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said unto them, “ These are the “ the (k) Law of Moses (1), and 66 words which I spake unto you, “ in the Prophets, and in the 66 while I was yet with you, “ Psalms, concerning me.” Then 45. " that all things must be ful- opened (m) he their understand
filled which were written in ing, that they might understand
Mark x. 32.
“ 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 scru. pulous exactness, as to register the num. ber 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 Septu. agint. 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 maayother Greek books; so that the mean. ing 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 educa. tion. 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 Jervs were principally of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. "The Samaritans and Jews were professed enemies ; 80 that it was not likely the Samaritan copy should have been borrowed from the Jewish.
(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 espect 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 a 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
“ 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 Aed, 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 Joha 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 communi. cations to them just before his apprehension, he says, " These things I said not “ unto you at the beginning, because I
the Scriptures, and said unto away the leaven of malice and 46. them, “ Thus it is written, and wickedness, that we may alway
" thus it behoved Christ to serve thee in pureness of living
“ suffer (n), and to rise from and truth, through the merits of 47
r the dead the third day: and the same thy Son Jesus Christ
The Epistle. John v. 4.
this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our (s) faith.
Who (t) is he that overcometh First Sunday after Easter.
the world, but he that believeth The Collect.
that Jesus is the Son of God? Almighty Father, who hast This is he that came by (u) water given thine only Son to die for and blood, even Jesus Christ; our sins, and to rise again for our not by water only, but by water justification ; Grant us so to put and blood. And it is (x) the
“ I lay down my life for the
See ante 77, note on
(n) “ To suffer." There are many
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, &c. “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.”
“ 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
(0) * Repentance." This was the condition 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, notes on Acts x. 36.
(9) “ Witnesses.” See ante 129, note 1 on Acts x, 39.
(r) “Whatsoever,” &c. i.e. whoever 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
Matt. xii. 40.
(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?
“ 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 1 Spirit also beareth witness,
Spirit that beareth witness, be- greater: for(e) this is the witness
cause the (y) Spirit is truth. of God, which he hath testified 7. For (2) there are (a) three that of his Son. He that believeth 10.
bear record in heaven, the Fa- on the Son of God hath the (f) ther, the Word, and the Holy witness in himself: he that be.
Ghost: and these three are one. lieveth not God, hath made(8)him 8. And there are three that bear a liar; because he believeth not
witness in earth, the (6) Spirit, the record that God gave of his and the water, and the blood : Son. And this (b) is the re- 11.
and these three agree (c) in one. cord, that God hath given to us 9. If (d) we receive the witness of eternal life, and this life is in his
the witness of God is Son. He that hath (i) the Son, 12.
6) “ 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. Fesse 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.” 1 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 fora titude Christ's religion produces in real Christians; but “the Holy Ghost" seems the true and whole meaning.
(2) “ 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
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 wit
ness, ," in verse 8.; the same Greek word standing for “ bear record," and 6 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.
(6) “The Spirit,” that is, the co-ope- v. 8. 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.
,"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.
(8) " 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.
() “ Hath the Son," i. e. believes in 0.12. him, professes his religion, and follows his commandments.
hath life; and he that hath not thine only Son to be unto us both the Son of God, hath not life. a sacrifice for sin, and also an
ensample of godly life ; Give us The Gospel. John xx. 19.
grace, that we may always most The same (k) day at evening, thankfully receive that his inesbeing the first day of the week, timable benefit, and also daily when the doors were shut where endeavour ourselves to follow the the disciples were assembled blessed steps of his most holy life, for (1) fear of the Jews, came through the same Jesus Christ our Jesus, and stood in the midst, Lord. Amen.
and saith unto them, “ Peace be 20. unto you." And when he
The Epistle. 1 Pet. ii. 19. had so said, he shewed unto them This is thank-worthy, if a man his (m) hands and his side. Then for conscience (n) toward God
were the disciples glad when they endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 21. saw the Lord. Then said Jesus
For what glory is it, if, when ye to them again, “ Peace be unto be buffeted for your faults, ye you: as my Father has sent shall take it patiently? but if
, me, even so send I you." And
when ye do well, and suffer for when he had said this, he breathed it, ye take it patiently, this is ac. on them, and saith unto them, ceptable with God.
For even “ Receive ye the Holy Ghost. hereunto were ye ) called : be23. " Whose soever sins ye remit, cause Christ also suffered for us,
“ they are remitted unto them ; leaving us an example, that ye " and whose soever sins ye re- should follow his steps : who “ tain, they are retained.”
did (v) no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth : who, when :
he was reviled, reviled not again; Second Sunday after Easter.
when he suffered, he threatened The Collect.
not; but committed (9) himself ALMIGHTY God, who hast given to him that judgeth righteously:
(d) “ The same day," the day of his resurrection. This is the same appear. ance as that mentioned in Luke xxiv. 36. (ante 132.)
(1) « For fear,” &c. This fear made them shut the doors ; it did not make
them assemble. 0. 20.
“ His hands," through which the nails had been driven when he was fastened to the cross, and “ his side” which the soldiers pierced. See ante 123. John xix. 34.
(n) “ Conscience toward God," i.e. as matter of duty, for the sake of religion.
(6) “ Called.” One of the objects of Christianity was to try the constancy of its followers: they were to be tried as gold is tried, Zech. xiii. 9. See ante 25. note
on Rom. xiii.in. The repeated and pressing exhortations to perseverance,
&c. contained in the epistles, imply pretty strongly that the first preachers and professors of Christianity met with considerable opposition and difficulties : it is useless to recommend courage where there is nothing to put it to the test.
(o) “ Who did no sin." See note on verse 24
(9) « Committed himself,” &c. St. Peter perhaps referred to the two expressions of our Saviour whilst upon the cross, which St. Luke has recorded : “Father, forgive them, for they know “ not what they do.” Luke xxiii
. 34. ; and, “ Father, into thy hands I com“ mend my spirit.” Luke xxiii. 46.
24. who his own self (r) bare our sins « so know I the Father : and
in his own body on the tree, that “ I (t) lay down my life for the we, being dead to sins, should “ sheep. And other (u) sheep I 16.
live unto righteousness: by whose “ have, which are not of this 25. stripes ye were healed. For ye “ fold: them also I must bring,
were as sheep going astray; but " and they shall hear my voice; are now returned unto the Shep- " and there shall be one fold, and herd and Bishop of your souls. one shepherd.”
The Gospel. John X. II.
Saint Mark's Day.
" and the wolf catcheth them, carried away with every blast of 13. " and scattereth the sheep. The vain doctrine, we may be esta
hireling fleeth, because he is blished in the truth of thy holy “ an hireling, and careth not for
Gospel, through Jesus Christ our 14. “ the sheep. I am the good Lord. Amen.
“ shepherd, and know my sheep, 15. “ and ain known of mine. As The Epistle. Ephes, iv. 7. (x)
" the Father knoweth me, even Unto every one of us is given
(s) “ 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. 5.11. (s) “ Shepherd.” The Messiah is
often spoken of in the prophets under the
character of a shepherd. The passage
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.” By « 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 İs. xl. 11.
(t)" I lay down,” &c. This was v. 15. therefore a prediction that he should lay down his life for his followers. See ante 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 obje&t of St. Paul in this
portion of Scripture is to prevent any from