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and tell them that the Saviour, God's own Son, was soon to come and teach them himself; and he was, for a reason which I shall explain in another story, called John the Baptist.

Now don't you think this story very wonderful ? I hope you will never forget it; - all the stories in the Bible are written for our use; therefore, whenever we hear or read one, we should think, “What am I to “ learn by this ?" I will now tell you two things which the one you have just heard should teach us :—first, we must believe all that God says :- it is true that no angels are sent to us now from Heaven with messages from God, but we may read in the Bible what He tells us, and we must believe all we read in the Bible, for that is God's book; must believe Him when he says, that He

we

will love those that love Him;" and we must try to love Him:- we must believe Him when he says, He will bless good people and punish the bad; and we must try to be good. The second thing you may learn from this story is, to employ your “youngest breath”in praising God; - seek God while you are young. The first thing that Zacharias did, when his speech was restored, was to praise God. Let the first thing you do be to praise God also. You will find it a much easier thing to serve Him throughout your life, if you begin now, than if you were to put it off till you are old, which you may never live to be, and then the time would be lost for

ever.

“ Remember thy Creator in the days “ of thy youth." - Ecclesiastes, xii. 1.

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II.

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST.

The birth of John, the miraculous child of Zacharias, was only the forerunner of the more miraculous birth of a far greater person,

the birth of Jesus CHRIST—the Son of God! The Saviour of the world! Your Saviour, and my Saviour !

You will perhaps ask why our Lord and Saviour should have pleased to take upon

Him our human nature, with all its pains and infirmities.

We are told in the Bible, that “ CHRIST JESUS came into the world “! to save sinners,” by suffering death,

in order that they might be pardoned: and He graciously deigned to pass through all the scenes of life, from the cradle to the grave, that He might give us, at each step, a lively example of what our behaviour ought to be in every situation of life, knowing that His instructions would be best recommended by such an example, from one who was, to all appearance, a man like the rest of mankind.

It is the chief object of these stories, to apply to your use, my dear children, the example thus given by some of the most remarkable passages of our Saviour's holy life.

It was six months after the angel Gabriel left Zacharias, that he again came to earth on another message from God to man.

This time he was sent to a young

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virgin of the name of Mary, a cousin of Elizabeth's, and who, though now in humble life, was of the house of King David, from one of whose descendants it had been foretold, in ancient prophecies, that the Saviour was to be born. Mary led a quiet and holy life in the city of Nazareth, and was betrothed to Joseph, a carpenter, who was, like her, very good, but he had not yet taken her to be his wife.

Mary was alone when the angel came to her, and was startled by his appearance and words; for, on his entrance, he said, “ Hail! I

give you joy! you are highly favoured by “ God,- no woman was ever so blessed " as you.” Now Mary did not understand what he meant, and began to consider how it was that she was so blessed ; so the angel then told her

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