The Lost Books of the Bible
originally published in 1928
Early Christian Research Library Volume 1 information ..
E. C. Marsh
P.O. Box 342
Saint Ansgar, IA 50472
The Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
The Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
Infancy of Jesus Christ, Podcast/Download
The following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas: He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother:
Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world. In the three hundred and ninth year of the era of Alexander, Augustus published a decree that all persons should go to be taxed in their own country. Joseph therefore arose, and with Mary his spouse he went to Jerusalem, and then came to Bethlehem, that he and his family might be taxed in the city of his fathers. And when they came by the cave, Mary confessed to Joseph that her time of bringing forth was come, and she could not go on to the city, and said, Let us go into this cave. At that time the sun was very near going down. But Joseph hastened away, that he might fetch her a mid-wife; and when he saw an old Hebrew woman who was of Jerusalem, he said to her, Pray come hither, good woman, and go into that cave, and you will there see a woman just ready to bring forth. It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph with her reached the cave, and they both went into it. And behold, it was all filled with lights, greater than the light of lamps and candles, an, greater than the light of the sun itself. The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, an sucking the breasts of his mother St. Mary. When they both saw this light, they were surprised; the old woman asked St. Mary, Art thou the mother of this child ? St. Mary replied, She was. On which the old woman said, Thou art very different from all other women. St. Mary answered, As there is not any child like to my son, so neither is there any woman like to his mother. The old woman answered and said, O my Lady, I am come hither that I may obtain an everlasting reward. Then our Lady, St. Mary said to her, Lay thine hand upon the infant; which, when she had done, she became whole And as she was going forth, she said, From henceforth, all the days of my life, I will attend upon and be a servant of this infant. After this, when the shepherds came, and had made a fire and they were exceedingly rejoicing, the heavenly host appeared to them, praising and adoring the supreme God. And as the shepherds we engaged in the same employment, the cave at that time seemed like a glorious temple, because both the tongues of angels and men united to adore and magnify God, on account of the birth of the Lord Christ. But when the old Hebrew woman saw all these evident miracles, she gave praises to God, and said, I thank thee, O God, thou God of Israel, for that mine eyes have seen the birth of the Saviour of the world.
And when the time of his circumcision was come, namely, the eighth day, on which the law commanded the child to be circumcised, they circumcised him in the cave. And the old Hebrew woman took the foreskin (others say she took the navel-string), and preserved it in an alabaster-box of old oil of spikenard. And she had a son who was a druggist, to whom she said, Take heed thou sell not this alabaster box of spikenard-ointment, although thou shouldst be, offered three hundred pence for it. Now this is that alabaster box which Mary the sinner procured, and poured forth the ointment out of it upon the head and the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, and wiped it off with the hairs of her head. Then after ten days they brought him to Jerusalem, and on the fortieth day from his birth they presented him in the temple before the Lord, making the proper offerings for him, according to the requirement of the law of Moses: namely, that every male which opens the womb shall be called holy unto God. At that time old Simeon saw him shining as a pillar of light, when St. Mary the Virgin, his mother, carried him in her arms, and was filled with the greatest pleasure at the sight. And the angels stood around him, adoring him, as a king's guards stand around him. Then Simeon going near to St. Mary, and stretching forth his hands towards her, said to the Lord Christ, Now, O my a Lord, thy servant shall depart in peace, according to thy word; For mine eyes have seen thy mercy, which thou hast prepared for the salvation of all nations; a light to all people, and the glory of thy people Israel. Hannah the prophetess was also present, and drawing near, she gave praises to God, and celebrated the happiness of Mary.
And it came to pass, when the Lord Jesus was born at Bethlehem, a city of Judea in the time of Herod the King; the wise men came from the East to Jerusalem, according to the prophecy of Zoradascht(Zoroaster), and brought with them offerings: namely, gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worshipped him, and offered to him their gifts. Then the Lady Mary took one of his swaddling clothes in which the infant was wrapped and gave it to them instead of a blessing, which they received from her as a most noble present. And at the same time there appeared to them an angel in the form of that star which had before been their guide in their journey; the light of which they followed till they returned into their own country.
On their return their kings and princes came to them inquiring, What they had seen and done? What sort of journey and return they had? What company they had on the road? But they produced the swaddling cloth which St. Mary had given to them, on account whereof they kept a feast. And having, according to the custom of their country, made a fire, they worshipped it. And casting the swaddling cloth into it, the fire took it, and kept it. And when the fire was put out, they took forth the swaddling cloth unhurt, as much as if the fire had not touched it. Then they began to kiss it, and put it upon their heads and their eyes, saying, This is certainly an undoubted truth, and it is really surprising that the fire could not burn it, and consume it. Then they took it, and with the greatest respect laid it up among their treasures.
Now Herod, perceiving that the wise men did delay, and not return to him, called together the priests and wise men and said, Tell me in what place the Christ should be born? And when they replied, in Bethlehem, a city of Judea, he began to contrive in his own mind the death of the Lord Jesus Christ. But an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in his sleep and said, Arise, take the child and his mother, and go into Egypt as soon as the cock crows. So he arose, and went.
