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THE GOSPEL

ACCORDING TO

ST. MATTHEW.

$ 1.

with a teachable temper, a serious,

humble, holy frame of mind ! CHAP. I. 1.

Whenever we meet together for The book of the “generation this purpose, I will begin by reading of Jesus Christ, the son of Da- to you a portion of the sacred text,

of such length as I may deem expevid, the son of Abraham.

dient. I will then make some rea Lake iii, 23. Ps. cxxxii. 11. Iga. xi. 1. Jer. xxiii. 5; eh. xxii. 42. John vii. 42. Acts ii. 30, & xiii. 23. Roun.

marks in explanation of the passage 1. 3. c Gen, xii. 3, & xxii, 18. Gal. iii. 16.

read, giving the interpretation of Reader. We are now about to any difficult or obscure verses, and begin our family reading of the New pointing out the connection and Testament, on a systematic plan; bearing of the whole, whenever such and I wish, at the outset, to describe elucidation may seem necessary. to you the method which I have But I do not intend to say all that devised, with a view to derive and may occur to my mind on the several impart instruction from our study subjects which will be brought beof this portion of the sacred vo- fore our notice; since I wish to leave lume. May our Divine Teacher be room for. your own inquiries, and to always present in the midst of us, to encourage a serious and lively conassist our feeble endeavours, to re- versation concerning the meaning move our ignorance, to give us a and force of the successive portions right understanding of his sacred of the sacred volume. I shall also word, and, above all, to endue us occasionally take an opportunity of proposing questions, in order at once anything among you, save Jesus to ascertain your proficiency in bib- Christ and him crucified.” Yes ; lical learning, and to direct your at- Jesus Christ, our Redeemer, in his tention to points which may other- person, his work, his character, and wise pass unobserved. I trust that his offices, forms the sum and subthis method will be at once agreeable stance of all that Evangelists or and profitable to all parties. Per- Apostles have left upon record for haps some of you, for various rea- our learning. Let us lift up our sons, will derive more benefit from

hearts in gratitude, and say, " Thanks listening to our dialogue, than from be to God for his unspeakable gift !” sharing in it; and, indeed, I think it The book of the generation, that is, best at once to name only two of you as we should now say, the pedigree as parties, with myself, in the con- or genealogy, of Jesus Christ; the versation which may thus arise. Let account of his ancestry, according to them be the eldest and the youngest

his human nature.

I am aware that of those now present;—Theophilus

, some commentators suppose that this whose name bears allusion to the verse is designed as a title to the love of God and divine things; and whole Gospel, and not merely to Mary, whose name may remind us the genealogical table which follows; of her who sat at her divine Master's understanding "the book of the genefeet, and listened to his words. If ration" as denoting, according to a any other member of the family Hebrew idiom, " the history of the should wish to receive information life and actions” of Jesus Christ. concerning any particular passage or But I prefer the former interpretatext about to be read, let the ques- tion. tion be entrusted beforehand to one The latter part of the first verse of those whose names I have men- points out the design or use of the tioned, and by this means it will be genealogy or pedigree which is here regularly brought forward in due recorded.

The object of the intime.

spired writer was to prove, for the At the close of each reading and satisfaction of the Jews, and of all conversation, I hope to be able to persons acquainted with ancient prorecite to you a Psalm or Hymn phecy, that Jesus of Nazareth, who adapted to the subject in hand. was proclaimed as the Messiah, was

Let us now turn our attention to the son, i. e. descendant, of David, the passage which has just been read. the son, i. e. descendant, of Abraham.

In the first verse, the great sub- “ The design,” says Matthew Henry, ject of the Gospel is brought before whose expositions and remarks I our view. When I read this intro- shall sometimes quote, “is to prove duction of the New Testament, Ithat our Lord Jesus Christ is the seem to hear the whole volume say- son of David, and the son of Abraing to me, in the language of St. ham, and, therefore, of that nation Paul, “I determined not to know and family out of which the Messiah

was to arise. Abraham and David repeated in Gen. xxii. 18.; xxvi. 4; were, in their day, the great trustees xxviii. 14.-Read Gal. iii. 16. of the promise relating to the Mes Theophilus. Now to Abraham siah. The promise of the blessing and his seed were the promises made. was made to Abraham and his seed; He saith not, And to seeds, as of of the dominion, to David and his many; but as of one, And to thy seed; and they who would have an seed, which is Christ.” interest in Christ, as the son of Reader. How important then to Abraham, in whom all the families show that, according to his human of the earth are to be blessed, must nature, Jesus, the Messiah, was a debe faithful, loyal subjects to him as scendant of Abraham! Read Psalm the son of David, by whom all the lxxxix. 3, 4. families of the earth are to be ruled. Theophilus. “I have made a coveIt was promised to Abraham that nant with my chosen, I have sworn Christ should descend from him unto David my servant.

