« AnteriorContinua »
mark, learn, and inwardly digest || them; that by patience, and comfort of thy holy Word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
The Epistle. Rom. xv. 4. (ƒ) WHATSOEVER things were writ
ten aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scrip5. tures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be (g) likeminded one toward another, ac6. cording to Christ Jesus; that ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7. Wherefore receive ye one an
(f) of the Converts at Rome, some thought themselves still bound to observe the mosaical ordinances, and to make a difference in days and meats, &c.; others considered themselves freed from such restraints. Saint Paul's object is to prevent all dissensions between them upon such points, to take away from Jews and Gentiles all occasions of contest, and to induce both to unite cordially in glorifying God. He reminds them, that it was to confirm the promises made unto the Fathers, that Christ's ministry was amongst the Jews; and that it was of mere mercy to the Gentiles, and not of right, that the benefit of our Saviour's coming was extended to the Gentiles, though this was also foretold in many parts of Scripture. That neither Jew nor Gentile therefore was to overvalue himself, inasmuch as it was not of right as from their own merit that either was admitted to the blessings of Christianity, but they were offered to the one because of a promise to that effect from God to their forefathers, and to the other because of the predetermined mercy and grace of God, and that neither Jew nor Gentile should despise the other, because God, who best could judge, had thought
other, as Christ also received us, to (b) the glory of God. Now 1 say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers; And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, "For (i) this cause I will confess "to thee among the Gentiles, and
sing unto thy Name." And again he saith, "(k) Rejoice, ye "Gentiles, with his people. And again, "(1) Praise the Lord, "all ye Gentiles; and laud him, "all ye people." And again, Esaias saith," (m) There shall be "a root of Jesse, and he that "shall rife to reign over the "Gentiles; in him shall the "Gentiles trust." Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and
each worthy of having these blessings offered to them.
(g) Like-minded," i. e. giving up to your neighbour in unessential points to produce unanimity," that they might "with one mind and one mouth glorify "God" He had just been stating, that "they who were strong should bear "the infirmities of the weak, and not "please themselves;" that " each should "please his neighbour for his good to "edification ;" and that " even Christ "Jesus pleased not himself." He here therefore proposes that they should follow this his example, and be like-minded, &c. according to him, that is, as he was, studying to prevent dissensions, not seeking his own gratification. In Philipp.iv. 2. St. Paul beseeches Euodias and Syntyche to be of the " same mind in the Lord;" and Rom. xii. 16. he exhorts the converts to be of the same "mind one towards an"other," i e. to have " unanimity." (b) To the glory, &c. " making vi "God's glory the object."
(i)" For this cause, &c" This is v. transcribed from Ps.xviii.49. The cause relates to God's protection mentioned there, (k) Rejoice." Deut. xxxii. 43. (1) Praise &c." Ps. cxvii. 1. (m) "There shall be, &c."Is.xi. 10.
peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Gospel. Luke xxi. 25. (n) "AND there shall be signs in "the sun, and in the moon, and "in the stars; and upon the "earth distress of nations, with
(n) This is part of our Saviour's account of what should precede the great event of his vengeance upon the opposers of his religion, so often referred to as "the "day of the Lord," "the coming of the "Lord," &c. According to Isaiah ixi.2. the Messiah was to proclaim, not only "the acceptable year of the Lord," but also "the day of vengeance of our "God." Joel ii. I to II. speaks at large of the terrors of the day of the Lord, and of the strength of the people who should be employed as instruments in God's hand, to inflict them. Zeph.i.
12 to 18. mentions the great day of the Lord as a day of "wrath, a day of trouble "and distress, a day of wasteness and "desolation, a day of darkness and "gloominess, a day of clouds and thick "darkness, a day of the trumpet and "alarm against the fenced cities and "against the high towers," and says, that" the whole land shall be devoured "by the fire of God's jealousy, for he "shall make even a speedy riddance of "all them that dwell in the land." In Zech. xiii. 8, 9. "It shall come to pass, "that in all the land, saith the Lord, two
parts therein shall be cut off and die," and Malachi, besides the passage Mal. iii.2. (ante, p. 26.) says, in ch.iv. "Behold the "day cometh that shall burn as an oven, "and all the proud, yea, and all that do "wickedly shall be stubble; and the "day that cometh shall burn them up, "saith the Lord of Hosts, that it shall "leave them neither root nor branch; "but unto you that fear my name shall "the Sun of Righteousness arise, with "healing in his wings." Lastly, John the Baptist describes our Saviour, Matt. iii. 12. as one "whose fan is in his "hand, and he will thoroughly purge "his floor, and gather his wheat into the
garner; but he will burn up the chaff "with unquenchable fire." See also Ps. ii. 9. and xxi. 8, 9. The character,
therefore, of the day of the Lord, and the tremendous vengeance then to be executed, were strongly foretold, and it was natural that the people should be desirous of knowing more particularly when this great event should take place, and what would be the marks of its approach. Our Saviour had told them, that the days should come in which there should not be left one stone upon another in their magnificent temple which should. not be thrown down; and they took that occasion to ask him, "When should "these things be, and what sign would "there be when these things should come to pass In answer to this question, he gives the account of which passage selected for this day's Gospel is part The destruction of Jerusalem accordingly occurred about 37 years after our Saviour's crucifixion; an immense number of Jews, 1,400,000, were slain there and in other parts of Judæa, and the temple was fo utterly destroyed, that its very foundations were dug up. A full account of the destruction of Jerusalem is to be met with in the Jewish writer Josephus. See post, note on Matt. xxiv. 31.
