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The Gospel. Luke xiv. 16.
A Certain («) man made a great supper, and bade many:
17. and sent his servant at suppertime to say to them that were bidden, "Come; for all things
18. « are now ready." And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, " I have bought a piece of "ground, and I must needs go "and see it: I pray thee have "me excused." And another J9' said, "I have bought five yoke "of oxen, and I go to prove "them: I pray thee have
20. « me excused." And another said, "I have married a wife, "and therefore I cannot come."
si. So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets "and lanes of the cityy and bring *' in hither the poor, and the "maimed, and the halt, and the
22. " blind." And the servant said, "Lord, it is done as thou hast "commanded, and yet there is
refer to this rule, "Is the mind the tera"per, the disposition in which we now "are, a godlike mind, temper, &c. Can - "God be considered as now abiding in "us I" See ante 155. note on John xiv. 17.
v. 16. (n) "A certain man," &c. This parable refers to the conduit of the Jews in rejecting our Saviour, and intimates tlmt the grounds on which they reje&ed him were frivolous and worldly, and that they would therefore be utterly excluded from the benefits of Christ's coming. Should not this be a warning to us not to suffer worldly pursuits to draw us off from our religious duties?
■p. 22. (0) "Tidings," &c. The persecution which followed immediately after ,jhe death of St. Stephen (A&8 vii. 60.)
And the lord said 23. unto the servant, " Go out into "the highways and hedges, and "compel them to come in, that "my house may be filled. For 24. "I say unto you, That none of "those men which were bidden "shall taste of my supper."
Saint Barnabas the Apostle.
O Lord God Almighty, who
For the Epistle. Acts xi. 22.
Tidings (<j) of these things came unto the ears of the Church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who when 23.
drove many of the disciples to very distant parts, and some of them went as far as Phoenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch. At Antioch they preached unto the Grecians: and " the hand of the Lord wag "with them: and a great number be"lieved, and turned unto the Lord.''' Afts xi. 19, 20, 21. It was the intelligence of this success that is here mentioned. It is observable, that the very steps which were taken to suppress Christianity extended the limits of its propagation. The disciples had such convincing evidence of its truth, that nothing could deter them from preaching it; and when they were driven from Jerusalem, &c. they exerted themselves in those distant parts to which they were driven.
he came, and had seen the grace of(/>) God,was glad,and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the'
24. Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was
25. added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for
26. to seek(q) Saul: and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the Church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians
27. first in Antioch. And in these days came prophets from Jerusa
28. lem unto Antioch. And there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the (r) Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the (s) world: which came (t) to pass in the days
29. of Claudius Cesar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt
3°- in Judea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
The Gospel. John iv. 12. (a)
This is my commandment,
"That ye (x) love one another,
*3* " as I have loved you. Greater
*■ love hath no man than this,
v. 23. (/) "The grace of God," i.e. the success of their preaching. The number of believers.
v.2t. (q) " Saul,'- i.e. " St. Paul."
v. 28. (r) " The spirit," i.e. inspiration.
v. 28. (t) "World," i.e. either the Roman Empire, or the land of Judca.
v.28. (/) "Came to pass." It is noticed as occurring in .Jewry (i.e. Judea) Josephus Antiq. lib. 20. c.3. in Claudius's lime, A.D. 48.
"that a man lay down his life for *' his friends. Ye are my friends, 14. "if ye do whatsoever I command "you. Henceforth I call you 15. "not servants; for the servant "knoweth not what his lord "doeth: but I have called you '* friends; for all things that I "have heard of my Father J "have made known unto you. "Ye have not chosen me, butl 16. "have chosen you, and ordained "you, that ye should go and "bring forth fruit, and that your "fruit should remain; that what"soever ye shall ask of the Fa"ther in my name, he may give "it you."
Third Sunday after Trinity.
O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Ep'utlc. 1 Peter v. 5.
All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God (y) resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the
(u) This is part of our Lords discourse at the last supper, just before he was betrayed, when St. John was next W him.
(*) "That ye love," &c. This"- •■"' junction seems to have made a strong impression upon St. John. He urges tin duty with great earnestness in his epistles. See ante 163. 1 John iv. and ante 16J. 1 John iii.
