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Canticles Which Follow The Second Lesson





We have seen that the Gospel is frequently hidden[1] in the Old
Testament Lessons. The unfolding of this hidden thought comes by
natural sequence in the Second Lessons. They are chosen from the
Gospels, which tell the History of our Lord's Earthly Life, or from the
other parts of the New Testament, which carry on the History from His
Ascension. The Acts of the Apostles is the second volume of the Gospel
History, and the Epistles form a book of correspondence commenting on
the first, or illustrating the second, volume. Lessons from the
Gospels are records of the Gospel Spring-time, Lessons from the {83}
Epistles and the Acts are records of the Summer; the Revelation of S.
John carries us on to the Autumn, or Harvest time. To adopt a
different metaphor, one kind of Second Lessons are chapters from the
Wars of our Leader, another kind are chapters from the Wars of His
lieutenants. There is in the one kind the Gospel thought, pure and
simple; in the other kind there is the Missionary thought.

Since the Lessons have place in the Services as parts of an Act of
Praise, we must always consider each Lesson in combination with its
attendant Canticle. We saw that the First Lesson, when combined with
the Respond of the Congregation in Te Deum, is an Act of Praise to
God, for His Promise of Salvation by His Son. In like manner the
Second Lesson, when combined with its Responding Canticle, may be an
Act of Praise to God, for the Coming of the Saviour, or for the Spread
of the Gospel. We must therefore now discuss the connection between
the Second Lessons and their attendant Canticles.

Benedictus and Nunc dimittis praise God for the Coming of His
Son--Jubilate Deo and Deus misereatur praise Him for the Spread of
the Gospel.





Next: Benedictus

Previous: Cantate Domino



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