« PreviousContinue »
" thou wilt, thou canst make me no, not in Israel.” And I say
clean." And Jesus put forth his “ unto you, That (8) many shall hand, and touched him, saying, “I come from the east and west, " will; be thou clean :" And im- " and shall sit down with Abra
mediately his leprofy was cleansed. “ ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in 4. And Jesus saith unto him, “ See " the kingdom of heaven : But “ thou tell no man; but go thy “ the children (b) of the kingdom
way, shew (c) thyself to the 66 shall be cast out into outer
priest, and offer the gift that 6 darkness: there shall be weep“ Moses commanded for a (d)tes- ing and gnashing of teeth.” 5. timony unto them.” And when And Jesus said unto the centurion,
Jesus was entered into Caper. " Go thy way; and as thou hast
naum, there came unto him a cen- “ believed, so be it done unto 6. turion, beseeching him, and say
c thee.” And his servant was ing, “ Lord, my servant lieth at healed in the self-same hour.
“ home sick of the palsy, griev7. ously tormented.” And Jesus
saith unto him, “I will come and The Conversion of St.Paul. 8. 66 heal him.” The centurion an
The Collect. swered and said, “Lord, I am O God, who through the preach“ not worthy that thou shouldesting of the blessed Apostle Saint
under my roof: but speak Paul hast caused the light of the " the word only, and my servant Gospel to shine throughout the 9. u shall be healed. For I am a world; Grant, we beseech thee,
man under authority, having that we having his wonderful con" soldiers under me: and I say to version in remembrance, may " this man, (e) Go, and he goeth; shew forth our thankfulness unto " and to another, Come, and he thee for the same, by following e cometh ; and to my servant, the holy do&rine which he
“ Do this, and he doeth it.” || taught, through Jesus Christ our 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvel- Lord. Amen. led, and said to them that followed,
Verily I say unto you, I have For the Epistle. Acts ix. 1. ()
(c) “ Shew thyself," &c.
I to 57.
i.e. as a proof of being cleansed.
obeyed by those who are under me, be-
have as much power over the disease as I
Many,” &c. i.e. Gentiles. (b) “ Children of the kingdom," i.e. v Jews. The strong instance of faith in the Centurion, who was a Gentile, naturally led our Saviour to contrast the conduct of the Gentiles with that of the Jews.
(0) Lord Lyttleton, in an admirable discussion on the conversion and conduct of St. Paul, considers it of itself sufficient to satisfy any reasonable mind of the
threatenings (k) and slaughter voice (1), but seeing no man. against the disciples of the Lord, And Saul arose from the earth; 8.
went unto the high priest, and and when his eyes were opened, 2. desired of him letters to Damas- he saw no man: but they led
cus to the synagogues, that if he him by the hand, and brought found any of this way, whether him into Damascus. And he was 9. they were men or women, hemight three days without sight, and
bring them bound unto Jerusa- neither did eat nor drink. And 10. 3. lem. And as he journeyed, he there was a certain disciple at
came near Damascus; and sud- Damascus, named Ananias : arid
denly there shined round about to him said the Lord in a vision, 4. him a light from heaven : and he “ Ananias.” And he said, “ Be.
fell to the earth, and heard a “ hold, I am here, Lord.” And 11, voice saying unto him, “ Saul, the Lord said unto him, “ Arise,
“ Saul, why persecutest thou “ and go into the street which is S. “ me?” And he said, “ Who “ called Straight, and inquire in
« art thou, Lord ?” And the 66 the house of Judas for one
“ for thee to kick against the seen in a vision a man named 6. “ pricks."
And he trembling “ Ananias coming in, and putand astonished, said, “ Lord, “ ting his hand on him, that he ( what wilt thou have me to “ might receive his sight.” Then 13. u do ?” And the Lord said unto Ananias answered, “ Lord, I him, “ Arise, and go into the “ have heard by many of this
“ city, and it shall be told thee man, how mich evil he hath 7. 66 what thou must do.” And “ done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
the men which journeyed with " and here he hath authority 14. him stood speechless, hearing a “ from the chief priests to bind
truth of the Christian religion. St. Paul must have known, to a certainty, whether what is here stated really did happen to him, and whether he really received the spiritual communications, and possessed the supernatural powers elsewhere mentioned: and he could have had no temporal views, because his profession was decidedly against his worldly interests. What he went through and endured for the Christian cause (see 2 Cor. xi. 23. to 27. Sexagesima Sunday) is pretty strong proof that he was no impostor. St. Luke, who wrote the Acts, was with St. Paul the_greatest part of twelve years, from A.D. 46 to A.D. 58,, so that his ac. count of the conversion may be depended upon as correct. The conversion is supposed to have occurred A.D. 35, two years after the Crucifixion.
