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abroad among the brethren, That their deaths ; Mortify and kill all that disciple should not die: yet vices in us, and so strengthen us Jesus said not unto him, He shall || by thy grace, that by the innonot die; but, “If I will that he cency of our lives, and constancy " tarry till I come, what is that to of our faith even unto death, we ,“ thee?” This (s) is the disciple may glorify thy holy Name, which testifieth of these things, through Jesus Christ our Lord. and wrote these things : and we Amen.
know that his testimony is true. · And there are also many other For the Epistle. Rev. xiv. I. things which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every
I LOOKED, and, lo, a (t) Lamb
stood on the mount Sion, and one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the
with him an (u) hundred forty and books that should be written.
four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, 2.
as the voice of many waters, and The Innocents' Day.
as the voice of a great thunder : The Collect.
and I heard the voice of harpers O Almighty God, who out of harping with their harps : and 3. the mouths of babes and suck
they sung as it were a new song lings hast ordained strength, and before the throne, and before the madest infants to glorify thee by four beasts and the elders: and
execute signal vengeance upon the unbelievers. See ante 25. St. John accordingly lived until long after the destruction of Jerusalem; but St. Peter is supposed to have been crucified before that event, viz. in Nero's reign, A.D. 68. It is observable, that St. John is the only Evangelist who does not give a detailed account of what our Saviour said as to the destruction of the Temple, and the signs of his coming; and there is this obvious reason for it: The other Gospels were published before that period, when it would be of consequence to the converts to know accurately what the signs were ; and St. John's Gospel was not published till long afterwards; and then the detail of that account was no longer of the same importance. Matthew and Mark were both dead before the destruction of Jerusalem ; and St. Peter and St. Paul, who are supposed to have overlooked and approved of, one St. Mark's and the other St. Luke's Gospel, (Newton on Proph. 136-7), came to their deaths in Nero's time. St. John, it is believed, did not publish his Gospel
till A. D. 97, twenty-seven years after
(s) “ This is the disciple,” &c. The v. 24.
(t) For“ a Lamb," read “the Lamb, “ the Messiah, our Saviour, the Son of “ God.” It is evident he is referred to, because his Father's (i. e. God's) name was written in the foreheads of the 144,000.
(u)“ 144,000.” The same number as v. I. in Rev. vii. 4. post, are said to have been sealed in their foreheads, with the seal of the living God as the servants of God. It was usual for servants, soldiers, &c. to bear some name or mark exposed to public view, to denote whose servants, soldiers, &c. they were. The number is twelve times twelve thousand, i. e. twelve thousand for each of the tribes of Israel, meaning probably a large indefinite num. ber of persons of all nations. See post, note on Eph. iv. 30.
no man could learn that song
The Gospel. Matt. ii. 13. but the hundred and forty and
four thousand which were re- The angel of the Lord appea 4. deemed from the earth. These to Joseph in a dream, say
are they which were not defiled “ Arise, and take the young c with women ; for they are virgins. “ and his mother, and flee These are they which follow the
Egypt, and be thou there un Lamb whithersoever he goeth. " bring thee word : for H These were redeemed from among “ will seek the young child to
men, being the first-fruits unto stroy him.” When he arose 5. God and to the Lamb. And in took the young child, and his
their mouth was found no guile : ther by night, and departed for they are without fault before Egypt : and was there until the throne of God.
