His office, life, and baptism.




wilderness, Prepare ye the way of
the Lord, make his paths straight.

4 And the same John had his
raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern
girdle about his loins; and his meat
was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7 ¶ But when he saw many of the

affections and habits which are the grand obstacles to conversion and the reception of the word of God. Bp. Porteus.

The Baptist was sent by God to prepare and smooth the way before the Messiah, by clearing and removing the various impediments and obstructions, which impeded the march of the Gospel, arising from the prejudices, passions, and vices of mankind. Dr. Hales.

He reprehendeth the Pharisees.

Pharisees and Sadducees come to
his baptism, he said unto them, CO
generation of vipers, who hath warned
you to flee from the wrath to

8 Bring forth therefore fruits
|| meet for repentance:


9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.



c Chap. 12. 34.

|| Or, answerable

to amend
d John 8. 39.

ment of life.

institutions, as from their conformity to certain modes of mere human invention, introduced among them under pretence of being the traditions of the elders. Hence their peculiar zeal and pretence to purity, in the demureness with which they fasted, the exactness with which they paid their tithes, the ostentation with which they prayed, their frequent washings, &c. They seem to have owed the name of their sect to their separating themselves from all other Jews who did not comply with their peculiarities; the word Pharisee being derived from a Hebrew word signifying "to divide or separate." Bp. Percy.

4. — his raiment of camel's hair, &c.] This raiment of camel's hair was nothing else than that sackcloth of which we read so much in Scripture. Bp. Porteus. The modern dervises in the East wear garments made of the hair of camels; they wear also great leathern and Sadducees] The Sadducees were the most girdles, and sometimes feed on locusts. Sir J. Chardin. ancient sect among the Jews, the name being derived In the East an elegant kind of cloth is made of the fine either from the Hebrew word Sedec, signifying "justice," hair of the camel, which is thence called camlet: this is or from a certain teacher among the Jews called Sadoc. not meant here, but a coarse stuff which is manufactured They seem to have been originally strict adherents to from the long and shaggy hair of those animals, which the Mosaick institution and to the canonical books, only was anciently worn by monks and anchorites. It is interpreting them in the most literal sense, and reonly when thus understood that the words suit the jecting all other explications. The superiour estimation description here given of John's manner of life. Dr. in which they held the Pentateuch, or writings of Campbell. He fed on such simple food as the desert Moses, gave rise in all probability to the report of their afforded to the lowest of its inhabitants. The abstemi- adversaries, that they entirely rejected the authority of ousness and rigour of the Baptist's life was calculated the rest. It is certain that, at the time of our Saviour, to produce very important effects. It was fitted to this sect held doctrines that were thoroughly impious. excite great attention and reverence in the minds of his For they denied the resurrection of the dead, the being hearers. It was well suited to the doctrine he was to of angels, and all existence of the souls of men departed. preach, that of repentance and contrition, to the serious- They held that there is no spiritual being but God, that ness he wished to inspire, and to the terrour he was the body and soul of man, at his death, die together appointed to impress on the impenitent offenders. never to live more, and that therefore there is no future Bp. Porteus. reward or punishment. At the same time that they held these and other loose opinions, they are said to have had a bigoted attachment to the law of Moses. Bp. Percy.

locusts] Locusts and grasshoppers are among the things allowed by the law to be eaten, Lev. xi. 22, and are at this day eaten in Asia by the poorer sort of people. Dr. Campbell.

5.-Jerusalem,— and all the region &c.-The inhabitants of Jerusalem, and of the towns and villages on both sides of the river Jordan. Bp. Pearce.

