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said unto them, "These are the "words which I spake unto you, "while I was yet with you, "that all things must be ful"filled which were written in
“bread, and giveth them, and fish like"wise."
(k) "The law," &c. "the prophets," "the Psalms." It is matter of the greatest satisfaction to Christians to have the evidence they have that the Old Testament, in the state in which they now have it, with all the prophecies it contains, existed long before our Saviour's time. Ist, The Jews, the great enemies of Christianity, were the preservers of it; and they attended to it with such scrupulous exactness, as to register the number of the words and letters. They recognize its authenticity down to the present day, still preserve it with the utmost care, and look up to it with the highest veneration. We have the authority of the Jews, therefore, for considering the Old Testament, in the state in which we have it, as correct. 2dly, About 270 years before our Saviour's birth, it was translated into Greek by the order of Ptolemy Philadelphus; and, that the translation might be the more correct, it was made by Jews. This translation we now have; and it is called the Septuagint. One of the great advantages of this translation arises from the language in which it is written. There are few, if any, other Hebrew books besides the Bible; and the Hebrew language is only studied by those who wish to read the Bible in the original: but there are very many other Greek books; so that the meaning of particular words in the Septuagint may be collected or confirmed from other Greek writers; and a knowledge of the Greek language has for ages been considered a necessary part of polite education. 3dly, The Samaritans had a copy of the five books of Moses, corresponding almost exactly with the Jewish copies. The Samaritans were probably descended from the ten tribes who were carried away captive by the Assyrians, about 721 years before our Saviour's birth; for the Jews were principally of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Samaritans and Jews were professed enemies; so that it was not likely the Samaritan copy should have been borrowed from the Jewish.
"the (k) Law of Moses (), and "in the Prophets, and in the "Psalms, concerning me." Then 45. opened (m) he their understanding, that they might understand
(1) The law of Moses," i.e. the v.44.
first five books of the Bible: from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
(m) "Opened," &c. There are many v.45. passages which shew, that before the crucifixion the apostles did not understand the nature of Christ's coming, or expect that he was to suffer. When our Saviour first told his disciples, that he must "suffer many things of the elders, " and chief priests and Scribes, and be "killed, and be raised again the third "day," Peter rebuked him, saying, “Be "it far from thee, Lord; this shall not "be unto thee." Matt. xvi. 21, 22. On his saying at another time, "The Son of "Man shall be betrayed into the hands "of men, and they shall kill him, and "the third day he shall be raised again," the disciples were exceeding sorry. Matt. xvii. 22, 23. And according to Mark x. 32. "they understood not that "saying, and were afraid to ask him." And St. Luke says, Luke xviii. 34. "they understood none of these things: "and this saying was hid from them; "neither knew they the things which
were spoken." When he was betrayed, his disciples all forsook him and fled, which they probably would not have done, had they been satisfied he would have risen again within three days after his death. The women who went to embalm him whilst in the sepulchre, (see Mark xvi. 1.), could not have expected him to rise the day they went. According to John xx. 9. when Peter and John went to the sepulchre, the morning of the Resurrection, as yet they knew "not" (i.e. understood not) "the Scrip"ture, that he must rise from the dead." Many things certainly were hid from the apostles until after the Resurrection, that momentous miracle, which would silence all their doubts. In John xvi. 12. our Saviour says unto them, "I have yet
many things to say unto you, but ye "cannot bear them now." And John xvi. 4. when he is making new communications to them just before his apprehen. sion, he says, These things I said not "unto you at the beginning, because I
First Sunday after Easter.
ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put
was with you." See ante 77, note on Luke xviii. 34.
