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“ shall suddenly come to his “ the covenant, whom ye delight “ temple, even the messenger of

66 in: behold, he shall come,”

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ably calculated to keep alive in them that ferring to this expected deliverer, and as expectation. Immediately after the fall, importing that he was to be of the seed they had an intimation that “ the seed of of David, who was of the tribe of Judah, " the woman should bruise the serpent's and in many instances when the Jews in “ head;" and this, though indefinite, our Saviour's time meant to express their might raise in them a hope

that at some belief that he was the Messiah, they called time or other there would be a deliverer, him “ the son of David." There are to give them the opportunity of regaining many other passages in the Psalms look. what by the fall they had forfeited, the ing forward to this signal personage, and chance of eternal life. God afterwards as the Jews were particularly familiar promised to Abraham, that in « him with the Psalms these passages would be w and his seed should all the families or continually in their minds. It would take « nations of the earth be blessed." up too much space to go through the Gen. xii. 3. xxii

, 18. This might in- Prophecies in "Isaiah, Jeremiah, and duce a belief that the deliverer would be Ezekiel. Daniel speaks of the Messiah, of bis seed. This promise was renewed,

and the time of his coming, with great in nearly the same words, to Isaac, particularity, “ seventy weeks are deGen. xxvi. 4 ; and to Jacob, xxviii. 14.

i termined upon thy people, and upon Before Jacob died, he called his sons “ thy holy city, to finish the transgression together, that he might tell them what " and to make an end of sin, and to make should befal them (and their posterity)

“ reconciliation for iniquity, and to in the last days; and unto Judah he said, “ bring in everlasting righteousness, and “the sceptre shall not depart from Judah, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and

nor a lawgiver from between his feet, « to anoint the most holy: Know there“ until Shiloh come ; and to him shall “ fore, and understand, that from the “ the gathering of the people be.” " going forth of the commandment to Gen. xl. 10. This raised the belief that “ restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Deliverer should be of the tribe of “ the Messiah the prince shall be seven Judah, and that that tribe should have “ weeks, and three score and two weeks: some degree of power until his coming. (in seven weeks) the street shall be By “ Shiloh” is certainly meant the “ built again, and the wall, even * in Messiah; and the intimation, “ that unto

“ troublous times. And after three score “ him should the gathering of the people " and two weeks,” (or, the three score “ be," agrees with the character before “s and two weeks,”') shall Messiah be cut given him, that in him should all the " off, but not for himself: and the people nations of the earth be blessed, and with “ of the prince that shall come shall dethe title by which he is called in a sub- w stroy the city and the sanctuary,” &c. sequent prophecy, Hagg. ii. 7. “ the I have added in seven weeks, because some “ desire of all nations." God after addition seems necessary ; and this corwards assured Moses, “I will raise responds with the event. A week, in pro. " them up a prophet from among their phetic language, means seven years, a day “ brethren, like unto thee, and will for a year, as Gen. xxix, 27. Lev. xxv. 8. “ put My words in his mouth, and he Ez. iv. 4, 5. 6. The commandment here “ shall speak unto them all at I shall

referred to,

to restore and to build Jeru. « command him; and it shall come to “salem," is probably that which is men

pass that whosoever will not hearken tioned, Nehemiah ii. in the 20th year of “ unto My words which he shall speak Artaxerxes Longimanus. There had “ in my name, I will require it of him.” been previous orders for building the Deut. xviii. 18, 19. The correspondence Temple, and offering therein. In the in many particulars, between Moses and our Saviour, is ably pointed out by Dr. * What is translated, “ even in troublous Jortin. See Newton on the Prophecies.

“ times,” is in the Vulgate “ in angustia temIn David's time the prophecy in Ps. ii. 7.

porum,” which may mean in the shorter time,

viz. the seven weeks, or what is rendered after " thou art My Son, this day I have be- tbree ore and two weeks may mean, " after the

gotten thee," was considered as re- “ three score and two weeks.'

