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been above the kings and learned men of the earth, by having conversed with angels and being chosen as the publishers of the birth of our blessed Saviour, were not therefore puffed up with pride or conceit, but returned joyfully to their former humble employment. Such let our conduct be. If we are blessed with any particular favors of Providence, either temporal or spiritual, let it only teach us gratitude to our Maker, and kindness to our fellow
21. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Jesús; which
was so named of the angel before he " was conceived in the womb."
The Jewish law was of divine institution; it was a representation of what our blessed Saviour was to do and suffer for us: it was imperfectly practised by the Jews till he came; when he in his own person having fulfilled the whole law, ef
tablished the Christian religion, or covenant of grace, in its stead : a religion as much superior to the Jewish, as the substance is to the shadow, or the performance of any thing to the promise of it. The Jewish religion was evidently a state of preparation for the Christian; of which all its ceremonies were types and shadows. Thus their sacrifices were admirably calculated to impress the mind with the dreadful nature of sin, which could only be atoned by blood, and to point out the necessity of the death of the finner, or of some one in his stead; and would naturally lead the Jews, who could not suppose that the blood of bulls and of goats could of itself take away fin, to look to the promised saviour, through faith in whom alone they could produce any effect.
By his sacrifice of himself, once offered for the sins of the whole world, all the Jewish types being changed into reality, they were of course abolished, and the
more perfect system of the gospel covenant established.
25. And behold there was a man in * Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and “ the same man was just and devout, wait
ing for the consolation of Israel ; and “ the Holy Ghost was upon him.
“ 26. And it was revealed unto him, by “ the Holy Ghost, that he should not see “ death before he had seen the Lord Christ.
27. And he came by the Spirit into “ the Temple ; and when the parents
brought in the child Jesus, to do for “ him after the custom of the law,
“ 28. Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said:
29. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word ;
“ 30. For mine eyes have seen thy sal- vation.”
The same holy spirit promises us likewise, that we shall see him : not indeed
with bodily eyes as Simeon did, but with the eye of faith ; if, like him, we will perform the conditions upon
promise was made.
We see also in Anna, the prophetess, as related in some following verses of the same chapter, the great encouragement given to perseverance. She, like Simeon, was informed of the real and true appearance of the saviour of the world in that blessed babe.
Every wilful neglect of public worship is very dangerous; as something requisite to us to learn, or applicable to our own fituation, may be lost by our absence. Stanhope, in a discourse on St. Thomas'sday, attributes the disbelief of that apostle to his not being with his brethren when Jesus appeared; and makes these pertinent remarks on the subject. “ When sloth, or contempt, or a light disposition, or a pretence of business, tempts you to be absent, think with yourself, it may be, “ God this day may by his minister tell me some necessary thing which I knew
“ not before.
drive “ fome powerful exhortation home upon
my conscience, which may make me a “ better man ever after; some lurking fin
may be discovered; or some domineer• ing lust subdued. My zeal, my devo“ tion, my charity, may be inflamed, by joining in
fellow-chrifBut why do I say, it may be! “ for some of these certainly will be. “God hath commanded his blessing to « wait at his own house: and no man
ever came thither as he ought, but he went back better than he came."
So far Stanhope. Let me add, that to Night or neglect so great a privilege when offered to us, as that of being admitted into the presence of our Maker and of applying to him for whatever we stand in need of, with a promise that he will grant our petitions as far as they are conducive to our real good, may naturally be supposed to offend him. Though so greatly indulgent to us, he has declared himself a jealous God who will not suffer his