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For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and fing unto thy Name. And again he faith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people. And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles, and laud him, all ye people. And again, Efaias faith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in him shall the Gentiles trust. Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Gospel. St. Luke xxi. 25.
and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption drawe:h nigh. And he spake to them a parable, Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your ownselves, that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye fee these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This genération shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled: heaven and earth shall pass away; but my words shall not pass away. .
The Third Sunday in Advent.
The Collect. O Lord Jesu Christ, who at thy first coming didft fend
The poruers of heaven, &c.] The whole of this paffage is in the bold figurative phraseology of Eastern prophecy, to denote that the Jewish rulers
, their temple, worship, and polity, would be overturned and destroyed, The powers of heaven are the heavenly bodies; fun, moon, and stars.
Redemption draweth nigh As the most bitter enemics of the Christians were the Jews, so their destruction relieved the former from one terrible species of persecution.
Grant that the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries may likewise so prepare and make ready thy way, by turning the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, that at thy second coming to judge the world, we may be found an acceptable people in thy sight, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever onc God, world without end. Amen.
The Epifle. i Cor. iv, I.
Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover,
it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very sınall thing, that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not Inine ownself. For I know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified; but he that judgeth me, is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.
The Gospel. St. Matt. xi, 2.
of Chrilt, he sent two of his disciples, and said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew
The Colleft] This collect, for success upon the labours of the ministry, was composed and introduced at Charles the Ild's review, in lieu of the following short and general prayer: “Lord, we befeech thee give ear to our prayers, and by thy gracious visitation lighten the darkness of our heart, by our Lord Jesus Christ.” The epistles and gospels for these three Sundays are highly appropriate, and were appointed to them from very great antiquity. The introit for this Sunday was the 4th pfalm.
For I know nothing, &c.] For I am conscious to myself of nothing evil: Nihil mihi confcius sum.-Vulgate; Erasmus ; Grotius. Yet I do not reit my vindication on this, but on the judgment of God at “the latter day."
That should come] That is, the Messiah, whole coming had been foretold, Zac. ix. 9. This was not an expresjon of unbelief in the Messiahfhip of Jesus, but an expostulation. John, who entertained the fame erroneous opinions of the princely character of Christ, and of his being a great temporal deliverer of the Jewish people, with the disciples, and his country. men in general; John, I say, under these impressions, was astonished that Melliahthould negle&t his forerunner, (Dan. ix. 25) and suffer him to Anguitb in prison, and be fubject to the capricious cruelty of a tyrant.
John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their fight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and
the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to fee? A reed shaken with the wind? But
for to see? A man clothed in soft rai. ment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. "For this is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
what went ye
The Fourth Sunday in Advent.
The Colleet. O (
among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas through our fins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindred in running the race that is ser before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us, through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen. The Epistle. Phil. iv. 4.
Re. joice. Let your moderation be known unto all Shall not be offended in me] That is, to whom my humble appearance 20d do&rines shall not be a cause of offending, or falling off from a belief in the gospel.
The Collect] This prayer for grace and assistance in our Christian cause is compiled, for the most part, from the Euchologion, or service of the Greek church. It occurs in Edward's and James's prayer-books, differing in arrangement a little from the present form. At the review in Charles Ild's reign, 11 was settled as it now stands, and the words “ through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord,” added. The introitus for this Sunday was the sth pfalm.
Moderation) Rather meekness, clemency, and a disposition to forgiveBess; for such is the meaning of the Greek word.
men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requelts be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Gospel. St. John i. 19. THIS
"HIS is the record of John, when the Jews fent Priests
and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thon? And he confeffed, and denied not; but confeffed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, What then? Àrt thou Elias? And he faith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Efaias: And they which were sent, were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that Prophet ? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not. He it is who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose. These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The. NATIVITY of our LORD, or the Birth-Dar of
gotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at That prophet) Rather, a prophet. See chap. vii. 40, 41; “ Any one of the ancient prophets risen from the dead.”
Tlcre siandeth one among you] That is, there now dwells one amongst you, (namely Chrift) though he has not yet manifested himself publickly by his mighty works. Christmas-doy Though the celebration of Christ's birth be fixed for 4th of Dember, yet it seems to be generally agreed amongst the
this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, and the fame Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen. learned, that the real time of his manifestation in the fielh was about three months earlier, in the clote of September or the buginning of October.-The concepuon of John the Baptist was in jne, as is proved by the course of Abia, or Abijah, executing its office in the temple at that time; vide 1 Chron. xxiv. 10. Now John was lix months older than Charut. See Luke i. 36; comparing this 36th verfe with the preceding 26th, it appears that the fixth month of John's age is his mother's womb was the iame fixth month in which the angel Gabrid appeared e the Vögin Mary, and in which the conceived Jetus Christ. Hence it follows, that as John was conceived in June, and Christ in December, he mult have been born about the latter end of September, or beginning of Odrober. See Peli. Synop.; Newcome's Observations; Pirænix, vol. 1, p. 115. The mistake of the time of Christ's birth observes the latt writer) seems to have been introduced into the cliurch by Chryfoftom, who fuppofed that Zacharias ministered in the priett's office in the feventh nonth, and fourteench course, which is September; and not in the fourth month, (Juve}and eightb courte.” It must be observed, however, on the other hand, that there does not want teslimony of the prefent day of our celebrating Christ's nativity being that on which the ancient church commemorated the fame event. Baronius and other writers afërt, that both in the Greck and Latin church it was alwars obferved on the 25th of December.-Barm. Apparat. 121. St. Auitin also reports, that the ancient tradition of the Weltern church was, that Christ was born on the 8th of the calence of Jan nuary, or 25th of December.-Sce Bingbar's Antiq. Chrijt.Cbwet, b. XX. c. iv. sect. 1, 2, 3. The circumftance of the uncertainty of the day is however to us of no consequence, as we commemorate the joyfid crent, and not the particular time or leaton on which it occurred. It is probable the real day was altered very early by the Christians, with a wife accommodation to the prejudices and habits of the heathen converts, who had been in the practice of obferving a folcmo feitival on the 25th of December; and therefore regarded the day with peculiar veneration; this was the Saturnalia, which began on the 14th of the calends of January, and extended to the 8th inclusive, our 25th of December.-See Lippus de San turnal, lib. I, c. in. This is the more likely, as we know they followed the fame excellent policy in other cales; fuch as fixing the Annunciaton on the last day of the Quinquatria, or five days facred to Minerva; and St. Mark's day, on the 7th of the calends of May, or 25th of April, the Robigalia, or day of facrifice to the god or goddels that preferred the crops from mildew.
The Collec?). This prayer for regeneration was composed and introduced into the liturgy in 1549, and appointed, together with the epittle and gospel, to be used at the second communion; tor on particular days, when the number of communicants would naturally be very great, there were two, and fometimes more, communions in the course of it. The Collect for the first communion was as follows: “God which makeft ug glad with the yearly remembrance of the birth of thy only Son Jesus