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Matt. ll: 14.

of the sons of Israel he shall bring back to the Lord their God. Mal. 4; 6. 17 Moreover, he shall go before them in the spirit and power of

Elijah, to reconcile fathers to their children, and, by the wisdom

of the righteous, to render the disobedient a people well dispos18 ed for the Lord.' And Zacharias said to the angel : Whereby

shall I know this; for I am an old man and my wife is advanc19 ed in years? The angel answering, said unto him: I am Ga

briel,* who attend in the presence of God, and am sent to tell 20 thee this joyful news. But know that thou shalt be dumb, and

shall not recover thy speech, until the day when these things bappen; because thou hast not believed my words, which shall

be fulblled in due time. 21 Meantime the people waited for Zacharias, and wondered 22 that he staid so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out,

he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he bad

seen a vision in the sanctuary ; for he made them understand 23 him by signs, and remained speechless. And when his days of 24 officiating were expired, he returned home. Soon after, Eliza

beth bis wife conceived, and lived in retirement five months, 25 and said: The Lord bath done this for me, purposing now to

deliver me from the reproach I lay under among men, 26 NOW in the sixth month God sent Gabriel his messenger 27 to Nazareth, a city of Galilee, to a virgin betrothed to a man

called Joseph, of the house of David ; and the virgin's name 28 was Mary. When the angel entered, he said to her: Hail, fa

vorite of heaven! the Lord be with thee, thou happiest of wo29 mnen! At his appearance and words she was perplexed, and 30 revolved in her mind what this salutation could mean. And

the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found fa31 vor with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive and bear a [sa.7: 14, 32 son, whom thou shalt name Jesus.f He shall be great, and ch. 2; 21,

shall be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God 33 will give him the throne of David his father. And he shall

reign over the house of Jacob forever: his reign shall never end. 34 Then said Mary to the angel: How shall this be, since I have 35 no intercourse with man? The angel answering said unto her:

The Holy Spirit will descend upon thee, and the power of the

Highest will overshadow thee; therefore the holy progeny shall 36 be called the Son of God. And lo, thy cousin Elizabeth also 37 hath conceived a son in her old age ; and she who is also called

Dan. 7: 14.

barren, is now in her sixth month: for nothing is impossible

with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the 38 Lord! Be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel

departed.

* God's power.

+ Saviour.

39 In those days Mary set out and travelled expeditiously into 40 the hill-country, to a city of Judah ; where having entered the 41 house of Zacharias, she saluted Elizabeth. As soon as Eliza

beth heard Mary's salutation, the babe leaped in her womb;

and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried with a 42 loud voice: Thou art the most blessed of women, and blessed 43 is the fruit of thy womb. But how have I deserved this hon44 or, to be visited by the mother of my Lord ? for know, that as

soon as the sound of thy salutation reached mine ears, the babe 45 leaped in my womb for joy. And happy is she who believed,

that the things which the Lord bad promised her shall be per

formed. 46 Then Mary said: My soul magnifieth the Lord, and my 48 spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour; because he hath not dis

dained the low condition of his bandmaid, for henceforth all 49 posterity will pronounce me happy. For the Almighty, whose 50 name is venerable, bath done wonders for ine. His mercy, on

them who fear him, extendeth to generations of generations. 51 He displayeth the strength of his arm, and dispelleth the vain

52 imaginations of the proud. He pulleth down potentates from Eze. 21; 26. 53 their thrones, and exalteth the lowly. The needy he loadeth Ps. 34 10. 54 with benefits; but the rich he spoileth of every thing. He supGen. 17; 19. 55 porteth Israel his servant, (as he promised to our fathers), ever

inclined to mercy towards Abraham and his race. 56 And Mary, after staying with Elizabeth about three months,

returned home.

Ps. 33. 10.

22: 18.

SECTION II.-THE NATIVITY.

57 WHEN the time for Elizabeth's delivery was come, she 58 brought forth a son: and her neighbors and relations, who

heard that the Lord had shown her great kindness, congratu59 lated with her. And on the eighth day, when they came to

the child's circumcision, they would have him called by his 60 father's name, Zacharias. And his mother interposed, saying: 61 No; but he shall be called John. They said unto her : There 62 is none of thy kindred of that name. They therefore asked 93 his father by signs, how he would have him called. He, bav

ing demanded a table-book, wrote thereon: His name is John, 64 which surprised them all. And his mouth was opened directly, 65 and his tongue loosed. And he spake, praising God. Now

all the neighborhood were struck with awe; and the fame of

these things spread throughout all the hill-country of Judea. 66 And all who heard these things, pondering them in their hearts,

Jer. 31: 33.

said: What will this child prove hereafter? And the hand of

the Lord was with him. 67 Then Zacharias his father, being filled with the Holy Spirit, 68 prophesied, saying: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, be69. cause he hath visited and redeemed his people; and (as an- Ps. 132: 17.

ciently he promised by his holy prophets) hath raised a prince 71 for our deliverance in the house of David bis servant ; for our Jer. 23: 0.

