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His eyes, arms mighty as the lightnings of God; but a heart of tenderness."

It has in it all human nature, all divine nature, all the past of history, all the possibility of prophecy, all the mystery of the Apocalypse, the tenderness surpassing the love of women, the majesty humbling the pride of kings. “Unto you is born a Saviour."

The heavenly music ceased. The Angelic Vision disappeared. The high estate and lowly condition of heaven's earth-born King were alike the marvel of men and the wonder of angels.

The Nativity of Jesus should be joyfully commemorated with gifts of love and songs of joy, by young and old, in all lands, and in all ages. It is a song of “Great Joy to all people.”

Joy to the poor, because the new-born King came to make them rich; joy to the rich, for He came to make them richer still; joy to the simple, because He came to make them wise unto salvation; joy to the wise, for He came to give them true wisdom; joy to the mourning and the sorrowing ones, because He came to comfort and to bind up their broken hearts. Joy! Great joy!

Let us rejoice that the flood of joy which flowed from the manger of Bethlehem is wide enough to encompass the earth with its glory, rich enough to bless the race with its mercy, and deep enough to roll on through all time, and over boundless eternity.





66 The

O CHILDHOOD ! Most charming age! Fairest of all ages! Age of innocence and purity! When Herod was dead, Joseph brought back Mary and the Child Jesus from Egypt, whither they had gone for refuge, and they went to Nazareth, in Galilee, to make their home.

It was there that Jesus lived until the commencement of His public ministry. Child grew, and waxed strong, full of wisdom; and the grace of God was in Him."

Is it not marvelous that He Who, filled with wisdom as God, yet subjecting Himself to the condition of humanity, grows in wisdom and in grace, according as He grows in age, awaiting the time when, as a full-grown man, He may manifest to the world the treasures of knowledge and wisdom which are in Him!

The boyhood life of Jesus is of special and

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peculiar interest to the world. In many respects the young Galilean must have been much like other boys of his day and age. sessed the buoyant spirit of boyhood life. Ie loved the society of his fellows.

He had a home congenial to those natural inclinations. Nazareth was the flower of Palestine. Of all the Galilean towns it is said to have been the most lovely for situation, and most to be desired as a retired and attractive home.

It was beautiful and romantic beyond description. It was regarded in springtime as a princely paradise, because of its great number and variety of beautiful flowers. Everything about the place looked indescribably bright and soft. Doves murmured in the trees; and all nature seemed aglow with beauty.

Its picturesque streets were terraces on the hill-slopes, which overlooked the fertile plains and flowery vales beneath. It was a mountain village, with pure air and sunshine free. It was in this little town of Nazareth, where the Son of Man and the Son of God, the Saviour of Mankind, spent nearly thirty years of His earthly life. It was, in fact, His home, His native village for all but three years of His life on earth; the village which lent its then ignominious name to the scornful title written upon His Cross; the village from which He did not disdain to draw His appellation when He spake in vision to the persecuting Saul:

“I am Jesus of Nazareth Whom thou persecutest.

The Father made no mistake in the orderings of Providence which sent His Son to this quiet and beautiful little city to be reared among its lofty and graceful mountains and liberty-loving people.

Among these hills, in these valleys, and on these streets, He spent the years of His boyhood life. In this humble, though happy home, drinking in the purity and freedom of its mountain air, this true-hearted and generous Child of Heaven, quick in intellect, vivid in imagination, and gifted in all the noble characteristics of youthful life, developed into perfect manhood, the wonderful Nazarene.

As to the manner of life during those thirty years, history is almost barren of recorded facts, and must, therefore, be largely conjectural. The Gospels simply say that “He grew

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