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ask him "Who art thou?" And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, "I am not the Christ." And they asked him, "What then? Art thou Elias?" And he saith, "I am not." "Art thou that Prophet?" And he answered, "No." Then said they unto him, "Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them who sent us: what sayest thou of thyself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias." And they which were sent, were of the Pharisees: and they asked him, and said unto him: "Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not the Christ, nor Elias, neither that Prophet?" John answered them, saying: "I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you whom ye know not; HE it is, who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose." These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
The Epistle. Phillip. iv. 4
Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Gospel. Luke ii. 114.
it came to in those days, that there
went out a decree from Cesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taring
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 Gallilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, 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 tidings of great joy, which shall be to all 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; You 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, on earth peace, and good will towards men.'
The Epistle. Titus ii. 11-14,
OR the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glori ous appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might re deem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a uliar people, zealous of good works.
NEW-YEAR'S DAY, & Sunday after CHRISTMAS. 27
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
The Gospel. Luke ii. 15.
ND 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 hath come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."
The Epistle. Gal. iii. 23– -29.
UT before faith came, we were kept under the
wards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith: But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster; for ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.-For as inany of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male por female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
THE SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS.
The Gospel. Luke ii. 33-40.
ND 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 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 thro' 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 lived with an husband seven years from her virginity: And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, who 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. And the child. grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon hima.
The Epistle. Gal. iv. 1————7.
OWIS I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: but when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And, because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father-Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a Son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
THE CIRCUMCISION OF CHRIST.
The Gospel. Luke ii. 21.
ND when eight days were accomplished for the circumcision of the child, his name was called Ts, which was so named of the angel before he conceived in the womb,
The Epistle. Rom. iv. 7-14.
LESSED are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed to them also: and the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcis ion only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised. For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect.
THE EPIPHANY: OR, MANIFESTATION OF
The Gospel. Matt. ii. 112
Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: "Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." When Herod the King had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with