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of the same family wid house with th Israel : but God was pleased to themselves. On this occasion Josepit discover him to an honest, plain, de. and Mary, being of the house and li. vout man called Simeon, one who neage of David, were obliged to re- waited for the consolation of Israel; pair to Bethlehem : whither Mary and to Anna, an ancient widow of was no sooner arrived, but she was exemplary piety and devotion : who, providentially delivered of the Mes- coming in when the child Jesus was sial, who is Christ the Lord. brought into the temple, filled with $. Was the birth of this great per
tlie spirit, prophetic:lly acknowledgson immediately made known to the ed him to be the true Messiah, and worki?
gave thanks to Cod for what he saw T. Not to all the people. For the in that excellant canticle, Lord, now city at that time was so crouded with
lettest thou thy servant depart in strangers, that the holy pair were peace, according to thy word; for content to lodge in a stable ; where mine eyes have seen tliy salvation, &c. she was delivered, and the immacu. Avd not long after the celebrating late Son of God, at his first entrance these legal performances, before Jointo the world, was laid in a man. seph and Mary had left Bethlehem, ger, secreted as it were from the
we read of the arrival of three wise sight of all men, except a few peor men from the East ; who, being con. shepherds ; who, as they attended ducted by an uncommon star, and their flocks in the neigbouring plains, perhaps informed by some good an. being certified of this birth of Christ gel, that it denoted the birth of the by a company of the heavenly host, Messiah, or king of the Jews, prorepaired to the stable, and adored ceeded to Jerusalem, in quest of him the newborn babe.
to pay him their homage ; where S. Did his parents do for himn ac. losing the sight of the star for the precording to the law?
sent, they enquired for the new-born T. Yes : they had him circumcis. king of the Jews ed on the eighth day : not that he 5. Did they find him out? stood in any need of circumcision, T. Their enquiry raised great as this is considered as a remedy jealousy in Herod, and filled the against original sin ; because in his city with surprise ; and Herod harincarnation he had contracted no pol- ing consulted the Sanhedrim there. livion ; but, as he was made under on they told him that the Messiah, the law, and came to fulfil all righte. according to the prediction of the ousness, it became bim to receive prophet Micah, should be born at the sign, which God had ordained to Bethlehem in Judah.
Herod redistinguish thc Jews from all other solving with himself to cut him off, natioits. And when he was forty if possible, privately asked the wise days old, his mother went up to the men the exact time when thic star temple to purify herself, and to pre. appeared ; and desired they would sent her first-born son.
go and search diligently at Bethle. S. Did the child Jesus still remain hem for the young prince, and when unnoticed ?
they had found him, bring birg T. He was not as yet manifested word, that he might go and pay homage to him like wise. Having that was so cruel to put his own wife received these instructious, they de. and children to death? parted; anı', in their way, were a.
Ti Yess : and soon after the mur. greeably surprised with the appeai. der of these innocents, he was se. ance a-new of the sume miraculous verely visited by Goul. He feil into star, that bad served to conduct them a lingering fever, and was punished hitherto, anu wlich now guided them with grierous ulcers in his entrails to Bethlehem, and to the very house and bowcis ; a violent cholic ; an where Jesnis was.
insatiable appetite ; venomous swel. t ᅥ
S. How did they behave to the ling in liis feet ; convulsions in his child Jesus ?
nerves; a perpetual asthma, and T. They prostrated themselves, stinking breath; rottenness in his and paid adoration to hiin in the most joints, and privy members, accom. humbie manner ; ackowledged him panied with prodigious itchings, to be the Son of God, and presented crawling worms, and intolrerabic him with gold, fruuk incorse and smelis; so that lie was a perfect myrrh.
hospital of incurable and loathsome S. Did they obey Heord's direc. diseases. Yet though he could not tions, in returning and giving liim no.
be insensible that it was the hand of tice where the child was !