6. And were baptized of him in Jordan,] Baptism was a symbol of purification among the Jews and other ancient nations. It was especially required of heathen proselytes to the Jewish religion. This ancient rite therefore was with great propriety renewed to the Jews themselves, preparatory to the new covenant of the Gospel, analogous to the former of the law. Dr. Hales. 7.—the Pharisees] The Pharisees were a sect among the Jews that had subsisted at least above a century and a half before the appearance of our Saviour. They affected the most profound regard for the law of God and the sacred books; but for the interpretation of them, and the manner in which they were to be obeyed, they depended chiefly upon traditional accounts. These traditions encumbered religion with many frivolous observances, which drew off the mind from the more important matters of the law; and made men look upon themselves as holy and acceptable to God, not so much from their moral conduct and observance of Divine

O generation of vipers,] O ye who are not so much the seed of Abraham, of which ye boast, as the seed of the serpent; a nation diametrically opposite and inimical to that Seed of the woman which was to bruise the head of the serpent, Gen. iii. 15. Dr. Lightfoot.

who hath warned you &c.] This seems to be an expression of admiration, as if he had said, How wonderful is it that such men should do things so unsuitable to their tempers and inclinations! Dr. Whitby.

We should observe that St. John, instead of paying any court to the great men of his nation on the one hand, or to the multitude on the other, reproves the former for their hypocrisy in the strongest terms, and requires the latter to renounce every one of those favourite sins, in which they had long indulged. Bp. Porteus.

8. Bring forth therefore fruits &c.] That is, works answerable to amendment of life, or such works as become a sincere repentance. Bp. Pearce.

9. think not to say &c.] Do not imagine that you shall escape the wrath of God by being the children of Abraham; for, if you imitate not his faith and piety,

Christ is baptized



e Chap. 7. 19.

f Mark 1. 8. Luke 3. 16. John 1. 26.



10 And now also the ax is laid | Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be unto the root of the trees: therefore baptized of him. every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, into the fire.


and cast

14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousThen he suffered him.

11 I indeed baptize you with
unto repentance: but he
that cometh after me is mightier
than I, whose shoes I am not ness.
worthy to bear: he shall baptize
you with the Holy Ghost, and with

12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with A. D. 27. unquenchable fire.

g Mark 1. 9. Luke 3. 21.

13 Then cometh Jesus from

God will cast you off, and adopt men from among the Gentiles, or even raise men from the stones of the earth, (rather than save you in your wickedness,) who shall succeed to the faith, the obedience, and the blessing of Abraham. Dr. S. Clarke.

10. And now also the ax is laid &c.] "The ax is laid to the root of the trees," to cut them down, if they do not bear fruit; the meaning is, This is the last trial of the Jews, the day of final judgment is at hand, when their state will be destroyed, like a tree cut up by

the roots.

11.—whose shoes I am not worthy to bear:] Who is so far superiour to me, that I account not myself worthy to do the meanest office for Him. Dr. S. Clarke. In Eastern countries, on occasions of visits to great men, the sandals or slippers are usually pulled off at the door, and either left there, or given to a servant to bear: thus, to bear the shoes of another was to be an inferiour domestick or attendant upon him. Asiatick Researches. These words of St. John deserve to be seriously considered, because they contain a clear intimation of our blessed Lord's Divine nature and excellencies. For what excellencies less than Divine could justify that amazing distance which they express, between so eminent a person as John, and the holy Jesus. John was more than a Prophet," Matt. xi. 9, 11, and none greater than he had been born of woman; he could therefore only be so many degrees inferiour to Him, whose way he came to prepare, because He was the Son of God, and Himself God. Dean Stanhope.

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with the Holy Ghost, and with fire :] With the powerful influence of the Holy Spirit, whose appearance shall be as fire. Dr. S. Clarke. For the fulfilment of this prediction, see Acts ii. 2-4.

12. Whose fan is in his hand,] Rather, "whose van (winnowing shovel, Dr. Campbell) is in his hand;" a van being an instrument used for winnowing corn, named from the Latin. Bp. Pearce. The word, translated "chaff," seems properly to mean straw," which the Jews were accustomed to burn as fuel, for dressing their food, heating their ovens, &c. Schleusner.

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The destruction of the Jewish state is here intimated; by the gathering of the wheat into the garner, it seems to be implied, that the believers in Jesus should not be involved in that calamity. Bp. Pearce.

15.-for thus it becometh us &c.] For thus God hath appointed that I should be initiated into My ministry, and thus it becomes us to give an example of doing all things decently and with order. Dr. S. Clarke.

It was proper that our great High Priest, when ad

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

in Jordan.