2. saith the Lord of Hosts. But a (e) refiner's fire, and like ful

who may abide the day of his ler's soap : and he shall sit as a coming ? and who shall stand refiner and purifier of silver ; and when he appeareth? for he is like he shall purify the sons of Levi,

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first year of Cyrus the Persian, about 537 years before the birth of Christ, and perhaps the same year this prophecy was delivered, one was made for rebuilding the Temple (Ezra i. 1.) ; but that order was countermanded before the building was finished. (Ezra iv. 21.) In the second year of Darius king of Persia, about 519 years before the birth of Christ, another order was made for building the Temple, Ezra vi. 1 to 12 ; and it was built accordingly, and finished in the sixth year of the same Darius Hystaspes the Persian. In the seventh year of Artaxerxes, (about 457 years before the birth of Christ), he made a decree to let such of the people as pleased go up to Jerusalem, and for supplying them with offerings (Ezra vii. II to 26); but it was not till the twentieth year of Artaxerxes that we have any account of an order to restore and to build Jerusalem. Nehemiah, who was cup-bearer to Artaxerxes, appeared sad, and assigned as the reason, " that “ the city, the place of my fathers'

sepulchres, lieth waste ;' and he intreated that Artaxerxes would send him unto Judah, “ unto the city of my “ fathers' sepulchres, that I may build “ it ;” and Artaxerxes sent him accord. ingly, and gave him letters for convey. ing him to Judah, and for timber", to so make beams for the gates of the palace “ which appertained to the houses, and for the wall of the city, and for the " house” Nehemiah was to enter into. The twentieth year of Artaxerxes was about 444 years before our Saviour's birth, and therefore 477 only before his crucifixion, not quite 69 weeks of ordinary years before our Saviour was cut off. But the Chaldean year is five days short of ours; and as Daniel had long lived in Chaldea, and his writings are partly in that language, 69 weeks of Chaldean years might be intended in the prophecy; and 477 of our years make rather more than 483 Chaldean years, viz. 483 years and 225 days; and 483 years make 69 weeks of years,

Mic. v. 2. they were assured, that from “ Bethlehem Ephratah should he

“ come forth, that was to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth had been from of “ old, from everlasting.” In Hagg. ii.7. whilst the second temple was building they had this encouragement from God, " the desire of all nations shall come, and “ I will fill this house with glory, saith “ the Lord of Hosts,” and accordingly our Saviour came whilst that temple was standing; and lastly, in Zech. ix. 9. the prophet breaks forth into this rapture,

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; “ Shout O daughter of Jerusalem : be“ hold thy King cometh unto thee: he " is just, and having salvation," &c. (c)

“ A, refiner's fire,” &c. implies that the object of his coming was not to raise them to temporal grandeur, but to cleanse their hearts, to correct their dispositions ; and as St. Paul expresses it, Tit. ii. 14. to “ purify to him“ self a peculiar people, zealous of good “ works." The same might be collected from the preaching of his fore-runner, the messenger here spoken of, John the Baptist : « Now also the ax is laid unto the “ root of the trees : therefore every tree “ which bringeth not forth good fruit is “ hewn down, and cast into the fire: I “ indeed baptize you with water unto “ repentance, but he that cometh after

me shall baptize you with the Holy “ Ghost, and with fire: whose fan is in “ his hand, and he will thoroughly purge “ his floor, and gather his wheat into the

garner ; but he will burn up the chaff “ with unquenchable fire.” Matt. iii

. 10 to 12. · If it was so much God's object then to produce this inward purity, must it not equally be his object now; and if he visited so heavily then those who fell short of it, and did not cordially embrace his religion, will he not equally visit the sinful and despisers of after times? The period of sinning cannot, with a God of perfe&t justice, make a difference in the quantum of punishment. God might make the punishment more visible in our Saviour's time, to make his detestation of sin and unbelief more notorious ; but will the punishment for subsequent sin and unbelief be less certain, or less hcary?

and purge them as gold and is said (s) in the law of the Lord, silver, that they may offer unto “ A pair of turtle doves, or two

the Lord an offering in righte- young pigeons." And, be- 25. - ousness. Then shall the offering | hold, there was a man in Jerusa

of Judah and Jerusalem be plea- lem, whose name was Simeon ; sant unto the Lord, as in the and the same man was just and

days of old, and as in former devout, waiting for the (b) con• years.

