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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.

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MATTHEW OF WESTMINSTER
The flowers of history, especially such as relate to the affairs of Britain. Vol. I. B.C. 4004 to A.D. 1066.
page 127



According to others, with his Passion, because then the door was opened, and the seventh glory of those at rest began. Therefore, Christ put off his Advent to the sixth age, in order that the length of time might not destroy the fulness of the new law. For if he had come before, perhaps the length of time would have effaced all the precepts of the new law. Moreover, it was becoming that he who had made man on the sixth day, should bring him to the fulness of the law in the sixth age of the worm, and as the world was now growing old, should refresh it by his new arrival. As shepherds, at a distance of one mile from Bethlehem, were keeping the watches of the night, in attendance upon their flocks, behold ! an angel of the Lord stood near them, announcing that a Saviour had been born in Bethlehem, and as a sign of it, he told them that the child was placed in t manger. For it was a custom from old time among the Gentiles, at each solstice, to keep the watches of the night, on account of their veneration for the sun ; and this custom had probably obtained among the Jews, from the practice of those with whom they dwelt. And when the angel departed, there appeared a multitude of spirits, saying, " Glory to God in the highest," &c. Very deservedly, at the birth of the Lord, is the Song of Peace heard from the angels, because by His birth peace was made between God and man, between angel and man, and between Jew and Gentile. Therefore, the shepherds going to Bethlehem, found there the Great Shepherd in the manger, and related what they had heard and seen. But Mary kept all these things in her heart. And although Christ was thought the son of Joseph, still his generation was in this manner. For the first creation of a human being was out of the earth ; the second out of the aide of the man ; the third from man and woman ; and this one from woman and the Holy Ghost, without a man. And on the eighth day, Christ was circumcised, and his prepuce is said to have been brought down by an angel, in the time of Charlemagne, to the temple of the Lord at Jerusalem, and by him to have been transferred to Aix la Chapelle, and afterwards to have been placed by Charles the Bald in the Church of the Saviour, at Carosium, and to have been reverently honoured in that Church.


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