to rejoice over a child born in this solitary place?
Yet there were some, friends of the child and of the child's mother, who welcomed its birth with great rejoicing. It may be that when Mary was laying Him upon His first hard earthly resting-place, there was, not far off, such a sight as never before was seen on earth. On the hilly slopes about Bethlehem were flocks of sheep that, day and night, cropped the grass, watched by shepherds, just as, so long before, young David, in the same place, had watched his father's sheep. These shepherds were devout men, who sang, we may easily believe, the songs which the shepherd David had taught them; and now, in the night-time, on the quiet slopes, as they kept guard over their flocks, out of the darkness appeared a heavenly visitor: whence he came they knew not, but round about him was a brightness which they knew could be no other than the brightness of His presence which God cast about His messengers. Great fear fell upon them--for who of mortals could stand befor