church, )

New York City, January 1, I8G9. )



CHEONOLOGICAL l^OTE.

In the dates which are placed at the head of these pages I have assumed
that Jesus was born A.D. 1. The year of his birth is, liowever, uncertain,
though modern scholars think it probable that he was really bora four years
before this date. (See Andrews's Life of Our Lord, p. 1 ; Smith's New Tes-
tament History, p. 194, 358.) I have thought it, however, better to adopt
the popular chronology than to confuse the reader by apparent incongruities
between the statements of Jesus's age as afforded by the text and by the Gos-
pels and the chronological headings, which, if they followed later scholarship,
would require constant explanation. The reader will understand, therefore,
that A.D. in the page headings refers him back, not to the beginning of the
present era, but to the real date of Jesus's birth, whatever that may be, and
thus that these dates indicate Iiis age rather than that of the Christian era.
I have usually, though not uniformly, followed the chronology of Andrews,
whose careful and painstaking studies in this department leave very little to
he added or altered.



Contents.



CHAPTER I.

THE HOLY LAND.

Physical Characteristics. — Varieties of Climate and Production. — Valley of
the Jordan.— The lliU Country.— The Plains Page 19

CHAPTER II.

THE JEWISH COMMONWEALTH.

Its Origin and Growth. — Religious Sanctions. — Moral Precepts. — Equality
of the People. — Popular Suffrage. — Representative Assemblies. — Laws
and Penalties, — The Judiciary. — Union of the Tribes. — Popular Educa-
tion. — The National Church. — Political Economy. — The Scriptures. — The
Theocracy a Republic 26

CHAPTER III.

DEGENERACY.

Establishment of the Monarchy. — Babylonish Captivity. — Anarchy. — Roman
Subjugation. — Decay of the Commonwealth 41

CHAPTER IV.

JEWISH CIVILIZATION IN THE FIRST CENTURY.

Taxation. — The Publicans. — Brigandage, — Towns and Cities. — Houses. —
Salutations. — Pm-nitm-e. — Meals. — Dress. — Intercommunication. — In-
dustrial Pm-suits. — Resume 48

CHAPTER V.

THE BIRTH AND EDUCATION OF JESUS.

Bethlehem, — Joseph and Mary. — Circumstances of Jesus's Birth. — Visit of
the Magi, — Herod, — Massacre of the Infants, — Nazareth, — Childhood of
Jesus. — Jewish Schools. — First Visit to the Temple ,,..,.. 64

CHAPTER VI.

THE VOICE IN THE WILDERNESS.

The Prophetic Order.— John the Baptist,— His Preparation.— His Appear-
ance and Character. — His Preaching, — Baptism of Jesus. — Contrast in
his Preaching. — Law and Gospel. — Testimonies to Jesus 81



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER VII.

THE TEMTTATION.

Mysteiy of the Subject. — The Wilderness. — Christ's Prophetic Vision.— The
Problem of his Life. — Fasting. — A difficult Question. — Reality and Per-
sonality of Satan. — The threefold Temptation depicted. — Victory.. Page 93

CHAPTER VIII.

THE MIRACLE AT THE MARRIAGE.

First Disciples. — Oriental Wedding. — The INIarriage at Cana. — Probable
Character of the Family. — The Miracle. — Its Significance. — The Temper-
ance Question. — Christ's social Character ,. 103

CHAPTER IX.

THE refiner's FIRE.

The Temple. — Its Ilistoiy. — The Court of the Gentiles. — Corruption of the
Priesthood. — Degradation of the Temple. — Christ's Indignation. — Expul-
sion of the Traders. — Prophecy of the Resurrection. — Conversation with
Nicodemus. — The new Birth. — Principles of Christ's Gospel 114

CHAPTER X.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL.

Sectarianism rebuked. — Samaria and the Samaritans. — The Jewish Well. —
The Samaritan Woman. — A religious Conversation. — Christ's Method. —
Leaves Samaria. — Effect of his Preaching there. — Returns to Cana... 12G

CHAPTER XL

THE GREAT TEACHER.

Healing of the nobleman's Son. — Imprisonment of John the Baptist. — The
Jewish Synagogue. — Characteristics of Christ's Preaching. — His Stud-
ies. — His moral Power. — His Rejection at Nazareth. — Call of four Disci-
ples 137

CHAPTER XIL

THE GREAT PHYSICIAN.

The Sea of Galilee. — Past Life and present Desolation, — Ancient Therapeu-
tics. — Christ's Miracles of Healing. — Not natural Cures. — Their Charac-
teristics. — Different Theories 151

CHAPTER XIII.

A MISSIONARY CIRCUIT.

