shepherds. These flocks were those specially selected for sacrifice in the Temple at Jerusalem, at the great Passover season, and were kept in the fields all the year. The shepherds were specially appointed.
Some time during that winter night the shepherds were dazzled by a light more brilliant than the stars, and roused by voices not of earth. The Christ, whose future sacrifice their flocks were to symbolize, was born; and the angels were singing the good tidings. These shepherds were the first to hear and to spread the marvelous news.
Because of the event the angels were heralding, men have built the great Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and, indeed, all the great Christian churches and cathedrals of the world. It is because of this that people from every country in Europe and America will join the throng of native Christians in the “City of the Nativity,” and rejoice in memory of the angels’ song. It is because of this that there is to-day so much of “peace on earth” and “good-will toward men.”
And now we return in time to see the procession of bishops, priests, and people IBat is forming in the square in front of the church. Each is dressed in his most gorgeous robes. Turkish soldiers line both sides of the street to keep the way open for the procession to pass. The Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has just arrived. The procession of priests, carrying banners and immense candles, meets him, then turns, and all go into the Latin chapel through the main entrance. Following, we are surprised to find the main entrance so small. It can admit but one at a time, and that one must stoop to enter. From the masonry it can be seen that the entrance was once much larger. The reason for the change was that the Mohammedans at one time did all in their power to injure and annoy the Christians, and even
INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF THE NATIVITY
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