The twelve apostles



Three hundred years before the birth of the Lord Christ, there lived a mother who had twelve sons, but was so poor and needy that she no longer knew how she was to keep them alive at all. She prayed to God daily that he would grant that all her sons might be on the earth with the Redeemer who was promised. When her necessity became still greater she sent one of them after the other out into the world to seek bread for her. The eldest was called Peter, and he went out and had already walked a long way, a whole day's journey, when he came into a great forest. He sought for a way out, but could find none, and went farther and farther astray, and at the same time felt such great hunger that he could scarcely stand. At length he became so weak that he was forced to lie down, and he believed death to be at hand. Suddenly there stood beside him a small boy who shone with brightness, and was as beautiful and kind as an angel. The child smote his little hands together, until Peter was forced to look up and saw him. Then the child said, "Why art thou sitting there in such trouble?" - "Alas!" answered Peter, "I am going about the world seeking bread, that I may yet see the dear Saviour who is promised, that is my greatest desire." The child said, "Come with me, and thy wish shall be fulfilled." He took poor Peter by the hand, and led him between some cliffs to a great cavern. When they entered it, everything was shining with gold, silver, and crystal, and in the midst of it twelve cradles were standing side by side. Then said the little angel, "Lie down in the first, and sleep a while, I will rock thee." Peter did so, and the angel sang to him and rocked him until he was al seep. And when he was asleep, the second brother came also, guided thither by his guardian angel, and he was rocked to sleep like the first, and thus came the others, one after the other, until all twelve lay there sleeping in the golden cradles. They slept, however, three hundred years, until the night when the Saviour of the world was born. Then they awoke, and were with him on earth, and were called the twelve apostles.
在基督诞生前的三百年时,一位母亲生了十二个儿子。 可她是那样的贫困潦倒,不知如何来养活这些儿子。 她天天向上帝祈祷,请他施恩,让她所有的儿子能和那预言要降临人间的救世主在一起。 当她生活越来越窘困时,她就把儿子一个个从身边打发出去找活路。 老大叫彼得,他已出门走了一整天,走了很远的路,最后进入了一片大森林。 他想找一条出去的路,却再也找不着,反而越迷越深。 加之他非常饥饿,几乎都站不起来了,他实在太虚弱了,只得躺下来,并深信死神就在咫尺了。 突然从他身边冒出了个小男孩,浑身上下闪着光,像天使一样和善。 孩子拍了拍手,彼得只得抬起头望着他。 只听小孩问道:"你为什么这般绝望地坐在这里?""唉!"彼得答道,"我正四处流浪,想找条活路,希望能见到那即将降临人间的救世主,那也是我最大的心愿。"孩子说:"那就跟我来吧!你的愿望会满足的。"他拉着可怜的彼得的手,领着他穿过悬崖,来到一个山洞前。 他们走进了山洞,里面全是金银水晶,一切都在闪闪发光。 在洞的正中央有十二个摇蓝挨个儿排放着。 小天使说:"躺到第一个摇篮里睡一会儿,我会摇你入睡的。"彼得照做了,天使边唱歌边轻轻晃动他着,最后摇他进入了梦乡。 当他睡熟时,老二也被他的保护天使领来了,他也像哥哥一样被摇着进了梦乡;接着其他兄弟一个接着一个都来了,直到最后十二个兄弟都躺在金色的摇篮里睡着了。 他们睡啊,睡啊,一直到三百年后的最后一个晚上,救世主降临了,那时他们醒了,最终和救世主在一起,成了人们所说的耶稣的十二门徒。

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