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walk (b) worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2. with all lowliness (c) and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; 3. endeavouring (d) to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4. There is one body(e) and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5. one Lord (g) one faith, one baptism, 6. one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
The Gospel. Luke xiv. 1.
It came to pass, as Jesus went into the house of one of the chief Pharisees to eat bread on the sabbath-day, that they watched him. 2. And, behold, there was a certain man before him which had the dropsy. 3. And Jesus answering, spake unto the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to u heal (//) on the sabbath-day?" 4. And they held their peace. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; 5. and answered them, saying, "Which of you shall have
(b) "Walk." It is observable how constantly St. Paul calls their attention to their conduct; to the necessity of shewing by their tvorks that they were Christians.
(c) v.2. "Lowliness, &c." The nature of the virtues St. Paul recommends also requires attention: such as our Saviour had prescribed: not those the world admires, active courage, a quick sense of honour, impatience ofinjuries,&c.butmeekness and forbearance.
(d) v. 3. " Endeavouring, &c." to preserve the strictest unanimity: to avoid all dissentions; and he presses it upon them, by the consideration that there is only one Spirit, not several; one Christian Church, not several; one hope, not several, &c. &c. See ante.
(e) v. 1. "One body," i. e. "of Christ "and Christians, Christ being the head." Thus he says, 1 Cor. xii. 12. " As the body "is one, and hath many members, and all "the members of that one body, being
"an ass or an ox fallen into a "pit, and will not straightway "pidl him out on the sabbath"day?" 6. And they could not answer him again to these things.
7. And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
8. "When (i) thou art bidden of "any man to a wedding, sit not "down in the highest room; lest "a more honourable man than "thou be bidden of him; 9. and "he that bade thee and him come "and say to thee, "Give this man "place;" and thou begin with "shame to take the lowest room. "10. But when thou art bidden, "go and sit down in the lowest "room; that when he that bade "thee cometh, he may say unto "thee, "Friend, go up higher:" "then shalt thou have worship in "the presence of them that sit at "meat with thee. 11. For whoso"ever exalteth himself shall be "abased; and he that humbleth(^) "himself shall be exalted."
"many, are one body, so also is Christ. i. e. Christ and his followers constitute one body. So Rom. xii. 4, 5. "As we have "many members in one body, so we, being "many, are one body in Chritt." Again, Col. i. 18. "He" (viz. Christ) "is the head "of the body, the church." And Eph. v. 30. "We are members of his (i. e. Christ's) "body, of his flesh and of bis bones."
(g) v. 5. "One Lord," tl< Kii>«p<, i- «• Christ.
(A) v. 3. " To heal," "to do an act ol "mercy."
(i) v. 8. "When, &c." Solomon gives the same advice, (Prov. xxv. 6, 7.) "Put «' not forth thyself in the presence of the "king, and stand not in the place of gre*' "men; for better it is that it be said unto "thee, « Come up hither,' than that thou "shouldest be put lower."
(t) v. 11. "Humbleth, &c." Humility is one of the passive virtues strongly recom* mended both in the Old and New Testament.
Saint Matthew the Apostle. The Collect. O Almighty God, who by thy blessed Son didst call Matthew from the receipt of custom, to be an Apostle and Evangelist; Grant us grace to forsake all covetous desires and inordinate love of riches, and to follow the same thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, oneGod, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. 2 Cor. iv. 1.
Therefore seeing we have this ministry (/), as we have received mercy (m), we faint not (n); 2. but have renounced (o) the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the
word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3. But if (p) our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4. in whom the (q) God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of* the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the (r) image of God, should shine unto them. 5. For we preach not ourselves (s), but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves, your servants for Jesus' sake. 6. For God, who commanded the light (/) to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face (u) of Jesus Christ
(/) v.l. "This ministry," i.e. "ofthe "gospel dispensation."
(i») "As we have received mercy," i. e. (perhaps) "in return for the great mercy "we have received, as a proper acknow"ledgment for it."
(*) " Faint not." St. Paul's exertions are a decisive proof of his conviction and sincerity. Let a man have full means of conviction, (as St. Paul must have had) let him go through what St. Paul describes himself to have suffered, (2 Cor. xi. 23. ante, 80.) and let him have no object but such as St. Paul had, not temporal power or honour, but the advancement of goodness and God's glory, and who can doubt his sincerity? Lord Lyttelton considers St. PauTs conduct alone sufficient to prove the truth of the Christian religion. See Lord Lyttelton on the conversion of St. Paul; a work well worth attention!
(o) v.l. " Renounced, &c." i.e. perhaps, by "abstaining from all sin, using no deceit "to advance Christianity, and having no "object in view but man's happiness and "God's glory." It is a strong argument of the sincere conviction of the apostles, that they could have had no purpose of their own in preaching the gospel. It led to no temporal rewards, it exposed them to great dangers and persecutions.
