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B. time the star appeared. And he
sent them to Bethlehem; and First Sunday after the Epiphany. said, “Go, and search diligently
The Collect. " for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me
O LORD, we beseech thee mer“ word again, that I may come and cifully to receive the prayers of 9.
“ worship him also.” When they thy people which call upon thee; had heard the king, they depart
and grant that they may both ed : and, lo, the star, which they | perceive and know what things saw in the east, went before them, they ought to do, and also may
till it came and stood over where have grace and power faithfully 10, the young child was. When to fulfil the same, through Jesus they (a) saw the star, they rejoiced
Christ our Lord. Amen. 11. with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the
The Epistle. Rom. xi. 1. (c) house, they saw the young child | BESEECH you therefore, brewith Mary his mother, and fell thren, by the mercies of God, down, and worshipped him : and that ye present (d) your bodies a when they had opened their trea- living (e) sacrifice, holy, acceptable sures, they presented unto him unto
God, which is your (f) reagifts(b); gold, and frankincense, sonable service. And be not con- 2. 12. and myrrh. And being warned formed to this world : but be ye
of God in a dream that they transformed by the (8) renewing
what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect willof God. For I say, 3.
after him, with a view to destroy him,
(a) “ Saw the star," i. e. standing over
him. 0. II.
(6) “Gifts.” In Ps.lxxii. which is considered as looking prophetically to the Messiah, are these passages:
" The “kings of Tarsus, and of the isles, shall “ give presents : the kings of Arabia “ and Saba shall bring gifts. He shall
live, and unto him shall be given of " the gold of Arabia.”
(c) St. Paul had been shewing that the Gentiles might receive all the benefits of Christ's coming, without submitting to any of the Jewish ceremonies ; that the Jews would also be admitted to them, if they embraced the belief of Christianity, and pra&ised the duties it enjoins ; but that without such practice there could be no salvation in Christ either to Jew or Gentile : and he therefore presses them, as they are no longer required to make the sacrifices the Nosaic law required, to
make the only sacrifice Christianity de-
(d) “ Your bodies," in opposition to v. I. those of animals.
(e) “ Living sacrifice," not a sacrifice o. I. which was to be slain ; but by suppressing their evil desires, &c. to make a sacrifice of their own bodies, without subjecting them to death: not as before, by killing the body of an animal, and bringing that into a state of purity, but by killing their lusts, &c. to bring their own bodies into a state of puriiy, and yet keeping them alive,
()Reasonable," much more reason- v. 1. able than to seek for pardon by killing of bulls, &c.
(8).“ Renewing of your mind," i. e. v. 2. bringing your mind into a new state ; form. ing it anew. So Eph. iv. 23, 24. St. Paul exhorts them to “be renewed in the spirit
through (h) the grace given unto | the child Jesus tarried behind in me, to every man that is among Jerusalem; and Joseph and his you, not to think of himself more mother knew not of it. highly (i) than he ought to think; they, supposing him to have been but to think soberly, (k)according in the company, went a day's
as God hath dealt to every man the journey; and they sought him 4. measure of faith. For as we have
among their kinsfolk and acmany (!) members in one body, quaintance.
And when they 4 and all members have not the found him not, they turned back 5. same office; so we, being many, again to Jerusalem, seeking him.
are one body in Christ, and every And it came to pass, that after one members one of another. three days they found him in the
temple, sitting in the midst of The Gospel. Luke ii. 41. the doctors, both hearing them, Now his parents went to Jerusa- and asking them questions. And 4
lem every year at the feast of the all that heard him were astonished 42. passover.
And when he was at his understanding and answers. twelve years old, they went up to And when they saw him, they 4 Jerusalem after the custom of the were amazed : and his mother
And when they had ful- said unto him, “ Son, why hast filled the days, as they returned, “ thou thus dealt with us? behold,
"6 unto every
“ of your mind, and to put on the new
man, which after God” (that is, in imitation of God's perfections)“ is “ created in righteousness, and true or holiness. So Col. iii. 9, 10. he speaks of those converts as having “put off the “ old man with his deeds, and having
put on the new man, which is renewed
in knowledge, after the image of him * that created them,” i. e. God. In John iii. 3. our Saviour says, “ except a
man be born again,” (meaning that unless his mind is so far impressed with his duty to God as to make him withstand all contrary propensities) "he can
not see the kingdom of God.” 3.
(h) “ Through the grace,” i.e. not of myself alone, but upon the suggestion
of the Spirit. 3.
(i) “ More highly." What St. Paulis particularly condemning, is their overvaluing themselves upon peculiar gifts of the Spirit ; and the answer to this kind of pride occurs, 1 Cor. iv. 7.
<< who “ maketh thee to differ from another? « and what hast thou that thou didst
not receive ? Now if thou didst re“ ceive it, why dost thou glory as if " thou hadst not received it."
(k) “According," &c. that is, upon the conviction that it is God that has allotted to each such powers, &c. as he thought
fit to intrust to his care. The same idea is thus expressed, Eph. iv. 7.
of us is given grace (i.e. talents) according to the measure of the gift " of Christ.”
(1) “ Many members," &c. This idea is . very much enlarged upon, i Cor. xii
, and Eph. iv. 3. to 16. The substance of the argument is this : no one ought too much to value himself because the spiritual gifts with which he is endowed are of the highest kind, nor should any one be undervalued because the gifts intrusted to him are of a lower degree : the highest and the lowest must all be exercised; they are all conferred; and the object of conferring them is not to aggrandize the individual, or advance bis glory, but to forward the general interests of Christianity, and advance the glory of God. All of them, however they may differ, proceed from the same high original, and have all the same high. object. Each man has what is intrusted to him, not for his own sake, not from his own merit, not for his own honour, but for the sake of the Church in general, and to extend its influence. The passage
in 1 Cor. xi, will be found, 10th Sunday after Trinity, and part of the passage in Ephes. iv. post.
" thy father and I have sought thee The Epistle. Rom. xii. 6.
Having then (n) gifts differing them, “ How is it that ye sought according ) to the grace that is “ me? wist ye not that I must be given to us, whether prophecy, let
« about(m)my Father's business?” us prophesy according to the pro50. And they understood not the say- portion (p) of faith ; or ministry, 7.
ing which he spake unto them. let us wait on our ministering ; or it. And he went down with them, and he that teacheth, on teaching; or 8.
came to Nazareth, and was sub- he that exhorteth, on exhortaE ject unto them: but his mother tion: he that giveth, let him do it E kept all these sayings in her heart. with (9) simplicity; he that ruleth, 52. And Jesus increased in wisdom with diligence; he that sheweth and stature, and in favour with
mercy, with cheerfulness.
love (r) be without dissimulation.
to that which is good. Be kindly 10. Second Sunday after the Epiphany.
affectioned one to another with The Collect.
brotherly love ; in honour preALMIGHTY and everlasting God,
ferring one another; not slothful who dost govern all things in in business ; fervent in spirit; 11. heaven and earth; Mercifully serving the Lord; rejoicing in hear the supplications of thy hope ; patient in tribulation ; 12. people, and grant us thy peace continuing'instant in prayer ; dis- 13. all the days of our life, through tributing to the necessity of saints; Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. given to hospitality.
Bless (1) 14.
(m) “My Father's," i.e. God's. Or () « Let Love, &c." So in 1 Cor. v. 9. the translation might be, "in my Father's after an argument much more at large to “ house."
prevent their priding themselves upon (n) “ Gifts," i.e. spiritual gifts. The spiritual gifts they received, he extraordinary powers conferred upon the passes to that fine panegyric upon chafirst members of Christianity, to enable rity or Christian benevolence, i Cor. xiii. them to accomplish its propagation.
which constitutes the Epistle for Quinv. 6. (“According to the grace that is given. | quagesima.
“us," that is, according to what God It is peculiar to the systems of mora-
(p)“ Proportion of faith." Faith is tendency to advance the happiness of
This is considered as affording strong cording to the extent of the trust re- internal evidence to confirin our belief posed in us, or delegated to us.
that they had their origin from God. 0.8. (9). "Simplicity,' i.e.probably, with- Let any one review his past conduct,
out ostentation. Our Saviour, in his and compare it with the rules of conduct
your alms before men, to be seen of (s) “Bless, &c.” Is there any other 0. 14. " them; otherwise ye have no reward system which contains such a precept as
your Father, which is in heaven," this ? and yet is not the acting up to it &c.
likely to diminish the evils of persecu
them which persecute you : bless, | purifying of the Jews, containing
two or three firkins 7. that do rejoice, and weep with saith unto them, “ Fill the water16. them that weep. Be of the same
with water.” And they mind one toward another. Mind filled them up to the brim. And he 8. not high things, but condescend saith unto them, “ Draw out now, to men of low estate.
« and bear unto the governor of
" the feast.” And they bare it. The Gospel. John ii. 1.
