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18 | And Zacharias said unto the is my words, which shall be fulfilled in A. M. 3999. An. Olymp. angel, “Whereby shall I know this? their season.

An. Olymp for I am an old man, and my wife 21 And the people waited for Zachawell stricken in years.

rias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the 19 And the angel answering said unto him, temple. I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of 22 And when he came out, he could not speak God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to unto them: and they perceived that he had seen shew thee these glad tidings.

a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto 20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not them, and remained speechless. able to speak, until the day that these things 23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as shall be performed, because thou believest not the days of his ministration were accom

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* Gen. 17. 17.-- Dan. 8. 10. & 9. 21, 22, 23. Matt. 18. 10. Hebr. 1. 11.

• Ezek. 3. 26. & 24. 27.- See 2 Kings 11. 5. 1 Chron. 9. 25.

triarchs, and preparing their hearts to receive the Lord Jesus. imperfection or debility of the organs of speech; in this case To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children. By a very there was no natural weakness or unfitness in those organs; but expressive figure of speech, Abraham, Isaae, and Jacob, and for his rash and unbelieving speech, silence is imposed upon the rest of the patriarchs are represented here as having their him by the Lord, and he shall not be able to break it, till the Hearts alienated from the Jews, their children, because of their power that has silenced him gives him again the permission to unbelief and disohedience; but that the Baptist should so far speak! Let those who are intemperate in the use of their sitcceed in converting them to the Lord their God, that these tongues, behoid here the scverity and mercy of the Lord ; nine holy men should again look upon them with delight, and ac-norths' silence for one intemperate speech ! Many by giving knowledge them for their children. Some think that by the way to the language of unbelief, hare lost the language of children the Gentiles are meant, and by the fathers, the Jews. praise and thanksgiving for months, if not years!

The disobedient] Or unbeliering, arrades, the persons who Verse 21. The people waited] The time spent in burning the israld no longer credit the predictions of the prophets, relative incense was probably about half an hour, during which there to the manifestation of the Messiah. Unbelief and disobedi- was a profound silence, as the people stond without engaged in corce are so intimately connected, that the same word in the mental prayer. To this there is an allusion in Rev. viii. 1-5. sacred writings often serves for both.

Zacharias had spent, not only the time necessary for burning Verse 18. Whereby shall I know this ?) All things are possi- the incense, but also that which tire discourse between him ble to God: no natural impediment can have any power when and the angel took up. God lias declared he will accomplish his purpose. He has a Verse 22. They perceived that he had seen a vision] As the prithit to be believed on his own word alone ; and it is impious, sanctuary was separated from the court by a great rail, the *len we are convinced that it is his word, to demand a sign people could not see what passed; bat they understood this or pledge for its fulfilment.

from Zacharias himself, who, ny drauw, made signs, or nodded Verse 19. I am Gabriel] This angel is mentioned, Dan. unto them to that purpose. Signs are the only means by viii. 16. ix. 21. The original 5892 is exceedingly expressive : which a dumb man can convey bis ideas to others. it is compounded of 133 geburah and 4x el, the might of the Verse 2.3. As soon as the days of his ministration were ac. strong God. An angel with such a name was exceedingly pro- complished] Each family of the priesthood officiated one whole

for the occasion; as it pointed out that all-prevalent power week, 2 Kings xi. 17. by which the strong God could accomplish every purpose, and There is something very instructive in the conduct of this subdue all things to himself.

priest ; had he not loved the service he was engaged in, be Thai siand in the presence of God] This is in allusion to the might have made the loss of his speech a pretext for immedirise of the prime minister of an eastern monarch, who alone | ately quitting it. But as he was not thereby disabled from has access to his master at all times; and is therefore said, in | fulfilling the sacerdotal function, so he saw he was bound to the castern phrase, to see the pre ence, or, to be in the presence. I continue till his ministry was ended; or till God had given him From the allusion we may conceive the angel Gabriel to be in a positive disinission. Preachers who give up their labour in a state of high favour and trust before God.

the vineyard because of some trifling bodily disorder by which Verse 20. Thou shalt be dumb] Ew7w, silent ; this transla- they are alicted, or through some inconvenience in outward tion is literal; the avgel immediately explains it, thou shalt not circumstances, which the follower of a cross-bearing, crucified be able to speak. Dumbness ordinarily proceeds from a natural || 1 ord should not mention, shew that they either never had a pro


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Elisabeth conceives. The angel

CHAP. I. Gabriel appears to the Virgin Mary. A.M. 3999. plished, he departed to his own and the virgin's name

was Mary. A: M. 4060. An. Olymp. house.