(/>) v. 3. "If, &c." Sin is elsewhere noticed as the great obstacle to belief. Not that the evidence is not abundantly suffi
cient, but that sin either obstructs examination, or perverts the judgment. St. John says, John iii. 19. "Light is come into the "world, and men loved darkness rather "than light, because their deeds were evil. "For every one that doeth evil, hateth the "light, neither cometh to the light, lest "his deeds should be reproved." Post,230. John xv. 21.
(q) v. 4. " The God of this world," in opposition to the true God, the God of heaven.
(r) "The image, &c." So Coloss. i. IS. and Heb.i.3. (ante,43.)75 XpirS,S« W" ^""»» IS&ii.
(s) v. 5. "Not ourselves." Without any views of our own. Not seeking glory, or honour, or power, or profit, or any thing J'or ourselves.
(t) v.6. "The light, &c." referring to his command at the creation, "Let there "be light. Gen. i. 3."
(m) "In the face, &c." This is supposed to allude to what is mentioned of Moses, Exod. xxxiv. 29 to 35. When he came down from Mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in his hand, the skin of his face shone, so that Aaron and the children of Israel were afraid to come near him. St. Paul had referred to this in the preceding chapter, 2 Cor. iii. 7. ante, 204. The meaning (probably) is, that if the Mosaic dispensation were glorious, and entitled to such a mark of distinction, the gospel dispensation was much more glorious, and brought infinitely more light into tho world.
(x) v. 9. "Matthew," i. e. " St. Matthew "the Evangelist."
(y) "The receipt of custom." He was what they called a publican, a collector of the Roman taxes: an office in great disrepute among the Jews, but very lucrative: he calls himself, Matth. x. 3. "Matthew "the publican."
(z) v. 10. "The house," i. e. "Matthew's." Markii. 15. Luke v. 29. he made a great "feast in his own house, and there "was a great company of publicans and '« of others that sat down with him."
(a) v. 12. "They that be whole, &c." Probably a proverb. "My object is to "assist where assistance is most wanted: "to relieve those who most require relief. "I associate with them, not because their "practices and principles are acceptable "to me, but that I may correct those prac"tices and principles.'
(b) v. 13. "Mercy and not sacrifice," from Hos. vi.6. "Mercy rather than sacrifice," thai love of God which is shewn " in "acts of benevolence to man, rather than "that which is shewn in ceremonial acts "of worship to God: that mercy which "will reform sinners, rather than that out"ward ceremonial attention to God's com
Eighleenth Sunday after Trinity.
Lord, we beseech thee, grant thy people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil; and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee the only God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 Cor. i. 4.
I Thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God (c) which is given you by Jesus Christ; 5. that in every thing ye are enriched by him, in all utterance, and in all knowledge; 6. even as tlie testimony of Christ was confirmed in you: 7. so that ye come behind in no gift (d); waiting for the coming (e) of our
"mands, which would keep us from their "company. The substance, rather than "the appearance. The important part of "converting a sinner, rather than the ex"ternal shew of respect to God, by avoid"ing him." Stanh. 1.7.
(c) v.4. " Grace of God." "The gifts of "the Spirit.with which they were endowed" (as explained in v. 5.) " in all utterance "and knowledge."
(d) v. 7. " In no gift." How continually do we meet with passages which have a tendency to shew that Christianity had the testimony of God? In this epistle, 1 Cor. xii. 9, 10. (ante, 201.) St. Paul enumerates amongst the gifts of the Spirit, that of healing, of working miracles, of divers kind of tongues, of interpreting tongues, &c. Here he tells them that "they come behind in no gift." Could he have said this had they not possessed these gifts? How would they have treated him and his epistle had the assertion been false? But if they had these gifts, they were the attestation of God to the Christian cause, that it had his sanction, and that its pretensions were just.
(e) v. 7. " The coming," i. e. the period so often referred to under the expression
(g-)Lord Jesus Christ; 8. who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our (g) Lord Jesus Christ.
The Gospel. Matt. xxii. 34.
When the Pharisees had heard that Jesus had put the Sadducees to silence (A), they were gathered together. 35. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36. "Master, which is the great "commandment in the law?" 37. Jesus said unto him, "Thou "shalt love (i) the Lord thy God "with all thy heart, and with all "thy soul, and with all thy mind. "38. This is the firstandgreat com"mandment. 39. And the second "is like unto it, Thou shalt love (i) "thy neighbour as thyself. 40. On "these two commandments hang "(k) all the law and the prophets." 41. While the Pharisees were gath
ered together, Jesus asked them, 42. saying, "What think ye of Christ? "whose son (/) is he?" They say unto him, "The son of David." 43. He saith unto them, "Howthen "doth David in spirit (m) call him "(n) Lord ? saying, 44. " The Lord "(o) said unto («) my Lord, Sitthou "on my right hand, till I make thine "enemies thy footstool." 45.If'Da"vid then call him (n) Lord, how "(/?)ishehisson?" 46. And no man was able to answer him a word j neither durst any man, from that day forth, ask him any more questions.
of the " coming," or "day of the Lord." "The time when signal vengeance was to "be taken upon the great opposers of "Christianity, the unbelieving Jews." See ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 11.
te) v. 7, 8. " Our Lord," 7» Kvpte tyS*.