God that pursual him by such a T. No: God who knew the secret hurrid variety of pains and turnents, purpose, and wickedness of Herod's instead of preparing for death, and heart, to confound his vain wisdom, endeavouring a reconciliation with directed tiiein in a dream not to the Almighty, his heart was so har.
to Jerusalem, but to go dened, thit to prevert the general back into their own country by joy, which lie was conscious would some other road.
And soon after appear all over his dominions at bis Joseph Was expressly commanded death, he devised tle most honin. by all angel, w retire by night with project that ever entered into the Mary und Jesus into Egypt, and to mind of man, fur celebrating his remain there till he sliould receive death. For, while he thus lay sick word again from him.
at Jericho, he suminoned all his S. How did Herod behave when nobles to attend him there ; and he found linself mocked of the wise having thereby got them within his men ?
power, commanded his soldiers 10 T. Being no less enraged at his shut them ip in the Hippodrome ; own disappointment, thu want of and calling his sister Salome wnd her respect in them, he sent forth and husband Alexas, with some other slew all the children, that were in of his friends and confidents, lie enBethlehein, and the coasts thereol, joined them, that the moment he from two years old and under ; iito expired, the soldiers should put all teuding iy so general a massacre, those persons confined in the Hippo
dead, they opened the Hippodrome, T. The gospel takes no notice of and permitted all the prisoners to any thing that past from his infancy return home.
to his baptism, (excepting that he S. Who succeeded him ?
increased in wisdom and stature, and T. Having left three sons, Ar. in favour with God and man) till ho chelaus, Philip and Herod Antipas, was twelve years of age. His pahe by will divised his dominions rents were accustomed to go up to after this manner. To Archelaus Jerusalem once a year to the feast he gave Judea, Idumæa and Sa- of the Passover. And being now maria : to Philip the government of twelve years old, Jesus went up Auronitis, Trachonitis, Parea and with them : but, after the octave of Batanea : Herod Antipas bad the the feast was accomplished, and his command of Galilee and Petræa left parents were returning home withı him ; and to his sister Salome he
a great company of their neighbours left some particular cities, with a and acquaintance, he without hix considerable siit of money.
parents knowledge remained be. S. Did Joseph return from Egypt bind. As it might be customary upon the death of Herod ?
for the children to associate with T. lle was on that event, ordered some of their acquaintance in the in a vision to return into the land day-time, they supposed he was in of Israel, but wlen he arrived in the company ; but when night came Juides, and found that Archelaus, on, and the child Jesus was not to who inherited the cruel temper of be found, his parents were sore a. his father, succeeded to the govern- fraid that some accident had hap. ment in those parts, he to accom. pened to him, and returned in queste plish the prophecy which foretold of him to Jerusalem; and after our Saviour should be called a Na. three days they found him in the zarene, retired to Nazareth, the ci. temple, seated among the members, ty where he had before resirled, and of the great Sanhedrim, propounda which was urder the jurisdiction of ing questions to them, and answere Herod Antiras.
ing such as they asked, in so extraS How did Archelaus rule ? ordinary a manner, and with so
T. So b.dly, that bis subjects im. much skill and prudence, that he peached him to the Roman empe- raised the admiration of all that ror; who afier a full conviction of heard him. It is not to be con. his guilt, deprived him of his şoccived what joy and surprise it was vernment, confiscated all his goods; to his disconsolate parents to find banished him to Vienna in Gaul, and hir in that place and circumstance; reduced his dominions to the forın of but they could not but gendly com. a Roman province under the manage plain of his withdrawing himself ment of a procurator, who in some without their knowledge : but he S. Did Jesus return home with been acknowledged, and practised, his parents ?
as an emblem of purification from 7. Yes :, he returned with them past guilt, and a rite of entering immediately to Nazareth.
solemnly into a covenant with God. S. Does it appear in what state he It is supposed to have been practised was brought up ?
