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I. FORASMUCH as many have undertaken to

compose a narrative of those things which have 2 been accomplished amongst us, as they who were,

from the beginning, eye witnesses, and afterwards 3 ministers of the word, delivered them to us; I have

also determined, having exactly traced every thing from the first, to write a particular account to 4 thee, most excellent Theophilus ; that thou mayest

know the certainty of those matters wherein thou hast been instructed.

33

ch. I.

SECT. I.

SECTION 1.

THE ANNUNCIATION.

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8

Ex. 30; 7.
Lev. 16; 17.

5 IN the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was

a priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abijah;

and his wife, named Elizabeth, was of the daugh6 ters of Aaron. They were both righteous before

God, blameless observers of all the Lord's com7 mandments and ordinances. And they had no child,

because Elizabeth was barren, and they were both advanced in years.

Now when he came to officiate as priest in the 9 order of his course, it fell to him by lot, according

to the custom of the priesthood, to offer incense in 10 the sanctuary. And while the incense was burning, 11 the whole congregation were praying without.

Then there appeared to him a messenger of the Lord,

standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zacharias was discomposed at the sight, and 13 in great terror. But the angel said to him, Fear

not, Zacharias ; for thy prayer is heard, and Eliza

beth thy wife shall bear thee a son, whom thou 14 shalt name John 28 He shall be to thee matter

of joy and transport ; and many shall rejoice be

28 The Lord's favour.

SECT. I.

CH. 1.

Mat. 11; 14.

15 cause of his birth. For he shall be great before

the Lord; he shall not drink wine, nor any fer

mented liquor ; but he shall be filled with the 16 Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And

many of the sons of Israel he shall bring back to 17 the Lord their God. Moreover, he shall go be. Mal. 4; 6.

fore them in the spirit and power of Elijah, to re-
concile fathers to their children, and, by the wis-

dom of the righteous, to render the disobedient a 18 people well disposed for the Lord. And Zacharias

said to the angel, Whereby shall I know this : for

I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in 19 years? The angel answering, said unto him, I am

Gabriel 29, who attend in the presence of God, 20 and am sent to tell thee this joyful news. But

know that thou shalt be dumb, and shalt not re-
cover thy speech, until the day when these things
happen; because thou hast not believed

my words,
which shall be fulfilled in due time.
21 Meantime the people waited for Zacharias, and

wondered that he staid so long in the sanctuary. 22 But when he came out, he could not speak to

them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision

in the sanctuary; for he made them understand 23 by signs, and remained speechless. And when his

days of officiating were expired, he returned home. 24 Soon after, Elizabeth his wife conceived, and lived 25 in retirement five months, and said, The Lord hath

done this for me, purposing now to deliver me
from the reproach I lay under among men. -

29 God's power.

SECT. I.

Is. 17; 14.
Mat. 1; 21.
ch 2; 21.
Dan. 7; 14.

CH. 1.
26 NOW in the sixth month God sent Gabriel his
27 messenger, to Nazareth, a city of Galilee; to a

virgin betrothed to a man called Joseph, of the

house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 When the angel entered, he said to her, Hail, fa

vourite of heaven! the Lord be with thee, thou 29 happiest of women! At his appearance and words

she was perplexed, and revolved in her mind what 30 this salutation could mean. And the angel said to

her, Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour 31 with God. And behold, thou shalt conceive and 32 bear a son, whom thou shalt name Jesus. He

shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the

Highest. And the Lord God will give him the 33 throne of David his father. And he shall reign

over the house of Jacob for ever : his reign shall 34 never end. Then said Mary to the angel, How

shall this be, since I have no intercourse with man? 35 The angel answering, said unto her, The Holy

Spirit will descend upon thee, and the power of the Highest will overshadow thee; therefore the

Holy progeny shall be called the Son of God. 36 And lo, thy cousin Elizabeth also hath conceived 37 a son in her old age; and she who is called bar

ren, is now in her sixth month: for nothing is im38 possible with God. And Mary said, Behold the

handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according

to thy word. Then the angel departed. 39 In those days Mary set out and travelled expedi

30 Saviour.

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