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Now the manner of Christ's birth was this: his mother Mary being promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she became pregnant by the holy Spirit.
but while he was revolving this in his mind, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, the off-spring of David, don't make any difficulty of taking Mary for thy wife: for her pregnancy is from the holy Spirit.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the reign of king Herod, certain eastern Magi came to Jerusalem, with this enquiry,
Where is this king of the Jews who is now born? for we have seen his rising star, and are come to pay him homage.
when they observ'd this of the star, they were extreamly well pleas'd.
of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: at the same time a voice was heard from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
After this, Jesus having heard that John was confined in prison, retired into Galilee.
Jesus, to avoid this crowd of people, went to a mountain: and when he was set down, his disciples came to him.
but let your communication be, yes, yes; no, no: for whatever goes beyond this, is evil.
After this manner do you therefore pray: "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. thy kingdom come.
give us this day our daily bread.
Let your actions be such, with regard to others, as you should think reasonable with regard to yourselves, for this is the substance of the law and the prophets.
and then will I make this declaration to them: I never knew you: depart from me ye that have practised iniquity.
for I am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command: I bid this man, go, and he's gone: another, come, and he's here: and to my servant, do this, and it is done.
After this Jesus went to Peter's house, where seeing his wife's mother lying sick of a fever,
but the crew were all amaz'd; what is this man, said they, that even the winds and the sea obey him?
whereupon certain of the scribes said within themselves, this man blasphemes.
at this the multitude were amazed, and glorified God, for having communicated such power to men.
and when he was got into the house, the blind men advanc'd: and Jesus said to them, do ye think I am able to effect this cure? they answer'd, yes, Lord.
and when the devil was cast out, the dumb man came to his speech; at which the people were amazed, saying, nothing like this was ever seen in Israel.
and wherever ye go, make this proclamation: the kingdom of heaven is nigh.
but to what shall I compare this generation? they are like children sitting in the markets, and calling out to their fellows,
and thou, Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, shalt be brought to destruction: for if the miracles which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have subsisted even to this day.
where they brought a man with a withered hand: and asked him this insnaring question, is it lawful to heal on the sabbath-day?
Upon this the Pharisees went out of the synagogue, and form'd a conspiracy against his life.
which made the people cry out with amazement, "Is not this the son of David?"
but the Pharisees upon hearing this said, he exorcizes devils, by virtue only of Beelzebub the prince of the devils.
shall not be forgiven them. and if any one speaks against the son of man, it may be forgiven him: but if any one speaks against the holy spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, nor in that to come.
but he answered them, this wicked degenerate race demand a miracle; but no other miracle shall they have, except that of the prophet Jonas.
the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment against this generation, and shall condemn it, because they were converted at the preaching of Jonas, and now there is one superiour to Jonas here.
the queen of the south shall rise up at the day of judgement against this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the remote parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and now a greater than Solomon is here.
then he goes and takes seven other spirits besides himself, but more mischievous than himself, and they all enter in and lodge there: so that the last state of that man is worse than the first. just so shall it likewise fare with this wicked generation.
for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them."
Hear then the meaning of this parable of the sower.
he that is meant by the thorny ground, where other seed fell, is one that heareth the word: which by cares of this life, and the deceitful love of riches, is soon stifled, and becomes unfruitful:
Another parable he propos'd to them in these words. the state of the gospel in this world may be compar'd to a man who sowed good grain in his field:
'tis some enemy, said he, has done this. the servants replied, shall we go then and pull them up?
He propos'd another parable to them, which was this; the gospel-state is like a grain of mustard-seed which a man took to sow in his field.
Another of his parables was this; the gospel-state is like unto leaven, which a woman took and mixt with three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
so that this saying of the prophet was fulfilled, "I will talk in parables, I will utter what has been kept secret from the foundation of the world."
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hid in a field: a man finds this treasure and buries it again, then goes in great joy, sells all that he hath, and purchases that field.
Then Jesus said to them, have ye understood all this?
and when he was come into his native country, he taught them in their synagogue, in such a manner that they cry'd out with astonishment, how came this man by all this wisdom, and extraordinary power?
is not this the carpenter's son? is not Mary his mother? and James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas, are they not his brothers?
and his sisters, don't they live just by us? how came he then by all this?
and said to his servants, this is John the baptist, he is risen from the dead, and consequently is invested with miraculous power.
At evening his disciples came to him, saying, this is a desert place, and dinner-time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go to buy themselves provisions in the villages.
by this time the vessel was half sea over, violently toss'd with the waves, for the wind was contrary.
for this is a commandment of God, "honour thy father and mother; and, he that curses father or mother, let him be punish'd with death."
but your doctrine is this, if any man declares to his father or mother, that whatever he has to give for their relief is dedicated to the temple; he is not oblig'd to regard his father or his mother.
