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six miles from Jerusalem, it was easy for him to send after them; and probably it was the very night of their arrival that God revealed His will unto them, as unto Joseph, in a dream, warning them not to return to Herod; and in obedience to His word, they at once departed to their country another way. It is written of old men that they "shall dream dreams ;" so that we may suppose these wise men to have been advanced in years, and so, like Simeon, having seen the Lord's Christ, they might each say unto God in the gladness of their hearts, "Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation." There is, however, a tradition that they were afterwards baptised in Persia by St. Thomas the Apostle, and became themselves preachers of the Gospel, suffering martyrdom at the last in a city of Arabia. The Chaldean Christians have a tradition that the wise men preached in their country; and one of them is called by some writers Chesad, or the Chaldean; but all this is without authority. The only reason I know of for fixing the number of them to three is, that in the gospel three sorts of presents are mentioned as brought by them; and many ancient writers have agreed in supposing that there were only three. Their bodies are said to have been removed to Constantinople under the first Christian emperors, and from thence to Milan; from which place the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, having taken the city, caused them to be removed, in the twelfth century, to Cologne, in Germany, where their

supposed remains now lie in the splendid cathedral, of which you have perhaps heard. It is on this account that they are often called on the continent the three Kings of Cologne, whose names are supposed to have been Melchior, Balthazar, and Caspar.

I need not remind you that much of this must be mere conjecture; and it is enough for us to know what St. Matthew has told us concerning them; and while we dwell upon the lowly and child-like character of all who gathered round the Babe of Bethlehem, to seek that our faith and our obedience may be like theirs, and that our wisdom also may be not the wisdom of this world, which is foolishness with God, but that heavenly wisdom which God giveth unto those that ask Him, and of which it is written, " with the lowly is wisdom."



Oh, brightly shone the star
That guided from afar
The wise yet lowly-hearted!
Hailing its new-born ray,
Like faithful Abram, they,
Not knowing where, departed.

We know not if by night
They travelled in the light
Before them gently gliding;
Like pilgrim Israel bow'd
Beneath the tarrying cloud
From morn to eve abiding.

But soon as o'er their head
The starry light was shed,
They struck their tent and speeded,
While deepening shadows lay
On all beside their way,
By pilgrim hearts unheeded.

(So we in this world's night
By faith and not by sight,
The heavenward path pursuing,
Our vigil call'd to keep,
While all around us sleep,
Press on, our strength renewing.)

To Salem's city brought,
The new-born King they sought,
For there His star was shrouded,
As though to tell how there
The Light that rose so fair
Should yet a while be clouded.

(Oh, darkness of noontide Around the Crucified, The stoutest heart appalling!

E'en then the murderous thought In Herod's heart was wrought, Soon on His birthplace falling!)


But they who from their home
In the far East had come,
Reckless of toil or danger,

Found Him they sought, unknown
To Herod on the throne,

In His own land a stranger!

They met no festal throng, Heard no Hosanna song Of Judah's gladness telling; But thence (His birthplace learn'd) To Bethlehem they turn'd To seek the young Child's dwelling.

As old traditions tell,
They tarried by a well,
To miss the star dejected;
When, lo, upon its face
With grateful joy they trace
The well-known light reflected!

Gently it pass'd before,
Until it rested o'er
One lowly habitation,

Where Mary's arms upheld
Him whom they now beheld,
Each true heart's consolation.

Judea did not bring

An offering to her King,
Nor bent the knee before Him;
But of their best they gave,
Who hail'd Him, born to save,

And hasted to adore Him.

Conceal'd in lowliest guise
From all but lowly eyes;

By terrors unattended;

Truth, righteousness, and grief,
Yearning for our relief,

In Him divinely blended!

The threefold gifts they brought A threefold mystery taught,Gold, of the King declaring; While frankincense confess'd His Godhead; myrrh express'd The Man our sorrows bearing.

How doth the bitter-sweet, For sinless sufferer meet, To fallen man endear Thee! Most blessed One, for us Humbled and emptied thus, Teach us to love and fear Thee!

And though we cannot bring An offering to our King, (Nor gold nor spice possessing); Yet on our bended knee

Our hearts we offer Thee,

And humbly crave Thy blessing.

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