66 And I will come near solation of Israel : and the Holy to you to judgement; and I Ghost was upon him. And it 26. " will be a swift witness against was revealed unto him by the “ the sorcerers, and against the Holy Ghost, that he should not " adulterers, and against false see death before he had seen the swearers, and against those that

Lord's Christ. And he came by 27. oppress the hireling in his the Spirit into the temple: and

wages, the widow, and the when the parents brought in the “ fatherless, and that turn aside child Jesus, to do for him after the stranger from his right, and the custom of the law, then took 28. “ fear not me," saith the Lord he him up in his arms, and of Hosts.

blessed God, and (i) said, “Lord, 29.

now lettest thou thy servant The Gospel. Luke ii. 22. “ depart in peace, according to And when the days of her puri- " thy word : for mine eyes have 30. fication according to the law of “ seen thy salvation, which thou 31. Moses were accomplished, they “ hast prepared before the face brought him to Jerusalem, to

“ of all people ; a light to lighter 32. 23. present him to the Lord; (as it " the Gentiles, and the glory of

is (f) written in the law of the “ thy people Israel.” And Joseph 33. Lord, “ Every male that openeth

and his mother marvelled at those “ the womb shall be called holy things which were spoken of “ to the Lord ;') and to offer a

him. And Simeon blessed them, 34. 24. sacrifice according to that which

and said unto Mary his mother,

1.23. 1)" Written,” Exod. xii. 2. “ The

Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Sanc-
tify unto me all the first born, what-

soever openeth the womb among the “ children of Israel, both of man and of

* beast-it is mine." 1.24. (8) “ Said in the law," 8.c. She was

to bring a lamb, and a turtle-dove or young pigeon ; but if she were not able to bring a lamb, she was to bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, one for a burnt-offering, the other for a sin-offer.

ing. Levit. xii. 6. 8. 125. (b) The consolation of Israel," i.e.

the Messiah, who, on account of Daniel's prophecy of the seventy weeks, Dan.ix.24. ante 63, was at this time anxiously expected. Anna spake of him (infra, v.38.)

" to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.Joseph of Arimathea was one of those “ who waited for the kingdom of God," that is, the times of the Messiah Luke xxii. 51. The question, Matt. xi. 3. ante 31,

" Art thou he that u should come, or do we look for ano" ther?” implies that some important character was expected. In John iv. 25. the woman of Samaria says, " I know “ that Messias cometh;" and in John vi. 4. when the people saw the miracle of the loaves and fishes, they exclaimed, " This is of a truth that prophet which “ should come into the world." See

ante 33

(i) See ante,


“ Behold, this child is set for keep thy Church and household “ the fall and rising again of continually in thy true religion ; “ many in Israel ; and for a sign that they who do lean only upon

“ which shall be spoken against ; || the hope of thy heavenly grace, 35. (yea, (k) a sword shall pierce may evermore be defended by

“ through thy own soul also,) | thy mighty power, through Jesus (that the thoughts of many

Christ our Lord. Amen. 36. “ hearts may be revealed.” And

there was one Anna, a prophetess,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the The Epistle. Col. iii. 12.
tribe of Aser ; she was of a great Put on therefore, as the elect of
age, and had lived with an hus-
band seven years from her vir-

God, holy and beloved, (I) bowels

of mercies (m), kindness, hum37• ginity; and she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, long-suffering; forbearing one

bleness of mind, meekness, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fast

another, and forgiving one anoings and prayers night and day. ther, if any man have a quarrel 38. And she coming in that instant, || against any: even as Christ for gave thanks likewise unto the

gave you, so also do ye. And

above all these things put on Lord, and spake of him to all

them that looked for redemption charity (n), which is the (6) bond 39. in Jerusalem. And when they

of perfectness. And let the peace

of God (p) rule in your hearts, to had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they in (9) one body'; and be

the which also ye are called returned into Galilee, to their


thankful. Let the word of Christ 40. own city Nazareth. And the child

spirit, filled with wisdom : and

teaching and admonishing one the grace of God was upon him.

another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

And whatsoever ye do in word Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany.

