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was the daughter of Amram, the sister of Moses and Aaron, a prophetess; to whom the bringing of Israel out of Egypt is attributed as well as to her brethren. “For I brought thee up out of the land of Egypt (saith the Lord), and redeemed thee out of the house of servants; and I sent before thee Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.” (Mic. vi. 4.) As she was exalted to be one of them who brought the people of God out of the Egyptian bondage; so was this Mary exalted to become the mother of that Saviour, who through the red sea of his blood hath wrought a plenteous redemption for us, of which that was but a type: and even with the confession of the lowliness of a handmaid she seems to bear that exaltation in her name.
Beside this name of the blessed Virgin, little hath been discovered to us. Christ, who commended the faith of the centurion, the love of Mary Magdalen, the excellences of John the Baptist, hath left not the least encomium of his mother. The evangelists, who have so punctually described the city, family, and genealogy, of Joseph, make no express mention of her relations, only of her cousin Elizabeth, who was of the tribe of Levi, " of the daughters of Aaron.” (Luke i. 5.) Although it be of absolute necessity to believe that he who was born of her descended from the tribe of Judah, and the family of David; yet hath not the Scripture clearly expressed so much of her, nor have we any more than an obscure tradition of her parents Joachim and Anna.t sister of Moses; whom in another stilla, which is properly ) maris, place be calls å oenorv aŭtoũ Mapiá- or amarum mare, which he rather uvny. Therefore he thought the name embraced: yet these compositions of Mariamne to be the same with Mi- are not so proper, or probable at all, riam. And as the Greeks were wont especially in a name dissyllable. to add their own terminations to ex- Though the Jews themselves deduce otic words; so did they at other times it from 770, to signify the bitterness leave out the exotic terminations, if of the Egyptian bondage, as we read thereby their own were left. As for in Midrash yu), beside the two au
', θαρά, for Μαριάμ Μαρία. Wherefore still the addition of the final mem is from the Hebrew Mirjam came, by not proper; or if that should stand variety of pronunciation, at first the for it, there were no good account Syriac Marjam ; and from the Syriac to be given of the jod. Whereas if Marjam, at first, only by variation of we deduce it from the radix D17, the pronunciation, Mapidy, then for with the addition of the Heemantic the propriety of termination, Mapia. mem, the notation is evident, and the
For though that interpretation signification clear, as of one exalted Domina may seem to some conveni- above others. ently enough from 73, yet that be + I call this a tradition, because ing rather from the Chaldees, cannot not in the written word : and obscure, so well agree with Miriam ; nor is because the first mention we find of the ♡ so properly added at the end, it was in the fourth century. Epias to the beginning of a Hebrew word, phanius first informs us, who speaking where it is usually in words of simple of Joseph, says he knew thus much: signification Heemantical. Again, Γυναίκα μεν ήδει αυτήν τη πλάσει, και though On may signify smyrna θήλειαν τη φύσει, και εκ μητρός "Αννης, maris, or illuminatrix, which St. Je- kai ła tatpor 'Iwakeip. Hæres. 78. g. rome rejected; and stella (or rather 17. Again : Ei åyyé ovç mpookvvelobal
נקראת מרים ,Asia and Avod
, for thors before quoted חנה et אביה yet שמררו המצרים את חיי הם תרה Aod and Zapd
, for' זרה et אסה
Wherefore the title added to that name maketh the distinction : for as divers characters are given to several persons by which they are distinguished from all others of the same common nomination, as Jacob is called Israel, and Abraham the friend of God, or father of the faithful ; so is this Mary sufficiently characterized by that inseparable companion of her name, the Virgin. For the full explication whereof more cannot be required, than that we shew, first, That the Messias was to be born of a virgin, according to the prediction of the prophets; secondly, That this Mary, of whom Christ was born, was really a virgin when she bare him according to the relations of the evangelists; thirdly, That being at once the mother of the Son of God, and yet a virgin, she continued for ever in the same virginity, according to the tradition of the fathers, and the constant doctrine of the Church.
