Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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each. In one of them was placed a piece of gold, in the second incense, and in the third myrrh.
The legend of the three kings is supposed to have been taken from the 10th verse of the 72nd Psalm, a psalm wherein Solomon's reign is considered as a type of Christ's.—" The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Saba shall offer gifts;" or, as the Bee Hive of the Romish Church* states it, "Kings shall come out of the Moore's land to worshippe Christ."
Oliver, " On Initiation," (p. 92-3.) citing Hyde, " Rel. vet. Pers." states, that " the initiated in the religious mysteries of Persia are said to have had communicated to them as the last great secret, the important prophecy of Zeradusht, or Zoroaster, with which his early instruction under Daniel had ac­quainted him, that in future times a prophet should appear, the son of a pure virgin, whose advent should be proclaimed by a brilliant star shining with celestial brightness at noon-day. The candi­dates were enjoined to follow this star, if it should appear in their time, until they found the new-born babe, to whom they were to offer rich gifts, and prostrate themselves as to the Creator."
Without, however, entering into the authenticity of this prophecy, it has been supposed that the celebrated prophecy of Balaam-j- made a deep im­pression on the surrounding nations, and being handed down through successive generations, pre­pared the way for the appearance of the star which
* London, 1623, 8vo. p. 193.
f " I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth."—Numbers, xxiv. 17, and see note on the subject in Toumsend's Arrangement of the Old Testament.

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III