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If there be any more Sundays before Advent Sunday,
the Service of some of those Sundays which were omitted after the Epiphany, shall be used. And if there be fewer, the overplus may be omitted; provided that this last Collect, Gospel, and Epistle, shall always be read upon the Sunday next before Advent.
CRANT, O Lord, that in all our sufferings here
upon earth, for the testimony of thy truth, we may steadfastly look up to heaven, and by faith behold the glory that shall be revealed ; and being filled with the Holy Spirit, may learn to love and bless our persecutors, by the example of the first martyr, Saint Stephen, who cried for his murderers to thee, and commended his spirit into the hands of the blessed Jesus, who standeth at the right hand of God, to succor all those who suffer for him, our only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
St. Matt. xxiii. 34. REHOLD I send unto you prophets, and wise
D men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city
to city ; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusa- . lem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
FOR THE EPISTLE.
Acts vii. 55.
up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, and said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, and cast him out of the city, and stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling out, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
The Innocents' Day.
of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; mortify and kill all vices in us, and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Matt. ii. 13. THE angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in
a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word ; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; and was there until the death of Herod ; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, froin two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
FOR THE EPISTLE.
Rev. xiv. 1. I LOOKED, and lo, a Lamb stood on the mount
Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder ; and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps. And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts and the elders; and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile ; for they are without fault before the throne of God.
The Conversion of Saint Paul.
THE COLLECT. GOD, who, through the preaching of the blessed apostle Saint Paul, hast caused the