And as he was considering with himself about his journey, the morning came upon him. In the length of the journey the girts of the saddle broke. And now he drew near a great city, in which there was an idol, to which the other idol and gods of Egypt brought their offerings and vows. And there was by this idol a priest ministering to it, who as often as Satan spoke out of that idol, related the things he said to the inhabitants of Egypt and those countries. This priest had a son three years old, who was possessed with a great multitude of devil who uttered many strange things and when the devils seized him walked about naked with his clothes torn, throwing stones at those whom he saw. Near to that idol was the inn of the city, into which when Joseph and St. Mary were come, and had turned into that inn, all the inhabitants of the city were astonished. And all the magistrates and priests of the idols assembled before that idol, and made inquiry there, saying, What means all this consternation, and dread, which has fallen upon our country? The idol answered them, The unknown God is come hither, who is truly God; nor is there any one besides him, who is worthy of divine worship; for he is truly the Son of God. At the fame of him this country trembled, and at his coming it is under the present commotion and consternation; and we ourselves are affrighted by the greatness of his power. And at the same instant this idol fell down, and at his fall all the inhabitants of Egypt, besides others, ran together.
But the son of the priest, when his usual disorder came upon him, going into the inn, found there Joseph and St. Mary, whom all the rest had left behind and forsook. And when the Lady St. Mary had washed the swaddling clothes of the Lord Christ, and hanged them out to dry upon a post, the boy possessed with the devil took down one of them, and put it upon his head. And presently the devils began to come out of his mouth, and fly away in the shape of crows and serpents. From that time the boy was healed by the power of the Lord Christ, and he began to sing praises, and give thanks to the Lord who had healed him. When his father saw him restored to his former state of health, he said, My son, what has happened to thee, and by what means wert thou cured ? The son answered, When the devils seized me, I went into the inn, and there found a very handsome woman with a boy, whose swaddling clothes she had just before washed, and hanged out upon a post. One of these I took, and put it upon my head, and immediately the devils left me, and fled away. At this the father exceedingly rejoiced, and said, My son, perhaps this boy is the son of the living God, who made the heavens and the earth. For as soon as he came amongst us, the idol was broken and all the gods fell down, and were destroyed by a greater power. Then was fulfilled the prophecy which saith, Out of Egypt I have called my son.
Now Joseph and Mary, when they heard that the idol was fallen down and destroyed were seized with fear and trembling, and said, When we were in the land of Israel, Herod, intending to kill Jesus, slew for that purpose all the infants at Bethlehem, and that neighbourhood. And there is no doubt but the Egyptians if they come to hear that this idol is broken and fallen down, will burn us with fire. They went therefore hence to the secret places of robbers, who robbed travellers as they pass by, of their carriages and their clothes, and carried them away bound. These thieves upon their coming heard a great noise, such as the noise of a king with a great army and many horses, and the trumpets sounding at his departure from his own city at which they were so affrighted as to leave all their booty behind them, and fly away in haste. Upon this the prisoners arose, and loosed each other's bonds, and taking each man his bags, they went away, and saw Joseph and Mary coming towards them, and inquired, Where is that king, the noise of whose approach the robbers heard, and left us, so that we are now come off safe ? Joseph answered, He will come after us.
Then they went into another city where there was a woman possessed with a devil, and in whom Satan, that cursed rebel, had taken up his abode. One night, when she went to fetch water, she could neither endure her clothes on, nor to be in any house; but as often as they tied her with chains or cords, she brake them, and went out into desert places, and sometimes standing where roads crossed, and in churchyards, would throw stones at men. When St. Mary saw this woman, she pitied her; whereupon Satan presently left her, and fled away in the form of a young man, saying, Wo to me, because of thee, Mary, and thy son. So the woman was delivered from her torment; but considering herself naked, she blushed, and avoided seeing any man, and having put on her clothes, went home, and gave an account of her case to her father and relations, who, as they were the best of the city, entertained St. Mary and Joseph with the greatest respect. The next morning having received a sufficient supply of provisions for the road, they went from them, and about the evening of the day arrived at another town, where a marriage was then about to be solemnized; but by the arts of Satan and the practices of some sorcerers, the bride was become so dumb, that she could not so much as open her mouth. But when this dumb bride saw the Lady St. Mary entering into the town, and carrying the Lord Christ in her arms, she stretched out her hands to the Lord Christ, and took him in her arms, and closely hugging him, very often kissed him, continually moving him and pressing him to her body. Straightway the string of her tongue was loosed, and her ears were opened, and she began to sing praises unto God, who had restored her. So there was great joy among the inhabitants of the town that night, who thought that God and his angels were come down among them.
