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SECTION 1. CONSIDERATIONS on the nativity W of St. John, and the circumstances that attended it.
Page 1. SECTION II. .... Confiderations on the hymn of Zacharias. 18.
- SECTION IIJ.:::.. Confiderations on St. John's education in the defarts.
SECTION IV. Confiderations on the prophecies relative to
St. John in the Old Testament. 57.
SECTION V. Conßderations on the appearance, doctrine,
and baptism of St. John. Page 74.
John, at different times, to the Meffab-
SECTION VII. : : Confiderations on the imprisonment of St. , ** John, the message fent by him to Chrift,
and the answer returned to it. 118.
SECTION VIII. Confiderations on the circumstances of St.
John's Death.::.... ..234.
::: SECTION I. Confiderations on the nativity of St. John,
and the circumstances that attended it.
T HE lights of the intellectual, Sect. I. 1 like those of the natural system,
are not all of equal magnitude and lustre. In the church, as in the firmament, « one star differeth from
Sect. I. « another star in glory.” Each contri
b uteth it's share towards diffipating the darkness with which we are surrounded; but some, by their superior splendor, immediately attract and dazzle the eye of the beholder. Conspicuous, above others, is the character of St. John the Baptist, that bright precursor of the sun, and harbinger of the morning, who arose to give notice of Meffiah's approach, and to prepare the world for his reception : burning, and shining, he ran his course, proclaiming to the inhabitants of the earth, “ Repent, for the kingdom “ of heaven is at hand;" in other words, “ The night is far spent, the day is at “ hand; cast off therefore the works ~ of darkness, and put on the armour “ of light a. Awake, thou that sleep« est, and arise from the dead, and “ Christ shall give thee light b." .
PRAISE is ever valuable in proportion to the judgment and integrity of him who bestoweth it; and the panegyric is truly honourable, when the panegyrist is one who will not flatter, and
who cannot be deceived. How then shall Sect. I. we raise our thoughts to conceive adequately of a person, whose encomium was spoken by the Son of God, and concerning whom that Son of God declared, “ Among them that are born of “ women there hath not arisen a greater
than John the Baptist a.” After this declaration made by the master, the disciples cannot well be hyperbolical in their praises of St. John, as the great pattern of repentance; the relation of Christ; the friend of the bridegroom ; the herald of the king immortal; the glory of faints, and the joy of the world.
It is observable, that the Baptist's nativity is the only one (that of Christ excepted) which the church has thought proper to celebrate. The days appointed for the commemoration of other saints are generally those on which they respectively ceafed from their labours, and entered into their everlasting rest; the day of a good man's death being indeed the day of his birth, and this world no more than the womb in which he is formed and matured for his admission
a Matt. xi, 11.