Imágenes de páginas

"pentance and remission of sins "should be preached in his name "among all nations, beginning "at (#) Jerusalem. 48. And ye "are (-s) witnesses of these things."

First Sunday after Easter. The Collect. Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may alway serve thee in pureness of living and truth, through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

viour, Matt. iv. 17. "Repent, for the "kingdom of heaven is at hand." And the folly of looking up to God's mercy, without abandoning sin, is well put in Ecclesiasticus: "Say not his mercy is "great, he will be pacified for the mul"titude of my sins: for mercy and wrath "come from him, and his indignation "resteth upon sinners. Eccles. v. 6." "Mercy and wrath are with him, he is "mighty to forgive and to pour out dis"pleasure; as his mercy is great, so is "his correction also: he judgeth a man "according to his works. Eccles. xvi. "11, 12." And his advice is, "Make no "tarrying to turn to the Lord, and put "not off from day to day; for suddenly "shall the wrath of the Lord come forth, "and in thy security thou shalt be de"stroyed, and perish in the day of ven"geance.''

(y) "Jerusalem." See ante, 138. note on Acts x. 36. See. also Acts xiii. 46. —Acts xviii. 6.

(2) "Witnesses." See ante, 139. note on Acts x. 39.

(a) c.4. " Whatsoever, &c." i.e. " every "real child of God disregards every thing "the world can give or inflict; overcomes "all worldly attachments ; and his sincere - belief that Jesus was the Son of God "gives him this power."

(b) " Faith," i.e. "belief, confidence."

(c) v. 5. Who, &c." i.e. "what but this "belief can give this power? who can "overcome, if he do not

The Epistle. 1 John v. 4. Whatsoever (a) is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our (6) faith. 5. Who (c) is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? 6. This is he that came by (cT) water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is (e) the Spirit (#) that beareth witness, (A) because the Spirit is truth. 7. For there are three that bear (f) record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: (&) and these

(d) v. 6. "By water and blood." "By "baptism and sacrifice: water at the "former, and shedding his own blood at "the latter." Slade.

(e) "It is the Spirit, &c." i. e. "the "Spirit also beareth witness."

(f) "The Spirit," i. e. "the Holy "Ghost; the miraculous powers the gitt "of the Holy Ghost conferred." And what could be a stronger proof of the divinity of the religion, and of the truth of its tenets, than that the first preachers and converts had the miraculous power of speaking languages they never learnt, and healing diseases?

(h) " Because," or " and," (Dr. Burgess) or " that," Hi. He is discussing what spirits have the test of truth. See 1 John iv. 1. So Rom. viii. 16. "the Spirit itself beareth "witness with our spirit, that, &c." where «7i is the word rendered "that."

(«') o.7. 10. 11. "Record," or "wit"ness." They are the same words as in v. 8, 9. are rendered " witness."

(k) The authenticity of this verse has been much questioned, and it is certainly omitted in many of the ancient MSS. and versions. It is not in any of the ancient Greek MSS. but then there is no such MSS. earlier than the fourth century, and only four before the tenth. It is not in the Arabic, Syriac, Ethiopic, Coptic, or Persic versions, nor in the Arminian, Russian, or old French. It is not in Justin Martyr, though he has written much upon the divinity of our Saviour; nor in any of

[blocks in formation]

