The Fourth Sunday in Advent The Gospel Luke 3. V. 1. Monday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
Luke 3. V. 1.GOSPEL
IN the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar Pontius Pilate being Procurator of Jewrie , Herode Tetrarch of Galilee, and Philippe his brother Terrarch of Ituria, and the country of Tracbonia, and Lisania Tetrarch of Abilina: under the high Priests Annas, and Caiphas; the word of our Lord was made unto John the son of Zachary: and he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the Baptism of penance to forgiveness of sines: as it is Doritter in the book of the Speeches of Esau the Prophet: A voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye Way of our Lord, make straight his paths. Every valley shall be filled up, and every hill, and mountain shall be laid low, and those things that be crooked shall be made straight, and rough waves, shall be made plain; and all flesh shall behold the saving one of God.
Consideration for Monday
WE read in the book of Judges, people had chosen Abimelech an unworthy man, to be their king; Joatham in a fit parable told them their ouersight therein.
The trees (said he) went to anoint a king over them; And came first to the Olive, saying, be thou our King.
Who answered, can I leave my oily fatness which Gods; and men, do use, and and come, and reign over other trees?
Then say they to the fig tree: come thou, and be our King.
Who said shall I leave my sweetness, and my pleasant fruit, to reign over other trees?
Afterward they came to the vine tree, saying, come thou, and reign over us.
But the vine answered, shall I forsake my wine, which maketh God, and man merry, to reign over other trees?
At length they came to the thorn bush, saying: come thou, and reign over vs.
Who proudly answered: If you will make me your King indeed, come under my shade; but if you will not, let fire go forth of the thorn, and burn down the Cedars of Libanus; which are the biggeſt, and tallest trees of the forest.
This parable alluded to Abimelech, and was verified in him, who, though unworthy, yet chosen by some to be prince, made a horrible combustion for it in the Kingdom, as commonly all unworthy persons do to be preferred unto places of government.
Whereas such as indeed be worthy, chose rather to enjoy their virtue in private, and excuse themselves from such places of authority - yea ought they not, (as I said), too absolutely refuse them, when they are lawfully called, least they be guilty of all those harms which may befall by ill governors put in their place.
The Prophet Esau excused himself from being sent to preach unto the people, alleging that his lips were polluted ; that is, unfit for so great a work; but after God had sent his Angel, who touched his tongue with a coal taken from the fire of the holy altar, and lo purified his lips: then, God demanding whom he should send to preach, he offered himſelf as willingly to go, as before he was unwilling; and said, behold here I am ready, send me.
So Saint John Baptist, no doubt, was as loathe to leave the sweetness of his solitary, and contemplative life, being the pleasantest estate of all; as the trees a fore said testify in their parable.
But being sent forth to preach by gods command (for the word of God was done unto him in the wilderness, as the holy text witness; to go forth, and to preach Christ;) he went with great willingness, and courage, as religious, and spiritual men ought to do, of whom Saint John was a perfect pattern.
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