Billeder på siden

young mans feet, whofe name was || Saul. And they ftoned Stephen, calling upon God, and faying, Lord Jefus, receive my fpirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this fin to their charge. And when he had faid this he fell asleep.


The Gofpel. St. Matth. 23. 34.

[ocr errors]

Ehold, I send unto you prophets, and wife men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them fhall ye scourge in your fynagogues, and perfecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye flew between the temple and the altar. Verily I fay unto you, + All these things shall come upon this generation. § O Jerufalem, Jerufalem, thou that killeft the Prophets, and ftoneft them which are fent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you defolate. For I fay unto you, Ye fhall not fee me henceforth, till ye shall say, Bleffed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.


* Saint John the Evangelift's Day.

The Collect.

Erciful Lord, we beseech thee to caft thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it being enlightened by the doctrine of thy bleffed Apoftle and Evangelift Saint John, may

Saul. This was he who was afterwards called Paul, who by the Grace of God afterwards diftinguished himself far more in the fupport and propagation of Chriftianity, than he did now in his oppofition to it; and became at laft a glorious Martyr to that caufe, which he now perfecuted.

↑ Allthefe Thin s fhall come upon this Generation. This Prophecy was fulfilled about thirty-eight Years after, in the deftruction of Jerufalem.

SO Jerufalem, Jerufalem, &c. Who can read this paliage and not be deeply affected with thefe tender expreffions of Christ's Love towards this ungrateful, impenitent People! Let us then take heed that we abufe not thofe Mercies which God is continually extending towards us, left we too fhould one Day fuffer a worfe fate than the Jews.

The Feftival of St. John the Evangelift has the fecond place next to our Lord's Nativity, because he was

fo walk in the light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to the light of everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Epiftle. I S. John 1. 1.


HAT which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our Eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the word of life; (for the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and fhew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.) That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye alfo may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jefus Chrift. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the meffage which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, thatGod is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but ‡ if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jefus Chrift his Son cleanseth us from all fin. If we fay that we have no fin, we deceive ourfelves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our fins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our fins, and to cleanse us from

Paraphrafe on the Collea for Gracious God, fo illuminate thy Church by the Doctrine of thy Apostle St. John, that through the

the Difciple whom Jefus particularly loved. As he was the youngest of our Lord's Difciples, fo perhaps it was his early Piety that gained him this preference: which fhould strongly excite us to remember our Creator and Redeemer in the Days of our Youth, and fo diligently to walk in the light of that Truth, which this Evangelift has given us, that we may at length attain to the light of everlasting Life through Jefus Chrift.

That which was from the beginning, &c. Obferve here how well qualified this Apoftle was to bear Tef timony concerning his divine Mafter, fince he had not


St. John the Evangelift's Day.

guidance and inftruction of thy Holy Word it may attain to the light of eternal Life, through Jefus Chrift.

only feen his Perfon and Miracles,had not only heard his Doârines from his own mouth; but had also handled him, and been his bofom Friend, which was a convincing proof that Chrift was real Man and not a Spirit.

If we walk in the Light, &c. i. e. If we endea vour to be holy as he is Holy, we have Communion with God, and God with us; and he, for the fufferings of Jefus Chrift, will pardon all thofe finful Infirmities and Defects, which, in this ftate of imperfection, cleave to our beft Actions.


unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his Word is not in us.


[ocr errors]

The Gospel. S. John 21. 19.

ESUS faid unto Peter, Follow me, Then Peter turning about, feeth the disciple whom Jefus loved, following, which also leaned on his breast at supper, and faid, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? Peter seeing him, faith to Jefus, Lord, and what fhall this man do? Jefus faith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. § Then went this faying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple fhould not die: yet Jefus faid not funto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that tothee? This is the disciple which teftifieth of these things, and wrote these things, and we know that his teftimony is true. † And there are also many other things which Jefus did, the which if they fhould be written every one, I fuppofe, that even the World itfelf could not contain the books that fhould be written.

+ The Innocents Day.

The Collect.

Almighty who out of the mouths of babes and fuck-
lings haft ordained ftrength, and madeft infants to glorify

thee by their deaths; Mortify and kill all vices in us, and fo

§ Then went this laying abroad, &c. Notwithftanding the care which the Apostle took to prevent any mistakes in this refpect, yet fome have invented a fabulous Story that he did not die, but was tranflated like Enoch, or Elias. But what our Saviour faid concerning his tarrying till he came, was fufficiently fulfil led, in that he permitted him to live till he came to take vengeance upon the Jews by the deftruction of Jerufalem. St. John living till he was above eighty years of Age, which was probably more than ten Years after that event.