the fathers who wrote upon the Arian controversy; not in Jerome or Chrysostom; •ad though Novatian seven times refers to the "Ego et Pater unum sumus," he never refers to this text From a passage in St. Augustine, contra Maximinum, lib. iii. c 22. which is subjoined, it probably was not in the copy he used. It is not in the King's MSS. and that gives v. 8. thus: "There are three that bear witness, the "Spirit, the water, and the blood," omitting " in the earth;" and " and these three "agree in one." Dr. Benson thinks it was first written as a comment in the margin, and from thence introduced into the text. It is, however, in the Vulgate and Complutensian editions, in the Latin version used by the African church; and in the fifth century, the African prelates, near 450, in their assembly, at Carthage, A. D. 484. appear to refer to it. Fulgentius, a father of the sixth century, cites it; and in the ninth century, Walafrid Strabo writes a comment upon it, and imputes its omisiion to unfaithful translators or transcribers. Cyprian, who wrote in the third century, (earlier than any MSS. extant,) lias two passages (subjoined) which imply that it was in his copy; and there is a passage in Tertullian, (also subjoined,) which implies that it was in his also. Dr. Hammond thinks it genuine, and there are some internal arguments in its favour. The 6th ver. mentions the Spirit, 7o HysZ/xd, a neutral noun, as bearing witness; and then the 7th and 8th refer to three, as bearing record in heaven, and three in earth; and the word three is in each instance expressed in the masculine gender, "IftTs ilva." The transition from the neuter to the masculine is natural, if permits were to be spoken of, not things; and if persons were spoken of in v. 7. it would lead to personify things in t>. 8. and to speak of them, though neuters, in the masculine gender. The witnesses on earth too, though they might be extended to thirty, are confined to three, to correspond in number with the witnesses in heaven; and the "l»," with the article in v. 8. (if genuine) would be improper, had not the h occurred before. And if o.7. be omitted, how can the masculine ifut be accounted for in v. 8.? It is not improbable that some very early transcriber passed from the "nafhfiaht," in

earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three

v. 7. to the same word in c. 8. and that this mistake caused the omission in subsequent copies. This is the opinion of Maldonate and Dr. Hammond. Supposing, however, the verse genuine, does it in any material degree, if it all, support the doctrine of the Trinity; and if not, is it of advantage to lay any stress upon what may be doubted or questioned? That doctrine is not here in question. The point under consideration is, what foundation is there for the belief, that Jesus is the Son of God: and the apostle says, there are three who attest it in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and three who attest it on earth, the water, the Spirit, and the blood. Of the three former, he says, they are one; of the latter, that they agree in one. But what is meant by the expression, they are one? Is more meant than that they agree — are unanimous — of one mind? The former expression is, "oi Iptif a ela-i," the latter "U 7/>«iV i!( U ly uo-i;" and the "7o «," with the definite article, implies that the latter may be called one, in the sense in which the former are. The word, "iv," is certainly used in other passages, where nothing more can be meant than unanimity, or unity of object or design, not unity or identity of nature. In John xvii. 11. our Saviour is described as praying to the Father, "that they whom God had given him might be one, («) as we." So John xvii. 22. "that they may be one, as we

"are one," Iva ua-m iv, xadu{ ijf*<<V i* eoy**v.

And in 1 Cor. iii. 8. he that soweth, and he that watereth, though different persons, are said to be one (ly), because each has the same object and design. See very full discussions upon the genuineness of this passage, 2 Hale's Trinity, 132. to 226. and Bp. Burgess's Tract. The passage, John x. SO. " 1 and the Father are one," cyu a na/tjp l» la-ficy, seems stronger than this to prove the Son's divinity: the plural verb applicable to the plurality of persons, the neuter adjective, pointing out the unity of nature. "One," (says Cyril of Jerusalem,) " because of the dignity as to "the Godhead, since God begat God:" ty 8kx 7o xa7a 7i)v &«u7i)7a a£/iy*a, iittitij %to( Sruy iyiyyri<riv. Cat. 11. Oxford ed. 142. "One," says Maldonate, "in nature and "power; for the argument is this: No "one can take them out of mv hands:

