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on with the description, Tycho Brahe speaks of + its brightness as greater than that of Sirius, Vega, or Jupiter. For splendor it was only comparable to Venus when nearest to the earth, and was seen by some at noonday. After a few weeks it began to decline, and in sixteen months became invisible to the naked eye (the telescope being invented thirty-seven years later). In waning, the star passed through changes of color, from white to yellow and red and then to white again. These phenomena interested Tycho Brahe so much that he wrote a large book describing the appearance of the star as seen by himself and others, and gave theories to account for those wonderful changes. It has since been thought that this star appeared also in 945 and 1264. If it be a variable star with a period of about 431 years, it would make its time of appearance about the beginning of the Christian Era.—Prof. Wm. IV. Payne.

Seekers After God.—" In every nation there are those who have feared God and wrought righteousness, and have been accepted with him. I have met in this strange country (India), during the past year, wandering fakirs nominally belonging to both the Hindu and the Mohammedan religions, who also were real seekers after God; whose spirits were chaste and humble ; who had long since eschewed idolatry and the harsh tenets of Islam, and were striving through nature to reach up to nature's God."—Geo. H. Pentecost, D.D.

Like these wise men, seeking a King and Saviour, so alchemists for ages dreamed, hoped, labored, to find:

First, "the Elixir Of Life,—panacea, all-cure,—a substance which confers quasi-immortality upon any one who should swallow it, curing all sickness, assuaging all pain, and transforming hoary age into blooming youth!"

Second, "The Philosopher's Stone, having the same purifying and ennobling office for mineral matter that the elixir of life would have on animal forms. By means of this substance they could effect the transmutation of base metals into perfect metals."

Prof. R. C. Kedzie.

Third, The Fountain Of Youth, to seek which the early explorers of America sailed over the ocean. In search of this fountain

B.C. 4.

Jan. and Fib.

3. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

Ponce de Leon set out from Porto Rico in March, 1512, thinking that it was in Bimini, an imaginary island in the Bahamas. This expedition resulted in the discovery of Florida.

They all searched in vain. But the Star of Bethlehem leads every seeker to Christ, in whom is found the true Elixir of Life, the Philosopher's Stone, and the Fountain of immortality.

"Christ is wont to catch every man in the way of his own craft,— magians with a star, fishers with fish."—Chrysostom.

"We must look up to heaven to be guided rightly on earth, as ships are guided on the ocean by the stars."

"As the morning star rises without noise, as the seed shoots up and the flower opens in silence, so was it with Christ, the Rose of Sharon, the bright and Morning Star."

"The coming of Jesus is the centre of the world's history, as the star Alcyone in the Pleiades is regarded by many astronomers as the centre of the visible universe, around which all stars and constellations are circling in majestic procession."

Our Stars In The East.—There are many things which become "stars in the East" to lead us to Christ: (1) The star of science, the knowledge of God's works. (2) The star of yearning for more light; Goethe's dying cry, " More light," is the cry of the soul. (3) The need of forgiveness and reconciliation to God. (4) The need of help in trouble. (5) The hunger of the heart for Jove. (6) The star of experience of what God has already done for us. (7) The star of hope—for the redemption of the world.

Library.—Whittier's poems, " The Star of Bethlehem's " help to a missionary in Persia from the flower by that name.

B.C. 4.

Jan. and Fib.

4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be Uorn.

5. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet.

6. And thou, Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel

7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found Aim, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9. When they had heard the king, they departed ; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, t il it came and stood over whete the young child was.

10. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened theli treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

4. Herod Demanded.—The wise men came naturally to the capital to find this wonderful person; but found Herod and the leaders were bitterly opposed to the new king. But the very desire of Herod to destroy the new-born king was Ald the means of leading the wise men to the right place, Eatm\en and confirming them in the correctness of their search.

A cannon ball of the enemy, plunging into the ground at Sevastopol, opened a spring of water for the soldiers there. A block of granite, placed in the way for a stumbling-block, may become a step upward. The Jews' persecution of Paul was the means of his getting safely to Rome and preaching the gospel there.

6. And Thou, Bethlehem !—It is not the size of the place, but what is done in the place, that makes it glorious. No one cares to count the inhabitants of Waterloo, or measure the size of Bunyan's cell, in order to learn their value. Every place becomes great, if at all, in the same way that Bethlehem has become immortal.

Library.—Phillips Brooks' beautiful poem, " Oh, Little Town of Bethlehem!"

11. They Saw The Young Child With Mary His Mother. —"I once saw in a picture a representation of the scene of the Nativity. The mother sat with the infant Christ in her arms; the bend

13. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.


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ing forms of the worshipping wise men were seen at the right hand;

the star was blazing in the sky; the camels and beasts Picture.

** were about the tent. It was all done with exquisite skill

and powerful delineation; and yet I found that many other people besides myself turned back, as though not satisfied with the inspection they had given it. I stood a long time studying to find out what was the special and peculiar fascination of this picture, and discovered that every individual object in the picture was shaded as though the light had come from the babe in the mother's lap."-0. H. Tiffany. (Probably Correggio's “ La Notte.")

"Myrrh to a mortal, gold to a king, frankincense to God."

-Upham. “Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,

Odors of Edom and offerings divine ?
Gems of the mountains, and pearls of the ocean,

Myrrh from the forest, and gold from the mine?

Vainly we offer each ample oblation;

Vainly with gifts would His favor secure :
Richer by far is the heart's adoration ;
Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.”

-Reginald Heber.

“They gave to Thee Myrrh, frankincense, and gold ;

But, Lord, with what shall we

Present ourselves before Thy majesty,
Whom Thou redeem'st when we were sold ?
We've nothing but ourselves, and scarce that neither ;

Vile dirt and clay,
Yet it is soft, and may

Impression take.
Accept it, Lord, and say this,--Thou hadst rather

Stamp it, and on this sordid metal make
Thy holy image, and it shall outshine
The beauty of the golden mine." - Jeremy Taylor.

13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and 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.

"* What means this glory round our feet,'

The Magi mused, ' more bright than morn?'
And voices chanted, clear and sweet,

'To-day the Prince of Peace is born!'

"'What means that star,' the Shepherds said,
'That brightens through the rocky glen?'
And angels answering overhead,
Sang ' Peace on earth, good-will to men.'

"And they who do their souls no wrong,
But keep at eve the faith of morn.
Shall daily hear the angels' song,
'To-day the Prince of Peace is born.'"

James Russell Lowell.

PICTURes.— The Star in the East, Dore" (London). The Wise Men and the Star, Van Der Weyden (Berlin). The Adoration of the Magi, Paolo Veronese, Rubens, Durer, Tintoretto, Bernardino Luini, Gilandajo, Sir E. Burne Jones. "In Peruzzi's picture it is said that the magi are portraits of Titian, Raphael, and Michael Angelo." The Arrival of the Magi at Bethlehem, John Lafarge {Church of the Incarnation, New York). The Shrine of the Three Kings {Cologne Cathedral).

13. The Angel Of The Lord Appeareth.—" I believe that angels wait on us as truly as ever they waited on Abraham, or Jacob, or Moses, or Elijah, or Mary, or Jesus himself. The medieval painters were fond of filling the background of the Infancy with countless angels; the representation, though literally false, was morally true. I believe that angels are encamping around them that fear the Lord."—George Dana Boardman.

B.C. 4.



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