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Saint John the Baptist's Day.
The Collect.

Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle. Isaiah xl. 1. (A)

"Cvomfort ye, comfort ye my "people," saith your God. 2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins. 3. The voice (i) of him that crieth in the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the (k)

(A) A spirited prophecy, intimating the coming of some extraordinary personage from God, to communicate unusual blessings to God's people. It is generally considered as applying to the coming of the Messiah.

(»') v. 3. *'The voice, &c." It was the practice of Eastern monarchs, when they went upon an expedition or journey, to send pioneers before them, to open the passes, level the ways, and remove all impediments. The supposition here, that proclamation was made in the wilderness for such a preparation, implies that some uncommon personage was to be expected. St. John the Baptist applies this part of the prophecy to himself; when he was asked who he was, his answer was, " I am "the voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Make straight the way of the Lord, as "said the prophet Esaias, John i. 23." ante, 38.

(*) "The Lord." Gr. « Kvft,." Hebr. "Jehovah," "the incommunicable name of "God." An intimation that he for whom the way was to be prepared was intitled to

"Lord, make straight in the "desert a highway for our God." 4. Every (/) valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: 5. and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord (k) hath spoken it. 6. The voice said, "Cry." And he said "What shall I cry?" "All "flesh (m) is grass, and all the "goodliness thereof is as the "flower of the field: 7. the grass "withereth, the flower fadeth: "because the Spirit of the Lord "bloweth upon it: surely the "people is grass. 8. The grass "withereth, the flower fadeth; "but the word of our God shall "stand for ever." 9. O (?i) Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O (n) Jerusalem, that bringest

that name: and yet this is the cry of Christ's forerunner, and it was for Christ the way was to be prepared. See Bellarm. de Christo. lib. i. c. 4. p. 283. & Vaill. 11.

{I) v. 4. "Every valley, &c." Baruch v. 7. has the same idea. "For God hath "appointed that every high hill and banks "of long continuance should be cast down, "and vallies tilled up, to make even the "ground, that Israel may go safely in the "glory of God." According to Diodorus Siculus, Semiramis, in her journey through Asia, had the mountains and precipices levelled, and raised causeways in the vallies wherever she went. 2 Lowth's Isaiah, 253, 254.

(m) v. 6. "All flesh, &c." The object seems to be to contrast the vanity and weakness of all earthly things, with the certainty and stability of what God promises.

(n) v. 9. "O Zion, &c." or "O thou "that bringest good tidings to Zion, &c." and " O thou that bringest good tidings to «« Jerusalem." Wilson's Hebr. Gram. 329. Bp. Lowth in loco.

good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength: lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, "Behold your God!" 10. Behold, the Lord (o) God will come with strong hand, and his (p) arm shall rule for him: behold his reward is with him, and his work before him. 11. He shall feed his flock like a (g) shepherd; he shall (r) gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.

The Gospel. Luke i. 57. (s)

Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 58. And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her. 59. And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 60. And his mother answered and said, "Not so; but he shall be called "John." 61. And they said unto her, "There is none of thy kin"dred that is called by this name." 62. And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 63. And he asked for a writing-table, and wrote, saying, "His name is John." And they

(o) v. 10. "The Lord God." Hebr. "Adonai Jehovah." "Adonai," which is applied to the Messiah in the two prophetic Psalms, Ps. ii. 4-. and Ps. ex. 1. and "Jehovah," which is never applied but to the Father, Son, or Holy Ghost. See post, — note on Ps. ii. 4. and — note on Ps. ex. 1. Does not this imply that it was to be one of the persons of the Godhead who was to come? The same is to be inferred from the exclamation, " Behold "your God."

marvelled all. 64. And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God. 65. And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill-country of Judea: 66. and all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What "manner of child shall this be?" And the hand of the Lord was with him. 67. And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, 68. " Blessed be the Lord God of "Israel; for he hath visited and "redeemed his people, 69. and "hath raised up an horn of sal"vation for us in the house of his "servant David; 70. as he spake "by the mouth of his holy pro"phets, which have been since "the world began: 71. that we "should be saved from our ene"mies, and from the hand of all "that hate us; 72. to perform "the mercy promised to our "fathers, and to remember his "holy covenant, 73. the oath "which he sware to our father "Abraham, 74.that he wouldgrant "unto us, that we, being de"livered out of the hand of our "enemies, might serve him with"out fear, 75. in holiness and righ"teousness before him, all the days

(p) "His arm." So Is.liii. 1. "To whom "is the arm of the Lord revealed?"

