Page images
[ocr errors]

vealed, and all fesh shall see the salvation of
God; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.”
Luke the 3d chapter. « Now in the fifteenth
year of the reign of Tiberius Cæsar, Pontius
Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod be-
ing tetrarch of Galilee, and Philip his brother
tetrarch of Iturca, and the country of Trachoni-
tis, Lysanias tetrarch of Abilina, under the high
priests Annas and Caiphas; the word of the
Lord came to John, the son of Zachary, in the
desarı; and he came into ail the country about
the Jordan, preaching the baptism of penance
for the remiffion of fins; as it is written in the
book of the words of Isaiah the prophet; a voice
of one crying in the wilderness; Prepare ye the
way of the Lord; make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled ; and every moun-
tain and hill shall be brought low; and the
crooked shall be made straight, and the rough
ways plain; and all flesh shall see the salvation
of God. He said therefore to the multitudes
that came to be baptized by him; 'Ye offspring
of vipers, who hath shewed you to flee from the
wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruit
worthy of penance, and do not begin to say,
• We have Abraham for our father.' For I say
to you, that God is able of these stones to raise
up children to Abraham. For now the axe is laid
to the roots of the trees. Every tree therefore
that bringeth not forth good fruit, shall be cut
down, and cast into the fire. The office and
character of St. John was by the angel Gabriel
announced to Zachary, as you will see in the ist
chapter of the fame Evangelist. But the angel


faid to him, 'Fear noi, Zi hary, for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elizbeth shall bear thee a fon, and thou shal: cal his name John; and thou shalt have joy and gladnel, and many shall rejoice at his bir h. For he shall be great before the Lord; and shall drink no wine, nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb: and he shall convert many of the children of Israel to ihe Lord their God: and he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, that he may turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the incredulous to the wisdom of the just, to prepare for ihe Lord a perfect people.” Ilaiah with chapter. “ And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jefre, and a branch Thall grow out of his roots. And the spirit of the Lord íhuil rest ypon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of council and might, the spirit of knowledge, and the fear of the Lord; and shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord : and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness Mall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the neek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he Day the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of bis reins. (Before Chrift 606.) Jeremiah 31st chap. “ How long wilt thou go about, O thou backNiding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass

[ocr errors]

a nan.

a man. And in the 33d chapter. Behold the days come faith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In thy days Judah shall be faved, and Israel shall dwell safely : and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. Before Christ 519. Zachariah 3d chapter. Hear now, O Joshua, the high-priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee, for they are men wondered at; for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch : forbehold the stone that I have laid before Joshua, upon one stone shall be seven eyes : hehold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of Hofts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.

Your great law-giver, Mofes, in his book of Numbers, 24th chapter, relates Balaam's prophecy, in which the Messiah is clearly referred to.

I shall see him, but not now ; I shall behold him, but not nigh; there shall come a ftar out of Jacob, and a fceptre shall rise out of Israel. This prophecy, with the prophecy of Jeremiah, 21st chapter. Thus faith the Lord, A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children, refused to be comforted. Also, Micah, 5th chapter. Now gacher thyself in troops, O daughter of troops, he hath laid siege against us, they shall smile the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the


[ocr errors][merged small]

thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. These several prophecies are taken notice of in the 2d chapter of St. Matthew, accomplished in the person of our Lord Jesus Chrift. Now, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen His Star in the East, and are come to adore Him. And king Herod hearing this, was troubled, and all Jerulalem with him; and assembling together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he enquired of them where Christ should be born. But they said to bim; in Bethlehem of Judah. For so it is written by the prophet; And thou, Bethlehern, the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah ; for out of thee fhail come forth the ruler chat shall rule my people Ifrael. Then Herod calling the wise men, enquired of them diligently the time of the Star's appearing to them; and sending them into Bechlehem, said, Go and search diligently after the Child, and when you have found him, bring me word again, that I also may come and adore him. And when they had heard the king, they went their way ; and behold, the Star which they had seen in the East, went before them, until it came and stood over where the Child was. And feeing the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And going into the house, they found


[ocr errors]

the Child, wiih Mary his mother, and falling down' they adored Hiin ; and opening their treasures, they offered him gifts ; gold, frankincense and myrrh. . And having received an answer in Neep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way into their country. And after they were departed, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in Neep to Jofeph, saying, Arise, and take the Child and his mother, and fly into Egypt, and be there until I shall tell thee; for it will come to pass that Herod will seek the child to destroy him, and he arose and took the child and his mother by night, and retired into Egypt, and he was there until the death of Herod, that the word might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying, Out of Épypt have I called my son. Then Herod, percciving that he was deluded by the wise men, was exceeding angry, and sending killed all the 'male children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time he had diligently enquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremias the prophet, saying, A voice in Rama was heard, lamentation, and great mournine ; Rachel bewailing her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not. Buc when Herod was dead, behold an angel of the Lord appeared in Neep to Joseph in Egypt, saying, Arise, and take the Child and his Mother, and

go into the land of Israel, for they are dead that lought the life of the Child. And he arose, and took the Child and his Mother, and came

« PreviousContinue »