Imágenes de páginas

21. A woman (k) when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. 22. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you (/) again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man (tri) taketh from you."

Saint Philip and Saint James's Day. The Collect. O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; Grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that following the steps of thy holy Apostles, Saint

Philip and Saint James, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. James i. 1. James (n) a servant of God and of the Lord (o) Jesus Christ to (jp) the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers (y) temptations; 3. knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4. But let patience have her (r) perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5. If any of you lack (.s) wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6. But let him ask in faith, nothing (/)

"at the death of their Master, they sud"denly became courageous, undaunted, "and intrepid; and they boldly preached "that very Jesus, whom before they had "deserted in his greatest distress. This "observation will apply in some degree to "all the apostles: but with regard to St. "Peter more particularly it holds with "peculiar force." He then contrasts with great effect Peter's timidity before the crucifixion, with that instance oi his courage afterwards recorded in Acts iv. It may be observed too, that this courage and intrepidity of the apostles was not temporary, but lasted for their lives, and that from the opposition and persecutions they experienced, it was put severely to the test. See ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 11. and ante, 148, note (cl.

(£) v. 21. "A woman, &c." he puts this as a parallel case: as the woman's subsequent joy makes her think nothing of the pain she endured, so shall it be with you.

(i) v. 22. "Again," i. e. "on his resur"rection."

(«) "Taketh," i. e. " can take." It will be above the control and attacks of man.

(n) v. 1. "James," supposed to have been the son of Cleophas, and brother of Jude the apostle. He was crucified for professing Christianity, A. D. 63. James

the apostle, the son of Zebedee and brother of John, was put to death by Herod (Acts xii. 2.) long before the supposed time of writing this Epistle.

(o) « And of the Lord Jesus Christ;" so that he is here associated with God: and James describes himself as the servant of both. The rendering, perhaps, might be "of him who is both God and Lord, Jesus "Christ." Iax«6>« e«e xai Kvfla 'li)<rS Xf;r»

(p) " The twelve tribes," this Epistle is called General, (or Catholic, which is the same as general,) because it was addressed generally to all Jewish converts.

(q) v. 2. "Temptations." i. e. "Trials, "attempts to draw you off from your faith, "persecutions."

(r) t>. 4. "Have her perfect work," i. e. "Succeed; come off victorious; triumph."

(*) v.5. "Lack wisdom," i.e. (perhaps) "knows not in a particular instance how "he ought to act, what God would have "him do." In Philip, iii. IS. St. Paul says, "If in any thing ye be otherwise "minded," (meaning, probably, differ), "God shall reveal even this unto you," i. e. " shall shew you what is right."

(t) v. 6. " Nothing wavering," i. e. (probably) "firmly fixed to do whatever God "shall suggest."

wavering. For he that wavereth, is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7. For let (u) not that man think that be shall receive anything of the (x) Lord. 8. A (y) double-minded man is unstable in all his ways.

9. Let (z) the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

10. but the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the croWn of life, which (a) the

(u) v. 7. "Let not, &c." If a man ask in faith, nothing wavering, he shall receive directions: he who wavers when he asks, shall receive none.

(x) "The Lord," 7» Kvf(a.

(y) v. 8. "Double-minded," "unfixed, "with two minds; whose whole mind is "not on God."

(i) v. 9. "Let, &c." Not that this verse is to be literally understood: the object from verse 2. is to shew the advantage of enduring trials, and the conclusion of v. 10. and the whole of v. 11. assign reasons why the rich should rejoice in being reduced, but no reason is given why the poor should rejoice for being exalted. V. 9. therefore mav be ironical. "Let the poor "brother," (if he will,) "rejoice in that "he is exalted," he little knows what it will bring upon him; the rich has greater cause for rejoicing in being reduced. The rich, whether raised from poverty or not, will pass away as the flower of the field, will fade away in his ways; the only person who shall have cause to rejoice, who shall receive the crown of life, is he who shall have endured temptation.

(a) v. 12. \ Kipiof.

