Luke 1:66

When John was born his mother's heart was filled with great joy, and her neighbors rejoiced with her. And when the little child, a week old, was introduced into the Jewish commonwealth, a feeling of awe filled the hearts of those present, and there was much wonderment concerning him. "Fear came on them all," and every one was asking, "What manner of child shall this be?" No doubt the exceptional character of the circumstances attending his birth and his circumcision accounted for the joy and also for the fear; but apart from all that was unusual, there was reason enough ibr both sentiments to be felt and shown. At any ordinary human birth there is -

I. OCCASION FOR HOPEFULNESS AND GLADNESS OF HEART. "The mother remembereth no more her anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world," said our Lord (John 16:21). And why rejoice on this occasion? Because of:

1. The love which the little child will cherish. Not, indeed, to be manifested in its very earliest days, but to be felt and shown before long - the beautiful, clinging, whole-hearted love of childhood; a love which it is fair to see and most precious to receive.

2. The love which the little child will call forth - the love which is parental, fraternal; the love of those who serve as well as that of kindred and friends, - this, too, is one of the most goodly sights on which the eye of purity and wisdom rests; it is one of the sweetest and most wholesome ingredients in the cup of earthly good.

3. The discipline which the coming of the child will involve. All parents have an invaluable privilege, from which they ought to derive the greatest benefit. They may be so slow to learn, so unimpressionable, so obdurate, that they are none the wiser or better for their parentage; and in that case they will be something or even much the worse. But if the "little child" does not "lead" us, it is our own fault and folly. The child's dependency on his parent, trustfulness in his parent, obedience to his parent, - do these not speak eloquently of our dependence upon, our trustfulness in, our obedience to our heavenly Father? The love we feel for our little child, the care we take of him, the profound regret we should feel if he went astray, the sacrifice we are ready to make for his recovery, - does not all this summon us, with touching and even thrilling voice, to realize the love God has for us his human children, the care he has taken of us day and night through all our years, the profound Divine regret with which he has seen us go astray from himself, the wonderful sacrifice he made for us when he spared not his own Son but delivered him up for us all, in order to restore us to himself and reinstate us in our heritage? And the labor we are necessitated to bestow, the patience to exercise, and the self-denial and sacrifice to show, - these are essential factors in the forming of our character. We should not choose them, but we may well be most thankful for them.

4. The excellency to which he may attain; it may be that

(1) of physical beauty, or

(2) of intellectual ability, or

(3) of spiritual worth, or

(4) of valuable service.

Who can tell what lies latent in that helpless infant? what sources of power and blessing are in that little cradle?

II. OCCASION FOR REVERENT AWE. It may well be that "fear" comes on all those who hold their own children in their arms. For they who are entrusted with a little child receive therewith a most grave responsibility. It is true that nothing can remove the accountableness of each soul to its Creator for what it has become; but it is also true that parents are very seriously responsible for the character and career of their children. Our children will believe what we teach them, will form the habits in which we train them, will follow the example we set them, will imbibe the spirit which we are breathing in their presence. What shall this child be? That depends on ourselves. If we are only true and wise and kind, our children will almost certainly become what we ourselves are - what we long and pray that they may be. Joy and awe are therefore the two appropriate sentiments at every human birth. When a child is born into the home, there enters that which may be the source of the greatest gladness to the heart; there also enters that which should make life a far more serious and solemn thing. - C.

