Luke 1:28. The angel said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured Greek, Κεχαριτωμενη , who hast found mercy, or favour, with God, as it is explained, Luke 1:30. The Lord is with thee Or, The Lord be with thee, as Dr. Campbell renders Κυριος μετα σου : Blessed art thou among women That is, according to the Hebrew idiom, thou art the happiest of all the women that ever lived. It must be observed, that this salutation gives no room for any pretence of paying adoration to the virgin; as having no appearance of a prayer, or of worship offered to her. Besides, similar expressions are applied to others. Hail, is the salutation used by our Lord to the women after his resurrection: thou art highly favoured, or, hast found favour with God, is no more than was said of Noah, Moses, and David. The Lord is with thee, was said to Gideon, Judges 6:12; and, Blessed shall she be above women, of Jael, Judges 5:24. “The Church of Rome,” observes a pious writer, “saying ten Ave Marias for one Pater Noster, idolatrously uses these words as a prayer to the holy virgin, whereas they are only a salutation, declaring that she above all women had the honour freely conferred by God upon her, to be the mother of the Messiah. The original word, κεχαριτωμενη , signifies, not full of grace, but freely beloved. Compare Mary with other renowned women, and what had she, besides this favour, more than they? Had she the spirit of prophecy? so had they. Had she the spirit of sanctification? so had they: and she had no more immunity and freedom from sin and death than they. Accordingly the angel says, Blessed art thou among women, not, Blessed art thou above women. How senseless are they, 1st, In turning a salutation into a prayer! 2d, In making use of these words upon every occasion, which were spoken by an angel upon a special occasion! 3d, In applying these words to her now in heaven, which suited with her only when she was here on earth, saying, Full of grace, to her who is full of glory, and, The Lord is with thee, to her who is with the Lord!”
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