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St. Luke ii. 15. AND it came to pass, as the angels were gone
away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS.
Gal. iv. 1. N OW I say, that the heir, as long as he is a
child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ.
The First Sunday in the Year.
GOD, the unfailing source of light and mercy,
who hast brought us to the beginning of this year, and art sparing us to love thee, and to keep thy commandments, give us, we beseech thee, a solemn sense of the importance of time, and of diligence in improving the talents thou hast placed in our hands; and enable us so faithfully to discharge our duty in this life, that when we shall appear before thee at thy great tribunal, we may be found worthy of that eternal kingdom which thou hast promised by Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Matt. xxv. 14. FOR the kingdom of heaven is as a man travel
ling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he who had received two, he also gained other two. But he who had received one, went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time, the lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them. And so he who had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents ; behold, I have gained beside them, five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents; behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he who had received the one talent came, and said, Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed; and I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth ; lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered, and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed ; thou oughtest, therefore, to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take, therefore, the talent from him, and give it unto him who hath ten talents. For unto every one who hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance ; but from him who hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
i St. Pet. i. 13. W HEREFORE gird up the loins of your mind,
be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not fashion yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance; but as he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation ; because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear ; for as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, such as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot ; who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by him do believe in God who raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory, that
your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit, unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another, with a pure heart fervently; being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass; the grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away ; but the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word, which by the Gospel is preached unto you.
The Epiphany, or the Manifestation of Christ
to the Gentiles.
THE COLLECT. 0 GOD, who by the leading of a star didst mani
fest thy only begotten Son to the Gentiles ; mercifully grant, that we who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Matt. ii. 1.
in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he who is born King of the Jews ? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard