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Luke ii. 11--20.
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. And suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the
heavenly host praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will
towards men. And it came to pass, as the Angels were gone away from
them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph,
and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the
saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which
were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God
for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
LET us, Christians, employ ourselves a few moments in meditating upon these words, so worthy of our entire attention. It appears as if the celestial Spirit who uttered them, had studied to comprehend in every expression some subject of surprise, of admiration, or of joy; and to accumulate together every circumstance capable of exciting the curiosity of his hearers, of interesting and rejoicing their hearts, of striking and dazzling their imaginations, of creating in them rapture and adoration.
The first thing upon which he fixes their attention, is the novelty of the event, “ This DAY," he tells them,-at this very instant, in a manner. Herein he has regard to that weakness, too common to the human heart, through which it gives itself wholly up to the things of
moment; permitting it, alas! to lose, with the lapse of time, all its ardour, its freshness, its fascination; even though the good in view, supremely great in itself, defies the influence of time, and outlives the flight of ages.
The indifference of the greater part of Christians of our days, with regard to the event in contemplation,-an event which makes them Christians, which, consequently, still retains all its real claims to their concern,-justifies this reflection but too well.
“ IN THE CITY OF DAVID :" the second circumstance offered to the attention of the Shepherds, and no less calculated to excite an interest in them ; from its referring to a place dear to them, as being their own country,--as ennobled by proud associations,-as the birthplace of a King whose memory they held sacred : another condescension of the Angel to a weakness--but a very affecting weaknessof the human heart. Alas, My Brethren ! do we not here too sensibly experience the absence, in our own case, of even this slender interest ? Would not their religion be held