The obdurate Jew, that he might more easily avoid the truth of the second, hath most irrationally denied the first; tesolved rather not to understand Moses and the prophets, than to acknowledge the interpretation of the apostles. It will therefore be necessary from those oracles which were committed unto them, to shew the promised Messias was to be born after a miraculous manner, to be the son of a woman, not of a man. The first promise of him seems to speak no less, “the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head :" (Gen. iii. 15.) for as the name of seed is not generally, or collectively to be taken for the generation of mankind, but determinately and individually for that one seed, which is Christ; so the woman is not to be understood with relation ου θέλει, πόσω μάλλον την από "Αννης ture. Among which many being cerγεγεννημένην, την έκ τού Ιωακείμ τη tainly false, it is not now easy (if at * Avvą dedwpnuévny ; Hæres, 79. §. 5. all possible) to distinguish what part where he makes mention of the his- of them or particular is true. «Quod tory of Mary, and the tradition con- de generatione Mariæ Faustus pocerning her nativity. 'H rñs Mapias suit, quod patrem habuerit ex tribu ιστορία, και παραδόσεις έχουσιν, ότι έρ- Levi sacerdotem quendam nomime ökon rợ Tarpi avtñs 'Iwareiu év tõ épý- Joachim, quia Canonicum non est, aq, öc i yuvý oov guvernpuia, &c. non me constringit,' saith St. AugusDamasc. Orthod. Fid. 1. iv. c. 15. and tin, 1. xxiii. contra Faustium, c. 9. Orig. contra Celsum de Panthera, 1. i. Τις πότε, ή εν ποία γενεά τετόλμηκε δ. 32. What this history of Mary was, καλεϊν το όνομα Μαρίας της αγίας, και or of what authority those traditions ερωτώμενος ούκ ευθύς επήνεγκε το παρwere, we cannot learn out of Epipha- Jévov; 'EĚ ajtūv ydp rūV TÉTWV óvonius. What the interpolator of Gre- μάτων και της αρετής υποφαίνει τα τεgory Nyssen's Homily produceth, he kuýpia. 'Ažupara mèv ydp óvouaoiwv confesseth taken from apocryphal ειλήφασιν οι δίκαιου εκάστω πρεπόντως, , writings. And divers of the like re- και ως ήρμοζε. Και το μεν Αβραάμ lations descended from the prime and προσετέθη το, φίλος θεού, και ου διαλυgreatest heretics. The gnostics had a θήσεται» το δε Ιακώβ, το Ισραήλ καbook among them, which was called λεϊσθαι, και ουκ αλλοιωθήσεται» και τοίς Γέννα Μαρίας. Epiphan. Hares. 26. 5. Αποστόλοις, το Βοανεργές, τουτέστιν, 12. Amongst the Manichees Seleu- υιοί βροντής, και ουκ αποκαταλειφθήσεcus wrote the history of the Virgin. ται» και τη αγία Μαρία, το παρθένος, και And the Protevangelium Jacobi de- où sparnoeta.. Epiphan. Hæres. 78. ceived many in relations of this na- Ŝ. 6.
הוא אומר אני עלי לבראתו is סבב the proper signification of I must ברית חדשה היום ילדתיך circundame or cimgere
unto man, but particularly and determinately to that sex from which alone immediately that seed should come.
According to this first evangelical promise followed that prediction of the prophet, " The Lord hath created a new thing on the earth, A woman shall compass a man.” (Jer. xxxi. 22.) That new creation of a man is therefore and therefore a creation, because wrought in a woman only, without a man, compassing a man. Which interpretation of the prophet is ancient, literal, and clear;* and whatsoever the Jews have invented to elude it, is frivolous and forced. For while they force the phrase of compassing a man, in the latter part of the prediction, to any thing else than a conception, they do not only wrest the Scripture, but contradict the former part of the promise, making the new creation neither new, as being often done, nor a creation, as being easy to perform.