death of Herod, (x) that it mig
" I kn
(*) “ That it might be fulfilled.” The passage referred to is in Hosea xi. 1. Go When Israel was a child, then I loved “ him, and called
my out of Egypt;" and it has the appearance of referring to the early times of the Jewish history, speaking of the nation under the character of a son, or child, rather than looking forward prophetically to the Messiah. Dr. Hammond, Bp. Chandler, Dr. Benson, and many other writers, suppose that St. Matthew did not mean to insinuate either that the passage in Hosea was intended to foretell this event, or that the event happened to fulfil the predi&ion; but that all he meant was, that the passage in Hosea might be applied to this event, as if he had said; so that in this instance also, as well as in that to which the passage in Hosea really referred, it might be said, “Out “ of Egypt, &c.” See Chandler's De. fence of Christianity, 285 to 295. Sykes on Hebr. Introduction, xxxi. Benson's Introduct. xxvi. The Greek words would perhaps admit of the translation, “ so that it was fulfilled," which corresponds exactly with this supposition. There are other passages where that must be the meaning of what is at present translated, “ that it might be fulfilled.” In Matt. viii. 16, 17, it is said that our Saviour “ cast out the evil spirits with “ his word, and healed all that were sick, " that it might be fulfilled which was spo“ ken by Esaias the prophet, saying, “ him“ self took our infirmities, and bare our “ sicknesses ;” and yet he could never mean that he cast out the spirits and
healed the sick, for the purpose of
his h against me ;” and yet that passa (which is in Ps. xli. 9.) appears to ha referred to one of David's Friends on So in John xv. 24, 25, our Saviour sa
now have they both seen, and hat “ both me and my Father ; but t “ cometh to pass, that it might be
filled which was written in their la “ they hated me without a cause." T passage
there referred to is in Ps. XXXV.I i o let not them which are mine en “ mies, triumph over me ungodly ; «s ther let them wink with their eyt " that hate me without a cause." This w no prediction that our Saviour should “ hated without a cause," and it is a surd, if not blasphemous, to suppose, th the persons
of whom St. John speak were constrained or induced to hate Saviour and the Father, that a suppos prediction in this passage might be fi hiiled. The passage really means nothit more than this, that what David sa of his enemies, “that they hated him wit "out a cause," might also be said of tho who hated Jesus Christ and God.
fulfilled which was spoken of the « forted, because they (a) are
Sunday after Christmas Day. he was mocked of the wise men,
The Collect. was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the (y) children Almighty God, who hast given that were in Bethlehem, and in us thy only begotten Son to take all the coasts thereof, from two our nature upon him, and as at years old and under, according this time to be born of a pure to the time which he had dili Virgin; Grant that we being re
gently inquired of the wise men. generate, and made thy children 7. Then (z) was fulfilled that which | by adoption and
by adoption and grace, may daily was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, 78. saying, “In Rama was there a through the same our Lord Jesus
“ voice heard, lamentation, and Christ, who liveth and reigneth “ weeping, and great mourning;
with thee and the same Spirit, “ Rachel weeping for her chil- ever one God, world without “ dren, and would not be com
Matt. xiii. 35. Jesus is said to have spoken the obje&. In Matt. x. 34. when our to the people in parables, “ that it might Saviour
came not to send peace “ be fulfilled which was spoken by the
on earth, but a sword, and to set a prophet, I will open my mouth in man at variance against his father, and
parables, I will utter things which “ the daughter against her mother," he “ have been kept secret from the foun- did not mean that this was his obje&, “ dation of the world;" and
it though the misconduct of man might could never have been for the sake of make it, and probably would make it, a fulfilling the passage here alluded to that
consequence. our Saviour spoke to them in parables, ()“ Children,"i.e. the male children; for
passage had no reference to our females could not be objects of his apSaviour, and was not spoken as a pro.
The was this, that what was said, Ps. lxxviii. 2. passage referred to is in Jer. xxxi. 15. and “ I will open, &c.” would be true if
it relates to the lamentation of the Jewish applied to our Saviour. And Matt. xxvii. mothers for the murder of their children 35. the soldiers are said to have parted by the Assyrian army, and was not a our Saviour's garments, casting lots, that prediction of the distress there should be it might be fulfilled which was spoken for the murder of the infants by Herod; by the prophet, &c. and yet they knew it is, therefore, in effect, the same form nothing of the prophecy, and could have of expression as that commented upon had no intention of fulfilling it. Very many above, “ that it might be fulfilled, &c.” other passages may be referred to, where and meant nothing more than that the the same mode of expression occurs, in description of the distress of the mothers which it could not have been the obje& in Jeremiah was equally applicable to the to fulfil any particular part of scripture, distress of these mothers. Chandl. Def. although it might happen as a conse- 286. quence, that there were parts of scripture (a) “Are not," i.e. are dead. So when v. 18. which so far corresponded with what Joseph's brethren meant to intimate that was done, that they might be said to have he was dead, the expression they used been thereby fulfilled. See Matt. xii. 17.