(y) v. 11. " Shepherd." The Messiah is elsewhere spoken of under the name of a shepherd. See ante, 58. note (g) on Matt. ii. 5. and ante, 149. on John x. 11.

(r) " Shall gather, &c." i. e. shall be to his followers what a shepherd who so treats his lambs is to his flock: full of tender attention and care.

(s) See ante, p. 7. where this passage occurs, and is commented upon.

"of our life. 76. And thou, Child, "shalt be called, «The Prophet "of the Highest:' for thou shalt "go before the face of the Lord "to prepare his ways; 77. to give "knowledge of salvation unto "his people, by the remission of "their sins, 78. through the ten"der mercy of our God; whereby "the Day-spring from on high "hath visited us, 79. to give light "to them that sit in darkness and "in the shadow of death, to guide "our feet into the way of peace." 80. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Fifth Sunday after Trinity.

The Collect.

Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thy Church may joyfully serve thee in all godly

quietness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Epistle. 1 Peter iii. 8. Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: 9. not rendering evil (/) for evil, or railing for railing; but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing. 10. For (u) "he that will love life, "and see good days, let him re"frain his tongue from evil, and "his lips that they speak no guile: "11. let him eschew evil, and do "good; let him seek peace, and "ensue it. 12. For the eyes of "the Lord are over the righteous, "and his ears are open unto their "prayers: but the face of the "Lord is against them that do "evil." 13. And who is (a) he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? 14. But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake,(y) happy are ye: and "be (2) not afraid of their terror,

(l) v. 9. "Evil for evil." St. Paul gives the same advice to the Roman converts, (Rom xii. 17.) "Recompence to no man "evil for evil;" and to the Thessalonians, (1 Thess. v. 15.) "See that none render "evil for evil unto any one." Christianity does not sanction retaliation; on the contrary, it inculcates forgiveness of injuries as an essential duty, and treats the right to avenge as the peculiar privilege of God. "Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith "the Lorn, Rom. xii. 19." The example in this respect is furnished by our Saviour, who (according to 1 Pet. ii. 23.) "when "he was reviled, reviled not again; when "he suffered, he threatened not."

(«) V. 10. «' For, Ac." What follows to the end of verse 12. is transcribed from Ps. xxxiv. 12. &c. St. Peter therefore uses that authority to inforce the duty he was recommending.

{x) v.lS. "Who is he, &c." To follow

good, is the surest way to avoid persecution; but even if the good are persecuted, they have this for their comfort, their persecutors are not "of God," and have not God's sanction.

(y) v. 14. "Happy." Our Saviour has given this assurance in his Sermon on the mount, Matt. v. 10, 11. post, — "Blessed "are they which are persecuted for righte"ousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom "of heaven; blessed are ye when men "shall revile you, and persecute you, and "shall say all manner of evil against you, "falsely, for my sake: rejoice and be ex"ceeding glad, for great is your reward "in heaven." So 1 Pet. iv. 14. "If ye be "reproached for the name of Christ, happy "are ye."

(s) "Be not afraid, &c." Transcribed from Is. viii. 12, IS. God said unto Isaiah, "Say ye not a confederacy, to all them "to whom this people shall say a con

"neither be troubled; 15. but "sanctify the Lord God in your "hearts."

The Gospel. Luke v. 1.

It came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of (a) Gennesaret, 2. and saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets. 3. And he entered into one of the ships, which was(b) Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship. 4. Now, when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, "Launch out into "the deep, and let down your "nets for a draught." 5. And Simon answering said unto him, "Master, we have toiled all the "night, and have taken nothing: "nevertheless at thy word I will "let down the net." 6. And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake. 7. And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink. 8. When Simon Peter

saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me; "for I am a sinful man, (c) O "Lord." 9. For he (d) was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken: 10. and so was also (e) James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, "Fear not; "from henceforth thou shalt catch "men." 11. And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.

