Page images

world (u) knoweth us not, (x) be- law. And ye know that he s. 2. cause it knew him not. Beloved, was manifested to (d) take away

now are we the sons of God; our sins; and in him is no and it doth not yet appear what sin. Whosoever (e) abideth in 6. we (y) shall be: but we know him (f) sinneth not : whosoever that, when (z) he shall appear, we sinneth, hath not (g) seen him,

shall be like (a) him ; for we shall neither known him. Little chil- 7. 3. see (6) him as he is. And every dren, let no man deceive you:

man that hath this hope in him, he that doeth righteousness, is

purifieth (c) himself even as he righteous even as he is (5) righte 4. is pure. Whosoever committeth He that committeth sin, is 8.

sin transgresseth also the law : of the devil ; for the devil sinneth for sin is the transgression of the from the beginning. For this


[ocr errors]


(u)“ Knoweth," i.e. countenanceth, favoureth, sheweth no attachment to. The word is used in nearly the same sense Ps. i. 7. “ The Lord knoweth the


“ the righteous," i. c. favours it, makes
it secure.

(x) “ Because,” &c. So John, xv. 19.
our Saviour says to his disciples,
“ were of the world, the world would
“ love his own: but because ye are not
" of the world, but I have chosen you
“ out of the world, therefore the world

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

« hateth you."




(y) “ Shall be," i.e. what further privileges we shall have.

" When he shall appear," pro. bably alluding to his expected appear. ance at that great periodi so often men. tioned as “ the coming," " the appear

ance,” the day of the Lord.". See ante 25, note on Rom. eiii. II.

(a) " Like him.” It is very possible St. John and the other disciples might so far have formed a wrong notion of the nature of Christ's apj rroaching appearance, as to expect that his faithful followers would at that time be singularly glorified, and perhaps. taken up into heaven: and a mistake in this respect, so far from impeaching the epistles, seems to furnish a strong argument as to the time when they wers: written, viz. before the destruction of Jerusalem : after that event their expectation would be corrected, and they could no longer be un. der this mistake. Thus, Thess. iv. 15, &c. St. Paul says, “ We which are •• alive and rema in" (as if he expected it whilst some of tt sem rer ained alive before that generation should have passed away) unto the con ting of the Lord, shall not “ prevent ther a which are asleep : for the Lord himse If shall descend from heaven

“ with a shout, with the voice of the arch. “ angel and with the trump of God: and o the dead in Christ shall rise first : then

which are alive and remain, shall “ be caught up together with them in “ the clouds, to meet the Lord in the « air : and so shall we ever be with the “ Lord.” So Philipp. iii. 20, 21. be says,

“ Our conversation is in heaven, « from whence also we look for the “ Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who “shall change our vile body, that it may “ be fashioned like unto his glorious “ body.” Again, Col. iii. 4. he says, “ when Christ, who is our life, shall

appear, then shall ye also appear “ with him in glory." See also 2 Pet. iii. 10.-Rom. viii. 18. post, and see ante 30, note on Luke xxxii. I find Dr. Benson supposes the apostles might think the destruction of the world and the end of the world would come to pass at or near the same period. Benson's Introduct. xxix.

(6) “ See,” &c. i. e. perhaps, have as 5.2. perfect knowledge as sight ordinarily gives. See note on 1 Cor. xiii. 12. post.

(c) “Purifieth,” &c. i.e. endeavours 6.3 to purify—“ as he," i e. God,

เด (d) Take away," i.e. to remove orji the penal consequences of the past, and to restrain us from sinning in future.

(e) “Abideth in," i. e, adheres sted. v.6. fastly to.

() Sinneth not." Takes care to 0.6 commit no sin.

(8) “ Not seen him," &c. i. e, not to a any purpose.

(b) “Is righteous," &c. i.e. endeavours to be perfect in righteousness; no one can be considered as “ doing righte. " ousness" who does not aim at this perfection.

purpose the Son of God was ma. elect (). Behold, I have told you 25. nifested, that he might (i) de- before. Wherefore if they shall 26. stroy the works of the devil.

say unto you, Behold, he is in

the desert; go not forth : Behold,
The Gospel. Matt. xxiv. 23.

he is in the secret chambers; be-
lieve it not.

