Title: The Life of Our Lord.
Author: Charles Dickens.
Genre: Fiction, literature, religion, Christianity.
Publication Date: 1846-1849.
Summary: In his own unique style, Dickens brings to life the gospel account of Jesus. Originally hand-written by Dickens for his children, and unpublished on the author's request for decades, this account was created to simplify the story of Jesus for younger readers.
My rating: 7.5/10.
♥ That there might be some good men to go about with Him, teaching the people, Jesus Christ chose Twelve poor men to be his companions. These twelve are called The apostles or Disciples, and he chose them from among Poor Men, in order that the poor might know—always after that; in all years to come—that Heaven was made for them as well as for the rich, and that God makes no difference between those who go barefoot and in rags. The most miserable, the most ugly, deformed, wretched creatures that live, will be bright Angels in Heaven if they are good here on earth. Never forget this, when you are grown up. Never be proud or unkind, my dears, to any poor man, woman, or child. If they are bad, think that they would have been better, if they had had kind friends, ad good homes, and had been better taught. So, always try to make them better by kind persuading words; and always try to teach them and relieve them if you can. And when people speak ill of the Poor and Miserable, think how Jesus Christ went among them and taught them, and thought them worthy of his care. And always pity them yourselves, and think as well of them as you can.
♥ This, the Pharisees said, was wrong; and in the same way, when our Saviour went into one of their churches—they were called Synagogues—and looked compassionately on a poor ma who had his hand all withered and wasted away, these Pharisees said "Is it right to cure people on a Sunday?" Our Saviour answered them by saying, "If any of you had a sheep and it fell into a pit, would you not take it out, even though it happened on a Sunday? And how much better is a man than a sheep!" Then he said to the poor man, "Stretch out thine hand!" And it was cured immediately, and was smooth and useful like the other. So Jesus Christ told them "You may always do good, no matter what the day is."
♥ Her name was Mary Magdalene.
When the Pharisee saw that Jesus permitted this woman to touch Him, he said within himself that Jesus did not know how wicked she had been. But Jesus Christ, who knew his thoughts, said to him "Simon"—for that was his name—" if a man had debtors, one of whom owed him five hundred pence, and one of whom owed him only fifty pence, and he forgave them both, both, their debts, which of those two debtors do you think would love him most?" Simon answered "I suppose that one whom he forgave most." Jesus told him he was right, and said "As God forgives this woman so much sin, she will love Him, I hope, the more." And he said to her, "God bless you!" The company who were present wondered that Jesus Christ had power to forgive sins, but God had given it to Him. And the woman thanking Him for all his mercy, went away.
♥ The Disciples asked him, "Master, who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Jesus called a little child to him, and took him in his arms, and stood him among them, and answered, "a child like this. I say unto you that none but those who are as humble as little children shall enter into Heaven. Whosoever shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whosoever hurts one of them, it were better for him that he had a millstone tied about his neck, and were drowned in the depths of the sea. The angels are all children." Our Saviour loved the child, and loved all children. Yes, and all the world. No one ever loved all people, so well and so truly as He did.
♥ One morning, He was sitting in a place called the Mount of Olives, teaching the people who were clustered round Him, listening and learning attentively, when a great noise was heard, and a crowd of Pharisees, and some other people like them, called Scribes, came running in, with great cries and shouts, dragging among them a woman who had done wrong, and they all cried out together, "Master! Look at this woman. The law says she shall be pelted with stones until she is dead. But what say you? what say you?"
Jesus looked upon the noisy crowd attentively, and knew that they had come to make Him say the law was wrong and cruel; and that if He said so, they would make it a charge against Him and would kill him. They were ashamed and afraid as He looked into their faces, but they still cried out, "Come! What say you Master? what say you?"
Jesus stooped down, and wrote with his finger in the sand on the ground, "He that is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her." As they read this, looked over one another's shoulders, and as He repeated the words to them, they went away, one by one, ashamed, until not a man of all the noisy crowd was left there...
