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strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of pur lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glori^'.thv rioly Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'. '.j.yj*" \
For the Epistle. Rev. 14. i. . ■ ° ~\ j; .
ILooked, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fathers name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they fung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that song, but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth. + These are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins: these are they which follow tjie Lamb whithersoever he goeth: these were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile \ for they are without fault before the throne of God.
The Gospel. S. Matth. 2. 13. *^T^HE angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, \_ saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he
Paraphrase on the Collect for Innotents Day. O most mighty God, who canst make the weakest stroy in us all Vices, and so aflist us by thy grace, th f Btiag^to become powerful Instruments ot thy Provi- by the harmlessncss of our Lives and the lu'adinefa °* dence; and for thy own wife purposes didst permit the our Faith even unto Death, we may promote uiy glory infants of Bethlehem to be massaerced by Herod, de- through Jesus Christ.
t These are they which were not defiled, \$c. This Scriptures, is frequently represented as a kind os If i■ seems to be one of those passages of Scripture on which ritual Whoredom. , the Chuich of Rome has founded her Doctrine of a: * Tie Angd of the Lord appeareth, &c. The partisingle life, vowed upon a religious account; thus cast- cular care ot' Providence for the preservation of the holv iag a reflection upon that state which God has declared Infant, slicwj, that Jesus was, indeed, as he represented to be honourable. Whereas it seems properly to signify himself, the Son of God: and proves that the: utmpr those who had preserved themselves from the pollu- endeavours of Men can ;never prevent the execution f tions of Idolatry and Uncleanness; which, in the . what God has purposed, nor hurt those whom he protect„ arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out os Egypt have I called my Son. % Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wife-men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and stew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wife-men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
\ The Sunday after Christmas-day,
ALmighty God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at 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 fame our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee, and the fame Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Paraphrase on the Collect for the Sunday after Christmas-Jay. Most mighty God, who, for our Redemption, didst ous Liberty of the Sons God; may, by the help of cause thy Son Jesus Christ to be made Man, and, as thy Spirit, daily increase in newness of living, through at this season, to be born of the Virgin Mary, grant the same Jesus, who reigneth with thee, and the fame that we being born again from the Death of Sin unto holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever, a life of Righteousness, and admitted into the glori
% Then Herod •when be saw. fcfs. Behold in Herod a whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily could
lively instance of the fatal effects of Envy and Ambi- stoop so low for the Salvation of Man; what office can
tion. This example should teach U5 to keep a guard we think too low that serves to promote the fame glo
over out desires after worldly Honour and Greatness: rious end! Let this Mind be in us then -which was also
which, when indulged to excess, are so apt to produce in Christ J?sus, and let ut put off concerning the sonnet
in us such jealousy and torment, and to break through Conversation, the old Man ivhicb is cotrupt according to the
all obligations of nature and duty to overturn all Laws, deceitful Lusts: and be renewed in the Spirit of our Mind;
and erase the brightest impressions of Reason and Re- and put on the new Man, <wbicb after God is created in
bgion. Righteousness and true Holiness. God has promised the
t Who 'can consider this amazing condescension assistance of his Spirit to help our Infirmities upon the
of the Son of God, and not be filled with Gratitude, easy condition of sincere and fervent Prayer, through
with Love, towards such a Benefactor! and if he ia Jesus Christ.
The Epistle. Gal. 4. 1.
NOW I say, that the heir as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord os all; but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world; But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, § that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit os his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son y and is a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The Gospel. St. Matth. 1. 18.
THE birth of Jems Christ was on this wife: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, (before they came together) she was found with Child of the Holy Ghost. X Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife; for that which is conceived in her, is of the holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus; for he shall save his people from their fins. (Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken os the Lord by the Prophet, saying, Behold, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son,
$ Thai vie might receive the Adeptien, Igc. Adoption we forfeit not that title by our own- disobedience, is an act of favour, whereby the Master of an Estate J Thin Joseph her Hujhand being a just Ma», (3e.
lakes Persons of another Family, and receives them as Joseph might be said to be a just Man in this respect,
his own Children. Thos God by a marvellous ait not'only ii he was a religious observer of the Law
of kindness was pleased to admit us Gentiles, who which commanded a divorcement in the cafe of Adul
were Slaves to Sin, into the blessed freedom and fellow- tery; L>ut likewise in his proposng to put Mary away
ship of his Children, through the precious Peath and privately, lest if that should be true which Ihe alledged,
Merits of his Son Jesus Christ: who thereby purchased he should be a means, of bringing punishment upon an
for us a title to the glories of a blessed Immortality; if innocent Person.
