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Fourth Sunday in Advent.
LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy
power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. PHIL. 4. 4.
Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
The Gospel. S. John 1. 19.
THIS is the record of John, when the
Jews sent Priests and Levites from Je. rusalem to ask him, Who art thou ? And he confessed, and denied not ; but confessed, I am not the Christ. And they asked him, what then ? Art thou Elias ? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet ? And he answered, No. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. thou of thyself ? He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way
of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias : And they which were sent, were of the Pharisees. And they asked him, and said unto him, why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that Prophet ? John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not. . He it is u ho coming after me, is preferred before me, whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unlouse.
These things were done in Bethabara, beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.
THE NATIVITY OF CHRIST.
The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birth
day of CHRIST, commonly called Christmas-day.
LMIGHTY God, who hast given us
thy only begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin ; Grant that we may all become regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, and daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth . with thee, and the same Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. Heb. 1. 1.
vers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds. Who be
ing the brightness of bis glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high : being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son ? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, bath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou remainest ; and they all
shall wax old as doth a garment : and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.
The Gospel. S. John 1. 1.
power to become the sons of