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unto you,

His office, life, and baptism.

CHAP. III.

He reprehendeth the Pharisees. wilderness, Prepare ye the way of Pharisees and Sadducees come to

DOMINI the Lord, make his paths straight. his baptism, he said unto them, O 4 And the same John had his generation of vipers, who hath warned

c Chap. 12. 34. raiment of camels hair, and a leathern you to flee from the wrath to girdle about his loins; and his meat come? was locusts and wild honey.

8 Bring forth therefore fruits 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, | meet for repentance :

|| Or, and all Judea, and all the region" 9 And think not to say within our eyes round about Jordan,

yourselves, a We have Abraham to 4 John 8. 39. 6. And were baptized of him in our father: for I say

that Jordan, confessing their sins.

God is able of these stones to raise 7 | But when he saw many of the up

children unto Abraham. affections and habits which are the grand obstacles institutions, as from their conformity to certain modes to conversion and the reception of the word of God. of mere human invention, introduced among them Bp. Porteus.

under pretence of being the traditions of the elders. 'The Baptist was sent by God to prepare and smooth Hence their peculiar zeal and pretence to purity, in the the way before the Messiah, by clearing and removing demureness with which they fasted, the exactness with the various impediments and obstructions, which im- which they paid their tithes, the ostentation with which peded the march of the Gospel, arising from the pre- they prayed, their frequent washings, &c. . They seem judices, passions, and vices of mankind. Dr. Hales. to have owed the name of their sect to their separating

4. his raiment of camel's hair, &c.] This raiment of themselves from all other Jews who did not comply camel's hair was nothing else than that sackcloth of with their peculiarities; the word Pharisee being derived which we read so much in Scripture. Bp. Porteus. from a Hebrew word signifying “to divide or separate.” The modern dervises in the East wear garments made Bp. Percy. 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. 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 wa 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 locusts] Locusts and grasshoppers are among held these and other loose opinions, they are said to the things allowed by the law to be eaten, Lev. xi. 22, have had a bigoted attachment to the law of Moses. and are at this day eaten in Asia by the poorer sort of Bp. Percy. people. Dr. Campbell.

O generation of vipers,] O ye who are not so 5. Jerusalem, and all the region &c.—The inhabi- much the seed of Abraham, of which ye boast, as the tants of Jerusalem, and of the towns and villages on seed of the serpent; a nation diametrically opposite and both sides of the river Jordan. Bp. Pearce.

inimical to that Seed of the woman which was to bruise 6. And were baptized of him in Jordan,] Baptism the head of the serpent, Gen. iii. 15. Dr. Lightfoot. was a symbol of purification among the Jews and other - who hath warned you &c.). This seems to be ancient nations. It was especially required of heathen an expression of admiration, as if he had said, How proselytes to the Jewish religion. This ancient rite wonderful is it that such men should do things so therefore was with great propriety renewed to the Jews unsuitable to their tempers and inclinations! Dr. themselves, preparatory to the new covenant of the Whitby. Gospel, analogous to the former of the law. Dr. Hales.

he "We should observe that St. John, instead of paying 7. the Pharisees] The Pharisees were a sect among any court to the great men of his nation on the one the Jews that had subsisted at least above a century and hand, or to the multitude on the other, reproves the a half before the appearance of our Saviour. They former for their hypocrisy in the strongest terms, and affected the most profound regard for the law of God requires the latter to renounce every one of those and the sacred books; but for the interpretation of favourite sins, in which they had long indulged. them, and the manner in which they were to be obeyed, Bp. Porteus. they depended chiefly upon traditional accounts. These 8. Bring forth therefore fruits &c.] That is, works traditions encumbered religion with many frivolous answerable to amendment of life, or such works as observances, which drew off the mind from the more become a sincere repentance. Bp. Pearce. important matters of the law; and made men look upon 9. think not to say &c.] Do not imagine that you themselves as holy and acceptable to God, not so much shall escape the wrath of God by being the children of from their moral conduct and observance of Divine Abraham ; for, if you imitate not his faith and piety,

Dr.

was

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27.

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

am

g Mark 1. 9. Luke 3. 21.

Christ is baptized
S. MATTHEW.

in Jordan. 10 And now also the ax is laid | Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be

DOMINI unto the root of the trees: o therefore baptized of him.

every tree which bringeth not forth 14 But John forbad him, saying, e Chap. 7. 19.

good fruit is hewn down, and cast I have need to be baptized of thee,
into the fire.

and comest thou to me?
11 'I indeed baptize you with 15 And Jesus answering said unto
water unto repentance: but he him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus
that cometh after me is mightier it becometh us to fulfil all righteous-
than I, whose shoes I not ness.