Gen. xlii. 13. 32.
« is not.”
Now I say?
The Epistle. Gal. iv. 1. (b) were under the law, that we might
That (c) the heir, as receive the adoption of sons. And long as he is a child, (d) differeth because ye are sons, God hath
nothing from a servant, though sent forth the Spirit of his Son into 2. he be lord of all; but is under your hearts, (i) crying, “ Abba,
tutors and governors, until the “ Father.” Wherefore thou art
time appointed of (e) the father. no more a (m) servant, but a son; 3. Even so we, when we(f)were chil- and if a son, then an heir of
dren, were in bondage under the God through Christ. 4. elements (g) of the world : But when the (b) fulness of the time
The Gospel. Matt. i. 18. was come, God sent forth his Son, The birth of Jesus Christ was 5. made of a (i) woman, made under on this wise : When as his mo.
the law, (k) to redeem them that ther Mary was espoused to Jo
(6) This portion of Scripture is altogether figurative ; the meaning is this : As an heir to an estate, however valuable the estate may be, is kept in subjection during his minority; so we, whilst we were in a state similar to that of an heir's minority, that is, from the time of Moses till that of Christ, were kept in subjection by the Mosaic ordinances; but now we are advanced to the character of sons, and to what may be deemed manhood, we are freed from that subjection, and entitled to take possession of our inheritance, which, from our being heirs of God through Christ, is altogether spiritual, and has nothing worldly in it. The chief object of this epistle was to satisfy the Christian converts, that they were under no obligation to conform to the Mosaic institutions.
(c) “ The heir,” i. e, any heir.
(d) "Differeth nothing from," i.e. is as much under controul and subjection, as much (to use the language of v. 3.) in bondage.
(e) “The Father," i, e. his, the heir's father.
(f)“Were children." St. Paul considers them, from the times of Moses to that of Christ, as mere children in religion; and in Gal. iii. 24. he accordingly
calls " the law,” that is, the Mosaic institutions, merely a schoolmaster to " bring them unto Christ.” who were not far advanced in the doctrines, &c. of Christianity, are called « babes in Christ.” i Cor. iii. 1.-Heb. V. 13.-1 Pet. ii, 2.
(8) “ Elements of the world,” i.e. the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, which had little or nothing spiritualin them.
D. I. v. I.
(b) “ Fulness of the time,” i.e. either God's own time, or the time to treat mankind as in a state of manhood.
(i) “Of a woman," probably alluding to his extraordinary conception, out of the ordinary course of nature, as mentioned, Matt. i. 18. in the Gospel for the day,
(k)“ To redeem,"i.e. to free even the Jews, who before were under the law, from further subjection. It could never, therefore, be necessary for the Gentile converts, who had never been under the law, to submit now to its ordinances. In Eph. ii. 14, 15. Christ Jesus is said to have “ broken down the wall of parti. “ tion between us,” (that is, between Jew and Gentile) “having abolished in “ his flesh the enmity,”(that is, the cause which divided them, which kept them from uniting) even the law of command
ments, contained in ordinances ;" and in Col. ii. 14. he is said to have “blotted “ out the hand-writing of ordinances, “ that was against us, which was con“ trary to us, and to have taken it out “ of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
(1) “Crying, &c.”i. e. intitling you n. to call God your father. So Rom. viii. 15.
“ Ye have received the “ spirit of adoption, whereby we cry “ Abba, Father. The spirit itself beareth “ witness with our spirit, that we are " the children of God; and if children, “ then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs “ with Chiist, if so be that we suffer “ with him, that we may be also glorified “ together;" that is, if we boldly profess and abide by our religion, in defiance of all danger and temporal considerations.