Demoniacal Possession. — Kindred modern Phenomena. — The Demoniac at
Capernaum. — Cure of the Demoniac. — Cure of Peter's Mother-in-law. —
Healing of the Multitude. — Leprosy. — The Leper cleansed, — Cure of the
Paralytic. — Call of Matthew 104



CONTENTS. xi



CHAPTER XIV.

JEWISH RELIGION AND JEWISH INFIDELITY.

Origin of Pharisaism. — Oral Traditions. — The Talmud. — Its Characteristics.
— The Scribes. — Conflicting Schools. — Formalism of the Pharisees. — Sad-
duceeism. — The Essenes Page 1 82

CHAPTER XV.

THE SABBATH QUESTION.

The Mosaic Sabbath. — Its Character. — Falls into disuse. — Reinstated by the
Pharisees. ^Formality of their Observance. — A Festival. — Pharisaic Max-
ims. — Christ's Sabbath ObseiTance. — A day of Freedom. — The Pool of
Bethsaida. — Healing of the impotent Man. — Christ's Teaching in Galilee
concerning the Sabbath. — Anger of the Pharisees. — The Battle begun IDG

CHAPTER XVI.

THE MUSTAIID SEED.

Nucleus of the Church. — Selection of the Apostles. — Their Characteristics. —
Peter and John. — Perplexity of the Disciples. — Their moral Life. — Or-
ganization of the Church. — Ceremonies. — Early Creed. — Personal Alle-
giance 213

CHAPTER XVII.

THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS.

Ordination of the Twelve. — Mount of Beatitudes. — Unity of the Sermon. —
Object of the Sermon. — Jewish Expectations. — True Blessedness. — Ful-
filling the Law. — Christ's Legislation. — Contrasted A^-ith that of Moses. —
Contrasted with Pharisaism. — xVlmsgiving, Prayer, and Fasting, — World-
liness and Worry. — Close of the Sermon 229

CHAPTER XVIIL

POPULAR FAVOR.

Cure of the Centurion's Serv-ant. — Raising of Jairas's Daughter. — Restora-
tion of the "Widow s Son. — Stilling of the Tempest. — Cure of the Demoni-
acs. — Popular Enthusiasm 24 7

CHAPTER XIX.

PRIESTLY ENMITY.

Degeneracy of the Age. — Christ's Religion joyful. — Liberty of the Gospel. —
The Friend of Sinners. — The Harlot and the Pharisee. — Christ's "Claims.
— Envy of the Pharisees. — Effect of the Miracles. — The Unpardonable
Sin 200

CHAPTER XX.

PARABLES AND PHILIPPICS.

Change in Christ's Teaching. — Denunciation of the Pharisees. — Signs of the
Times. — Ceremonialism. — Unwashen Hands. — True Puritv. — Feaj-s of



xii CONTENTS.

Christ's Kinsfolk. — Warnings and Promises. — The Object of Parables. —
The Kingdom of God illustrated. — Parables by the Sea Page 275

CHAPTER XXI.

THE PRISONER AT MACH^RUS.

The City of Macha^rus. — Herod's Harem. — Marriage of Herodias. — Her
Disappointment. — Her Intrigues and their Success. — Political Preaching
of the Baptist. — His Imprisonment. — His Embassage to Jesus. — His
Death . = 290

CHAPTER XXII.

THE CRISIS.

The Apostolic Commission. — Retreat of Jesus and the Twelve. — The Plain
of Butaiha. — Feeding the Five Thousand. — Its Effect. — Walking on the
Wave. — Sermon at Capernaum. — Indignation of the People 302

CHAPTER XXIII.

EXILE.

Tyre and Sidon. — Their Prosperity and their Decay. — The Syro-Phoenician
Woman. — Seclusion. — Mount Hermon. — Instructions to the Disciples. —
Tribute Money. — Prophecies. — The Transfiguration 318

CHAPTER XXIVo

THE JUDEAN MINISTRY.

Feast of the Tabernacles. — Characteristics of the Judeans. — Appearance of
Jesus. — Temple Teachings. — Lay Preaching. — Attempted Arrest. — Christ
questioned. — "Neither do I condemn Thee." — Rest in Bethany. — Christ
mobbed. — The Good Samaritan. — The Publican and the Pharisee, — The
Good Shepherd. — The Feast of Dedication. — Christ driven from Jerusa-
lem... 333

CHAPTER XXV.

PARABLES IN PEREA.

The Trans-Jordanic Region. — Its Population. — The Ptodigal Son. — Few-
saved. — The Marriage Supper. — Dives and Lazarus. — The Unfaithful
Steward. — The Rich Fool. — Humility and Hospitality. — Almost a Chris-
tian. — The Laborers in the Vineyard. — The Commission of the Seventy. —
Marriage and Divorce. — Popularity of Jesus 352

CHAPTER XXVI.

BETHANY AND EPHRAIM.