agree (/) in one. 9. If (m) we receive the witness of men, the

"my Father, who gave them me, is greater "than all; and no one can take them out "of his hands. But I and my Father are "one; so that if no one can take them "from him, no one can take them from "me. Why? Because I have the same "nature, the same divinity, the same in"vincible power he has. And the Jews "treated it in this light, for they took up "stones to stone him, for that he being a "man made himself God." So Augustine: "Vis ire in alteram partem, et dicas, "aliud est Pater, aliud Filius—alius est, "recte dicis, aliud non recte; alius enim "est Filius, quia non est ipse qui Pater—et "alius Pater, quia non est ipse qui Filius: "non tamcn aliud, sed hoc ipsum et Pater "et Filius. Cum dicit Filius "Ego et "Pater unum sumus," utrumque audi, "unum et sumus. Si unum, non ergo di"versum: si sumus, ergo et Pater et "Filius: sumus enim, non diceret de uno '« — unum non diceret de diversis." 9 Aug. Tract. 36. p. 115. So again, 9 Aug. Tract. 37. " Cum audit "sumus" abscedat confusus Sabellianus: cum audit "unum," "Arrianus." So de Trin. vol. iv. lib. 1. "Ego et Pater unum sumus: scilicet na"turfi; non persona." Idacius also says, "sumus," to shew they are two persons; "unum," to shew they have only one nature. See also Cyprian, Tr. 109. Chrys. de Fide in Christo. (Basil ed.) vol. iii. p. 422. — 3 August, de Trin. lib. iv. c. 8, 9. p. 124. et lib. vi. c.2.— 4 August. |de Trin. lib. i. — 9 August, in Johannem. 36, 37.71.

The passages in St. Augustine, Cyprian, and Tcrtullian, are as follow: (Contra Maximinum, lib. iii. c.22.) " Sane falli te "nolo in Epistola Joannis Apostoli, ubi "ait " Tres sunt Testes, Spiritus, aqua, et "sanguis — et tres unum sunt: ne forte "dicas spiritum, et aquam et sanguinem "diversas esse substantias, et tamen dic"turn esse, trea unum sunt- Propter hoc "admonui, ne fallaris. Hsec enim sacra"roenta sunt, in quibus non quid sint, "sed quid ostendant, semper attenditur: "quonuun signa sunt rerum, aliud exis"tentia, aliud signiticantia. Si ergo ilia '« quae his significantur, intelliguntur, ipsa "invenientur uniui esse substantias. "Tanquam si dicamus, •« Petra et Aqua "unum sunt," " Volentes per Pctram, sig"nificare Christum, per Aquam, Spiritum

witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which

"Sanctum. Quis dubitat Petram et Aquam "diversas esse naturas: sed quia Christus '« et Spiritus Sanctus unius sunt ejusdeni"que naturae, ideo cum dicitur "Petra et "Aqua unum sunt," ex eft parte recte "accipi potest, quia istae duae res quaruoi "est diversa natura, aliarum quoque signa "sunt rerum, quarum est una natura. "Tria itaque novimus de corpore Do«« mini exisse cum penderet in ligno: pri"mo spiritum, unde scriptutn est, "Et "inclinato capite tradidit Spiritum." De"inde quando latus ejus Lancea perfora"turn est, sanguinem et aquam. Quaetna,si "per seipsa intuemur, diversas habent sin"gula quaeque substantias: ac per hoc Dob "sunt unum: si vero ea, quae his signin"cata sunt, velimus inquirere, non ab"surde occurrit ipsa Tnnitas, quae unus "solus verus summus Deus est, Pater et "Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus, de quibus ve"rissime dici potuit, "Tres sunt Testes, "et tres unum sunt," ut nomine Spintu* "significatum accipiamus pattern Deura: "de ipso quippe adorando loquitur Dodji"nus, ubi ait, Spiritus est Deus: Norai"ne autem sanguinis filium, quia verbum "caro factum est: et nomine Aqua? Spi*• ritum Sanctum. .

Cypr.Tr. 109. (A.D.2S1.) " Dicit Do"minus, Ego et Pater unum sumus. « "iterum de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sanc'o "scriptum est, " Et hi tres unum sunt.

