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VISIT OF MARY TO ELISABETH.
bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David : and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever ; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee : therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord ; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda ; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.
And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost : and she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed : for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord. And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden : for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things ; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm ; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things ; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise : When as His
BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghosi. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 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. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus : for He shall save His people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife ; and knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son.
3.-Birth and Childhood of John the Baptist.
ST LUKE 1. 57-80. Hill-country of Judæa--Wilderness East of Jordan. Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered ; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child ; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not s0; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them : and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill-country of Judæa. And all they that 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.
And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel ; for He hath visited
BIRTH OF JESUS.
and redeemed His people, and hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David ; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began : that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us ; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant ; the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest : for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.
4.--Birth and Presentation of Jesus.
Bethlehem-Jerusalem. And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem ; (because he was of the house and lineage of David :) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped Him in swaddling-clothes, and laid Him in a manger ; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good ticings of great joy, which shall be to all
VISIT OF THE SHEPHERDS TO THE MANGER.
people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you : Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling-clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host. praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth. peace, goodwill toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger, And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, His name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought Him to Jerusalem, to present Him to the Lord ; (as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord ;) and to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.
And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple : and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for Him after the custom of the law, then took he Him up in his arms, ard blessed God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word : for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people ; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel. And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of Him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother, Behold, this
DESCENT OF JESUS FROM DAVID AND ABRAHAM.
child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel ; and for a sign which shall be spoken against ; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity, and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem. And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
Genealogies of Jesus.
The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.
Abraham begat Isaac ; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren ; and Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar ; and Phares begat Esrom ; and Esrom begat Aram ; and Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson ; and Naasson begat Salmon ; and Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth ; and Obed begat Jesse ; and Jesse begat David the king ;
And David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias ; and Solomon begat Roboam ; and Roboam begat Abia ; and Abia begat Asa ; and Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram ; and Joram begat Ozias ; and Ozias begat Joatham ; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias ; and Ezekias begat Manasses ; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias ; and Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon :
And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel ; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel ; and Zorobabel begat Abiud ; and Abiud begat Eliakim ; and Eliakim begat Azor; and Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim ; and Achim begat Eliud ; and Eliud begat Eleazar ;
l and Eleazar begat Matthan ; and Matthan begat Jacob ; and Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.