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Spirit of truth, is come, he will same, through our Lord Jesus
guide you into all truth : for Christ. Amen.
The Epistle. James i. 22.
Be ye doers (a) of the word, and -« and he will shew you things to
not hearers only, deceiving your 14. come. He shall glorify me:
For if any be a - for he shall receive of mine,
hearer of the word, and not a " and shall shew it unto you.
doer, he is like unto a man be 15. “ All things that the Father hath holding his natural face in a glass
are mine : therefore said I, for (6) he beholdeth himself, and " that he shall take of mine, and goeth his way, and straightway u shall shew it unto you.”
forgetteth (c) what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect (d) law of liberty, and
continueth therein, he being not Fifth Sunday after Easter.
a forgetful hearer, but a doer of The Collect.
the work, this man shall be bles. O Lord, from whom all good sed in his (e) deed.
If (S) any things do come ; Grant to us thy
man among you seem to be relihumble servants, that by thy holy gious, and bridleth not his tongue, inspiration we may think those but deceiveth his own heart, this things that be good, and by thy man's religion is vain. Pure remerciful guiding may perform the ligion (g), and undefiled before
(2) “ Hear," i.e. either from God
(a) “ Doers." The necessity of good
• For he," i.e. “ who ;" it is
(c) “Forgetteth." A hearer, whose condua is not influenced, is in at least as bad a situation as if he forgot. If the
word, like a glass, shews him his defease and he will not correct them, he in effet straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
(d) “ Perfect law of liberty," i.e. the gospel dispensation ; he calls it " the “ law of liberty” again, ch. ii. 5.12. and he might mean, that it was a law which was free from the bondage of ce, remonial ordinances, and required inward purity and good acts, and nothing more. St. Paul, when he presses upon the Ga latians to rely solely upon the gospel, and to pay no attention to the Mosaic insti. tutions, says, Gal. v. 1.
“ Stand fast, “ therefore, in the liberty wherewith “ Christ hath made us free, and be not “ entangled again in the yoke of bundage."
“ His deed," i.e. all he does. (S)" If," &c.
If,” &c. One of the first requisites of “ doer of the word " is to keep his tongue under proper restraint. See ante 85, note on Eph. v.4.
(8).“ Pure religion," &c.' The sum of religion is beneficence and purity. In Micah vi. 8. is another summary: What “ doth the Lord require of thee, but to
God and the Father, is this, To His disciples said unto him, “Lo, 29.
“ all things, and needest not that
any man should ask thee: by « Verily, verily, I say unto you,
" this we believe that thou camest " Whatsoever yer shall ask the
« forth from God.” Jesus an- 31. “ Father in my (i) name, he will swered them, “Do ye now be24.
give it you. Hitherto have ye “ lieve? Behold, the hour cometh, 32« asked nothing in my name : yea, is now come, that ye shall “ ask, and ye shall receive, that
“ be scattered (1), every man to 25. your joy may be full. These
“ his own, and shall leave me “ things have I spoken unto you “ alone: and yet I am not alone, “ in proverbs : but the time “ because the Father is with me.
cometh when I shall no more “ These things have I spoken 33.
speak unto you in proverbs, “ unto you, that in me ye might “ but I shall shew you plainly “ have peace (m). In the world 26. “ of the Father.
At that day ye
ye shall have tribulation (n): " shall ask in my name: and I “ but be of good cheer; I have
say not unto you that I will pray overcome the world.” " the (k) Father for you;
" the Father himself loveth you,
ASCENSION DAY. " have believed that I came out
The Collect. 28. “ from God. I came forth from
« the Father, and am come into | Grant, we beseech thee, Al “ the world: again, I leave the mighty God, that like as we do “ world, and go to the Father.” believe thine only-begotten Son
“ do justly, and to love mercy,
and to “ walk humbly with thy God."
(b) Part of what passed at the last supper, on the evening our Saviour was betrayed. St. John was present, and sat next to him.
“In my name," i.e, on the ground of being my disciples.
(k) “ Will pray the Father.” I shall have no occasion; the Father shall do it
of himself. 0.32.
(1) “ Be scattered,” i. e, shall desert me. So Matt. xxvi.
shall « be offended because of me," i. e. shall fall off from me, shall be afraid to declare your adherence to me “ this night," i.e. the same night of which St. John speaks ; and accordingly, in the selfsame night, they “ all forsook him and “ fled," and Peter three times denied knowing him.
“ Peace,” i. e. comfort, from an assurance that
your dependance on me would not be vain.