Cypr. Epist. 203. (A. D. 256.) In speaking of the effect of baptism upon heretic», he says, "Si templum Dei factus eat, "quaero, cujus Dei? Si creator», noo "potuit qui in eum non credidit. » "Christi, nee hujus fieri potest Tempto"1"qui negat Deum Christum. Si Spiritu* "Sancti, cum tres unum tint, quomodo "Spiritus Sanctus placatus esse ei pot«t, "qui aut Patris aut Filii inimicus eat.

Tertullian (adversus Praxeam, c. S* "Carterum de meo sumet (inquit Jew») «« sicut ipse de Patris. Ita connexua Fatris «« in Filio, et Filii in Paracleto, tres eftcit "cohaerentes, alterum ex altero. CI"»tm «« unum sunt; non unus, quo modo dictum ««est, Ego et Pater unum sumus: ad »ud'« stantiae unitatem, non ad numeri smgu"laritatem."

(/) v. 8. "Agree in one," i. e. «*■* '« blish the same point."

(m) v. 9. " If, &c." i.e. "if in orduwy '« case» we rely on human testimony. »°

he hath testified of his Son. 10. He « as my father has sent me, even

that believeth on the Son of God hath the (w) witness (o) in himself: he that believeth not God, hath made (p) him a liar; because he believeth not the (q) record that God gave of his Son. 11. And this (?) is the (q) record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12. He that hath (r) the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.

The Gospel. John xx. 19. I He same (s) day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the (7) doors were shut, wherethe disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, came Jesus, and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you." 20. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his (u) hands and his (u) side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the (*) Lord. 21. Then said Jesus to them again, "Peace be unto you:

-Ifi W,e resist this> the testimony of God T

(n) v. 10. "The witness in himself." from the extraordinary influences conferred by the Holy Spirit.

(o) "Witness," viz. (of God.) The King's MS. reads paphpia* 7? QtH.

(jp) " Made him a liar," i. e. "treats "him as one, by not believing him."

(7) v. 11. " This is the record, &c." i. e. "thw attestation of God to our Saviour's "pretensions and religion, is the proof "that he hath given us eternal life."

(r) v. 12. "Hath the Son," i. e. « bell lieyes in him, professes his religion, and

loilons his commandments."

(t)v. 19. "The same day;" the day of hi* resurrection. This is the same appearance as that mentioned. Lukexxiv 36. (ante, 142.)

W " The d°ors, &c.'' or "the doors

where the disciples were assembled, were "shut for fear, &c." Not to have assembled, would have been neglect of duty,

"so Of) send I you." 22. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, "Receive ye the (z) Holy Ghost "23. Whose soever sins ye remit "they are remitted unto them; "and whose soever sins ye retain, "they are retained."

Second Sunday after Easter.
The Collect.

Almighty God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life; Give us grace, that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. 1 Pet. ii. 19. This is thank-worthy, if a man for conscience (a) toward God

sin: not to have shut the doors, neglect of caution, rashness. Our Saviour set the example of avoiding unnecessary danger:

lay ZvpZv'/.tia-jj.(yci>y Sirs rjiray o< ftiSt)7:t) tmmffyAmi 8<a 7ov tpiSa, &C.''

(m) V. 20. "His hands,'' through which the nails had been driven; and " his side," which the soldiers pierced. See ante, 133. John xix. 34.

(x) v. 21. " The Lord:" 7J» Ity»o».

(y) " Send I:" acting from himself.

(z) v. 22. "The Holy Ghost," or " a "holy influence." No article in the original. Middl.168. According to Acts i. 5. post, — he told them afterwards, immediately before his ascension, "Ye shall "be baptised with the Holy Ghost, not "many days hence;" and it was not till the Day of Pentecost, Whitsunday, that the gift of the Holy Ghost was conferred. See Acts ii. 1. post, —.