28 And the angel came in unto her, An. Olymp, сxciii. 3.

24 ( And after those days, liis wife and said, “Hail, thou that art "highly Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art saying,

thou among women. 25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled days wherein he looked on me, to “take away at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner my reproach among men.

of salutation this should be. 26 F And in the sixth month the 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, An. Olymp. angel Gabriel was sent from God unto Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 31 5 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose womb, and bring forth a son, and "shalt call his name was Joseph, of the house of David ; name JESUS.

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Gen. 30. 23. Isai. 4. 1. & 51.1, 4.-Matt. 1. 18. ch. 2. 4,5.—Dan. 9.

33. a 10. 19.

4 Or, graciously accepted, or, much graced. See ver. 30.-Judg. 6. 15. 'ver. 12.--- Isai. 7. 14. Matt. 1. 21.

Là ch.2.2.

per concern for the honour of their Master or for the salvation Verse 27. To a virgin espoused, &c.] See on Matt. i. 18. and of men; or else that they have lost the spirit of their Master, || 23. The reflections of pious father Quesnel on this subject and the spirit of their work. Again, Zacharias did not hasten are worthy of serious regard. At length the inoinent isto his house to tell bis wife the good news that he had received come which is to give a son to a virgin, a saviour to the from heaven, in which she was certainly very much interested: world, a pattern to mankind, a sacrifice to sinners, a temple to the angel had promised that all his words should be fulflled in the divinity, and a new principle to the new world. This antheir season, and for this season he patiently waited in the pathgel is sent from God, not to the palaces of the great, but to of duty. He had engaged in the work of the Lord, and must a poor maid, the wife of a curpenter. The Son of God comes pay no attention to any thing that was likely to mar or inter-tó humble the proud, and to honour poverty, weakness, and rupt his religious service. Preachers who profess to be called contempt. He chuses an olscure place for the mystery which of God to labour in the word and doctrine, and who abandon is inost glorious to his humanity, its union with the Divinity : their work for filthy lucre's sake, are the inost contemptible of and for that which is most degrading (his sufferings and mortals, and traitors to their God.

death) he will chuse the greatest city! How far are men Verse 24. Hid herself five months] That she might have the from such a conduct as this ! fullest proof of the accomplishment of God's promise before Verse -28. And the angel came in unto her] Some think she appeared in public, or spoke of her mercies.

that all this business was transacted in a vision; and that there Verse 25. To take away my reproach] As fruitfulness was a was no personal appearance of the angel. When divine visions part of the promise of God to his people, Gen. xvii. 6. and were given, they are announced as such, in the sacred writchildren, on this account, being considered as a particular bless-lings; nor can we with safety attribute any thing to a vision ing frorn heaven, Exod. xxiii. 26. Lev. xxvi. 9. Psal. cxxvii. 3. where a divine communication is made, unless it be specified so barrenness was considered among the Jews as a reproach, as such in the text. and a token of the disapprobation of the Lord. 1 Sam. i. 6. Hail] Analogous to Peace be to thee-May thou enjoy all 36.

possible blessings! Verse 26. A city of Galilee) As Joseph and Mary were Highly favoured] As being chosen in preference to all the both of the family of David, the patrimonial estate of which women upon earth, to be the mother of the Messiah. lay in Bethlehem, it seems as if the family residence should The Lord is with thee Thou art about to receive the have been in that city, and not in Nazareth ; for we find that most convincing proofs of God's peculiar favour towards thee. even after the return from the captivity, the several families Blessed art thou among women.] That is, thou art favoured went to reside in those cities to which they originally belonged. beyond all others. See Neh. xi. 3. But it is probable that the holy family re

Verse 29. She was troubled at his saying] The glorious apmoved to Galilee for fear of exciting the jealousy of Herod, pearance of the heavenly messenger filled her with amazement; who had usurped that throne to which they had an indisput- and she was puzzled to find out the purport of his speech. able right. See on chap. ii. 39. Thus by keeping out of the Verse 31. Thou--shalt call his nume JESUS.) See on Matt. way, they avoided the effects of his jealousy.

i, 20, 21. and here, on chap. ii. 21.

But see ver.

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The character of the Messiah.


Flis human nature, how produced.