♥ Then the Lawyer said "But who is my neighbour? Tell me that I may know." Jesus answered in this Parable:
"There was once a traveller," he said, "journeying from Jerusalem to Jericho, who fell among Thieves; and they robbed him of his clothes, and wounded him, and went away, leaving him half dead upon the road. A Priest, happening to pass that way, while the poor man lay there, saw him, but took no notice, and passed by, on the other side. Another man, a Levite, came that way, and also saw him; but he only looked at him for a moment, and then passed by, also. But a certain Samaritan who came travelling along that road, no sooner saw him than he had compassion on him, and dressed his wounds with oil and wine, and set him on the beast he rode himself, and took him to an Inn, and next morning took out of his pocket Two pence and gave them to the Landlord, saying 'take care of him and whatever you may spend beyond this, in doing so, I will repay you when I come here again."—Now which of these three men," said our Saviour to the Lawyer, "do you think should be called the neighbour of him who fell among the Thieves?" The Lawyer said, "The man who shewed compassion to him." "True," replied our Saviour. "Go Thou and do likewise! Be compassionate to all men. For all men are your neighbours and brothers."
♥ He said, "when you are invited to a Feast or Wedding, do not sit down in the best place, lest some more honored man should come, and claim that seat. But sit down in the lowest place, and a better will be offered you if you deserve it. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abashed, and whosoever humbleth himself shall be exalted."
♥ And so he travelled back again, in great pain and sorrow and difficulty, to his father's house. When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and knew him in the midst of all his rags and misery, and ran towards him, and wept, and fell upon his neck, and kissed him. And he told his servants to clothe this poor repentant Son in the best robes and to make a great feast to celebrate his return. Which was done; and they began to be merry.
But the eldest Son, who had been in the field and knew nothing of his brother's return, coming to the house and hearing the music and Dancing, called to one of the Servants, and asked him what it meant. To this the Servant made answer that his brother had come home, and that his father was joyful because of his return. At this, the elder brother was angry and would not go into the house; so the father, hearing of it, came out to persuade him.
'Father,' said the elder brother, 'you do not treat me justly, to shew so much joy for my younger brother's return. For these many years I have remained with you constantly, and have been true to you, yet you have never made a feast for me. But when my younger brother returns, who has been prodigal, and riotous, and spent his money in many bad ways, you are full of delight, and the whole house makes merry!"—"Son," returned the father, "you have always been with me, and all I have is yours. But we thought your brother dead, and he is alive. He was lost, and he is found; and it is natural and right that we should be merry for his unexpected return to his old home."
By this, our Saviour meant to teach, that those who have done wrong and forgotten God, are always welcome to him and will always receive his mercy, if they will only return to Him in sorrow for the sin of which they have been guilty.
♥ As he was teaching them thus, he sat near the Public Treasury, where people as they passed along the street, were accustomed to drop money into a box for the poor; and many rich persons, passing while Jesus sat there, had put in a great deal of money. At last there came a poor Widow who dropped in two mites, each half a farthing in value, and then went quietly away. Jesus, seeing her do this as he rose to leave the place, called his disciples about him, and said to them that the poor widow had been more truly charitable than all the rest who had given money that day; for the others were rich and would never miss what they had given, but she was very poor, and had given those two mites which might have bought her bread to eat.
♥ REMEMBER!—It is christianity TO DO GOOD always—even to those who do evil to us. It is christianity to love our neighbour as ourself, and to do to all men as we would have them Do to us. It is christianity to be gentle, merciful, and forgiving, and to keep those qualities quiet in our own hearts, and never make a boast of them, or of our prayers or of our love of God, but always to shew that we love Him by humbly trying to do right in everything. If we do this, and remember the life and lessons of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and try to act up to them, we may confidently hope that God will forgive us our sins and mistakes, and enable us to live and die in Peace.