(0) Coming in a cloud." When the v. 27. high priest adjured our Saviour to say whether he was the Christ, the Son of God Matt.xxvi.63.our Saviour told him, that hereafter they should "see the Son of "Man sitting on the right hand of Power, "and coming in the clouds of heaven." Both passages perhaps refer to Dan. vii. 13. "I saw in the night visions; and be"hold, one like the Son of Man came "with the clouds of heaven, and came "to the Antient of Days" (viz. God), " and there was given him dominion, and "glory, and a kingdom, that all people, "nations, and languages should serve "him his dominion is an everlasting "dominion, which shall not pass away, "and his kingdom that which shall not
66 ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the King"dom of God is nigh at hand.
Verily I say unto you, This (q) "generation shall not pass away "till all be fulfilled. Heaven "and earth shall pass away;
"be destroyed:" and the meaning in both passages may be, that what then occurs shall be decisive proof from God that Jesus Christ was the true Messiah. See post, note on Matt. xxiv. 30.
(p) "Your redemption." The destruc. tion of their enemies and persecutors would of itself make a material difference in their condition. See note on the word "Salvation," Rom. xiii. 11. ante, p.25.
(q)"This generation, &c." This was a pledge which in a limited time would bring our Saviour's pretensions to a decisive test. He claimed to be the Messiah, and as one proof of it took upon himself repeatedly to say, that before the generation of men then living should be removed from the earth, this great event of his coming should occur. Matt. x. 23. he assures his apostles, "that they shall not have gone over the "cities of Israel till the Son of Man "shall come." In Matt. xvi. 28. he says, "there be some standing here, "which shall not taste of death, till they "see the Son of Man coming in his "kingdom." In speaking of St. John, John xxi. 22. our Saviour says, " If I "will that he tarry till I come, what is "that to thee;" and accordingly St. John survived the destruction of Jerusa lem, that great coming of our Lord: and in Matt. xxiv. 34. where that Apostle gives his account of what our Saviour said as to the signs of his coming, the
language is the same as here, "This ge "neration shall not pass, till all these
things be fulfilled." St. Matthew and St. John, from being constant attendants on our Saviour, were not likely to be deceived as to his words, and Matthew's Gospel was published before the destruction of Jerusalem, and so were St. Mark's and St. Luke's, which contain similar passages. Mark xiii. 30.Luke ix. 27. The accomplishment, therefore, of this vengeance, or permitting its accomplishment, within the period our Saviour specified, is an attestation by God himself that our Saviour really was what he pretended to be. It is of use to advert to the proofs of the truth of our religion, because it enables us to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and where such abundant proof is supplied, God has shewn that he expects belief. The signal vengeance he took upon those who did not attend to the proofs he gaye, or opposed the progress of the religion he sanctioned, should teach us what we may expect if we reject this religion, or act in defiance of its precepts. God, who is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever, will probably in his own time, and in his own way, punish as severely the unbelievers and opposers of his religion of other times. Bishop Porteus's Lectures on the parallel Prophecy in St. Matthew are well worth consulting. See Lectures 19 and 20.
livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 Cor. iv. 1. (r)
LET a man so account of us, as of the (s) ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. 2. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found (t) faith3. ful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged (u) of you, or of man's judge4. ment; yea, I judge not mine own self: for I know nothing (x) by myself; yet am I not hereby jus
(r) St. Paul had blamed the Corinthian converts in the preceding Chapter for ranking themselves under different teachers, one saying, "I am of Paul, another, "I am of Apollos, a third I am of Ce66 phas or Peter," and so on; and he therefore desires them to think of the apostles, not as persons seeking their own glory, and wishing to have sects after their own names, but as ministers and subordinate officers, looking to the glory of God and Jesus Christ only, and wishing to unite all the converts under Christ alone.
(s)" Ministers," i.e. only as ministers, acting for another master, even Christ.
(t)" Faithful," and therefore not assuming to themselves what belongs to their master.
