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The Epistle. Heb. i. 1.
in time paft unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Who being the brighiness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our fins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high: Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent Name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first-begotten into the world, he faith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he faith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he faith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, a fceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning haft laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a verture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
Chrift, grant that as we joyfully receive him for our Redeemer, fo we may with sure confidence behold him, when he shall come to be our judge, who liveth and reigneth,” &c. The introit for the first communion was psalm cxviii.; the epistle, Tit. ii. 11; the gospel, Luke xi. I to 15: the introit for the second communion was pfalm viii.
Unto the fathers] To Jacob by Isaac, Gen. xxvii.; to the twelve patriarchs by Jacob, Gen. xlix.; to the Israelites by Moses, and by his successors in the prophetical office.
A lame of fire) The pafrage might be better translated, “who maketh the winds his messengers, and fames of lightning his minifters.” Coma pare psalm çiy. 4.
The Gospel. St. John i. 1. IN the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the bezinning with God. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made, that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light
And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man fent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that light, but was sent to bear witness of that light. That was the true light, which lighterh every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on' his name: Which were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.
Comprehended it not] Rather overspread it not; as is evident by a comparison of this verfe in the original Greek, with John xii. 35; “ Left darkness come upon you.". The meaning of the above pallage is, the light was not impaired by the darkness that surrounded it. Jelus Chrift was pure, perfect, and sinless, in the midst of a corrupted world, and a figful generation.
His own received him not] The sense of this paffage is twofold. Christ came to his own, to the human race at large with the gracious intention of redeeming them by his blood, and spiritualizing them by his preaching and example; but they (for the most part) ungratefully reject his covedant, and prefer the Slavery of fin, and the homage of the world, to“ a fervice that is perfect freedom,” and to the love of God: Or, he came to the Jewish people, over whom he had already presided, as the angel of the covenant,” and “they crucified the Lord of glory."
Full of grace and truth] i.e. Full of graciousness, or benignity; and of folid substantial doctrine, without
the figures, types, and shadows of the Law. Truth may lignify fidelity; but the sense here given it seems to be cftablished by the opposition in verse 17 of this chapter: "For the law Was given by Moses; but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
St. STEPHEN's Day.
earth, for the testimony of thy truth, we may ftedfastly look up to heaven, and by fanh behold the glory that shall be revealed ;, and being filled with the Holy Ghof, may tearn to love and bless our perfecutors, by the example of thy first Martyr Saint Stephen, who prayed for his murderers to thee, O bleiled Jefus, who standest at the right hand of God to fuccour all those that fuffer for thee, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen. I Then shall follow the Colleet of the Nativity, which fball
be said continually unto New-Tear's Eve.
For the Epistle. Aas vii. 55. TEPHEN being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up
stedfastly into heaven, and faw the glory of God, and Jesus ftanding on the right hand of God, and faid, Behold, I fee the heavens opened, and the Son of man fanding on the right hand of God. Then they cried ont with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran mpon hiin with one accord, and caft him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesfes laid down their clothes at a young inan's feet, whose name was Saul.
And they ftoned Stephen, calling upon God, and faying, Lord
TAc Calef]. This prarer for grace to follow the example of the faints and martyrs, in their refignation under persecutions, and in the forgivepets of injuries, was entirely newly framed at Charles's review; for before that time it ran thus: “ Grant us, O Lord, to learn to love our enemies by the example of thy martyr St. Stephen, who prayed for his perfecue tors, to thee which livest,” &c. The epistle and gofpel, however, are the Lune which were appropriated to the day from high antiquity. Speaking of the epistles and gospels for this day, St. John's, and lopocents, Sparrow obferves, that "the choice of them for thefe days is plain, thefe being all prigrilegerd days that is, days which have in fcripture their peculiar hiftories. --Rational, 125. The day was kept holy at leaft as far back as the time ot Augustine, in whofe works we find a fermon or homily composed for that occalion. The introitues appointed for this day was pfalm li.
A young man's feet) Compare Acts xxii. 20, Keeping the raiment firms to have been the customary office of one who had been active in CODvicting the perfon ftoned. It is remarkable, that by the just providence of ciod, the punithment of stoping wis inflicted upon Paul himself. Set Acts, chap. xiv. 19.
Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this fin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The Gospel. St. Matt. xxiii. 34. EHOLD, I send unto you prophets, and wise men,
and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel,: usto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye lew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things thall come upon this generation. Jerufalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent 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 desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
St. John the Evangelist's Day.
beams of light upon thy Church, that it being en
Deflate] Rather by you defolate. "Your city shall be destroyed, and be left defolate by you as a people.”
St. John] This evangeliit was the most beloved of all our Lord's difciples; Jolin xiii. 23. After staying some time with the blefled Virgin in his house at Jerusalem, (to whosé care she was committed by our Saviour; John xix. 27) probably till her death; he then travelled to preach the gospel in Afia; but some say she accompanied him to Ephesus.--A&. Eph. tom. i. c. 21. That he preached in Alia Minor, however, the best writers of antiquity allow; as alio, that he probably founded the seven churches mentioned Rev. i. 4. ' From Ephesus he was carried prisoner to Rome, on account of the doctrines which he taught, some think' by a malicious accufation of Ebion, others of Apollonius, Å. D. 92. There he was condemned to be thrown into a cauldron of boiling, oil; but being miraculously preferved, came out from thence alive. Afterwards he was banished into the iland of Patmos, one of the Sporades, where he wrote his Revelations. He was afterwards recalled thence by Nero, and then returned to Ephcfus.
hightened by the doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelift Saint John, may so 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.
i St. John i. 1. THAT which was fron 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 feen it, and bear witness, and thew unto you thai eternal lile, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) that which we have feen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowihip is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have beard of him, and declare unto you, that God 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 Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all fin. If we fay that we have no fin, we deceive ourselves, and the uuth is not in us. If we confess our fins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our fins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his Word is not in us.
He wrote his three epiftles to confute Baslides, and other heretics who denied the divinity of our Saviour. Last of all he wrote his gospel, to fupply the omissions of the other Evangelists, some few years before his death: He survived till the reign of Trajan, and died above 90 years of age.
The Colleft for St. John's Day] This prayer, for heavenly illumination, was more simple in its compolition before the last review. It now presents a play upon the word light, which rather offends against the rules of chafte composition. The epittle for this day was altered at the Refora mation, from the xxxth chap. of Ecclefiafticus, to the present one. The introitus was plalm xi.
Cleanseth us from all fin] i. e. Ratifies the covenant of pardon to the fincerely penitent; lee Levit. xvi. 30.