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"Thou son of David, have Create and make in us new and
And Jefus mercy on me." stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, 41. saying, "What wilt thou that I "shall do unto thee?" And he said, "Lord, that I may receive 42. my sight." And Jesus said unto him, "Receive thy sight: "thy (n) faith hath saved thee." 43. And immediately he (0) received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
THE FIRST DAY OF LENT, called Ash-Wednesday.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all them that are penitent;
(n) "Faith," i. e. confidence in my
(0)"Received his sight." The nature of our Saviour's miracles, and the publicity with which they were performed, require observation. They were in general works of mercy, (such as removing bodily infirmities,) and in that respect corresponded with what had been foretold of the times of the Messiah, Isaiah xxxv. 5. "then the eyes of the "blind shall be opened," &c. They were shadows or types of his power and disposition as to our souls. His readiness, &c. to relieve the body from what he intimates, Luke xiii. 16. " are the bonds "of Satan," viz. diseases and corporal defects, would to the Jews, to whom types and figures were particularly familiar, imply a like readiness to relieve their souls from his bondage. They were also done in a public manner, in the sight of multitudes, and in many instances upon persons who had been known for years to labour under the infirmity which he
contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[This Collect is to be read every day in Lent, after the Collect appointed for the day.]
For the Epistle. Joel ii. 12.
TURN ye even to me, saith the Lord, with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and (p) repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth 1 if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat-offering, and a
removed. St. Mark calls the person on whom this miracle was performed, “blind "Bartimæus," as if he were a known character.
(p) "Repenteth him," &c. God's U. readiness to give up the vengeance he has meditated, upon the repentance of those who were to be the objects of it, is strongly expressed, Jer. xviii. 7. " at "what instant I shall speak concerning a "nation, and concerning a kingdom, to
pluck up, and to pull down, and to "destroy it; if that nation against "whom I have pronounced turn from "their evil, I will repent of the evil that "I thought to do unto them." Should not this consideration have an influence upon the conduct of individuals, at least in times of national calamity, when God's judgments are in the earth? The righte ousness, &c. of a nation is the aggregate of the righteousness, &c. of individuals, and who can tell how far his own righteousness will contribute towards saving his country?
"ther take." Wherefore of "these men (d) which have com
"needs have been fulfilled which "the Holy Ghost by the mouth "of David spake before concerning (a) Judas, which was 66 guide to them that took Jesus. "For he was numbered with us, "and had obtained part of this 18. ministry. Now this man pur
"chased (b) a field with the re"ward of iniquity; and falling "headlong, he burst asunder in "the midst, and all his bowels
gushed out. And it was known "unto all the dwellers at Jeru"salem; insomuch as that field " is called in their proper tongue, "Aceldama, that is to say, The 20. " field of blood. For it is (c) writ"ten in the book of Psalms, "Let "his habitation be desolate, and "let no man dwell therein: "and, His bishoprick let ano
(a) "Concerning Judas." In Psalm xli. 9. David probably alluded to Ahitophel only, without any prophetic re ference to Judas; and if so, and if St. Peter really referred to Psalm xli. 9. this is a strong instance of stating a passage to have been written of a thing to which it is merely applicable. See ante, note on Matt. ii. 13. Abp. Newcome translates it thus: "This Scripture, "which the Holy Ghost spake before by "the mouth of David, must needs be "fulfilled concerning Judas," &c. and that seems the natural reading of the Greek.
(b) Purchased," &c. According to the account in Matt. xxvii. 5. 7. the field was purchased, not by Judas, nor in his life, but by the chief priests, after his death, and Judas ended his life by hanging himself. Abp. Newcome reconciles the difference by considering, that as he was the occasion of the purchase, it was not going beyond scripture phraseology to state that be purchased it, and that he fell from the place where he hung himself, and burst asunder by the fall. In truth, if the variances could not be reconciled, it would be of little consequence, for the points of difference are
panied with us all the time "that the Lord Jesus went in "and out among us, beginning "from the baptism of John unto "that same day that he was "taken up from us, must one "be ordained to be a witness "with us of his (e) resurrec❝tion." And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed and said, "Thou, Lord, which know"est the hearts of all men, shew "whether of these two thou "hast chosen, that he may take
part of this ministry and "apostleship, from which Judas "by transgreffion fell, that he "might go to his own place."
wholly unimportant; and as each writer probably wrote in this instance from report, from what he had heard, not from what he had seen, one of them might have been misled.
(c)" It is written," &c. These per- . haps are the passages referred to in v. 16.; the first is Psalm Ixix. 26. and the other Psalm cix. 8.
