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THE BIRTH OF THE SAVIOUR.
LESSONS FOR MOTHERS OR MATERNAL ASSOCIATIONS.
N this lesson we have
We are going to tell you where he lived,
and what happened on the night when he was born. Most little children have already heard all about the Saviour. We have no doubt your fathers or mothers have taken you in their arms, and told you how the
Saviour, when on earth, took just such little children as you in his arms, and blessed them, and as they have smoothed your hair, and kissed your cheek, and pressed you to their bosom, they have asked you if you would not love this Saviour, who died for little children? If you do not already love him, perhaps you will, before you have done reading this story.
The Bible tells us the Saviour was born in a place called Bethlehem; it is sometimes called Bethlehem of Judea. His parents' names were Joseph and Mary.
Joseph was called his father, but God was his father. They were very good people. They lived in a city called Nazareth, in Galilee. They went from Nazareth to Bethlehem. There the Saviour was born. He was born in
because there was no room for his parents in the inn. If his parents had been rich, perhaps they might have been more comfortable. But the Saviour was born of poor parents, and laid in a manger, a place where they fed their cattle.
Bethlehem, where the Saviour was born, is a great way off. It is beyond the great sea. Few people in this country have ever seen it. But the Bible tells us there is such a place, and we have seen people who have been there, and returned to tell us about the country, and the place where the Saviour was born.
It was in the night, and it happened that there were SHEPHERDS in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. They were taking care of their sheep, to prevent the wild beasts from devouring the little lambs, and scattering and destroying their flocks. These shepherds were men who feared and loved God. They used to spend the night, while they were watching their flocks, in singing and praying to God.
Sometimes they would look up at the stars, and think how great is God, who made all these bright and shining stars! One night, as these shepherds were watching over their flocks, an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were very much afraid. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid ; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy. Unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord." They need not have been afraid, be
cause they were good men, and God will always take care of good men. He loves them-he will do them no harm. But there was a great light, and probably it was so bright as to hurt their eyes, and prevent them from seeing. After the angel had told them of the birth of this little babe, which was the Saviour, he told them they would find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, in a manger. And then there appeared a multitude of angels, praising God. These shepherds tell us what they sung. The words were these : “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” After they had sung, they
. went back to heaven, where they dwell. We have never seen an angel ; but we know they live in heaven; that they honor God,
l and are very happy. When good little children die, and go to heaven, they are called angels, and some people think they sometimes visit this world, though we cannot see them, and do errands for their heavenly Father. When their parents are mourning and weeping over their death, some think God sends them as angels to comfort their parents; but we shall know more about this if we go to heaven.
After these angels went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go, even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass.” They wished to go and see the babe. So they went to Bethlehem, and there they found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger, just as the angel had said. This was the Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. So these shepherds went and told the people all about what they had seen and known about the babe, and all the people wondered.
WHILE shepherds watched their flocks, by night,
All seated on the ground,
And glory shone around.
Fear not, said he, (for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind)
To you and all mankind.
To you, in David's town, this day,
Is born of David's line,
And this shall be the sign :
The heavenly babe you there shall find
T, human view displayed,
And in a manger laid.
What is the name of the place where the Saviour was born ?
Where is Bethlehem ?
After the angel went back to heaven, what did the shepherds do ?
Did they find the babe in the manger?
THE SPRING UNDER THE CHESTNUT-TREE.
BY PROFESSOR ALDEN.
UNDERNEATH the spreading branches of a large chestnut-tree, which stood near Mr. Falkland's dwelling, there was a beautiful spring, which bubbled up from the earth, and formed a small basin of crystal waters, from which a rivulet found its way to a neighboring brook. James and Mary Falkland had their playhouse under the chestnut-tree. They took great care never to throw anything into the spring. They even swept the earth all around it, that the rains might not wash any dirt into it.
One day they found it half filled with stones, and pieces of rotten wood, and old clothes. They were greatly grieved that their pure fountain should be thus polluted. They ran to their father with their complaints.
“Father,” said James, “who do you think has done it ?!! “I do not know," replied Mr. Falkland. “ Will you not please to find out ?". “ I do not think it will be wise to take much trouble about it." " What shall we do, then ?"
“ Clear out the spring, and the waters will soon flow as sweetly and clearly as before."
But we wish to know who did the mischief.” “It is much more important that the mischief should be re
James and Mary set to work to clear out the spring. They carried away the things that had been thrown in, and soon the troubled water flowed off, and the white pebbles on the bottom of the basin shone through the water as brightly as if it had never been disturbed.
When any mischief has been done, the first inquiry should not be, “Who has done it ?" but, “How shall it be repaired ?” It may indeed be our duty to search out the offender, but generally the first thing to be thought of is, how the evil is to be repaired.