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Wonderful draught of fishes.

JOHN XXI.

Peter interrogated. them, “I am going a fishing.". They say to Peter, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me him, “We also will go with thee.” They went more than these?” He saith to him, “Yos,

forth, and entered into a ship immediately; Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.” : He 4 and that night they caught nothing. But saith to him, “Feed my lambs.” He saith to 16

when the morning was now come, Jesus stood him again the second time, “Simon, son of

on the shore: but the disciples knew not that Jonas, lovest thou me? “He saith to him, “Yes, 5. it was Jesus. Then Jesus saith to them, “My Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” He saith

children, have ye any food ?” They answered to him, “ Feed my sheep.” He saith to him 17 6 him, “ No.” And he said to them, “ Cast the the third time, “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest

net on the right side of the ship, and ye will thou me?” Peter was grieved because he said find.” They cast therefore, and now they were to him the third time, "Lovest thou me?” And

not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. he said to him, “ Lord, thou knowest all things; 7 Therefore that diseiple whom Jesus loved saith thou knowest that I love thee." Jesus saith to

to Peter, “ It is the Lord.” Now when Simon him, “ Feed my sheep. Verily, verily, I say 18 Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt on his to thee, When thou wast young, thou didst

upper garment, (for he was naked,) and cast gird thyself, and walk whither thou wouldst : 8 himself into the sea. And the other disciples but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch

came in a little ship; (for they were not far forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee,

from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) and carry thee whither thou wouldst not." Now 19 9 dragging the net with fishes. As soon then as this he spoke, signifying by what death he would

they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals glorify God. And when he had spoken this, 10 there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus he saith to him, “Follow me.” Then Peter, 20

saith to them, “ Bring of the fish which ye have turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus 11 now caught." Simon Peter went up, and drew loved following; who also leaned on his breast

the net to land full of great fishes, a hundred at supper, and said, “ Lord, who is he that de

and fifty-three : and although there were so livereth thee up?” When Peter saw bim he 21 12 many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith saith to Jesus, “ Lord, and what shall this man to them, “Come and eat."

“ Come and eat.” And none of the do?” Jesus saith to him, “If I will that he 22 disciples ventured to ask him, “Who art thou ?” tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow 13 knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then co- thou me.” This report therefore went abroad 23

meth, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and among the brethren, that that• disciple should 14 fish in like manner. This is the third time that not die: yet Jesus said not to him, “ He shall

Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that not die;" but, “If I will that he tarry till I he had risen from the dead.

come, what is that to thee ?” This is the dis- 24 15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon ciple who testifieth these things, and wrote

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Galilee, Ch. vi. I. The disciples had quitted Jerusalem, and come here for the purpose mentioned, Matt. xxviii. 7, 16.

4. Jesus stood, &c. They were at no great distance from the shore, and law some one standing, but did not at first know who it was.

6. Cast the net, &c. The familiar manner in which Jesus addressed them, and the direction which he gave, and their success, soon convinced them that it was their Lord. They must be sensible that this supply was miraculous.

7. Naked. So the Jews called those who had on only their under garment. Peter still showed his zeal by hastening to Jesus.

9-14. A fire of coals, &c. This miracle was wrought to impress the disciples more deeply with the power of Jesus, now that he was risen from the dead. This was the third, &c. The appearance on the mountain in Galilee was posterior to this. Matt. xxviii. 16.

15–17. Lovest thou me, 8c. Our Lord refers indirectly to his former professions of zeal and affection. To this part of the question of loving him

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more than the other disciples, Peter makes no reply, sensible of his past presumption. Matt. xxvi. 33. -Lord, thou knowest all thinys, &c. Here Peter ascribes omniscience to Christ; for the assertion is without any qualifying terms, and implies that he was God as well as man.

19. Now this he spoke, &e. Jesus tells Peter what he had to suffer for his sake. They would gird or bind him to a cross; and raising him on it, bear him to a death at which nature revolts. Follow me. Our Lord now walked onward, and Peter followed to intimate his readiness to die for his sake.

20. Seeth the disciple, &c. John followed Jesus also, to show his readi. ness, zeal and love, but with great delicacy, makes no comment on his own action.

22. Till I come, $c. Until the destruction of Jerusalem ; and it is pretty certain that John lived to see that event. Peter and others seem to have thought, that our Lord meant bis final coming to judgment; and hence sup

195

Testimony of John

JOHN XXI.

to the facts related. these things: and we know that his testimony them be written, I suppose that even the world 25 is true. And there are many other things also itself could not contain the books that would

which Jesus did, which, should every one of be written. Amen.

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER xxi. I. Our Lord's disciples were originally fishermen, and occasionally followed their occupation during their attendance on his ministry. He called them at first when they were employed in the proper duties of their profession, and now manifests himself to them while so engaged. He probably did this to teach us how much he approves honest industry, and that the way to secure and enjoy his presence, is to be usefully and honourably employed. They had toiled all night, but had been unsuccessful. Now the Master was present, and gives them direction, they were surprised at the multitude of fishes inclosed in their nets. This might teach them that as fishers of men, they would owe their success to the power and grace of Christ, and it is possible that this miracle might be wrought to furnish them with support, while they waited at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. Thus seasonably does the Lord Jesus interfere to aid and relieve his followers. Let them ever confide in him, and they will not be disappointed.