by all the congregation before tho T. Most probably he assisted his giving of the law on Sinai ? and all father in the trade of a carpenter, heathen proselytes were obliged to till the 30th year of his age, when receive the same, as an evidence of he manifested linself to Israel. their repentance for past offences,
S. Who reigned at Rome at this and a profession of their future obetime!
dience. T'. Augustus Cæsar was yet alive S. Was John's baptism the same but he died about six years after, in in substance with the Christian? the 44th year of his reign ; and was 7. No: for John neither did, succeeded by Tiberius Cæsar, the nor could baptise his disciples in the son of his wife Livia by a former hus. name of the Holy Ghost, because band; who was of a quite contrary the Holy Ghost was not yet given. disposion to his predecessor ; and who Nor did he baptise them in the name in the second year of his reign, recall. of Christ ; for then there had been ng ed Rufus, and appointed Valerius need of that question, whether he Gratus, who after eleven years was himself were the Christ or not? succeeded by Pontius Pilate, a man, But faith being as necessary a quali. like his master, of a fierce, cruel, co. fication for baptism, as repentance, vetous and irreconcileable spirit, in John propounded our Lord for the the government of Judæa.
object of faith to all, who were baptis. S. How did John the Baptist ap- ,ed by him, saying, that they should pear to be the fore-runner of Christ, believe in him, who should come after our Saviour?
him. So that the imperfection of T. In the 15th year of Tiberius, John's baptism lay in this, that John who had hitherto lived in the though it prepared men to be Christdesart state of solitude, began to ians, yet it did not make them so. make his public appearance on the
S. How had John passed his life banks of the river Jordan, and in hitherto? the wilderness, preaching repen
T. He had led a retired, autsere tance, and baptising those that came and holy life ; and when he began to to him ; commanding them to re. preach, he enforced his doctrine of pent, for the kingdom to heaven is repentace by the example of his own at hand ; and that he was the per mortifications ; eating only of what na. son spoken of by the prophet Isaias, ture produced in desart places, and who was to prepare the way of the being cloathed with the skin of a all ranks and degrees of the people, and powerful from the days of the and some of the Pharisees, Saddu- high-priest, John Hyrcanus, who cees and publicans, looking upon him was drawn over to their principles ás more than a man, and judging him and party, as I have remarked be. i to be the Messias, resorted to him fore. In the days of Alexander to be baptised of liim.
Jannæus, the sadduces got posS. Who were the Pharisees!
session of all the officers of the San. T. They were the most considera. hcdriin. Caiaphas the high-priest ble sect among the Jews; and who condemned Christ to death, took their name from a Hebrew
was a sedducee, as was also Ana. word, which signifies division or nus the younger, who put to death separation ; for they aficcice to dis. James, the brother of our Lord. tinguish themselves from the other They maintained the mortality of Israelites by a inore strict manner of the soul; denied a resurection of life. They were very mumerous ; the same body, and the existence and their learning, exact observance of angels and spirits. They denied of the ceremonial law, and their all fatality, and by presuming that works of supererogation, gained God did not attend to the evil that is them great credit and infuence ::• done in the world, and making mong the people in our Saviour's man the absolute master of all his days. They inputed much to the
own actions; they really denyed eternal decrees of God and to fata. God's universal and particular prolity; but like the Stvics, left to vidence over his creatures. men a liberty of doing good actions, S. Who were the Publicans ?
t 원 or not. Their power and credit T. They were the tax-gatherers, filled them with pride. And by deputies or collectors to the farmers their own inventions or traditions of the public revenue under the Ro. they rendered the commandments of
man emperor; and this tax being a God of none effect. And there. badge of subjection and dependence, fore our Saviour, in the course of the collectors thereof were most his ministry, upbraids them with hateful to the people, and were ostentation, hypocrisy, self-love, and looked upon by them as a prophane corrupting and perverting the scrip- set, and who made no conscience of tures of God. But as they beliered the exactions and frauds which their the immortality of the soul; admite office gave them an opportunity to ted a kind of transmigration of the commit. The Jews carried their souls of good men, which might pass dislike to those of their own nation, from one body to another, and ac- who accepted of this employment, knowledged the existence of angels so far, as to rank them with the hea. and spirits ; so they believed the Ken, and to exclude them from even resurrection of the dead, and all its the common courtesies and offices consequences.
of life. S. Who were the Sadducees? S: Where did John baptise those