Page images

with me, in the days wherein hel 29 And when she saw him, sno looked on me, to take a away my was troubled at his saying, and cast repruach a nong men.

in her mind what manner of saluta26 And in the sixth month the tion this should be. angel Gabriel was sent from God, 30 And the angel said unto her, ună) a city of Galilee, named Na- Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found zaeth,

favour with God. 27 To a virgin espoused to a 31 And, behold, thou shalt con

an whose name was Joseph, of ceive in thy worsb, and bring forth the house of David; and the vir- a son, and shalt call his name gin's name was Mary.

JESUS. 28 And the angel came in unto 32 He shall be great, and shall her, and said, Hail, thou that art " be called the Son of the Highest : highly favoured, the a Lord is, and the Lord God shall give unto with thee : blessed art thou among him the throne * of his father Da women.

a Ge.30.23. 1 Sa.1.6. Is.54.1,4. b Matt.1.18.
or, graciously accepted; or, much graced. 1.2-8.

e Ioa.7.14. Matt.1.21. fMatt.12.42. g He

h 2 Sa.7.11,12. Is.9.6.7. Da.9.23. d Ju.6.12.

yid :

be destitute of children, was considered angel, that all blessings from Goo a reproach, or a disgrace. 1 Sam. i. 6. might descend and rest upon her.

26. In the sixth month. The sixth * Blessed art thou among women. This month after Elisabeth's conception. passage is equivalent to saying · Thou

A city of Galilee, "named Nazareth. art the most happy of women. See Mait. ii. 22, 23.

29. Troubled at his saying. Disturbed 27. To a virgin espoused, &c. See or perplexed at what he said. It was so Matt. i. 18, 19. f House of David. unexpected, so sudden, so extraordina. Camily of David, or descendants of ry, and was so high an honor, that she David.

was filled with anxious thoughts, and 28. Hail. This word of salutation is did not know what to make of it I Cast equivalent to, Peace be with thee, or in her mind. Thought, or revolved in Joy be with thee; a form of speech im- her mind. What manner of saluta. plying that she was signally favored, tion. What this salutation could mean. and expressing joy_at meeting her. 32. He shall be great. There is un. { Highly favored. By being the mo- doubted reference in this passage to Isa ther of the long-expected Messiah; the ix. 6, 7. By his being great, is meant mother of the Redeemer of mankind. he shall be distinguished, or illustrious ; Long had he been predicted ; long had great in power, in wisdom, in dominthe eyes of the nation been turred to ion, on earth, and in heaven. Shall be him; and long had his coming been an called. This is the same as to say, he object of intense desire. To be reck shall be the Son, &c. The Hebrews oned among his ancestors, was account. often used this form of speech. See ed sufficient honor for even Abraham Matt. xxi. 13. ! The Highest. God and David. But now the happy indi. —who is infinitely exalted-cațied the vidual was designated who was to be Highest, because he is exalted over all his mother; and on Mary, a poor vir. his creatures on earth and in heaven. gin of Nazareth, was to come this ho. See Mark v. 7. The throne. The nor, which would have rendered infi- kingdom; or shall appoint him as the nite'y illustrious any of the daughters lineal successor of David in the king. of Adam-the honor of giving birth to dom. I His father David. David is the world's Redeemer, and the Son of called his father, because Jesus was God. 9 The Lord is with thee. The lineally descended from him. See Matt.

is not in the original, and the i. 1. The promise to David was, that passage may be rendered either the there should not fail a man to sit on his sord is witn thee,' or 'the Lord be throne ; that his throne should be per. with thee 'implying the prayer of the petual; and the promise was fulfilled

word 18,

33 And he shall reign over the sabeth, she hath also conceived a house of Jacob for ever; and of son in her old age: and this is the his kingdom there shall be no end. sixth month with her who was call

34 Then said Mary unto the ed barren. angel, How shall this be, seeing I 37 Foro with God nothing shall know not a man !

be impossible. 35 And the

angel answered and 38 And Mary said, Behold the gaid unto her, The Holy Ghost shall handmaid d of the Lord; be it unto come upon thee, and the power of me according e to thy word. And The Highest shall overshadow thee; the angel departed from her. therefore also that holy thing which 39 And Mary arose in those days shall be born of thee shall be call- and went into the hill country with ed the Son of God.

haste, into f a city of Juda; 36 And, behold, thy cousin Eli

c Matt.19.26. Rom.4.21. e Ps.119.38. f Jos.21.9-11.

d Ps.116.15.

a Da.7.14.27. Mi.4.7.

b Mar.1.1.

by exalóiug Jesus to be a Prince and a direct creation, that should be pure and Saviour and the perpetual King of his holy. See Heb. x.5. I That holy thing, people.