What manner of child shall this be?
When a child is born (as we say) to the purple; when an heir to the throne is announced; or when we stand beside the cradle of some unconscious little successor to a great historic title, to a vast estate, or to accumulated wealth of other kinds — how do we busy ourselves with speculations as to what may be in store for such a child? Descending to lower strata in social life, how common it is to forecast a great future, if the child should early display great ability, high intellectual gifts, special aptitudes for a particular branch of study! Yet very often, in such cases, the thoughts we harbour are but the most foolish " castles in the air." We direct our hopes to external things; we dazzle our imagination with splendid prospects of a great career; and by "greatness" mean publicity, honours, wealth, rank, and a frequent mention in the newspapers. Ah, how mistaken, how ill-judged, how far below (not above) the true mark are our fond anticipations for our children. Let us try to learn this lesson from the text. What was it, probably, that the friends and neighbours of this distinguished priestly family expected for the new-born child? We can hardly doubt what it would be, when we reflect on the circumstances of the time. So pious a circle, and one so conversant with the Temple and its services, as these familiar friends of the priest Zacharias, would be sure to tinge all their thoughts with religion. And, therefore, in their answers among themselves to this question, we may confidently assume that a high spiritual destination would be assigned to him as a champion of Israel against the world. "Surely this child," they may have said, "will become — as Joab was to David — a mighty and unconquered captain in the armies of the coming Messiah; his sword will be red with the blood of Jehovah's enemies; and, like the heathen before Judas Maccabaeus, so the bated Roman legions will go down before his avenging onset." Or, should their thoughts take a more peaceful turn, "The child," they might say, "will be (like his father) a faithful priest of God; and will fulfil, in the future history of our nation, as prominent a part as Zadok and Jehoiada in the days of old. At the very least, he will be a writer of books — such as 'Daniel,' or 'The Book of Enoch' — books that will touch the heart of Israel to the very quick; or, it may be, a preacher, a prophet, an Elijah — a prominent, a powerful, a striking, an impressive personage, ever to the front when some conflict shall be imminent with the false priests of Baal, or when the modern Jezebels and Ahabs are to be publicly smitten with the curse of an avenging God." But if such dreams were among their sanguine anticipations for this wonderful child, we know how utterly they were mistaken. The event has taught us how much more spiritual, how much more worthy of all these wonderful antecedents, was the result than these pious Jews had been able to imagine. The result was this: first, for many long years no publicity at all, but a quiet and meditative life in the wilderness; and after that preparation was complete, even then no protracted public ministry amid obedient and awe-stricken crowds, but a brief mission to prepare the way for Him who was to come, abruptly closed by imprisonment; and after that, no dramatic execution, while tearful multitudes pressed around the scaffold to dip their handkerchiefs in the martyr's blood, but only a swift stroke amid the dungeon's gloom, a ghastly comedy of horror when a dancing-girl brought in upon a charger the prophet's head, and a secret burial by a handful of terrified disciples. Such is the irony of history. Such is the answer to the question of the text.

(Canon G. H. Curteis.)

There are, for every man that lives upon this earth, two histories unfolding simultaneously. There is the external history of his career; and there is the internal history of his character, of his soul. In the case of the Baptist, as in every other case, we can only read the mysterious secrets of the " hidden man," by the few visible tokens that are given us. Now, in the Gospels we have five tokens given, by the help of which we can reconstruct the whole character of the man.

I. WE HAVE THE FACT OF HIS FAITHFUL, UNSELFISH SURRENDER OF PRIVACY AND OF SWEET, SERENE MEDITATION ALONE WITH NATURE AND WITH GOD, AT THE CLEAR CALL TO IRKSOME PUBLIC DUTY. It is no easy task to preach repentance to swaying and restless crowds. It is not pleasant to stand as a public target for questioners of every kind, and casuists of every degree, to shoot their arrows at. Yet thus stood John the Baptist. His answers in public show that he had not misused his opportunities in retirement.

II. ANOTHER TOKEN OF HIS PERSONAL CHARACTER, WHICH IS FURNISHED IN THE GOSPELS, IS HIS LOYALTY. "Look not to me, but to another who is greater than I." A sign of the noblest self-devotion. This worship of a higher Being guards the heart against all approaches of vanity and self-worship, and repels every base thought of self-interest.

III. THERE IS YET ANOTHER CHARACTERISTIC IN THE BAPTIST, WHICH BRINGS HIM INTO VERY CLOSE CONTACT WITH MANY LOYAL YET TROUBLED SOULS AT THE PRESENT DAY. It seems that, at one time, he was even afflicted with doubt (Matthew 11:2, 3). Most kindly, gently, and patiently was that question answered by our Lord. And we may, therefore, gather encouragement for ourselves under any similar difficulties. We may be sure that if we, in like manner, take an honest and straightforward course, not letting our doubts withdraw us from our Saviour, but rather bring us nearer and closer to Him, we shall receive the same gentle and sufficient reply, an appeal to personal experience, to what we have ourselves " heard and seen."


