Page images


60 And his mother answer.' ed, and said, Not fo; but he shall be called John.

61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

62 And they made signs to his facher, how he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.

64 And his mouth was 0pened immediately, and his congue lorsed, and he fpake, and praised God.

65 And fear came on all that dwele round about them : and all these sayings were noiled abroad throughout all the hill-country of Judea.

66 And all they that had heard them, laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be? and the hand of the Lord was with him.

while his mother who understood from her Husband what name was to be given him, pleaded that he should be named John, they oppos’d his being so calld, becaule none of his Relations it appear'd had ever been of that name: not agreeing therefore about this matter, they enquir'd by Signs of Zacharias, who was ftiii deaf and dumb, 'what name he would have his Son call'd by. He by Signs prefently order'd á writing Table to be brought him, took it, and wrote the name Fohn upon it, which they all wonder'd at, it being customary to name Children after fome one or other of their Ancestors.

Zacharias had no sooner written the name of his Son, but he instantly recover'd the former use both of his Ears and Tongue, and began to give thanks to God with a very audible Voice, which struck the Minds of all the Neighbors with the greatest wonder mixt with fear, and was divulg’d together with the other things I have related concerning the Birth of John through all the hill Country of Jude 1. So that it made a deep Impression upon every one's Memory who heard it, and rais'd the expectation of all to observe what should attend this Child ; fince such wonder



[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]


68 Blessed be che Lord God of Israel, for he hach visited and redeemed his people,

69 And hach raised up an horn of salvation for us, in the house of his servant David ;

70 As he spake by the « mouth of his holy prophets, which have been fince che world began;

71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from o the hand of all chac hate us.

72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to z remember his holy covenant :

73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

• 74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered ; out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him with« our fear,

75 In holiness and righreousness before him, all the 1 days of our life.

[ocr errors]

Tul things had preceded. and followed his Birth. His Father Zacbarias, as was faid, having recover'd his Speech, and being influenc'd by the Holy Spirit, pronounc'd the following Prophecy : Praise. be given to the great

Creator of the Universe, whom the Ifraelites adore; because the time or : their Deliverance by him approaches. He will. Shortly raise up that King of

the family of David (who fo devoutly worship'd him heretofore) that Jhall be : the Saviour of his people, and who was many Ages ago promis'd us by the Pro

phets. He shall deliver us from our Enemies, and all that hate us without cause. He will now bestow on us the favours he promis'd our Ancestors by the Covewant be made with them, and the Oath by which he assurd Abraham the Father

of our Nation, that the time should come in which we should be fav'd from the in fear of all our Enemies, to serve him freely, joining Sandity and Righteousnefs to Cieur religious Worship, through the whole course of our Lives. And thee, o


[ocr errors]

76 And thou child shalt be
called the prophet of the

Highest: for chou shale go be.
- fore che face of the Lord, 60
prepare his ways;

77. To give knowledg of - Salvation unto his people, by the remisfion of their fins,

78. Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high bath visited us,

79 To give light to them that fit in darkness, and in

the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace,

8C And the child grew, and waxed strong in fpirit, and was in the deserts cill the day of his fhewing ungo Ifrael.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Child, all fall esteem a Prophet of God, for thou shalt call the feros to Repentance and a new Life, and fo before Crift manifefts himself to them shall prepare their Minds as 'tis meet to receive him. Thou fhalt inform thy Countrymen that their Salvation is at the door, and that if they turn to a holy course of Life God · will give them a remission of their Sins, seeing he is infinitely merciful, and is pleasd to cause the new Light of Cbrift, who will suddenly be sent from Heaven, to arise, and enlighten us who have been wapdring in the mists of. Ignorance, and dired us into the way of Salvation.

As the Child grew up, he improved in wisdom and Atrength of Mind beyond what was common, and was more frequently in Solitudes than Towns and Cities, until he receiv'd his Commission from God to go, and preach Repentance to his Country: 2. Ahen.







CH A P. I.

[ocr errors]

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wile : When as his mother Mary was elpoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her hufband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus : for he shall save his people from their fins.

The Birth and Lineage of Christ.

To return now to Clorist : His Mother, as I said before, had promis'd marriage to

Joseph, who perceiv'd lie was big with child before they had as yet cohabited, which was effected by the power of the Holy Ghost, as had been foretold by the Angel, but was unknown to Joseph. However being of a meek and merciful disposition, he so much pitied her condition, that he would not put her away publickly, so as to prodaim the reason of her dismislion to her greatest infamy, but chose rather to cast her off privately, that her Reputation might suffer as little as pofiible. His mind being barried in these matters, an Angel appear'd to him in a dream, and bid him not fear to take Mary home to him for his Wife, telling him The was not with child by any unlawful Ađ, but by an extraordinary operation of the Divine Power, and that the should be deliver'd of a Son who should be nam'd telus, that is, a Saviour; because he should save the People of Judea, tho not from The Yoke of the Romans, yet from their l'ices and Misries, which was a matter of much greater concern to them.

Foseph JOHN.




C H A P. I.

22 (Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was

spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they Thall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted, is, God with us)

24 Then Joseph being raised from Ileep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her noe till she had brought forth her first-born fon; and he called his name Jesus.

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

Foseph being awak'd from his Dream, perceiv'd it had been sent by God; as well because Mary upon his enquiry, related to himewhat had happen'd to her jult after the same manner as the Angel had told him in his Neep, as for other reasons. Upon this he took Mary to his house, but knew her not till she was deliver'd of the Son she went with, conceiv'd in her Virginity; who when he was born was nam’d. Jesus. Which exadly agrees with that antient Prophecy of Isaiah; Behold a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Emmanuel, that is, God with N0. In the mean time an Edict of Augustus was brought into Fude.a, by which he ordain'd, that a general Account should be taken of the number of the People, not only in the Provinces of the People of Romie, but also in those neighboring King. doms in which Kings were constituted by the Romans, This first Calculation of the number of the Jews, was made before the Tribute which was levied by P. Siulpicius Quirinus President of Syria, after Archelaus was banishd, and Judea reduc'd into the



« PreviousContinue »