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r WAR IN SOUTH AFRICA. 'J;-

FIELD OF THE BETHLEHEM SHEPHERDS.

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FIELD OF THE BETHLEHEM SHEPHERDS. A precipitous descent by a rugged, and crooked path eonduct.. from the church to the valley below, litre we meet with a s:nall well-cultivated plain. This is known as the Field of Boaz. It is quite pos- sible that it belonged to him. Further on is the Grottoofthe phephgrds. It is fitu^t^d)a,thet;iiidst of a group of olive trees. A tower formerly stood here. Since the year 670 A.D. tradition has it that this was the spot where While shepherds watch'd their flocks by night, Ail seated on the ground. The angelof the Lord came down, And glory shone around. j: The Empress Helena built a church here. Its re- mains still exist. Be this the precise spot or not, it was somewhere hereabout the watchful sliepherdfi were when they had "glad tidings of great joy" brought to them by the angelic iiie-en-er and here they beard the minstrelsy of angel voiceshymning in sweet rapture their joyous anthåclll". "Gloria in Excelcis." Happy shepherds they, thus. privileged alone among men to hear the heavenly song of the celestial choir t It was praise to God Most High for devising a loving plan for the redemption and re- covery of fallen and lost man. Throughout eternity will they joim in the hallelujahs of men fedeemed and saved, which will without ceasing be presented in adoring homage to the- Lamb Who has re- deemed us to God by His blood." To secure which He, the Almighty God, became, man, took man's nature, and was born in Bethlehem's manger. The good shepherds hastened from the valley below, up the steep hillside they mounted, and, having come to the cave belonging to the khan in the city, "they found Joseph and Mary, and the Babe lying in a manger." The good news they could not selfishly retain to themselves. They "made known the saying that was told them concerning this Child." They became tbe first Gospel preachers. It was in this locality the gentle, loving Ruth r gleaned, and met with the generous and thoughtful Boaz. He became her husband, and thus she was the ancestress of the promised Messiah. And over these fields and hills around oft roamfcd the valiant and youthful David as he tended his father's flock, and in defence thereof once slew a lion and a bear, which bold deeds gave him courage to do battle with the blaspheming Goliath. The prophet Samuel, too, was no stranger to this neigh- bourhood. From the roof of the native school at Bethlehem a grand and extensive view is obtained. We look down upon the vast plain where shepherds watched their flock and upon surrounding hills marked with ancient terraces once fruitful in vines and olives. Beyond uprises the Frank Mountain with Herod's vast building on its summit, and away to the east the towering range of Moab, with Kerak perched near the top and quite distinct to naked eye, as also were the clefts ill the mountain's sides and the valleys. Ere descending, a thought fills the mind: Why that lowly Birth we commemorate at Christmas ?" It was that all who are united by living faith to Him Who here was born may be exalted to everlasting glory. His infant cry was uttered, and later on His cry of agony, that we might in time cry aloud in joyous rapture and song of praise. And as Christ- mas season is one for presenting gifts, what better gift can we offer to the Father above Who gave to us His best, the Son of His love, than that He asks for ? I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies & living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service (Rom. xii. 1).-I?ev. Dr. Preston, in Quiver Christmas Number.

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