(n) “Tribulation." The prospeet of v.33. 66 tribulation in the world” was not cal. culated to bring back such of our Sa. viour's followers as had once deserted him, nor to produce new converts. How then are we to account for the subsequent return of the apostles, their constancy and intrepidity, and for the num. bers who embraced Christianity ? Upon the supposition that the disciples really saw our Saviour in several instances after his crucifixion, that they were enabled to speak languages they had never learnt, to perform miracles, and to execute other powers of the spirit, the whole is intelli. gible and natural ; were it not for this supposition, the thing seems unaccount. able.
our Lord Jesus Christ to have sion by many infallible proofs
, ascended into the heavens; so we being (P) seen of them (9) forty may also in heart and mind thi- days, and speaking of the things ther ascend, and with him conti- pertaining to the kingdom of nually dwell, who livethand reign- God: and, being assembled to- 4. eth with thee and the Holy Ghost, gether with them, commanded one God, world without end. them that they should not de Amen.
part from Jerusalem, but wait for the (r) promise of the Father
, For the Epistle. Acts i. 1.
“ which," saith he,“ The former (c) treatise have I r heard of me: for (s)John truly ;made, O Theophilus, of all that baptized with (t) water ; but
Jesus began both to do and teach, ye shall be baptized with the 2. until the day in which he was ta- “ Holy Ghost not (u) many days
ken up, after that he through the “ hence.” When they therefore 6. Holy Ghost had given command- were come together, they asked
ments unto the apostles whom he of him, saying, “ Lord, wilt thou 3. had chosen ; to whom also he " at this time (x) restore again
shewed himself alive after his pas- “ the kingdom to Israel?” And 7.
(6) “ Former treatise," i.e. the Gospel according to St. Luke. The Acts are supposed to have been written by St. Luke, and to have been published about A.D. 64. They do not record the actions of all the disciples, but are principally confined to the works of St. Peter and St. Paul, and to part of their works only. They state nothing of St. Peter after Herod's death, A. D. 44, though he lived twenty-four years afterwards, and but little of St. Paul till he went to Iconium, A. D. 46, twelve years after his conversion ; nor do they state any thing of St. Paul after his reaching Rome. St. Luke was much with St. Paul from A. D. 46, to A. D. 58.
(o) Seen." Their conviction from seeing him after his resurrection, and from the powers conferred on them by the Holy Ghost, of speaking languages they had never learnt, healing diseases, casting out devils, &c. accounts satisfactorily for their intrepidity and perseverance in preaching the gospel.
(9) “ Forty days," not uninterruptedly, but occasionally during that time. The apostles mention eight distinct appearances : the appearances were such as fully to satisfy the apostles, and the power given them by the Holy Ghost was a point in which they could not be deceived.
(r) “ The promise," of the Com. 8.4. forter, or spirit of truth, mentioned repeatedly by our Saviour in his conversa. tion at the last supper, the night he was betrayed. John xiv. 17. 26.-xv. 26.xvi. 7. 13. ante 147. post 155..
(s) “ John," i.e. the Baptist.
(t) “ With water.” So said the Bap- 1.g. tist himself, Matt. iii. 11. “ I indeed
baptize you with water unto repente
ance; but he that cometh after me" (i. e. the Messiah)“ is mightier than I; " he shall baptize you with the holy “ ghost and with fire." I only assume to bring you to repentance, to prepare you for the Christ; it is from him you are to expect your further advancement
(u) “ Not many days hence." It oco .j. curred on the day of Pentecost, i.e. Whitsunday, ten days after the Ascension.
(x) “Restore," &c. time they seem to have expected that our Saviour was to restore temporal power to the Jews. They were not aware that the kingdom of heaven, Christ's kingo dom, was, as he says, John xviii. 36. “not of this world,” but (as he states Luke xvii. 21.) “the kingdom of God “ is within you," that is, it is a domi. nion over the heart, mind, passions, and propensities of man,
Even at this 9.6.
he said unto them, “ It is not for as they sat at meat, and upbraided
you to know the times or the them with their unbelief and hard“ Seasons which the Father hath ness of heart, because they beput in his own power.
lieved not them which had seen " shall receive power, after that
him after he was risen. And he 15. " the Holy Ghost is come upon
said unto them, “ Go ye into all
shall be witnesses " the world, and (z) preach the unto me both in Jerusalem, “ Gospel to every creature. He 16. " and in all Judea, and in Sama- " that believeth and is (a) bap« ria, and unto the (y) uttermost
" tized shall be saved; but he part of the earth." And when 66 that believeth not shall be he had spoken these things, while
- damned. And these (6) signs 17. they beheld, he was taken up;
66 shall follow them that believe: and a cloud received him out of “In my name shall they cast out 10. their sight. And while they “ devils; they shall speak with
looked stedfastly toward heaven, “ new tongues; they shall take 18. as he went up, behold, two men up serpents; and if they drink
stood by them in white apparel ; any deadly thing, it shall not 11. which also said, “ Ye men of “ hurt them; they shall lay hands “ Galilee, why stand ye gazing “ on the sick, and they shall reup into heaven? This same cover.”
