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Wake not, O mother, sounds of lamentation,
What power unseen by mortal eye,
When a thousand voices raise,
When by pain and care oppressed,
Who, as the brethren of the Lord,
With feeble pulse, and limbs, whose power,
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 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 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 forever; and of his kingdom there
shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born, shall be called the Son of God. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word." The reply of Mary expresses her undoubting faith. That she should place full reliance upon such a divine communication, appears to us by no means extraordinary. But there are subjects on which we, like her, are instructed from above; and on these how often do we doubt! How often do we overlook the seal of heavenly truth with which God has sanctioned his revelations! We are, we say, fully convinced that Jesus was the messenger of God; but do we always receive his commands with implicit faith? He has unveiled to us the world to come: we hear his denunciations to the impenitent, his invitations to all; but while we listen, is there not a feeling of doubt within us; a reluctance to take his promises for the ground of our hopes? He has declared that our heavenly Father governs the universe he made, and that without him not a sparrow falleth to the ground. Do we believe this? If so, we must be happy; for in such faith we shall find a peace which nothing else can yield us. But by how few among us is this holy faith possessed without a cloud of doubt! When we are convinced that our Saviour spoke by authority from on high, doubt and fear should no longer have place, but all his declarations meet the same ready and humble faith which would be yielded to the words of a visibly present angel.
THE MESSENGERS OF GOD.
Thy messengers, Eternal God,
The thunders roll, the lightnings fly,
But other messengers are thine,
And in thy word a voice we hear
O may that faith which Mary knew
That we may feel thy promise true,
BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST.
LUKE I. 57.
Now Elizabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. And her neighbors and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed