n Ist a mm
d at the Studios in Enqlana.
'E ur b& SO b Co. T
New York- Lond S, COars.
*Kew York- London Paris.
S/ C It is just nineteen hundred years since
Christ was born. Nineteen hundred years
since that wonderful time when the great
S ', Archangel Gabriel was sent from Heaven by
God to the Virgin Mary,. a daughter of the
.'^ ^ \ -\ \ royal line of David, to tell her she should have
() \ a Son whose Name was to be called Jesus -
A that this Son should be great and God would
give Him the Throne of His father David; and
--that of His Kingdom there should be no end,
because He would be truly the Son of God.
Soon afterwards Mary went up to the hill-country of Judea on a visit
to her friend and cousin Elizabeth, the wife of Zacharias, a priest, who at
once welcomed her as "The Mother of the Lord", and received her with much
affection and respect, 'and Mary, in happy and grateful response to the welcome
of her cousin, chanted those beautiful verses beginning "My soul doth magnify
the Lord". Mary remained three months with Elizabeth, and then returned to
her own home; and very soon afterwards the news came that Elizabeth had
a little son, whose name was John. This John was in after days known as John the
Baptist. We are told that the Archangel Gabriel had appeared also to Zacharias
in the Temple, and told him he should have a son named John who was, in
time to come, to "go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways".
In those days Caesar Augustus was Ruler of all the Empire, and he
had made a law that every person in his kingdom should go up to his or
her own city from the country round to be taxed; so Mary ,,
and her husband Joseph, who was, like herself, of the /
royal line of David, went into Judea to "the City of \
David which is called Bethlehem" to be taxed with
the rest. ,/
So many people had however come
from all quarters for the same purpose,
that there was no room for Mary and
Joseph at the inn in the City, and i\ /
the only shelter they could find for / I '
the night was a low wooden shed or
stable in which there were already
gathered some oxen and sheep. It /
was in this stable that our Saviour
Jesus Christ the Prince of Peace, was
born, and when His Mother had wrapped -
the tender limbs of her wonderful baby
: *. ." .. .
* low '
to God in thee Hzighest."
in a piece of linen cloth, she laid Him on a bed of
straw in an empty manger, for there was no
dainty cradle, no pretty little clothes ready j
for Him, who was born a King! Whilst His
Mother and father bent over Him, and :7/
adoring angels knelt round or hung over
head, other wondrous things were happening on
the hills in the country around, where some shep-
herds in a field were keeping watch over their flocks under the starlit sky.
Suddenly a great light shone round them, and the angel of the Lord appeared
in the midst of it, so that the shepherds hid their faces in fear; but the angel
said unto them "Fear not, for unto you is born this day in the City of David,
a Saviour which is Christ the Lord; and this shall be a sign unto you; Ye
shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger." Then,
with a great rushing sound of many wings, a multitude of other angels appeared,
singing "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward
men,' the angels' song which we sing at Christmas to this very day. When
the angels had gone away, and the shepherds recovered from their fear and
astonishment they said to each other. "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known
unto us, "so they hastened into the City and found Mary and Joseph, and
the Baby lying in the manger, just as they had been told. It was still night,
but there was a soft bright light, like clear starshine in the lowly stable, so
-that they could plainly see the Holy Child, and when they had knelt down
amongst the sheep and oxen and worshipped Him, while the angels still hovered
above, they went about all over the City, telling every
one they met what they had seen and heard. And
Mary, the happy Mother of her King, while
/ ^ she nursed and tended Him, just as other
S mothers care for their little babies, pon-
Sdered in her heart over all that had
/i happened to her, for she knew that though .ap-
parently just a little helpless child, her Son was indeed
something wonderful and holy and apart from others. Meanwhile wise men
came from the East to Jerusalem to Herod the King saying, "Where is this
new King who is born to rule over us? for we have seen His star in the sky
and desire to worship Him."