(X) v. 34. " To silence," by establishing that important truth, "the resurrection of "the dead."
(i) v. 37. 39. "Thou shalt love, &c." The first passage is a quotation from Deut. vi. 5. the second from Levit. xix. 18. (See ante, 207.) The lawyer who put the question to our Saviour, " What he should "do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke x. 27. ante, 207.) treated this as the substance of the law! our Saviour said unto him, "What is written in the law ? how rcadest "thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, "and with all thy soul, and with all thy "strength, and with all thy inind; and "thy neighbour as thyself."
(i) c. 40. " Hang, &c." "It is to one "or the other of these two great points, "the love of God or the love of man, that "whatever is contained in the writings
Saint Michael and all Angels.
O Everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the services of Angels and men in a wonderful order; Mercifully grant, that as thy holy Angels alway do
"of Moses and the Prophets mainly "tends.'' (Ante, 209. note on Gal. v. 22. and ante, 92.)
(/) v. 42. " Whose son," i. e. " of what line."
(m) v. 43. " In spirit," i. e. " when "under the influence of inspiration."
(n) v. 43. 44. 45. " Lord," and « unto "my Lord." Kt/'p«», and 7$ Kvpfy pa. See ante, 29. note (m)
(o) v. 44. "The Lord, &c." the first verse of Psalm ex.
(p) v. 45. " How, &c." not that our Saviour meant to insinuate that he was not David's Son as well as David's Lord: but to point to the singularity of his nature: David's Son, after the flesh, as being born of the body of one of David's lineal descendants ; and yet David's Lord, as being the Son of God; one whose existence did not then begin when he was introduced bodily into the world, but who had been in the beginning with God, by whom also God made the world, and without whom was not any thing made that was made. St. Augustine on Psalm ix. ad finem.
thee service in heaven; so by thy appointment they may succour and defend us on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Epistle. Rev. xii. 7. (?)
There was war in heaven (r): Michael and his angels (s) fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels (7), 8. and prevailed not; neither was there place found any more in heaven. 9. And the great dragon (u) was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he
was cast out into the earth (j), and his angels were cast out with him. 10. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven (#), "Now is "come salvation, and strength, "and the (2) kingdom of our God, "and the power of his Christ: "for the accuser of our brethren "is cast down, which accused "them before our God day and "night 11. And they overcame "him by the blood of the "Lamb (a), and by the word of "their testimony: and they loved "not their lives unto the death.(i) "12. Therefore rejoice, yeheavens,
(o) This passage is by some writers considered as figurative or allegorical, representing the struggle the primitive Christians had in overcoming the temptations of sin and the allurements of the world: others think it historical, alluding to the downfall of one of the first great opposers of Christianity, Simon Magus, who perished about twenty years before the Book of the Revelations was written; a third supposition is, that it is prophetical, alluding to the strong contests which would occur between the Christians and their adversaries, and the ultimate triumphs of Christianity. The latter seems best to correspond with the character of the Book of Revelations. From the part of the Revelations in which it occurs, it seems to refer to the times of Constantine, about A. D. 311, when, after severe persecutions against the Christians, and strong contests for the throne of Rome, Constantine publicly professed Christianity, and became Emperor of Rome. The Christians were repeatedly persecuted by the Roman Emperors, and in those persecutions many thousands of them lost their lives. At length Constantine the Great publicly embraced Christianity, and having, with a large army, chiefly of Christians, defeated Maxentius, a stedfast supporter of Paganism, he issued edicts to ease the Christians from all their grievances, and for admitting them into places of trust and authority. This was such a change in their favour, as might well be the subject of previous prophecy, and fully warranted the lofty strains of the prophe
tic song, verse 10. " Now, &c." It is said that Constantine, on his march towards Rome against Maxentius, saw the figure of a cross in the heavens, with an inscription that by that sign he should overcome, " in hoc signo vinces;" and that after his victory he caused it to be inscribed upon his statues, that it was under the influence of the cross that he succeeded.
(r) v. 7." In heaven," i. e. (perhaps) "in "those parts where the Christians princi"pally lived; within the Roman empire."
(s) " Michael and his angels," i. e. "the Christians and their leaders."
(t) "The dragon and his angels," i. e. " the opposers of Christianity."
(«) t>. 9. « The great dragon," i. e. "the "devil," the great enemy of Christianity, the great patron of those who opposed it
(x) " Cast out into the earth.'' Perhaps a figurative expression to express signal degradation; as great as that of being removed from the glory and happiness of heaven to live upon the earth.
(y) v. 10. A prophetic song of triumph for the successes of the Christians, probably in the times of Constantine. A.D. 311.
(z) "The Kingdom of our God, and the Power of his Christ." Associating them together. (See ante, 92. note (s) on Eph. v- 5.)
(a) v. 11. "The blood of the Lamb," i. e. " their firm attachment to Chns"tianity."
(6) "Loved not their lives unto "the death," i. e. "disregarded their "lives; willingly hazarded or laid them "down."