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abroad among the brethren, That || their deaths; Mortify and kill all
I LOOKED, and, lo, a (t) Lamb one, I suppose that even the
stood on the mount Sion, and world itself could not contain the
with him an (u) hundred forty and books that should be written.
four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, 2.
as the voice of many waters, and The Innocents' Day.
as the voice of a great thunder : The Collect.
and I heard the voice of harpers O ALMIGHTY God, who out of harping with their harps : and 3• the mouths of babes and suck they sung as it were a new song lings hast ordained strength, and before the throne, and before the madest infants to glorify thee by four beasts and the elders : and
execute signal vengeance upon the unbelievers. See ante 25. St. John accordingly lived until long after the destruction of Jerusalem; but St. Peter is supposed to have been crucified before that event, viz. in Nero's reign, A.D. 68. It is observable, that St. John is the only Evangelist who does not give a detailed account of what our Saviour said as to the destruction of the Temple, and the signs of his coming; and there is this obvious reason for it: The other Gospels were published before that period, when it would be of consequence to the converts to know accurately what the signs were ; and St. John's Gospel was not published till long afterwards ; and then the detail of that account was no longer of the same importance. Matthew and Mark were both dead before the destruction of Jerusalem ; and St. Peter and St. Paul, who are supposed to have overlooked and approved of, one St. Mark's and the other St. Luke's Gospel, (Newton on Proph. 136-7), came to their deaths in Nero's time. St. John, it is believed, did not publish his Gospel
till A. D. 97, twenty-seven years after
(s) “ This is the disciple,” &c. The v. 24.
!t) For“ a Lamb," read “the Lamb, v. I. 1 “the Messiah, our Saviour, the Son of
“ God.” It is evident he is referred to, be-
(u)“ 144,000.” The same number as v. I.
no man could learn that song
The Gospel. Matt. ii. 13. four thousand which were re- The angel of the Lord appear 4. deemed from the earth. These to Joseph in a dream, sayii
are they which were not defiled 66 Arise, and take the young chi with women ; for they are virgins. “ and his mother, and flee in These are they which follow the “ Egypt, and be thou there unt Lamb whithersoever he goeth. “ bring thee word : for Her These were redeemed from among u will seek the young child to
men, being the first-fruits unto stroy him.” When he arose, 5. God and to the Lamb. And in took the young child, and his m
their mouth was found no guile: ther by night, and departed ir for they are without fault before Egypt : and was there until t the throne of God.
death of Herod,(x) that it might
0. 15. (*) " That it might be fulfilled.” The
passage referred to is in Hosea xi. 1.
self took our infirmities, and bare our “ sicknesses ;” and yet he could never mean that he cast out the spirits and
healed the sick, for the purpose of f filling this prophecy, for the dire meaning of this prophecy was, that would take our sins upon himself, ! suffering for them upon the cross, a it was rather a strain upon the words apply them to bodily infirmities ai sickness. Again, in John xii. 18, o Saviour (intimating that one of his apo tles would betray him) says, “ I kna “ whom I have chosen, but that the scri
ture may be fulfilled, “ he that eate “ bread with me hath lift up his he
against me ;” and yet that passaç (which is in Ps. xli. 9.) appears to ha referred to one of David's Friends onl So in John xv. 24, 25, our Saviour say
now have they both seen, and hat “ both me and my Father ; but th “ cometh to pass, that it might be fa
filled which was written in their lat “ they hated me without a cause.” Ti passage there referred to is in Ps. XXXV.I) á o let not them which are mine en “ mies, triumph over me ungodly ; Al rs ther let them wink with their eye " that hate me without a cause." This w no prediction that our Saviour should I “ hated without a cause," and it is a surd, if not blasphemous, to suppose, th the persons of whom St. John speak were constrained or induced to hate of Saviour and the Father, that a suppose prediction in this passage might be fu filled. The passage really means nothir more than this, that what David sa of his enemies, “that they hated him wit| “out a cause," might also be said of thoi who hated Jesus Christ and God. S
fulfilled which was spoken of the “ forted, because they (a) are
Sunday after Christmas Day.
The Collect. forth, and slew all the (y) children Almighty God, who hast given that were in Bethlehem, and in us thy only-begotten Son to take all the coasts thereof, from two our nature upon him, and as at years old and under, according
this time to be born of a pure to the time which he had dili Virgin; Grant that we being re
gently inquired of the wise men. generate, and made thy children · Then (z) was fulfilled that which by adoption and grace, may daily
was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, | be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, 3. saying, “In Rama was there a || through the same our Lord Jesus
“ voice heard, lamentation, and Christ, who liveth and reigneth “ weeping, and great mourning; with thee and the same Spirit,
Rachel weeping for her chil ever one God, world without “ dren, and would not be com end. Amen.
