‘How shall we speak to one who is a child in the cradle?’ He 1 said, ‘Verily I am God's servant: He hath brought Me the Book 2 and hath made Me a Prophet. And He hath made Me blessed where-ever I am, and hath prescribed for Me prayer and alms, as long as I live, and to be well-behaved to My mother, and He hath not made Me violent, wretched. And peace upon Me the day I was born, and the day I shall die, and the day I shall be raised up alive.’ That is Jesus, Son of Mary; a statement of the truth, concerning which they doubt."

We can trace every single matter here mentioned to some apocryphal source, as will be evident from the passages which we now proceed to adduce.

In the Protevangelium of James the Less 3,in reference to Mary's birth, we read:

And having gazed fixedly into the sky Anna 4 saw a nest of sparrows in the hay-tree, and she made lamentation in herself, saying, ‘Woe is me! woe is me who hath begotten me ... Woe is me! to what am I likened? I am not likened to the birds of the air, for even the birds of the air are productive in thy sight, O Lord.’ ... And lo! an angel of the Lord stood by, saying unto her, ‘Anna! Anna! the Lord God hath hearkened unto thy petition; thou shalt conceive and shalt bear,

1 Jesus.
2 The Gospel.
3 Protevangelium Iacobi Minoris, capp. 3, 4, 5.
4 So in Muhammadan Tradition, as we have seen, Mary's mother is named Hanna.

and thy seed shall he spoken of in all the world.’ But Anna said, ‘As the Lord my God liveth, if I bear either male or female. I shall offer it as a gift unto the Lord my God, and it shall continue to do Him service all the days of its life.’ ... But her months were fulfilled, and in the ninth month Anna brought forth. ... And she gave breast to the child and called her Mary."

The tale then proceeds to tell how, when the child was old enough to leave her mother, she was taken to the Temple at Jerusalem by Anna, according to her vow. It then continues:—

"The 1 priest accepted her and kissed and blessed her and said, ‘The Lord God hath magnified thy name amid all the generations of the earth: upon thee at the end of the days shall the Lord God manifest the redemption of the Children of Israel.’ ... But Mary was like a dove reared in the Lord's shrine ὲν τω ναω Κυρίου, and she was wont to receive food from an angel's hand. But when she became twelve years of age, there was held a council of the priests, who said, ‘Lo! Mary hath become twelve years old in the shrine of the Lord, what therefore are we to do with her?’ ... And lo! an angel of the Lord stood by him, saying, ‘Zacharias Zacharias! go forth and call together the widowers of the people, and let them bring each a rod, and to whomsoever the Lord God shall show a sign, his wife shall she be.’ And the heralds

1 Op. cit., capp. 7, 8, 9, 11.