Imagens das páginas

"you, That ye (g) shall weep "and lament, but (h) the world "shall rejoice: and ye shall be "sorrowful, but your sorrow

21." shall be turned (/) into joy. A "woman (k) when she is in tra"vail hath sorrow, because her "hour is come: but as soon as "she is delivered of the child, "she remembereth no more the "anguish, for joy that a man is

22. " born into the world. And ye "now therefore have sorrow: "but I will see (/) you again, "and your heart shall rejoice, (y) "Ye Bhall weep," &c. When our Saviour was apprehended, the disciples all forsook him and fled, Matt. xxvi. 56. and as they had not foreseen that he was to suffer, &c. and expe&ed that his was to be a temporal kingdom, it would of course give them great distress to find all their hopes blasted, and the person to whom they looked up removed from them, as they might suppose, for ever.

v. 20. (*) "The world," i.e. my opposers: this shall be their time of triumph. In Luke xxii. 53. when he was apprehended, he said, " This is your hour, "and the power of darkness."

v. 20. (i) "Turned into joy." How speedily and effeaually was this prophecy fulfilled? What transport and delight must they have felt when they saw him so repeatedly after his resurrection, as to be certain that he had indeed risen, and when that conviction was put beyond all possibility of doubt by the gift of the Holy Ghost, which enabled tfiem to speak languages they had never learnt, to cure diseases, and perform other miraculous works? The effed it produced in their conduct was what might have been expe&ed. After commenting upon the grounds we have from the apostolical accounts for being satisfied of the resurreftion, Bp. Porteus, in 2 Left. 317. writes thus: " But besides the positive "proof of this fad, there is a pre"sumptive one of a moft forcible nature, "to which I have never yet seen any "an»wcr, and am of opinion that none "can be given. The proof I allude to

"and your joy no man(m)taketh "from you."

Saint Philip and Saint James's Day
The Colleft.

O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; Giro us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, tk truth, and the life; that following the steps of thy holy Apostles, Saint Philip and Saint James, we may stedfastly walk in the way

"is that which is drawn from the asio"nishing change which took place in "the language and the conduct of thr '* apostles, immediately after the period "when they affirmed that Jews had "risen from the dead. From being, "as we hare seen, timorous and dejecW. "and discouraged at the death of their "Master, they suddenly became cou"rageous, undaunted, and intrepid; and "they boldly preached that very Jews "whom before they had deserted ink's "greatest distress. This obserntxw "will apply in some degree to all d>f "apostles: but with regard to »• "Peter more particularly it boldi*>* "peculiar force." Hethen contrasts*TM great force Peter's timidity before1* crucifixion, with that instance of w courage of which we have an *• count in Afts iv. It may be observed too, that this courage and intrepidity0' the apostles was not temporary, on lasted for their lives, and that from the opposition and persecutions they eJperienced, it was put very severely to the test. See ante 25, note on R^ xiii. II. ,,

(if) " A woman," &c. he puts this » a parallel case: as the woman's subsequent joy makes her think nothing ofu* pain she endured, so shall it be ** you. j.

(!) " Again," i. e. on his Resurrw- • tion. . .

(m) " No man taketh," i. *. «n talcf It will be above the control, attacks, Heof man.

that leadeth to eternal life, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. James i. I.

James (»), a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to (0) the twelve tribes which are scattered 2. abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into m divers (p) temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith 4. worketh patience. But let patience have her {q) perfecl work, that ye may be perfect and ene. tire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack (r) wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing (s) wavering. For he that

[ocr errors]

(a) "James." This is supposed to have been the son of Clcophas, a brother of Jude the apostle, (post, note on Jude i.): he was crucified for professing Christianity, A. D. 63. James the apostle, the son of Zebedee and brother of John, was put to death by Herod, Acts xii. 2. which must have been long before the supposed time of writing this Epistle.

, j (o) '* The twelve tribes." This Epistle is called General, (or Catholic, which is the same as general,) because it was addressed generally to all Jewish converts.

c. 2. (j,) «« Temptations." i. e. Trials, attempts to draw you off from your faith, persecutions. The strong exhortations here and elsewhere to patience imply that they were in circumstances which put their resolution very strongly to the test.

s.4. (y) " Perfect work," i.e. Succeed; come off victorious.

v.e. (f) " Lack wisdom," perhaps, knows not in a particular instance how he ought to act, what God would have him do. In Philip, iii. 15. St. Paul says, "If in ** any thing ye be otherwise minded, "(meaning probably differ), God shall « reveal even this unto you," i. e. shall •hew you what is right.

wavereth, is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man 7. think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A (/) double- 8. minded man is unstable in all his ways. Let (u) the brother of low 9. degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich, in that he is 10. made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen n« with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. Blessed (at) is the man that 12. endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

(/) "Nothing wavering," i.e. (proba- v.6. bly,) settled in his adherence to Christianity, not undetermined about abiding in it; firmly fixed to do whatever God shall suggest.

(/) "Double minded," unfixed, with v.8. two minds; whose whole mind is not on God.

