Page images

“ spoken unto you, that ye should teach the hearts of thy faithful 2. “ not be (m) offended. They people, by the sending to them shall put (n) you out of the the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant

synagogues : yea, the time us by the same Spirit to have a " cometh, that whosoever killeth right judgement in all things, and you will think that he doeth

evermore to rejoice in his holy 3.

God service. And these things comfort, through the merits of “ will they do unto you, because

Christ Jesus our Saviour, who " they have not (6) known the liveth and reigneth with thee, in 4. 56 Father nor me.

But these the unity of the same Spirit, one things have I told you, that, God, world without end. Amen. " when the time shall come, ye may (P) remember that I told

For the Epistle. A As ii. 1. When the day of (9) Pentecost

was fully come, they were all WHIT-SUNDAY.

with one accord in one place. The Collect.

And suddenly there came a sound 2. God, who as at this time didst from heaven as of a rushing

you of them.”

you that

P.I. (m) “ Offended,” i. e. drawn off from

your faith, deterred from acting as my

soldiers. 0.2. (n) “ Put you out,” &c. Our Saviour

had repeatedly apprized them that they would meet with the strongest opposition, would have to undergo the bitterest persecutions, and must give up all worldly prospects and attachments. "When our Saviour sent out the twelve apostles two years before his death, he told them, “I “ send you forth as sheep in the midst “ of wolves. Beware of men, (i. e. the “ Jews), for they will deliver you up to " the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues ; and


shall “ be brought before governors and kings “ for my sake. And the brother shall “ deliver up the brother to death, and " the father the child ; and the children “shall rise up against their parents, and “ shall cause them to be put to death ;


shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.” Matt x. 16. 17. 18. 21. 22. Again, in his famous prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, he says,

as then shall they deliver you up “ to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and " ye shall be hated of all men for my “ name's sake.” Matt. xxiv. 9. So in Luke xiv, 26. he says, “ If any come to

me, and hate not (i. e. when his reli“gion requires) his father and mother, " and wife and children, and brethren, " and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he

“ cannot be my disciple. And whoso

ever doth not bear his cross and come “ after me, cannot be my disciple ;" and verse 33. “ whosoever he be of “ forsaketh not all that he hath, he can“ not be my disciple.” See also Luke xii. 11.-xxi. 12. 16. 17. and Matt. xvi. 24. Are these the prospects and language of an impostor? and what with these pro. spects could attach the apostles and disa ciples to Christ and his religion, but the full conviction that he was the Messiah, and that God was with him. That conviction was founded in his life time chiefly on the miracles they saw him do, and after his death on their own know. ledge that he had risen again, and on the powers conferred on them by the Holy Ghost : the innocence of his life, and the purity of his precepts might also strengthen their conviction.

(0)“ Known," i.e. followed the com- v.3. mandments of-esteemed. See 1 John iv.

Every one that loveth, is born “ of God, and knoweth God: he that “ loveth not, knoweth not God.”

() “ Remember,” and therefore not 0.4. be shaken in your

faith. It was perhaps because they did not expe&t that our Saviour would be seized, crucified, &c. that they forgot for the time the mighty works they had seen him do, and forsook him and fed.

(9) “Pentecost," i.e. the feast of weeks. v.1. This was the second of the three great

" and

7, 8. 56

mighty wind, and it filled all the nation under heaven. Now wher

house where they were sitting, this was noised abroad, the multi 3. And there appeared unto them tude came together, and wer

cloven tongues like as (r) of fire, confounded(u), because that ever

and it sat upon each of them : man heard them speak in his owi 4. and they were all filled with the language. And they were al

Holy Ghost, and began to speak amazed, and marvelled, saying

with other (5) tongues, as the one to another, “ Behold, ar 5. Spirit gave them utterance. And “ not all these which speak Gali there were (t) dwelling at Jerusa

cleans? And how hear w lem Jews, devout men,out of every every man in our own tongue

go, and teach all


solemnities in which, according to Deut. xvi. 16. all the males were enjoined to appear

before the Lord in the place which he should choose; which place was afterwards fixed to be Jerusalem. It was the fiftieth day after the feast of the passover. All the Jews therefore who had been at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion, would be there again at the time of this great miracle, would have the opportunity of personally witnessing its effects, would naturally carry an account of it to their own homes, and so would be themselves in some degree prepared to receive the truths of the gospel when it should be preached amongst them, and would also prepare the minds of others for its reception. This is therefore an instance of God's wisdom in selecting the most appropriate times for accomplishing his purposes.