(u)" Judged," i. e. perhaps "esti"mated, valued."
(x)" By myself," rather, "against my"self." Hamm. on N.T.519. 1 Clarke's Attrib. 258. The meaning perhaps is, though I know nothing against myself, that is not a ground on which I can consider myself justified; for I must be judged by God, who, according to 1 John iii. 21. "is greater than our "hearts, and knoweth all things."
(y)" Judge nothing." See post, note on Luke vi. 37. 2.5. (z) "Until the Lord come." This might allude to the great coming of our Saviour to take vengeance on the unbelieving Jews, &c. which our Saviour had predicted should occur before that generation, the generation of men then
tified but he that judgeth me is the Lord. Therefore (y) judge no- 5. thing before the time, until(z) the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have (a) praise of
The Gospel. Matt. xi. 2. Now when (b) John had heard in the prison the works of Chrift, he sent (c) two of his disciples, and said unto him, "Art thou he (d) 3. "that should come, or do we look
living, should pass away. p. 30, on Luke xxi. 32.
(a)" Praise, &c." Whoever really was v.5. praise-worthy should have it from him, who alone knows by whom it is deserved, even from God.
(b)" John," i. e. the Baptist.
(c) Sent." It is supposed that John sent this message not for his own sake, or to satisfy any doubts he had, but for the sake of his Apostles; he had seen the Spirit of God descending on cur Saviour at his baptism, and had heard the voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, "in whom I am well pleased." Matt.iii. 16, 17. How then could he doubt ?
(d)" He that should come." There was a general expectation at this time of the Messiah's coming: Daniel had stated expressly (Dan. ix. 25.) that from the going forth of the commandment " to restore "and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah "the Prince, should be seven weeks, and "threescore and two weeks," and this time (reckoning a day for a year, which is the method in the calculation of prophetic times) was nearly, if not fully arrived. This expectation, with the mistake that the Messiah's kingdom was to be of this world, probably occasioned the well known passages in Suetonius, Tacitus, and Josephus, that "the sacred books of "the Jews foretold, that at that time some "one from Judæa should obtain the empire "of the world." There are also passages in Virgil, which probably owe their origin to this cause. See Note on John i. 21. post. and Virgil's 4th Eclogue.
"for another?" Jesus answered and said unto them, "Go and "shew John again those things "which ye do hear and (e) see: 5. "The (f)blind receive their sight, " and the lame walk, the lepers 66 are cleansed, and the deaf "hear, the dead are raised up, " and the poor have the Gospel 6. " preached to them. And blessed "is he, whosoever (g) shall not be "offended in me." And, as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, "What went ye out into the "wilderness to see? a (b) reed 8. “ shaken with the wind? But
(e) "See." According to Luke vii.21. whilst John's Disciples were with Jesus "he cured many of their infirmities and "plagues, and of evil spirits, and unto 66 many that were blind he gave sight," so that he might properly refer to what they saw as well as what they might have heard.
(f) "The blind," &c. Our Saviour refers them to his works because of their agreement with two prophecies in Isaiah: In Isaiah xxxv. 4,5,6. the Prophet, alluding to the times of the Messiah, says, "Behold 66 God will come with vengeance, your
even God with a recompence: he will "come and save you: then the eyes of "the blind shall be opened, and the ears "of the deaf shall be unstopped, then "shall the lame man leap as an hart, and "the tongue of the dumb sing." And in Isaiah xvi. 1. he says, "The Spirit of the "Lord is upon me, because the Lord "hath anointed me to preach good tid"ings unto the meek," &c. &c. His performing the miracles was a decisive proof that God was with him; but it
O LORD, raise O LORD, raise up (we pray thee) thy power, and come among us, and with great might succour us; that whereas, through our sins and wickedness, we are sore let and hindered in running the race that is set before us, thy bountiful grace and mercy may speedily help and deliver us, through the satisfaction of thy Son our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. Phil. iv. 4. REJOICE in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your 5
added some weight to these miraculous acts that they corresponded with what the prophet had foretold.
(g) "Shall not be offended in," i.e.shall boldly and firmly adhere to me, without being deterred by persecution or danger.
(b) "A reed," &c. that is a mere trifle. (i) "In kings' houses" and therefore not in the wilderness.
(k)"Behold," &c. This is the prophecy in Mal. iii. 1. "Behold I will send my
messenger, and he shall prepare the way "before me? and the Lord whom ye seek (i. e. the Messiah) "shall suddenly come
to his temple, even the Messenger of "the covenant, whom ye delight in: "behold he shall come, saith the Lord "of hosts." See an able Commentary upon this prophecy, Chandler's Defence of Christianity, first ed. p. 63. The way was prepared by reforming their lives, and by that means fitting them to receive the precepts of Christianity, and to undergo all dangers, &c. in adhering