V. BUT THE MOST STRIKING FEATURE OF ALL IN HIS CHARACTER WAS HIS SELF-EFFACEMENT. We know too well that even self-denial is a virtue of high and difficult attainment. Much more difficult is a genuine and unaffected self-humiliation. But most difficult of all is self-effacement in Christ — "that spiritual" "depth, attained also by. St. Paul, which says (feeling what it says) "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. The Baptist is a type of those who resolve, at all risks, to discharge their duty and to deliver the message entrusted to them by God, without one single thought of self, or one transient wish to appear themselves in the matter. No indolence; no cowardice; but they are content to be only "a voice ' — to preach God's Word, not their own, to pursue some truth which is not to enhance their own reputation; to advocate some cause which is not to redound to their own advantage.

(Canon G. H. Curteis.)

Stars have been interrogated and thought to prophesy and proclaim the future of a child, so that to this day "born under an unlucky star" is passed into a proverb.

I. THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHILDHOOD. "What, then, shall this child be?"

1. What God designs it. God had a plan of life for this child of Zacharias and Elisabeth.

2. What training makes it. The fashioning power of parents and teachers is very great. God's plan may be marred in our hands. The life of John Stuart Mill proclaims the wonderful power that a parent can wield over the plastic nature of the child, and how instruction and training may shape a life. Great men owe much to pious parents like Zacharias and Elisabeth.

II. THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD WITH CHILDHOOD. "For the hand of the Lord was with him." This stimulated the question. Curiosity as to the future of a child becomes greater when there are —

1. Marks of the supernatural. This was the case with John.

2. Tokens of the Divine protection. The myth of Romulus and Remus, suckled in their infancy by a she-wolf, enshrines a truth — those destined for greatness are under the special protection of the Almighty. The apostolic John Wesley was miraculously saved in childhood from a burning house.

3. Early evidences of greatness. Providence is shown in such evidences, leading, as they often do, to special care in education. This is what all should desire for their children, that the hand of the Lord may be with them.

(Canon Vernon Hutton, M. A.)

1. The natural question — "What manner of child shall this be?"

2. The satisfactory answer- "The hand of the Lord will be with him."

(Van Oosterzee.)

1. How far above our asking is the Divine gift very often!

2. How wonderful are the possibilities for weal or woe in a child! Shall our children prove John Baptists, voices for Christ? or shall they falsify our own allegiance to Him?

3. How blessed it is to have a child associated with Christ from the outset! I covet for our children this association with the Lord. I would have His name, His story, His words, His gospel, their earliest memories and their dearest child-experiences.

4. What of kindred dedication of children to-day? Where are the Abrams, Hannahs, and Zachariases of this age? How few Christian parents yield their children up to the service of God?

5. How many of those who "feared" and asked "What manner of child?" &c., received him and received the Lord? One asks wistfully, whether, when the thirty years were passed, and John the Baptist, and then the Lord came forth, many or any watched for their coming and welcomed their manifestation. I gladly believe that some would, some must.

(A. B. Grosart, DD.)

"What manner of child shall this be? " Will it grow up to manhood or womanhood, or will the flower be nipped in the bud? And if it grow to man's estate, what kind of a man will it make? Wise, virtuous, useful; or foolish, vicious, profligate? Such questions as these associated with the birth of childhood. The true parent will not be content simply with asking "What manner," &c., but realizing that the answer to that question depends very largely upon home-training and influence, will set to work to make that training and influence of such a character as will, under God, produce the best results. To assist you in this work will now be my aim. I begin by reminding you that your child is fearfully and wonderfully made. It is a " Trinity in Unity." It is made up of three parts. And each of these parts must be cultivated and developed in order to a complete and noble manhood.


II. YOUR CHILD HAS A SOUL THAT NEEDS TO BE DEVELOPED AND CULTURED. By the soul I mean that moral and intellectual part of your child's nature which distinguishes it from, and raises it above, the brutes that perish.


1. This threefold development should be simultaneous.

2. We should begin early, should look for signs of early piety, and should interpret these as indications that God Himself is at work in their young hearts. Our children have visions of God much earlier than we are accustomed to think. Let us encourage them to foster these visions, to listen to the voice of God within, to respond to the wooings of His love. This done, we need not trouble ourselves with the question, "What manner," &c., but may safely and joyfully leave our children in God's hands, feeling assured thatHis grace will prove more than sufficient for all their needs, that His love will never see them want any good thing, and that His spirit, which has begun the good work in their souls, will carry it on to perfection.