Then he suffered him.
worthy to bear: he shall baptize 16 And Jesus, when he was bap-
you with the Holy Ghost, and with tized, went up straightway out of the
fire :

water: and, lo, the heavens were
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and opened unto him, and he saw the
he will throughly purge his floor, Spirit of God descending like a dove,
and gather his wheat into the garner; and lighting upon him :

but he will burn up the chaff with 17 And lo a voice from heaven, A. D. 27. unquenchable fire.

saying, This is my beloved Son, in 13 q Then cometh Jesus from whom I am well pleased. God will cast you off, and adopt men from among the mitted into His ministerial office, should answer the Gentiles, or even raise men from the stones of the type of the admission of the Levitical priests, who were earth, (rather than save you in your wickedness,) who initiated by anointing and by baptism. Also, since by the shall succeed to the faith, the obedience, and the blessing institution of Christ, those that entered into the proof Abraham. Dr. S. Clarke.

fession of the Gospel were to be introduced by baptism, 10. And now also the ax is laid &c.] "The ax it was proper that Christ, being to enter on the same is laid to the root of the trees,” to cut them down, if profession, and to preach it, should be admitted by the they do not bear fruit; the meaning is, This is the last same rite. Dr. Lightfoot. trial of the Jews, the day of final judgment is at hand, 16.— descending like a dove,] It is not necessary when their state will be destroyed, like a tree cut up by to suppose that the Spirit of God descended in the the roots.

shape of a dove, but that the motion with which it came 11.— whose shoes I am not worthy to bear :] Who is down was like that of a dove. Bp. Mann. so far superiour to me, that I account not myself worthy What an exalted idea does it give us of the dignity to do the meanest office for Him. Dr. S. Clarke. In and importance of the great Founder of our religion, Eastern countries, on occasions of visits to great men, that He should have such a forerunner and harbinger the sandals or slippers are usually pulled off at the door, as John to proclaim His approach to the world, and call and either left there, or given to a servant to bear : thus, upon all mankind to attend to Him. It was a distinction to bear the shoes of another was to be an inferiour peculiar and appropriate to Him. Neither Moses nor domestick or attendant upon him. Asiatick Researches. any of the Prophets can boast this mark of honour. It

These words of St. John deserve to be seriously con- was reserved for the Son of God, the Messiah, the Residered, because they contain a clear intimation of our deemer of mankind, and was well suited to the transblessed Lord's Divine nature and excellencies. For cendent dignity of His Person and the grandeur of His what excellencies less than Divine could justify that design. Bp. Porteus. amazing distance which they express, between so emi- 17. - This is my beloved Son,] The Jews allowed nent a person as John, and the holy Jesus. John was that the Messiah was to be the Son of God, and applied “more than a Prophet,” Matt. xi. 9, 11, and none to Him the words of the Psalmist, Ps. ii. 7, “Thou art greater than he had been born of woman; he could My Son;" see also 2 Sam. vii. 14. It appears, from therefore only be so many degrees inferiour to Him, comparing several passages of the New Testament, that whose way he came to prepare, because He was the the titles Messiah and Son of God were with them the Son of God, and Himself God. Dean Stanhope. same. Compare Matt. xxvi. 63; Luke xxii. 67, 70;

with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:] With the John i. 41, 49; and Matt. xvi. 16, 20; with Mark viii. powerful influence of the Holy Spirit, whose appearance 29; Luke ix. 20. Beausobre. The miraculous circumshall be as fire. Dr. S. Clarke, For the fulfilment of stances of our Lord's baptism were not only most disthis prediction, see Acts ii. 2–4.

tinguished marks of Divine favour to the great Author 12. Whose fan is in his hand] Rather, “whose van and Finisher of our faith, but they were also signal ful(winnowing shovel, Dr. Campbell) is in his hand;" a van filments of ancient prophecies concerning Him, in which being an instrument used for winnowing corn, named He was declared to be the peculiar Son of God, and in from the Latin. Bp. Pearce. The word, translated which this spiritual unction of Him was foretold. See “chaff,” seems properly to mean “straw, which the Ps. ii. 7; lxxxix. 19, 20; Isai. xi. 1, 2; xlii. 1. Jews were accustomed to burn as fuel, for dressing Dr. Hales. their food, heating their ovens, &c. Schleusner.