(b) v. 1. "Jesus said.'' Part of his discourse at the last supper. St. John sat neu him, and was therefore an ear-witness.

Lord hath promised to them that love him.

The Gospel. John xiv. 1. And Jesus (&) said unto his disciples, "Let (c) not your heart "be troubled: ye believe in God, "believe also in (d) me. 2. In my "Father's house are many man"sions: if it were not so, I would "have told you. I go to prepare "a place for you. 3. And if I go "and prepare a place for you, I "will come again, and receive you "unto myself; that where I am, "there ye may be also. 4. And ft?) "whither I go ye know, and the "way ye know." 5. Thomas saith unto him, "Lord (jg\ we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" 6. Jesus saith unto him, "I am "the way, and the truth, and the

(c) "Let, &c." Our Saviour had been saying to his apostles, (John xiii. 33.) " yet "a little while I am with you; ye shall "seek me; and whither I go, ye cannot "come," and this had probably made them uneasy. In part of the same conversation, (John xvi. 6.) he says, "because I have "said these things unto you, sorrow hath "filled your hearts." This was after Judas was gone out to bargain with the chief priest to betray him, and the very night on which he was apprehended.

(d) "In me." So that belief in him is made by Christ himself of the same importance with belief in God the Father! and would this have been the case, had he been inferior in nature to the Father? So when he assumes to himself the high appellations, "I am the Resurrection and the "Life," he attaches the highest importance to belief in him. "He that believeth in "me, though he were dead, yet shall he "live ; and whosoever liveth and believeth "in me, shall never die. John xi. 25."

(e) v. 4. "Whither I go, &c." He explains in verse 6. that he was going to the Father, and that the only way to the Father was by him, by believing on him, and walking in his commandments.

(g) v. 5. "Lord," Kifu. See ante, 29. note (m).

"life: no man cometh unto the "Father but by me. 7. If ye had "known me, ye should have "known my lather also: and "from henceforth ye know him, "and have seen him." 8. Philip saith unto him, "Lord (g), shew "us the Father, and it sufficeth "us." 9. Jesus saith unto him, "Have I been so long time with "you, and yet hast thou not "known me, Philip? He that

hath seen me, hath (fi) seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father? 10. Believest thou not that (i) I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but (k) the Father, that dwelleth (/) in me, he doeth the works. 11. Believe me that (?) I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or (m) else

(g) v. 8. "Lord," Kvfu.

(X) v. 9. "Hath seen, &c." making the Son, what he is called (Heb. i. 3.) " the cx"press image of the Father!"

(i) v. 10,11. "lam in the Father, and the "Father in me." Can words be used to intimate a more complete union? Could a being of an inferior nature make such an assertion?

(i) " But," or " and," i Si n«.1),p. "The "words I speak are not mine, nor are the "works I do; both (the words and the "works) are the Father's."

(/) "Dwelleth in me." "Animates me, "inspires me."

(m) v. 11. "Or else, &c." The meaning seems to be, believe me, because / say it; my assertion is sufficient ground for your belief: if not, look at the works I do; are they not such as must have God's aid? He uses the same argument, John x. 37. "If I do not the works of my Father, be"lieve me not; but if I do, though ye "believe not me, believe the ■works.' (So John v. 36.— x. 25.) As our Saviour appeals to the works he did, and as they furnish one strong ground for our belief, it may be of some advantage to collect some of them together, and we may then ask ourselves this question, what should we think of any one who should do such works in our sight; who should assert at the same time that he came from God; who should appear too at a time when there was ground from incontrovertible prophecies to expect some such person, and in whom the distinguishing marks stated in those prophecies should be found to exist?" He gave his twelve die"ciples power against unclean spirits, to "cast them out, and to heal all manner "of sickness and all manner of disease." (Matt. x. 1.) He directed a man who "had a withered hand to stretch it "forth," and he stretched it forth,