(W. Fox.)

Every boy and girl might well ask about himself or herself, "What manner," &c. I want you to think about what you are going to be. It is not chance that decides. The fruit comes out of the blossom; the flower out of the bud; the man out of the child. You are beginning now to be the men and women that you will be. Here are some things that you can do, or get done for you. For we can go for help to One who is able to do very much more than we ask or think.



1. Be truthful.

2. Be kind and pleasant.


1. A golden key — PRAYER.

2. A charm which I would have you wear not next to your heart, but in the heart itself. The charm is this — try always to please Jesus.

IV. And yet the most wonderful part remains, that if we come to Jesus, and seek Him as our Saviour and Helper, the child will become an angel of God.

(Mark Guy Pearse.)

— "Childhood shows the man as morning shows the day." Moses, Joseph, Samuel, David, Obadiah, Josiah, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, John the Baptist, John the Apostle, Timothy, Washington, John Wesley, and multitudes of other goodly children have lived to be men famous for their godliness and usefulness. The Arabians put an ant into the hand of a new-born infant and say, "May the boy turn out clever and skilful." We pray that from the childhood blossoms we have in our homes and schools there may develop flowers which will fill every circle where they move with fragrance, spiritual beauty, and joy; or that, in other cases, the buds now attach. ing themselves to some branch which is joined to the True Vine, may be twigs or branches themselves in years to come, bearing fruit for the glory of God and the benefit of mankind.

(H. R. Burton.)

Baxendale's Anecdotes.
A poor doctor, who had met with great misfortunes, lay on his deathbed, saddened by the thought that he was leaving a large family behind him, without any provision for its maintenance. Not long before his death, his youngest child was born, a scrawny, puny babe, weighing five or six pounds. The mother was worn out, and was apparently to be left poor, friendless, and alone, with her great family of little ones. But — that baby! Every one said: "What a mercy if that child should die! What can she do with it? What a blessing if it should die!" The poor mother almost thought so too. But the unwelcome babe would not die. He made a struggle for life, and won the battle. To-day his memory is revered as that of Dr. John Todd, the author of "The Student's Manual," and of other works of eminent usefulness, by means of which, "being dead, he yet speaketh." No mother knows what she has in her cradle.

(Baxendale's Anecdotes.)

The beginning of Nero's reign was marked by acts of the greatest kindness and condescension; by affability, complaisance, and popularity. The object of his administration seemed to be the good of his people; and when he was desired to sign his name to a list of malefactors that were to be executed, he exclaimed, " I wish to heaven I could not write I" He was an enemy to flattery, and when the Senate liberally commended the wisdom of his government, Nero desired them to keep their praises until he deserved them. Yet this was the wretch who assassinated his mother, who set fire to Rome, and destroyed multitudes of men, women, and children, and threw the odium of that dreadful action upon the Christians. The cruelties he exercised towards them were beyond description, while he seemed to be the only one who enjoyed the tragical spectacle. Oh, human depravity, what a monster! Divine grace alone can change it and make it holy.

(Handbook to Scripture Doctrines.)

Aaron, Abia, Abijah, David, Elias, Elijah, Elisabeth, Gabriel, Herod, Jacob, Jesus, John, Joseph, Mary, Theophilus, Zacharias, Zechariah
Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea, Nazareth
Asking, Certainly, Child, Heart, Hearts, Indeed, Kept, Laid, Lay, Lord's, Manner, Memories, Mind, Minds, Saying, Story, Treasured, Turn
1. The preface of Luke to his whole gospel.
5. The conception of John the Baptist;
26. and of Jesus.
39. The prophecy of Elisabeth and of Mary, concerning Jesus.
57. The nativity and circumcision of John.
67. The prophecy of Zachariah, both of Jesus,
76. and of John.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 1:66

     1265   hand of God

Luke 1:57-66

     5098   John the Baptist

Luke 1:57-68

     8428   example

Luke 1:62-80

     5686   fathers, examples

July 19 Morning
He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.--LUKE 1:49. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?--Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.--Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy.--Hallowed be thy name. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people. Who is this
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

