Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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saye that it was the same childe that lay in the oxe stalle whiche appered to the kynges in the lykenesse of a sterre, and soo drewe theym and ledde theym soo to hym selfe in Bethleem. And therefore holy chirche syngeth and sayth, Jacebat in presepio et fulgebat in celo, he laye full lowe in the cratche and he shone full bryght aboue in heuen. But the comon sentence of the clerkes is, that it was a new sterre newely ordeyned of God to shewe the byrthe of Cryste. And anone as it had done the ofFyce that it was ordeyned for it tourned ayen to the mater that it come fro."
The history of the thirty pence, or pieces of gold, is curious, and shews the ingenuity with which some of these legends were dovetailed together. They were first coined by Terah, the father of Abraham, and taken by the latter with him when he left the land of the Chaldees. He afterwards paid them away to Ephron, with the purchase money for the field and cave of Machpelah. The Ismaelites then, according to one account, paid them back as the price of Joseph when sold by his brethren; but we may imagine them to have been returned for some other purpose, if we choose, as the money paid for Joseph was only twenty pieces, according to the usual version of the Scrip­tures. There is an old poem, however, by Adam Davie, who wrote about the year 1312, wherein it is said,
Ffor thritti pens thei sold that childe,
The seller highth Judas, IJjo Ruben com him and myssed him
Ffor ynow he was.*
However, the money was afterwards paid to Joseph by his brethren for corn during the scar-
* Warton's History of Poetry, 8vo. ii. 51.

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