(3) As of fire,” “ with the Holy Ghost." The Baptist had declared, according to Matt. iii. u. Luke iii. 16. that our Saviour should «r

baptize with " the Holy Ghost and with fire.” This therefore was a fulfilment of that prediction, and a proof that God was with the Baptist, to whom this power of prophecy was given, as well as with our Saviour. Our Saviour also assured the apostles in his conversation at the last supper, and after his resurrection, that he would " send the Comforter unto them, even " the spirit of truth,” that he would send “ the promise of his Father unto " them,” that “they should be endued

power from on high,” John xiv. 16. 26.—xv. 26.-xvi. 7.-Luke xxiv. 49.

“ Other tongues.” This wonderful gift would naturally rivet the faith of those on whom it was conferred, because nothing but a preternatural power could have bestowed it, and it could not be the

effect of delusion or deceit. They mus have known with positive certainty whethe they had this gift or not, and their con viction that they had it accounts for their subsequent exertions and constancy in preaching the gospel, and defying all danger and opposition. This miracle too was calculated to have a powerful effect on the persons who witnessed its effects; and we are told accordingly, that on the same day there were added to the faith three thousand souls. A&s ii. 41. It was not however merely for these effects upon those who received it, and upon those who witnessed its opera. tion, that this miracle was performed; the gift of tongues was essential to enable the apostles to preach the gospel, as our Saviour had commanded them, to all na. tions. According to Matt. xxviii

. 19. he told them to 5 " tions.According to Mark xvi. 15;


into all the world, and preach " the gospel to every creature ;" and see Luke xxiv. 49. According to Aas i. 8. he told them they should be “ witnesses “ unto him, both in Jerusalem, and in “ all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto “ the uttermost part of the earth.They could not therefore have fulfilled these directions, unless they had been able to speak the languages of the persons to whom they preached. It may be remarked, that as the confusion of tongues was commanded, in order to stop the progress of sin, the knowledge of all languages was given to advance the of righteousness.

“ Dwelling," rather“ sojourn. “ing," abiding during the feast.

“ Confounded." What would be our feelings and convictions were we to witness such a miracle ? Could we hesitate for a moment in acknowledging it to be the work of God?

to "


<< with

D. 4.



< wherein we were born ? Par- “ If ye love me, keep (y) my
" thians, and Medes, and Elam- « commandments. And I will 16.
" ites, and the dwellers in Meso- pray the Father, and he shall
potamia, and in Judea, and “ give you another Comforter,
Cappadocia, in Pontus, and " that he may abide with you

Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, “ for ever ; even the (z) Spirit 17.
“ in Egypt, and in the parts “ of truth ; whom the (a) world
". of Libya about Cyrene, and “ cannot receive, because it seeth
strangers of Rome, Jews and

“ him (6) not, neither knoweth 11. “ proselytes, Cretes and Ara- « him : but ye know him ; (c)for

“ bians, we do hear them speak “ he dwelleth (d) with you, and
« in our tongues the wonderful

66 shall be in you.

I will not 18. 56 works of God.”

« leave you comfortless : I will 19.
come to you.

Yet a little
The Gospel. John xiv. 15. (*) while, and the (e) world seeth
Jesus said unto his disciples, me no more; but ye see me:


[ocr errors]

(x) This is part of our Saviour's discourse at the last supper the night he was betrayed. St.John was present, and sat next him.

(y) “ Keep,” &c. Obedience is the 0.15. test God requires. So Samuel told Saul,

1 Sam. xv. 22: “ To obey is better than
“ sacrifice," &c. And Ps. xcvii. 10.
« Ye that love the Lord, see that hate
" the thing that is evil.” And St. John
in his epistles (perhaps from a recollec-
tion of this discourse) repeatedly presses
obedience to God's commandments as
the only true criterion of love to God.
Thus, i John ii. 5. “ Whoso keepeth his
(i.e. God's)word, in him verily is the
" love of God perfected.” So i John

« This is the love of God, that we
keep his commandments.And 2 John
i. 6. « This is love, that we walk after
his commandments." Again, 1 John iii.

“ Whoso hath this world's good, " and seeth his brother have need, and “ shutteth up his bowels of compassion « from him, how dwelleth the love of “ God in him?" The similarity of sentiment, &c. in St. John's gospel and epistles affords an argument that they are rightly ascribed to the same person.

(z) « The spirit of truth,” i.e. the 7. 17. Holy Ghost, or Spirit.

(a) “ The world,” i.e. “the worldly 6. 17.

“ minded,” such as are wholly taken up
with worldly pursuits, setting their whole
affections upon things below. So i John
ii. 15. “If any man love the world, the
“ love of the Father is not in him.”
And agreeably to this is what our Savi-

our says in his sermon on the mount,
" Ye cannot serve God and mammon.'
Matt. vi. 24.

(6) “ Seeth him not," &c. i.e. has
not a disposition to see or know him.

v. 17. (c) Instead of " for " the reading should be “therefore" his dwelling in them is the consequence

of their knowing

v. 17. him, not the cause.

(d) “ Dwelleth with you.” The spirit of holiness may be considered as dwelling within us, when all our thoughts and . 17. actions are such as he would dictate, and when our desire is to make our thoughts and actions conformable to God's will. In every thought and action it would be well for us to put to ourselves this question, Is this the thought or action of one in whom Christ or the spirit of truth is dwelling? Can Christ or the spirit of truth be considered as animating us, or dwelling in us, whilst we so act or think? St. Paul calls our bodies “the temple of “ God,” i Cor. iii. 16, 17.-vi. 19. and 2 Cor. vi. 16. to press upon their minds that God was to be considered as an inmate in their breasts, that their bodies were dedicated to his service, and to restrain them therefore from acts which he could not approve, or which they could not dare to do if his presence were visible.

(e) “ The world.” The meaning perhaps is, I shall no longer be visible to the human

v. 19. eye. I shall only be visible in my effeas. My influence shall be perceivable by my followers, though they no longer see my person,


me, and I in

ye loved

“ because I live, ye (f) shall live “ unto you: not as the world 20. “ also. At that day ye shall “ giveth, give I unto you. Let

“ know that I am (8) in my Fa- “ not your heart be troubled,
" ther, and


" neither let it be afraid. Ye 28. 21. “ you. He that hath my com- « have heard how I said unto

“ mandments, and keepeth them, you, I go away, and come “ he it is that loveth me: and he “ again unto you.

If " that loveth me shall be loved

me, ye would rejoice, because “ of my Father; and I will love " I said, I go unto the Father: 6 him, and will (h) manifest my- for my Father is

Father is greater than I. 22. " self to him." Judas saith unto - And now I have told you be 29.

him (not Iscariot), “Lord, how “ fore it come to pass ; that " is it that thou wilt manifest 66 when it is come to pass, ye

“ thyself unto us, and not unto “ might (1) believe. Hereafter I 30. 23. “ the world?” Jesus answered “ will (m) not talk much with and said unto him, “ If a man

you : for the Prince of this “ love me, he will keep my world cometh, and hath no" words: and my Father will “ thing in me. But that the 31. “ love him, and we will (i) come “ world may know that I love

« unto him, and make our abode “ the Father; and as the Father 24. with him. He that loveth me

gave me commandment, even “ not, keepeth not my sayings : I do." " and the word which ye hear,

" is not mine, but the Father's 25. " which sent me. These things

Monday in Whitsun Week. “ have I spoken unto you, being 26. « yet present with you. But

For the Epistle. A &s x. 34. (n) “ the Comforter, which is the Then Peter opened his mouth, “ Holy Ghost, whom the Father and said, “ Of a truth I perceive “ will send in my name, he

“ that God is no respecter of “ shall teach you all things, and

persons : but in every nation 35. bring (k) all things to your re- “ he that feareth him, and work.

“ membrance, whatsoever I have. " eth righteousness, is accepted 27. “ said unto you. Peace I leave “ with him. The word which 36. “ with you, my peace I give

“ God sent unto the children



v. 19.

0. 20.

“ Ye shall live,” &c. i. e. ye shall partake of the life, spirit, &c. I possess.

(8) “ I am in my Father," &c. i.e. that I really came from God, that I am animated by his spirit, and that you are animated by mine.

(b) “ Manifest,” i. e. not to the eye, but to the mind, by my influence, &c.

(i) “ Come, &c. i. e. be as it were inmates in his breast. If he makes his mind pure, without any wrong thoughts, passions, &c. fit for God's temple, God will treat it accordingly.

(b) “ Bring," &c. There were many things which our Saviour said unto them before his crucifixion, which they did not understand at the time, the force of which they might afterwards see. See ante 133. note on Luke xxiv. 45. and 147. note on John xvi. 6.

(?) “ Might believe." See ante 153. 5.99 note on John xvi. 4.

(m) For “ will” the reading should perhaps be “shall."

(n) See Easter Monday, where this portion of scripture also occurs, and is commented upon.

v. 21.


[ocr errors]


“ of Israel, preaching peace by " and dead. To him give all 43. “ Jesus Christ ; (he is Lord of " the prophets

prophets witness, that 37. " all;) that word, I say, ye

“ through his name whosoever “ know, which was published " believeth in him shall receive

throughout all Judea, and be- “ remission () of sins." While 44.

gan from Galilee, after the Peter yet spake these words, the " baptism which John preached: Holy () Ghost fell on all them " how God anointed Jesus of which heard the word. And 45. " Nazareth with the Holy Ghost they (9) of the circumcision which 6 and with power ;

who went

believed were astonished, as many “ about doing good, and healing as came with Peter, because that “ all that were oppressed of the on the Gentiles also was poured

“ devil: for God was with him. out the gift of the Holy Ghost; 39. « And we are witnesses of all for they heard them speak with 46.

things which he did, both in tongues (r), and magnify God. “ the land of the Jews and in Then answered Peter, “ Can any 47:

Jerusalem ; whom they slew “ man forbid water, that these 40. “ and hanged on a tree.

Him “ should not be baptized, which « God raised up the third day, « have received the Holy Ghost " and shewed him openly ; not

as well as we?And he com. 48. " to all the people, but unto manded them to be baptized in " witnesses chosen before of God, the name of the Lord. Then

even to us, who did eat and prayed they him to tarry certain

" drink with him after he rose days. 42. "s from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the

The Gospel. John iii. 16. people, and to testify that it God so loved the world, that « is he which was ordained of he (s) gave his only-begotten God to be the Judge of quick | Son, that whosoever believeth in


[ocr errors]


9.43. (o).“ Remission,” &c. The true

Christian doctrine is this : that the sins of those who are conscious of their own unworthiness, who acknowledge that they have no colour to claim any recompence from God as matter of right, who are sensible that they have sinned, and who humbly look up for pardon through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, will be forgiven; that their sins will not be imputed to (or brought into account against) them. Rom. iv. 8. According to Luke xvii. 10. “When we have done “ all those things which are commanded “ us,” (and who is there that has ?) still

we ought to say, we are unprofitable “ servants; we have fonly) done that “ which was our duty to do." And according to Rom. iii. 23. " All have “ sinned, and come short of the glory of « God." So i John i. 8. “ If we say

" that we have no sin, we deceive our.
“ selves,” &c. It is in the humble, who
feels the necessity of an Intercessor, that
the true spirit of Christianity is to be
found, not in the self-sufficient, who
thinks he can stand upon his own merits.
See post, Luke xviii. 9 to 14.

(0) “Ghost," i. e. Spirit.

la « They of the circumcision," i.e. v.45. the Jews.

(r) “ Tongues," i. e. languages they 0:46. never learnt.

“ Gave,” &c. God shewed his v. 16
abhorrence of sin, by requiring such a
sacrifice ; and he evinced his regard for
man's salvation, by furnishing the victim,
and accepting it as an atonement. Ac.
cording to the noted prophecy, Isaiah liii.
5. “ He was wounded for our trans-

gressions, he was bruised for our in-
iquities: the chastisement of our peace

« PreviousContinue »