(m) " A servant,"' i.e. in bondage to v. the ordinances in the law of Moses.
St. Paul says,
seph, before they came together, thy wife ; for that which is conshe was found with child of the “ ceived in her is of the Holy Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her 66 Ghost. And she shall bring 21. husband, beinga (n) just man, and " forth a son, and thou shalt call not willing to make her a public “ his name (P) JESUS : for he example, was minded to put her « shall (9) save his people from
" their sins. so away privily. But while he
Now all this was 22. thought on these things, behold done, (r) that it might be fulfilled the angel of the Lord appeared which was spoken of the Lord by unto him in a dream, saying, the prophet, saying, (s)“ Behold, 23. “ Joseph, thou (c) son of David, a virgin shall be with child, and “ fear not to take unto thee Mary “ shall bring forth a son, and they
(n) “ Just,” i e. kind. 20. o “Son of David.” The angel might
give him this appellation, to remind him that he was of the seed from which the Messiah was to be born.
(9) “ Jesus.” This word signifies “a “ Saviour." It means the same Joshua, who is called Jesus, Acts vii. 45. and Heb. iv. 8. and Joshua is con. sidered as a type of Jesus Christ.
(7)“ Save his people from their sins.” This shews the nature of our Saviour's Office--spiritual, not temporal. In the famous prophecy, Isaiah liii. 6. 11. it is « said, that the Lord hath laid on him the “ iniquity of us all-that he shall justify " many, for he shall bear their iniquities." St. Peter says of him after his Ascension, that God hath exalted him to be ó a Sa. "viour, to give repentance to Israel, and "forgiveness of sins." When John the Baptist saw our Saviour coming unto him, he said, “ Behold :he Lamb of God, hi which taketh
ατυay the sin of the world.” Johni. 29. St. Peter says of him, who “ his ownself bare our sins in his own “ body on the tree.” And our Saviour himself says, Matt. xx.28. that “ he came " to give his life a ransom for many.".
(r) “ That it might be fulfiled.” Perhaps the translation should be, “ 80 “that it was fulfilled," making the ful. filment a consequence only, not the object. See ante 44. noce on Matt. ii. 15.
(s) “Behold," &c. The passage is in Isaiah vii. 14. post. The kings of Syria and Israel went up towards Jerusalem, to make war against it : Ahaz, the king of Judah, was alarmed; but the Lord assured him they should not succeed, and offered him any sign he should think fit to ask. Ahaz, who was a wicked king, refused to ask any, upon which God said, “The Lord himself shall give
you a sign. Behold a virgin shall con“ ceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Butter and honey « shall he eat, that he may know to « refuse the evil, and choose the good : 6 for before the Child shall know to - refuse the evil, and choose the good, " the land that thou abhorrest shall be “ forsaken of both her kings." There is some difficulty in applying the whole of this passage to Jesus Christ; and Bp. Chandler, who comments very ably upon it, supposes that Isaiah, who was ordered to take with him his child Shearjashub, when he had declared that a virgin should conceive, &c. (to shew, that notwithstanding the appearance of danger, the Messiah shonld still be born, and that by a miracle), turned to his son Shearjashub, and said of him, pointing to him, butter and honey shall be (this child) eat, &c. that is, your deliverance shall be so immediate, that the land shall be in an abundant state, and
reap the fruits of it in abundance, even before this child shall know right from wrong. Chand. Def. 316 to 339. See also Dr. Trapp's ist Discourse. Abp. Usher had made the same supposition before, though Bp. Chandler did not know it. And Dr. Benson conceived the same notion after. wards, without knowing that Bp.Chandler, or perhaps any previous writer, had been beforehand with him. Benson's Introduction, xxiii. to xxv. The other Evangelists take no notice of this phecy; but according to Luke i. 34, 35. when the Virgin Mary asked he angel, how it should be that she could conceive, seeing she knew not a man, his answer was,
* The Holy Ghost shall come upon " thee, and the power of the Highest “ shall overshadow thee: wherefore also “ that holy thing that shall be born of