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I magnify Thy Holy Name, O Almighty and Most Merciful GOD, and give glory to Thee for this wonderful union of the Divine and human natures in One Person; so that one might not be GOD, and the other Man; but that one and the same should be GOD and Man, without confusion of Substance.
O wondrous and incomprehensible Union! O most adorable mercy! We were not worthy to be called Thy servants, and Thou hast made us sons and heirs of GOD, and joint-heirs with CHRIST.
Since, O Gracious FATHER, Thou hast been pleased to do such great things for us, I beseech Thee, by Thy unspeakable love, to perfect the good work Thou hast begun, and make us such as Thy many and gracious promises in JESUS CHRIST were designed to be accomplished in. Send down Thy grace and Spirit from above, and prepare us to receive the fulness of Thy mercy. Help us to understand, and consider with reverence, to contemplate, and with all diligence to walk worthy of this "mystery of godliness," "GOD manifested in the flesh."
"We beseech Thee, O LORD," &c.-Collect for the Annunc.
O LORD GOD the FATHER Almighty, Who before all ages hast ineffably begotten a SON, Who was
Co-Eternal, Co-Equal, Consubstantial with Thee; by Whom, with Thy HOLY SPIRIT Thou hast created all things visible and invisible, and me a miserable sinner; I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I glorify Thee: be Thou propitious to me a sinner; and despise not the work of Thy hands, but save and help me for the sake of Thy holy Name, stretch forth Thy right hand to succour my frail flesh. O Thou Who hast made me, repair the ruin of sin; Thou Who hast formed me, reform what sin has corrupted, so that, according to Thy great mercy Thou mayest heal and save my miserable soul. Amen.
O LORD JESUS CHRIST, SON of the living GOD, I praise Thee, I bless and glorify Thee; I give thanks to Thee for Thine exceeding great love which made Thee willing to descend from Thy throne of Glory, and the bosom of the FATHER; and that Thou didst vouchsafe to be conceived by the HOLY GHOST, in the womb of a humble Virgin, and to abase Thyself by taking upon Thee our nature, that Thou mightest restore us to GOD. Descend into my heart, I beseech Thee, and make it Thy habitation; fill it with Thy Grace, and with all spiritual gifts, that it may be wholly Thine. Impart to me Thy humility and love, that I may receive Thee with humble and ardent love, and never depart from Thee: but ever do Thy blessed will, and seek the glory of Thy holy Name. Amen.
CHRISTMAS DAY.-PART I.
THE NATIVITY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
FOR unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon his Shoulder; and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty GOD, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth, even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of Hosts will perform this. Isa. ix. 6-7.
S. Luke ii. 1-7. 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.
S. 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 beginning with GOD. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was
And Joseph also went up from life, and the life was the light of
Galilee, 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.
men. And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent 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 lighteth 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 onlybegotten of the FATHER) full of grace and truth.
In those days, while Mary was with child, went forth a decree from Cæsar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled and registered, each in his own
place, that they should pay tribute. When the LORD of the world is about to be born, meet it is that the world should be enrolled; for He came in the Flesh to enrol His elect in eternity. Make me, LORD JESUS, one of Thine elect; enter my name in the Book of Life. Let me declare to Thee my King, my tribute of loyalty and righteousness. To Thee I owe Enlighten my soul with the light of Thy Countenance, stamp the image of Thy law in my heart, that on it may be the Image of my King and His will. None are exempt from this tax; none is exempt from the observance of the commandments.
tribute in heart, in lips, and in deeds.
Augustus Cæsar, the second Emperor of Rome, the nephew of the first Julius, reigned in all fifty-seven years and a half, and twelve of them in peace, and in this peace CHRIST was born; for He sought peace, and vouchsafed especially to visit those who desire peace and love. As He was the King and Prince of Peace, meet it was that He should send peace before Him, as His forerunner: that peace which He afterwards taught, whilst living in the world, and which, when He left the world, He bequeathed to His disciples. His place is in Salem, which is Peace.
All went to be taxed,-so Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, the city of David, because they were of the house and lineage of David. There David was born, and anointed king, there his family and kindred dwelt, and there Joseph and Mary were enrolled.
See how thy LORD was enrolled for thee on earth, that thou mightest be enrolled in heaven; beginning in that humility by which He became obedient even to