This troubled Herod and his people very much for they knew it had
been foretold that a new King or Governor, who should rule Israel, was to
be born in Bethlehem about this time, and Herod did not like the idea of
there being any King except himself, so he told the wise men to go and
search diligently in all the country round until they found the Child, and
come back again and bring him word. So the wise men departed, and the
great Star they had seen in the Eastern sky went` bIefore them till they also
came to the manger where Jesus lay; then it stood still, and they went in
and worshipped the Child, and gave Him gifts of gold. and frankincense and
myrrh. These wise men had been warned by God in a dream that they should
not go back and tell Herod as he had commanded, so they made their way
to their own country by another road.
When the little Jesus was eight days old His parents took. Him to
ChimsI i 1ie Cari,5enzi~er's
Jerusalem according to the law of the time which commanded that every
male child should be there presented to God in the Temple, and made holy
to Him whilst at the same time the mother offered a pair of turtledoves,
or two young pigeons by way of sacrifice. Now a very good and devout
man named Simeon was then in Jerusalem and came into the Temple at the
moment. It had been revealed to him that he should not die until he had
seen Jesus Christ, who should redeem Israel, and when he saw the Child,
he knew that this was the promised Christ and took Him into his arms,
and blessed God, saying -
"Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to
For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation,
/ Which Thou hast prepared before the face
r --- --
of all people;
I i \- \A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the
\ glory of Thy people Israel."
\This is called "The Song of Simeon", and
When the old man had sung it, he gave the
SChild back to the parents and blessed them also.
Again, there was a very aged and pious woman
named Anna, a prophetess, who lived entirely in
the Temple, praying night and day, and she too,
Knew immediately that the Child Jesus whom she
saw, was her Lord and King, and gave thanks
unto God for having been allowed to see Him.
It was just after they returned from Jeru-
salem that God sent an Angel to Joseph, who .'-.
spoke to him in a dream, and told him that Herod
the King was searching for his little Son, in
order to destroy Him, as he \\as afraid
of Him, so he must take Him and His / /i
Mother and go quickly away into
Egypt, until he was told it would -
be safe to return. And Joseph -
obeyed, and with the young Child -
and His Mother, departed secretly by night
and got into Egypt as he was told. Herod was very angry when the wise
men did not come back to him with news, as he had commanded them to
do, and growing more afraid of the Child whom it was said was to be King
in his place, he cruelly sent out his soldiers with orders to kill all the little
children in Bethlehem and the country about, under two years of age, hoping
that the Child Jesus would surely be amongst them, and that by this means
He would be got rid of But as we have seen, whilst the poor mothers in
Bethlehem were weeping and mourning over the loss of their little ones so
cruelly murdered, Jesus was safe with His parents in another country, growing
from infancy into strong beautiful childhood under the warm sun and soft
airs of Egypt. By and by the wicked King Herod died, and then the angel
came to Joseph in a dream as before, and told him that it was now safe for
- him to go back into the land of Israel, for the enemy who had sought the
young Child's life was dead. So again the little family journeyed forth till
p~.. .;'h :P
.. "' ,. d
Chrkis and St. John.
they came to a City called Nazareth and here Joseph set up his little home,
and his shop, for he was a carpenter by trade, and this is why our Lord
was, as you know, often called "Jesus of Nazareth". In this small tranquil
City of the East, the Child Jesus dwelt happily for a few years with His
parents, His Mother Mary caring for Him with peculiar tenderness and
reverence; always with the conviction in her heart that He was not as other
boys, and pondering over and over again the wonderful things that had
occurred at His birth, while she and His father both
had reason to know that the Angels of God still
watched over His safety.
We are not told that during these quiet years
Christ did or said anything to prove that He knew
or felt Himself to be different from others, or in
any way manifested His Divine birth, on the contrary,
we are led to suppose that He led the usual simple
life of boys of His apparent class at that time;
helping His father Joseph in the shop, or learning .;
childish lore at His Mother's knee, and sometimes '
visiting, or being visited by, "His cousin John, the
son of Elizabeth and Zacharias, who, as you remember, was a few months
older than Jesus; and was probably a shepherd boy.