Thy seed (Gen. xii. 3; xxii. 13), and to will I establish for ever, and build David, that he should descend from up thy throne to all generations." him (2 Sam. vii. 12; Ps. lxxxix. 3, Reader. And Psalm cxxxii. 11. &c. ; cxxxii. 11); and, therefore, Theophilus.The Lord hath sworn unless it can be proved that Jesus is in truth unto David; he will not turn a son of David, and a son of Abra from it; Of the fruit of thy body ham, we cannot admit him to be the will I set upon thy throne.” Messiah."

Reader. Look now at the writings Keep this in view, and you will of prophets who lived after the time feel convinced that the catalogue of of David.—Read Isa. xi. 1. names contained in this chapter is Theophilus. There shall come an important and valuable docu forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, ment, and not any vain or useless and a branch shall grow out of his genealogy. Turn to your Bibles ; roots." and, in the passages which I will Reader. Why is it said, out of the name, you will perceive with what stem and roots of Jesse ? reason the Jews expected that the Theophilus. Because Jesse was the Messiah would be the descendant of father of David. David and Abraham; and you will Reader. Right.-- Read Jer. xxiii. remark that they were accustomed to designate him by that appropriate Theophilus.Behold, the days appellation, “ the Son of David.”—

come, saith the Lord, that I will raise Let Theophilus begin by reading unto David a righteous Branch, and Gen. xii. 3.

a King shall reign and prosper, and Theophilus.“ In thee shall all fa- shall execute judgment and justice milies of the earth be blessed.” in the earth. In his days Judah

Reader. Those words were ad-shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell dressed to Abraham ; and they are safely; and this is his name whereby

5, 6.

he shall be called, The LORD OUR Reader. And the ninth verse of the RIGHTEOUSNESS.

next chapter. Reader. And you will find nearly Theophilus. The multitudes that the same words in Jer. xxxii. 15. It went before, and that followed, cried, is remarkable that Ezekiel prophe- saying, Hosannah to the Son of sies of Christ under the very name David : Blessed is he that cometh in of David.—Read chap. xxxiv. 23, the name of the Lord; Hosannah in 24.

the highest." Theophilus. “ And I will set up Reader. All these people intended one shepherd over them, and he

to express their belief that Jesus of shall feed them, even my servant Nazareth was the promised Messiah, David; he shall feed them, and he by the very title with which they shall be their shepherd. And I the saluted him. May we always lift Lord will be their God, and my up our hearts in sincerity and faith servant David a prince among them; whenever we utter that fervent petiI the Lord have spoken it.”

tion, “ O Son of David, have mercy Reader. And to the same effect is upon us !"-Mary, do you remember Ezek. xxxvii. 24, 25. With all any occasion on which our blessed these verses compare now Acts xiii. Saviour referred to this title, in his 23.

conversation with the Jews ? Theophilus. “Of this man's seed

Mary. Yes. Our Lord once rehath God, according to his promise, ferred to it, with a view to silence raised unto Israel a Saviour, Je- the captious questions of the Jews; sus."

and to direct attention to the union Reader. How faithful to his word of the divine nature with the human is God! How beautiful the har- in his own glorious person.

I read mony of Scripture! Let me prove the history as it stands in St. Luke's to you, in the next place, that the Gospel. “He said unto them, How title “Son of David " was commonly say they that Christ is David's son? applied, by the Jews and others, to And David himself saith in the the Messiah, either expected or ac- Book of Psalms, The Lord said unto knowledged.-Read Matt. xv. 22. my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

Theophilus. “Behold, a woman of till I make thine enemies thy footCanaan came out of the same coasts, stool.

stool. David therefore calleth him and cried unto him, saying, Have Lord, how is he then his son ?" mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of Reader. St. Matthew tells us that David."

no man was able to answer him Reader. And Matt. xx. 30.

a word.” So true it is that when Theophilus. “Behold, two blind men do not choose to be convinced men, sitting by the way-side, when of divine truth in general, or of any they heard that Jesus passed by, portion of divine truth in particular, cried out, saying, Have mercy on the Bible presents many difficulties us, O Lord, thou Son of David." to their minds, which they cannot

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