In this place they abode three days, meeting with the greatest respect and most splendid entertainment. And being then furnished by the people with provisions for the road, they departed and went to another city, in which they were inclined to lodge, because it was a famous place. There was in this city a gentlewoman, who, as she went down one day to the river to bathe, behold cursed Satan leaped upon her in the form of a serpent, And folded himself about her belly, and every night lay upon her. This woman seeing the Lady St. Mary, and the Lord Christ the infant in her bosom, asked the Lady St. Mary, that she would give her the child to kiss, and carry in her arms. When she had consented, and as soon as the woman had moved the child, Satan left her, and fled away, nor did the woman ever afterwards see him. Hereupon all the neighbours praised the Supreme God, and the woman rewarded them with ample beneficence. On the morrow the same woman brought perfumed water to wash the Lord Jesus; and when she had washed him, she preserved the water. And there was a girl there, whose body was white with a leprosy, who being sprinkled with this water, and washed, was instantly cleansed from her leprosy. The people therefore said Without doubt Joseph and Mary, and that boy are Gods, for they do not look like mortals. And when they were making ready to go away, the girl, who had been troubled with the leprosy, came and desired they would permit her to go along with them; so they consented, and the girl went with them till they came to a city, in which was the palace of a great king, and whose house was not far from the inn. Here they staid, and when the girl went one day to the prince's wife, and found her in a sorrowful and mournful condition, she asked her the reason of her tears. She replied, Wonder not at my groans, for I am under a great misfortune, of which I dare not tell any one. But, says the girl, if you will entrust me with your private grievance, perhaps I may find you a remedy for it. Thou, therefore, says the prince's wife, shalt keep the secret, and not discover it to any one alive! I have been married to this prince, who rules as king over large dominions, and lived long with him, before he had any child by me. At length I conceived by him, but alas! I brought forth a leprous son; which, when he saw, he would not own to be his, but said to me, Either do thou kill him, or send him to some nurse in such a place, that he may be never heard of; and now take care of yourself; I will never see you more. So here I pine, lamenting my wretched and miserable circumstances. Alas, my son! alas, my husband! Have I disclosed it to you? The girl replied, I have found a remedy for your disease, which I promise you, for I also was leprous, but God hath cleansed me, even he who is called Jesus, the son of the Lady Mary. The woman inquiring where that God was, whom she spake of, the girl answered He lodges with you here in the same house. But how can this be? says she; where is he? Behold, replied the girl, Joseph and Mary; and the infant who is with them is called Jesus: and it is he who delivered me from my disease and torment. But by what means, says she, were you cleansed from your leprosy? Will you not tell me that? Why not? says the girl; I took the water with which his body had been washed, and poured it upon me, and my leprosy vanished. The prince's wife then arose and entertained them, providing a great feast for Joseph among a large company of men. And the next day took perfumed water to wash the Lord Jesus, and afterwards poured the same water upon her son, whom she had brought with her, and her son was instantly cleansed from his leprosy. Then she sang thanks and praises unto God, and said, Blessed is the mother that bare thee, O Jesus! Dost thou thus cure men of the same nature with thyself; with the water with which thy body is washed? She then offered very large gifts to the Lady Mary, and sent her away with all imaginable respect.
They came afterwards to another city, and had a mind to lodge there. Accordingly they went to a man's house, who was newly married, but by the influence of sorcerers could not enjoy his wife: But they lodging at his house that night, the man was freed of his disorder: And when they were preparing early in the morning to go forward on their journey, the new married person hindered them, and provided a noble entertainment for them. But going forward on the morrow, they came to another city, and saw three women going from a certain grave with great weeping. When St. Mary saw them she spake to the girl who was their companion, saying, Go and inquire of them, what is the matter with them, and what misfortune has befallen them? When the girl asked them they made her no answer, but asked her again, Who are ye and where are ye going? For the day is far spent, and the night is at hand. We are travellers, saith the girl, and are seeking for an inn to lodge at. They replied, Go along with us, and lodge with us. 10 They then followed them and were introduced into a new house, well furnished with all sorts of furniture. It was now winter-time and the girl went into the parlour where these women were and found them weeping and lamenting, as before. By them stood a mule covered over with silk, and an ebony collar hanging down from his neck, whom they kissed, and were feeding. But when the girl said, How handsome, ladies, that mule is! they replied with tears, and said, This mule, which you see, was our brother, born of this same mother as we: For when our father died, and left us a very large estate, and we had only this brother, and we endeavoured to procure him a suitable match, and thought he should be married as other men, some giddy and jealous woman bewitched him without our knowledge. And we, one night, a little before day, while the doors of the house were all fast shut, saw this our brother was changed into a mule, such as you now see him to be: And we, in the melancholy condition in which you see us, having no father to comfort us, have applied to all the wise men, magicians, and diviners in the world, but they have been of no service to us. As often therefore as we find ourselves oppressed with grief, we rise and go with this our mother to our father's tomb, where, when we have cried sufficiently we return home. When the girl had heard this, she said, Take courage, and cease your fears, for you have a remedy for your afflictions near at hand, even among you and in the midst of your house, For I was also leprous but when I saw this woman, and this little infant with her, whose name is Jesus, I sprinkled my body with the water with which his mother had washed him, and I was presently made well. And I am certain that he is also capable of relieving you under your distress. Wherefore, arise, go to my mistress, Mary, and when you have brought her into your own parlour, disclose to her the secret, at the same time, earnestly beseeching her to compassionate your case. As soon as the women had heard the girl's discourse, they hastened away to the Lady St. Mary, introduced themselves to her, and sitting down before her, they wept. And said, O our Lady St. Mary, pity your handmaids, for we have no head of our family no one older than us; no father, or brother to go in and out before us. But this mule, which you see, was our brother, which some woman by witchcraft have brought into this condition which you see: we therefore entreat you to compassionate us. Hereupon St. Mary was grieved at their case, and taking the Lord Jesus, put him upon the back of the mule. And said to her son, O Jesus Christ, restore (or heal) according to thy extraordinary power this mule, and grant him to have again the shape of a man and a rational creature, as he had formerly. This was scarce said by the Lady St. Mary, but the mule immediately passed into a human form, and became a young man without any deformity. Then he and his mother and the sisters worshipped the Lady St. Mary, and lifting the child upon their heads, they kissed him, and said, Blessed is thy mother, O Jesus, O Saviour of the world! Blessed are the eyes which are so happy as to see thee. Then both the sisters told their mother, saying, Of a truth our brother is restored to his former shape by the help of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the kindness of that girl, who told us of Mary and her son. And inasmuch as our brother is unmarried, it is fit that we marry him to this girl their servant. When they had consulted Mary in this matter, and she had given her consent, they made a splendid wedding for this girl. And so their sorrow being turned into gladness, and their mourning into mirth, they began to rejoice. and to make merry, and sing, being dressed in their richest attire, with bracelets. Afterwards they glorified and praised God, saying, O Jesus son of David who changest sorrow into gladness, and mourning into mirth! After this Joseph and Mary tarried there ten days, then went away, having received great respect from those people Who, when they took their leave of them, and returned home, cried, But especially the girl.