Saint Peter's Day.
The Collect.

O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; Make, we beseech thee, all Bishops and Pastors diligently to preach thy holy Word, and the people obediently to follow the same; that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory, through JesusChrist our Lord. Amen.

For the Epistle. Acts xii. 1.

About that time, Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to vex

"federacy, neither fear ye their fear, nor "be afraid; sanctify the Lord of hosts "himieif, and let him be your fear, and "let him be your dread, and he shall be "for a sanctuary." The meaning therefore here is, "disregard all earthly per"Mentions, fear none but God, and he "shall be a sanctuary against all evils."

(«) v. 1. "The Lake of Gennesaret."

The tame as the sea of Galilee or Tiberias,

near which Jesus chiefly lived, appointed

hit disciples, and performed his miracles.

(4) v. 3. "Simon's," i. e. «' St. Peter's."

(c) v. 8. « O Lord." The change of ap

pellation is observable: before the miracle Peter addresses him by the lower title, EinfaJa, Master : after it by the divine title, Kvpti, Lord.

(d) v. 9. "Astonished." The miracle was likely to make the stronger impression, because, according to verse 5., they had been toiling all night, and had caught nothing. It was therefore well timed 1 Stanh. 405.

(e) v. 10. "James and John," i. e. that James, who according to Acts xii. 2. was afterwards killed by Herod, and St John the Evangelist.

certain of the Church. 2. And he killed (g) James the brother of John with the sword. a. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. Then were the days of unleavened (h) bread. 4. And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5. Peter therefore was kept in prison; but prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for him. 6. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two (i) chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 7. And, behold, the (k) angel of the (/) Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, "Arise up "quickly." And his chains fell off from his hands. 8. And the angel said unto him, "Gird thy"self, and bind on thy sandals:" and so he did. And he suitli unto him, "Cast thy garment about

(?) v. 2. "James," i. e. the son of Zebedee, the brother of St. John the Evangelist.

(h) v. 3. "The days of unleavened "bread," i. e. "the time of the passover," corresponding with our Easter. (See Dcut. xvi. 1, 2, 3.) So that all who came to the feast would be likely to hear of this miracle, and to carry an account of it to their own neighbourhoods. See ante, 166. note on Acts ii. 1.

(i) t>. 6. "Bound with two chains.'' The practice was to fasten one end of a chain to a soldier, and the other end to the prisoner.

(k) v. 7. "The," or "an," <JyytX»f, without the article.

(/) v. 7. 11. "The Lord," i. a. (pro

"thee, and follow me." 9. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. 10. When they were passed the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city, which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. 11. And when Peter was come to himself, he said, "Now I (m) know of a "surety that the Lord (J) hath "sent his (n) angel, and hath de"livered me out of the hand of "Herod, and from all the ex"pectation of the people of the "Jews."

The Gospel. Matt. xvi. 13. (o)

When Jesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, "Whom do men "say that I, the Son of man, "am?" 14. And they said, "Some say that thou art John "the Baptist; some, (jp) Elias; "and others, Jeremias, or one ot "the prophets." 15. He saith

bably) "Christ." So Rev. xxii. 16. "h "Jesus, have sent my angel."

(m) v. 11. " I know, &c." This miraculous deliverance was a reward to Peter for hi* recent intrepidity, and an assurance that he was so much under God's care, that where God thought fit, he would even work a miracle to preserve him.

(n) "His," or «« his own," dviS.

(o) See Clarke's 18th Sermon, 213.

(p) v. 14. - Elias." Why Elias? Because the Jews were expecting the Messiah, from the prophecy, Dan. ix. 25. ante, 69. and because they took in a literal sense the prophecy in Mai. iv. 5. " Behold, I will "send you Elijah the prophet, before the •• coming of the great and dreadful day «• of the Lord."

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