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•* thrust it into my side: and be

*' not faithless, but believing."

a8. And Thomas answered and said

unto him, "My Lord and my

29. «« God." Jesus saith unto him, "Thomas, because^ thou hast "seen me, thou hast believed: "blessed are they that have not "seen, and yet have believed."

30. And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in

31. this book. But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST,

called Christmas Day.

The Collect.

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

(*)The object of this Epistle is to shew the great superiority of Christ and the Christian dispensation; and it accordingly begins with an account of Christ's pre-eminence.

*•». If) •' Heir." SoColoss. i. 15. St. Paul calls our Saviour " the first-born of t-very "creature," that is, " as much above all "created beings as the first-born is con"sidered above his brethren." As God also says, in the prophetic part of Ps. lxxxix. 28. " Iwillmakehim,my_/rj/-ior/i "higher than the kings of the earth."

"•'• (^)"Bywhom,"&c. SoinColoss.i. 16, St. Paul says, " By him were all things "created that are in heaven, and that are "in earth, visible and invisible, whether "they be thrones, or dominions, or "principalities, or powers: all things "were created by him, and for him." 80 Eph. iii. 9. he says, " God created "all things by Jesus Christ." And see Johni. 3. the Gospel for this day.

by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liyeth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

The Epistle. Heb. i. I. (e)

God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days 2. spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed (/) heir of all things, (g) by whom also he made the worlds; who being the bright- 3. ness of his glory, and the express (b) image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; being made so much 4. better than the angels, as he hath by (/) inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For 5. unto which of the angels said he at

(A)"Image." SoColoss. i. 15.ourSa- „ . viour is called "the image of the invisible "God." In Wisd. vii. »6. wisdom is called " the brightness of the everlasting "light, the unspotted mirror of the •' power of God, and ±he image of hit "goodness." "The image of his per"son," is probably nothing more than a figurative mode of intimating that he was exactly like him in all perfections. In Gen. i. 27. God is said to have "created "man in his own image." But nothing more probably was meant than that he was made to resemble him in purity and goodness. According to John 1. 18. and v. 37.— 1 Tim. vi. 16.—and 1 John v. 12. no man hath seen God at any time.

(/') " Byinheritance,'" i.e by "sonship," v. 4. by being, according to the expression in verse 2. " appointed heir of all things," by being called " the Son of God.''

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"Lord, in the beginning hast

"laid the foundation of the

"earth; and the heavens are the

"works of thine hands: They

shall perish, but thou remam

est; and they all shall wax old,

"as doth a garment; and as a

"vesture shalt thou fold them

"up, and they shall be changed:

"but thou art the same, and

thy years shall not fail."

unto the Son he saith, " (0) Thy

"throne, O God, is for ever

"and ever: a sceptre of righte

"ousness is the sceptre of thy

"kingdom: Thou hast loved

"righteousness, and hated ini

"quity; therefore God, even

"thy God, hath anointed thee

"with the oil of gladness above

"thy fellows." And, " 0)Thou,

(i) "Thou art my Son." This is from Ps. ii 7. and is therefore a confirmation that the prophecy there related to our Saviour. The same may be collected from Acts xiii. 33. and Heb. v. 5.

(/) " I will be,'' &c. This is probably from 1 Chron. xvii. 13. which, though it might be thought to apply to Solomon, was perhaps intended to apply to our Saviour only. God ordered Nathan to forbid David from building him an house, but to tell him that he would raise up his seed after him, which should be 01 his ions, and establish his kingdom. '* He (faid the word of God) " shall build "me a house, and I will establish his "throne fir ever. I will It his Father, "and he shall be my S?n. And I will "not take my mercy away from him, as "I took it from him that was before "thee." (viz. Saul) ; "but I will settle "him in mine haute and in my kingd m "forever; and his throne shali be esta"blished for evtrm re." This seems much more applicable to the spiritual kingdom of our Saviour, (who was, according to the flesh, of the sons of DaTid), than of Solomon. Ten of ihe tribes revolted from So.omon's son, and were

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The Gospel. Johni. 1.

