« AnteriorContinuar »
fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, "Out of Eygpt have I
my Son." 16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was ex
of a son, or child, rather than looking forward prophetically to the Messiah. Dr. Hammond, Bp. Chandler, Dr. Benson, and many other writers, suppose that St. Matthew did not mean to insinuate either that the passage in Hosea was intended to foretell this event, or that the event happened to fulfil the prediction; but that all he meant was, that the passage in Hosea might be applied to this event, as if he had said, " so that in this instance also, as well as in that to which the passage in Hosea really referred, it might be said, "Out of "Egypt, &c.'' See Chandler's Defence of Christianity, 285 to 295. Sykes on Hebr. Introduct. xxxi. Benson's Introduct. xxvi. The Greek words would perhaps admit of the translation, "so that it was fulfilled," ha. hie, ut saepe, non causam denotans, sed eventum (4 Pole Synopsis, 40. 63.) The translation in the French edition (Mons, 1672) Matt. ii. 15. as well as in Matt. viii. 17. Matt. xiii. 35. and Matt, xxvii. 35. is "a fin que cette parole, &c. Jut ac*• complie." Maldonate in loco says, " ut, "hoc loco non videtur mihi causam, "sed eventum significare; quodChrysosto"mus et Damascenus multis locis fieri "observaverunt; nee enim propterea fugit "in j*Egyptum, ut prophetia adimpleretur, "sed cum vitandi Herodis causa eo fu"gisset, factum est, ut prophetia proprie "impleri videretur." There are other passages where what is at present translated, "that it might be fulfilled," must mean, "so that it was fulfilled." In Matt. viii. 16, 17. it is said that our Saviour "cast "out the evil spirits with his word, and "healed all that were sick, that it might "be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias "the prophet, saying, 'himself took our "infirmities, and bare our sicknesses ;'" and yet he could never mean that he cast out the spirits and healed the sick, for the purpose of fulfilling this prophecy; for the direct meaning of this prophecy, unless we adopt a different reading from that of our translation, was, that he would take our sins upon himself, and it was rather a strain upon the words to apply them to bodily infirmities and sickness. Again, in John xiii 18. our Saviour (intimating that one of his apostles would betray him) says, "I know whom I have chosen, but that
"the scripture may be fulfilled, 'he that "eateth bread with me hath lift up his "heel against me ;'" and yet that passage (which is in Ps. xli. 9.) appears to have referred to one of David's friends only. So in John xv*. 24,25. our Saviour says, "now "have they both seen, and hated both me "and my Father; but this cometh to pass, "that it might be fulfilled which was writ"ten in their law, they hated me without "a cause." The passage there referred to is in Ps. xxxv. 19. "O let not them which are "mine enemies, triumph over me ungodly; "neither let them wink with their eyes, "that hate me without a cause." This was no prediction that our Saviour should be "hated without a cause;" and can it be supposed that the persons of whom St. John speaks, were constrained or induced to hate our Saviour and the Father, that a supposed prediction in this passage might be fulfilled? The passage really means nothing more than this, that what was there said of David's enemies, "they "hated me without a cause," might also be said of those who hated Jesus Christ and God. So Matt. xiii. 35. Jesus is said to have spoken to the people in parables, "that it might be fulfilled which was "spoken by the prophet, I will open my "mouth in parables, I will utter things "which have been kept secret from the "foundation of the world;" and yet it could never have been for the sake of fulfilling the passage alluded to that our Saviour spoke to them in parables, for the passage had no reference to our Saviour, and was not spoken as a prophecy; all, therefore, which was meant, was this, that what was said, Ps. Ixxviii. 2. "I will "open, &c." would be true if applied to our Saviour. And Matt, xxvii. 35. the soldiers are said to have parted our Saviour's garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, Sfc. and yet they knew nothing of the prophecy, and could have had no intention of fulfilling it. The same mode of expression occurs in many other passages, where it could not have been the object to fulfil any particular part of scripture, although it might happen as a consequence, that parts of scripture which corresponded with what was done, might be said to have
ceeding wroth, and sent forth and slew all the (s) children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. 17. Then (t) was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, 18. "In Rama was there a voice "heard, lamentation, and weeping, "and great mourning; Rachel "weeping for her children, and "would not be comforted, be"cause they («) are not"
Sunday after Christmas Day.