In their journey from hence they came into a desert country, and were told it was infested with robbers; so Joseph and St. Mary prepared to pass through it in the night. And as they were going along, behold they saw two robbers asleep in the road, and with them a great number of robbers, who were their confederates, also asleep. The names of these two were Titus and Dumachus; and Titus said to Dumachus, I beseech thee let those persons go along quietly, that our company may not perceive anything of them: But Dumachus refusing, Titus again said, I will give thee forty groats, and as a pledge take my girdle, which he gave him before he had done speaking, that he might not open his mouth, or make a noise. When the Lady St. Mary saw the kindness which this robber did shew them, she said to him, The Lord God will receive thee to his right hand, and grant thee pardon of thy sins. Then the Lord Jesus answered, and said to his mother, When thirty years are expired, O mother, the Jews will crucify me at Jerusalem; And these two thieves shall be with me at the same time upon the cross, Titus on my right hand, and Dumachus on my left, and from that time Titus shall go before me into paradise: And when she had said, God forbid this should be thy lot, O my son, they went on to a city in which were several idols which, as soon as they came near to it, was turned into hills of sand. Hence they went to that sycamore tree, which is now called Matarea; And in Matarea the Lord Jesus caused a well to spring forth, in which St. Mary washed his coat; And a balsam is produced, or grows, in that country from the sweat which ran down there from the Lord Jesus. Thence they proceeded to Memphis, and saw Pharaoh, and abode three years in Egypt. And the Lord Jesus did very many miracles in Egypt, which are neither to be found in the Gospel of the Infancy nor in the Gospel of Perfection.
At the end of three years he returned out of Egypt, and when he came near to Judea, Joseph was afraid to enter; For hearing that Herod was dead, and that Archelaus his son reigned in his stead, he was afraid; And when he went to Judea, an angel of God appeared to him, and said, O Joseph, go into the city Nazareth, and abide there. It is strange indeed that he who is the Lord of all countries, should be thus carried backward and forward through so many countries.
When they came afterwards into the city Bethlehem, they found there several very desperate distempers, which became so troublesome to children by seeing them, that most of them died. There was there a woman who had a sick son, whom she brought, when he was at the point of death, to the Lady St. Mary, who saw her when she was washing Jesus Christ. Then said the woman, O my Lady Mary, look down upon this my son, who is afflicted with most dreadful pains. St. Mary hearing her, said, Take a little of that water with which I have washed my son, and sprinkle it upon him. Then she took a little of that water, as St. Mary had commanded, and sprinkled it upon her son, who being wearied with his violent pains, had fallen asleep; and after he had slept a little, awaked perfectly well and recovered. The mother being abundantly glad of this success, went again to St. Mary, and St. Mary said to her, Give praise to God, who hath cured this thy son. There was in the same place another woman, a neighbour of her, whose son was now cured. This woman's son was afflicted with the same disease, and his eyes were now almost quite shut, and she was lamenting for him day and night. The mother of the child which was cured, said to her, Why do you not bring your son to St. Mary, as I brought my son to her, when he was in the agonies of death; and he was cured by that water, with which the body of her son Jesus was washed? When the woman heard her say this, she also went, and having procured the same water, washed her son with it, whereupon his body and his eyes were instantly restored to their former state. And when she brought her son to St. Mary, and opened his case to her, she commanded her to give thanks to God for the recovery of her son's health, and tell no one what had happened.
There were in the same city two wives of one man, who had each a son sick. One of them was called Mary and her son's name was Caleb. She arose, and taking her son, went to the Lady St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and offered her a very handsome carpet, saying, O my Lady Mary accept this carpet of me, and instead of it give me a small swaddling cloth. To this Mary agreed, and when the mother of Caleb was gone, she made a coat for her son of the swaddling cloth, put it on him, and his disease was cured; but the son of the other wife died.
