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(x) "Recompence," &c. Solomon gives the same advice, Prov. xx. 22. " Say "not thou, I will recompence evil: but "wait on the Lord, and he shall save "thee." So St. Paul exhorts, 1 Thess. v. 15. "See that none render evil for •' evil unto any man: but ever fol"low that which is good both among "yourselves, and to all men." St Peter also direfts, 1 Pet. iii. 9. "not to ren"der evil for evil, or railing for rail"ing, but contrary-wise blessing;" and reminds us, 1 Pet. ii. 23. of the example of our Saviour, "who when he "was reviled, reviled not again; when "he suffered, he threatened not, but "committed himself to Him that judgeth "righteously."

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(y) "Honest, So 2 Cor. viii. 21

i. e. well thought of.

he direfts the " pro"viding for honest things,' not only in "the sight of the Lord, but also in the "sight of men;" where by honest he must mean not only what really is right, but what has also that appearance. See also 1 Thess. iv. 12.

(z) " Written." The passage is Deut. xxxii. 35. "To me (saith the Lord) "belongeth vengeance, and recompence." And accordingly, Ps. xciv. 1. he is appealed to as Him to whom vengeance belongeth: " O Lord God, to whom ven. "geance belongeth, O God, to whom

ably with all men. Dearly be- 19. loved, avenge not yourselves; but rather give place unto wrath: for it is (z) written, " Vengeance "is mine; I will repay, saith the "Lord." Therefore if thine ene- 20. my hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in fo doing thou shalt (a) heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome 31. of evil, but overcome evil with good.

The Gospel. Matt. viii. 1.

VV Hen he was come down from the (b) mountain, great multititudes followed him. And, be- 2. hold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, "Lord,if

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(a) "Heap," &c. This probably alludes to the method of melting metals in a crucible: as by heaping coals of fire on the head of a crucible the hardest metals are melted, so by heaping ads of kindness on the head of an enemy, we should endeavour to melt him into goodwill towards us; and so according to what follows, to overcome his evil by our good afts, his animosity by our forbearance. The passage is taken from Prov. xxv. 21. "If thine enemy be hungry, give him "bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give ** him water to drink, for thou shalt heap "coals of fire on his head, and the Lord "shall reward thee." It has been supposed that the heaping coals of fire upon the head of an enemy may mean still further, that if he is not touched by our acts of kindness towards him, those acts will bring upon him heavier punishment from God: but is it consistent with the spirit of Christianity, that we should aft from such a motive? Can he be a Christian who would wish, in any event, to bring down God's judgment upon a fellow creature?

(b) "Mountain," the place where he had been delivering that admirable discourse called his Sermon on the Mount, contained in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chap. ters of St. Matthew.

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"thou wilt, thou canst make me

3. lt clean." And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, "I "will; be thou clean:" And immediately his leprofy was cleansed.

4. And Jesus saith unto him, "See "thou tell no man; but go thy "way, shew (c) thyfelf to the "priest, and offer the gift that "Moses commanded for a (d)tes

5. '* timony unto them." And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a cen

6. turion, beseeching him, and saying, " Lord, my servant lieth at "home sick of the palsy, griev

7. " ously tormented." And Jesus saith unto him, " I will come and

8. " heal him." The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am "not worthy that thou shouldest "come under my roof: but speak "the word only, and my servant

9. " shall be healed. For I am a "man under authority, having *' soldiers under me: and I say to "this man, (V)Go, and hegoethj *' and to another, Come, and he "cometh; and to my servant, "Do this, and he doeth it."

10. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled,and said to them thatfollowed, *' Verily I say unto you, I have "not found so great (/) faith,

w.4. (c) *' Shew thyself," &c. It was part of the Levitical law, that a person who recovered from the leprosy was to •hew himself unto the priest, that the priest might examine whether he was clean, and make an offering. See Lev. xi v. I to 57.

••♦• (J) "For a testimony unto them," i. e. as a proof of being cleansed.

v. 9. (e) "Go," ice. i. e. as my word is obeyed by those who are under me, because of my temporal authority, so will the disease be obedient to your word, because of your spiritual authority. You

"no, not in Israel." And I say n "unto you, That (g) many shall "come from the east and west, "and shall sit down with Abra"ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in "the kingdom of heaven: But 12. "the children (h) of the kingdom "shall be cast out into outer "darkness: there shall be weep'• ing and gnashing of teeth." And Jesus said unto the centurion, 1} "Go thy way; and as thou hast "believed, so be it done unto "thee." And his servant was healed in the self-same hour.