That holy progeny, or child. 33. Over the house of Jacob. The I Shall be called the Son of God. That house of Jacob means the same thing as is spoken in reference to the human the family of Jacob, or the descend nature of Christ.

And this passage ants of Jacob; i. e., the children of Is proves beyond controversy that one rea. rael. This was the name by which the son why Jesus was called the Son of ancient people of God were known, God, was, because he was begotten in and it is the same as saying that he a supernatural manner. He is also shall reign over his own church and called the Son of God, on account of hiş people for ever. This he does by giving resurrection. Rom. i. 4. Acts xiii. 33, them laws, by defending them, and compared with Ps. ii. 7. by guiding them; and this he will do 36, 37. Thy cousin Elisabeth, &c for ever in the kingdom of his glory. The case of Elisabeth is mentioned to [ Of his kingdom there shall be no end. inspire Mary with confidence, and to He shall reign among his people on earth assure her that what was now promised until the end of time, and still be their would be fulfilled. It was almost as King in heaven. His is the only king. improbable that Elisabeth should have dom that shall never have an end. He a child at her time of life, as it was that the only King that shall never lay aside | Mary should under the circumstances his diadem and robes, and that shall promised. never die. He the only King that can 38. And Mary said, Behold the handdefend us from all our enemies, sustain maid, &c. This was an expression of as in death, and reward us in eternity. resignation to the will of Goil, and of O how important, then, to have an in- faith in the promise. To be the hand. terest in his kingdom; and how unim- maid of the Lord, is to be a submissive portant, compared with his favor, is the and obedient servant; and is the samu favor of all earthly monarchs !

as saying, 'I fully credit all that is said, 35. The Holy Ghost shall come upon and am perfectly ready to obey all the thee. See Matt. i. 18, 20. | The power commands of the Lord.” of the Highest, &c. This evidently 39. And Mary arose. The word arose means that the body of Jesus should be here is equivalent to setting out, or created by the direct power of God. starting on a journey. The hill coun. It was not hy ordinary generation; but, try. The region in the vicinity of is the Messiah came to redeem sinners Jerusalem, commonly called the hill

to make atonement for others, and country of Judea. s City of Juda. 1:0! for himself—it was necessary that What city is meant is not known. Some his human nature should be pure, and have supposed it to be Jerusalem, others need from the corruption of the fall. Hebron." But all is conjecture. It was Goed, therefore, prepared him a body by probably a Levitical city, and the resi

[ocr errors]

40 And entered into the house 44 For lo, as soon as the voice o of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. thy salutation sounded in mine ears

41 And it came to pass, that, the babe leaped in my womb fo when Elisabeth. heard the saluta- joy. tion of Mary, the babe leaped in 45 And blessed is she' that be her womb; and Elisabeth was fill- lieved: for there shall be a perfor. ed with the Holy Ghost :

mance of those things which were 42 And she spake out with a told her from the Lord. loud voice; and said, Blessed a art 46 And Mary said, My soul thou among women; and blessed doth magnify the Lord, is the fruit of thy won.b.

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced 43 And whence is this to me, in God my Saviour. that the mother of my Lord should 48 For he hath regarded the low' come to me?

estate of his handmaiden; for bea Ju.5.24. ver.28. b Jno.13.13.

c 1 Sa.2.1. Ps.34.2,3. d Ps.35.9. Hab.3.18 a kich believed that there shall be.

e Ps.136.23. dence of Zacharias when he was not the source of light, comfort, and joy. employed in the temple.

3d. That every thing about the birth 40. Saluted Elisabeth. Expressed of Jesus is remarkable, and that he great joy and gratification at seeing her, must have been more than a mere man. and used the customary tokens of affec 4th. That the prospect of the coming tionate salutation.

of the Messiah was one of great joy 41. Filled with the Holy Ghost. The and rejoicing to ancient saints; and, meaning of this scems to be, that she 5th. That it was a high honor to be was filled with joy; with a disposition the mother of him that should redeem to praise God; with a prophetic spirit, mankind. It is from that honor that the or a knowledge of the character of the Roman Catholics have determined that child that should be born of her. All it is right to worship the Virgin Mary, these were produced by the Holy Ghost. and to offer prayers to her: an act of

42. Blessed art thou among women. worship as idolairous as, any that could She here repeated nearly the words of be offered to a creature. For: 1st. It the angel to Mary, esteeming it to be is not anywhere commanded in the the highest honor among mothers to be Bible. 2d. It is expressly forbidden to the mother of the Messiah.