Hereupon there arose between them, a difference in doing the business of the family by turns, each her week. And when the turn of Mary the mother of Caleb came, and she was heating the oven to bake bread, and went away to fetch the meal, she left her son Caleb by the oven; Whom, the other wife, her rival, seeing to be by himself took and cast him into the oven, which was very hot, and then went away. Mary on her return saw her son Caleb lying in the middle of the oven laughing, and the oven quite as cold as though it had not been before heated, and knew that her rival the other wife had thrown him into the fire. When she took him out she brought him to the Lady St Mary, and told her the story to whom she replied, Be quiet, I am concerned lest thou shouldest make this matter known. After this her rival, the other wife, as she was drawing water at the well, and saw Caleb playing by the well, and that no one was near, took him, and threw him into the well. And when some men came to fetch water from the well they saw the boy sitting on the superficies of the water, an drew him out with ropes, and were exceedingly surprised a the child, and praised God. Then came the mother and took him and carried him to the Lady St. Mary, lamenting and saying, 0 my Lady, see what my rival hath done to my son, and how she hath cast him into the well, and I do not question but one time or other she will be the occasion of his death. St. Mary replied to her God will vindicate your injured cause. Accordingly a few days after, when the other wife came to the well to draw water, her foot was entangled in the rope, so that she fell headlong into the well, and they who ran to her assistance, found her skull broken, and bones bruised. So she came to a bad end, and in her was fulfilled that saying of the author, They digged a well, and made it deep, but fell themselves into the pit which they prepared.
Another woman in that city had likewise two sons sick. And when one was dead, the other, who lay at the point of death, she took in her arms to the Lady St. Mary, and in a flood of tears addressed herself to her, saying, O my Lady, help and relieve me; for I had two sons the one I have just now buried, the other I see is just at the point of death, behold how I (earnestly) seek favour from God, and pray to him. Then she said, O Lord, thou art gracious, and merciful, and kind; thou hast given me two sons; one of them thou hast taken to thyself, O spare me this other. St. Mary then perceiving the greatness of her sorrow, pitied her and said, Do thou place thy son in my son's bed, and cover him with his clothes. And when she had placed him in the bed wherein Christ lay, at the moment when his eyes were just closed by death; as soon as ever the smell of the garments of the Lord Jesus Christ reached the boy, his eyes were opened, and calling with a loud voice to his mother, he asked for bread, and when he had received it, he sucked it. Then his mother said, O Lady Mary, now I am assured that the powers of God do dwell in you, so that thy son can cure children who are of the same sort as himself, as soon as they touch his garments. This boy who was thus cured, is the same who in the Gospel is called Bartholomew.
Again there was a leprous woman who went to the Lady St. Mary, the mother of Jesus, and said, 0 my Lady, help me. St. Mary replied, what help dost thou desire? Is it gold or silver, or that thy body be cured of its leprosy? Who, says the woman, can grant me this? St. Mary replied to her, Wait a little till I have washed my son Jesus, and put him to bed. The woman waited, as she was commanded; and Mary when she had put Jesus in bed, giving her the water with which she had washed his body, said Take some of the water, and pour it upon thy body; Which when she had done, she instantly became clean, and praised God, and gave thanks to him.
Then she went away, after she had abode with her three days: And going into the city, she saw a certain prince, who had married another prince's daughter; But when he came to see her, he perceived between her eyes the signs of leprosy like a star, and thereupon declared the marriage dissolved and void. When the woman saw these persons in this condition, exceedingly sorrowful, and shedding abundance of tears, she inquired of them the reason of their crying. They replied, Inquire not unto our circumstances; for we are not able to declare our misfortunes into any person whatsoever. But still she pressed and desired them to communicate their case to her, intimating, that perhaps she might be able to direct them to a remedy. So when they shewed the young woman to her, and the signs of the leprosy, which appeared between her eyes, She said, I also, whom ye see in this place, was afflicted with the same distemper, and going on some business to Bethlehem, I went into a certain cave, and saw a woman named Mary, who had a son called Jesus. She seeing me to be leprous, was concerned for me, and gave me some water with which she had washed her son's body; with that I sprinkled my body, and became clean. Then said these women, Will you, Mistress, go along with us, and shew the Lady St. Mary to us? To which she consenting, they arose and went to the Lady St. Mary, taking with them very noble presents. And when they came in and offered their presents to her they showed the leprous young woman what they brought with them to her. Then said St. Mary, The mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ rest upon you; And giving them a little of that water with which she had washed the body of Jesus Christ, she bade them wash the diseased person with it; which when they had done, she was presently cured; So they, and all who were present, praised God; and being filled with joy, they went back to their own city, and gave praise to God on that account. Then the prince hearing that his wife was cured, took her home and made a second marriage, giving thanks unto God for the recovery of his wife's health.