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32 He shall be great and shall be 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, An. Olymp. called the Son of the Highest : and How shall this be, seeing I know not An. Olymp.

the Lord God shall give unto him a man? the throne of his father David :

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, 33 And he shall reign over the house of The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; be no end.

therefore also that holy thing which shall be born


• Mark 5. 7.6 2. Sam. 7. 11, 12. Tsai. 9. 6,7, & 16. 5. Jer. 23. 5.

Ps. 132. 11. Rev. 3. 7.

Dan. 2. 44. & 7. 14, 27. Obad. 21. Mic. 4. 7. John 12. 34. Hebr. 1. 8.

a Matt. 1. 20.

Verse 32. He shall be great) Behold the greatness of the rit. The divine nature could not be born of the Virgin ; the Man Christ Jesus : Ist. Because that human nature that human nature was born of her. The divine nature had no beshould be born of the virgin, was to be united with the divineginning; it was God manifested in the flesh, 1 Tím. iii. 16. it nature. 2dly. In consequence of this, that human nature was that word which being in the beginning (from eternity) should be called in a peculiar sense the Son of the most high | with God, John i. 2. was afterwards made flesh, (became maGod; because God would produce it in her womb without nifest in human nature) and tabernacled among us, John i. 14. the intervention of man. 3. He shall be the everlasting Head of this divine nature the angel does not particularly speak and Sovereign of his church. 4. His government and king here, but of the tabernacle or shrine which God was now predom shall be eternal Revolutions may destroy the kingdomsparing for it, viz. the holy thing that was to be born of the of the earth, but the powers and gates of hell and death shall Virgin. Two natures must ever be distinguished in Christ : never be able to destroy or injure the kingdom of Christ. the human nature, in reference to which he is the Son of God His is the only dominion that shall never have an end. The and inferior to him, Mark xiii. 32. John v. 19. xiv. 28. and angel seems here to refer to. Isai, ix. 7. xvi. 5. Jer. xxiii. 5. the divine nature which was from eternity, and equal to God, Dan. ii. 44. vii. 14. All which prophecies speak of the glory, John. i. 1. x.. 30. Rom. ix. 5. Col. i. 16-18. It is true, that extent, and. perpetuity of the evangelical kingdom. The | 10 Jesus the Christ, as he appeared among men, every chakingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory, form the end-racteristic of the divine nature is sometimes attributed, withless government of Christ.

out appearing to make any distinction between the divine Verse 33. The house of Jacob) All who belong to the twelve and human natures; but is there any part of the scriptures tribes, the whole Israelitish people.

in which it is plainly said that, the divine nature of Jesus was Verse 34. Seeing I know not a man] Or, husband. As she the Son of God.? Here I trust I may be permitted to say, was only contracted to Joseph, and not as yet married, she with all due respect for those who differ from me, that the knew that this conception could not have yet taken place; doctrine of the eternal Sonship of Christ is, in my opinion; and she modestly enquires by what means the promise of antiscriptural, and highly dangerous; this doctrine I reject for the angel is to be fulfilled, in order to regulate her conduct the following reasons : accordingly.

1st. I have not been able to find any express declaration in Verse 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee) This con- the scriptures concerning it. ception shall take place suddenly, and the Holy Spirit him- 2dly. If Christ be the Son of God as to his divine nature, self shall be the grand operator. The power, duyapers, the mira. then he cannot be eternal : for son implies a father; and facle working power, of the Most High shall overshadow thee, ther implies, in reference to son, precedency in time, if not in to accomplish this purpose, and to protect thee from danger. nature too. Father and son imply the idea of generation ; and As there is a plain allusion to the Spirit of God brooding over generation implies a time in which it was effected, and time the face of the waters, to render them prolific, Gen. i. 2. I also antecedent to such generation. am the more firmly established in the opinion advanced on 3dly. If Christ be the Son of God, as to his divine nature, Matt. i. 20. that the rudiments of the human nature of Christ then the Father is of necessity prior, consequently, superior to was a real creation in the womb of the Virgin,' by the energy him. of the Spirit of God.

4thly. Again, if this divine nature were begotten of the FaTherefore also that holy thing (or person)-- shall be called the ther, then it must be in time ; i. e. there was a period in which Son of God.] We may plainly perceive here, that the angel it did not exist, and a period when it began to exist. This dedoes not give the appellation of Son of God to the divine na-stroys the eternity of our blessed Lord, and robs him at once ture of Christ; but to that holy person or thing to ayoy, which of his Godhead. was to be born of the Virgin, by the energy of the Holy Spi. 5thly. To say that he was begotten from all eternity, is in

Mary visits her


cousin Elisabeth.

