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THE BIRTH OF JESUS.

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ETHLEHEM was the birth-place of

Jesus. Joseph and Mary had taken

refuge in the stable belonging to an inn. There Jesus was born; and his mother laid him in a manger among the soft hay.

That same night some shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields near Bethlehem, when an angel came to them and a dazzling light shone round about them. Then they were much afraid.

But the angel said : Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great' joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host who sang praises to God, and said : “ Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

When the angels had gone, the shepherds

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went to Bethlehem, and there found the infant Jesus and His mother.

THE WISE MEN'S VISIT.

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TOSHORTLY before the birth of Jesus,

some wise men in the East saw a

strange star. This caused them to take a long journey to Jerusalem in search of a newly-born king.

When they reached Jerusalem, they enquired, Where is He that is born King of the Jews ? For we have seen His star in the East, and are come to worship Him.”

There reigned over Judea at that time a wicked king named Herod. He was troubled when he heard of the wise men's enquiry. So he sent for the chief Priests and Scribes, and found out from them where Christ was to be born. Then he privately sent for the wise men, and, after asking them at what time the star appeared, said, “Go and search diligently for the young child ; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship also.

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The crafty king did not want to worship but to kill the infant Jesus.

The wise men went to Bethlehem, to the house in which the young child and His mother dwelt. There they fell down and worshipped Him, and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

They did not return to Herod, but went home another way.

THE FLIGHT INTO EGYPT.

HEN Herod found that the wise

men did not return, he was very

angry; and sent forth his soldiers to kill all the young children in and around Bethlehem, that were of two years old and under. Herod thought by so doing he would be sure to kill Jesus.

But God took care of Him, for God appeared unto Joseph in a dream, and said, “ Arise, take the young child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word : for Herod will seek the young child to destroy Him.”

Joseph obeyed the command God had given. He arose at once, and took the infant Jesus and His mother by night and journeyed to Egypt; where they abode until after the death of Herod.

Probably Joseph walked along by the side of an ass, on which Mary sat, holding her babe in her arms; and thus they

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