We can picture to ourselves these two young boys quietly playing
together and amusing themselves with their pet birds and lambs, or rambling
about amongst the grass and flowers on the sunny hill sides, very much
as boys of their age would do in our own days, thinking little of all they
were to do and to suffer in the years to come. But we are told that as
time went on "The Child grew and waxed strong in spirit: filled with
wisdom, and the grace of God was upon Hi l It could scarcely be
therefore that, His years of early boyhood gone by, our Divine Lord and
Saviour should not feel, stirring within Him, the Spirit of His Heavenly
Father, and before very long there came to His parents a sign that
He did so.
It was their custom to go to Jerusalem every year in order to attend
the Feast of the Passover, the most solemn festival of the people of Israel;
as .long as He had been a little boy Jesus had been left behind in His safe
and lowly home at Nazareth with His doves, and possibly His cousin John
to keep Him company; but when He was twelve years of age, according
to custom, He was taken by His parents for the first time, to take part in
the general festival. It 'was a long journey to
f "'? Jerusalem and occupied several days, for they
had to travel there either on foot or riding on
.. r donkeys, and there would be an immense throng
'I of people going in the samie direction, growing
',i. ever larger and larger as: they went on, and
the inhabitants of City after City :and village
after village joined the t ain of devout worshippers,
and there would be all: the heat and dust and
peculiar cries of an Eastern crowd to encounter,
so that such a journey was no light undertaking.
But at length they came within sight of the roofs
* ~ tSk~~
and towers of Jerusalem, with its great Temple
Sin the midst. After much needed rest and refresh-
ment came the attendance at the services of the
solemn festival, The Feast of the Passover,
I which the multitudes had come to attend,
and which lasts over some days. This
feast with its many observances at an
S/ end, the immense concourse of people
had to arrange itself in a sort of order
Sfor the return journey to various homes,
and it happened that Joseph and Mary
started in the front of the long train.
S, They soon became aware that Jesus was
not with them, but, supposing that He
S- had joined some party of kinsfolk or
.'. acquaintance, they did not at first feel
any .anxiety. and it was not till they had gone a whole day's journey, that
'-. theyibe.came alarmed, and turned back towards Jerusalem with heavy hearts,
threading their way in and out amongst the noisy chattering throng in search
of Him and asking tidings of many a family group whom they knew. But
.none had seen Jesus or knew ought of Him, and it was not until they
reached .Jerusalem again, and three whole days had passed from the time
S they had missed Him, that they at length found Him in the Temple, "sitting
'' .in the midst of the doctors, hearing them, and asking them questions." The
.. '."._.. .
S.learned men.. around Him were astonished at the understanding of this little
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country lad of twelve years old, not knowing from whence He drew His
inspiration, and His parents also were amazed when they heard Him.
"Son", said His Mother approaching Him, "Why hast Thou treated
us thus? Thy father and I have sought Thee.in sorrow for three days."
And Jesus answered "How is it that ye sought Me? Did ye not know
that I must be about My Father's business?"
Mary and Joseph did not clearly understand what Jesus meant, but
His Mother kept His answer in her heart, and pondered over it together
with many other things concerning her Divine Son. Meanwhile He returned
with them to peaceful Nazareth, and was as before dutiful and loving, whilst
growing tall and strong and wise, increasing, as we are told "in favour
with God and man;" and for several years still our Blessed Lord dwelt in
Nazareth preparing Himself by prayer and meditation for the Divine "business"
of saving the souls of sinful men, to which He knew His Heavenly Father
would in due time call Him.
Helen Marion Burnside.
Designed ap OIe Srud.os -m Ernqlar.d
eRApHAeL TucC & )ONis, Co.,. L_
Kew York- London Paris.
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