Matt. xii. 35. Jesus is said to have spoken the obje&. In Matt. x. 34. when our to the people in parables, “ that it might || Saviour says he “came not to send peace “ be fulfilled which was spoken by the “ on earth, but a sword, and to set a “ prophet, I will open my mouth in “ man at variance against his father, and “ parables, I will utter things which “ the daughter against her mother,” he “ have been kept secret from the foun did not mean that this was his objea, « dation of the world;" and yet it though the misconduct of man might could never have been for the sake of make it, and probably would make it, a fulfilling the passage here alluded to that consequence. our Saviour spoke to them in parables, ()“ Children,”i.e. the male children ; v. 16. for the passage had no reference to our females could not be objects of his apSaviour, and was not spoken as a pro. prehension. phecy ; all, therefore, which was meant, (z) “ Then was fulfilled, &c.” The v. 17. was this, that what was said, Ps. lxxviii. 2. passage referred to is in Jer. xxxi. 15. and " I will open, &c.” would be true if | it relates to the lamentation of the Jewish applied to our Saviour. And Matt. xxvii. mothers for the murder of their children 35. the soldiers are said to have parted by the Assyrian army, and was not a our Saviour's garments, casting lots, that prediction of the distress there should be it might be fulfilled which was spoken for the murder of the infants by Herod; by the prophet, &c. and yet they knew it is, therefore, in effect, the same form nothing of the prophecy, and could have of expression as that commented upon had no intention of fulfilling it. Very many above, “ that it might be fulfilled, &c." other passages may be referred to, where and meant nothing more than that the the same mode of expression occurs, in description of the distress of the mothers which it could not have been the obje& in Jeremiah was equally applicable to the to fulfil any particular part of scripture, distress of these mothers. Chandl. Def. although it might happen as a conse
286. quence, that there were parts of scripture (a) “Are not," i. e. are dead. So when v. 18. which so far corresponded with what Joseph's brethren ineant to intimate that was done, that they might be said to have he was dead, the expression they used been thereby fulfilled. See Matt. xii. 17. was, he “ is not." Gen. xlii. 13. 32. There are also other passages, in which like Homer's “ Kislav Tulgoghos." what was merely a consequence is stated as
The Epistle. Gal. iv. 1. (6) were under the law, that we mig! Now I say, That (c) the heir, as receive the adoption of sons. An long as he is a child, (d) differeth because ye are sons, God hat
nothing from a servant, though sent forth the Spirit of his Son int 2. he be lord of all; but is under your hearts, (i) crying, “ Abba
tutors and governors, until the " Father.” Wherefore thou ar
time appointed of (e) the father. no more a (m) servant, but a son 3. Even sowe, when we (f) were chil- and if a son, then an heir o
dren, were in bondage under the God through Christ. . 4. elements (g) of the world : But
when the b) fulness of the time The Gospel. Matt. i. 18.
was come, God sent forth his Son, The birth of Jesus Christ was 5. made of a (i) woman, made under on this wise : When as his mo.
the law, (k) to redeem them that ther Mary was espoused to Jo
v. I. 0. I.
(6) This portion of Scripture is altogether figurative; the meaning is this : As an heir to an estate, however valuable the estate may be, is kept in subjection during his minority; so we, whilst we were in a state similar to that of an heir's minority, that is, from the time of Moses till that of Christ, were kept in subjection by the Mosaic ordinances; but now we are advanced to the character of sons, and to what may be deemed manhood, we are freed from that subjection, and entitled to take possession of our inheritance, which, from our being heirs of God through Christ, is altogether spiritual, and has nothing worldly in it. The chief object of this epistle was to satisfy the Christian converts, that they were under no obligation to conform to the Mosaic institutions.
(c) “ The heir,” i. e, any heir.
(d) “Differeth nothing from," i.e. is as much under controul and subjection, as much to use the language of v. 3.) in bondage.
(c) “The Father," i. e. his, the heir's father.
(f)“Were children.” St. Paul considers them, from the times of Moses to that of Christ, as mere children in religion; and in Gal. iii. 24. he accordingly calls “ the law,” that is, the Mosaic institutions, merely“ a schoolmaster to “ bring them unto Christ.” Converts, who were not far advanced in the doctrines, &c. of Christianity, are called « babes in Christ.” i Cor. iii. 1.--Heb. V. 13.—1 Pet. ii. 2.
(g) “ Elements of the world,” i.e. the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, which had little or nothing spiritualin them.
(b) “ Fulness of the time," i.e. either God's own time, or the time to treat mankind as in a state of manhood.
(0)“Of a woman," probably alluding to his extraordinary conception, out of the ordinary course of nature, as mentioned, Matt. i. 18. in the Gospel for the day.
(k)“ To redeem," i.e. to free even the Jews, who before were under the law, from further subjection. It could never, therefore, be necessary for the Gentile converts, who had never been under the law, to submit now to its ordinances. In Eph. ii. 14, 15. Christ Jesus is said to have “ broken down the wall of parti. “ tion between us," (that is, between Jew and Gentile) “ having abolished in “ his flesh the enmity,”(that is, the cause which divided them, which kept them from uniting) even the law of command“ ments, contained in ordinances ;” and in Col. ii. 14. he is said to have “blotted " out the hand-writing of ordinances, “ that was against us, which was con“ trary to us, and to have taken it out " of the way, nailing it to his cross.”
(1) “Crying, &c.”i. e, intitling you to call God your father. So Rom. viii. 15. St. Paul says, “ Ye have received the
spirit of adoption, whereby we cry “ Abba, Father. The spirit itself beareth “ witness with our spirit, that we are " the children of God; and if children, “ then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs “ with Christ, if so be that we suffer “ with him, that we may be also glorified “ together;" that is, if we boldly profess and abide by our religion, in defiance of all danger and temporal considerations.
(m) “ A servant," i.e. in bondage to the ordinances in the law of Moses.
seph, before they came together, 11 " thy wife; for that which is conshe was found with child of the " ceived in her is of the Holy Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her 66 Ghost. And she shall bring 21. husband, being a (n) just man, and “ forth a son, and thou shalt call not willing to make her a public “ his name (0) JESUS: for he
example, was minded to put her “ shall (9) save his people from · away privily. But while he " their sins.” Now all this was 22.
thought on these things, behold done, (r)that it might be fulfilled the angel of the Lord appeared which was spoken of the Lord by unto him in a dream, saying, the prophet, saying, (s) “Behold, 23 “ Joseph, thou (c) son of David, “ a virgin shall be with child, and “ fear not to take unto thee Mary 11 “ shall bring forth a son, and they
(n) “ Just,” i e. kind.
“ you a sign. Behold a virgin shall con. 20. (0) "Son of David.” The angel might “ ceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his
give him this appellation, to remind him “ name Immanuel. Butter and honey that he was of the seed from which the " shall he eat, that he may know to Messiah was to be born.
“ refuse the evil, and choose the good : 11. ( “ Jesus.” This word siguifies “ a « for before the Child shall know to
“ Saviour.” It means the same as « refuse the evil, and choose the good, Joshua, who is called Jesus, A&s vii. of the land that thou abhorrest shall be 45. and Heb. iv. 8. and Joshua is con. “ forsaken of both her kings." There sidered as a type of Jesus Christ.
is some difficulty in applying the whole !I. ( “ Save his people from their sins.” of this passage to Jesus Christ ; and
This shews the nature of our Saviour's | Bp. Chandler, who comments very ably Office-spiritual, not temporal. In the upon it, supposes that Isaiah, who was famous prophecy, Isaiah liji. 6. 11. it is ordered to take with him his child Shear" said, that the Lord hath laid on him the jashub, when he had declared that a virgin “ iniquity of us all that he shall justify should conceive, &c. (to shew, that not“ many, for he shall bear their iniquities." withstanding the appearance of danger, St. Peter says of him after his Ascension, the Messiah shonld still be born, and that that God hath exalted him to be * a Sa. by a miracle), turned to his son Shear« viour, to give repentance to Israel, and jashub, and said of him, pointing to him, “ forgiveness of sins." When John the butter and honey shallohe (this child) Baptist saw our Saviour coming unto eat, &c. that is, your deliverance shall him, he said, “ Behold i he Lamb of God, be so immediate, that the land shall be 6 which taketh away the sin of the world.” in an abundant state, and you shall reap John i. 29. St. Peter says of him, who the fruits of it in abundance, even before “ his ownself bare our sins in his own this child shall know right from wrong. “ body on the tree.” And our Saviour Chand. Def. 316 to 339. See also Dr. himself says, Matt. xx. 28. that “ he came Trapp's ist Discourse. Abp. Usher had
“ to give his life a ransom for many." made the same supposition before, though 3.22. (c) « That it might be fulfilled.” Bp. Chandler did not know it. And Dr.
Perhaps the translation should be, “ so Benson conceived the same notion after. “that it was fulfilled," making the ful. wards, without knowing that Bp. Chand. filment a consequence only, not the object. ler, or perhaps any previous writer, had See ante 44. noie on Matt. ii. 15.
been beforehand with him. Benson's D.23. (s) “ Behold,” &c. The passage is in Introduction, xxiii, to xxv. The other
Isaiah vii. 14. post. The kings of Syria Evangelists take no notice of this pro. and Israel went up towards Jerusalem, to phecy; but according to Luke i. 34, 35. make war against it : Ahaz, the king of when the Virgin Mary asked the angel, Judah, was alarmed; but the Lord as how it should be that she could conceive, sured him they should not succeed, and seeing she knew not a man, his answer offered him any sign he should think fit was, “ The Holy Ghost shall come upon to ask. Ahaz, who was a wicked “ thee, and the power of the Highest king, refused to ask any, upon which I « shall overshadow thee: wherefore also God said, “The Lord himself shall give " “ that holy thing that shall be born of