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concede non factum, per thee, that this very one is He quod facta sunt omnia. Non whom we mean by the Son of enim per seipsum fieri po- God. But, if thou do not say tuit, per quod facta sunt there is a Word that made the omnia. Crede ergo evange- Word,—then grant, that He, listæ.
by whom all things were made, was Himself not made, since He, by whom all things were made, could not make Himself. Therefore, believe
the Evangelist. Our three Night Vigils are over: we have sung our songs of praise; we have listened to our Mother the Church telling us of the Prophecies of the beautiful Coming: and meanwhile, the Night has advanced, and now the long-expected, the ever-sacred hour of Midnight has come, and we are to see the Divine Infant Jesus, lying in his Crib and smiling upon his Mother. Jubilee is the duty of this sweetest moment: let our hearts beat with delight! Jesus, our Salvation, is coming down from heaven, and for our sakes. What a joy it is, that our dear Church gives us a Canticle, which is a worthy reception of this our God! Come, then, Christians, let us make the holy place echo with our grand Te Deum !
HYMN OF THANKSGIVING.
Te Deum laudamus:* te We praise thee, O God! we Dominum confitemur. acknowledge thee to be our
Lord. Te æternum Patrem ; Thee, the Father everlastomnis terra veneratur. ing, all the earth doth worship.
Tibi omnes Angeli; * tibi To thee the Angels, to thee coeli, ut universæ potestates. the heavens, and all the
Powers: Tibi Cherubim et Sera- To thee the Cherubim and phim: * incessabili voce Seraphim, cry out without proclamant.
Holy! Sanctus, * Dominus Deus Holy! Lord God of SaSabaoth!
Full are the heavens and Pleni sunt coeli et terra * the earth of the majesty of majestatis gloriæ tuæ. thy glory.
Thee the glorious choir of Te gloriosus * Apostolothe Apostles.
rum chorus. Thee the laudable company
Te Prophetarum * laudaof the Prophets.
bilis numerus. Thee the white-robed army Te Martyrum candidatus of Martyrs doth praise. * laudat exercitus. Thee the holy Church Te
orbem terrarum * throughout the world doth sancta confitetur Ecclesia. acknowledge.
The Father of incomprehen- Patrem * immensæ masible majesty.
jestatis. Thy adorable, true, and only Venerandum tuum Son.
rum, * et unicum Filium. And the Holy Ghost the Sanctum quoque * ParaParaclete.
clitum Spiritum. Thou, O Christ, art the King Tu Rex gloriæ, * Christe. of glory.
Thou art the everlasting Son Tu Patris, * sempiternus of the Father.
es Filius. Thou being to take upon
Tu ad liberandum suscepthee to deliver man, didst not turus hominem, * non hordisdain the Virgin's womb. ruisti Virginis uterum.
Thou having overcome the Tu devicto mortis aculeo : sting of death, hast opened to aperuisti credentibus regó believers the kingdom of hea- na cælorum.
Thou sittest at the right Tu ad dexteram Dei sehand of God, in the glory of des : * in gloria Patris. the Father.
Thee we believe to be the Judex crederis Judge to come.
turus. All kneel at the following Verse : We beseech thee, therefore, Te ergo quæsumus, tuis to help thy servants, whom famulis subveni, * quos prethou hast redeemed with thy tioso sanguine redemisti. precious Blood.
Make them to be numbered Æterna fac cum sanctis with thy saints in eternal tuis * in gloria numerari. glory.
O Lord, save thy people, Salvum fac populum tuum and bless thine inheritance. Domine : *et benedic hære
Et rege eos:
And govern them, and exalt illos usque in æternum.
them for ever. Per singulos dies * bene- Every day, we magnify thee. dicimus te.
Et laudamus Nomen tuum And we praise thy Name for in sæculum : * et in sæcu- ever and ever. lum sæculi.
Dignare, Domine, die isto, Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep * sine peccato nos custo- us this day without sin. dire.
Miserere nostri, Domine : Have mercy on us, O Lord, * miserere nostri.
have mercy on us. Fiat misericordia tua Do- Let thy mercy, O Lord, be mine super nos, * quemad- upon us, as we have put our modum speravimus in te. trust in thee.
