By him it is subjected to some process for
rendering it efficacious against the schemes of our ghostly enemy.
The manufacture is then complete, and is deemed to be fit for use.
The village of Bethlehem lies prettily couched on the slope of a
hill. The sanctuary is a subterranean grotto, and is committed to
the joint-guardianship of the Romans, Greeks, and Armenians, who
vie with each other in adorning it. Beneath an altar gorgeously
decorated, and lit with everlasting fires, there stands the low
slab of stone which marks the holy site of the Nativity; and near
to this is a hollow scooped out of the living rock. Here the
infant Jesus was laid. Near the spot of the Nativity is the rock
against which the Blessed Virgin was leaning when she presented her
babe to the adoring shepherds.
Many of those Protestants who are accustomed to despise tradition
consider that this sanctuary is altogether unscriptural, that a
grotto is not a stable, and that mangers are made of wood. It is
perfectly true, however, that the many grottos and caves which are
found among the rocks of Judea were formerly used for the reception