Christmas Carols, Ancient And Modern

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city. On the death of Jacob, Joseph paid them away to the royal treasury of Sheba, for spices to embalm him. The celebrated Queen of Sheba, in after times, gave them to King Solomon with many other presents. In the time of Rehoboam, when the temple was spoiled by the King of Egypt, the King of Arabia accompanied him, and received these pieces of money in his share of the plunder. In this kingdom they remained until the time of Melchior, who, as we have before seen, offered them to our Saviour.
Their history after the presentation to Christ, is not less singular. On the flight into Egypt, they were lost by the Virgin Mary, and found by a shepherd, who preserved them for many years, when, being afflicted by some disease incurable by mortal aid alone, he applied to our Saviour, who healed him, and he then made his oblation at the altar of these thirty pence. They were subse­quently paid by the priests to Judas in reward for his perfidy, and when he, smitten with remorse, returned them and hung himself, the chief priests applied fifteen of them for the purchase of the pot­ter's field, and with the remaining fifteen they bribed the soldiers who guarded the sepulchre to say that the disciples came by night and stole the body of our Saviour. After this they were dis­persed, and all traces of them lost. They were made of the purest gold, the term pieces of silver made use of in some parts of the Scripture in re­ference to them, being merely a common or generic name for money, as the word argent is now some­times used in France. On one side was a king's head crowned, and on the other some unintelligible Chaldaic characters; they were said to have been of the value of three florins each.
The three kings were baptized in their old age

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