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Anth. O King of glory, p. 147. V. and R. God ascended, p. 145. Prayer. Concede, ib.
THIS Eve, or Vigil, hath always been consecrated in a particular manner to fasting and prayer: and the primitive Christians observed it in the same manner they did Easter-Eve; that is to say, after the usual prayers of the day, they spent the greatest part of the night in the Church, and hence came the name of Vigil or Wake.
The Mass, like that of holy Saturday, is preceded by several Lessons taken out of the Old Testament, Tracts, and the Blessing of the Font.
I. PROPHECY, Gen. xxii. This prophecy contains an account of the intended sacrifice of Isaac, and of his miraculous escape ; which was a type of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
IN those days: God tried Abraham, and said to him: Abraham, Abraham. And he answered: I am here. He said to him: Take thy only begotten Son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and go into the land of vision; and there thou shalt offer him an holocaust upon one of the mountains, which I will shew thee. Abraham therefore rising in the night, saddled his ass, taking with him two young men and his Son Isaac. And when he had clove the wood for the holocaust, he went to the place, whither God had commanded him to go. And the third day lifting up his eyes, he saw the place afar off: and he said to his servants: stay here with the ass: and I and the boy will make haste to that place, and will return to you after we have adored. He took also the wood for the holocaust, and laid it upon his son Isaac: but he himself carried in his hands the fire and the sword. And as they two went on together, Isaac said to his father: Father! and he saith: What wilt thou, my son! Behold, saith he, here is fire aud wood: but where is the victim for the holocaust? And Abraham said: God will provide himself a victim for the holocaust, my son. They went on therefore together, and came to the place, which God had shewn him, in which he built an altar, and laid the wood in order upon it. And having bound his son Isaac, he laid him on the altar, upon the pile of wood. And he stretched out his hand, and took up the sword, to sacrifice his son. And behold the Angel of the Lord called
out from heaven, saying: Abraham, Abraham. Who answered: I am here. And he said to him: Stretch not out thy hand against the boy, nor do thou any thing to him: now I know that thon fearest God, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake. Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw behind his back a ram caught fast by the horns among the briars; which he took, and offered for an holocaust instead of his son. And he called the name of that place, The Lord seeth. Hence to this day it is said, The Lord will see on the mountain. And the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven, saying: By myself I have sworn, saith the Lord: because thou hast done this thing, and hast not spared thy only begotten son for my sake, I will bless thee, and multiply thy seed as the stars of heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore. Thy seed shall possess the cities of their enemies, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in thy seed, because thou hast obeyed my voice. And Abraham returned to his servants, and they went<o Bersabee together, and he dwelt there.
Let us pray. Deus qui.
God, who, by this action of thy servant Abraham, hast given to mankind an excellent example of obedience: grant us both to break our perverse wills, and to fulfil thy righteous commands. Thro'.
II. PROPHECY. Exod. xiv. This prophecy treats of the passage of the red sea, and of the miraculous deliverance of the Israelites. Let us reflect that the deliverance from the power of the Devil, which is obtained by the waters of baptism, is a still more wonderful effect of the divine mercy.
IN those days : It came to pass in the morning watch, and behold the Lord looking on the camp of the Egyptians thro' the pillar of fire of the cloud, slew their host, and overthrew the wheels of their chariots, and they were carried into the deep. The Egyptians therefore said: Let us flee from Israel, for the Lord fighteth for them against us. And the Lord said to Moses: Stretch out thy hand upon the sea, that the waters may return upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots and horsemen. And when Moses had stretched out his hand towards the sea, it returned at break of day to its former place: and the waters came upon the Egyptians flying away, and the Lord shut them up in the middle of the waves. And the waters returned and covered the chariots and horsemen of Pharaoh's whole army, who, had entered into the sea in pursuit of the Israelites; neither did there remain so much as one of them. And the children of Israel marched thro' the middle of the dry sea, and the waters were like a wall on their right and left: and the Lord on that day delivered Israel out of the hands of the Egyptians. And they saw the Egyptians dead on the sea-shore, and the great power which the Lord had shewn against them: and the people feared the Lord, and they believed the Lord and his servant Moses. Then Moses and the children of Israel sung this canticle to the Lord, and said:
TRACT. Exod. xv. Let Cantemus Domino: glous sing to the Lord: for he riose enim magnificatus hath wonderfully displayed est: equum &r ascensorem his glory: he hath thrown projecit in mare: adjutor it both the horse and the rider protector factus est mihi in into the sea, He hath been Salutem. V. Die Deus my help and my protector mcus, & honorificabo euro,: and Saviour. V. He is my Deus patris mei & exaltabo God: to him will I give eum. V.Dominusconterens glory: he is the God of my bella: Dominus nomen est fiither, and I will extol him. illi. V. He is the Lord that destroyeth wars: his name is the Lord.