(a) " Let,"&c. This verse is not to v.9. be literally understood: the object from verse 2. is to shew the advantages of affliction, and the conclusion of verse 10. and the whole of verse it. assign reasons why the rich should rejoice in being reduced, but no reason is given why the poor should rejoice for being exalted. Verse o. therefore may be ironical. "Let the poor "brother, if he will, rejoice in that he "is exalted," he little knows what it will bring upon him; the rich has much greater cause for rejoicing in being reduced. If the rich, whether raised from poverty or not, will passaway as the flower of the field, will fade away in his ways, a brother of low degree has no ground for rejoicing, because he is made rich.

(*) "Blessed," &c. This is properly v. 12. added as a consolation to the rich for being reduced, and to all for their sufferings during trial.

The Gospel. John xiv. I. And Jesus said unto his disciples, "Let (y) not your heart "be troubled: ye believe in God,

2. " believe also in me. In my Fa"ther's house are many man"sions: if it were not so, I would "have told you. I go to pre

3. " pare a place for you. And "if (z) I go and prepare a place "for you, I will come again, and '* receive you unto myself; that '* where I am, there ye may be

4. " also. And (a) whither I go ye "know, and the way ye know."

5. Thomas saith unto him, "Lord, "we know not whither thou go'* est; and how can we know

6. " the way?" Jesus saith unto him, "I am the way, and the "truth, and the life: no man "cometh unto the Father but by

v.i. (j) "Let," &c. Our Saviour had been saying to his apostles, "yet a little "while I am with you ; ye shall seek me; *' and whither I go, ve cannot come,'' John xiii. 33. and this had probably made them uneasy. In part of the same conversation, John xvi. 6. he says, " be"cause I have said these things unto "you, sorrow hath filled your hearts.'' This was after Judas was gone out to bargain with the chief priest to betray our Saviour, and the very night on which our Saviour was apprehended.

v. 3. (*) "I go." St. John records many of our Saviour's intimations that he was about to leave them, which the other evangelists do not mention. This and many of the others from John xiii. to the end of John xvii. occurred at the last supper, when John was present, next to our Saviour, and leaning on his bosom. This is the testimony therefore of an ear-witness.

w.4. (a). "Whither I go," &c. He explains in verse 6. that he was going to the rather, and that the only way to the Father was by him, i. e. through his means by believing on him, and walking in his commandments. v. 10. (A) " Dwelleth in me." Animates me, inspires me, &c.

"me. If ye had known me, ye 7. "should have known my Father "also: and from henceforth ye "know him, and have seen "him." Philip saith unto him, 8. "Lord, shew us the Father, and "it sufficeth us." Jesus saiih unto him, "Have I been so long 9. "time with you, and yet hast "thou not known me, Philip? "He that hath seen me hath seen "the Father; and how sayest "thou then, Shew us the Father! "Believest thou not that I am in 10. "the Father, and the Father in "me? The words that 1 speak "unto you I speak not of my"self: but the Father, that dwell"eth (b) in me, he doeth the "works. Believe me that 1 am n "in the Father, and the Father "in me: or (c) else believe me

(e) " Or else," &c. The meaning »•" seems to be, believe me, because 1iay it; you ought to have that confidence in me as to believe whatever I assert without requiring any proof or confirmation; bit if you have not faith to this extent, lo» at the works that I do; are tbej ■* such as could not be done but throop God's aid? He uses the same arguxw* to the Jews who took up stones to stoue him for saying, "I and my Father at* "one," John x. 37. " If I do not the "works of my Father, believe me not: "but if I do, though ye believe not m, "believe the works." So John v. 36 — x. 25. As our Saviour appeals to the works he did as a proof that he was y* Messiah, and that God was with hun, and as they furnish one strong ground ior our belief, it may be of some advantage to colled some of them together, aw we may then ask ourselves this question what should we think of any one who should do such mighty works, and wor*' of such benevolence in our sight ; who should assert at the same time that be came from God ; who should appear too at a time when there was ground from incontrovertible prophecies to exPt5* some such person, and in whom W

"for the very work's sake. 'Ve"rily, verily, I say unto you, He

marks stated in those prophecies for distinguishing this Messenger were found to exist? According to Matth. x. I. " He *' gave his twelve disciples power against "unclean spirits, to cast them out, and "to heal all manner of sickness and all "manner of disease." According to Matt. xii. 10 to 13. he directed a man who had a " withered hand to stretch it "forth,'' and he stretched it forth, and it was restored " whole like as the other." According to Matt, xii; 22. he healed one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, so that he both saw and spake. According to Matt. xiv. 17 to 21. John vi. 8 to 13. he fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves and two fishes, so that they did all eat and were filled, and the fragments that remained filled twelve baskets; and according to Matt. xv. 32 to 39. he fed four thousand men, besides women and children, with seven loaves and a few fishes, and they did all eat and were filled, and left seven baskets of fragments. According to Matt xiv 35,36. when he was in the land of Gennesaret, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and as many as only touched the hem of his garment were made perfectly whole. According to Matt. xv. 22 to 28. he healed the daughter of the woman of Canaan who was grievously vexed with a devil,by a word only, without ever seeing her. According to Matt. xv. 29 to 31. when be was in a mountain near the sea of Galilee," great multitudes came unto him, "having with them those that were lame, "blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, "and cast them down at Jesus's feet, and "be healed them; insomuch that the "multitude wondered when they saw the "dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, "the lame to walk, and the blind to see, "and they glorified, the God of Israel." According to Matt. xvii. 14. to 18. he healed a child who was lunatic. According to Matt. xix. 1, 2. when he went into the coast of Judea, beyond Jordan, "great multitudes followed him; and he "healed them there." According to Matt. xv. 29 to 34. he touched the eyes of two blind beggars, and immediately their eyes received sight. According to Matt. xxi. 19. when he said to the barren