In te Domine speravi : * In thee, O Lord, have I put non confundar in æternum. my trust let me 'not be con
founded for ever.
Our Hymn of Thanksgiving sung, the Church concludes the Office of Matins by the following Prayer, in which she embodies all her desires on this Feast of the New Birth of the Only Begotten Son of God.
LET US PRAY.
Concede, quæsumus, om- Grant, we beseech thee, O nipotens Deus, ut nos Uni- Almighty God, that we who geniti tui nova per carnem groan under the old captivity nativitas liberet, quos sub of sin, may be freed therefrom peccati jugo vetusta servitus by the new Birth of thine tenet. Per eumdem. Only Begotten Son. Through
the same Jesus Christ, doc.
It is now time to offer the Great Sacrifice, and to call down our Emmanel from heaven: He alone can fully pay the debt of gratitude, which mankind owes to the Eternal Father. He will intercede for us on the Altar, as he did in his Crib. We will approach him with love, and he will give himself to us.
But such is the greatness of to-day's Mystery, that the Church is not satisfied with only once offering up the Holy Sacrifice. The long-expected and precious Gift, deserves an unusual welcome. God the Father has given his Son to us; and it is by the operation of the Holy Ghost that the grand Portent is produced :—let there be, then, to the ever Blessed Three, the homage of a triple Sacrifice ! Besides this
Jesus, who is born to-night, is born thrice. He is born of the Blessed Virgin, in the stable of Bethlehem; he is born by grace, in the hearts of the Shepherds, who are the first fruits of the Christian Church ; and he is born eternally from the Bosom of the Father, in the brightness of the Saints to this triple Birth, therefore, let there be the homage of a triple Sacrifice !
The first Mass honours the Birth according to the Flesh, which, like the other two, is an effusion of the Divine Light. The hour is come: the people that walked in darkness, have seen a great Light ; Light is risen to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death." Outside the holy place, where we are now assembled, there is dark Night :-material Night, caused by the absence of the sun ; spiritual Night, by reason of the sins of men, who either sleep in the forgetfulness of God, or wake to the commission of crime. At Bethlehem, round the Stable, and in the City, all is deep darkness; and the inhabitants, who would not find room for the Divine Babe, are sleeping heavily :—will they waken when the Angels begin to sing ?
Midnight comes. The Holy Virgin has been longing for this happy moment. Her heart is suddenly overwhelmed with a delight, which is new even to Her. She falls into an ecstasy of love. As her Child will, one day, in his almighty power, rise through the unmoved barrier of his Sepulchre ; so now, as a sun-beam gleaming through purest crystal, he is born, and lies on the ground before her. With arms outstretched to embrace her, and smiling upon her—this is her first sight of her Son, who is Son also of the Eternal Father! She adores-takes him into her arms—presses him to her heart-swathes his infant limbs—and lays him down in the manger. Her faithful Joseph unites his adoration with hers; and so, too, do the Angels of heaven, for, the Royal Psalmist had sung this prophecy of their adoring him on his entrance into the world. Heaven opens over this spot of earth, which men call a Stable; and from it there mount to the Throne of the Eternal Father, the first prayer, the first tear, the first sob, of this his Son, our Jesus, who thus begins to prepare the world's salvation.
1 Is. ix. 2.
The eyes of the faithful are now riveted on the Sanctuary, where the same Jesus is to be their Holy Sacrifice. The procession of the sacred Ministers has entered the Holy of Holies, and the Priest comes with them to the foot of the Altar. The Choir is singing its opening-canticle, the Introit; where we have our God himself speaking to his Son, and saying: This Day, have I begotten thee. Let tħe Nations rage, if they will, and be impatient of the yoke of this Babe of Bethlehem; he shall subdue them, and reign over them, for he is the Son of God.
Dominus dixit ad me : The Lord hath said unto Filius meus est tu; ego me : Thou art my Son; this hodie genui te.
day have I begotten thee. Ps. Quare fremuerunt Ps. Why have the nations gentes, et populi meditati raged, and the people devised sunt inania ? V. Gloria vain things ? N. Glory, &c. Patri. Dominus dixit. The Lord hath said, doc.
1 Ps. xcvi. 7.-Heb. i. 6.