and they shall call his Name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is, God with us.) Then' Joseph being raised from steep, did as the angel of the L6rd had bidden him, and toblt untd him.vhis wife: and knew her not till she -"had*brought forth Ker nrst-boriQ Son; § and he called his Name JESUS;
.*]! The circumcijion of Christ. 'f
ALmighty God,, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; -Grant us the true circumcision os the Spirits that our hearts and alL our members being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will, through the fame thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
'; The Epistle. Rom. 4. 8. \
BLessed is' the man' to whom the Lord will not impute sin*. Cbmerh this blestednefs then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircuiricision also? For we say, that faith was reckonsed to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncjrcumcifion? not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. Apes he' received the sign d'f circumcision, a(ieal os the righteousness bf the faith, which he had yet being uncircumcifed ; that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness
Paraphrase on the CclleB for the Circumcision.
Most mighty God, who, for our fakes,.dfldst cause ordinate desires and affections being fully subdued, we thy Son to undergo the painful rite of Circumcision may give ,up ourselves to thy service in all holy Objgr'antus to be so spiritually Circumcised, that our in- dienca, through the same Jestfs Christ. ■ j
$ -And he called his Name Jtf'is, c3s. Jesus is that he only is properly to be called a Jenv, ivho is cue the fame wi.h jofhuah in the Old Testament, and fig- inwardly, and that the true Circumcifton is that of the nines a Saviour. And as that Jewish Leader conduct- Heart, in 'he Spirit and not in the Letter: so Baptism ed th« Israelites into the earthly Canaan, so, hy the help will then alone be effectual to Salvation when it is soland direction of the Captain of our Salvation, we are lowed by a Death unto Sin, and a new Birth unto Rjghled through the Wilderness of this World tothcHea- teoufness, for as the fame Apostle observes tie are buried venly Canaan, the Regions of Bliss and Immortality. nvith Christ hy Baptism into Death, that tike as Chrift
|| A' Circumcision was an outward distinguishing <tvas raised up front the Dead by the glory of tht"Father,
Bad;;: of Judaism, so is Baptism an outward visible sign even so <a-# also Jhculd walk in nt-une/s of Lffrt Rom.
of our Christian profession. But as St. Paul assures us vi. 4.
might be imputed unto themalso. * And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet imcircumcised. For the promise that he should, be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his feed, through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made os none effect. .;;; ~ /JS;I 1 ,^;tVj /ill MO'77
The Gospel. S. Luke 3/ €-5.".:; ;:;;ir') *\
AN D it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and fee this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, f and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which; were told them by the shepherds. % But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. § And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising os the child, his name was called J E S U S, which was so named os the angel before he was conceived in the womb. The fame ColleB, Ep/sle, and Gospelsjallserve for every day aster, unto the Epiphany.
* And the Father rf Circumcision, tjc. As it was through Jesus Christ.
Faith, and not Circumcision, that rendered Abraham J But Mnry kept all these I'hr.?:, tfc- Who can sus
acceptable to God; so it is by Faith, without Circum- ficiently admire the modesty and humility of the blesled
cision, that we Gentiles are admitted to partake in the Virgin on this occasion, instead of being highly puffed
Ble ; ngs of a Redeemer. up with the extraordinary dignity conferred upon her;
t And the Babe lying in a Manger. Behold of how in'lead of boasting to the Shepherds of the greatnes,
little estimation in God's- sight is all human pomp and of her Family and descent—She on the contrary
splendor! since his only Son, the King of Glory, was heard their News with lowly a tention and'meditated
made to take up, at his Birth, with such lowly ac- upon-it with silent admiration. ■ '■• •
commodations —Let us hence learn that true greatness § And'ivhen right Days, "tsV. Jesus submitted to the
is only to be estimated by real goodness ij and that Hu rite of Circumcision, that he might- fulfil the Law, and
mility and Holiness, in the lowest condition 6f Life, shew his approbation of it, til! the bringing in of a bvt
will effectually recommend us to the favour of God, ter dispensation. ■ <■-'■ * .• * *l„ *-'• -,L* ■ «