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26. her children. But (d) Jerusalem which is above is (e) free, which 27. is the (ƒ) mother of us all. For it (g) is written, “ Rejoice, thou
"barren that bearest not; break "forth and cry, thou that tra"vailest not; for the desolate "hath many more children than "she which hath an husband." 28. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was,
are the children of promise. 29. But (b) as then, he that was born
after (i) the flesh, persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, 3c. even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the (k) Scripture? "Cast (1) out the bond-woman
(ƒ) "The mother of us all"-whose children therefore we are. (g) "It is written." The passage referred to is Isaiah liv. 1. The meaning is, the children of promise, they who become Christians, shall be so numerous, that what was said in Isaiah, with a view to the future state of Christianity, may be affirmed of them. As Sarah, who was by nature barren, had against the course of nature more descendants than Hagar, so shall the Gospel, the spiritual Sarah, have abundantly more children than the Jewish dispensation.
(b) "But," &c. This was to give them courage against the persecutions they experienced from the Jews; and the passage cited in verse 30. is to satisfy them that their opponents would be cast out.
(i) "Born after the flesh," i. e. Ishmael, Hagar's son. "Born after the "spirit," i. e. Isaac, Sarah's son.
(k)" The Scripture." Gen. xxi. 10. (1) "Cast out," &c. As Hagar's son was to be cast out, and was not to be heir with Sarah's, so was the law to be cast out, and its followers: those who looked up to that, and rejected Christianity, were not to participate with Christians in the benefits of the Gospel. 4.31, (m) "So then," &c. Our claim is
"and her son: for the son of "the bond-woman shall not be "heir with the son of the free "woman." So (m) then, brethren, we are not children of the bond-woman, but of the free.
The Gospel. John vi. 1. JESUS went over the sea of Gali lee (n), which is the sea of Tiberias. And a great multitude followed him, because they (o) saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the passover, a feast of the 4
not under the first covenant, but under the second; not under the Mosaic law, the covenant of bondage, but under the Gospel, the covenant of freedom. We ought to treat ourselves, therefore, not as children of the bondwoman, subject to the covenant of bondage, but as children of the freewoman, and therefore exempt from it. St. Paul, accordingly, goes on thus to exhort them: "Stand fast, there"fore, in the liberty wherewith Christ "hath made you free, and be not en"tangled again with the yoke of bond.
age;" and tells them, that if they be circumcised, (that is, (probably,) look up to the Mosaic institutions), Christ shall profit them nothing.
(n) "Galilee." It was in this neigh bourhood that our Saviour principally lived, preached, appointed his disciples, performed his miracles, and appeared after his Resurrection; so that he eminently fulfilled the prophecy, Isaiah ix. 1, 2. where, after speaking of "Galilee "of the nations," he says, "The people "that walked in darkness have seen a "great Light; they that dwell in the "land of the shadow of death, upon "them hath the Light shined.". See post, note on Luke v. i—post, note on Matt, vi. 31.
(o)" Saw." The miracles, therefore, were visible: such as bye-standers could see: John, therefore, who was one of the constant followers of our Saviour, was probably an eye-witness.
5. Jews, was nigh. (p)When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, "Whence "shall we buy bread, that these 6. " may eat?" And this he said to prove him: for he himself 7. knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred "penny-worth of bread is not "sufficient for them, that every "one of them may take a little." 8. One of his disciples, Andrew,
Simon Peter's brother, saith unto :.9. him, "There is a lad here, which
"hath five barley-loaves and two "small fishes: but what are they 10. " among so many?" And Jesus said, "Make the men sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11. And Jesus took the loaves: and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. 12. When they were filled, he said
(p) "When," &c. This miracle was peculiarly well-timed. According to Matt. xiv. 15. they were in a desert place, and it was evening: the multitude would therefore naturally be hungry: and their wants made this miracle a most seasonable proof of our Saviour's power. The character of this miracle, too, was, like most of our Saviour's, public, in ease of the wants, &c. of mankind, and typical, implying a like power over their souls. Ante 78. note on Luke xviii. 43. Our Saviour shews its typical application, John vi. 35. "I am the bread of life: "he that cometh to me shall never hun66 ger; and he that believeth on me shall "never thirst."
(q)"That prophet." This implies that some prophet was expected. See ante 31. note on Matt. xi. 3.
(r) This part of Scripture con
unto his disciples, "Gather up "the fragments that remain, that "nothing be lost." Therefore 13. they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barleyloaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten. Then those men, when they had 14. seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, "This is of a truth (q) that "prophet that should come into "the world."
Fifth Sunday in Lent.
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon thy people; that by thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul, through Jesus
Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Heb. ix. 11. (r) CHRIST being come an high priest of good things to come,
trasts the atonement by Christ with the atonement under the Mosaic dispensation. By the latter, the high priest once every. year was to sacrifice a young bullock and a goat for a sin-offering, and to enter that part of the tabernacle or temple which was called "the Holy of Holies," and there to make an atonement, because of the uncleanness of the people, and because of their transgressions in all their sins (Levit. xvi.) And the superiority of the atonement by Christ is visible in these particulars; that it is not by a mortal high priest, or a high priest who has any sins of his own, that the atonement is made, but it is by Christ himself, who was immortal, and free from sin; that his entrance is not annual, as the high priest's, but once for all; that it is not into an earthly tabernacle he has entered, but into heaven itself; that it was not
for the redemption of the trans gressions (u) that were under th first testament, they (x) which ar called, might receive the promis of eternal inheritance.