But if this prophecy of Jeremy seem obscure, it will be sufficiently cleared by that of Isaiah, “ Behold, a virgin shall conceive and hear a son, and shall call his name Emanuel.” (Isa. vii. 14.) The ancient Jews immediately upon the promulgation of the Gospel,t understanding well how near this * For it is not to be denied that hour is, come, God shall say, 27
cingere. I observed but one interpretation of create him with a new creation. And this verb, 073yosis: and Kim- so (by virtue of that new creation) cbi testifieth that all words which he saith, This day have I begotten thee. come from the root 220 signify en- From whence it appeareth that this compassing or circuition. Therefore sense is of itself literally clear, and those words, 21 20 1722) must that the ancient Rabbins did underliterally import no less than that a stand it of the Messias; whence it woman shalt encompass, or enclose a followeth that the latter interpretaman, which, with the addition of a tions are but to avoid the truth which New creation, may well bear the inter- we profess, that Jesus was born of a pretation of a miraculous conception, virgin, and therefore is the Christ. Especially considering that the an † How soon these objections were cient Jews did acknowledge this sense, made use of by the Jews, will appear and did apply it determinately to the by Justin Martyr, the first writer Messias: as appeareth in Bereshit which made any considerable expliRabba Parash. 89. where shewing cation and defence of the Christian that God doth heal with that with religion; wbo, in his dialogue with which he woundeth, he saith, As he Trypho the Jew, shews us what were punished Israel in a virgin, so would the objections of the Rabbins: 'Etki he also heal therm with a virgin, ac- δε υμείς και οι διδάσκαλοι υμών τολμάτε cording to the prophet; “The Lord λέγειν, μηδέ ειρήσθαι εν τη προφητεία του hath created a new thing on the earth, Ησαΐου, ιδού η παρθένος εν γαστρί έξει, a woman shall compass a man.” By άλλ', ιδού η νεάνις εν γαστρί λήψεται, the testimony of R. Huna in the kai tégerai úlóv. p. 262. And Tertulname of R. Idi, and R. Josuah the lian, whose works are full of the dison of Levi, 'nwon 750 m vinity of Justin : Si quando ad de1770 On This is Messiah the jiciendos aliquos ab bac divina præKing, of whom it is written, (Psal. ii. dicatione, vel convertere singulos 7.) "This day have I begotten thee." simplices quosque gestitis, mentiri And again in Midrash Tillim, upon audetis, quasi non Virginem, sed juthe 2d Psalm, R. Huna in the name venculam, concepturam Scriptura conof R. Idi, speaking of the sufferings tineat.' Advers. Judæos, cap. 9. et adv. of the Messiah, saith, That when bis Marcionem, lib. iii. cap. 13.
place did press them, gave three several answers to this text: First, denying that it spake of a virgin at all ;* secondly, asserting that it could not belong to Jesus;thirdly, affirming that it was fully completed in the person of Hezekiah. I Whereas the original word was translated a virgin, by such interpreters$ as were Jews themselves, some hundred years before our Saviour's birth. And did not the notation of the word, and frequent use thereof in the Scriptures, persuade it, the wonder of the sign given by the Lord himself would evince as much. But as for that conceit, that all should be fulfilled in Hezekiah, it is so manifestly and undoubtedly false, that nothing can make more for the confirmation of our faith. For this sign was given and this promise made (“ a virgin shall conceive and bear a son") at some time in the reign of Abaz. This “ Ahaz reigned but sixteen years in Jerusalem;" (2 Kings xvi. 2.) and Hezekiah his son, who succeeded him," was twenty and five years old when he began to reign, (2 Kings xviii. 2.) and therefore born several years before Ahaz was king, and consequently not now to be conceived when this sign was given. Thus while the ancient Jews name him only to fulfil the prophecy in whom it is impossible it should be fulfilled, they plainly shew, that for any knowledge which they had, it was not fulfilled till our Saviour came: and therefore they cannot with any reason deny but that it belonged unto the Messias, as divers of the ancient Rabbins thought and confessed: and is yet more evident by their monstrous error, who therefore expected no Messias in Israel, || because they thought
* And as they soon began, so did p. 262. And Trypho replies again to they go on, with this objection: ‘Ho- Justin : "Idwuev wg Ékeīvov eis XplotÒV die toto jam credente mundo, argu- τον υμέτερον αποδεικνύεις ειρήσθαι, ήμείς mentantur Judaei, Esaia docente de γάρ εις 'Εζεκίαν αυτήν λέγομεν πεπροMaria et virginitate ejus, Ecce virgo OnteŪobal. p. 302. in utero concipiet, et pariet filium, in και The LΧΧ. Ιδού η παρθένος εν γαHebræo juvenculam scriptum esse, otpi lýyera. It is true, the rest of the non virginem, id est, halma, non be- interpreters, concurring with the obthula.' Š. Hieron.adv. Helvid.col. 439. jection of the Jews, translated it, 'Idov
t . Dicunt Judæi, Provocemus is- Ý veãvis, i. e. adolescentula, or juventam prædicationem Esaiæ, et facia- cula. But as their antiquity so their mus comparationem, an Christo, qui authority is far short of the LXX. jam venit, competat illi primo nomen especially in this case." I shall not quod Esaias prædicavit, et insignia need to shew, how the origination of ejus quæ de eo nunciavit. Equidem 7oby from Oby proves
no less. We Esaias prædicat eum Emmanuelem know the affinity of the Punic tongue vocari oportere, dehinc virtutem with the Hebrew; and by the testisumpturum Damasci et spolia Sama- mony of St. Jerome, 'Lingua Punica, riæ adversus regem Assyriorum. Por- quæ de Hebræorum fontibus manare ro, inquiunt, iste qui venit neque sub dicitur, proprie virgo alma appellatur.' ejusmodi nomine est dictus, neque V. Lib. Quæst. Heb. in Gen.c. 24. v.43. re bellica functus.' Tertull. adv. Ju || It is the known saying of Hillel, deos, c. 9.