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36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisa- | Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. An. Olymp. CXCIII. 4.

beth, she hath also conceived a son in 41 And it came to pass, that, when her old age; and this is the sixth month with Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the her, who was called barren.

babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. filled with the Holy Ghost : 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of 42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. said, "Blessed art thou among women, and And the angel departed from her.

blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 39 | And Mary arose in those days, and 43 And whence is this to me, that the mother went into the hill country with haste, into a of my Lord should come to me? city of Juda;

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salu

• Matt. 14.-33. & 26. 63, 61. Mark 1. 1. John 1. 31. & 20. 31. Acts Mark 10. 27. ch. 18. 27. Rom. 4. 21.- Josh. 21. 9, 10, 11.8.37. Rom. 1. 4. Gen. 18. 14. Jer. 32. 17. Zech. 8. 6. Matt. 19. 26. Judg. 5. 24.

_ ver. 28.

my opinion, absurd; and the phrase eternal Son, is a positive Verse 37. For with God nothing shall be impossible.] Words self-contradiction. Eternity is that which has had no:be- of the very same import with those spoken by the Lord to ginning, nor stands in any reference to time. Son supposes Sarah, when he foretold the birth of Isaac, Gen. xviii. 14. time, generation, and father; and time also antecedent to such Is any thing too hard for the Lord? As there can be no generation. Therefore the conjunction of these two terms doubt that many perceived this allusion to the promise and Son and eternity is absolutely impossible, as they imply essen- birth of Isaac, so she must have had her faith considerably tially different and opposite ideas.

strengthened by reflecting on the intervention of God in The enemies of Christ's divinity have, in all ages, availed that case. themselves of this incautious method of treating this subject, Verse 38. Behold the handmaid of the Lord] I fully credit and on this ground, have ever had the advantage of the de- what thou sayest, and am perfectly ready to obey thy comfenders of the godhead of Christ. This doctrine of the eternal mands, and to accomplish all the parposes of thy grace conSonship destroys the deity of Christ ; now if his deity be taken cerning me. It appears that at the instant of this act of away, the whole gospel scheme of redemption is ruined. On faith, and purposed obedience, the conception of the immacuthis ground, the atonement of Christ cannot have been of infi- late humanity of Jesus took place; and it was done unto her nite merit, and consequently could not purchase pardon for the according to his word. See ver. 35. offences of mankind, nor give any right to, or possession of, Verse 39. In those days] As soon as she could conveniently an eternal glory. The very use of this phrase is both absurd fit herself out for the journey. and dangerous; therefore let all those who value Jesus and Hill country] Hebron, the city of the priests, Josh. xxi. their salration abide by the Scriptures.

11. which was situated in the tribe of Judalı, about forty Verse 36. Thy cousin Elisabeth] Thy kinswoman ovyo; eens. miles south of Jerusalem, and upwards of seventy from NaAs - Elizabeth was of the tribe of Levi, ver. 5. and Mary of | zareth. the tribe of Judah, they could not be relatives but by the mo- With haste] This probably refers to nothing else than the ther's side.

earnestness of her mind to visit her relative Elizabeth, and to She hath also conceived] And this is wrought by the same see what the Lord had wrought for her. power and energy through which thou shalt conceive. Thus Verse 41. Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost] This God has given thee a proof and pledge in what he has done seems to have been the accomplishment of the promise made for Elizabeth, of what he will do for thyself; therefore, have by the angel, ver. 15. Ile shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, faith in God.

even from his mother's womb. The mother is filled with the Who was called barren.] It is probable that Elizabeth got Holy Spirit, and the child in her womb becomes sensible of this appellative by way of reproach; or to distinguish her the divine influence. from some other Elizabeth also well known, who had been Verse 42. Blessed art thou among women) Repeating the blest with children. Perhaps this is the reproach which Eli- words of the angel, ver, 28. of which she had probably been zabeth speaks of, ver. 25. her common name among men, informed by the Holy Virgin, in the present interview. among the people who knew her, being Elizabeth the Verse 43. The mother of my Lord] The prophetic spirit barrei.

which appears to have overshadowed Elizabeth, gave her a Mary's hymn of praise,


commonly called the Magnificat.


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henceforth all generations shall call An. Olymp.