In the (q) beginning was theWord, and the Word was with God, and the Word was (r) God. The 2t same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by 3* him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was 4*

never again under his descendants; and the line of Solomon has ceased for centuries to have any dominion: but the throne of Christ is established for evermore; he has built God a spiritual house, the Church of Christ; and he is settled in the house and kingdom of God for ever. His dominion, according to Dan.vii. 14. " is an everlasting dominion, "which shall not pass away, and his king"dom that which shall not be destroyed."

(m) " Let all the angels," Sec. This is supposed to betaken from Ps. xcvii. 7.

(«) •« Maketh," &c. This is from Ps. civ. 4.

(0) " Thy throne," &c. This is from Ps. xlv. 7, 8.

(/>) "Thou, Lord." This is from Ps. cii. 2; to 27.

(j) " In the beginning with God.'' In Gen.i 1. "in the beginning GoJcreated,'" the word translated "God" is in the plural number, but joined with a verb in the singular; and it is so used 30 timet in the short history of the creation there given : so th.it Moses might understand, that though there was only one God, yet in that one God were distinct exittencies.

(r) See ante 12. note (</).

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5. the light of men. And the light shineth (j) in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6. There was a man sent from God,

7. whose name was (f) John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men

8. through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh

10. into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him

11. not. He came unto his («) own,

12. and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that

13. believe on his name: which were born (x), not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will

14. of man, but of God. And the Word was made (^) flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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(/) "Shineth in darkness," that is, "in

'' a generation which would not see, which

"did not open its eyes, whose foolish

"hearts" (according to Rom. i. 21.)

"weredarkened." The reason is assigned,

John iii. 19, 20. "Light is come into the

"world, and men loved darkness rather

"than light, because their deeds were evil.

"For every one that doeth evil hateth

"the light, neither cometh to the light,

"lest his deeds should be reproved."

See post, 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.

». 6. (') "John," that is, not the Evangelist, but the Baptist, the messenger who was to prepare the way for the Messiah. See ante 32. Matt. xi. 2. & 34.—John i. 19.

"M. (u) "His own," i. e. the Jews.

"•13. (*) " Born," &c. that is, receiving a "spiritual, not a natural birth: having,

Saint Stephen's Day.
The Collea.

Grant, O Lord, that in all our
sufferings here upon earth, for
the testimony of thy truth, we
may stedfastly look up to heaven,
and by faith behold the glory that
shall be revealed; and being
filled with the Holy Ghost, may
learn to love and bless our per-
secutors, by the example of thy
first Martyr, Saint Stephen, who
prayed for his murderers to thee,
O blessed Jesus, who standest at
the right hand of God to succour
all those that suffer for thee, our
only Mediator and Advocate.
Amen.

[Then shall follow the CoUeil of the Nativity: which shall be said continually until New Tear's Eve."\

For the Epistle. Acts vii. ee.

Stephen, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, $6. and the Son of man standing on

as St. Paul expresses it, Rom. yiii. 15. "received the Spirit of adoption, wbere"by we cry, Abba, Father;" that is, whereby we are entitled to call God our Father, and become his sons. So Gal.iv.6. St. Paul says, " because ye are "sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of "his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, "Father." And St. John says, " B«"hold what manner of love the Fa"ther hath bestowed on us, that we "should be called the sons of God." 1 John iii. And in 1 John v. 1. he says, " whosoever believeth that Jesus "is the Christ, is bora of God." See also 1 John ii. 29.—1 Peter i. 3. and

23

(y) " Flesh,*' i.e. in the person of v. 14.

Jesus Christ.

04

57. the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran

58. upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was

59. Saul(z). And they stonedStephen, calling upon God, and saying,

60. "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, " Lord, lay not f< this sin to their charge!" And when he had said this,hefell asleep.

The Gospel. Matt, xxiii. 34.

Behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from 35' city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of" righteous Abel unto the blood

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(z)" Saul.'' The same person who was afterwards miraculously converted, and is known by the name of St. Paul. In Acts viii. 1. which immediately follows this account, it is said, "and Saul was con"senting unto hi6 death." In the account St. Paul gives of his conversion, (Acts xxii. 20. he states, that in his trance, in the Temple, he said unto the Lord, "when the blood of thy martyr Stephen "was shed, I also was standing by, and "consenting unto his death, and kept "the raiment of them that slew him." The Acis are supposed to have been written by St. Luke; and he was with St. Paul 12 years, from A. D. 46 to AD. 58; so that he is likely to be correct as to what he writes about St. Paul. In 1 Cor. xv. 9. St. Paul says of himself, that he was not meet to be an apostle, because he persecuted the Church of God.