(b) “ Threatenings and slaughter."
This implies pretty strongly that the first converts were severely persecuted, and that it could not be desirable, as to worldly views, to embrace Christianity : what then could have induced the apostles to persevere themselves, and to bring over others, but the certain knowledge that they had seen our Saviour after his crucifixion, and that they had assurances in which they could not have been mistaken or deceived, that Jesus was the Messiah ; and what could have worked upon any one to turn to this persuasion, but the conviction, from seeing what the apostles did, that God was with them?
“ A voice.” In Aas xxii. 9. St. 0.7. Paul says, They heard not the voice : the two passages may be reconciled by substituting here "a mighty sound," or “ noise," for voice.
15. “ all that call on thy name.” But The Gospel. Matt. xix. 27.
the Lord said unto him, “ Go Peter answered and said unto " thy way : for he is a chosen Jesus, “Behold, we have forsaken 6 vessel unto me, to bear my “ all, and followed thee: what
name before the Gentiles, and 66 shall we have therefore ?"
“ kings, and the children of Is- And Jesus said unto them, “ Ve. 16. 6 rael: for I will shew him how rily I say unto you, That ye great things he must suffer for
66 which have followed me, in 17. my name's sake.” And Ana- “ the regeneration, when the Son
nias went his way, and entered “ of man shall sit in the throne into the house; and putting his “ of his glory, ye also shall sit hands on him, said, “ Brother upon twelve thrones, judging 6 Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, " the twelve tribes of Israel, " that appeared unto thee in the " And every one that hath for
way as thou camest, hath sent “ saken houses, or brethren, or
me, that thou mightest receive “ sisters, or father, or mother, or “ thy sight, and be filled with " wife, or children, or lands, 18. “ the Holy Ghost.” And im- “ for my name's sake, shall re
mediately there fell from his eyes “ ceive an hundred-fold, and as it had been scales; and he re- “ shall inherit everlasting life.
ceived sight forthwith, and arose, “ But many that are first shall 19. and was baptized. And when he “ be last; and the last shall be had received meat, he
6 first.” strengthened. Then was Saul
certain days with the disciples 20. which were at Damascus. And Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. straightway he preached Christ in
The Collect. the synagogues,
" that he is the O God, who knowest us to be 21. “Son of God.” But all that heard
set in the midst of so many and him were amazed, and said, “Is
great dangers, that by reason of “ not this he that destroyed them the frailty of our nature we can" which called on this name in
not always stand upright; Grant " Jerusalem, and came hither for
to us such strength and protec“ that intent, that he might bring tion, as may support us in all
“ them bound unto the chief dangers, and carry us through all 22. priests ?” But Saul increased
temptations, through Jesus Christ the more in strength, and con- our Lord. Amen. founded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is The Epistle. Rom. xii.i.
Let (m) every soul be subject
governmentsagainst them, and would have answered no spiritual end: Thus St. Paul directs Titus “ to put the converts in “ mind to be subje& to principalities and
powers, and to obey magistrates." Tit. iii, 1.; and St. Peter exhorts them, 1 Pet. ii. 13. to “ submit to every
unto the higher powers. For sake. For, for this (s) cause 6. there is no power but of God: pay you (t) tribute also: for they
the powers that be are ordained are God's ministers, attending 2. of God.' Whosoever therefore continually upon this (u) very
resisteth the power, resisteth the thing. Render therefore to all 7. ordinance (n) of God; and they their dues; tribute to whom (x)
that resist shall receive to them- tribute is due; custom to whom 3. selves damnation. For rulers custom ; fear to whom fear;
are not a terror to good works, honour to whom honour.
The Gospel. Matt. viï 23.(y)
And when he was entered into 4. same: for he is the minister of a ship, his disciples followed
God to thee for good. But if him. And, behold, there arose 24. thou do that which is evil, be
a great tempest in the sea, insoafraid; for he beareth not the much that the ship was covered sword in vain : for he is the with the waves : but he was minister of God, a revenger to asleep. And his disciples came 25.
execute (9) wrath upon him that to him, and awoke him, saying, 5. doeth evil. Wherefore ye must “Lord, save us : we perish.” And
needs be subject, not only for he saith unto them, “ Why are 26. wrath (r), but also for conscience ye fearful, Oye of little faith?"
nance of man for the Lord's sake (i. e. as matter of duty) " whether it be is to the king, as supreme, or unto go
vernors, as unto them that are sent “ by him for the punishment of evil “ doers, and for the praise of them that
“ do well.” See post, note on 1 Pet. v.2. (m) “Ordinance," i.e. appointment. 0.3. “ Wilt, &c." i.e. if you wish to
avoid being in fear of the power do that
(o) “The same," i. e. the power.