"that believeth on me, the works "that I do shall (d) he do also;

fig tree, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever, it prefently withered away. According td John ii. 7 to 11. he turned water into wine. According to John iv. 47 to J3. he healed the son of a nobleman at Capernaum, who was at the point of death, by saying only, "gd "thy way, thy Son liveth." According to John v. 1 to 9. he healed an impotent man, who had had an infirmity thir.y-eight years, by saying only, "rise, "take up thy bed, and walk." According to John vii. 31. many of the people said, "when Christ cometh, will he do greater "miracles than these which this man "hath done?" According to John ix. 1 to 7. he gave sight to one born blind, by putting clay upon his eyes, and bidding him to wash in the pool of Siloam. According to John xi. I to 44. he restored Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days. These selections are made from St. Matthew and St. John, because they were two of the apostles, who were in constant attendance upon our Saviour, and who were therefore probably eye-witnesses of what they record. How then shall we answer the question proposed at the beginning of the note? and what shall we say of a religion of which this evidence constitutes but a small part of its proofs? When we add the completion of the prophecies in the Old Testament, the completion of the prophecies in the New, the destruction of Jerusalem and the Jewish nation, the innocence of our Saviour's life, the peaceable charafter of his religion and precepts, and the conduit of his apostles and of St. Paul, can any one really doubt? have we not a body of proof which is truly irresistible? Let it be remembered too, that where God has taken pains to supply so much evidence, it is probable he considers our belief a matter of great moment. Is it likely that he who does nothing in vain should have furnished such an abundance of light, had he thought it indifferent whether mankind saw or not? The destruction of the Jews is an awful lesson. God grant that we may make the proper use of it 1

(d) " He do also." The apostles, &c. v. lt, did accordingly perform miracles, and those of the same kind as our Saviour's.

[ocr errors]

"and greater (e) works than these "shall he do; because I go unto

13. " rny Father. And whatsoever "ye shall (/) ask in my name, "that will I do, that the Father "may be (g) glorified in the Son.

14. " If ye shall ask any thing in my "name, I will do it."

Fourth Sunday after Easter.

The CoUeft.

O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affe&ions of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so,

In Aftb iii. 1. &c. is the account of Peter's healing a man who had been lame from his birth. In A6ts viii. 7. whilst Philip was preaching in Samaria, the people saw the miracles which he did, "for unclean spirits, crying with loud "voice, came out of many that were "possessed with them; and many taken "with palsies, and that were lame, were "healed." In Afts ix. 33 and 40. are accounts of Peter's healing a man named ./Eneas, who had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy, and of his bringing to life again a disciple named Tabitha. This power of working miracles (a power in which they could not be deceived), was a certain assurance to the apostles that God was with them, and with the conviction they had from their other powers, especially that of speaking languages they had never learned, and from their having seen our Saviour repeatedly after his resurrection, satisfactorily accounts for their courage and perseverance in defiance of all pcrsecutions and dangers in preaching the Gospel.

v. II. (*) "Greater works." This was fulfilled when the apostles spoke in languages they had never learnt.

»• »3> (?) "Ask," &c. See ante 140. note on John xv. 7.

«• 13. (g) "Glorified," &c. that from what

among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle- James i. 17

Every good (£) gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning Of his own will begat he us iS, with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first-fruits of his (/) creatures, (k) Wherefore, 15. my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: for the jo. wrath of man (/) worketh not the

is done in my name, and from seeing the efficacy of my religion, glory may be given to God; God's glory may be, increased. Ante 140. note on Jobs xv. 8.

(h) " Gift," &c. St. James had been r.i; saying, verse 13. "Let no man aj "when he is tempted, I am tempted « "God, for God cannot be tempted*^ "evil, neither tempteth he any m»f and the meaning here is, God is so nr from assailing us with temptations, that every good gift comes from him, and be is not changeable, first trying to gain U by what is good, and then trying it temptation will draw us off; on the contrary, he voluntarily begat us, i. t. made us as children to him, by the word of truth, i. e. by the Gospel.

(<) " His creatures," i. e. of then *•' who were especially to be so called j •" those, who according to Tit. ii. 14. were to be " a peculiar people, zealous of "good works." ,„

(i) " Wherefore," i.. e. because God *■' hath so dealt with us, has made us at children to him, a kind of first-fruits of his creatures, let one of the first result* be that you control your tempers, 1»T apart all filthiness, &c. &c.

(/) '« Worketh not," either " i» »• *-:3 "consistent with," or " advanced "not."

« AnteriorContinuar »