(a) v. 19. " Conscience toward God," i. e. "as matter of duty, for the sake of "religion."

endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (A) 20. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21. For even hereunto were ye (c) called: because Christ also suffered for (rf) us, leaving us (d)

an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22. who did (e) no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23. who when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed (g) himself to him that judgeth righteously; 24. who his own self (A) bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we,

(3) "Wrongfully," i.e. "without cause." The contrast is between suffering when it is deserved, and suffering when it is not. In the latter case, patience, as matter of duty, has great merit.

(c) v. 21. "Called." One of the objects of Christianity was to try the conttancy of its followers: they were to be tried as gold is tried. Zech. xiii. 9. See ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 11. The repeated and pressing exhortations to perseverance and constancy contained in the epistles, imply pretty strongly, that the first preachers and professors of Christianity met with considerable opposition and difficulties: courage would not be recommended were there nothing to put it to the test. The prevalence of Christianity, the persecution of the early converts, and the blameable nature of their lives, are noticed by Tacitus and the younger Pliny. "Abolendo Rumori (of having himself com« manded the burning of Rome) Nero sub"diditreos, et quasitissimis psnis adfecit, "quos per flagitia invisos, vulgus Christ"ianos appellabat. Auctor nominis ejus, Cliristus, Tiberio imperitante, per Procuratorem Pontium Pilatum, supplicio adfectus erat. Repressaque in prse"sens exitiabilis superstitio, rursus erum"pebat, non modo per Judeam, originem "ejus niali, sed per urbem etiam. Igitur "primo correpti qui fatebantur, deinde "indicio coram multitudo ingens, hand "perinde in crimine incendii, quam odio "humani generis convicti sunt. Et per"euntibus addita ludibria, ut ferarum "tergis contecti, laniatucanum intcrirent: 41 aut crucibusaffixi, aut flammandi, atque "ubi defeoisset dies, in usum nocturni lu"minis urerentur. Tac. lib. xv. c. 44." In a letter from the younger Pliny to Trajan, for advice how to act against the Christians, after noticing that many of them had recanted, he says, " Affirmabant autem, hanc '' fuisse sumraam vel culpa? sua?, vel crroris,

"quod essent soliti stato die ante lucent "convenire, carmenque Christo quasi Deo "dicere secum invicem : seque sacraraento "non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne "furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria com"mitterent, ne fidem fallerent, ne deposi"turn appellati abnegarent. Quibus per"actis morera discedendi fuisse, rursusque "coeundi ad capiendum cibuiu, promis"cuum tamen, et innoxium. Sed nihil "aliud inveni, quam superstitionem pre"vam et imniodicam, ideoque dilatA cogni"tione ad consulendum te decucurri. Visa "est enim mihi res digna consultatione, "maxinie propter periclitantium nume"rum; multi enim omnis aetatis, omnis or"dinis, utriufque sexus etiam vocantur in "periculum, et vocabuntur. Nequeenim "civitates tantum, sed vicos etiam atque "agros superstitionis istius contagio "pervagata est,'' Trajan's answer was, "Conquirendi non sunt: si deferantur et "arguantur, puniendi sunt. Pliny Epist. "lib. x. ep. 97."

(d) "Us," "his," or "you:" fyu» andiu»>

\e) v. 22. "Who did no sin." See note on verse 24.

f>) v. 23. "Threatened not, but com"mitted himself, &c." St. Peter perhaps referred to the two expressions of our Saviour whilst upon the cross, recorded by St. Luke: "Father, forgive them, for "they know what they do, Luke xxiii. "34.;" and, "Father, into thy hands I "commend my spirit, Luke xxiii. 46."

(A) v. 24. "Bare our sins, Ac." St. Peter evidently had in view that prophetic chapter, (Isaiah liii.) according to which, the Messiah was to be one of whom it might be affirmed, that " he had done no "violence, neither was any deceit in his "mouth;" it was to be true of him, that "he was oppressed, and he was afflicted, "yet he opened not his mouth;" that "he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, "and as a sheep before his shearers is

« AnteriorContinuar »