Anno DOMINI 27.

mitted into His ministerial office, should answer the type of the admission of the Levitical priests, who were initiated by anointing and by baptism. Also, since by the institution of Christ, those that entered into the profession of the Gospel were to be introduced by baptism, it was proper that Christ, being to enter on the same profession, and to preach it, should be admitted by the same rite. Dr. Lightfoot.

16.-descending like a dove,] It is not necessary to suppose that the Spirit of God descended in the shape of a dove, but that the motion with which it came down was like that of a dove. Bp. Mann.

What an exalted idea does it give us of the dignity and importance of the great Founder of our religion, that He should have such a forerunner and harbinger as John to proclaim His approach to the world, and call upon all mankind to attend to Him. It was a distinction peculiar and appropriate to Him. Neither Moses nor any of the Prophets can boast this mark of honour. was reserved for the Son of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind, and was well suited to the transcendent dignity of His Person and the grandeur of His design. Bp. Porteus.


17. This is my beloved Son,] The Jews allowed that the Messiah was to be the Son of God, and applied to Him the words of the Psalmist, Ps. ii. 7, "Thou art My Son;" see also 2 Sam. vii. 14. It appears, from comparing several passages of the New Testament, that the titles Messiah and Son of God were with them the same. Compare Matt. xxvi. 63; Luke xxii. 67, 70; John i. 41, 49; and Matt. xvi. 16, 20; with Mark viii. 29; Luke ix. 20. Beausobre. The miraculous circumstances of our Lord's baptism were not only most distinguished marks of Divine favour to the great Author and Finisher of our faith, but they were also signal fulfilments of ancient prophecies concerning Him, in which He was declared to be the peculiar Son of God, and in which this spiritual unction of Him was foretold. See Ps. ii. 7; lxxxix. 19, 20; Isai. xi. 1, 2; xlii. 1. Dr. Hales.

When our Saviour was baptized by John in Jordan, there was a plain manifestation of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. The heavens were opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him; and a voice from heaven was heard, which said, "This is my beloved Son." Here we have three Persons most clearly distinguished: God the Holy Ghost visibly descended; Christ, on whom He descended, was praying among the people; and, as these two in their bodily shapes could not but be seen, so the

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third Person, who was not seen, was yet distinctly heard, saying, “This is My beloved Son," &c. Howell.

Chap. IV. ver. 1. Then was Jesus &c.] Then, that is, immediately after His baptism, in that moment of exaltation when He was acknowledged by a voice from heaven to be the Son of God, and when the Spirit of God had taken full possession of His soul, Jesus went forth under the guidance of that Spirit, in full confidence of this Divine power, into the wilderness, to encounter the prince of this world. A plain proof that this contest which follows was a preconcerted design, a measure approved by Heaven, and subservient to the grand purpose in which our Saviour was engaged, of rescuing mankind from the dominion of Satan. Bp.


into the wilderness] Probably the great wilderness near Jordan, where Jesus was baptized. Bp. Porteus. "The mountainous desert into which our Saviour was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, is a miserable dry barren place, consisting of high rocky mountains so torn and disordered, as if the earth had suffered some great convulsion, in which its very bowels had been turned outward. On the left hand, looking down into a steep valley as we passed along, we saw some ruins of small cells and cottages, which, we were told, were formerly the habitations of hermits retiring hither for penance and mortification; and certainly there could not be found in the whole earth a more comfortless and abandoned place for that purpose. On descending from these hills of desolation into the plain, we soon came to the foot of mount Quarantania, which they say is the mountain from which the devil tempted our Saviour with that visionary scene of all the kingdoms and glories of the world. It is, as St. Matthew calls it, an exceeding high mountain, and in its ascent difficult and dangerous. It has a small chapel at the top, and another about half way up, on a prominent part of a rock. Near this latter are several caves and holes in the sides of the mountain, anciently used by hermits, and by some at this day, for places to keep their Lent in, in imitation of that of our blessed Saviour." Maundrell.

2.- had fasted forty days] As Moses and Elijah, the two great Prophets under the law, had done. Dr. S. Clarke.

he was afterwards an hungred.] Taking advantage of this symptom of human infirmity, the devil, who probably assailed Him under the disguise of "an angel of light," 2 Cor. xi. 14, and in a human form, as appears from his conversation, hoped to overcome "the second Adam" as he had done "the first," by similar temptations, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye,

and is tempted.