and it was restored "whole like as "the other." (Matt. xii. 10. to 13.) He healed one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, so that he both saw and spake. (Matt. xii. 22.) He fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves and two fishes, so that they did all eat and were filled, and the fragments that remained filled twelve baskets. (Matt. xiv. 17 to 21. John vi. 8 to IS.) He fed four thousand men, besides women and children, with seven loaves and a few fishes, and they did all eat and were filled, and left seven baskets of fragments. (Matt. xv. 32. to 39.) When he was in the land of Gennesaret, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and as many as only touched the hem of his garment were made perfectly whole. (Matt. xiv. 35, 36.) He healed the daughter of the woman of Canaan who was grievously vexed with a devil, and this by a word only, without ever seeing her. (Matt. xv. 22 to 23.) When he was in a mountain near the sea of Galilee, "great "multitudes came unto him, having with "them those that were lame, blind, dumb, "maimed, and many others, and cast them "down at Jesus's feet, and he healed them; "insomuch that the multitude wondered "when they saw the dumb to speak, the "maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, "and the blind to see, and they glorified "the God of Israel." (Matt. xv. 29 to 31) He healed a child who was lunatic. (Matt, xvii. 1* to 18.) When he went into the coast of Judea, beyond Jordan, "great "multitudes followed him; and he healed "them there." (Matt. xix. 1, 2.).fcHe touched the eyes of two blind beggars, and immediately their eyes received wght. (Matt. xx. 29 to 34-.) When he said to the barren fig-tree, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever, it presently withered away. (Matt. xxi. 19.) He turned water into wine. (John ii. 7 to 11.) He

"believe mefortheverywork's(n) "sake. 12. Verily, verily, I say "unto you, He that believeth on "me, the works that I do, shall (o) "he do also; and greater{jp)works *• than these shall he do; because "I go unto my Father. 13. And

healed the son of a nobleman at Capernaum, who was at the point of death, and by what means ? by saying only, "Go thy way, thy "son liveth." (John iv. 47 to S3.) He healed an impotent man.who had had an infirmity thirty-eight years, by saying only, "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." (John v. 1 to 9.) Many of the people said, "when Christ cometh, will he do greater "miracles than these which this man hath "done?" (John vii. 31.) He gave sight to one born blind, by putting clay upon his eyes, and bidding him wash in the pool of Siloam. (John ix. 1 to 7.) He restored Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days. (John xi. 1 to 44.) These selections are made from St. Matthew and St. John, because they were in constant attendance upon our Saviour, and were therefore probably eye-witnesses of what they record. How then shall we answer the question proposed at the beginning of the note? and what shall we say of a religion of which this evidence constitutes but a small part of its proofs? When we add the completion of the prophecies in the Old Testament, the completion of the prophecies in the New, the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, the innocence of our Saviour's life, the peaceable character of his religion and precepts, and the conduct of his apostles and of St. Paul, can any one really doubt? Let it be remembered too, that where God has taken pains to supply such evidence, it is probable he considers belief a matter of moment. Is it likely that he who does nothing in vain should have furnished such abundance of light, had he thought it indifferent whether mankind saw or not? The destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews w an awful lesson. God grant we may make of it the proper use.

(n) "Very work's sake." Because they are such, and such only, as the Father himself would do. So John x. 37. where he justifies calling himself the Son of God, he appeals to the character of his own works as a proof of his right: "If I "do not the works of my Father, believe "me not."

"whatsoever ye shall (y) ask in "my name, that will I (r) do, "that the Father may be (*) glo"rifled in the Son. 14. It' ye shall "ask any thing in my name, I (r) "will do it."

(o) v. 12. "He do also." The apostles did accordingly perform miracles, and those of the same kind as our Saviour's. Whilst Philip was preaching in Samaria, "unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, "came out of many that were, possessed "with them; and many taken with palsies, "and that were lame, were healed." (Acts viii. 7.) Peter healed one man who had been lame from his birth, (Acts iii.) and another, tineas, who had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy; (Acts ix. 33, 34.) and he brought again to life a disciple named Tabitha. (Acts ix. 36 to 41.)

(p) "Greater works." This was fulfilled when the apostles spoke in languages they had never learnt.