Let us pray. Deus, qui primus.
OGod, who, by the light of the New Testament hast expounded the miracles wrought in the first ages of the world; so that the red sea was a figure of the sacred font, and the deliverance of thy people out of Egypt did represent the Christian sacraments : grant that all nations, who have now obtained the privilege, of the Israelites by the merit of faith, may be born again by the participation of thy spirit. Thro'—in unity of the same.
III. PROPHECY. Deut. xxxi. Josue, hearing the name of Jesus, of whom he was the type, is to bring the Israelites into the promised land. They are reproached by Moses with their stubbornness and disobedience. They are exhorted to meditate on the law of Gid, which, if not complied with, will be a testimony against them.
IN those days: Moses wrote a canticle, and taught it the children of Israel. And the Lord gave his orders to Josue the son of Nun, and said: Take courage, and be valiant: for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land, which I have promised, and I will be with thee. Therefore after that Moses had written the words of this law in a volume, and finished it, he gave his orders to the Levites, that carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying: Take this book, and put it on the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a testimony against you. For I know your stubbornness, and that you are excessively stiff-necked. While I was yet living, and with you, you have always been rebellious against the Lord: how much more will you be so, when I am dead. Gather together before me all the ancients of your tribes, and your teachers: and I will speak these words in their hearing, and I will call heaven and earth to witness against them. For I know that after my death you will do wickedly, and will quickly turn aside from the way, which I have appointed you: and evils shall come upon you in the latter times, when you shall do wickedly in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him by the works of your hands. Moses therefore spoke in the hearing of the whole assembly of Israel the words of this canticle, and went thro' w ith it to the end.
TRACT. Deut. xxxii. Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak: and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. V. Let what I say, be looked for like rain: and let my words drop down like dew. V. Like the shower upon the grass, and the snow upon the dry herb: for I will call upon the name of the Lord. V. Publish the greatness of our God; the works of God are perfect, and his ways are justice. V. God is faithful, in whom there is no iniquity: the Lord is just and holy.
Let us pray. Deus, glorificatio.
OGod, the glory of the faithful and the life of the righteous, who hast instructed us also by the canticle of thy servant Moses; grant thy mercy to all nations,
Attende caelum cSc loquar: audiat terra verba ex ore meo. V. Expectetur sicut pluviaeloquiummeum: & descendant sicut ros verba mea. V. Sicut imber super gramen, & sicut nix super faenum: quia nomen Domini invocabo. V. Dare magnitudinem Deo nostro: Deus, vera opera ejus, & omnes viae ejus judicia. V. Deus fidelis, in quo non est iniquitas: justus & sanctus Dominus.
by giving them happiness and diminishing their frights, that the revenge threatened may turn to their eternal salvation. Thro'..
IV. PROPHECY. Isai. iv. The Prophetforetells on one hand the ruinof Jerusalem; andontheother theestablishment of the kingdomofChrist by the remission of sin, and the gift of the love of God, which he will pourforth on his elect ,whom he will place in t he church,as in a secure har bour against all the storms of this world. Let us beg that we moy be of that number.
SEVEN women shall take hold of one man in that day, saying: We will find our own bread, and be covered with our own garments; only let us be called by thy name: take thou away our reproach. In that day the bud of the Lord shall be in magnificence and glory, and the fruit of the earth high; and there shall be joy to those of Israel, that shall have escaped. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in Sion, and shall remain in Jerusalem, shall be called Holy; every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem. If the Lord shall wash away the filth of the daughters of Sion, and wash the blood of Jerusalem out of the midst of it, by the spirit of Judgment, and by the spirit of burning. And the Lord will make upon every place of mount Sion, and where he is called upon, a cloud by day, and a smoke, and the brightness of flaming fire by night; for over all the glory there shall be a covering. And his tabernacle shall be a shade in the day from the heat; and a security and covering from the whirlwind and the rain.
TRACT. Isai. v. My be- Vinea facta est dilecto in loved had a vineyard on a cornu in loco uberi. V. Et high and fruitful place. V. maceriam circumdedit, & He fenced it in, and digged circumfodit; & plantavit viit about; and planted it neam sorec, & aedivicavit with the choicest vines, and turrim in medio ejus. V. built a tower in the midst Ettorcularfodit in ea: vinea of it. V. And he sunk in it enim Domini Sabaoth doa wine-press: for the vine- mus Israel est. ) :rd of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel.
Let us pray. Omn'tpotens.
OAlmighty and eternal God, who, by thy only Son, hast shewn the care thou takest of thy Church; mercifully cultivate every branch which bringeth forth fruit in that thy same Christ, who is the true vine, that