(j) "God resisteth,'" &c. This « *5
6. humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the (z) mighty hand of God, that he may (a) ex
7. alt you in due time: casting (b) all your care upon him; for he
8. careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may
9. devour: whom resist, stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same (c) afflictions are accomplished in your (d) brethren that
10. are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfeft, sta
11. blish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gotpcl. Luke xv. I.
Then drew near unto him all
the publicans ?.nd sinners, for to
2. hear him. And the Pharisees and
a quotation from Prov. iii. 34. Exhortations to humility occur repeatedly in the Old and New Testament. See Matt. v. 3.—xviii. 4.
D.6. (z) "The mighty hand," &c. i.e. (probably) the heavy afflictions which were to put their sincerity to the test, according to what our Saviour had foretold should happen to them before the destruction of Jerusalem, and before the generation of men who were living in his time should have passed away, in his famous prophecy, Matt. xxiv. 9. "Then shall *' they deliver you up to be afflifted, and "shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of *' all men for my name's sake" (i.e. for professing Christianity.) St. Peter, in the preceding chapter, verses 12.17. had spoken of " the fiery trial which was to try "them," and had told them that "the "time was come for judgment to begin "at the house of God." Seepost 170. notes on Rom. viii.
v. 6. (a) "Exalt you." St. Peter was perhaps looking forward to 6ome signal
scribes murmured, saying, " This "man receiveth (?) sinners, and "eateth with them." And he 3. spake this parable unto them, saying, "What man of you, 4. "having an hundred sheep, if "he lose one of them, doth not "leave the ninety and nine "in the wilderness, and go after "that (/) which is lost, until "he find it? And when he hath 5. "found it, he layeth it on his "shoulders, rejoicing. And 6. "when he cometh home, he "calleth together his friends and "neighbours, saying unto them, "Rejoice with me; for I have ** found my sheep which was "lost." I say unto you, that 7. "likewise joy shall be in heaven "over one sinner that repenteth, '« more than over ninety and nine "just persons which need no "repentance. Either what wo- 8. "man having ten pieces of silver, "if she lose one piece, doth not
mark of God's favour to be shewn upon the Christians, at the time so often referred to of " God's coming." See post 170. note on Rom. viii. 18.
(&) "Casting," &c. See Matt. vi. 25. v. 7.
(f) "Affli&ions," &c. This imports v. 9. that the persons to whom it was written were under sufferings, and that this was the case with the Christian converts in other places.
(d) " Brethren that are in the world," v. 9. i. e. other Christian converts elsewhere.
(c) "Sinners," &c. Upon another v. 2. occasion, when the disciples were questioned, why our Saviour eat with publicans and sinners, his answer was, " They "that be whole need not a physician, "but they that are sick: I am not come "to call the righteous, but sinners to "repentance." Matt. ix. 12, 13.—Luke
(f) "That which is lost." Appear- v. 4. ing to set his whole mind upon that, whilst it is lost, and making it the sole subject of his rejoicing, when it is found.
"light a candle, and sweep the
*' house, and seek diligently till
9. " she find it? And when she
"hath found it, she calleth her
"friends and her neighbours to
"gether, saying, Rejoice with
<c me; for I have found the piece
10. " which I had lost. Likewise, I
"say unto you, There is (g) joy
"in the presence of the angels
"of God over one sinner that
Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
O God, the protector of all that trust in thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy;
v. 10. (g) "Joy," &c. A strong additional motive to sinners to repent, and to others to lead them to repentance! This joy is well intimated in the parable of the prodigal son. Luke xv. 3 to 32.
v.iS. (A) "The glory," &c. See ante 68. note on 1 John iii. 2. There are many passages in which the prospeft of some eminent glory is held out as an encouragement to the converts to bear the persecutions, &c. to which they were exposed. Thus, 1 John iii. 2. " Beloved, «* now we are the sons of God, and it "doth not yet appear what we shall be: "but we know that when he shall ap*' pear, we shall belike him," &c.
v. 19. (i) *' The earnest expectation," &c. Part of our Saviour's famous prophecy as to his coming, Matt. xxiv. 28. and Luke xxi. 27. &c. (see ante 29.) naturally accounts for this expectation ; and we find the apostles continually pressing it upon the converts, to induce them to bear up against the great evils they endured.
v. 19. (i) " The creature," See. The meaning of this (not very clear) passage, may be this: there is a very earnest expectation of that great period so often referred to, see note on Rom. xiii. 11. ante 25. when those who are entitled to the appellation of God's sons shall be so signally distinguished: for we are made subject to
Increase and multiply upon us thy mercy, that thou being our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Rom. viii. 18.
I Reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the (h) glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest (/) expectation of ijthe (k) creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of Goi For the (/) creature was made 20. subject to vanity, not (m) willingly, but by («) reason of him who
trouble, as all mankind was at Adim'i fall, not from any aft in which our o\n choice has concurred, but because it w» the will of God, who added hope for our support, and meant thereby to try us. But we shall be delivered from these troubles (which may well be cilW the bondage of corruption) and be advanced to the glorious situation of being treated by God as his children: for the whole world is in the situation of » «■ man in labour, in great uneasiness, hot looking anxiously Tor deliverance; »» this is the case even with us also, who have the first gifts of the spirit, the beginnings of these spiritual blessings. Tw» sense of the passage falls in with tn« context, and is in unison with those manr other passages where the apostles encourage the converts to brave the trouble* to which they are exposed, by the pro* pedt of what they should receive at the period so much looked up to, jj* "coming or appearing of our Lord. ..
(/) •" The creature," i. c. either the »• world in general, or the Christian converts, probably the latter. jo.
(ro) « Willingly," i. e. perhapsJroo" any aft in which their will concurred. w_
(n) «' By reason of him," Sic. Th» suggestion, that the evils they suffered were not imputable to any thine tn*T had done, but arose from Coat *f
hath subje&ed the same In hope; because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The Gospel. Luke vi. 36.
"Be ye therefore merciful (0), as "your Father also is merciful.
pointment, to try their merit, and to put to the test their confidence in the hope he had given them, was admirably calculated to raise their Bpirits, and fortify their resolution. •0.36. (°) " As>" &c- Let your mercy, &c. be as extensive as his. It had just been stated, that God "is kind to the "unthankful, and to the evil.'' •■37- (/) "Judge not," &c. Christianity requires us to look to our oiunfaults, that we may compare our otvrt actions with God's rules, and correct our own failings; it does not allow us officiously to inquire into the faults of others, or to contrast our conduct with their's. We may form a very wrong estimate of other men's actions, because we cannot tell accurately what has influenced their conduit, and we are referring to a wrong standard, when we draw the comparison between theirs and ours, because though ours may be relatively better than theirs, this will be no excuse to us, unless ours come up to the standard God has fixed. Bringing our actions to the test of God's commands shews us our own unworthiness, teaches us humility, and has a tendency to make us endeavour to be better; contrasting them with those of other men gives us a degree of pride to which we have no claim, makes us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, encourages us to conclude we
"Judge (p) not, and ye shall not 37. "be judged: condemn not, and "ye shall not be condemned: "forgive, and ye shall be for"given: give, and it shall be 38. "given unto you: good measure, "pressed down, and shaken to"gether, and running over, shall "men give into your bosom. "For wkh the same measure "that ye mete withal, it shall "be measured to you again." And he spake a parable unto 39. them: " Can the (q) blind lead "the blind? shall they not both "fall into the ditch? The dis- 40. tc ciple is not above his mas"ter: but every one that is "perfect shall be as his master.
are as good as we need be, and has a tendency to prevent our endeavours to improve. Our Saviour strongly condemns this conduct in his parable of the pharisee and the publican, Luke xviii. 10. &c. post. 190. The practice of judging others is condemned by St. Paul, Rom. xiv. 4. "Who art thou that judgest an"other man's servant; to his own "master he standeth or falleth." So St. James, ch. iv. 12. "Who art thou "that judgest another?" and see 1 Cor. iv. c. and before any one assumes to himself officiously the right of deciding upon another's conduct, let him recollect our Saviour's answer to those who brought before him the woman who was taken in adultery, John viii. 7. "He "that is without sin among you, let him "first cast a stone at her." liow admirably is this system of looking to our own faults, and not to those of others, calculated to repress pride and advance goodness, to make us think worse of ourselves, and become better t
(g) " Can the blind," &c. If the v. 39. conduct of other men, instead of God's command, is to be your guide, you have no chance of arriving where you would wish; or if one who is in a state of moral blindness, because he has not removed all his own defects, sets up for a leader of others, he and they who trust to him must lose their way.