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The High Priest on great occasions, and at other times, one of the

officiating priests to whom the office fell by lot, filled his censer with fire from the Brazen Altar,-put in.. cense in,—went into the Holy Place,-and set the censer on the Altar.

Position:-in the Holy Place, in front of the Veil.

The High Priest made atonement on its horns once a year with the blood of the sin-offering of atonement. Incense. Ingredients :

Stacte, (= finest myrrh).
Onycha, (=gum-ladanum).
Galbanum.
Pure Frankincense.

In equal parts by weight.
U'ses :—To perfume the Holy of Holies once a year.

To be offered morning and evening on Altar of Incense.
To be placed on each pile of Shewbread.

No one must make any like it for his own use. Thy prayer. It is not likely he had been asking for a child, as some suppose; he had, probably, been supplicating the coming of the Messiah. John

grace of the Lord. Shall drink neither wine nor strong drink :-i.e., John was to be a Nazarite.

Nazarite separated. Nazarites were so either by God's direction, (as in this case and Samson's), or voluntarily. During the time of separation a Nazarite must not

1. Drink wine or intoxicating liquor.
2. Shave his head.

3. Touch a corpse.
Elias :-should be, Elijah.

In the spirit and power of Elijah:-.e., having the same prophetic spirit and Divine authority to restore Israel to the true worship of God.

Gabriel =man of God. Appeared to Daniel, Zechariah, and Mary.

The people waited:—for the priestly blessing, “The Lord bless thee, and keep thee, &c.

A vision a supernatural appearance.

Conception of John the Baptist.

(IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDÆA). And after those days his wife Elisabetb conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men."

Notes. Thus hath me:-refers to the affliction with which Zechariah was visited.

Take away my reproach. A numerous offspring was considered hy the Jews a token of Divine favour, while a childless woman was regarded with a certain amount of contempt.

The Annunciation.

(AT NAZARETH). “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Gbost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she bath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.”

NOTES.
The Annunciation is narrated by Luke alone.
Mary = bitterness.
Jesus

= a Saviour. Father ancestor.

Throne of his father David It had been promised to David, “Thy throne shall be established for ever.”

This must be regarded in a spiritual sense. All temporal power has passed from David's descendants; but Christ, his son according to the flesh, exercises an everlasting dominion over Jew and Gentile believers.

The house of Jacob:—the spiritual seed of Jacob,_all Christians. Nothing :-should be, “no word.”

Mary visits Elisabeth.

(IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDÆA). “And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; and entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost. And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou anong women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. And blessed is she that believed; for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For

He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath holpen His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy to Abraham and to his seed for ever, even as he spake unto our fathers.

And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house."

NOTES.
This incident is narrated by Luke alone.
A city of Juda:-should be,-the city of Juttah.
Juttah was one of the priests' cities.
Call me blessed :—sbould be,-count me happy.

The thanksgiving of Mary is similar in tone to that of Moses after the destruction of Pharaoh's host, and that of Hannah after Samuel's birth; its language is taken chiefly from Hannab's song, and the Psalms.

In the Church Service it is called the Magnificat, (from the first word of it in the Vulgate), or the Song of the blessed Virgin Mary. Its position is immediately after the First Lesson at Evening Prayer; it is fitly placed there, as being a thanksgiving for the fulfilment in Christ's birth of the promises concerning Him found in the Old Testament.

The song in the Church Service is not quite the same as that in the Authorized Version, owing to its being taken from Coverdale's Bible.

The following are the differences, (the Authorized Version being placed first) :

Low estate- -Lowliness.
Done to me great things—Magnified me.

From generation to generation Throughout all generations.

Them of low degree -The humble and meek.

He hath holpen, &c. -He, remembering His mercy, hath holpen his servant Israel; as He promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed, for ever.

Birth and Circumcision of John the Baptist.

(IN THE HILL COUNTRY OF JUDÆA). “Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered ; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they caine to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered, and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them; and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judæa. And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be ? And the hand of the Lord was with him.

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed His people. And hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David; as He spake by the mouth of His holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember His holy covenant;_the oath which He sware to our father Abraham, that He would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our life. And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest; for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways; to give knowledge of salvation unto His people by the remission of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the day-spring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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