(9) “ Wrath,” i.e. punishment. vis.
“ For wrath, &c." Not only to avoid the punishment of man, but from a sense that it is part of your duty to God.
“ For this cause," i.e. because they are God's ministers. 0.6. (0) Pay you,” i. e. you are to pay,
it is your duty. v.6. “ This very thing," i.e. the pu.
nishment of evil-doers, and the praise, &c.
of them that do well. 0.7.
(x) “ Tribute, &c." When some of
the Pharisees, &c. sought occasion against our Saviour, to bring him under the cognizance of the civil magistrate by putting to him the question whether in his opinion it was lawful to give tribute unto Cæsar ? he told them to render “ unto Cæsar the things which are Cæ-'
sar's, and unto God the things which
are God's,” Matt. xxii. 15, 17, 21.Mark xii. 13, &c.—Luke xx. 20, &c.; meaning perhaps to insinuate, that his religion would not interfere with the civil government, and that his followers would still continue subject to the laws and control of the state.
(y) The miracles here stated were pera haps before the call of St. Matthew, so that the testimony is not, as in many other instances, that of an eye-witness. St. Matthew's call is not mentioned till the next chapter; and his statement implies that it was after these events, though not long after them. His associ-. ation, however, almost immediately after their occurrence, with those disciples in whose presence they occurred, when they would naturally be topics of conversation and astonishment, gives hi statement great credit.
Then he arose, and rebuked the the city, and told every thing,
winds and the sea ; and there was and what was befallen to the 27. a great calm. But the men mar- possessed of the devils. And, 3+ velled, saying,
" What manner behold, the whole city came out 66 of man is this, that even the to meet Jesus : and when they
“ winds and the sea obey him ?” saw him, they (a) besought him 28. And when he was come to the that he would depart out of their
other side, into the country of coasts.
fierce, so that no man might pass The PRESENTATION OF CHRIST IN THE 29. by that way. And, behold, they TEMPLE, commonly called The Puricried out, saying, “What have we fication of the Virgin Mary. to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son
The Collect. 66 of God? art thou come hither
“ to torment us before the time?" | ALMIGHTY and everliving God, 30. And there was a good way off we humbly beseech thy Majesty,
from them an herd of many swine that as thy only-begotten Son was 31. feeding. So the devils bésought this day presented in the temple him, saying, “ If thou cast us out,
in substance of our flesh; so we “ suffer us to go away into the may be presented unto thee with 66 herd of swine.” And he said un- pure and clean hearts, by the to them, “Go.” And when they same thy Son Jesus Christ our were come out, they went into
For the Epistle. Mal. iii. 1. (6) violently down a steep place into “ Behold, I will send (c) my
the sea, and perished in the messenger, and he shall pre33. waters : And they that kept them
the way before me: and fled, and went their ways into “ the (d) Lord, whom ye seek,
“ Swine;" If these were kept by Jews, it was a breach of their law : if by Gentiles, yet if it was in the country of the Jews, it was a snare to them.
(a) “Besought him," &c. St. Luke assigns as a reason for this request, ch. viii. 37. that “they were taken with “ great fear;" and St. Mark says, ch. v. 15. “ that they were afraid."
(6) Malachi prophesied about 430 years before our Saviour's time.
(c) “ Messenger." John the Baptist was this messenger : and he prepared the way before our Saviour ; that is, prepared men's hearts for his reception, by preaching “repentance, for the kingir dom of heaven is at hand," &c. See Matt. ii. 2. 8 to 12. Isaiah had before
foretold that there would be such a mes. senger, in the prophecy, Isaiah xl. 3. • The voice of him that crieth in the wil. “derness, Prepare ye the way of the “ Lord, make straight in the desert a
highway for our God." See post, John Baptist's Day. See an able comment and explanation upon this passage in Malachi, Bp. Chandler's Defence of Christianity; and Dr. Trapp's Second Discourse.
(d) “ The Lord whom ye seek," “ the Messenger of the covenant, whom “ ye delight in." These expressions import, that even at this time the coming of the Messiah was an object to which they looked forward ; and the repeated prophecies from time to time delivered with a view to that event, were admir.