Tht Conversion of St.Paul.
The Colleft.

O God, who through the preaching of the blessed Apostle Saint Paul hast caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world; Grant, we beseech thee, that we having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may shew forth our thankfulness unto thee for the same, by following the holy doftrine which he taught, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Ephtle. A&s ix. 1. (i)

And Saul, yet breathing out

have as much power over the disease as I have over my soldiers.

(/) "Faith," i.e. Confidence, assur- v. toance of my power.

(g) "Many," &c. i.e. Gentiles. v.H

(o) "Children of the kingdom," Le. v. uJews. The strong instance of faith in the Centurion, who was a Gentile, naturally led our Saviour to contrast the conduct of the Gentiles with that of the Jews.

(/') Lord Lyttleton, in an admirable discussion on the conversion and conduct of St. Paul, considers it of itself sufficient to satisfy any reasonable mind of the

threatenings (k) and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and

2. desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusa

3. lem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus; and suddenly there shined round about

A- him a light from heaven : and he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, " Saul, "Saul, why persecutest thou 5. " me V And he said, "Who "art thou, Lord?" And the Lord said, "I am Jesus whom "thou persecutest: it is hard "for thee to kick against the

6. " pricks." And he trembling and astonished, said^ "Lord, "what wilt thou have me to ** do?" And the Lord said unto him, "Arise, and go into the "- city, and it shall be told thee

7. " what thou must do." And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a

truth of the Christian religion. St. Paul must have known, to a certainty, whether what is here stated really did happen to him, and whether he really received the spiritual communications, and possessed the supernatural powers elsewhere mentioned: and he could have had no temporal views, because his profession was decidedly against his worldly interests. What he went through and endured for the Christian cause (see 2 Cor. xi. 23. to 27. Sexagesima Sunday) is pretty strong proof that he was no impostor. St. Luke, who wrote the Afts, was with St. Paul the greatest part of twelve years, from A.D. 46 to A.D. ^8, so that his account of the conversion may be depended upon as con-eft. The conversion is supposed to have occurred A.D. 3c, two years after the Crucifixion. »i. {i) "Threatenings and slaughter."

8.

10.

11.

voice (/), but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias: and to him said the Lord in a vision, "Ananias." And he said, "Be"hold, I am here, Lord." And the Lord said unto him, "Arise, "and go into the street which is "called Straight, and inquire in "the house of Judas for one "called Saul of Tarsus: for, "behold, he prayeth, and hath "seen in a vision a man named "Ananias coming in, and put"ting his hand on him, that he "might receive his sight." Then 13. Ananias answered, "Lord, I "have heard by many of this "man, how much evil he hath "done to thy saints at Jerusalem: "and here he hath authority 14 "from the chief priests to bind

12.

This implies pretty strongly that the first converts were severely persecuted, and that it could not be desirable, as to worldly views, to embrace Christianity: what then could have induced the apostles to persevere themselves, and to bring over others, but the certain knowledge that they had seen our Saviour after his crucifixion, and that they had assurances in which they could not have been mistaken or deceived, that Jesus was the Messiah; and what could have worked upon any one to turn to this persuasion, but the conviftion, from seeing what the apostles did, that God was with them?

(/) "A voice." In Afts xxii. 9. St. v.<j, Paul says, They heard not the voice: the two passages may be reconciled by substituting here "a mighty sound," or "noise," for voice.

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"all that call on thy name." But the Lord said unto him, " Go "thy way: for he is a chosen "vessel unto me, to bear my "name before the Gentiles, and "kings, and the children of Is"rael: for I will shew him how "great things he must suffer for "my name's sake." And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him, said, "Brother "Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, ** that appeared unto thee in the "way as thou earnest, hath sent "me, that thou mightest receive "thy sight, and be filled with "the Holy Ghost." And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales; and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, " that he is the "Son of God." But all that heard him were amazed, and said, "Is "not this he that destroyed them *' which called on this name in "Jerusalem, and came hither for "that intent, that he might bring ** them bound unto the chief "priests?" But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is very Christ.

v. I. (m) " I.et, &c." The apostles were anxious to satisfy their converts that their spiritual subjection to Christ did not exempt them from temporal subieftion to the established government under which they lived. A contrary doArine would have had a tendency to set all established

The Gospel. Matt. xix. 27.