So then after the 19. “ Jesus, which is taken up from Lord had spoken unto them, he you
into heaven, shall so come was received up into heaven, and 6 in like manner as ye have seen sat on the right hand of God. “ him go into heaven.”
And they went forth, and preached 20.
every-where, the Lord working The Gospel. Mark xvi. 14.
with them, and confirming the Jesu Esus appeared unto the eleven word with signs following.
0.8. (3) “ Uttermost part of the earth."
Our Saviour had told them before his crucifixion, in his noted prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv. 14. " This gospel of the kingdom shall be “ preached in all the world for a witness 5 unto all nations, and then shall the "end" (i.e. the destruction of Jerusalem) “ come;" and accordingly the gospel was preached before the destruction of Jerusalem in Asia Minor, Greece, and Italy, as far north as Scythia, south as Ethiopia, east as Parthia and India, and west as Spain and Britain, 2 Newt. Proph, 156. This shews the zeal of the apostles, their conviction of the truth of what they preached, and God's assistance to the cause. It shews too that the gift of tongues, the power of speaking languages they had never learnt, was not a mere display of God's power, nor a mere attestation from him that he was
with them, but an essential requisite for
*** Preach." See note on verse $. v.15.
of a good concience towards " God.”
(6)." These signs." The apostles v.17. must have known whether they possessed and exercised these powers. This was a point in which they could not be deceived: The possession of these powers therefore was an undeniable assurance that God was with them, and a sufficient ground for defying all dangers, and braving all persecutions.
Sunday after Ascension Day.
every man hath received the The Collect.
gift (s), even so minister the same O God, the King of Glory, who one to another, as good stewards hast exalted thine only Son Jesus
of the manifold (8) grace of God.
any man speak, let him speak thy kingdom in heaven; We be
as the (b) oracles of God; if any seech thee, leave us not comfort
man minister, let him do it as of less ; but send to us thine Holy
the ability which God giveth :: Ghost to comfort us, and exalt
that God in all things may be us unto the same place whither
glorified through Jesus Christ; tol our Saviour Christ is gone before; whom be praise and dominion for who liveth and reigneth with thee
ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel. John xv. 26. and part of
Chap. xvi. (i)
HEN the (k) Comforter is
hand: be ye therefore sober, and you from the Father, even the 8. watch unto prayer. And above “ Spirit of truth, which proceed.
all things have fervent (d) cha- « eth from the Father, he shall rity among yourselves : for cha
testify of me: and ye also shall rity shall (e) cover the multitude “ bear witness, because ye 9. of sins. Use hospitality one to “ been with (l) me from the be10. another, without grudging. As ginning. These things have I
God has given.
(c) “ The end,” i, e. probably the time so often spoken of as “ the day of “the Lord," (the coming of the Lord," the great period of the destruction of the Jews. See ante 29. note on Lu. xxi. 25. It is called “ the end," several times in our Saviour's noted prediction of the destruction of the Jews, Matt. xxiv. 6.13. 14.-Lu, xxi. 9. and it did put an end to the temple, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, and the nation. Has the sceptre at any time since been in Judah, or a law. giver between his feet? See Gen, xlix. 10, ante 62, note on Mal. iii. 1.
(d) " Fervent charity,” i. e. warm, active benevolence. So our Saviour says,
by this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” See ante 24. note on Rom. xiii. 8. Christianity in, culcates not only benevolence “ among «« ourselves," to relations, neighbours, &c. but general good-will to all man kind.”
(e) “ Cover," i. e. obtain remission for- for the multitude," r, “a multi“ tude." So Luke yii. 47. when the wo
man anointed our Saviour's feet with the alabaster box of ointment, &c. he said, " her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much."
(f) “ The gift," i. e. any gift, as 8 riches, &c.
(8) “ Manifold grace," i. e. whatever ?
(b) “ As the oracles, &c. Perhaps in speaking, ministering, &c. ascribe to God your power of 'so speaking, ministering, &c.; and so according to verse 10. you will be good stewards, &c. and the consequence desired, follow, "God will in all things be glorified,”' &c.
(1) This is part of our Lord's discourse at the last supper, on the evening he was betrayed. St. John sat next him.
(k) “ The Comforter, ”i. e. the Holy Ghost. Ante 147. note on John xvi. 7
(1) “With me,” &c. and have there fore seen the innocence of my life, and the mighty works which I have wrought, and have heard the warnings and predic. tions I have delivered, and my constant disclaimer of all worldly advantages:
verse 11. will
John xiii. 35.