worship any being but God. Ex. xxxiv. 43. And whence is this to me? An 14.; xx. 4, 5. Deut. vi. 13, 14. Isa. expression of humility. Why is it that xlv. 20. It is idolatry to worship or the mother of my Lord should come to pray to a creature. 4th. It is absurd to me, as if to honor me? | Mother of my suppose that the Virgin Mary can be in Lord. The word Lord sometimes de all places at the same time, to hear the notes divinity, and sometimes superior, prayers of thousands at once, or that master, teacher, or governor. It was she can aid them. There is no idola. given by the Jews to their expected try more gross, and of course more Messiah; but whether they understood wicked, than to worship the creature it as denoting divinity, cannot now to more than the Creator. Rom. i. 25. ascertained. It is clear only that Eli- 46. My soul doth magnify the Lord sabeth used it as denoting great dignity To magnify here means to make great, and honor.

and then to extol, to praise, to celebrate. 45. Blessed is she that believed. That It does not mean here strictly to make is, Mary, who believed what the angel great ; but to increase in our eslima. spoke to her. She was blessed not tion; that is, to praise, or extol. Sce only in the act of believing, but because Ps. xxxiv. 3. 2 Sam. vii. 26. the thing promised would certainly be 47. In God my Saviour. God is called Sulfilled.

Saviour, as he saves people from sin From these expressions of Elisabeth, and death. He was Mary's Saviour, we may learn: Jet. That the spirit of as he had redeemed her soul, and given prophecy had not entirely ceased among a title to eternal life; and she rejoiced he Jews 2d. That the Holy Ghost is for that, and especially for his meicy in w10, from her.ceforth all genera- | that fear him, from generation to suns shall call me a blessed.

generation. 49 For he, that is mighty hath 51 Hef hath shewed strength done to me great things; cand with his arm; he hath scattered holy d is his name.

the s proud in the imagination of 50 And e his mercy is on them their hearts. a Mal.3.12. c.11.27. 6 Ge. 17.1. c Ps.71. 17. Ex.20.6. Ps.103.17. f Ps.98.). Is.51.8. 21. 126.2,3. Ep.3.20. d Ps.lil.9. e Ge. 17. 52.10. 63.5. g 1 Sa..9. Da.4.37.

honoring her by her being made the of it, is solemnly forbidden in the third mother of the Messiah.

commandment. Ex. xx. 7. 48. He hath regarded the low estate of 50. His mercy. Favor shown to the his handmaid. Literally, he has looked miserable and the guilty. Is on them. upon the low or humble condition of his Is showed or manifested to them. I Theat handmaid. That is, notwithstanding fear him. That reverence or honor him. the humble rank and poverty of Mary, One kind of fear is that which a servart he has shown her favor. And this ex- has of 'a cruel master, or a man has of ample abundantly teaches, what is else. a precipice, the plague, or death. This where fully taught in the Bible, that is not the fear which we ought to have God is not a respecter of persons; that of God. It is the fear which a dutiful he is not influenced, to confer favors, child has of a kind and virtuous father by wealth, honor, or office. Rom. ii. a fear or injuring his feelings; of dis11; x. 11, 12. He seeks out the hum honoring him by our life; of doing any ble and the contrite ; and imparts his thing which he pould disapprove. It ich blessings to those who feel that is on those who have such fear of God hey need them, and who will bless that his mercy descends. This is the him for them. Ps. cxxxviii. 6. Isa. fear of the Lord which is the beginning Ivii. 15. s From henceforth. Here- of wisdom. Ps. cxi. 10. Job xxviii. after, or in consequence of this. | All 28. 1 From generation to generation generations. All men. All posterity. From one age to another. That is, il

Call me blessed. Pronounce me highly is unceasing; it continues, and abounds. favored, or happy in being the mother But it means also more than this. It of the Messiah. It is right to consider means, that God's mercy will descend her as highly favored, or happy ; but on the children, and children's children This certainly does not warrant us to of those that fear_him, and keep his worship her, or to pray to her. Abra commandments. Ex. xx. 6. In thje ham was blessed in being the father of respect, it is an unspeakable privilege the faithful; Paul in being the apostle to be descended of pious parents; to to the Gentiles ; Peter in first preach- have been the subject of their prayers, ing the gospel to them; but who would and to have received their blessing. think of worshipping or praying to And it is also a matter of vast guilt not Abraham, Paul, or Peter ?

