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SERMON III.

The Purification of Mary, and the

Presentation of Jesus in the Tem-
ple.

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When the Days of her Purification, according

to the Law of Mofes, were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present bim to the Lord, (As it is written in the Law of the Lord, Every Male that openetb the Womb poall be called Holy unto the Lord) And to offer a Sacrifice according to that which is said in the Law of the Lord, A Pair of Turtle-Doves, or, two young Pigeons.

N discoursing upon this Passage of Scrip-
ture, we have two Circumstances wor-

thy our Attention: The one of which
is,
I. The. PURIFICATION OF MARY,

II. The

I

II. The other the PRESENTATION of y E-SERM. SUS to God.

III.

the

These two therefore, I intend to make the Subject of my present Discourse: And for your bei'er Instruction, shall treat of them both in the following Manner.

I. First, I shall recite to you the Institution and Meaning of each of thefe Rites, separately or jointly, as the Occasion thall require.

II. Secondly, I shall note from the Words of my Text, how readily and exactly, the Blessed Virgin complied with these Rites in relation both to herself and her Son. And then,

III. Thirdly, I shall see what Observations we may

draw from the Command ittelf, and this Compliance with the Command, for our own Direction and Use.

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I. First, I fall recite to you the Institution and Meaning of each of these Rites, separately or jointly, as the Occasion Thall require.

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I shall begin with that Rite which more
immediately concerned the Mother; because
this preceded the other Rite which concerned
VOL. III.
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SERM. the Son: The Mother must be purified, be-
III. fore the Son could be presented by her.

Now the End of the Mother's Purification,
I presume, was to free her from that Unclean-
ness and Pollution, which she contracted by
the Bearing of a Child. For the whole Hu-
man Nature being polluted and defiled in the
Sight of God, through the Sin of our first
Parents ; it could not be otherwise, but that
every Descendant of theirs when born, must
be born with their Original Corruption and
Impurity upon it. This David asserts of him-
self; and it is not truer of him than of every
other Man whatever : Every Son of Man may
justly cry out with him, I was hapen in Ini-
quity, and in Sin did my Mother conceive me,
Psal. li. 5. The Child therefore being thus
conceived and born in Sin, the Contagion of
it's Sin is such as to pollute the Mother that
bears it.

But now because the Sin of Adam was what his Posterity could not help; and consequently since it is not owing to any actual Fault in the Child, that it brings this original Defilement with it into the World ; therefore God, designing that a second Adam should in Time be born, not only free from all Impurity in himself, but also to free all the Chil

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dren of the first Adam from that Impurity SE RM. which was in this Manner entailed

III.

upon
them; God, I say, designing, out of his Mer-”
cy and Goodness, to effect this in Time by
his Son, was willing in the mean while to
overlook and forgive in his own chosen Peo-
ple, more especially, this original Stain, which
was imprinted on all Children, and so on their
Mothers, through Adam's Fault, though this
second Adam was not yet born, nor could be
till the Fullness of Time for it came, which
was appointed of the Father.

However, to signify the impure Condition
of the Children of Men in their natural State,
and how ynable they are of themselves to get
out of it; he instituted for this People certain
religious Ceremonies and Rites, to intimate,
that their Children were, as well as others, still
born under his Displeasure and Wrath; that
their Mothers were equally defiled by Child-
bearing, and could neither of them be looked
upon as purified and clean, nor qualified to
worship him in that Manner himself had

prescribed, till they had first performed some typical Rites, which pointed at him for whose Sake they were forgiven and accepted. What these were with Relation to the Child, I shall Thew by and by. But first let us examine,

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SER M. the Manner and Ceremony of purifying the III. Mother.

To do this we must turn to the xiith of Leviticus where the Ordinance is contained. And there we shall find, that when a Woman was delivered of a Son, she was for seven Days after separated from all common Conversation as unclean, and for three and thirty Days more (i. e. for forty in all) she was debarred the Sanctuary; i. e, during that Time she was not suffered to enter into it, nor to join with the Congregation in the Publick Worship of God. This was the Time prescribed her for a Son: The Time for a Daughter was double the former. For fourteen Days she was set apart from all Conversation; and for fixty-six more (i. e. for eighty in all) was forbidden the Tabernacle. The Occafion of this Difference between a Son and a Daughter, is conjectured to have been, because Sin and Guilt was properly derived from the Female Sex. For Adam (faith St Paul) was not deceived, but the Woman being deceived was in the Transgresion. The Female Sex therefore having been the principal Source of Sin; it is therefore thought that the Birth of a Daughter under the Law communicated the longest legal Contagion.

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