For as the light- 27. Then (k) if any man shall say ning (p) cometh out of the east,

unto you, “ Lo, here is Christ," and shineth even unto the west; 14. or “ there;” believe it not. For so shall also the coming of the

there shall arise false (1) Christs, Son of man be. For (9) whereso- 28. and false prophets, and shall shew ever the carcase is, there will the great signs (m) and wonders ; in eagles be gathered together. Im- 29. somuch (n) that, if it were pos- mediately after the tribulation sible, they shall deceive the very of those days shall the (r) sun be

was the object of the signs, &c. with-
out importing that they were to be so ex-
traordinary as to be likely to accomplish
the object.

(6) “ The very elect," i. e. the most v. 24. faithful Christians, those who had most manfully withstood all temptation, opposition, and persecution.

6) “ As the lightning," &c. i.e. as v. 27. the lightning is not confined to place, not stationary, not waiting that any one may come to look at it, but extends in a moment from one end of heaven to the other, so the Son of man's coming shall not be confined to place, &c. he shall not be the object of sight, he shall be seen only by his effects, and those ef. fects shall occur wherever his adversaries


1. 24.

0.8. ) To destroy," &c, i.e. to re

form mankind; according to Tit. ii. 14. “ to purify to himself a peculiar people,

“ zealous of good works.” 23.

(1) “ Then,” &c. This is part of our Saviour's noted prophecy in answer to the question when the temple " should be destroyed, and what should

“ be the sign of his coming." 24. (1) “ False Christs." Many impos.

tors, according to the Jewish historian Josephus, did accordingly appear before the destruction of Jerusalem, before the siege and during it. Their appearing at this time, and having followers, is an argument that there was then a general expectation of the Messiah's coming. This refers to those who appeared during the siege of Jerusalem; he had noticed the appearance of others before it in v.5.

(m) “Great signs." A miracle is not necessarily a proof that the duer has God's approbation. God may sanction a miracle from an impostor, to try men's faith. Thus, Deutr. xiii. 1, 2, 3. Moses says, “ if there arise among you a pro

phet, and he giveth thee a sign or a “ wonder, and the sign or the wonder

cometh to pass, whereof he spake

unto thee, saying, let us go after “other gods, thou shalt not hearken

unto the words of that prophet, for " the Lord your God proveth you, to " know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart.” Some. thing may depend upon the character of the miracle, and the doctrine, &c. it is

brought forward to sanction, 24. (n) • Insomuch that,” &c. The

rendering may be, “ in order to de“ceive," and then it only implies what

(9) Wheresoever,” &c. i.e. as cer. W. 28. tainly as the eagle or vulture will find out a dead carcase, so certainly will the instruments of the Messiah's vengeance find out his enemies. Job gires this character of the eagle, “ where the slain

are, there is she." Job xxxix. 30. It is observable too, that the Roman armies were in this instance the instruments of God's vengeance, and their ensign was an eagle.

(r) “ The sun shall be darkened." v.29. In prophetic language great commotions, &c. on earth are represented by coinmotions, &c. in heaven, and the overthrow, &c. of earthly potentates by defects, &c. in the lights of heaven. In antient hieroglyphics the sun, moon, and stars stood for states, potentates, kings, &c. When God was foretelling by Isaiah the destruction of Babylon, Isaiah xiii. 9. he says, “Behold the day of the Lord

darkened, and the moon shall not
give her light, and the stars shall SEPTUAGESIMA SUNDAY, or the
fall from heaven, and the

Third Sunday before Lent.

powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

The Collect. 30. and then shall appear the sign (s)

of the Son of man in heaven : O LORD, we beseech thee fa and then shall all the tribes (t) of vourably to hear the prayers o the earth mourn, and they shall || thy people; that we, who are see the Son of man coming (u) in | justly punished for our offences,

the clouds of heaven with power may be mercifully delivered by 31. and great glory. And he shall thy goodness, for the glory of

send (x) his angels with a great thy Name, through Jesus Christ sound of a trumpet ; and they our Saviour, who liveth and shall gather together his elect || reigneth with thee and the Holy from the four winds, from one Ghost, ever

one God, world end of heaven to the other.

without end. Amen.

" cometh, cruel both with wrath and
“ fierce anger, to lay the land desolate,
" and he shall destroy the sinners thereof

out of it. For the stars of heaven and
the constellations thereof shall not give
their light, the sun shall be darkened in
þis going forth, and the moon shall not

cause þer light to shine," &c, So Joel ii. 31. speaking prophetically of the destruction of Jerusalem, says,

" the sun “ shall be turned into darkness, and the k moon into blood, before the great and “ the terrible day of the Lord come.” See also Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8.-Dan. viii.

