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than he was aware of who uttered Sect. II. them,

Alpice, venturo lætentur ut omnia fæclo! For now, the blefled virgin “ magni"fieth the Lord, and her spirit rejoiceth “ in God her Saviour :" the father of the Baptist “ blefseth the Lord God of “ Ifrael, for having visited and redeemed « his people :" the angels themselves descend in full choir, to perform an antheon in honour of their Lord and ours : and old Simeon closeth all with his affecting farewell to the world ; « Lord, now “ lettest thou thy fervant depart in peace,

according to thy word; for mine eyes « have seen thy salvation.” Thus did all “ break forth into joy, and sing to-“ gether, because the Lord had com“ forted his people, and redeemed Jeru“ falem ;” because the sun of righteoufness, by his visitation of the earth, was putting a period to a dreary winter, and introducing, in it's stead, a new and more glorious spring. And as spring is the morning of the year, Cowley's address to the material light, which is

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Sect. II. but a faint copy, may be applied to the

g reat original himself;.

When thou lift'st up thy radiant head
Out of the morning's purple bed,
Thy choir of birds about thee play,
And all the joyful world falutes the

rifing day.
The hymn which we are at present
to consider, is that of Zacharias. The
occasion on which it was indited, was
the birth of St. John: the subject is
the covenant of grace in Christ Jesus :
the language is that of the Old Testa-
ment, old terms being transferred to
new things : the speaker is a priest and
a prophet, “ Full of the Holy Ghost.”

During a tedious interval of filence, Zacharias had beheld the accomplishment of the divine promise to himself; and he knew likewise, that the Saviour of mankind would soon be born of his relation, the virgin Mary. We may judge, therefore, what pain and grief he felt, while restrained from uttering that “good matter," of which his heart was so full, that when at length God faw fit to remove the mound, it burst


forth at once in an impetuous and irre- Sect. II. fistible torrent of thanksgiving; i m

1. “ BLESSED be the Lord God of

." Ifrael, for he hath visited and . « redeemed his people a.”

It was no new thing for “ the God " of Israel” to “ visit and redeem his “ people.” He had often done it, when they were in affliction and captivity. But so to visit and redeem, was not all that he intended to do for his chosen. Through things temporal he was desirous that they should look at things eternal, and carry on their views from a bodily to a spiritual redemption, in which all his counsels terminated; a redemption to be effected by his visting mankind, dwelling among them in a tabernacle of flesh, and in that tabernacle offering up the true propitiatory facrifice ; a redemption, that should extend to Gentiles as well as Jews, and of both make one people, a new Ifrael, of which he should be the Lord God, for evermore. How gracious this vifitation! How astonishing this rea Luke i. 68, &C.

demption !

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Sect. II. demption! « Blessed be the Lord God

o of Israel, for he hath visited and re

“ deemed his people,

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2. “ And hath raised up an horn of

« falvation for us, in the house • of his servant David.”

In the Old Testament, we read continually of Saviours and Deliverers “ raised up” by God, to rescue his people, from time to time, out of the hands of their oppressors. But of them we may fay, as the Apostle does of the Levitical priests, “ They were not suf“ fered to continue, by reason of death." And therefore, we may argue in one case, as he doth in the other, that none of them could be the true Saviour of Ifrael, the subject of the promises. Neither Mofes, who brought them out of Egypt, nor yoshua who settled them in Canaan, was “ He that should come,” but they were still to “ look for ano“ ther.” And so on, through the whole calendar of temporal saviours, who, like the legal ministers, “ served only,” - Heb. vii. 23.


by their wars and victories, “ to the Sect. II. " example and fhadow of heavenly " things.” The body, or substance, in either instance, was of Christ.” For he who arose “ a Priest for ever,” arose also “a King immortal ;" a mighty horn, or power of salvation ; a Mofes, to deliver us from this present evil world ; a Folhua, to put us in poffeffion of the heavenly Canaan; in short, every thing, to fill up every prefigurative character. This mighty Saviour, this omnipotent king of Israel God raised up “ in the « house of his servant David,” as he had promised, “ that of the fruit of his “ body according to the flesh, he would so raise up Christ to fit on his throne." And to this agree the words of the angel, at the annuntiation, “ The Lord “ God shall give unto him the throne 66 of his father David, and he fall “ reign for ever and ever over the house • of Jacob, and of his kingdom there “ Thall be no end b..

* Psalm cxxxii, 11. Acts ii. 30.

Luke i. 32.

3. “As

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