Martha and Mary. — Their Affliction. — Death of Lazarus. — Christ's Delay.
— His Reception. — The Sisters' Reproaches. — The Tears of Jesus. — The
Resurrection of Lazarus. — The Lord's Prayer. — Importunity in Prayer. —
Jesus goes up to Jerusalem.., 368



CONTENTS. xiii



CHAPTER XXVII.

TRIUMPH.

The Passover. — Jericho. — Jewish Aristocracy. — Christ's rebuke of "Best
Society." — Conversion of Zaccheus. — Cure of the blind Men. — Parable of
the Pounds. — Ambition of Salome. — Jerusalem audits Suburbs. — Trium-
phal Entry into Jerusalem. — Expulsion of the Traders. — The Greeks. —
Songs of the Children Page 382

CHAPTER XXVIII.

CONFLICT.

Perplexity of the Sanhedrim. — Plans and Purposes of the Priesthood. — Po-
litical Hopes of the Jews. — Degeneracy of Rome. — A moral Victory the
only Hope of Judaism. — Combination of Christ's Foes. — Denunciation of
the Pharisees. — Christ's Farewell to Jerusalem 397

CHAPTER XXIX.

TREACHERY.

Judas Iscariot. — Singularity of his Conduct. — A Judean. — His Ambition. —
His religious Prejudices. — His Soul-conflict. — His wounded Pride. —
Anointing of Jesus. — Judas's treacherous Purpose. — His Bargain 40G

CHAPTER XXX.

THE LAST SUPPER.

Various Forms of its Observance. — Its Sacredness. — Original Conditions. —
The paschal Feast. — Feet-washing. — " Is it I?" — Institution of the Supper.
— Prophecies of Death. — Sadness of the Disciples 41G

CHAPTER XXXI.

GETHSEMANE.

Jesus's Heart-Struggles. — His Love of Life. — Clearness of his Prevision. —
His Love of Country. — Love of his Church. — His inexplicable Anguish. —
The Bitterness of Death.— The Bloody Sweat.—" Thy Will be done."—
The Betrayal. —The AiTest. —Flight of the Disciples 426

CHAPTER XXXIL

THE COURT OF CAIAPHAS.

Degradation of the Priestly Office. — Character of Annas. — The Sanhedrim
assembled. — Preliminary Examination. — Peter's Sin and Repentance. —
An Oriental Law-court. — Criminal Code of Judaism. — Disregard of the
Code. — Location of the Trial. — Constitution of the Court. — Charges
against Jesus. — Peijury. — Failure of the High-priest's Case. — Jesus put
under Oath. — His Testimony to himself. — Sentence pronounced 440



xiv CONTENTS.



CHAPTER XXXIII.

THE JUDGMENT-HALL OF PILATE.

Authority of the Sanhedrim. — Their secret Council. — Death of Judas. —
Fortress of Antonia. — The Accusation before Pilate. — Jesus a King. — Pi-
late's Character. — His reluctance to condemn. — Fears a Tumult. — Sends
Jesus to Herod. — His Wife's Dream. — "Crucify him !" — Releases Barab-
bas. — The Scourging. — A final Appeal. — Going to Calvary Page 4;"»4

CHAPTER XXXIV.

DEATH.

Cruelty of Crucifixion. — Locality of Calvary. — Inscription on the Cross. —
Simon of Cyrene, — The Procession. — The Execution. — Stolidity of the
Soldiers. — Taunts of Christ's Foes. — The penitent Thief. — Darkness. —
"It is finished!" — Cause of Christ's Death. — Burial 474

CHAPTER XXXV.

WHOSE SON IS Hi:?

The Question stated. — Blasphemy defined. — Christ's divine Claims. — The
Question answered 491

CHAPTER XXXVI.

THE RESURRECTION.

The Women at the Sepulchre. — Jesus and Maiy. — The Walk to Emmaus.
— The Rationalist. — Appearance of »Tesus in Gahlee. — Skepticism of the
Disciples. — Evidence of the Resurrection. — Conclusion 495)

Appendix r»l I



List of Illustrations.



TuE Holy Laxd H. Fenn. . . Frontispiece.

Floweks of the Holy Land H. Fenn 23

MoiTNT Sinai H. Fenn 27

Captivity John Tenniel 43

The Nativity Gustave Dorc 65

The Stak of Bethlehem T. B. Dalziel 73

The Jordan Birket Foster 82

The Mosque of Omae '. .Birket Foster. 115

The Woman at the Well Gustave Dore 131

The Sea of Galilee Birket Foster 152

The Healek Gustave Dore 173

The Pool of Hezekiah From a Photograjyh, 197

Nain : H. Warren .252

" It 18 I" Gustave Dorc 311

Tyre Birket Foster 319

The Friend of Sinnees Gustave Dore 343

Bethany T.B. Dalziel. 369

Jeeusalem Birket Foster. 391

The Arrest Gustave Don 437

Arch of the Ecoe Homo Birket Foster 455

Going to Calvary Paulde Laroche 472

The Marys at the Tomb , Sehleh 488

Cheistos Remuneeatoe ; . . .Ar'j Scheffer 507

MAPS AND PLANS.

