The first Gospel of the INFANCY of JESUS CHRIST.
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[Mr. Henry Sike, Professor of Oriental Languages at Cambridge, first translated and published this Gospel in 1697. It was received by the Gnostics, a sect of Christians in the second century, and several of its relations were credited in the following ages by other Christians, viz., Eusebius, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Chrysostom, &c. Sozomen says, he was told by many, and he credits the relations, of the idols in Egypt falling down on Joseph, and Mary's flight thither with Christ; and of Christ making a well to wash his clothes in a sycamore tree, from whence balsam afterwards proceeded. These stories are from this Gospel. Chemnitlus out of Stipulensis, who had it from Peter Martyr, Bishop of Alexandria, in the third century, says, that the place in Egypt where Christ was banished is now called Matarea, about ten miles beyond Cairo; that the inhabitants constantly burn a lamp in remembrance of it; and that there is a garden of trees yielding a balsam, which were planted by Christ when a boy. M. La Crosse cites a synod at Angamala, in the mountains of Malabar, A.D. 1599, which condemns this Gospel as commonly read by the Nestorians in that country. Ahmed Ibn Idris, a Mahometan divine, says, it was used by some Christians in common with the other four Gospels; and Ocobius de Castro mentions a Gospel of Thomas, which he says, he saw and had translated to him by an Armenian Archbishop at Amsterdam, that was read in very many churches of Asia and Africa, as the only rule of their faith. Fabricius takes it to be this Gospel. It has been supposed, that Mahomet and his coadjutors used it in compiling the Koran. There are several stories believed of Christ proceeding from this Gospel; as that which Mr. Sike relates out of La Brosse's Persic Lexicon, that Christ practised the trade of a dyer, and his working a miracle with the colours; from whence the Persian dyers honour him as their patron, and call a dye-house the shop of Christ. Sir John Chardin mentions Persian legends concerning Christ's dispute with his schoolmaster about his A B C; and his lengthening the cedar-board which Joseph sawed too short.]


(William Wake and Solomon Caesar Malan version)



1. 1  
THE following accounts we found in the book of Joseph the high-priest, called by some Caiaphas
1. 2  
He relates, that Jesus spake even when he was in the cradle, and said to his mother:
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Mary, I am Jesus the Son of God, that word which thou didst bring forth according to the declaration of the angel Gabriel to thee, and my father hath sent me for the salvation of the world.
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In the three hundred and ninth year of the aera of Alexander, Augustus published a decree that all persons should go to be taxed in their own country.
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Joseph therefore arose, and with Mary his spouse he went to Jerusalem, and then came to Bethlehem, that he and his family might be taxed in the city of his fathers.
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And when they came by the cave, Mary confessed to Joseph that her time of bringing forth was come, and she could not go on to the city, and said, Let us go into this cave.
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At that time the sun was very near going down.
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But Joseph hastened away, that he might fetch her a midwife; and when he saw an old Hebrew woman who was of Jerusalem, he said to her, Pray come hither, good woman, and go into that cave, and you will there see a woman just ready to bring forth.
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It was after sunset, when the old woman and Joseph with her reached the cave, and they both went into it.
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And behold, it was all filled with lights, greater than the light of lamps and candles, and greater than the light of the sun itself.
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The infant was then wrapped up in swaddling clothes, and sucking the breasts of his mother St. Mary.
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When they both saw this light, they were surprised; the old woman asked St. Mary, Art thou the mother of this child?
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St. Mary replied, She was.
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On which the old woman said, Thou art very different from all other women.
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St. Mary answered, As there is not any child like to my son, so neither is there any woman like to his mother.
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The old woman answered, and said, O my Lady, I am come hither that I may obtain an everlasting reward.
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Then our Lady, St. Mary, said to her, Lay thine hands upon the infant; which, when she had done, she became whole.
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And as she was going forth, she said, From henceforth, all the days of my life, I will attend upon and be a servant of this infant.
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After this, when the shepherds came, and had made a fire, and they were exceedingly rejoicing, the heavenly host appeared to them, praising and adoring the supreme God.
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And as the shepherds were engaged in the same employment, the cave at that time seemed like a glorious temple, because both the tongues of angels and men united to adore and magnify God, on account of the birth of the Lord Christ.
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But when the old Hebrew woman saw all these evident miracles, she gave praises to God, and said, I thank thee, O God, thou God of Israel, for that mine eyes have seen the birth of the Saviour of the world.


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