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ciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his fide, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being fhut, and stood in the midit, and said, Peace be unto you. Then faith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord, and my God. Jesus faith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. ,

And many other ligas truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his Name.

O

The Conversion of St. Paul.

The Colice7.
God, who, through the preaching of the blessed

Apostle St. Paul, haft caused the light of the Gofpel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech

St. Paul This great Apostle propagated the Gospel of Christ throughout all Greece and the. Lciler Alia, in Italy, Spain, and Illyricum, eltablishing Christian churches in the principal towns thereof. Ancient writers attrni, that he fuffered martyrdom at Rome, under Nero, at the same time with St. Peter.-Eufeb. Chron. Epiph. Hæref. xxvii. Hieron. de Script. Ece! The most probable reason assigned for his condemnation was, his infecting several Roman ladies with a foreign religion, as the Romans uted to call Christiani:v, and particularly fome ladies with whom Nero had had formerly in wolawful familiarity, but who after their converfionto Chiiftianity, retuled his embraces; (Ambrot. in Auxen.) which Atory-is not in probable, tirce Suetonius, Tacitus, and Dio, and indeed all

thit write of Nero, speak of his debauching numbers of ladies, as well of chict quality as others. - Our Apostle for this pretended crime being conucuned to death, be being a Roman citizen, could not be crucified by the con laws, as his colleague St. Peter was, and was therefore beheaded by a great word, which gave the occafion for his being pictured with iur.lword in his hand. Nicephorus defcribes this Apottie to be of a hitele indv, and someiliat crooked, of a pale face, and thewing more years Dan la redly was o; his head was but of a moderare fize; a Ipaikling viguur played in his eyes; the hair of his eye-brows turned a

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thee, that we having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the saine, by following the holy doétrine which he taught, through Jelus Chriit our Lord. Amen. The Epistle. Ais ix. 1.

. AND ,

flaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high-priett, and delired of him letters to Damal. cus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring thein bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: and he fell to the earth, and heard a voicefaying untohim, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished faid, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord faid unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou muit do. And the men which journeyed with him stood (peechless, hearing a voice, but leeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he faw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.' And he was three days without fight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain difciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and to him faid the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he faid, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord faid unto hiin, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his fight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this little downwards; he had a handsome bending of his nose, which was fume tha: loger than ordinary; his bcard was thick and long, and a little sprinkled with grey hairs, as were those of his head likewile.

The Colle] This prayer, for manifesting gratitude by obedience, was impiurid in 1549, from an ancient form in Greg Sac., and slightly altered again in 1662 to its present form. The introitus was pfalm cxxxviii.

man, how much evil he hath done to thy faints at Jeru. falem: and here he hath authority from the chief priefts to bind all that call on thy Name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chofen vefsel onto me, to bear my Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must fuffer for my Name's fake. And Apanias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, faid, Brother Saul, the Lord (even Jesus that appeared unto thee in the way as thou cameft) hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy fight, and be filled with the Holy Ghoft. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been fcales: and he received fight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. But all that heard him were amazed, and faid, is not this he that destroyed them which called on this Name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests ? But Saul increafed the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is

very Christ.

The Gospel. St. Matt. xix. 27. PEL

ETER anfwered and said unto Jefus, Behold, we

have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus faid unto them, Verily I fay unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man fhall fit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall fit upon twelve thrones, judging the zwelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath for. fiken houses, or brethren, or filters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my Name's fake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit everlasting life. But many that are first shall be last, and the last fhall be first.

f The Presentation of Christ in the emple, commonly called the Purification of St. Mary the Virgin.

The Collect.
LMIGHTY and everliving God, we humbly beseech

thy Majesty, that as thy only begotten Son was this day presented in the Temple in substance of our flesh; so we may be presented unto thee with pure and clean hearts; by the fame thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epifle. Mal. iii. 1.

: pare the way before me: and the Lord whom ye The Virgin) This feast is of confiderable antiquity in the church; those that place the beginning of it the latest, fay, it commenced in Juftinian's time, about the year 540, upon the occasion of some public calamities, as a great earthquake, Thowers of blood, and some malignant distempers following thereupon. The Greeks call this teaft by the name of Hspante, which fignifies the meeting, because Simeon and Anna met our Lord in the temple this day. But I take this feast to be much older than Justinian's time; fince St. Chryfoftom mentions it as a featt celebrated in the church in his days; for his 13?th Hom. tom. v. is intitled, A sermon upon the Hypante, or the meeting, &c. This day is also called Candlemasday, from the abundance of lights which the ancient Chriftians used, both in their churches and proceflions, in remembrance (as is suppofed) of our blessed Saviour's being this day declared by old Simeon, " to be a light to lighten the Gentiles;” which portion of scripture is for that reason appointed for the gospel of the day. This practice continued in this country till the ad year of Edward the Vith, when an order of the privy council put an end to it.-Collier's Eccl. Hist. It had also one folemnity of old peculiar to it; namely, a proceļion, of which St. Bernard gives us the following account :-"We go in procession, two by two, carrying candles in our hands, which are lighted, not at a common fire, but a fire firtt blesfed in the church by the bishop. They that go out first return latt; and in the way we fing, “ Great is the glory of the Lord.”-Wego two by two, in commendation of charity, and a social life; for fo our Saviour sent out his disciples.-We carry lights in our hands; first, to signify that our light should shine before men; secondly, this we do this day cfpecially in memory of the wife virgins, (of whom this blefled Virgin is the chief) that went to meet their lord with their lamps burning. And from this uage, and the many lights set up in the church this day, it is called Can delaria, or Candlemas. Because our words should be all done in the holy fire of charity, therefore the candles are light with holy fire.--They that go out first return laft, to teach humility: in humility preferring one before another, (Phil. ii. 3.)-Because God loves a cheerful giver; therefore we ling in the way. The procession itself is to teach us, that we should not stand idle in the way of life, but proceed from virtue to virtue; not looking back to that which is behind, but reaching forward to that which is before."-For the antiquity of this day, see Cyril. Alex. Greg. Nys.in diem.

The Collect] This prayer, for purity of heart, was originally composed by Gregory, and incorporated into the liturgy ip 1549. The introitas Was pfalm cxxxiv.

feek, fhall suddenly come to his temple ; even the mefsenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in; behold, he thall come, faith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for be is like a refiner's fire, and like fuller's foap. And he hall fit as a refiner and purifier of filver; and be fall purify the fons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Then thall the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the Lord, as in the days of old, and as in former years. And I will come pear to you to judgment, and I will be a fwift witness against the forcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false fwearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right; and fear not me, faith the Lord of hosts. The Gospel. St. Luke ii. 22.

. ND when the days of her purification according to

the law.of Moses were accomplithed, they brought him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord; (as it is wiitten in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) and to offer a facrifice, according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons. And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him. And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for bim after the custom of the law, then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said, Lord, now leitelt thou tly servant depart in peace, according to thy word: for mine eyes have seen thy falvation, which thou hast prepared before the face of all people, a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Ifrael. And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things

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