Again there was also a girl, who was afflicted by Satan; For that cursed spirit did frequently appear to her in the shape of a dragon, and was inclined to swallow her up, and had so sucked out all her blood, that she looked like a dead carcase. As often as she came to herself, with her hands wringed about her head she would cry out, and say, Wo, Wo is me, that there is no one to be found who can deliver me from that impious dragon! Her father and mother, and all who were about her and saw her, mourned and wept over her; And all who were present would especially be under sorrow and in tears, when they heard her bewailing, and saying, My brethren and friends, is there no one who can deliver me from this murderer? Then the prince's daughter, who had been cured of her leprosy, hearing the complaint of that girl, went upon the top of her castle, and saw her with her hand twisted about her head, pouring out a flood of tears, and all the people that were about her in sorrow. Then she asked the husband of the possessed person, Whether his wife's mother was alive? He told her, That her father and mother were both alive. Then she ordered her mother to be sent to her: to whom, when she saw her coming, she said, Is this possessed girl thy daughter? She moaning and bewailing said, Yes, madam, I bore her. The prince's daughter answered, Disclose the secret of her case to me, for I confess to you that I was leprous, but the Lady Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, healed me. And if you desire your daughter to be restored to her former state, take her to Bethlehem, and inquire for Mary the mother of Jesus, and doubt not but your daughter will be cured; for I do not question but you will come home with great joy at your daughter's recovery. As soon as ever she had done speaking, she arose and went with her daughter to the place appointed, and to Mary, and told her the case of her daughter. When St. Mary had heard her story, she gave her a little of the water with which she had washed the body of her son Jesus, and bade her pour it upon the body of her daughter. Likewise she gave her one of the swaddling cloths of the Lord Jesus, and said, Take this swaddling cloth and shew it to thine enemy as often as thou seest him; and she sent them away in peace. After they had left that city and returned home, and the time was come in which Satan was wont to seize her, in the same moment this cursed spirit appeared to her in the shape of a huge dragon, and the girl seeing him was afraid. The mother said to her, Be not afraid daughter; let him alone till he come nearer to thee! then shew him the swaddling cloth, which the Lady Mary gave us, and we shall see the event. Satan then coming like a dreadful dragon, the body of the girl trembled for fear. But as soon as she had put the swaddling cloth upon her head, and about her eyes, and shewed it to him, presently there issued forth from the swaddling cloth flames and burning coals, and fell upon the dragon. Oh! how great a miracle was this, which was done: as soon as the dragon saw the swaddling cloth of the Lord Jesus, fire went forth and was scattered upon his head and eyes; so that he cried out with a loud voice, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of Mary, Whither shall I flee from thee? So he drew back much affrighted, and left the girl. And she was delivered from this trouble, and sang praises and thanks to God, and with her all who were present at the working of the miracle.
Another woman likewise lived there, whose son was possessed by Satan. This boy, named Judas, as often as Satan seized him, was inclined to bite all that were present; and if he found no one else near him, he would bite his own hands and other parts. But the mother of this miserable boy, hearing of St. Mary and her son Jesus, arose presently, and taking her son in her arms, brought him to the Lady Mary. In the meantime, James and Joses had taken away the infant, the Lord Jesus, to play at a proper season with other children; and when they went forth, they sat down and the Lord Jesus with them. Then Judas, who was possessed, came and sat down at the right hand of Jesus. When Satan was acting upon him as usual, he went about to bite the Lord Jesus. And because he could not do it, he struck Jesus on the right side, so that he cried out. And in the same moment Satan went out of the boy, and ran away like a mad dog. This same boy who struck Jesus, and out of whom Satan went in the form of a dog, was Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him to the Jews. And that same side, on which Judas struck him, the Jews pierced with a spear.
And when the Lord Jesus was seven years of age, he was on a certain day with other boys his companions about the same age. Who when they were at play, made clay into several shapes namely, asses, oxen, birds, and other figures, Each boasting of his work and endeavouring to exceed the rest. Then the Lord Jesus said to the boys, I will command these figures which I have made to walk. And immediately they moved and when he commanded then to return, they returned. He had also made the figure of birds and sparrows, which when he commanded to fly, did fly, and when he commanded to stand still, did stand still; and if he gave them meat and drink they did eat and drink. When at length the boys went away, and related these things to their parents, their fathers said to them, Take heed children, for the future, of his company, for he is a sorcerer; shun and avoid him, and from henceforth never play with him.
On a certain day also when the Lord Jesus was playing with the boys, and running about he passed by a dyer's shop, who name was Salem. And there were in his shop many pieces of cloth belonging to the people of that city, which they designed to dye of several colours. Then the Lord Jesus going into the dyer's shop, took all the cloths, and threw them into the furnace. When Salem came home and saw the cloths spoiled, he began to make a great noise, and to chide the Lord Jesus, saying What hast thou done me, O thou Son of Mary? Thou hast injured both me and my neighbours; they all desired their cloths of a proper colour; but thou hast come, and spoiled them all. The Lord Jesus replied, l will change the colour of every cloth to what colour thou desirest; And then he presently began to take the cloths out of the furnace, and they were all dyed of those same colours which the dyer desired. And when the Jews saw this surprising miracle, they praised God.
And Joseph, wheresoever he went in the city, took the Lord Jesus with him, where he was sent for to work to make gates, or milk-pails, or sieves, or boxes; the Lord Jesus was with him wheresoever he went. And as often as Joseph had anything in his work, to make longer or shorter, or wider, or narrower, the Lord Jesus would stretch his hand towards it. And presently it became as Joseph would have it. So that he had no need to finish anything with his own hands, for he was not very skillful at his carpenter's trade
On a certain time the King of Jerusalem sent for him and said, I would have thee make me a throne of the same dimensions with that place in which I commonly sit. Joseph obeyed, and forthwith began the work, and continued two years in the king's palace before he finished it. And when he came to fix it in its place, he found it wanted two spans on each side of the appointed measure. Which, when the king saw, he was very angry with Joseph; And Joseph afraid of the king's anger, went to bed without his supper, taking not any thing to eat. Then the Lord Jesus asked him, What he was afraid of? Joseph replied, Because I have lost my labour in the work which I have been about these two years. Jesus said to him, Fear not, neither be cast down; Do thou lay hold on one side of the throne and I will the other, and we will bring it to its just dimensions. And when Joseph had done as the Lord Jesus said, and each of them had with strength drawn his side, the throne obeyed, and was brought to the proper dimensions of the place: Which miracle when they who stood by saw, they were astonished, and praised God. The throne was made of the same wood, which was in being in Solomon's time, namely, wood adorned with various shapes and figures.