recorded in Sanhedrin, c. Chelek, qux I , speaking to Trypho, and in him to 7pin pa There is no Messias to them: 'EĚnyciode tijv tpoontelav ws the Israelites, because they have alεις Εζεκίαν τον γενόμενον υμών βασιλέα. ready enjoyed him in the days of He
להם משיח לישראל שכבד אכלוהו ,So Justin testifieth of the Jews!
whatsoever was spoken of him to have been completed in Hezekiah. Which is abundantly enough for our present purpose, being only to prove that the Messias promised by God, and expected by the people of God before and under the Law, was to be conceived and born of a virgin.
Secondly, As we are taught by the predictions of the próphets, that a virgin was to be mother of the promised Messias; so are we assured by the infallible relations of the evangelists, that this Mary the mother of Jesus, whom we believe to be Christ, was a virgin when she bare him, when she “ brought forth her first-born son.” That she was a virgin when and after she was espoused unto Joseph, appeareth by the narration of St. Luke (i. 27.); “ for the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph.” After the salutation of that angel, that she was still so, appeareth by her question, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?” That she continued so after she conceived by the Holy Ghost, is evident from the relation of St. Matthew: for when she was “ espoused unto Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost." (Matt. i. 18.) That she was a virgin not only while she was with child, but even when she had brought forth, is also evident out of his application of the prophecy : “ Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son.” (Matt. i. 23.) For by the same prediction it is as manifest that a virgin should bring forth, as conceive a son.* Neither was her act of parturition more contradictory to virginity, than that former of conception. zekiah. Divers of the latter Rabbins Ambros. Epist. 7. ad Siricium. So he endeavour to mollify these words of argued from the prophecy, and St. Hillet by their several expositions, Augustin from the Creed: 'Si vel per but in vain. And R. Joseph under- nascentem corrumperetur ejus intcstood him better, who thought he gritas, non jam ille de Virgine nascetook away all expectation of a Mes- retur; eumque falso, quod absit; de sias, and therefore fairly prayed for virgine natum tota confiteretur Ecclehim, Condonet Dominus hoc R. Hillel. sia, quæ, imitans ejus matrem, quoHowsoever, it appears that from two tidie parit membra, et Virgo est.' principles, whereof one was false, he Enchir. c. 34. As also St. Ambrose gathered that false conclusion. For in the same epistle; ' Quæ potuit first, he thought those words in Isaiah Virgo concipere, potuit Virgo genes were spoken of the Messias : which rare, quum semper conceptus præceproposition was true. Secondly, he dat, partus sequatur. Sed si doctrinis conceived that those were spoken of non creditur sacerdotum, credatur Hezekiah, and fulfilled in him: which oraculis Christi, credatur monitis Anproposition was false. From hence gelorum, credatur Symbolo Aposto he inferred, that the Israelites were loruni, quod Ecclesia Romana intenot to expect a Messias after He- meratum semper custodit et-servat.' zekiah : which conclusion was also, And St. Basil upon occasion of the false.
same prophecy: H αυτή γυνή και “Hec est virgo que in utero παρθένος και μήτηρ, και εν τω αγιασμό concepit, virgoque peperit filium. Sic της παρθενίας μένουσα, και την της τεenim scriptum est, Ecce virgo in utero κνογονίας ευλογίαν κληρονομούσα. Ηοconcipiet, et pariet Filium. Non enim mil. in Sanct. Christ. Gen. 3. 4. Virconcepturam tantummodo Virginem, go peperit, quia Virgo concepit.' sed et parituram Virginem dixit,' S. Vigil. de unitate Trinit. c. 10.