10. v. 30.

(s) “ The sign,” &c. The vengeance will

prove that he was the Messiah. .0 30.

(t) “ The tribes of the earth,” i. e.
the adversaries of Christ's religion; the
unbelieyers, the men of this world.

(u) “ Coming in the clouds of hea
ven :" not literally, but figuratively :
with as strong marks of his power as if
he came visibly riding in the clouds.
Daniel, speaking prophetically of the
Messiah, Dan, vii. 13. says, “one like the
“ Son of Man came with the clouds of
heaven :" and, with reference to this
prophecy, one of the names by which the
Messiah was spoken of before the time
of our Saviour was Anani, which signifies
the clouds; and, when in answer to the
question, whether he were the Christ the
Son of God? our Saviour told the high
priest that he was ; he added, that they
should “ see the Son of Man sitting at
“ the right band of Power, and coming
in the clouds of heavin.Matt. xxvi. 63
to 66. Mark xiv. 62. Coming in the clouds

was perhaps never applied but to God, or to signify divine power. In Ps. xviii

. 10. it is said that God “ rode upon the che. “ rubims, and did fly; he came flying

upon the wings of the wind ;" and Ps. civ. 3. that he maketh “ the clouds “ his chariot, and walketh upon the “ wings of the wind."

(x) “ Shall send,” &c. not, perhaps, literally, but he shall as effe&tually provide for their preservation, as if he did. It is supposed that not a single Christian perished in these times. Our Saviour had cautioned them, Matt. xxiv. 15. to flee as soon as they should see the abomination of desolation (i. e. the Roman ensigns) standing in (or about the holy place; or, as St. Luke expresses it, Luke xxvi. 20. when they should see Jerusalem compassed with armies. Jeru. salem was first besieged by Gallus; but he raised the siege, and the Christians all took the opportunity, and fed; so that when it was afterwards besieged by Titus, there was not one Christian re. maining in it. 1,100,000 Jews perished in Jerusalem, 97,000 were taken prisoners, and 247,490 perished elsewhere. The preservation of the Christians had been foretold, Joel ji, 32. “ And it shall

come to pass, that whosoever shall call

on the name of the Lord shall be de. “ livered : for in Mount Zion, and in “ Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, “ Lord hath said, and in the remnant “ whom the Lord shall call." See a very able reading on this prophecy, 2 Porteus's Lectures, 166, 199, Lec: tures 19 and 20.

v. 30,

as the

The Epistle. Cor. ix. 24. (y) that (a) beateth the air : but I 27. Know ye not that they which keep under my body, and bring run in a race run all, but one re- it into subjection ; lest that by

ceiveth the prize ? So run, that any means, when I have preached 15. ye may obtain. And

And every man to others, I myself should be a that striveth for the mastery is cast-away. temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible

The Gospel. Matt. xx. I. crown ; but we an incorruptible

. The (6) kingdom of heaven is 6. I therefore so run, not as uncer- like (c) unto a man that is an

tainly (z); so fight I, not as one householder, which went out


(y) St. Paul presses upon the Corin. spake this parable, which he concludes, thian converts exertion and self-denial, so the last shall be first,” &c. as if by reminding them how much they un- that were the position he was meaning to der went to endeavour to succeed in their establish. He might mean, that in after games, where however one only could be times, the exertions, sufferings, &c. of suceessful, and where the crown or prize, others, in the cause of Christianity, when obtained, was nothing to what might be such as to entitle them to as would ultimately be conferred upon the great rewards as the first apostles, or faithful servants of Christ. The Isthmian that persons who became converts at an games were celebrated near Corinth; so advanced period of their lives, and had that the Corinthians would peculiarly feel not had an earlier opportunity, if they the force of this species of argument.

then exerted themselves to the utmost, .26 (2) “ Uncertainly.” To a Christian, | might be entitled to the same rewards as

who strives to the utmost, success is persons converted younger; but the chief certain : in a race, as one only can suc- point seems to have been to convince ceed, many who strive to the utmost must them, that God was to apportion the fail.

reward, and not man, and that it was (a) “One that beateth the air," whose man's duty to be thankful for what was blow fails, is evaded by the opponent.

