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but of his herald John. He, who was to announce the Redeemer, was himself announced by an angel. The honour done to the messenger, redounds to the glory of his Lord. For his sake it was that Gabriel left his station in the presence of God to converse with mortals; for His sake, that the voice of prophecy woke up afresh from its long silence to welcome the advent of Immanuel; and that one greater than the prophets was set apart from his birth, to go before Him, to prepare the people to receive with gladness the Lord their God. As such let us believe in Jesus

Christ; remembering that He is "Immanuel" or "God with us in the flesh;" the highest of all beings incarnate or made flesh for our redemption. What veneration should such a faith in Christ produce in us; what gratitude for his unspeakable condescension ! what confidence in the "Strength of our Salvation."See John i. 1-18. Luke i. 5—25, 57—80.



E. Mamma, I have been wishing very much to ask you, how you know all the wonderful things you are telling me about to be really true?

M. We know them, because we are told them by persons who lived at or near the time when they happened, and who were either witnesses of the facts of which they speak, or were told them by those who had seen them. These men were all guided moreover

and taught by the Spirit of God, who, according to our Saviour's gracious promise to his disciples, of which you will hear by and bye, was sent to them to lead them into all truth. He was to bring back also to their remembrance all the important things which they had seen and heard. It is now, you know, more than eighteen hundred years, since our blessed Lord took upon Him our flesh, and lived on earth, and died a cruel death for our salvation.

In all this space of time, had the recollection of what He said and did and suffered, been left to the mere memories of Christians, to be told by word of mouth from father to son, there would now most likely have been very little known for certain on this most important and interesting subject. Much would have been added perhaps that was untrue; much forgotten which was of the greatest consequence to be known. Now, to prevent any such unhappy confusion and ignorance, it seemed good to the Holy Ghost to raise up fit persons who should commit to writing a regular history of our blessed Lord, and leave it for ever with the Church. Thus the latest as well as the earliest generations of Christians would know what they ought to believe, and all agree in the same faith in their common Saviour. The persons thus employed were four in number; St. Matthew, St. Mark, St. Luke, and St. John: two of these, St. Matthew and St. John, were apostles; followers of our Lord through the whole of his ministry; especially chosen for this purpose by Christ himself, that they might be eye-witnesses of what He did, hear his discourses, be acquainted with his sufferings, observe his miracles, and behold Him again when He arose from the dead ;

that they might see Him even go up into heaven, and then go forth themselves under the guidance of the Holy Ghost to bear witness unto Christ, unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Such were two of the Evangelists: the other two, St. Mark and St. Luke, were not apostles, but they were the intimate companions of apostles, St. Mark having been a great deal with St. Peter, and St. Luke with St. Paul, from whom, as well as from other of the apostles, they were made thoroughly acquainted with all that had happened to our Lord from the very first.

E. I see, Mamma, what you mean; these were the holy men who wrote those four books in the Bible which we call the Gospels.

M. They were, and you must remember that they did not write, as other men write, only according to the best of their own knowledge and ability, but that whatever the inspired Evangelists wrote has the seal of God's Spirit upon it. It was Christ himself, who, on his ascension into heaven, gave gifts of the Spirit by which He enabled some to be Apostles and some Evangelists: they were all guided by the Holy Ghost, and kept from error, so that we may firmly believe all that they tell us, and receive it not as the word of man, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which is able to save our souls.

And think what a privilege it is to have the words and actions of the Son of God recorded for our instruction; to have his holy example ever before us; to have his heavenly doctrine still preserved to us; yea, to have Christ crucified almost visibly set before us in all the circumstances of his awful sufferings; and then to have the account of his victory over death and

the grave, and of his triumphant ascension into the eternal heavens. All this, my child, and more still, we have in the Gospels; as we shall see, I trust, in going on with our present employment. Be thankful then for the divine care and goodness in giving us the four written Gospels; be diligent in reading them, and in listening to those whom God has appointed to instruct you in them, whether it be your Minister at Church, or your Parents at home; that so you may by the Divine grace and blessing grow daily in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,-that you may listen to his precepts, depend upon his promises, follow his footsteps, trust in his atoning blood, and look forward, through the power of his resurrection, to gain the victory now over your sins, and hereafter to triumph grave even unto eternal life.

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It is with thoughts such as these that I would enter with you upon the history of the Son of God.

E. And now, Mamma, are you really going to begin the life of our Saviour? I thought once we should never come to it. You used to speak of our Lord Jesus Christ very often, and then to stop, though I longed to hear more; but now that you have nothing else to talk about, I shall hear all that I want to know.

M. You cannot be more glad than I am, my dear boy, to find that we are at last beginning the New Testament together. I could not have a more delightful task, than that of leading you to your great Lord and Saviour; and of pointing out to you how worthy that Redeemer is of your utmost reverence, and gratitude, and love; and I earnestly pray that God may be pleased to help me in my undertaking,

and dispose your young mind to receive the Gospel of his blessed Son.

You have heard of all the remarkable circumstances which attended the birth of our Saviour's forerunner John the Baptist. About six months after the angel Gabriel had appeared to Zacharias in the temple, and before John was born, the same glorious being was employed to declare the coming of the Son of God, to that most highly honoured person who had been chosen to be the mother of the Redeemer of the world.

We read that in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin of the house of David, whose name was Mary;—a humble individual, of lowly condition in this world, and about to be married to a man of the name of Joseph, who followed the business of a carpenter in the city of Nazareth. But though poor in their circumstances, and humble in their station, both Mary and Joseph were directly descended from the house and family of David; and so the Scriptures were fulfilled, which had so long declared that the future Messiah should be descended from the son of Jesse. "And the angel came in unto Mary and said, Hail thou that art highly favoured; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women." Glorious was the appearance of the angel, and gracious the words which he spoke; but the humble Mary was disturbed at the sight of so exalted and strange a visitor. She could not understand why an angel should be sent to her lowly dwelling. But the angel said unto her, "Fear not Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And behold thou shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called

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