or deed, do all in the name of The Collect.

the Lord Jesus, giving thanks O Lord, we beseech thee to to God and the Father by him.

and waxed strong in dwell in you richly in all wisdom;




" A sword,” &c. Epiphanius || giving, but general goodwill to all mansays she was put to death.

kind. The extensive sense in which the (1) Bowels,” &c. not the outward word “charity" is used, may be colappearance, but the inward feeling and

lected from 1 Cor. xiii. post. 75. affection. True religion goes to the root, ().“ Bond of perfectness," i.e. perit regulates the beart.

haps the most perfect bond : uniting man. vi 12. (m) Mercies,” &c. The character of to man more than


other quality. the Christian virtues recommended here ()“ Peace of God," i. e. godlike and elsewhere deserves notice : how ad

peaceableness. mirably are they calculated to promote (9).“ In one body," i.e. together, the comfort and happiness of individuals to make one fraternity, whose characand of society!

teristic shall be universal goodwill. See (n) “ Charity,” i.e. not mere alms- ante, 35. Eph. ii. 19, &c.


The Gospel. Matt. xiii. 24.

“ to burn them : but gather the THE (r) kingdom of heaven is

“ wheat into my barn." likened unto a man which sowed

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany. 5. good seed in his field : but while men slept, his enemy came and

The Collect. sowed tares among the wheat, O God, whose blessed “Son was 6. and went his way. But when

manifested that he might destroy the blade was sprung up, and

the works of the devil, and make brought forth fruit, then ap

us the sons of God, and heirs 7. peared the tares also. So the of eternal life; Grant us, we be

servants of the householder came seech thee, that having this hope, and said unto him, “ Sir, didst not we may purify ourselves, even " thou sow good seed in thy field? as he is pure; that when he shall

« from whence then hath it tares?" appear again with power and 28. He said unto them, “ An enemy great glory, we may be made like

“ hath done this.” The servants unto him in his eternal and glorisaid unto him, “ Wilt thou then ous kingdom; where with thee,

" that we goand gather them up?" O Father, and thee, O Holy 29. But he said, “ Nay; lest, while ye

Ghost, he liveth and reigneth, gather up the tares, ye root up

ever one God, world without end. u also the wheat with them. Let

Amen. “ both grow together until the The Epistle. John fi. 1. “ harvest : and in the time of BEHOLD, what (s) manner of “ harvest I will say to the reapers, love the Father hath bestowed “ Gather ye together first the upon us, that we should be called tares, and bind them in bundles

the (t) sons of God! therefore the


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(v) “ The kingdom of heaven,” i. e. “ God's dispensation under the gospel." In the conclusion of this chapter, our Saviour thus explains this parable to his disciples : « He that soweth the “good seed, is the Son of Man : the " Held is the world: the good seed are “ the children of the kingdom" (i.e. the true believers), " but the tares " are the children of the wicked one : “the enemy that sowed them is the “ devil : the harvest is the end of the “ world; and the reapers are the angels: “ As therefore the tares are gathered, " and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in " the end of this world: The Son of " Man shall send forth his angels, and

they shall gather out of his kingdom " all things that offend, and them which “do iniquity : and shall cast them into

a furnace of fire--there shall be wail. "ing and gnashing of teeth. Then “ shall the righteous shine forth as the

“sun, in the kingdom of their Father." Matt. xii. 37 to 43. Because God's judgment against an evil work is not executed speedily, it is not to be concluded that it will never come. One object of God's forbearance and long-suffering is to lead men to repentance, Rom.ii. 4; and where men do not repent, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, will sooner or later be rendered to every soul of man that doeth evil. Rom. ii. 6. 8. 9.

(s)What manner," &c. i.e. how v.1. great has his love been, to treat us as


(t) “ The sons of God.” So St. Paul v.1. assures the Roman converts, Rom.viii. 15. " Ye have received the spirit of adop“ tion, whereby we cry Abba, Father;" and Gal. iv. 4, 5. he tells the Galatians that “ God sent forth his Son, &c. that

we might receive the adoption of sons.” See ante 46. note on Gal, iv. 6.

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