When the ruler of the feast had g And the third day there was a tasted the water that was made marriage in Cana of Galilee; and wine, and knew not whence it
the mother of Jesus was there : was, (but the servants which drew 2. and both Jesus was called and his the water knew), the governor of 3. disciples (t) to the marriage. And the feast called the bridegroom,
when they wanted wine, the mo- and saith unto him, “Every, man 10.
ther of Jesus saith unto him, " at the beginning doth set forth 4. “ They have no wine.” Jesus saith
good wine; and when men unto her, (u) “Woman, what have “ have well drunk, then that “ I to do with thee? mine hour is « which is worse : but thou hast
not yet come.” His mother saith “ kept the good wine until now." unto the servants, “ Whatsoever This beginning of miracles did 11. .6. “ he saith unto you, do it.” And Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and
there were set there six water-pots manifested forth his glory; and of stone, after the manner of the his disciples believed on him.
tion? It has an obvious tendency to lessen the virulence of the persecutors, and it better enables the sufferers to bear up against their afflictions, by knowing that they are undeserved, that they have given no occasion for what they endure, and by the consequent conviction that they must ultimately receive their reward from God. Our Saviour inculcates the same doctrine, Matt. v. 43, 44. “ Ye " have heard that it hath been said, " thou shalt love thy neighbour, and “ hate thine enemy : but I say unto
you, love your enemies, bless them " that curse you, do good to them that " hate you, and pray
for them which “ despitefully use you, and persecute “ you." And St. Stephen confirmed this doctrine at his death, for when he was stoned, his last act was to “ kneel " down and cry wi h a loud voice, Lord
lay nor this sin to their charge." See 57. note (a). So when our Saviour was upon the cross, he said, “ Father, for. give them, for they know not what they
do.” Luke xxiii. 34.
(1) " His disciples." St. John, therefore, who was one of those disciples, had
strong evidence of this miracle, for he was probably in the house when it was performed; but many of our Saviour'smiracles were done in the sight of St. Matthew and St. John, and as to them therefore they could not be deceived. The power our Saviour and his disciples had of working miracles is a strong proof of the truth of Christianity. It is the attestation of God himself. They could not have been per. formed but under his san&ion, and can it be believed that he would have given that sanction to an impostor?
(u) “ Woman." This was not a word 4 of disrespect; our Saviour applies it to his mother when he was on the cross, John xix. 26. “When Jesus therefore saw « his mother, and the disciple standing
by, whom he loved, he saith unto his “mother, Woman, behold thy Son; then “ saith he to the disciple, Behold thy “ mother." It has been supposed that he purposely used this term, that the making her an object of religious adoration, which he foresaw would be done, might not be justified by any peculiar mark of respect from him to her.
Third Sunday after the Epiphany.
ably with all men. Dearly be- 19.
loved, avenge not yourselves ; The Collect.
but rather give place unto wrath : Almighty and everlasting God, for it is (z) written, “ Vengeance
“ is mine; I will repay, saith the mercifully look upon our infir
" Lord.” Therefore if thine ene. 20. mities, and in all our dangers and necessities stretch forth thy right | give him drink : for in so doing
my hunger, feed him; if he thirst, hand to help and defend us,
thou shalt (a) heap coals of fire through Jesus Christ our Lord.
on his head. Be not overcome 21. Amen.
of evil, but overcome evil with The Epistle. Rom. xi. 16.
good. Be not wise in your own con
The Gospel. Matt. viii. 1.
When he was come down from man evil for evil. Provide the (6) mountain, great multi
things (y) honest in the sight of titudes followed him. And, be- 2. 18. all men. If it be possible, as hold, there came a leper and
much as lieth in you, live peace- || worshipped him, saying, “Lord, if
117. (*)." Recompence," &c. Solomon
gives the same advice, Prov.xx.22.“ Say
not thou, I will recompence evil: but “ wait on the Lord, and he shall save " thee." So St. Paul exhorts, i Thess. v. 15. See that none render evil for "evil unto any man: but ever fol. " low that which is good both among " yourselves, and to all men." St. Peter also directs, 1 Pet. iii. 9. “ not to ren" der evil for evil, or railing for rail"ing, but contrary-wise blessing;" and reminds us, i Pet. ii. 23. of the example of our Saviour, “who when he was reviled, reviled not again ; when be suffered, he threatened not, but " committed himself to Him that judgeth
righteously.” 0.17., 6)“ Honest," i. e. well thought of. So 2 Cor, viii. 21. he directs the *
providing for honest things, not only in " the sight of the Lord, but also in the
sight of men;" where by honest he must mean not only what really is right, but what has also that appearance. See also 1 Thess. iv. 12.
(z) “ Written.” The passage is Deut.xxxii
. 35. "To me (saith the Lord) " belongeth vengeance, and recompence.” And accordingly, Ps. xciv. 1. he is appealed to as Him to whom vengeance belongeth : “ O Lord God, to whom ven.
geance belongeth, o God, to whom
vengeance belongeth, shew thy<< self.”
(a) “Heap," &c. This probably alludes 0. 20. to the method of melting
metals in a cru-
to what fol,
is taken from Prov. xxv. 21.
(6) “ Mountain,” the place where he had been delivering that admirable dis. course called his Sermon on the Mount, contained in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of St. Matthew.