(q) v. 13. "Ask, &c." See ante, 151. note on John xv. 7.

(r) "That will I do;" and verse 14. "I "will do it." And is not He to be made the object of prayer, by whom the thing prayed for is to be accomplished? And would our Saviour, who in verse 6. calls himself, "the way and the truth," would he in his last discourse plainly and unequivocally assure them that he would perform what they should ask, if he were not to have that power? and who but God could have it? In John xv. 16. he tells them, that he has chosen them, that whatsoever they shall ask the Father in his, (i. e. Christ's) name, he (i. e. the Father) may give it them. In the same discourse therefore he assumes to himself the same power in this respect as he ascribes to the Father. See Graves's Trin. 52. If the Father and Son would equally hear and equally grant the prayer, does it not follow irresistibly, (says Dr. G.) " that they must "equally possess omniscience and omni"potence, and be alike the objects of "faith, and hope, and adoration?" And again, "Is not this an assumption of au"thority and power, a promise of perpetual "assistance and support, to proceed di"rectly from himself, which nothing could "justify but his participation of the nature "and power of God?" Graves's Trin. 62.

(s) "Glorified, &c." that from what is

Fourth Sunday after Easter. The Collect. O Ai.miohty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and directions of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou comnmndest, and desire that which thou dost promise ; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts 'may Kiirely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. James i. 17. Kvrey good (/) gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the (u) word of truth, that

we should be a kind of first-fruits of his (j) creatures. 19. (y) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20. for the wrath of man (2) worketh not the righteousness (a) of God. 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the (6) engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

The Gospel. John xvi. 5.

Jesus (c) said unto his disciples, "Now I (d) go my way to him "that sent me; and none of you "asketh me, Whither goest thou? "6. But because I have said "these things unto you (e), sor"row hath filled your heart "7. Nevertheless I tell you the "truth; It is expedient for you

done in my name, and from seeing the efficacy of my religion, glory may be given to God; God's glory may be increased.

(<) v. 17. "Gin, 4c" St. James had been saying, verse 13. "Let no man say "when he is tempted, I am tempted of "God, for God cannot be tempted with "evil, neither tempteth he any man;" and the meaning here is, God is so far from assailing us with temptations, that every good gift comes from him, and he is not changeable, first trying to gain us by what is good, and then trying if temptation will draw us off; on the contrary, he voluntarily begat us, takij&'U ainvrpo iuuU: it was his own free choice to adopt us and make us his children, and will he behave so inconsistently, as to lead us into trials wc cannot bear, and make that a ground for casting us off?

(u) e. 18. "With the word of truth," I. e. " by the gospel."

(x) "His creatures,'' i. e. " of them who "were especially to be so called; of those, "who according to Tit. ii. 14. were to be "< a peculiar people, zealous of good "'works.'"

(a) t». 19. "Wherefore," i. e. "because "God hath so dealt with us, let one of the "first results be that you control your

"tempers, lay apart all filthiness, &c. "&c."

(z) 0.20. "Worketh not," either, "is "inconsistent with," or "advanceth not.''

(a) "The righteousness of God," i.e."the "Gospel dispensation, Christ's religion."

(b) v. 21. "Ingrafted word," i. e. what is called, verse 18. "The word of truth."

(c) v. 5. "Jesus said." Part of what our Saviour said at the last supper, the night he was betrayed. John was next him, and therefore an ear-witness.

(d) "I go my way, &c." A distinct intimation that his life was at its close; and a plain instance of his assuming to himself one of the divine characteristics, foreknowledge.

(e) v. 6. " Sorrow." They probably expected, even down to this time, that our Saviour's was to be a temporal kingdom, one of the kingdoms of this world. When he had told them before that he should be betrayed and killed, though he also told them he should be raised again the third day, they mere exceeding sorry; (see ante, 143. note on Luke xxiv. 45.) and it appears that our Saviour made his communications to them according as he found they had strength of mind to receive theui. See in this very Gospel, v. 12.

« AnteriorContinuar »