deliverance froin our enemies, and from the hands of all who & 30: 10. 72 hate us; in kindness to our forefathers, and remembrance of 73 bis holy covenant; the oath which he swore to our father Abra- Gen. z: 16. 74: ham to grant unto us, that, being rescued out of the hand of

our enemies, we might serve him boldly, in piety and upright76 ness, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called ch. 1; 17. 77 a prophet of the Most High ; for thou shalt go before the Lord,

to prepare his way, by giving the knowledge of salvation to his

people in the remission of their sins, through the tender com78 passion of our God, who hath caused a light to spring from on Mal. 4; 2. 79 high to visit us, to enlighten those who abide in darkness and in

the sbades of death, to direct our feet into the way of peace. 80 Now the child grew, and acquired strength of mind, and

continued in the deserts until the time when he made himself 'koown to Israel. II. ABOUT that time Cæsar Augustus issued an edict that all 2 the inhabitants of the empire should be registered. (This first

register took effect when Cyrenius* was president of Syria.) 3 When all went to be registered, every one to his own city, Jo4 seph also went from Nazareth, a city of Galilee, to the city of Matt.2.4 5 David in Judea, called Bethlehem, (for he was of the house

and lineage of David), to be registered, with Mary his betroth6 ed wife, who was pregnant. While they were there, the time 7 came that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her

first-born son, and swathed him, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the house allotted to stran

gers. 8 Now there were shepherds in the fields in that country, who 9 tended their flock by turns through the night-watches. On a

sudden a messenger of the Lord stood by them, and a divine

glory encompassed them with light; and they were frightened 10 exceedingly. But the angel said to thern : Fear not; for, lo!

I bring you good tidings, which shall prove matter of great joy 11 to all the people ; because to-day is born unto you, in the city 12 of David, à Saviour who is the Lord Messiah. And by this

ye shall know him; ye shall find a babe in swaddling-bands, ly13 ing in the manger. İnstantly the angel was attended by a mul

Jo. 7: 42.

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ch. 1: 31.

Lev, 12; 2.

Ex. 13; 2. Num. 8; 17.

14 titude of the heavenly host, who praised God, saying: Glory to

God in the highest heaven, and peace upon the earth, and good

will towards men. 15 And when the angels returned to heaven, having left the

shepherds, these said one to another: Let us go to Betlehem,

and see this which hath happened, whereof the Lord hath in16 formed us. And bastening thither they found Mary and Jo17 seph with the babe, who lay in the manger. When they saw

this, they published what had been imparted to them concern18 ing this child. And all who heard it wondered at the things 19 told them by the shepherds. But Mary let none of these things

escape unobserved, weighing every circumstance within herself. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all

that they had heard and seen, agreeably to what had been de

clared unto them. Gen. 17; 12. 21 ON the eighth day, when the child was circumcised, they

called him Jesus, the angel having given him that name before

his mother conceived him. 22 AND when the time of their purification was expired, they

carried him to Jerusalem, as the law of Moses appointeth, to 23 present him to the Lord, (as it is written in the law of God,

“Every male, who is the first-born of his mother, is coose24 crated to the Lord,'') and to offer the sacrifice enjoined in the

law, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. 25 Now there was at Jerusalem a man named Simeon, a just 26 and religious man, who expected the consolation of Israel; and

the Holy Spirit was upon him, and had revealed unto him that

he should not die until he had seen the Lord's Messiah. 27 This man came, guided by the Spirit, into the temple. And

when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what 28 the law required, he took him in his arms, and blessed God, 29 and said: Now, Lord, thou dost in peace dismiss thy servant, 30 according to thy word ; for mine eyes have seen the Saviour 31 whom thou hast provided in the sight of all the world; a lu32 minary to enlighten the nations, and be the glory of Israel 33 thy people. And Joseph, and the mother of Jesus, heard 34 with admiration the things spoken concerning him. And Si

meon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother : This child

is destined for the fall and the rise of many in Israel, and to serve 35 as a mark for contradiction, (yea, thine own soul shall be pierced

as with a javelin), that the thoughts of many hearts may be

disclosed. 36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, daughter of Fhanuel,

of the tribe of Asher, in an advanced age, who had lived seven 37 years with a husband whom she married when a virgin ; and

being now a widow of about eighty-four years, departed not

188. 8: 14. Ro. 9:32. 1 Pet. 2; 7.

from the temple, but served God in prayer and fasting night 38 and day ; she also, coming in at that instant, gave thanks to the

Lord, and spake concerning Jesus to all those in Jerusalem who

expected deliverance. 39 After they had performed every thing required by the law

of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city Na40 zareth. And the child grew, and acquired strength of mind,

being filled with wisdom, and adorned with a divine graceful

ness.

SECTION III.-THE BAPTISM.

41 NOW the parents of Jesus went yearly to Jerusalem at the Ex. 23; 24; 42 feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they

having gone thither, according to the usage of the festival, and 43 remained the customary time ; being on their return, the child

Jesus staid behind in Jerusalem, and neither Joseph nor bis 44 mother knew it. They, supposing him to be in the company,

went a day's journey, and then sought him among their rela45 tions and acquaintance; but not finding him, they returned to 46 Jerusalem, seeking him. And after three days they found

him in the temple, sitting among the doctors, both hearing them, 47. and asking them questions. And all who heard bim were

astonished : but they who saw him were amazed at his under

standing and answers. And his mother said to bim : Son, why 49 bast thou treated us thus ? Behold, thy father and I have

sought thee with sorrow. He answered: Why did ye seek 50 me? Knew ye not that I must be at my Father's ? But they did not comprehend his answer.

And he returned with them to Nazareth, and was subject unto them; and his mother treasured up all these things in her 52 memory.

And Jesus advanced in wisdom and stature, and in power with God and man. III. NOW, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, Pon

tius Pilate being procurator of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, Philip his brother tetrarch of Iturea and the province of

Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, in the high2 priesthood of Annas* and Caiaphas, the word of God came, Matr. 31. 3 in the wilderness, to John the son of Zacharias. And he went Mar. 1; 2.

through all the country along the Jordan, publishing the bap- Jo. 1: 2. 4 tism of reformation for the remission of sins. As it is written

in the book of the prophet Isaiah, " The voice of one proclaiming in the wilderness, prepare a way for the Lord, make

51

* Called by Josephus, Ananus.

f Jehovah.

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