to copy their example, and to walk in 49. He that is mighty. God. 1 Hath their steps. If God is disposed to show done to me great things. Hath con- mercy to thousands of generations, how ferred on me great favors, and distin- heavy will be the condemnation if they guished mercies. | And holy is his do not avail themselves of it, and early

This is an expression of Mary's seek his favor! feelings, desiring to bestow on God all 51. Hath showed strength with his arm. honor and praise; and as the highest The arm is the symbol of strength. honor, she declared that his name was The expression in this, and the subseholy; that is, that God was free quent verses, has no particular reference from sin, injustice, and impurity. The to his mercy to Mary. From a con. rame” of God is often put for God templation of his goodness to her, she himself

. The proper name of God is enlarges her views to a contemplaticn Jehovak, a word expressive of his essen- of his goodness and power in general cial being, derived from the word to be. to others, and to a celebration of the Ex. iii. 14; vi. 3. Ps. Ixxxii. 18. That praises of God, for all that he has done name is holy; is to be regarded as holy; ( to all men.--This is the nature of true and to make a common or profane use 'piety. It does not terminate in think

[ocr errors]


52 He a hath put down the 54 He hath nolpen. nis servan mighty from their seats, and exalt- Israel, in o remembrance of his ed them of low degree.

mercy ; 53 He b hath filled the hungry 55 As he spake d to our fathers, with good things, and the rich he to Abraham, and to his seed for hath sent empty away.

ever. a Job 5.11. c.18.14.

c Ps.98.3

b1 Sa.2.5.

d Ge.17.19. Ps.132.11.

ing of God's mercy to us. It thinks of mercy of God. He daily fed the poor, cthers -- spreads, in contemplation of the needy, and those who came to him other objects—and praises "God that with humble hearts. The rich hath he others also are made partakers of his sent, &c. While the poor come to him mercy, and that his goodness is mani for a supply of their daily wants; the fested to all his works. He scattereth rich come not that their necessities the proud. He hath often done it in should be supplied, but come with lofty time of battle and war. When the hearts, and insatiable desires, that their proud Assyrian, Egyptian, or Babylo- riches may be increased. When this is nian had come against the people of the case, God not unfrequently not only God, he had often scattered them, and withholds what they ask, but he takes driven away their armies. 1 In the their riches away by fire, or flood, oi imagination of their hearts. Those who disappointments, and sends them away were lifted up or exalted, in their own empty. Prov. xxiii. 5. It is better to view. Those who thought themselves be poor, and go to God for our daily to be superior to other men.

bread, than to be rich, and forget our 52. Hath put down the mighty. The dependence on him, and to seek only a mighty here denotes princes, kings, or great increase of our property. conquerors. See Isa. xiv. 12, 13, 14. 54. Hath holper Hath helped or as: I Their seats. Their thrones, or the sisted. The word rendered * holpen" places where they sat in pomp and denotes, properly, to take hold of one, power. 1 Exulted them. Raised them to help him up when he is in danger of up, or placed them in the seats of those falling, and means here that God had who had been removed. Low degree. succored his people when they were Low, or humble birth, and condition in feeble, and were in danger of falling or life. This probably has reference to being overthrown. 1 His servant Israel. the case of Saul and David. Mary His people, the Israelites, or those who was celebrating the mercies of God to truly feared him and kept his comher, to her family, and of course to her mandments. See Isa. xli. 8–9. Hos. ancestors. It was natural to allude to xi. 1. 1 In remembrance of his mercy. that great event in their history, when Or that his mercy may be remembered. Saul was overcome in battle, and when 55. As he spake to our fathers, &c. David was taken from the sheep-fold, That is, lie has dealt mercifully with and placed on the throne. The origin the children of Israel, according as he of illustrious families is often obscure. promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Men are often raised by industry, talent, The promise particularly here referred .and the favor of God, from very hum to, is that respecting the Messiah, which ble stations; from the farm, or mecha- was now about to be fulfilled. But nic's shop to places of great trust in the there is no doubt that there was also church and state. They who are thus included the promises respecting all the elevated, if imbued with right feelings, other mercies which had been conferred will not despise their former employ on the children of Israel. See Gen ments, nor their former companions, xxii. 17–18. (For ever. These words nor will they esteem their parents or are to be referred to the preceding verse friends the less, because they still re- "in remembrance of his mercy for ever, main in the same rank in life. No as he spake,” &c. They denote that conduct's more odious and unchristian, the mercy of God manifested to his peothan to be ashamed of our birth or the ple, should be had in everlasting rehumɔle circumstances of our friends. membrance.

53. The hungry with good things. There is a striking similarity between Itus is a cel:bration of the generall this song cf praise by Marvi and that

« PreviousContinue »