August 3 Morning
His mercy is on them that fear Him.--LUKE 1:50. Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men! Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues. If ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear.--The Lord
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

September 9 Morning
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.--LUKE 1:53. Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods and have need of nothing: and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.--When
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

March 24 Morning
Abraham believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.--GEN. 15:6. He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him: but for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the
Anonymous—Daily Light on the Daily Path

True Greatness
He shall be great in the sight of the Lord.'--LUKE i. 15. So spake the angel who foretold the birth of John the Baptist. 'In the sight of the Lord'--then men are not on a dead level in His eyes. Though He is so high and we are so low, the country beneath Him that He looks down upon is not flattened to Him, as it is to us from an elevation, but there are greater and smaller men in His sight, too. No epithet is more misused and misapplied than that of 'a great man.' It is flung about indiscriminately
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Magnificat
'And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 47. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 48. For He hath regarded the low estate of His hand-maiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 49. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name, 50. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. 51. He hath shewed strength with His arm: He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 52. He hath put down
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Elijah Come Again
'There was, in the days of Herod the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 6. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 7. And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren; and they both were now well stricken in years. 8. And it came to pass, that, while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Zacharias's Hymn
'And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people, 69. And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; 70. As He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began; 71. That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; 72. To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

The Dayspring from on High
'The day-spring from on high hath visited us, 79. To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.'--LUKE i. 78, 79. As the dawn is ushered in by the notes of birds, so the rising of the Sun of Righteousness was heralded by song, Mary and Zacharias brought their praises and welcome to the unborn Christ, the angels hovered with heavenly music over His cradle, and Simeon took the child in his arms and blessed it. The human members of this
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Fourteenth Day. The Holy one of God.
Therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.'--Luke i. 35. 'We have believed and know that Thou art the Holy One of God.'--John vi. 69. 'The holy one of the Lord'--only once (Ps. cvi. 16) the expression is found in the Old Testament. It is spoken of Aaron, in whom holiness, as far as it could then be revealed, had found its most complete embodiment. The title waited for its fulfilment in Him who alone, in His own person, could perfectly show forth
Andrew Murray—Holy in Christ

The Angel's Greeting
THE ANGEL'S GREETING St Luke i. 28.--"Hail, thou that art highly favoured among women, the Lord is with thee." Here there are three things to understand: the first, the modesty of the angel; the second, that he thought himself unworthy to accost the Mother of God; the third, that he not only addressed her, but the great multitude of souls who long after God. I affirm that had the Virgin not first borne God spiritually He would never have been born from her in bodily fashion. A certain woman said
Johannes Eckhart—Meister Eckhart's Sermons

Jesus Born the Son of God.
(Christmas Sermon.) "Glory to God in" the Highest, on earth peace; goodwill towards men. Amen." TEXT: LUKE i. 31, 32. "Behold, . . . thou shalt bring forth a Son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High." THESE were the words of promise spoken by the angel to Mary, that Ho whom she should bear should be called the Son of the Highest; and as this promise is after wards brought into direct connection with the statement that the power of the Highest
Friedrich Schleiermacher—Selected Sermons of Schleiermacher

The Key-Note of a Choice Sonnet
But now, having introduced to you her magnificat, we will dwell upon these words, "My soul doth magnify the Lord," and I do earnestly hope that many of us can adopt the language without being guilty of falsehood: we can as truly say as Mary did, "My soul doth magnify the Lord." If there are any of you present to-night who cannot say it, get to your chambers, fall upon your knees, and cry to the Lord to help you to do so; for as long as a man cannot magnify God he is not fit for heaven, where the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 26: 1880

"The Tender Mercy of Our God"
"His heart is made of tenderness, His bowels melt with love." The main point of this morning's sermon will be to bring out into prominence those few words, "the tender mercy of our God." To me they gleam with kindly light: I see in them a soft radiance, as of those matchless pearls whereof the gates of heaven are made. There is an exceeding melody to my ear as well as to my heart in that word "tender." "Mercy" is music, and "tender mercy" is the most exquisite form of it, especially to a broken heart.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

A Harp of Ten Strings
IT IS VERY CLEAR that Mary was not beginning a new thing; for she speaks in the present tense, and in a tense which seems to have been for a long time present: "My soul doth magnify the Lord." Ever since she had received the wonderful tidings of the choice which God had made of her for her high position, she had begun to magnify the Lord; and when once a soul has a deep sense of God's mercy, and begins magnifying him, there is no end to it. This grows by what it feeds upon: the more you magnify God,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 37: 1891

The Judgment Upon Zacharias
UNBELIEF is everywhere a great sin, and a grievous mistake. Unbelief has proved the ruin of those countless multitudes who, having heard the gospel, rejected it, died in their sins, have been consigned to the place of torment, and await the fiercer judgment of the last day. I might ask the question concerning this innumerable host, "Who slew all these?" The answer would be, "Unbelief." And when unbelief comes into the Christian's heart, as it does at times--for the truest believer has his times of
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

Of Fervent Love and Vehement Desire of Receiving Christ
The Voice of the Disciple With the deepest devotion and fervent love, with all affection and fervour of heart, I long to receive Thee, O Lord, even as many Saints and devout persons have desired Thee in communicating, who were altogether well pleasing to Thee by their sanctity of life, and dwelt in all ardent devotion. O my God, Eternal Love, my whole Good, Happiness without measure, I long to receive Thee with the most vehement desire and becoming reverence which any Saint ever had or could have.
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Prayer and Consecration
"Eudamidas, a citizen of Corinth, died in poverty; but having two wealthy friends, Arctæus and Carixenus, left the following testament: In virtue of my last will, I bequeath to Arctæus my mother and to Carixenus my daughter to be taken home to their houses and supported for the remainder of their lives. This testament occasioned much mirth and laughter. The two legatees were pleased and affectionately executed the will. If heathens trusted each other, why should not I cherish a far greater
Edward M. Bounds—The Essentials of Prayer

Luke's Preface and Dedication.
^C Luke I. 1-4. [1] ^c 1 Forasmuch as many [of whom we know nothing and have even no tradition] have taken in hand to draw up a narrative concerning those matters which have been fulfilled [completed, or accomplished according to the divine will] among us, 2 even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses [the apostles were necessarily such and there were some few others--Acts i. 21-23] and ministers of the word [the apostles were ministers, and not ecclesiastical
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation of the Birth of Jesus.
(at Nazareth, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 26-38. ^c 26 Now in the sixth month [this is the passage from which we learn that John was six months older than Jesus] the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth [Luke alone tells us where Mary lived before the birth of Jesus. That Nazareth was an unimportant town is shown by the fact that it is mentioned nowhere in the Old Testament, nor in the Talmud, nor in Josephus, who mentions two hundred four towns and cities of Galilee. The
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Mary, Future Mother of Jesus, visits Elisabeth, Future Mother of John the Baptist.
(in the Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 39-56. ^c 39 And Mary arose in these days [within a week or two after the angel appeared to her] and went into the hill country [the district of Judah lying south of Jerusalem, of which the city of Hebron was the center] with haste [she fled to those whom God had inspired, so that they could understand her condition and know her innocence--to those who were as Joseph needed to be inspired, that he might understand--Matt. i. 18-25], into a city
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Annunciation to Zacharias of the Birth of John the Baptist.
(at Jerusalem. Probably b.c. 6.) ^C Luke I. 5-25. ^c 5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judæa [a Jewish proselyte, an Idumæan or Edomite by birth, founder of the Herodian family, king of Judæa from b.c. 40 to a.d. 4, made such by the Roman Senate on the recommendation of Mark Antony and Octavius Cæsar], a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course [David divided the priests into twenty-four bodies or courses, each course serving in rotation one week in the temple
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

The Birth and Early Life of John the Baptist.
(Hill Country of Judæa, b.c. 5.) ^C Luke I. 57-80. ^c 57 Now Elisabeth's time was fulfilled that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58 And her neighbors and her kinsfolk heard that the Lord had magnified his mercy towards her [mercy in granting a child; great mercy in granting so illustrious a child] ; and they rejoiced with her. 59 And it came to pass on the eighth day [See Gen. xvii. 12; Lev. xii. 3; Phil. iii. 5. Male children were named at their circumcision, probably
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

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