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LONDON:

Printed for the
SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE;

SOLD AT THE DEPOSITORY,
GREAT QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS,

NO. 4, ROYAL EXCHANGE;
AND BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

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CONTEMPLATIONS

ON THE

HISTORICAL PASSAGES

OF THE

NE W TESTA M E N T.

BOOK I.

CONTEMPLATION I.

THE ANGEL AND ZACHARY.

When things are at the worst, then God begins a change: the state of the Jewish church was extremely corrupted immediately before the news of the Gospel: yet, as bad as it was, not only the priesthood, but the courses of attendance, continued, even from. David's time, till Christ's. It is a desperately depraved

condition of a church where no good orders are left. Judea passed many troubles, many alterations, yet this orderly combination endured about eleven hundred years. A settled good will not easily be defeated, but, in the change of persons, will remain unchanged, and, if it be forced to give way, leaves memorable footsteps behind it. If David foresaw the perpetuation of this holy ordinance, how much did he rejoice in the knowledge of it! Who would not be glad to do good, on condition that it may so long out-live him?

The successive turns of the legal ministration held on in a line never interrupted: even in a forlorn and miserable church, there may be a personal succession.

VOL. III.

B

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