Peter answered and said unto Jesus, " Behold, we have forsaken "all, and followed thee: what "shall we have therefore?" And Jesus said unto them, "Ve- 28.J "rily I say unto you, That ye "which have followed me, in "the regeneration, when the Son "of man shall sit in the throne "of his glory, ye also shall sit "upon twelve thrones, judging "the twelve tribes of Israel. "And every one that hath for- 29 "saken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, "for my name's sake, shall re"ceive an hundred-fold, and "shall inherit everlasting life. "But many that are first shall 30"be last; and the last shall be "first."

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Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. The Colleft. O God, who knowest us to be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright; Grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. Rom. xiii.i.

Let (m) every soul be subject

government sagainst them, and would have answered no spiritual end: Thus St. Paul dire&s Titus "to put the convert! in "mind to be subject to principalities and "powers, and to obey magistrate*." Tit. iii. 1.; and St. Peter exhorts them, 1 Pet. ii. 13. to " submit to every ordi

unto the higher powers. For

there is no power but of God:

the powers that be are ordained

*• of God. Whosoever therefore

resisteth the power, resisteth the

ordinance («) of God: and they

that resist shall receive to them

y selves damnation. For rulers

are not a terror to good works,

but to the evil. Wilt (o) thou

then not be afraid of the power?

Do that which is good, and

thou shalt have praise of the (p)

4. same: for he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute (q) wrath upon him that

5. doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subjeft, not only for wrath (r), but also for conscience

"nance of man for the Lord's sake (i. e. as matter of duty) "whether it be "to the king, as supreme, or unto go*' vernors, as unto them that are sent "by him for the punishment of evil "doers, and for the praise of them that "do well." See post, note on 1 Pet. ii.13. v.j. (n) "Ordinance," Reappointment. *-J. (0) "Wilt, &c." i.e. if you wish to avoid being in fear of the power do that which is good, and instead of punishment, &c. from it, it shall give thee praise, for it is the minister of God to thee for good, if thou aftest right, and for punishment if thou doest evil.

••J- if) "'^'ne 8ame>" '• e- ^e power.

•.4. (y) "Wrath," i.e. punishment.

M- (r) "For wrath, &c." Not only to avoid the punishment of man, but from a sense that it is part of your duty to God.

f-6. (,/) " For this cause," i. e. because they are God's ministers.

v.6. (/) "Pay you," i. e. you are to pay, it is your duty.

"•6. (b) "This very thing," i. e. the punishment of evil-doers, and the praise, 8cc. of them that do well.

••7. (x) "Tribute, Sec." When some of

sake. For, for this (s) cause '6. pay you (t) tribute also: for they are God's ministers, attending continually upon this (u) very thing. Render therefore to all 7. their dues; tribute to whom (.v) tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

The Gospel. Matt, viii 23. (y)

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose 24. a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came 25. to him, and awoke him, saying, "Lord, save us : we perish." And he saith unto them, "Why are 26. "ye fearful, O ye of little faith?'

the Pharisees, &c. sought occasion against our Saviour, to bring him under the cognizance of the civil magistrate by putting to him the question whether in his opinion it was lawful to give tribute unto Cxsar? he told them " to render "unto Cassar the things which are Ca»"sar's, and unto God the things which "are God's," Matt. xxii. 15, 17, 21.— Markxii. 13, &c.—Luke xx. 20, &c.; meaning perhaps to insinuate, that his religion would not interfere with the civil government, and that his followers would still continue subject to the laws and control of the state.

(_y) The miracles here stated were per-, haps before the call of St. Matthew, so that the testimouy is not, as in many other instances, that of an eye-witnesa. St. Matthew's call is not mentioned till the next chapter; and his statement implies that it was after these events, though not long after them. His associ-# ation, however, almost immediately after their occurrence, with those disciples in whose presence they occurred, when they would naturally be topics of conversation and astonishment, gives hit statement great credit. •

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