given to him, without looking jealously In the Christian warfare no exertion can upon what was given to others. This is be thrown away

one proof of our Saviour's sincerity. An V.I. (6) The kingdom of heaven," i.e. impostor would rather raise the ex

God's dispensation under the gospel. tions of his followers than depress them. 0.2. (c) “ Like,” &c. The objects of this Another object of the parable might be,

parable seem to have been, to check to let the Gentiles know, that if they Peter for having asked, Matt. xix. 27. embraced Christianity, and endured with “ what they should have for having for. firmness the dangers and difficulties it " saken all and followed our Saviour," to might bring upon them, they, who had prevent extraordinary expectations in the been so long in a state of spiritual idlefirst converts, and to let them know that ness, because they had not received the God alone was to apportion to each man

benefits of revelation, and were therehis reward, that the lowest he would fore in an unhired state, might receive give would be to the utmost as much as the same advantages from it as the Jews, any one could claim, and that he was not who had been so long God's people and to be questioned if one appeared to have servants, and that the Jews would have a greater proportion of reward than an- no right to complain, or to be envious, other. Our Saviour had indeed told him, if God did allow the Gentiles those adthat when he “ should sit in the throne of vantages. According to Rom. ix. 15. “his glory, they should sit upon twelve God is entitled to have mercy on whom " thrones, judging the twelve tribes “ he will have mercy, and to have com" of Israel," &c. See ante 60. Matt. “ passion on whom he will have comxix, 28. But he added, that “ many

“ passion." If God gives to every man “ that were first should be last, and the to the full as much as he has a right to, « last should be first.” And then he || (and he gives - much more), no one is

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

had received it, they murmured 2. bourers into his vineyard. And against the good man of the when he had agreed with the house, saying,

" These last have labourers for a penny a-day, he “ wrought but one hour, and 3. sent them into his vineyard. And " thou hast made them equal

he went out about the third hour, unto us, which have borne and saw others standing idle in " the burden and heat of the

the market-place, and said unto “ day.” But he answered one 4. them, “Go ye also into the vine- of them, and said, “Friend, I

" yard; and whatsoever is right, “ do thee no wrong: didst not “ I will give you.” And they “ thou agree with

with me for a 5. went their way. Again he went penny? Take that thine is, and

out about the sixth and ninth go thy way: I will give unto 6. hour, and did likewise. And 56 this last even as unto thee. Is

about the eleventh hour he went 6 it not lawful for me to do what out, and found others standing " I will with mine own? Is thine idle, and saith unto them, “Why eye (d) evil because I am

“ stand ye here all the day idle?" good ?” So the last shall be 7. They say unto him, “ Because first, and the first last : for many

no man hath hired us." He be called, but few chosen. saith unto them, “Go ye also “ into the vineyard ; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye

SEXAGESIMA SUNDAY, or the Second 8. " receive." So when even was

Sunday before Lent. come, the lord of the vineyard

The Collect. saith unto his steward, “ Call the

O LORD God, who seest that “ labourers, and give them their “ hire, beginning from the last

we put not our trust in any thing 9. unto the first." And when

that we do; Mercifully grant, that by thy power we may

be they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received

defended against all adversity,

through Jesus Christ our Lord. 10. every man a penny. But when

Amen. the first came, they supposed that they should have received more;

The Epistle. 2 Cor. xi. 19. (e) and they likewise received every Ye suffer (f) fools gladly, see. 11. man a penny. And when they

And when they | ing ye yourselves are wise. For

[ocr errors]

entitled to call him to account, if he
gives to some more than their due. Ac.
cording to Luke xvii. 10. the doctrine
of our Saviour is, that “ when we have
“ done all things which are commanded
“us, we are still unprofitable servants;
“ we have only done what it was our duty
“ to do." Whatever reward, therefore,
God gives us, is matter of favour, for
which we ought to be thankful: we
have no right to complain because he
gives others more than us.

(d) “ Evil,"i.e."envious," “ good," i.e. liberal.

(e) From the conduct of some false teachers, St. Paul thought himself constrained to state his own pretensions : but his apologies shew how contrary it was to his inclination.

() "Fools," &c. It was perhaps a proverb, that the wise can hear with pa“ tience what fools do :" they are above being annoyed by it, and the meaning here may be, you have too much sense to

« PreviousContinue »