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next : it holds him out to us, who is our “Thield” on earth, and will be our "exceeding great reward” in heaven ; who “guides us with his " counsel, and will, after that, re“ceive us to glory—Whom have 56 we in heaven, O Lord, but thee; "and there is none upon earth “ we can desire in comparison of kthee * !” 11. — Through the tender mercy
of our God; whereby the daySpring from on high hath visited Us,
12. To give light to them that fit
in darkness, and in the fhadow of
St. John was the morning-star, that preceded the fun of righteousness at his rising; an event, the glory of which is due to “the ten“ der mercy of our God;" since towards the production of it man could do no more than he can do towards causing the natural fun to rise upon the earth. The bleffed effects of the day-fpring which then dawned from on high, and gradually increased more and more unto the perfect day, were-the dispersion of ignorance, which is the darkness of the intellectual world ; the awakening of men from fin, which is the sleep of the soul; and the conversion and direction of their hearts and inclinations into “ the way of peace,” that is, .
of reconciliation to God by the blood of Christ, to themselves by the answer of a conscience cleansed from fin, and to one another by mutual love. “ Happy is the people that “is in such a case ; yea, happy is “the people, whose God is the Lord. “ They are the children of the light is and of the day. Their fun shall “ no more go down, neither shall their “ moon withdraw itself; for the “ Lord shall be unto them an ever"lasting light, and the days of their 6 mourning shall be ended.”
Considerations on St. John's education
in the defarts.
ALL the information we have di concerning St. John, from the time of his birth to that of his public appearance, is contained in the few following words—" And the “child grew, and waxed strong in “ fpirit, and was in the desarts till “the day of his shewing unto Ifrael * " There, apart from the world, and under the tuition of heaven, he was catechized in the principles of divine wisdom, initiated into the mystery of * Luke i. 80.
a holy life, and perfected in the difcipline of self-denial;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
'This difpenfation in the case of the Baptist, like many others relative to the prophets, was extraordinary and miraculous ; consequently, not to be literally copied by any one, but in similar circumstances, and under a supernatural direction. Nor has the monastic scheme the fanction of fo great an example; as St. John was under the obligation of no wow, but having finished his preparation in folitude, came forth to act his part upon the theatre of the world.