Almighty God, who hast given us thy only begotten Son to take
our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure Virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. Gal. iv. 1. (x)
Now I say, That (y) the heir, as long as he is a child, (z) differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; 2. but is under tutors and governors, until the time appointed of (a) the father. 3. Even so we, when we (b) were children, were in bondage under
been thereby fulfilled. See Matt. xii. 17. There are also other passages, in which what was merely a consequence is stated as the object. In Matt. x. 34% when our Sariour says he "came not to send peace 41 on earth, but a sword, and to set a man "at variance against his father, and the "daughter against her mother," he did not mean that this was his object, though the misconduct of man might make it, and probably would make it, a consequence.
(i) v. 16. " Children," i. e. "the male "children;" females could not be objects of his apprehension.
(*) c. 17. " Then was fulfilled, &c." The passage referred to is in Jer. xxxi. 15. and relates to the lamentation of the Jewish mothers for the murder of their children by the Assyrian army; it was not a prediction of the distress there should be for (his slaughter by Herod; it is, therefore, in effect, the same form of expression as that commented upon above, "that it "might be fulfilled, &c." and meant nothing more than that the description of the distress of the mothers in Jeremiah *as equally applicable to the distress of *ese mothers. Chandl. Def. 286. Wv.18." Are not," i.e. "aredead." So
"hen Joseph's brethren meant to intimate
that he was dead, the expression they
used was, he " is not." Gen. xlii. 13. 32. like Homer's " KiJau Xlaljtx^''
(x) This portion of Scripture is altogether figurative; the meaning is this: As an heir is kept in subjection during his minority ; so we, whilst we were in a state like that of minors, (that is, from the time of Moses till Christ,) were kept in subjection by the Mosaic ordinances; but now wc are advanced to what may be deemed manhood, and adopted as sons, we are freed from that subjection, and under no further obligation to conform to the Mosaic institutions.
(y) v. 1. " The heir," i. e. " any heir."
(zr" Differeth nothing from," i. e. "is "as much under controul and subjection, "as much (to use the language of v. S.) in "bondage."
(a) v. 2. " The Father," i. e. "his, the "heir's father."
(A) v. 3. "Were children." St. Paul considers them, from the times of Moses to that of Christ, as mere children in religion; and in Gal.iii. 24. he accordingly calls " the law," that is, the Mosaic institutions, "a schoolmaster to bring them "unto Christ." Converts, who were not far advanced in the doctrine of Christianity, are called "babes in Christ. 1 Cor. iii. 1. — Heb. v. 13. — 1 Pet. ii. 2." s Q
the elements (c) of the world: 4. But when the (</) fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his (e) Son, made of a (g~) woman, made under the law, (A) 5. to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. 6. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his (e) Son into your hearts, (*') crying, "Abba, "Father." 7. Wherefore thou art no more a (k) servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
The Gospel. Matt. i. 18.
The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother
Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost 19. Then Joseph her husband, being a (/) just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20. But while he thought on these things, behold the (m) angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, thou (n) son of "David, fear not to take unto "thee Mary thy wife; for that "which is conceived in her is of "the Holy Ghost 21. And she "shall bring forth a son, and thou "shalt call his name (o) JESUS: "for he shall (p) save his people "from their sins." 22. Now all
(c) " Elements of the world," i. e. " the "rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law, "which had little or nothing spiritual in •• them."
(d) v. 4. "The time," i.e. " either God's "own time," or "the time to treat man"kind as in a state of manhood."
(e) v. 4. 6. " His," or - his own." T»
vidv dvle' T» w» Avis.
(g) " Of a woman," probably alluding to his extraordinary conception, out of the ordinary course of nature, as mentioned, Matt. i. 18. in the Gospel for the day.
