Page images

their sins.

The same Evangelist says, that Jesus was to be born of a virgin, that an ancient prophecy might be fulfilled which said, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

When the angel had finished his annunciation] Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

And Mary rising up in those days, went into the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that, when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she that believed: that those things which were told her of the Lord shall be performed.+

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth, all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done great things for me; and holy is his name. And his mercy is on them

* Matt. i. 21-23. Isaiah, vii. 14.

+ Blessed is she that believed.-Elizabeth probably remembered that her own husband Zacharias had not believed what the angel said; and declares the superior blessedness of Mary, who did believe.

that fear him from generation to generation. He hath showed might with his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted the lowly. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped Israel his servant, in remembrance of his mercy; as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever. And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.


[blocks in formation]

WHAT is the subject of this Lesson ?

To whom did Luke write this account?

What reason does he give for writing it?

Who was king of Judea when Zacharias was priest?

What was the name of his wife?

What is the character given of them?

How was he engaged when the angel appeared unto


What did the angel say


What did Zacharias say to this?

Why was he to be dumb for a time?

Where did Mary reside when the angel appeared to her?

To whom was she espoused?

How did the angel address her?

What more did he say to her?

Whom did Mary go to visit?

What did Elizabeth say to her?

How did Mary reply to this?

How long did Mary remain with Elizabeth?


The birth of John the Baptist.


Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had showed great mercy towards her; and they rejoiced with her. And it came to pass that, on the eighth day, they came to circumcise the child; and they were giving him the name Zacharias after the name of his father. And his mother answering, said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asking for a writingtable, wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue was loosed, and he spoke, praising God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad over all the hill-country of Judea. And all they that had heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What will this child be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; and as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that. hate us; to perform the kindness to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he

swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and justice before him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto his people, in the remission of their sins, through the tender compassion of our God, whereby a sun-rising hath visited us from on high; to give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death; to direct our feet into the way of peace.

And the child grew and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel.

[The birth of John the Baptist was thus foretold by the prophet Malachi more than 400 years before it took place :] Behold I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me, and suddenly there shall come to his temple the Lord whom ye are seeking, the Angel of the Covenant whom ye are desiring: lo! he cometh, saith the Lord of hosts.-Behold, I will send unto you Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers lest I come and smite the earth with a Malachi iii. 1; iv. 5, 6.




[blocks in formation]

*Elijah the prophet.-Our blessed Lord himself (Matt. xi. 14) applies this prophecy to John the Baptist, because he came in the spirit and power of Elijah; see page 2.


WHAT rite was performed upon the eighth day? What name did Elizabeth's friends wish to give to the child?

What name did his mother wish?

How did Zacharias give his assent?

What happened to Zacharias upon this?

What effect had these things upon those who dwelt round about?

What did Zacharias prophesy when he was filled with the
Holy Ghost?

Why was John to be called the prophet of the Highest?
Where was John brought up?

What prophet foretold his birth?

How long before?

What did Malachi say of him?


The Nativity.


AND it came to pass, that in those days there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus that the whole world should be registered. (This registering was first made by Cyrenius the governor of Syria.) And all went to be enrolled, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee out of the city of Nazareth into Judea, to the City of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and family of David,) to be registered with Mary his espoused wife, who was with child. And it came to pass, that when they were there, her days were accomplished, that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him up in swaddling clothes, and laid him in the manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds watching and keeping the night watches over

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »