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abroad among the brethren, That their deaths ; Mortify and kill all that disciple should not die: yet vices in us, and so strengthen us Jesus said not unto him, He shall || by thy grace, that by the innonot die; but, “ If I will that he cency of our lives, and constancy
tarry till I come, what is that to of our faith even unto death, we “ thee?” This (s) is the disciple may glorify thy holy Name, which testifieth of these things, through Jesus Christ our Lord. and wrote these things : and we Amen. know that his testimony is true. And there are also many other For the Epistle. Rev. xiv. I. things which Jesus did, the which
I if they should be written every
LOOKED, and, lo, a (t) Lamb
stood on the mount Sion, and one, I suppose that even the 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
() “ This is the disciple,” &c. The v. 24.
(t) For“ a Lamb,” read “the Lamb, v. 1. “ the Messiah, our Saviour, the Son of - God.” It is evident he is referred to, because his Father's (i. e. God's) name was written in the foreheads of the 144,000.
(u)“ 144,000.” The same number as v. I. in Rev. vii. 4. post, are said to have been sealed in their foreheads, with the seal of the living God as the servants of God. It was usual for servants, soldiers, &c. to bear some name or mark exposed to public view, to denote whose servants, soldiers, &c. they were. The number is twelve times twelve thousand, i. e. twelve thousand for each of the tribes of Israel, meaning probably a large indefinite num. ber of persons of all nations. See post, note on Eph. iv. 30.
no man could learn that song
The Gospel. Matt. ii. 13. but the hundred and forty and
four thousand which were re- The angel of the Lord appeareth 4. deemed from the earth. These to Joseph in a dream, saying,
are they which were not defiled “ Arise, and take the young child, with women ; for they are virgins. 6 and his mother, and flee into These are they which follow the “ Egypt, and be thou there until I Lamb whithersoever he goeth. “ bring thee word : for Herod These were redeemed from among “ will seek the young child to de
men, being the first-fruits unto stroy him.” When he arose, he 5. God and to the Lamb. And in took the young child, and his mo
their mouth was found no guile: ther by night, and departed into for they are without fault before | Egypt : and was there until the i the throne of God.
death of Herod, (x) that it might be
(x) " That it might be fulfilled.” The healed the sick, for the purpose of ful
. passage referred to is in Hosea xi. 1. filling this prophecy, for the direct
When Israel was a child, then I loved meaning of this prophecy was, that he “ him, and called my son
would take our sins upon himself, by “ Egypt;" and it has the appearance suffering for them upon the cross, and of referring to the early times of the it was rather a strain upon the words to Jewish history, speaking of the nation apply them to bodily infirmities and under the character of a son, or child, sickness. Again, in John xü. 18, our rather than looking forward propheti- Saviour (intimating that one of his aposcally to the Messiah. Dr. Hammond, tles would betray him) says, “ I know Bp. Chandler, Dr. Benson, and many “ whom I have chosen, but that the scritother writers, suppose that St. Matthew “ ture may be fulfilled, “ he that eatech did not mean to insinuate either that the “ bread with me hath lift up his heel passage in Hosea was intended to foretell “ against me ;” and yet that passage this event, or that the event happened (which is in Ps. xli. 9.) appears to have to fulfil the prediction ; but that all he referred to one of David's Friends only. meant was, that the passage in Hosea So in John xv. 24, 25, our Saviour says, might be applied to this event, as if he now have they both seen, and hated had said ; so that in this instance also, as “ both me and my Father ; but this well as in that to which the passage in Ho. “ cometh to pass, that it might be ful sea really referred, it might be said, “Out “ filled which was written in their los, “ of Egypt, &c." See Chandler's De- “ they hated me without a cause.” The fence of Christianity, 285 to 295. Sykes passage there referred to is in Ps.xxxv.19. on Hebr. Introduction, xxxi. Benson's i o let not them which are mine eneIntroduct. xxvi. The Greek words “ mies, triumph over me ungodly ; sciwould perhaps admit of the translation, " ther let them wink with their eyes, “ so that it was fulfilled,” which corre- “ that hate me without a cause." This was sponds exactly with this supposition. no prediction that our Saviour should be There are other passages where that must “ hated without a cause," and it is ab. be the meaning of what is at present surd, if not blasphemous, to suppose, that translated," that it might be fulfilled." the persons of whom St. John speaks, In Matt. viii. 16, 17, it is said that our were constrained or induced to hate our Saviour “ cast out the evil spirits with Saviour and the Father, that a supposed « his word, and healed all that were sick, prediction in this passage might be ful" that it might be fulfilled which was spo- filled. The passage really means nothing “ ken by Esaias the prophet, saying, “ him. more than this, that what David said “ self took our infirmities, and bare our of his enemies," that they hated him with“ sicknesses ;” and yet he could never “out a cause," might also be said of those mean that he cast out the spirits and | who hated Jesus Christ and God. So
fulfilled which was spoken of the “ forted, because they (a) are
Sunday after Christmas Day. he was mocked of the wise men,
The Collect. was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the (y) children Almi
MIGHTY 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
Matt. xii. 35. Jesus is said to have spoken the obje&t. In Matt. X. 34. when our to the people in parables, “ that it might Saviour
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, 1 will utter things which “ the daughter against her mother," he “ have been kept secret from the foun- did not mean that this was his obje&, “ 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, (y)“ Children,”i.e. the male children ; 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.
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&t 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 meant 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 “ Kila Nalgoxhos." 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, 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 6 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 (P) JESUS: for he
example, was minded to put her “ shall (q) save his people from · away privily. But while he
66 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 (6) son of David, a virgin shall be with child, and « fear not to take unto thee Mary “ shall
bring forth a son, and they
19. () “ Just," i e. kind.
O) "Son of David.” The angel might give him this appellation, to remind him that he was of the seed from which the Messiah was to be born.
() “ Jesus.” This word siguifies “ a “ Saviour." It means the same Joshua, who is called Jesus, Ads vii. 45. and Heb. iv. 8. and Joshua is considered as a
pe of Jesus Christ. !I. (9) “Save his people from their sins.”
This shews the nature of our Saviour's Office-spiritual, not temporal. In the famous prophecy, Isaiah liii. 6. 11. it is " said, that the Lord hath laid on him the “ iniquity of us all-that he shall justify
many, for he shall bear their iniquities." St. Peter says of him after his Ascension, that God hath exalted him to be ó a Sa. “ viour, to give repentance to Israel, and
forgiveness of sins." When John the Baptist saw our Saviour coming unto him, he said, “ Behold :he Lamb of God, " which taketh away the sin of the world.”
St. Peter says of him, who “ his ownself bare our sins in his own “ body on the tree.” And our Saviour himself says, Matt. xx.28. that “he came
to give his life a ransom for many.".
(r) “ That it might be fulfilled.” Perhaps the translation should be, “ " that it was fulfilled,” making the ful. filment a consequence only, not the object.
See ante 44. noie on Matt, ii. 15. D.23. (s) “Behold,” &c. The passage is in
Isaiah vii. 14. post. The kings of Syria and Israel went up towards Jerusalem, to make war against it : Ahaz, the king of Judah, was alarmed; but the Lord assured him they should not succeed, and offered him any sign he should think fit to ask. Ahaz, who was
a wicked king, refused to ask any, upon which God said, “The Lord himself shall give
you a sign. Behold a virgin shall “ ceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Butter and honey " shall he eat, that he may know to “ refuse the evil, and choose the good : « for before the Child shall know to “ refuse the evil, and choose the good, " the land that thou abhorrest shall be “ forsaken of both her kings." There is some difficulty in applying the whole of this passage to Jesus Christ ; and Bp. Chandler, who comments very ably upon it, supposes that Isaiah, who was ordered to take with him his child Shear. jashub, when he had declared that a virgin should conceive, &c. (to shew, that notwithstanding the appearance of danger, the Messiah should still be born, and that by a miracle), turned to his son Shearjashub, and said of him, pointing to him, butter and honey shall be this child) eat, &c. that is, your deliverance shall be so immediate, that the land shall be in an abundant state, and
reap the fruits of it in abundance, even before this child shall know right from wrong. Chand. Def. 316 to 339.
See also Dr. Trapp's ist Discourse. Abp. Usher had made the same supposition before, though Bp. Chandler did not know it. And Dr. Benson conceived the same notion afterwards, without knowing that Bp.Chand. ler, or perhaps any previous writer, had been beforehand with him. Benson's Introduction, xxiii, to xxv. The other Evangelists take no notice of this pro. phecy; but according to Luke i. 34, 35. when the Virgin Mary asked the angel, how it should be that she could conceive, seeing she knew not a man, his answer was,
* The Holy Ghost shall come upon “ thee, and the power of the Highest « shall overshadow thee: wherefore also " that holy thing that shall be born of
John i. 29.