(h) v. 5. "To redeem," i. e. "to free "even the Jews, who before were under "the law, from further subjection." And if they were to be freed, it could never be necessary for the Gentile converts, who had never been under the law, to submit to its ordinances. In Eph. ii. 14, 15. Christ Jesus is said to have " broken down "the wall of partition between us," (that is, between Jew and Gentile,) "having "abolished in his flesh the enmity," (that is, the cause which divided them, which kept them from uniting,) "even the law "of commandments, contained in ordi"nances;" and in Col. ii. 14. he is said to have "blotted out the hand-writing of "ordinances, that was against us, which "was contrary to us, and to have taken it "out of the way, nailing it to his cross." ** - 6. (i) " Crying, &c." i e. "intitling
"you to call God your father." So Rom. viii. 15. St. Paul says, "Ye have "received the spirit of adoption, whereby "we cry 'Abba, Father !'" "The Spirit "itself beareth witness with our spirit, "that we are the children of God; and if "children, then heirs, heirs of God, and "joint heirs with Christ."
(k) v. 7. " A servant," i. e. "in bond"age to the ordinances in the law of "Moses."
(/) v. 19. "Just," therefore disposed to put her away, (according to Deut. xxiv. 1.) but not willing to make her a public example, and therefore minded to do it privily. See 1 Mag. 482.
(m) v. 20. "The," or "an;" there is no article in the original.
(n) " Son of David." The angel might give him this appellation, to remind him, that he was of that seed from which the Messiah was to be born.
(o) v. 21. "Jesus," which signifies "a "Saviour."
(p) " Save his people from their "sins." This shews the nature of his office — spiritual, not temporal. In the prophecy, Isaiah liii. 6.11. it is said, that the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all — that he shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities. St. Peter says of him after his Ascension, that God hath exalted him to be a " Sa
this was done, (jq) that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, (r) 23. " Behold, a virgin shall be "with child, and shall bring forth "a son, and they shall (5) call his "name Emmanuel; which being "interpreted, is, " God with us." 24. Then Joseph being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25. and knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son: and (t) he called his name JESUS.
"viour, to give repentance to Israel, and "forgiveness of sins." When John the Baptist saw our Saviour coming unto him, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God, "which taketh axoay the sin of the world, "John i. 29." St. Peter says of him, " who "big ownself bare our sins in his own "body on the tree." And our Saviour himself says, Matt. xx. 28. that " he came "to give his life a ransom for many."
(q) r. 22. "That it might be fulfilled;" or, " so that it was fulfilled;'' making the fulfilment a consequence only, not the objtct. See ante, 49. note on Matt. ii. 15.
(r)c.23. "Behold, &c." The passage is in Isaiah vii. 14. post.— The other Evangelists take no notice of this prophecy; but according to Luke i. 34, 35. post,— when the Virgin Mary asked the angel, how it should be that she could conceive, seeing she knew not a man, his answer was, "The Holy Ghost shall come "upon thee, and the power of the High"est shall overshadow thee: wherefore "also that holy thing that shall be born "of thee shall be called the Son of God." The prophet Jeremiah, ch. xxxi. 22. (perhaps referring prophetically to the Messiah's miraculous birth), says, " The Lord "hath created a new thing on the earth, ■ a woman shall compass a man." According to Gen. iii. 15. >t was to be the seed of At unman that was to bruise the serpent s head; and it is singular that the Jewish inters, in their comments on the Old" Testament, say expressly, that his birth should be out of the usual course, without « father. Ber. Rab. on Gen. xxxvii. 22.
The Circumcision of Christ. The Collect. Almighty God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit, that our hearts and all our members being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Rom. iv. 8.
"Blessed (k) is the man to "whom the Lord will not (.r) "im
says, "The Redeemer, whom the Lord "shall raise, shall not have a father" R. Joses on Ps. lxxxv. 12. "The gener"ation of the Messiah shall be singular, "not like that of creatures generating in "the world. None shall know the name "of his father, till he come and declare "it. Chandl. Def. 337."