The Holy Lani> 18

The Temple of Herod 117

Galilee 155

VIGNETTES.

Eoce Homo Title-page.

Flowers and Fettits of Palestine .'.113, 150, 163, 228, 246, 274, 289, 332

Tables of the Law 40

Ruins at Baalbec 47

Sacrifice '. 92

Ceown op Thorns 102

The Prisoner at Mach-eeus 301

Farewell to Capernaum 317

Treachery 415

Following afae off • 439

The Last Judgment 509







MAP OF THE HOLY LAND.



The Life of Christ.




CHAPTER I.

THE HOLY LAND.

)PON the western borders of the Mediterranean
Sea there lies a country whose moral importance
is in strikmg contrast with its territorial insig-
nificance. This country, in area not so large as
Massachusetts,* which in shape it somewhat re-
sembles, has been the scene of a drama incomparably more
influential upon the destinies of mankind than any other in
history. The stage is scarcely less remarkable than are the
scenes which have been enacted on it. The most extraor-
dinary man of all time had his birth, and passed his life in
the most extraordinary of all lands. A few words, therefore,
concerning the geographical features of Palestine, and the
character and history of its people, form in some sense a pre-
lude to the life of him who has given it its most commonly-
accepted title of the Holy Land.

Situated at the junction of three great continents, Europe,
Asia, and Africa, Palestine partakes of the characteristic feat-
ures of the three, and possesses in a diminutive form all their
peculiarities. Here, in Southern Judea, is the desert of Af-
rica making its incursion from the peninsula below. Here,
bordering the Mediterranean, are plains that rival in fertility
those of our own great Western prairies. Here, in the ele-

* Palestine is in length 180 miles, in average breadth 65. — Kitto's Bib.
Cyc, art. Palestine.

B



20 TEE HOLY LAND. [Chap. I.

vated mountain region of Central Palestine, is repeated the
hill country which constitutes the characteristic feature of
Southern Scotland. Here, in Northern Galilee, are mount-
ains whose rugged steeps remind of the White Mountains
and the Alps. Here, embosomed in their midst, are lakes
unsurpassed for their quiet beauty. Here, in the Jordan, is
a mountain stream whose tumultuous torrent finds no equal
in any river of its size and length in the world. Here Mount
Hermon lifts its head, wrapped in perpetual snow, three thou-
sand feet above our own Mount Washington. Here the wa-
ters of the Dead Sea lie in a basin scooped out of the solid
rock, nearly, if not quite as far below the level of the ocean
as are the deepest mines of Cornwall. And here, almost in
sight of its holy city, beat the waves of the Great Sea upon
one hundred and fifty miles of rocky coast ; so that in this
one proAdnce, smaller than Massachusetts or Vermont, are
mingled the ocean, the mountain, the valley, the river, the
lake, the desert, and the plain.

Its varieties of climate and production equal those of its
physical features, and are in part produced by them. The
temperate and the tropic zones overlap each other in Pales-
tine. With a general climate corresponding to that of North-
ern Florida, it contains mountains whose heads are never free
from snow, and valleys that rarely, if ever, witness it, except
from afar. Tropical fruits and Northern cereals grow almost
side by side. The fig-tree and the grape-vine produce their
fruits in perfection on the sunny hill-sides of Judea. The
cedars clothe the rocky sides of Lebanon. The apple, the
pear, the plum, the quince, grow near neighbors with the
date, the pomegranate, the banana, and the almond. The
oak, the maple, and the evergreens of our Northern States
make here acquaintance with the sycamore, the fig, the olive,
residents of Asiatic climes. In a single day you may travel
from the climate and productions of the Gulf States to such
as characterize New England. In short, in this land, from
which issue influences for the redemption of all people, are



Chap. I.] PHYSICAL FEATURES. 21

united in a singular conjunction the characteristic features
and productions of all countries.

This land, though contiguous to three continents, and ly-
ing in close proximity to the great nationalities of the past —
the Assyrian upon the east, the Egyptian on the southwest,
and the Greek and Roman on the north and west — was nev-
ertheless, by its singular conformation, shut out from them
by barriers which, until after the Christian era, were nearly
impassable. The valley of the Jordan on the west, the Medi-
terranean on the east, the desert on the south, and the mount-
ain range of Lebanon and anti-Lebanon on the north, formed
a better protection than the famous wall of the Celestial Em-



Online LibraryLyman AbbottJesus of Nazareth: His life and teachings; founded on the four Gospels, and illustrated by reference to the manners, customs, religious beliefs, and political institutions of His times → online text (page 1 of 42)