"this people, says he, draw nigh to me, they honour me with their lips: while their hearts are far from me.
Then Jesus called his disciples, and said to them, I am concern'd for this people; they have attended me now three days, without eating: I will not send them away fasting, lest they saint by the way. but his disciples said to him,
upon which they said to one another, this comes from our not taking any bread.
to whom Jesus reply'd, blessed art thou Simon, son of Jona: for 'tis not man that hath revealed this unto thee, but my father who is in heaven.
and I tell thee likewise, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will hereafter build my church: and death shall not prevail against it.
then Peter taking him aside, began to expostulate with him, saying, God forbid, Sir, this should ever happen to you.
while he was speaking, a bright cloud surrounded them: and suddenly a voice broke out of the cloud, saying, "this is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him."
As they went down the mountain, Jesus gave them this charge, don't speak of the vision, said he, to any body, till the son of man be risen again from the dead: but his disciples asked him,
because of your incredulity, said Jesus: for I tell you truly, if ye had ever so little faith, ye might say to this mountain, remove hence to yonder place, and it should remove; and nothing would be too difficult for you.
he therefore who shall become as void of ambition as this child, he shall be greatest in the kingdom of the Messiah.
In this respect the gospel-kingdom may be represented by that of a temporal prince, who had a mind to call his servants to account.
but this very servant presently after met with one of his fellow-servants, who owed him an hundred pence: and violently seizing him, said, pay me the debt.
his fellow-servants upon seeing this were very much concern'd, and went to acquaint their master with what had pass'd.
The Pharisees likewise came to him, and maliciously propos'd this question, may a man lawfully put away his wife at discretion?
he said, "for this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and be attach'd to his wife: and they two shall be one flesh?"
he answer'd them, 'twas because of your perverse temper that Moses suffered you to repudiate your wives: but from the beginning this was not in practice.
when his disciples heard this, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, who then can be saved?
but Jesus looking at them, said, however impracticable this is to men, all things are possible to God.
upon hearing this, the other ten disciples were moved with indignation against the two brothers.
all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet,
and when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was in an uproar, saying, who is this?
Jesus answered them, I declare to you, if ye have a full assurance of faith, ye shall not only be able to do this to a fig-tree, but if ye should even say to this mountain, be thou removed, and cast into the sea; it should be done.
When he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the magistrates came to him as he was teaching, and said, by what authority dost thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?
But what do you think of this? a man had two sons, and coming to the first, he said, son, go, work to-day in my vineyard.
but when the tenants saw the son, they said among themselves, this is the heir, come, let us kill him, and then seize on his inheritance.
Jesus reply'd, did ye never read in the scriptures, " that very stone which the builders rejected, is become the principal stone of the angle, this the Lord effected, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
and whosoever shall stumble at this stone, shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, he shall be entirely crush'd.
when the king was informed of this, he was greatly incensed, and having order'd his forces to march, he put those murderers to death, and laid their city in ashes.
Upon this the Pharisees withdrew, and consulted how they might insnare him in his discourse.
and he said unto them, whose image and inscription is this?
on hearing this, they were filled with admiration, and so leaving him, they went their way.
About that time the Sadducees, who say there is no future life, came and propos'd this question,
now if there be another life after this, whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all married her.
for in the other life after this, there will be no such thing as marriage; but they will be as the angels of God in heaven.
when the people heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.
In the mean time one of them, a Doctor of the law, to try him, started this question, master,
this is the first and most important precept,
I declare unto you, all these things shall befall this generation.
Jesus said to them, observe this vast structure, I tell you for certain, there shall not be any part of it left standing, but it shall be all thrown into ruins.
And when he was upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him in private, and said, tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of this age?
yet all this is but the beginning of sorrow.
and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, to testify to all nations, that the end will then come.
this may be illustrated by a comparison taken from a fig-tree: when the branches become tender, and push out their leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
but this you conceive, that if a man knew at what hour of the night the thief would come, he would set a watch, and not suffer his house to be broke open.
and the king will reply, I declare unto you, your having done this for one of the least of these my brethren, is the same thing as doing it for me.
to this he will reply, I declare unto you, your not doing this for one of the least of these, is the same thing as not doing it for me.
About this time the chief priests, and the elders of the people, assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas,
but they said, this must not be done on the feastday, for fear the people rise.
one of his disciples seeing this, with indignation said, to what purpose is this waste?
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