When our Saviour was baptized by John in Jordan, The destruction of the Jewish state is here intimated; there was a plain manifestation of the Three Persons of by the gathering of the wheat into the garner, it seems the Holy Trinity. The heavens were opened, and the to be implied, that the believers in Jesus should not be Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove involved in that calamity. Bp. Pearce.

upon Him; and à voice from heaven was heard, which 15.- for thus it becometh us &c.] For thus God hath said, “This is my beloved Son.” Here we have three appointed that I should be initiated into My ministry, Persons most clearly distinguished: God the Holy and thus it becomes us to give an example of doing all Ghost visibly descended; Christ, on whom He dethings decently and with order. Dr. S. Clarke. scended, was praying among the people; and, as these

It was proper that our great High Priest, when ad- I two in their bodily shapes could not but be seen, so the

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Christ fasteth

CHAP. IV.

and is tempted. Anno CHAP. IV.

God, command that these stones be
DOMINI

made bread.
i Christ fasteth, and is tempted. 11 The angels
minister unto him. 13 He dwelleth in Ca-

4 But he answered and said, It is
pernaum, 17 beginneth to preach, 18 calleth written, Man shall not live by bread b Deut. 8. 3.
Peter, and Andrew, 21 James, and John, alone, but by every word that pro-
23 and healeth all the diseased.

ceedeth out of the mouth of God. a Mark 1. 12. THEN was

a Jesus led of the

up Luke 4.1.

5 Then the devil taketh him up
spirit into the wilderness to be into the holy city, and setteth him
tempted of the devil.

on a pinnacle of the temple,
2 And when he had fasted forty 6 And saith unto him, If thou be
days and forty nights, he was after the Son of God, cast thyself down :
ward an hungred.

for it is written, ° He shall give his c Ps. 91.11.
3 And when the tempter came to angels charge concerning thee: and
him, he said, If thou be the Son of in their hands they shall bear thee up,

THE

third Person, who was not seen, was yet distinctly heard, and the pride of life; not knowing that Christ was to saying, “This is My beloved Son,” &c. Howell. be tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin,

that He might be able to bear our infirmities, Heb. iv. Chap. IV. ver. 1. Then was Jesus &c.] Then, that is, 15, and point out by His own example the dangers to immediately after His baptism, in that moment of ex- which we are exposed from our spiritual adversary, and altation when He was acknowledged by a voice from also the most effectual mode of resisting him by vigiheaven to be the Son of God, and when the Spirit lance, prayer, and the word of God rightly understood. of God had taken full possession of His soul, Jesus went Dr. Hales. forth under the guidance of that Spirit, in full con- 3. — command that these stones be made bread.] Satan fidence of this Divine power, into the wilderness, to here makes a proposal of refined artifice to our Lord, encounter the prince of this world. A plain proof that that He would instantly make an experiment, and give this contest which follows was a preconcerted design, a a proof of the truth of the late declaration from heaven measure approved by Heaven, and subservient to the in His favour, “This is My beloved Son,” by ordering grand purpose in which our Saviour was engaged, of a supernatural supply for the want which pressed Him. rescuing mankind from the dominion of Satan. Bp. It seems that Satan had no prospect of being able to Porteus.

lead Him at once into a gross transgression; and any into the wilderness] Probably the great wilder- real deviation, however small, from piety and virtue, ness near Jordan, where Jesus was baptized. Bp. would have answered his end. Now compliance with Porteus. “The mountainous desert into which our this counsel would have been a deviation. The voice Saviour was led by the Spirit to be tempted by the from heaven alone carried evidence sufficient of God's devil, is a miserable dry barren place, consisting of high special regard to Him, and the desire of a fuller demonrocky mountains so torn and disordered, as if the earth stration of it would have shewn a blameable distrust. had suffered some great convulsion, in which its very He had been supported by the sole word and will of bowels had been turned outward. On the left hand, His heavenly Father for forty days; and why should He looking down into a steep valley as we passed along, now, without any sufficient notice of the change of that we saw some ruins of small cells and cottages, which, will, attempt by a new miracle to supply Himself with we were told, were formerly the habitations of hermits food? Abp. Secker. retiring hither for penance and mortification; and cer- 4. — It is written, Man shall not &c.] See Deut. viii. tainly there could not be found in the whole earth 3. His meaning is, He that brought Me into this a more comfortless and abandoned place for that pur- wilderness, and subjected Me to these trials, can support pose. On descending from these hills of desolation Me under the pressure of hunger by a variety of means, into the plain, we soon came to the foot of mount Qua- besides the common one of bread, just as He fed the rantania, which they say is the mountain from which Israelites in the wilderness with manna, the food from the devil tempted our Saviour with that visionary scene heaven: I will therefore rather choose to rely on His of all the kingdoms and glories of the world. It is, as gracious providence for My support in this exigency, St. Matthew calls it, an exceeding high mountain, and than work a miracle Myself for the supply of My wants. in its ascent difficult and dangerous. It has a small Bp. Porteus. chapel at the top, and another about half way up, on a 5. the holy city,] St. Matthew here, and at chap. prominent part of a rock. Near this latter are several xxvii. 53, calls Jerusalem “the holy city.