(n) " To suffer." There are many passages in the Old Testament which import that the Messiah was to suffer. It is to him that the passage in Isaiah 1. 6. (ante 104.) "I gave my back to the "smiters," &c. and the whole of that fine prophetic chapter, Isaiah liii. relates. Daniel says, chapter ix. verse 26. "Mes"siah shall be cut off, but not for
himself." The passages, Zech. xii. Lo. "They shall look upon me whom they "have pierced," and Zech. xiii. 7. "Awake, O sword, against my Shep"herd, and against the man that is my "fellow, saith the Lord of hosts," also refer to the Messiah; and so do the passages in Ps. xxii, 7. 17. "All they that see me, laugh me to scorn,'
they pierced my hands and my feet." Our Saviour also, before his crucifixion, repeatedly intimated that he should suffer. John iii. 14. (post 162.) " As Moses lifted
up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; "that whosoever believeth on him should "not perish, but have eternal life." Matt. xii. 40. "The Son of Man shall be "three days and three nights in the "heart of the earth." John ii. 19. "De"stroy this temple," (speaking of the temple of his body), and in three
days I will raise it up." So John
away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may alway serve thee in pureness of living and truth, through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(0) Repentance." This was the con- t dition on which the remission of sins was to follow and this was the point with which John the Baptist and our Saviour began their preaching. Matt, iii. 2. "Re
pent ye," (says John), "for the king"dom of heaven is at hand." So our Saviour, Matt. iv. 17. "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
(p) "Jerusalem." See ante 128, note v.. on Acts x. 36.
(g) "Witnesses." See ante 129, note v.. on Acts x, 39.
(r)" Whatsoever," &c. i. e. whoever v. really deserves to be called a child of God, disregards every thing the world can give or inflict; overcomes all worldly attachments; and his sincere belief that Jesus was the Son of God, &c. gives him this power.
(s)"Faith," i. e. belief.
(1) “Who," &c. i. e. what but this belief can give this power? who can overcome, if he do not?
(u) Came by water and blood," i.e. probably, had innocence and sufferings as his characteristics. Sinful pleasures and ease are the temptations of the world: these are to be overcome, by considering how our Saviour lived, and what he suffered.
(x)" It is the Spirit," &c. i. e. the v Spirit also beareth witness,
Spirit that beareth witness, because the (y) Spirit is truth. 7. For (2) there are (a) three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the (b) Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree (c) in one. If (d) we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is
v.6. (y) "The Spirit," i. e. the Holy Ghost; the miraculous powers conferred on us and you by the gift of the Holy Ghost. He tells them, ante chapter ii. verse 20. "Ye have an unction from the Holy One," i. e. what was conferred upon the apostles and early converts, the gift of the Holy Ghost. St. Paul speaks of the gift of the Holy Ghost as a proof that they on whom it was conferred were God's children. Rom. viii. 16. "The "Spirit itself beareth witness with our "spirit, that we are the sons of God." And indeed what could be a stronger proof of the divinity of the religion, and of the truth of its tenets, than that the first preachers and converts had the miraculous power of speaking languages they never learnt, healing diseases, &c.? The Expression, "the Spirit," is elsewhere used to signify the "Holy Ghost." I Cor. xii. 7. &c. "The manifestation of "the Spirit is given to every man to profit "withal. For to one is given by the "Spirit the word of wisdom; to another "the word of knowledge by the same "Spirit; to another faith by the same "Spirit; to another the gifts of healing "by the same Spirit; to another the work. ❝ing of miracles," &c. &c. "The
Spirit" might mean still further here, the temper, disposition, energy, and for titude Christ's religion produces in real Christians; but "the Holy Ghost" seems the true and whole meaning.
(z) "For there are," &c. It has been matter of great controversy whether this is a genuine verse: it is not in the King's MSS.; and that gives verse 8. thus: "For there are three that bear witness, "the Spirit, the water, and the blood," omitting in the earth," and omitting, " and these three agree in one." Nor is it in any Greek copy, excepting such
greater: for (e) this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth 10. on the Son of God hath the (ƒ) witness in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made (g) him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this (b) is the re- 11. cord, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath (i) the Son, 12.
as were corrected from the Latin vulgate. Sykes's Connection, 271. However it is in many antient MSS., and all the printed copies but one; and a transcriber might easily have passed from "bear record," in verse 7. to what follows, "bear witness, ," in verse 8.; the same Greek word standing for "bear record," and "bear witness." If the verse was intentionally added, it was a gross fraud; but it might have been omitted by accident. (a)" There are three," &c. i. e. as v. 7. there are three; to draw the parallel contained in verse 7 and 8.