† And there are also many other Things, &c. The expreffion in the latter part of this fentence. I fuppofe, that even the World itself could not contain the Becks that hould be written feems according to our present tranf

lation to be hyperbolical and might more properly have been I fuppofe, the World would not receive (or believe) the Books that should be writ-ten. For if Mankind are not fufficiently induced to believe in Jefus Chrift through the Writings already published concerning him: neither would they believe tho' they had a minute account of every Miracle which he wrought.

The flaughter of the Innocents is commemorated in the third place after our Lord's Birth-Day, because it was confequ.nt upon it. And let us remember that Chrift has affured us that unless, we be converted, and become as little Children, we shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Let their unambitious Simplicity, Humility, and Innocence be always the object of our imitation.

ftrengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and conftancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy Name, through Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.


For the Epistle. Rev. 14. 1.


Looked, and lo, a Lamb ftood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Fathers name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new fong before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders; and no man could learn that fong, but the hundred and forty and four thousand which were redeemed from the earth. Thefe are they which were not defiled with women, for they are virgins: these are they which follow the Lamb whitherfoever he goeth: these were redeemed from among men, being the firft-fruits unto God, and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile; for they are without fault before the throne of God.


[ocr errors]

The Gospel. S. Matth. 2. 13.

HE angel of the Lord appeareth to Jofeph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will feek the young child to deftroy him.

M 2

Paraphrafe on the Collect for Innocents Day.

O moft mighty God, who canft make the weakest Beings to become powerful Inftruments of thy Providence; and for thy own wife purposes didft permit the infants of Bethlehem to be mafacrced by Herod, de

These are they which were not defiled, c. This feems to be one of thofe paffages of Scripture on which the Church of Rome has founded her Doctrine of a:

fingle life, vowed upon a religious account; thus cafting a reflection upon that ftate which God has declared to be honourable. Whereas it feems properly to fignify thofe who had preferved themselves from the pollutions of Idolatry and Uncleannefs; which, in the.

When he

ftroy in us all Vices, and fo affift us by thy grace, th t by the harmleffnefs of our Lives and the feadiness of our Faith even unto Death, we may promote thy glory through Jefus Chrift,

Scriptures, is frequently reprefented as a kind of ipiritual Whoredom.

* The Angel of the Lord appeareth, &c. The particular care of Providence for the prefervation of the holy Infant, fhews, that Jefus was, indeed, as he reprefenied himself, the Son of God: and proves that the utmot endeavours of Men can never prevent the execution f what God has purpofed, nor hurt thofe whom he protect.


[ocr errors]

arofe, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, faying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son. ‡ Then Herod, when he faw that he was mocked of the wife-men, was exceeding wroth, and fent forth, and flew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coafts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wife-men. Then was fulfilled that which was fpoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.


+ The Sunday after Christmas-day.

The Collect.

Lmighty hast given us thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be God, who born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the fame our Lord Jefus Chrift, who liveth and reigneth with thee, and the fame Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.

Paraphrafs on the Collect for the Sunday after Chriftmas-day. Moft mighty God, who, for our Redemption, didft caufe thy Son Jefus Chrift to be made Man, and, as at this feason, to be born of the Virgin Mary, grant that we being born again from the Death of Sin unto a life of Righteousness, and admitted into the glori

ous Liberty of the Sons God; may, by the help of thy Spirit, daily increase in newness of living, through the fame Jefus, who reigneth with thee, and the fame holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

Then Herod when he faw. &c. Behold in Herod a lively inftance of the fatal effects of Envy and Ambition. This example fhould teach us to keep a guard over our defires after worldly Honour and Greatnefs: which, when indulged to excefs, are fo apt to produce in us fuch jealoufy and torment, and to break through all obligations of nature and duty to overturn all Laws, and erafe the brightest impressions of Reafon and Religion.

+ Who can confider this amazing condefcenfion of the Son of God, and not be filled with Gratitude, with Love, towards fuch a Benefactor! and if he in

whom the fullness of the Godhead dwelt bodily could ftoop fo low for the Salvation of Man; what office can we think too low that ferves to promote the fame glo rious end! Let this Mind be in us then which was also in Chrift Jefus, and let us put off concerning the former Converfation, the old Man which is corrupt according to the deceitful Lufts: and be renewed in the Spirit of our Mind; and put on the new Man, which after God is created in Righteoufnefs and true Holiness. God has promised the affittance of his Spirit to help our Infirmities upon the eafy condition of fincere and fervent Prayer, through Jefus Chrift.

« ForrigeFortsæt »