1 It is mencaves and holes in the sides of the mountain, anciently tioned by Volney, that the Orientals still call Jerusalem used by hermits, and by some at this day, for places to by a name which signifies “the holy.” Fragments to keep their Lent in, in imitation of that of our blessed Calmet. Saviour." Maundrell.

- a pinnacle] Or wing of the temple; that is, part 2.- had fasted forty days] As Moses and Elijah, the of the roof of one of its courts. Bp. Pearce. two great Prophets under the law, had done. Dr. S.

6. — If thou be cast thyself down :) He exhorts Clarke.

Him cast Himself down in the sight of all the worhe was afterwards an hungred.] Taking advan- shippers there assembled, and procure that glory to the tage of this symptom of human infirmity, the devil, who Deity, and that honour to Himself which must be the probably assailed Him under the disguise of “ an angel consequence of their seeing literally fulfilled in Him that of light,” 2 Cor. xi. 14, and in a human form, as ap- prediction of the Psalmist concerning the pious man, pears from his conversation, hoped to overcome “ the * He shall give His angels charge,” &c. Abp. Secker. second Adam" as he had done “ the first,” by similar - for it is written, &c.] The tempter, perceiving temptations, the last of the flesh, the lust of 'the eye, that Christ relied on the authority of Scripture, now

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Jesus is tempted.

S. MATTHEW. 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. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is writ- 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get Deut.6. 16. ten again, a Thou shalt not tempt the thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Lord thy God.

• Thou shalt worship the Lord thy & Dec. 13.
8 Again, the devil taketh him up God, and him only shalt thou serve.
into an exceeding high mountain, 11 Then the devil leaveth him,
and sheweth him all the kingdoms of and, behold, angels came and minis- & Mark 1: 14.
the world, and the glory of them;

tered unto him.
9 And saith unto him, All these 12 Now when Jesus had heard

Luke 1.14.
Jolin 4. 43.

A. D. 30.

enforces his temptation with Scripture, misapplied and faith of His own allegiance to Him assailed by so vile a misunderstood. În answer to this, our Saviour exposes falsehood, He bears no longer ; tells the hypocrite that his misapplication of Scripture, by another text which He knew him well to be the adversary of God, who forbids a presumptuous trial of God's protection. Bp. had granted to no created being, much less to him, the Sherlock.

honours and the authority which he claimed, and com7. Thou shalt not tempt the Lord] Thou shalt not mands him that moment to quit His presence. Abr. rush into unnecessary danger in order to tempt God, Secker. “The name . Satan,' as denoting an enemy, in order to try whether He will interpose to save thee in frequently occurs in the Old Testament.” See 2 Sam. a miraculous manner; much less ought this to be done xix. 22; 1 Kings v. 4, where the word for adversary is as now proposed, for purposes of vanity and ostentation. in the original “Satan.”. It is probable, that the word Bp. Porteus.

Satan was introduced into the Hebrew, and other The Redeemer of the world, far from being discon- Eastern languages, to denote an adversary, from its certed at the sudden change of the subject, or dazzled having been the proper name of the great enemy of by so specious a plea, calmly answers by another text mankind. Bp. Watson. of Scripture, explaining and limiting that which the Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him seducer had imperfectly quoted and wrongly applied. only). These words express that there is one only God His answer instructs us, that we ought not from dis- who is the object of worship, a Being eternal and trust to ask new proofs of His power, where we have infinite, supreme and independent, all-powerful and allhad sufficient ones already; so neither must we from wise, perfectly just and merciful and good; and the presumption urge Him to do for us what we have no worship here enjoined includes every religious, every need of, and what therefore He has given us no right to virtuous act and habit, by which regard is shewn to expect. For they who throw away the natural means God, either in the affections of the mind, or in the which He has bestowed upon them for preserving them expressions of the lips, or in the actions of the life. selves, forfeit all title to a providential protection. Abp. These words of our Lord also teach us, that we should Secker.