God, command that these stones be made bread.

Anno DOMINI 27.

4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread b Deut. 8. 3. alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

5 Then the devil taketh him up. into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,


6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down : for it is written, He shall give his c Ps. 91. 11. angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up,

and the pride of life; not knowing that Christ was to be tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin, that He might be able to bear our infirmities, Heb. iv. 15, and point out by His own example the dangers to which we are exposed from our spiritual adversary, and also the most effectual mode of resisting him by vigilance, prayer, and the word of God rightly understood. Dr. Hales.

3.- command that these stones be made bread.] Satan here makes a proposal of refined artifice to our Lord, that He would instantly make an experiment, and give a proof of the truth of the late declaration from heaven in His favour, "This is My beloved Son," by ordering a supernatural supply for the want which pressed Him. It seems that Satan had no prospect of being able to lead Him at once into a gross transgression; and any real deviation, however small, from piety and virtue, would have answered his end. Now compliance with this counsel would have been a deviation. The voice from heaven alone carried evidence sufficient of God's special regard to Him, and the desire of a fuller demonstration of it would have shewn a blameable distrust. He had been supported by the sole word and will of His heavenly Father for forty days; and why should He now, without any sufficient notice of the change of that will, attempt by a new miracle to supply Himself with food? Abp. Secker.


4. It is written, Man shall not &c.] See Deut. viii. His meaning is, He that brought Me into this wilderness, and subjected Me to these trials, can support Me under the pressure of hunger by a variety of means, besides the common one of bread, just as He fed the Israelites in the wilderness with manna, the food from heaven: I will therefore rather choose to rely on His gracious providence for My support in this exigency, than work a miracle Myself for the supply of My wants. Bp. Porteus.

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the holy city,] St. Matthew here, and at chap. xxvii. 53, calls Jerusalem "the holy city." "It is mentioned by Volney, that the Orientals still call Jerusalem by a name which signifies "the holy." Fragments to Calmet.


—a pinnacle] Or wing of the temple; that is, part of the roof of one of its courts. Bp. Pearce. 6. If thou be He exhorts cast thyself down :] Him to cast Himself down in the sight of all the worshippers there assembled, and procure that glory to the Deity, and that honour to Himself which must be the consequence of their seeing literally fulfilled in Him that prediction of the Psalmist concerning the pious man, "He shall give His angels charge," &c. Abp. Secker.

for it is written, &c.] The tempter, perceiving that Christ relied on the authority of Scripture, now

Jesus is tempted.

Anno DOMINI 27.


The angels minister unto him. lest at any time thou dash thy foot | things will I give thee, if thou wilt against a stone. fall down and worship me.

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7. — Thou shalt not tempt the Lord] Thou shalt not rush into unnecessary danger in order to tempt God, in order to try whether He will interpose to save thee in a miraculous manner; much less ought this to be done as now proposed, for purposes of vanity and ostentation. Bp. Porteus.

The Redeemer of the world, far from being disconcerted at the sudden change of the subject, or dazzled by so specious a plea, calmly answers by another text of Scripture, explaining and limiting that which the seducer had imperfectly quoted and wrongly applied. His answer instructs us, that we ought not from distrust to ask new proofs of His power, where we have had sufficient ones already; so neither must we from presumption urge Him to do for us what we have no need of, and what therefore He has given us no right to expect. For they who throw away the natural means which He has bestowed upon them for preserving themselves, forfeit all title to a providential protection. Abp. Secker.

8.—and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world,] It has been thought by some a considerable difficulty to conceive how Satan could from any mountain, however elevated, "shew to our Saviour all the kingdoms of the earth, and the glory of them." It should be considered however, that the mountain where this occurred, is described as exceeding high; and the Abbé Mariti, speaking of this mountain, says, "Here we enjoyed the most beautiful prospect imaginable. This part of the mountain overlooks the mountains of Arabia, the country of Gilead, the country of the Ammonites, the plains of Moab, the plain of Jericho, the river Jordan, and the whole extent of the Dead sea." These various domains the tempter might shew to our Lord distinctly, and might also at the same time point out, (for so the original word sometimes signifies,) and direct our Lord's eye towards several other regions that lay beyond them, which might comprehend all the principal kingdoms of the Eastern world. Bp. Porteus.

