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Thy voice is heard, and anguish dies,
The dead awake, and greet the skies !
Lo! blindness melts in healing rays,
And mute lips ope in hymns of praise ;
The famished on Thy bounty feed,
While myriads at Thy summons speed,
To live upon salvation's strain,
And see the lost restored again.
Peace on earth! to man good will!
Let the skies our anthem fill.

Not unworthily writes Dean Milman of

THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST. For thou wert born of woman! Thou didst come, O Holiest, to this world of sin and gloom, Not in Thy dread omnipotent array ;

And not by thunders strew'd

Was Thy tempestuous road;
Nor indignation burned before Thee on Thy way.

But Thee a soft and naked child,
Thy mother undefiled,
In the rude manger laid to rest

From off her virgin breast.
The heavens were not commanded to prepare
A gorgeous canopy of golden air:
Nor stoop'd their lamps th' enthronèd fires on high :

A single silent star

Came wandering from afar,
Gliding uncheck'd and calm along the liquid sky;

The Eastern sages leading on,
As at a kingly throne,
To lay their gold and odours sweet
Before Thy infant feet,

The earth and ocean were not hushed to hear
Bright harmony from every starry sphere ;
Nor at Thy presence broke the voice of song

From all the cherub choirs

And seraph's burning lyres
Pour'd through the host of Heaven the charmed

clouds along.
One angel troop the strain began,
Of all the race of man,
By simple shepherds heard alone,
That soft Hosanna tone.

Well would it be for us all, if lyrics like Bishop Heber's musical stanzas on “ The Shepherds Adoring," might be sung with heart and soul in every English home on Christmas Day :Brightest and best of the sons of the morning,

Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid ! Star of the East, the horizon adorning,

Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid !

Cold on His cradle the dewdrops are shining,

Low lies His head with the beasts of the stall ! Angels adore Him in slumber reclining,

Maker, and Monarch, and Saviour of all !

Say, shall we yield Him, in costly devotion,

Odours of Edom, and offerings divine,
Gems of the mountain, 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 favour secure ; Richer by far is the heart's adoration,

Dearer to God are the prayers of the poor.

Brightest and best of the sons of the morning !

Dawn on our darkness, and lend us Thine aid ! Star of the East, the horizon adorning,

Guide where our infant Redeemer is laid.

Many a soul that has been tempest-tossed and almost shipwrecked, and has found after all a safe harbour, finds its joyful experience truthfully and earnestly described in Kirke White's Christmas

verses :

THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM. When, marshalld on the nightly plain,

The glittering hosts bestud the sky; One star alone of all the train

Can fix the sinner's wandering eye. Hark! hark! to God the chorus breaks

From every host, from every gem; But one alone the Saviour speaks,

It is the star of Bethlehem.

Once on the raging seas I rode,

The storm was loud, the night was dark, The ocean yawn'd, and rudely blow'd

The wind that toss'd my foundering bark: Deep horror then my vitals froze,

Death-struck, I ceased the tide to stem,
When suddenly a star arose,

It was the star of Bethlehem.
It was my guide, my light, my all ;

It bade my dark forebodings cease;
And through the storm and danger's thral
It led me to the




Now safely moor’d, my perils o’er,

I'll sing first in night's diadem,
For ever, and for evermore,

The star, the star of Bethlehem !

Alfred Tennyson has struck few, but stirring, notes for Christmas :

The time draws near the birth of Christ:

The moon is hid; the night is still ;

The Christmas bells from hill to hill Answer each other in the mist.


Four voices of four hamlets round,

From far and near, on mead and moor,

Swell out and fail, as if a door Were shut between me and the sound. Each voice four changes on the wind,

That now dilate and now decrease,

Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,
Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.
Rise happy morn! rise, holy morn!

Draw forth the cheerful day from night:

O Father! touch the east, and light
The light that shone when hope was born.

Archbishop Trench teaches us well what should be the true spirit of our Christmas offerings in LINES SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF THE


pomp or earthly state
On the Saviour's way might wait;

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Few the homages, and small,
That the guilty earth at all
Was permitted to accord
To her King and hidden Lord.
Therefore do we set more store
On those few, and prize them more:
Dear to us for this account
Is the glory of the Mount,
When bright beams of light did spring
Thro' the sackcloth covering,
Rays of glory found their way
Thro' the garment of decay,
With which, as with a cloak, He had
His divinest splendour clad;
Dear the precious ointment shed
On His feet, and on His head;
And the high-raised hope sublime,
And the triumph of the time
When thro’ Zion's streets the way
Of her peaceful Conqueror lay,
Who, fulfilling ancient fame,
Meek, and with salvation came.
But of all this scanty state,
That upon His steps might wait,
Dearest are those Magian Kings
With their far-brought offerings.
From what region of the morn
Are ye come thus travel-worn;
With those boxes pearl-embost,
Caskets rare, and gifts of cost ?

swarth attendants wait
At the stable's outer gate,
And the camels lift their head
High above the lowly shed;
Or are seen a long-drawn train
Winding down into the plain,

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