CXCIII. 4. 45 And blessed is she that believed; me blessed. for there shall be a performance of those things 49 For he that is mighty hath done to me which were told her from the Lord.

great things; and 'holy is his name. 46 [ And Mary said, My soul doth mag- . 50 And his mercy is on them that fear him nify the Lord,

from generation to generation. 47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God, my 51 "He hath shewed strength with his arm; Saviour.

he hath scattered the proud in the imagina. :48 For he hath regarded the low estate of tion of their hearts.

* Or, which beliered that there. 1 Sara. 2. 1. Ps. 31. 9, 3. & 35. 9. Hub. S. 18. 1 Sam. 1. 11. Ps. 138. 6.- Alal. 3. 12. ch. 11. 27.

e Ps. 71. 19. & 126. 2, 3.-Ps. 111.9.---Gen. 17. 7. Exod. 91. 6. Ps.
103. 17, 18.-Ps. 98. 1. & 118. 15. Isai. 40, 10. & 51. 9. & 52. 10.-
i Ps. 33. 10.

1 Pet. 5. 5.

clear understanding in the mystery of the birth of the pro- soul was filled with the divine influence, and wrapt up in mised Messiah.

God. Verse 45. Blessed is she that believed; for there shall be, &c.] Verse 48. He hath regarded] Looked favourably, &c. ette Or, Blessed is she who hath believed that there shall be, &c. Brefsv. In the most tender and compassionate manner he has This I believe to be the proper arrangement of the passage, visited me in my humiliation, drawing the reasons of his conand is thus noticed in the marginal reading. Faith is here duct, not from any excellence in me, but from his own eterrepresented as the foundation of true happiness, because it nal kindness and lore. receives the fulfilment of God's promises. Whatever God All generations shall call me blessed.] This was the character has promised, he intends to perform. We should believe || by which alone she wished to be known ; viz. The blessed or whatever he has spoken-his own authority is a sufficient rea- | happy virgin. What dishonour do those do to this holy son why we should believe. Let us only be convinced that woman, who give her namnes and characters which her pure God has given the promise, and then implicit faith becomes soul would abhor; and which properly belong to GOD her Saan indispensable duty-in this case not to believe implicitly | viour! By her votaries she is addressed as Queen of Hearen, would be absurd and unreasonable-God will perform his Mother of God, &c. titles both absurd and blasphemous. promise, for he cannot lie.

Verse 49. He that is mighty hath done to me great things] Verse 46. And Mary said] Two copies of the Itala, and Or, miracles, psyeeds. As God fills her with his goodness, some books mentioned by Origen, give this song to Elizabeth. she empties herself to him in praises ; and sinking into her It is a counterpart of the song of Hannah, as related in own nothingness, she ever confesses, that God alone is all I Sam. ii. 1-10.

in all. This is allowed by many to be the first piece of poetry in Holy is his name.] Probably the word which Mary used the New Testament; but the address of the angel to Zacha- was non chesed, which though we sometimes translate holy, rias, ver. 13---17. is delivered in the same way: so is that to see Psal. Ixxxvi. 2. cxlv. 17. yet the proper meaning is abundthe Virgin, ver. 30–33. and so also is Elizabeth's answer to ant goodness, exuberant kindness, and this well agrees with the Mary, ver. 42—45. All these portions are easily reducible following clause. to the hemistich form in which the Hebrew poetry of the Verse 50. His mercy is on them that fear him] His exuberOld Testament is found in many MSS. and in which Dr. ant kindness manifests itself in acts of mercy to all those who kennicott has arranged the Psalms, and other poetical parts | fear or reverence his name;, and this is continued from geneof the Sacred Writings. See bis Hebrew Bible.

ration to generation, because he is abundant in goodness, and My soul doth magnify the Lord] The verb merry aanwy, Kypke because he delighteth in mercy. This is a noble, becoming, has proved, signifies to celebrate with words, to extol with and just character of the God of the Christians: a being who praises. This is the only way in which God can be magni- || delights in the salvation and happiness of all his creatures, fied, or made great : for strictly speaking, nothing can be because his name is mercy, and his nature love. added to God, for he is infinite and eternal; therefore the Verse 51. He hath shewed strength) Or, He hath gained the way to magnify him, is to shew forth and celebrate those acts || victory, etornos xqatos.. The word xqatos is used for victory, in which he has manifested his greatness.

by Homer, Hesiod, Sophocles, Euripides and others. Verse 47. My spirit hath rejoiced] Erulted. These words With his arm] Grotius has well observed that God's effiare uncommonly emphatical--they shew that Mary's whole || cacy is represented by his finger, his great power by his hand,

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