prefer before all things the service of God, and the prac8. — and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world,] tice of true religion ; being always ready to reject whatIt has been thought by some a considerable difficulty to ever shall come in competition with our duty, even the conceive how Satan could from any mountain, however whole world if offered to us at the purchase of sin. If elevated, “shew to our Saviour all the kingdoms of the we be found of this disposition, lovers of truth, and earth, and the glory of them.” It should be considered doers of righteousness, the tempter will depart from us however, that the mountain where this occurred, is de- as he did from our Lord; angels will come and miscribed as exceeding high ; and the Abbé Mariti, speak- nister unto us, and the Spirit of God will preserve and ing of this mountain, says, “Here we enjoyed the most guide us unto eternal life. Dr. S. Clarke. beautiful prospect imaginable. This part of the moun- 11. Then the devil leareth him,] We have here a proof tain overlooks the mountains of Arabia, the country of that the word of God, justly applied, affords a sure Gilead, the country of the Ammonites, the plains of defence against the assaults of the devil; and that, if Moab, the plain of Jericho, the river Jordan, and the we resist him, he will flee from us. Bp. Mann. whole extent of the Dead sea." These various domains angels came] And ministered unto Him, comthe tempter might shew to our Lord distinctly, and forting Him at His trial, rejoicing at His victory, and might also at the same time point out, (for so the original refreshing Him after His long fast. Dr. S. Clarke. word sometimes signifies,) and direct our Lord's eye This history of our blessed Lord's temptation teaches towards several other regions that lay beyond them, us, that even the best of men may sometimes be perwhich might comprehend all the principal kingdoms of mitted to fall into great temptations ; for we see that the Eastern world. Bp. Porteus.

even He was exposed to the severest. It encourages us 9:- If thou wilt fall down and worship me.) This au- to hope, that, when temptations assail us, we may

be dacious and impious proposal of Divine worship, which blessed with Divine assistance to save us from the no true angel of light ever received or even tolerated, danger; for the great Captain of our salvation, when Rev. xix. 10; xxii. 9, detected the false fiend to be the assaulted by all the art and all the power of Satan, rose power of darkness; and, in consequence, Jesus calls superiour to all his efforts. We learn further from our him by his proper name, and banishes him from His Saviour's conduct under this great trial, that when presence, as His Divine superiour. Dr. Hales. temptations assail us, we are not to hesitate and deli

10. - Get thee hence, Satan : for it is written, &c.] As berate whether we shall give way to them or not, but if He had said, I defy thee and all thy proffers, being must at once repel them with firmness and vigour: we contrary to the revealed will of God, in whose holy word must instantly say to the tempter, Get thee hence, it is written, “Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God,” Satan;" and he will instantly flee from us, as he did &c. Bp. Beveridge. To each of the former suggestions from Christ. Bp. Porteus. the holy Jesus replied without emotion ; but now, when 12. Now when Jesus had heard &c.] This was some the majesty of His heavenly Father was injured, and the time subsequent to Jesus's baptism, and withdrawing

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Christ beginneth to preach,

CHAP. IV. and calleth Peter and Andrew, 8c. that John was || cast into prison, he to preach, and to say, Repent: for departed into Galilee;

the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 13 And leaving Nazareth, he came 18 si And Jesus, walking by the diitered up. and dwelt in Capernaum, which is sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Si- i Mark 1. 16.

upon the sea coast, in the borders of mon called Peter, and Andrew his
Zabulon and Nephthalim :

brother, casting a net into the sea :
14 That it might be fulfilled which for they were fishers.
was spoken by Esaias the prophet, 19 And he saith unto them, Follow
saying,

me, and I will make you fishers of s Isai. 9. 1. 15 & The land of Zabulon, and the men.

land of Nephthalim, by the way of the 20 And they straightway left their
sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the nets, and followed him.
Gentiles;

21 And going on from thence, he
16 The people which sat in dark- saw other two brethren, James the son
ness saw great light; and to them of Zebedee, and John his brother, in
which sat in the region and shadow ship with Zebedee their father, mend-
of death light is sprung up.

ing their nets; and he called them. 17 qh From that time Jesus began 22 And they immediately left the

a

Mark 1. 14.