9.If thou wilt fall down and worship me.] This audacious and impious proposal of Divine worship, which no true angel of light ever received or even tolerated, Rev. xix. 10; xxii. 9, detected the false fiend to be the power of darkness; and, in consequence, Jesus calls him by his proper name, and banishes him from His presence, as His Divine superiour. Dr. Hales.

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Get thee hence, Satan : for it is written, &c.] As if He had said, I defy thee and all thy proffers, being contrary to the revealed will of God, in whose holy word it is written, "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God," &c. Bp. Beveridge. To each of the former suggestions the holy Jesus replied without emotion; but now, when the majesty of His heavenly Father was injured, and the

Anno DOMINI 27.

e Deut. 6. 13. & 10. 20.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, e Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and minis- f Mark 1. 14. tered unto him.

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Luke 4. 14. John 4. 43.

A. D. 30.

faith of His own allegiance to Him assailed by so vile a falsehood, He bears no longer; tells the hypocrite that He knew him well to be the adversary of God, who had granted to no created being, much less to him, the honours and the authority which he claimed, and commands him that moment to quit His presence. Abp. Secker. "The name Satan,' as denoting an enemy, frequently occurs in the Old Testament." See 2 Sam. xix. 22; 1 Kings v. 4, where the word for adversary is in the original "Satan." It is probable, that the word Satan was introduced into the Hebrew, and other Eastern languages, to denote an adversary, from its having been the proper name of the great enemy of mankind. Bp. Watson.

Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only] These words express that there is one only God who is the object of worship, a Being eternal and infinite, supreme and independent, all-powerful and allwise, perfectly just and merciful and good; and the worship here enjoined includes every religious, every virtuous act and habit, by which regard is shewn to God, either in the affections of the mind, or in the expressions of the lips, or in the actions of the life. These words of our Lord also teach us, that we should prefer before all things the service of God, and the practice of true religion; being always ready to reject whatever shall come in competition with our duty, even the whole world if offered to us at the purchase of sin. If we be found of this disposition, lovers of truth, and doers of righteousness, the tempter will depart from us as he did from our Lord; angels will come and minister unto us, and the Spirit of God will preserve and guide us unto eternal life. Dr. S. Clarke.

11. Then the devil leaveth him,] We have here a proof that the word of God, justly applied, affords a sure defence against the assaults of the devil; and that, if we resist him, he will flee from us. Bp. Mann.

angels came] And ministered unto Him, comforting Him at His trial, rejoicing at His victory, and refreshing Him after His long fast. Dr. S. Clarke.

This history of our blessed Lord's temptation teaches us, that even the best of men may sometimes be permitted to fall into great temptations; for we see that even He was exposed to the severest. It encourages us to hope, that, when temptations assail us, we may be blessed with Divine assistance to save us from the danger; for the great Captain of our salvation, when assaulted by all the art and all the power of Satan, rose superiour to all his efforts. We learn further from our Saviour's conduct under this great trial, that when temptations assail us, we are not to hesitate and deliberate whether we shall give way to them or not, but must at once repel them with firmness and vigour: we must instantly say to the tempter, Get thee hence, Satan;" and he will instantly flee from us, as he did from Christ. Bp. Porteus.

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12. Now when Jesus had heard &c.] This was some time subsequent to Jesus's baptism, and withdrawing

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that John was || cast into prison, he departed into Galilee;

13 And leaving Nazareth, he came delivered up. and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

A. D. 31.

g Isai. 9. 1.

Mark 1. 14.

14 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

17 qh From that time Jesus began

into the wilderness. The cause of John's imprisonment is mentioned at chap. xiv. 3. Bp. Pearce.

-he departed into Galilee;] He had probably been, during the interval, in some part of the wilderness, not far from Jordan. Bp. Pearce.