; 2. In our Lord's, address to Peter, we see with what gentleness

he could administer reproof, and how he could excite all the emotions of grief and love. Should Jesus put the same question to us and repeat it again and again, are there not some of us who would be at a loss for an answer? Somne to whom he might say, “I know that you have not the love of Christ in you ? " Are there not many, called Christians, if pressed to give a reply, could only say, “Lord, thou that knowest all things, knowest that I cannot tell whether I love thee or not?" How should such be ashamed, to be uncertain whether or not they have any regard to him, who deserves the warmest esteem, and most ardent affection. There are happily others who through divine grace can say, “ Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that, notwithstanding our many sins and great infirmities, we do love thee.” If we are conscious of this sincere affection to Christ, may we derive comfort from the thought, that he who knoweth all things, knows this, however we may be suspected or misrepresented. Let ministers show their love by feeding his dock, and each believer by obeying his holy compandment.

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The Acts of the Apostles may be considered as a continuation of the history contained in the gospels, Luke is generally acknowledged to be the author; and he addresses this book to Theophilus, the same excellent person to whom he had addressed his gospel. It contains the history of the church, within the Roman empire, for the period of near thirty years after the death of our Lord. We here see how the promises and predictions of Christ were fulfilled : Matt. X. 20. John xii. 14, and Mark iv. 30, comp. Acts v. 14. It relates the miracles which the apostles and others wrought in confirmation of the gospel. According to the promise, the Holy Spirit was poured out (Ch ii.) on the apostles and other disciples, at Jerusalem; on the people of Samaria, Ch. viii.; on Cornelius at Cæsarea. The miracles wrought were

Peter and John cured the lame man: Acts iii. 2-11.; iv. 6—16. By an angel they were delivered from prison : Ch. v. 12—25. Steplien did great wonders: Ch. vi. 8. Saul was converted, and wrought miracles. Peter cured Æneas, and raised Tabitha to life: Ch. ix. I, &e. The miracles were performed publicly in large cities ; and they were performed in the name of Christ. In consequence thereof thousands and tens of thousands believed, and churches were formed in Judea, Syria, Lesser Asia, and other countries., Comparing the Acts with the Epistles, we find so many undesigned coincidences as establish the truth of both.

numerous.

CHAPTER I.

promise of the Father, “which, said he, ye have A. D. 33. The time of our Lord's abode on earth after his resurrection ;

heard from me. For John indeed baptized with 5 his promise to the apostles; his ascension, and Matthias chosen to be an water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy apostle.

Spirit not many days hence.” When therefore 6 1 The former relation I made, O Theophilus, they were come together,

they were come together, they asked of him, oncerning all which Jesus both did and taught, saying, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after kingdom again to Israel ?” And he said to them, 7

having commanded, by the Holy Spirit, the “ It is not for you to know the times or seasons, 3 apostles whom he had chosen: To whom he which the Father hath put in his own disposal.

also showed himself alive, after his suffering by But ye shall receive power, when the Holy 8 many infallible proofs; being seen by them

being seen by them Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witforty days, and speaking of the things concern- nesses to me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, 4 ing the kingdom of God. And then, assem- and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts

bling them together, he commanded them not of the earth.” And when he had spoken these 9 to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the things, while they beheld, he was taken

and

up;

CHAP. I. 1. Both did and taught. See note, Luke iii. 23. The best writers admit that the verb azxquai used with an infinitive of another verb only defines the time of the verb. See Mark vi. 7. Luke iii. 8.; v. 21.; xi. 29.; &c. See Pearce's note, Luke iii. 23.

3. Infallible proofs. By his many appearances and conversations with them. Pearce has collected these appearances. The first was to Mary Magdalene, &c. Matt. xxviii. 1, 9. The second to the two disciples going to Emmaus, Luke sxiv. 15. The third to Peter, Luke xxiv. 34. The fourth to ten of the apostles, Thomas being absent, Luke xxiv. 36. John xx. 19. These four appearances were on the day of his resurrection. The fifth was to eleven of the apostles, John xx. 26. The sixth to seven of them at the lake of Tiberias, John xx. 4. The seventh to James, 1 Cor. xv.7.; and 'most probably when Jesus commanded them to assemble at Jerusalem. The eighth when he led them to Bethany, where he ascended and as Pearce thinks was seen of more than 500 brethren.

4. Not lo depart from, 8c. After their return from Galilee, Matt. xxviii. 16. Mark xvi. 7.

6. Come together, &c. At Bethany. Luke xxiv. 50.—They asked him, &c. They eem not to have understood what our Lord meant by the promise of the Father;' and yet expecting that his kingdom was to be a tem. poral one, they desired that he would now inform them, whether his time was come, to transfer the dominion from the Romans to the Jews.

7, 8. It is not for you, &c. Our Lord's answer, some think, implies that the Jews will be restored to earthly grandeur; but I do not see it in this light. He tells them that there are times and seasous for the fulfilment of God's pur poses; and that they should soon receive power to bear testimony of him in every place.

9-11. While they buheld, &c. See Luke xxiv. 50–53.8c. Two angels in the form of men. Their assurance that the ascended

-Two men,

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