into the wilderness. The cause of John's imprisonment was built by Herod the tetrarch of Galilee, and named is mentioned at chap. xiv. 3. Bp. Pearce.

in honour of Tiberius Cesar : it soon became one of the - he departed into Galilee ;] He had probably principal cities of those parts, from the great privileges been, during the interval, in some part of the wilder- granted by Herod to its inhabitants : it is said to have bess, not far from Jordan. Bp. Pearce.

contained thirteen synagogues. Dr. Wells. 13. — Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, &c.] As The town of Tiberias, now called Tabarie by the Capernaum is not once mentioned in the Old Testa- Arabs, is situated close to the banks of the lake that ment, it is probable that it is one of the towns built by bears its name ; and on the land side it is encircled by the Jews at their return from the Babylonish captivity, a strong wall of hewn stones of basalt, notwithstanding "upon the sea-coast;" that is, on the coast of the sea which it hardly merits the name of a town. There are of Galilee,“ in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim,” no traces left of its ancient splendour, though the ruins and consequently towards the upper part of this sea of the old town are discoverable, which extended as far coast. It probably took its name from an adjoining as the hot baths, situated about a league to the east. spring of great repute, which, as Josephus informs us, The adjoining lake abounds in fish, but we discovered bore the name of Capernaum. It is now so decayed as only one fisherman's boat, and that nearly in ruins, at to consist of only a very few fishermen's cottages. Dr. Tiberias. The person who farms the fishery only emIfells. Capernaum and the adjoining villages were ploys his nets along its banks. Seetzen. peculiarly fitted for the chief residence of our Lord, as saw two brethren, Simon &c.] Had it been the His disciples chiefly resided there, and as the adjacent object of our Saviour to establish His religion by mere sea of Galilee afforded Him peculiar facilities for moving human means, by influence or force, by the charms of from place to place, and thus avoiding the importunities eloquence or the powers of reason, by the example or of the multitude. Dr. Hales.

the authority of the great, He would undoubtedly have 14. That it might be fulfilled &c.] Thus was remark- selected His disciples from the opulent, the eloquent, or ably fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, chap. ix. 1. Dr. S. the learned. But these were not the instruments which Clarke.

He intended to use. He meant to shew, that He was 15. beyond Jordan,] Rather, “ by the side of Jor- above them all; that He had far other resources, far dan,” as the Greek words may be translated; for Zabu- different auxiliaries to call into his support, in comlon and Nephthalim were on the western side of Jordan, parison with which all the wealth, and magnificence, which was nearest to Judea and Galilee. Bp. Pearce. and power, and wisdom of the world were trivial and

Galilee of the Gentiles ;] This northern part of contemptible things. Accordingly we find that not the Galilee was so called, either from its being extremely wise, not the mighty, not the noble, were called to copopulous, or rather from its being inhabited by many operate with Him, but men of the meanest birth, of the Gentiles as well as Jews. Dr. Wells.

lowest occupations, of the humblest talents, and most 17. - and to say, Repent : &c.] Our Saviour's first uncultivated minds. These fishermen of Galilee were to address to the people is similar to that of the Baptist.be, under Him, the instruments of overthrowing the The very first qualification He required of those who stupendous and magnificent system of paganism and axpired to be His disciples, was repentance, a sincere idolatry throughout the world, and producing the contrition for all past offences, and a resolution to re- greatest change, the most general and important revonounce in future every species of sin. Bp. Porteus. lution, in principles, in morals, in religion, that ever

18. by the sea of Galilee,] This sea or lake is very took place on this globe. Bp. Porteus. frequently mentioned in the Gospels, under the names 19. and I will make you fishers of men.] That is, of “ the sea of Galilee,” from the province of Galilee in You shall have a far better employment, in recovering general; "the sea of Tiberias,” from the town of that men from ignorance and sin, and bringing them into name on its western shore; and “the lake of Gen- the way of truth and salvation. Bp. Mann. nesareth,” from that tract of Galilee called Gennesareth, 22. they immediately left the ship and followed which bounded it all along on its western side. This him.) After the example of these Apostles, every fresh-water sea or lake is mentioned in the Old Tes- Christian should be ready in heart and in mind to quit tament by the name of “the sea of Chinnereth,” or all that comes in competition with his duty, and to Cinnereth, Numb. xxxiv. 11; Josh. xiii. 27. Tiberias follow the Saviour in the path of holy living. All

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