(b) "The Spirit," that is, the co-ope- v. ration of the divine Spirit with its professors, in giving them preternatural powers; "The water," that is, the purity of the religion, and of its preachers and proselytes; and "The blood," that is, the sufferings of its Author and his followers.
(c)" Agree in one," i. e. all establish v.8. the same point.
(d)" If," &c. i. e. if in ordinary v. 9. cases we rely on human testimony, how can we resist this, which is the testimony of God?
(e)" This is," &c. i. e. (perhaps) "this v. 9. "testimony, of the Spirit, water, and "blood," is not human testimony, but the testimony of God.
(f)" The witness in himself," per- v.10. haps at that time, from the extraordinary influences of the Holy Spirit conferred upon the first converts.
(g) "Made him a liar," i. e. treats v. 10. him as one, by not believing him.
(b) This is the record," &c. i. e. v. II. this attestation of God to our Saviour's pretensions and religion, is the proof that he hath given us eternal life, &c.
(i) "Hath the Son," i. e. believes in v.12. him, professes his religion, and follows his commandments.
hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.
The Gospel. John xx. 19. THE same (k) day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for (1) fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, "Peace be "unto you." And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his (m) hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they 21. saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be unto 66 you as my Father has sent
me, even so send I you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost. 23. "Whose soever sins ye remit, "they are remitted unto them; "and whose soever sins ye re"tain, they are retained."
thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace, that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the
blessed steps of his most holy life, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 Pet. ii. 19. THIS is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience (n) toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye (o) called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who 2 did (p) no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when 23 he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed (9) himself to him that judgeth righteously:
24. who his own self (r) bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose 25. stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
The Gospel. John x. 11. JESUS said, "I am the good "shepherd (s): the good shep"herd giveth his life for the 12. "sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, "whose own the sheep are not, "seeth the wolf coming, and "leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: " and the wolf catcheth them, 13." and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is "an hireling, and careth not for 14. "the sheep. I am the good "shepherd, and know my sheep, 15." and ain known of mine.
"the Father knoweth me, even
0.24. (r)"Bare our sins," &c. St. Peter evidently had in view that famous prophetic chapter, Isaiah liii. According to Isaiah liii. 9. the Messiah was to be one of whom it might be affirmed, that "he "had done no violence, neither was any "deceit in his mouth;" it was to be true of him that "he was oppressed, "and he was afflicted, yet he opened not "his mouth;" that "he is brought as a "lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep "before his shearers is dumb, so he "openeth not his mouth;" and (still speaking with prophetic boldness in the past tense of what was still to be, to de note its certainty)" he was wounded for "our transgressions, he was bruised for
our iniquities, the chastisement of our "peace was upon him, and with his stripes
we are healed: all we like sheep have
gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on "him the iniquity of us all, and he bare "the sins of many." Isaiah liii. 7. 9. 12. (s) "Shepherd." The Messiah is often spoken of in the prophets under the
"so know I the Father: and "I (t) lay down my life for the "sheep. And other (u) sheep I 16. "have, which are not of this "fold: them also I must bring, " and they shall hear my voice; "and there shall be one fold, and "one shepherd."
Saint Mark's Day.
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace, that being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Ephes. iv. 7. (x) UNTO every one of us is given
character of a shepherd. The passage Is. xl. II. " he shall feed his flock like
a shepherd, he shall gather the lambs "with his arm, and carry them in his "bosom," &c. clearly relates to him; and so does the passage Ezek. xxxiv. 23. "I will set up one shepherd over them, “and he shall feed them; even my ser"vant David: he shall feed them, and " he shall be their shepherd." "David" is here meant the Messiah, for David was dead long before Ezekiel's time. See ante 52. note on Matt. ii. 5. and post, note on Ís. xl. 11.
(t) I lay down," &c. This was v. 15. therefore a prediction that he should lay down his life for his followers. 134. note on Luke xxiv. 46.
(u) "Other sheep," &c. i. e. the v.16. Gentiles. There are many passages in the Old Testament which refer to the call of the Gentiles. See note on Ps. lxxii. 8.
(x) The object of St. Paul in this portion of Scripture is to prevent any from