(m) "This generation." This is therefore another assertion,that some signal ve n

of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say 3 unto you, All these things shall come upon this {a) generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that 37. killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto ji you desolate. For I say unto you, y$. Ye shall not see me henceforth, till(£) ye shall say, " Blessed "is he that cometh in the name "of the Lord."

Saint John the Evangelist's Day.
The Collea.

Merciful Lord, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine

geance should come upon the generation of men then living; and independently of those who perished at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened in less than forty years after this prophecy, immense numbers perished in the interim. Our Saviour stated (Matt. xxiv. 7.) that «' Nation should rise against na"tion, and kingdom against kingdom, "and that there should be famines, and "pestilences, and earthquakes in divert "places;" but that those were only "the beginning of sorrows." And accordingly in the interim, between this prophecy and the destruction of Jerusalem, as many as 100,000 are said to have perished in Palestine by wars and civil commotions. 2 Newt, on Proph. 146. 5 Wats. Theol. Tr. 121. 3. See ante 30. (note on Luke xxi. 32.)

(b) " Till ye shall say," i. e. (perhaps) till this shall be the general cry, "Blessed," &c.

of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epiitle. 1 John i. I,

That which was (c) from the beginning, which we have heard, which we (d) have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have hands' led of the (e) word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life which was with the Father, and 3- was manifested unto us;) that

I. (r) "From the beginning," i.e. (per

haps) determined upon from the earliest times, from the fall of Adam. . 1, (</)" Have seen," 8cc. It was natural

for St. John to press strongly upon the persons to whom he writes what had pressed strongly upon his own mind 5 and what could make a stronger impression on any one's mind than the conviction of his own tenses i His faith had for its foundation what he had himself seen, &c. that for which he had the assurance of his own eye-sight. *>• 1. (e)u The Word of Life," that is, '• our "Saviour Jesus Christ-" He is also denoted by the expressions in the next verse "the Life," and "that Eternal "Life which was with the Father." So St. John says in his Gospel, John i. 14. "The ivord was made flesh" (that is in the person of Jesus Christ), "and dwelt "among us." ». 6, (/") "Fellowship," i.e. Participation. St. John expresses this fellowship elsewhere in very strong terms. Thus, 1 John iii. 24. " He that keepeth his" (viz.God's) "commandments, dwelleth in him" (viz. God), "and he" (viz. God) in " him." So 1 John iv. 12, 1«. "If we love "one another, God dwelleth in us, and "his love is perfected in us;" and v. 15. "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is

which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these 4. things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then 5. is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we 6". say that we (/) have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But 7. if we walk in the (g) light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship (b) one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son (1) cleanseth us from all sin. If we 8.

"the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, "and he in God." It is perhaps upon the same ground that St. Paul calls the converts "the Temple of God," I Cor. iii. 16, 17.—vi. 19.—2 Cor. vi. 16.

(g) " Light," i. e. perfect purity, v. 7. "Darkness," i.e. impurity.

(h) For "one with another," the King's v. 7. MSS. reads "with him," which seems more agreeable to the context.

(i) "Cleanseth us." So Rev. i. 5. Jesus v. 7. Christ is said to have washed us from our sins in his "own blood." And according to the language of our Liturgy, he made "by his one oblation of himself "once offered, a full, perfect, and suffi"cient sacrifice, oblation and satisfac"tion for the sins of the whole world." By requiring so great a sacrifice, God has shewn his utter detestation of sin; and if we refuse to perform the terms upon which forgiveness of sins is offered unto us, (by endeavouring to lead godly lives, by repenting of the sins we have committed, and by feeling and expressing thankfulness to God for his mercies), what are we to expeft? We are assured by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, x. 26. that " there remaineth "no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain "fearful looking for of judgment, and

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