For as moche as many have take in hand to compyle a treates of thoo thinges which are surely knowen amonge vs
even as they declared them vnto vs which from the beginnynge sawe them their selves and were ministers at the doyng:
I determined also assone as I had searched out diligently all thinges from the beginnynge that then I wolde wryte vnto the good Theophilus:
that thou myghtest knowe the certente of thoo thinges wher of thou arte informed.
There was in the dayes of Herode kynge of Iurie a certayne prest named Zacharias of ye course of Abia. And his wyfe was of ye doughters of Aaron: And her name was Elizabeth.
Booth were perfect before God and walked in all the lawes and ordinaces of the Lorde that no man coulde fynde fawte with them.
And they had no chylde because that Elizabeth was barre and booth were well stricken in age.
And it cam to passe as he executed the prestes office before god as his course came
(accordinge to the custome of the prestes office) his lot was to bourne incece.
And wet into ye teple of ye Lorde and the whoale multitude of ye people were with out in prayer whill the incense was aburnynge.
And ther appered vnto him an angell of the lorde stondinge on the ryght syde of the altare of incense.
And when Zacharias sawe him he was abasshed and feare came on him.
And the angell sayde vnto him: feare not Zachary for thy prayer is hearde: And thy wyfe Elizabeth shall beare ye a sonne and thou shalt call his name Iohn
and thou shalt have ioye and gladnes and many shall reioyce at his birth.
For he shalbe greate in the sight of the lorde and shall nether drinke wyne ner stronge drinke. And he shalbe filled with the holy goost even in his mothers wombe:
and many of the chyldren of Israel shall he tourne to their Lorde God.
And he shall goo before him in the sprete and power of Helyas to tourne the hertes of the fathers to the chyldren and the vnbelevers to the wysdom of the iuste men: to make the people redy for the Lorde.
And Zacharias sayde vnto ye angell: Wher by shall I knowe this? seinge that I am olde and my wyfe well stricken in yeares.
And the angell answered and sayde vnto him: I am Gabriell that stonde in the presens of God and am sent to speake vnto the: and to shewe the these glad tydinges.
And beholde thou shalt be domme and not able to speake vntyll the tyme that these thinges be performed because thou belevedst not my wordes which shalbe fulfilled in their season.
And the people wayted for Zacharias and mervelled that he taryed in the temple.
And whe he cam oute he could not speake vnto them. Wherby they perceaved that he had sene some vision in the temple. And he beckened vnto them and remayned speachlesse.
And it fortuned assone as ye tyme of his office was oute he departed home into his awne housse.
And after thoose dayes his wyfe Elizabeth coceaved and hyd her sylfe .v. monethes sayinge:
This wyse hath God dealte wt me in ye dayes when he loked on me to take from me the rebuke yt I suffred amonge men.
And in ye .vi. moneth ye angell Gabriel was sent fro god vnto a cite of Galile named Nazareth
to a virgin spoused to a man whose name was Ioseph of ye housse of David and ye virgins name was Mary.
And ye angell went in vnto her and sayde: Hayle full of grace ye Lorde is with ye: blessed arte thou amonge wemen.
When she sawe him she was abasshed at his sayinge: and cast in her mynde what maner of salutacion yt shuld be.
And ye angell sayde vnto her: feare not Mary: for thou hast founde grace wt god.
Loo: thou shalt coceave in thy wombe and shalt beare a sonne and shalt call his name Iesus.
He shalbe greate and shalbe called the sonne of the hyest. And ye lorde God shall geve vnto him the seate of his father David
and he shall raygne over ye housse of Iacob forever and of his kyngdome shalbe none ende.
Then sayd Mary vnto ye angell: How shall this be seinge I knowe not a man?
And ye angell answered and sayd vnto her: The holy goost shall come apon the and ye power of ye hyest shall over shaddowe ye. Therfore also yt holy thinge which shalbe borne shalbe called ye sonne of god.
And beholde thy cosen Elizabeth she hath also conceaved a sonne in her age. And this is hyr sixte moneth though she be called barren:
for wt god can nothinge be vnpossible.
And Mary sayd: beholde ye honde mayden of ye lorde be it vnto me even as thou hast sayde. And the angell departed from her.
And Mary arose in thoose dayes and went into ye mountayns wt hast into a cite of Iurie
and entred into the housse of zachary and saluted Elizabeth.
And it fortuned as Elizabeth hearde ye salutacion of Mary the babe spronge in her belly. And Elizabeth was filled with the holy goost
and cryed with a loude voyce and sayde: Blessed arte thou amonge wemen and blessed is the frute of thy wombe.
And whence hapeneth this to me that the mother of my Lorde shuld come to me?
For loo assone as the voyce of thy salutacion sownded in myne eares the babe sprange in my belly for ioye.
And blessed arte thou that belevedst: for thoose thinges shalbe performed wich were tolde ye from the lorde.
And Mary sayde. My soule magnifieth the Lorde.
And my sprete reioyseth in god my savioure
For he hath loked on the povre degre of his honde mayde. Beholde now from hence forth shall all generacions call me blessed.
For he that is myghty hath done to me greate thinges and holye is his name.
And his mercy is on them that feare him thorow oute all generacions.
He sheweth strength with his arme he scattereth them that are proude in the ymaginacion of their hertes.
He putteth doune the myghty from their seates and exalteth them of lowe degre.
He filleth the hongry with good thinges: and sendeth awaye the ryche emptye.
He remenbreth mercy: and helpeth his servaunt Israel.
Even as he promised to oure fathers Abraham and to his seede for ever.
And mary aboode with hyr aboute a .iii. monethes and retourned agayne to hyr awne housse.
Elizabethes tyme was come that she shuld be delyvered and she brought forth a sonne.
And her neghboures and her cosins hearde tell how the lorde had shewed great mercy vpon her and they reioysed with her.
And it fortuned ye eyght daye: they cam to circumcise the chylde: and called his name zacharias after the name of his father.
How be it his mother answered and sayd: not so but he shalbe called Ihon.
And they sayd vnto hyr: Ther is none of thy kynne that is named wt this name.
And they made signes to his father how he wolde have him called.
And he axed for wrytynge tables and wroote saying: his name is Iohn. And they marvelled all.
And his mouthe was opened immediatly and his tonge also and he spake lawdynge God.
And feare came on all the that dwelt nye vnto them. And all these sayinges were noysed abroade throughout all ye hyll coutre of Iurie
and all they yt herde the layde them vp in their hertes saying: What maner chylde shall this be? And the honde of ye lorde was with him.
And his father zacharias was filled with the holy goost and prophisyed sayinge:
Blessed be the Lorde God of Israel for he hath visited and redemed his people.
And hath reysed vp an horne of salvacion vnto vs in the housse of his servaunt David.
Even as he promised by ye mouth of his holy prophetes which were sens ye worlde began
That we shuld be saved from oure enemies and from the hondis of all that hate vs:
To fulfill the mercy promised to oure fathers and to remember his holy covenaunt.
And to performe the oothe which he sware to oure father Adraham
for to geve vs. That we delyvered oute of ye hondes of oure enemyes myght serve him with oute feare
all the dayes of oure lyfe in suche holynes and ryghtewesnes that are accept before him.
And thou chylde shalt be called the Prophet of the hyest: for thou shalt goo before the face of the lorde to prepare his wayes:
And to geve knowlege of salvacion vnto his people for the remission of synnes:
Through the tender mercy of oure God wherby the daye springe from an hye hath visited vs.
To geve light to the that sate in darcknes and in shadowe of deth and to gyde oure fete into the waye of peace.
And the chylde grew and wexed stronge in sprete and was in wyldernes tyll the daye cam when he shuld shewe him sylfe vnto the Israhelites.