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CHAPTER I.

THE LAND OF CANAAN.

Palestine-Fruits and flowers of Palestine-River Jordan-Sea of Galilee-Names of Palestine—Animals of Palestine-Language of PalestineHymns,

5 CHAPTER II.

THE ANNUNCIATION. Nazareth—Gabriel's visit to Mary-Mary's surprise—Something about mysteries Gabriel's visit to Elizabeth—Mary's song,

12 CHAPTER III.

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST.

Judea—Bethlehem—Events which occurred at Bethlehem— Appearance of Bethlehem—The taxing—Expectation of the Jews—Belief of a few—Journey to Bethlehem—Fulfilment of Prophecy—Inns of Palestine-Birthplace of Jesus-Cradle song,

17 CHAPTER IV.

THE VISIT OF THE SHEPHERDS.

The shepherds—Shepherds guarding their flocks—The angel messengerWords of the angel—The choir of angels—The shepherds' entrance into the town—Jesus to be a sufferer-Departure of the shepherds—Hymns,

23

CHAPTER V.

THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE.

Circumcision and presentation in the temple—The name of Jesus—Custom of the Jews-Offering brought-Simeon's visit to the temple-Blessing of Simeon--- Anna rejoicing to see Jesus—Simeon in heaven-Kindness to children-
Hymn,

THE

MORNING STAR.

CHAPTER I.

THE LAND OF CANAAN.

BETWEEN three and four thousand miles from the United States lies Palestine, a country dear to every Christian heart, from its hallowed associations. Its climate is mild and sunny, and its inhabitants have no winter like that in our northern States. Occasion. ally snow falls, but the ground is never frozen. Dur. ing that season of the year which is the coldest with us, it rains almost constantly, and thunder and lightning are frequent. In summer the heat is not oppressive, except when the sirocco, or the south wind blows, and then, as Luke says, “When ye see the south wind blow, ye say there will be heat; and it cometh to pass.” Luke 12:55

There grow the olive-trees, surpassing those seen anywhere else; large tracts of ground are covered by fig-trees alone, and the vineyards of grapes are exceedingly fine and beautiful. The stately cypress is only found where cultivated, but the strawberry-tree, the juniper, the pine, the laurel, and sycamore, grow spontaneously. In some parts of Palestine, there are orchards of orange and lemon trees, most beautiful and sweet, with flowers and fruit on them at the same time. As early as March, apricots, apples, and pears, are in bloom; in April, the purple pomegranate and pure white myrtle delight the eye. In a journey of a few days, following the course of the river Jordan, you inay see the palin, cypress, pine, and fir trees, oranges, citrons, olives, figs, grapes, everlastings, and a great variety of fruits and vegetables, tulips, hyacinths, the narcissus, and anemone, which elsewhere lie hundreds of miles apart. What a lovely country, a perfect garden, you will say; and how charining it would be to live there. But when you know all about Palestine, you will like perhaps as well your own American hoine.

Although the country is so rich and fertile by nature, that in the Old Testament it is called a land

“flowing with milk and honey,” Deut. 26:9, and still presents so many scenes of beauty, many parts of it are now desolate and laid waste. Even within a few miles of some of its villages, the inhabitants have no courage to till the land, for they are liable to sudden

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incursions from the Bedouins, or wild Arabs, who sometimes, in one night, destroy the produce of a year.

Palestine lies on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea; its extent is less than two hundred miles from north to south, and its breadth is less than one hundred miles. The most noted river of the country

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