(s) " Call his name." "Not that he "should generally pass by that name, but "either, that he should sometimes be so "called, or that he should really be "' Emmanuel,' or ' God with us,' that he "should be intitled to that appellation." So, Isaiah ix. 6, it is said prophetically of the Messiah, "his name shall be called "Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, "the everlasting Father, the Prince of "Peace;" but it was never meant that those should be his ordinary appellations. It was a common Hebrew mode of expression to say, that persons should be called what it was meant to express they should really be. See Matt. v. 9.
(t) v. 25. y. " and called" *« naXttrt, 3 Hamm. 4.
(«) w. 8. "Blessed, &c.": a quotation from Ps. xxxii. 2.
(i) " Impute," that is, " not bring into "account against." So, 2 Cor. v. 19. the gospel mercy is described to be, God's "reconciling the world unto himself, not "imputing their trespasses unto them." One of St. Paul's objects here is to satisfy the Roman converts that the benefits of the gospel were not of right, but of God's favour; what, in the language of Dr. Magee, (1 Magee, 210.) " man cannot demand
"pute sin." 9. Cometh this blessedness then upon the (jy~) circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was (2) reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. 10. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. 11. And he received the sign of circumcision; a seal of the righteousness of the faith
which he had, yet being uncircumcised; that he might be the father of all them that (a) believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also: 12. and the father of circumcision to them who are (b) not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had, being yet uncircumcised. 13. For the promise, that he should be the
"of the justice,hut must entreat of themercy "of God;" not a debt due to any man s works, (for that all have sinned, and therefore are subject to punishment, not entitled to reward), but a gift of God's free grace. And as no works would of themselves entitle a man to these benefits, he concludes that the observance of the Mosaic institutions, a law of works only, was no longer necessary.
(y) u. 9. " Circumcision." It was a matter of considerable contest, during the time of the apostles, whether the Christian converts were bound to submit to circumcision, and to conform to the other Mosaic rites. The apostles had a meeting, and decided that they were not. Acts xv. 1. to 30. The spirit and zeal with which St. Paul writes upon this point, and its constant occurrence in his Epistles, affords strong internal evidence that the Epistles were written whilst this point continued matter of controversy.
The Jews still submit to this, and many other burthensome ceremonies of the Mosaic ritual. And would this be the case in their dispersed state, had they not the fullest conviction of the divine origin of the law of Moses? Circumcision is also practised by the Arabs, but it is not performed till the age of thirteen; and why? Because the Arabs are descended from Ishmael, and the rite was first instituted when Ishmael was thirteen years old, and he was circumcised at that age. See (Jen. xvii. 11. 25. A strong indirect proof of the authenticity of the Book of Genesis.
(z) "Reckoned to Abraham." Several
instances are mentioned in Genesis of Abraham's faith, and his confidence in God's promise. When Abraham complained to God in his old age that he was childless, and that God had given him no seed, and God promised him that he should have seed, and that they should be as numerous as the stars of heaven, Abraham " believed in the Lord, and he" (i. e. God) " counted it to him for righteousness. Gen. xv. 4. to 6." This was before the birth of Ishmael or Isaac; and Ishmael was born to him when he was eightysix years old. Gen. xvi. 16. When Abraham was ninety-nine years old, God gave him another assurance that he should have a son by Sarah his wife, (who was then ninety years old, and long past the ordinary condition of child-bearing:) and in token of a covenant between God and Abraham, God instituted the practice of circumcision. Abraham appears, indeed, at first to have doubted, yet as a proof of his confidence in this promise he was immediately circumcised, and so were all the men of his house. Gen. xvii. It is to this latter instance, as St. Paul explains in the 18th and 19th verses of this chapter, that he here refers. Abraham's merit in preparing to sacrifice his son Isaac, was long after his circumcision. Gen. xxii.
(a) v. 11. " Believe," i.e. "have faith, "like his."
(6) v. 12. " Not of the circumcision "only, but, &c." i. e. " not of all who were "circumcised, but of those only who had "faith like Abraham's; so that he was to "be the father of all who, whether cir"cumcised or not, had faith."