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12. neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal re13. demption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the pu14. rifying of the flesh; how much
more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living 15. God? And for (s) this cause he is the Mediator of the new testament (t), that by means of death,
(u) "The transgressions that were un"der the first testament," i. e. probably those for which the Mosaic dispensation afforded no effectual atonement: for according to Heb. x. 4. "it is not possible "that the blood of bulls and of goats "should take away sins."
. 15. (x)" They which are called." The call is to all mankind: but they only who hear, who accept the call, and act up to its duties, are here intended.
(y)" Of sin." It was an argument in favour of our Saviour's pretensions, that "he did no sin, neither was guile found " in his mouth," 1 Pet. ii. 22.; that he lived in perfect innocence; so that his adversaries could not point out a single instance to the contrary.
The Gospel. John viii. 46. JESUS said, "Which of you "convinceth me of (y) sin? And "if I say the truth, why do ye tr not believe me? He that is of "God, heareth God's words; ye "therefore (z) hear them not, "because ye are not of God." Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, "Say we not well "that thou art a (a) Samaritan, "and hast a devil?" Jesus answered, "I have not a devil: "but I honour my Father, and
(z) "Therefore," &c. i. e. this is the reason why you hear them not, because ye are not of God.
(a) "A Samaritan." The Samaritans are supposed to have been much addicted to sorcery, witchcraft, &c. This, therefore, was an insinuation that our Saviour was a sorcerer, and performed what he did by the aid of evil spirits, and is like the insinuation so well refuted by our Saviour, Lukeix. 15. ante 86. "that he "cast out devils by Beelzebub the prince " of the devils." It may be observed, that there was a deadly enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans: the Samaritans, however, used the five books of Moses; and their copies do not differ in effentials from the Jewish. We have from them, therefore, the early prophecies,
that the Seed of the woman should "bruise the serpent's head; that in the "Seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, "all the nations of the earth should be "blessed; that the sceptre should not "depart from Judah till the coming of "Shiloh; and that God should raise 66 up a prophet like unto Moses." See ante 62. note on Mal.iii. 1. So that without the writings preserved by the Jews, we should have many of the prophecies on which Christianity is founded. And is it not a singular thing, that all the books of the Old Testament, the books
ye say, That he is your God: 55." yet ye have not known him: "but I know him: and if I "should say, I know him not, "I shall be a liar like unto you: "but I know him, and keep his 56." saying. Your father Abraham
"rejoiced to see my day: and " he saw it, and was glad." 57. Then said the Jews unto him, "Thou art not yet fifty years "old, and hast thou seen Abra58." ham?" Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
9.51. (c) Death," i.e. (probably) spiritual, eternal death.
0.58. (d)" Before Abraham was,"
This corresponds with John i. I. “In "the beginning was the Word," (i. e. the Messiah), &c. See ante 38.
(e) "Am," i. e. perhaps "was." Or v. 58. it might be that our Saviour meant to intimate his divinity, and therefore adopted the word emphatically used in Exod. iii. 14. to signify God, the selfexisting, uncreated Being. "I am hath "sent me unto thee."
(f) This passage is commented upon, ante 47. note on Matt. i. 23.
(g) Tempt," i. e. perhaps (though v. 12. in rather an unusual sense) try, trust, appeal to. Ahaz was a king of great wickedness, and what follows, "is it a "small thing," &c. implies that the answer was an improper one,
The Gofpel. Luke i. 26.
AND in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named 27. Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the 28. Virgin's name was Mary. And
the angel came in unto her, and said, "Hail, thou that art highly "favoured, the Lord is with "thee: blessed art thou among "women." And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should 30. be.
And the angel said unto her, "Fear not, Mary; for thou "hast found favour with God. 31. "And, behold, thou shalt con
(b) "Jesus." The reason for giving him this name is assigned, Matt. i. 21. "for he shall save his people from their "sins."
(i) "His father David." It was the settled expectation that the Messiah was to be lineally descended from David. When the Jews were asked whose son he was to be, they at once answered "David's :" and persons who considered Jesus Christ as the Messiah, expressed their belief by calling him the "Son of "David."
(k) "No end." So Daniel foretold that the kingdom of the Messiah should endure for ever: "I saw in the night "visions, and behold, one like the Son "of Man came with (or in) the clouds "of heaven, and came to the Ancient of "Days (i. e. God): and they brought
"ceive in thy womb, and bring "forth a son, and shalt call his "name JESUS (b). He shall be
great, and shall be called the "Son of the Highest and the "Lord God shall give unto him "the throne of his (i) father "David: and he shall reign over "the house of Jacob for ever; "and of his kingdom there shall "be no (k) end." Then said Mary unto the angel, "How "shall this be, seeing I know "not a man?" And the angel answered and said said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come "upon thee, and the power of "the Highest shall overshadow "thee; therefore also that holy
thing which shall be born of "thee shall be called the Son "of God. And, behold, thy "cousin (1) Elizabeth, she hath "also conceived a son in her "old age and this is the sixth "month with her who was called "barren. For with God nothing 3 "shall be impossible." And Mary said," Behold the hand- 3 "maid of the Lord; be it unto
"him near before him: and there was given him dominion and glory and a "kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him: his domi"nion is an everlasting dominion, which "shall not pass away, and his kingdom "that which shall not be destroyed." The nature of this kingdom was probably altogether mistaken by the Jews, and for some time by the apostles also. See ante 77. note on Luke xviii. 34. Our Saviour explains it, Luke xvii. 21. to be "within us ;" and John xviii. 36. "not "of this world." It is spiritual, not temporal; regulating the inner thoughts as well as the outward actions: and this kingdom prevails now, and shall prevail
()" Elizabeth," the mother of John v. the Baptist. See post.