On another day the Lord Jesus going out into the street, and seeing some boys who were met to play, joined himself to their company: But when they saw him, they hid themselves, and left him to seek for them: The Lord Jesus came to the gate of a certain house, and asked some women who were standing there, Where the boys were gone? And when they answered, That there was no one there; the Lord Jesus said, Who are those whom ye see in the furnace? They answered, They were kids of three years old. Then Jesus cried out aloud, and said, Come out hither, O ye kids, to your shepherd; And presently the boys came forth like kids, and leaped about him; which when the women saw, they were exceedingly amazed, and trembled. Then they immediately worshipped the Lord Jesus, and beseeched him, saying, O our Lord Jesus, son of Mary, thou art truly that good shepherd of Israel! have mercy on thy handmaids, who stand before thee, who do not doubt, but that thou, O Lord, art come to save, and not to destroy. After that, when the Lord Jesus said, the children of Israel are like Ethiopians among the people; the women said, Thou Lord, knowest all things, nor is anything concealed from thee; but now we entreat thee, and beseech of thy mercy that thou wouldst restore those boys to their former state. Then Jesus said, Come hither O boys, that we may go and play; and immediately, in the presence of these women, the kids were changed and returned into the shape of boys.
In the month Adar Jesus gathered together the boys, and ranked them as though he had been a king. For they spread their garments on the ground for him to sit on; and having made a crown of flowers, put it upon his head, and stood on his right and left as the guards of a king. And if any one happened to pass by, they took him by force, and said, Come hither, and worship the king, that you may have a prosperous journey.
In the mean time, while these things were doing, there came certain men, carrying a boy upon a couch; For this boy having gone with his companions to the mountain to gather wood, and having found there a partridge's nest, and put his hand in to take out the eggs, was stung by a poisonous serpent, which leaped out of the nest; so that he was forced to cry out for the help of his companions: who, when they came, found him lying upon the earth like a dead person. After which his neighbours came and carried him back into the city. But when they came to the place where the Lord Jesus was sitting like a king, and the other boys stood around him like his ministers, the boys made hast to meet him, who was bitten by the serpent, and said to his neighbours, Come and pay your respects to the king; But when, by reason of their sorrow, they refused to come, the boys drew them, and forced them against their wills to come. And when they came to the Lord Jesus, he inquired, On what account they carried that boy? And when they answered, that a serpent had bitten him, the Lord Jesus said to the boys, Let us go and kill that serpent. But when the parents of the boy desired to be excused, because their son lay at the point of death; the boys made answer, and said, Did not ye hear what the king said? Let us go and kill the serpent; and will not ye obey him? So they brought the couch back again, whether they would or not. And when they were come to the nest, the Lord Jesus said to the boys, Is this the serpent's lurking place? They said, It was. Then the Lord Jesus calling the serpent, it presently came forth and submitted to him; to whom he said, Go and suck out all the poison which thou hast infused into that boy; So the serpent crept to the boy, and took away all its poison again. Then the Lord Jesus cursed the serpent so that it immediately burst asunder, and died. And he touched the boy with his hand to restore him to his former health; And when he began to cry, I the Lord Jesus said, Cease crying, for hereafter thou shalt be my disciple; And this is that Simon the Canaanite, who is mentioned in the Gospel.
On another day Joseph sent his son James to gather wood and the Lord Jesus went with him; And when they came to the place where the wood was, and James began to gather it, be- hold, a venomous viper bit him, so that he began to cry, and make a noise. The Lord Jesus seeing him in this condition, came to him; and blowed upon the place where the viper had bit him, and it was instantly well.
On a certain day the Lord Jesus was with some boys, who were playing on the housetop, and one of the boys fell down, and presently died. Upon which the other boys all running away, the Lord Jesus was left alone on the house-top. And the boy's relations came to him and said to the Lord Jesus, Thou didst throw our son down from the housetop. But he denying it, they cried out, Our son is dead, and this is he who killed him. The Lord Jesus replied to them, Do not charge me with a crime, of which you are not able to convict me, but let us go ask the boy himself, who will bring the truth to light. Then the Lord Jesus going down stood over the head of the dead boy, and said with a loud voice, Zeinunus, Zeinunus, who threw thee down from the house top? Then the dead boy answered, thou didst not throw me down, but such a one did. And when the Lord Jesus bade those who stood by to take notice of his words, all who were present praised God on account of that miracle.
On a certain time the Lady St. Mary had commanded the Lord Jesus to fetch her some water out of the well; And when he had gone to fetch the water, the pitcher, when it was brought up full, brake. But Jesus spreading his mantle gathered up the water again, and brought it in that to his mother. Who, being astonished at this wonderful thing, laid up this, and all the other things which she had seen, in her memory.