13.- Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, &c.] As Capernaum is not once mentioned in the Old Testament, it is probable that it is one of the towns built by the Jews at their return from the Babylonish captivity, "upon the sea-coast;" that is, on the coast of the sea of Galilee, "in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim," and consequently towards the upper part of this sea coast. It probably took its name from an adjoining spring of great repute, which, as Josephus informs us, bore the name of Capernaum. It is now so decayed as to consist of only a very few fishermen's cottages. Dr. Wells. Capernaum and the adjoining villages were peculiarly fitted for the chief residence of our Lord, as His disciples chiefly resided there, and as the adjacent Sea of Galilee afforded Him peculiar facilities for moving from place to place, and thus avoiding the importunities of the multitude. Dr. Hales.

14. That it might be fulfilled &c.] Thus was remarkably fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, chap. ix. 1. Dr. S.


15.- beyond Jordan,] Rather, " by the side of Jordan," as the Greek words may be translated; for Zabulon and Nephthalim were on the western side of Jordan, which was nearest to Judea and Galilee. Bp. Pearce.

Galilee of the Gentiles;] This northern part of Galilee was so called, either from its being extremely populous, or rather from its being inhabited by many Gentiles as well as Jews. Dr. Wells.

17.- and to say, Repent: &c.] Our Saviour's first address to the people is similar to that of the Baptist. The very first qualification He required of those who aspired to be His disciples, was repentance, a sincere contrition for all past offences, and a resolution to renounce in future every species of sin. Bp. Porteus. 18.-by the sea of Galilee,] This sea or lake is very frequently mentioned in the Gospels, under the names of "the sea of Galilee," from the province of Galilee in general; "the sea of Tiberias," from the town of that name on its western shore; and "the lake of Gennesareth," from that tract of Galilee called Gennesareth, which bounded it all along on its western side. This fresh-water sea or lake is mentioned in the Old Testament by the name of "the sea of Chinnereth," or Cinnereth, Numb. xxxiv. 11; Josh. xiii. 27. Tiberias

and calleth Peter and Andrew, &c.

to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Anno DOMINI 31.

18 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Si- i Mark 1. 16. mon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers.

19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22 And they immediately left the

was built by Herod the tetrarch of Galilee, and named in honour of Tiberius Cesar: it soon became one of the principal cities of those parts, from the great privileges granted by Herod to its inhabitants: it is said to have contained thirteen synagogues. Dr. Wells.

The town of Tiberias, now called Tabarie by the Arabs, is situated close to the banks of the lake that bears its name; and on the land side it is encircled by a strong wall of hewn stones of basalt, notwithstanding which it hardly merits the name of a town. There are no traces left of its ancient splendour, though the ruins of the old town are discoverable, which extended as far as the hot baths, situated about a league to the east. The adjoining lake abounds in fish, but we discovered only one fisherman's boat, and that nearly in ruins, at Tiberias. The person who farms the fishery only employs his nets along its banks. Seetzen.

saw two brethren, Simon &c.] Had it been the object of our Saviour to establish His religion by mere human means, by influence or force, by the charms of eloquence or the powers of reason, by the example or the authority of the great, He would undoubtedly have selected His disciples from the opulent, the eloquent, or the learned. But these were not the instruments which He intended to use. He meant to shew, that He was above them all; that He had far other resources, far different auxiliaries to call into his support, in comparison with which all the wealth, and magnificence, and power, and wisdom of the world were trivial and contemptible things. Accordingly we find that not the wise, not the mighty, not the noble, were called to cooperate with Him, but men of the meanest birth, of the lowest occupations, of the humblest talents, and most uncultivated minds. These fishermen of Galilee were to be, under Him, the instruments of overthrowing the stupendous and magnificent system of paganism and idolatry throughout the world, and producing the greatest change, the most general and important revolution, in principles, in morals, in religion, that ever took place on this globe. Bp. Porteus.

19. — and I will make you fishers of men.] That is, You shall have a far better employment, in recovering men from ignorance and sin, and bringing them into the way of truth and salvation. Bp. Mann.

22.-they immediately left the ship and followed him.] After the example of these Apostles, every Christian should be ready in heart and in mind to quit all that comes in competition with his duty, and to follow the Saviour in the path of holy living. All

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