(d)" Of these men," &c. This im- v. ports that Peter and the rest of the apostles, and many others, were generally with our Saviour from the time he was baptised by John the Baptist, Matt. iii. 15. until the time of his ascension, so that they saw what he did, and heard from his mouth what he said. In St. Matthew's Gospel, therefore, we have in general the testimony of an eye and ear witness, and if St. Peter overlooked St. Mark's Gospel (as is generally supposed), we have in effect the same testimony there.
(e)" Of his resurrection." As this v was the great event which had recently occurred, and probably had called forth all their courage, and destroyed all their timidity, it was natural they should state that prominently, as the point to be at
ye shall find rest unto your "souls. For my yoke is easy, "and my burden is light."
(ƒ)" Babes," i. e. the unlearned. See note on Psalm viii. 2. In 1 Cor. i. 27. St. Paul notices, that in the gospel propagation, "God hath chosen the "foolish things of the world to con"found the wise, and the weak things "of the world to confound the mighty;" and he assigns as a reason why he came not unto the Corinthians with excellency of speech or of wisdom," that their faith "should not stand in" (i. e. should not have for its foundation) " the wisdom of men, "but the power of God." I Cor. ii. 1. 5.
(g)" Meek," &c. This was a quality the prophecy in Zech. ix. 9. would induce them to expect in the Messiah :
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; "shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: be"hold thy king cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly," &c. (b) "The grace of God," i. e. God's gracious offers.
(i) "For he saith," &c. meaning is this: the passage in Isaiah xlix. 8. "I have heard thee," &c., should convince you that God fixes a particular, time for accepting, saving, &c. because he speaks of " a time accepted,” and “ the
day of salvation;" this is that time, so that you must by no means let it slip. See Luke iv. 19. and note there. The same is implied, Isaiah lv. 6. in the exhortation to "seek the Lord, while he
may be found, and call upon him while "he is near," and by the intimations in Matt. xxv. 10. and Luke xiii. 25.. that the door would be shut against those who were out of time; and also by Luke xix. 42. where, because they knew not the time of their visitation, the things which belonged to their peace were become hid from their eyes. See also. Prov. i. 24. to 30.
afflictions, in necessities, in dis5 tresses, in stripes, in imprison
ments, in tumults, in labours, in 6. watchings, in fastings; by pureness, by knowledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy 7. Ghost, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on 8. the left, by honour and disho
nour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9. as unknown, and yet well known;
as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; as 10. sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
The Gospel. Matt. iv. 1. THEN was Jesus led up of the Spirit (k) into the wilderness, to 2. be (1) tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and
v. I. (k) "The spirit," i. e. of God. V. I. (1) "To be tempted." As Satan tempted Eve in Paradise, and succeeded, it might be part of God's plan that he should make the attempt upon the seed of the woman (who, according to Gen. iii. 15. was to bruise his head) and fail. Satan triumphed over the first Adam, the second Adam over him.
(m)" Written." When Moses was reminding the children of Israel of the different things God had done for them, he called to their recollection how they were fed with manna in the wilderness, and gave as a reason for it, that God "might make them know that man doth "not live by bread alone, but that by 66 every word that proceedeth out of the "mouth of the Lord doth man live." Deuter. viii. 3. So the meaning here is, that God could support him by other means, and that he should trust that he would, rather than by working himself a miracle to procure subsistence, distrust God's power or inclination.
forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. And when the tempter 3 came to him, he said, "If thou "be the Son of God, command "that these stones be made "bread." But he answered and 4. said, "It is (m) written, Man "shall not live by bread alone, "but by every word that pro"ceedeth out of the mouth of "God." Then the devil taketh ; him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If (n) thou be the Son of God, 6. cast thyself down: for it is "written (0), He shall give his "angels charge concerning thee: "and in their hands they shall "bear thee up, lest at any time "thou dash thy foot against a "stone." Jesus said unto him, 7. "It is written again, Thou shalt "not (p) tempt the Lord thy "God." Again, the devil taketh 8. him up into an exceeding high
(n) If," &c. i. e. doubtingly, to v.6. draw in our Saviour to act as if it admitted doubt.
(o)" Written." The passage re- .6.
ferred to is in Psalm xci. 12. "he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways: they shall "bear thee in their hands, that thou "hurt not thy foot against a stone."
(p) Tempt," i. e. distrust. I am so well convinced I am the Son of God, that I shall seek for no additional proof. Seeking the proof would be implying that I have a doubt, whereas I really. have none. Our Saviour had no occasion to resort to the miracle to convince himself, because he was convinced before, and as it would have been to no purpose to convince Satan, the appeal to the miracle would have been useless, and a vain display of his divi nity. Satan tried our Saviour by appeals which were likely to have the greatest weight with mere human nature, viz. appeals to the calls of hunger, vanity, and