Again on another day the Lord Jesus was with some boys by a river and they drew water out of the river by little channels, and made little fish pools. But the Lord Jesus had made twelve sparrows, and placed them about his pool on each side, three on a side. But it was the Sabbath day, and the son of Hanani a Jew came by, and saw them making these things, and said, Do ye thus make figures of clay on the Sabbath? And he ran to them, and broke down their fish pools. But when the Lord Jesus clapped his hands over the sparrows which he had made, they fled away chirping. At length the son of Hanani coming to the fish-pool of Jesus to destroy it, the water vanished away, and the Lord Jesus said to him, In like manner as this water has vanished, so shall thy life vanish; and presently the boy died.
Another time, when the Lord Jesus was coming home in the evening with Joseph, he met a boy, who ran so hard against him, that he threw him down; To whom the Lord Jesus said, As thou hast thrown me down, so shalt thou fall, nor ever rise. And that moment the boy fell down and died.
There was also at Jerusalem one named Zaccheus, who was a schoolmaster. And he said to Joseph, Joseph, why dost thou not send Jesus to me, that he may learn his letters? Joseph agreed, and told St. Mary; So they brought him to that master; who, as soon as he saw him, wrote out an alphabet for him. And he bade him say Aleph; and when he had said Aleph, the master bade him pronounce Beth. Then the Lord Jesus said to him, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth. And when the master threatened to whip him, the Lord Jesus explained to him the meaning of the letters Aleph and Beth; Also which were the straight figures of the letters, which the oblique, and what letters had double figures; which had points, and which had none; why one letter went before another; and many other things he began to tell him, and explain, of which the master himself had never heard, nor read any book. The Lord Jesus farther said the master, Take notice how I say to thee; then he began clearly and distinctly to say Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth, and so on to the end of the alphabet. At this the master was so surprised, that he said, I believe his boy was born before Noah; And turning to Joseph, he said, Thou hast brought a boy to be to be taught, who is more learned than any master. He said also unto St. Mary, This your son has no need of any learning.
They brought him then to a more learned master, who, when he saw him, said, say Aleph. And when he had said Aleph, he master bade him pronounce Beth; to which the Lord Jesus replied, Tell me first the meaning of the letter Aleph, and then I will pronounce Beth. But this master, when he lift up his hand to whip him, had his hand presently withered, and he died. Then said Joseph to St. Mary, henceforth we will not allow him to go out of the house; for every one who displeases him is killed.
And when he was twelve years old, they brought him to Jerusalem to the feast; and when the feast was over, they returned. But the Lord Jesus continued behind in the temple among the doctors and elders, and learned men of Israel; to whom he proposed several questions of learning, and also gave them answers: For he said to them, Whose son is the Messiah? They answered, the son of David: Why then, said he, does he in the spirit call him Lord? when he saith, The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, till I have made thine enemies thy footstool. Then a certain principal Rabbi asked him, Hast thou read books? Jesus answered, he had read both books, and the things which a were contained in books. And he explained to them the books of the law, and precepts, and statutes: and the mysteries which are contained in the books of the prophets; things which the mind of no creature a could reach. Then said that Rabbi, I never yet have seen or heard of such knowledge! What do you think that boy will be!
When a certain astronomer, who was present, asked the Lord Jesus, Whether he had studied astronomy? The Lord Jesus replied, and told him the number of the spheres and heavenly bodies, as also their triangular, square, and to sextile aspect; their progressive and retrograde motion; their size and several prognostication; and other things which the reason of man had never discovered.
There was also among them a philosopher well skilled in physic and natural philosophy, who asked the Lord Jesus Whether he had studied physic? He replied, and explained to him physics and metaphysics. Also those things which were above and below the power of nature; The powers also of the body, its humours, and their effects. Also the number of its members, and bones, veins, arteries, and nerves; 16 The several constitutions of body, hot and dry, cold and moist, and the tendencies of them; How the soul operated upon the body; What its various sensations and faculties were; The faculty of speaking, anger, desire; And lastly the manner of its composition and dissolution; and other things, which the understanding of no creature had ever reached. Then that philosopher arose, and worshipped the Lord Jesus, and said, O Lord Jesus, from henceforth I will be thy disciple and servant.
While they were discoursing on these and such like things, the Lady St. Mary came in, having been three days walking about with Joseph, seeking for him. And when she saw him sitting among the doctors, and in his turn proposing questions to them, and giving answers, she said to him, My son, why hast thou done thus by us? Behold I and thy father have been at much pains in seeking thee. He replied, Why did ye seek me? Did ye not know that I ought to be employed in my father's house? But they understood not the words which he said to them Then the doctors asked Mary, Whether this was her son? And when she said, He was, they said, O happy Mary, who hast borne such a son. Then he returned with them to Nazareth, and obeyed them in all things. And his mother kept all these things in her mind; And the Lord Jesus grew in stature and wisdom, and favour with God and man.
Now from this time Jesus began to conceal his miracles and secret works, And he gave himself to the study of the law, till he arrived to the end of his thirtieth year; At which time the Father publicly owned him at Jordan, sending down this voice from heaven, This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; The Holy Ghost being also present in the form of a dove. This is he whom we worship with all reverence, because he gave us our life and being, and brought us from our mother's womb. Who, for our sakes, took a human body, and hath redeemed us, so that he might so embrace us with everlasting mercy, and shew his free, large, bountiful grace and goodness to us. To him be glory and praise, and power, and dominion, from henceforth and for evermore, Amen.
The end of the whole Gospel of the Infancy, by the assistance of the Supreme God, according to what we found in the original.