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"love one another, as he gave us "commandment." 24. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth (z) in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit (a) which he hath given us.
The Gospel. Luke xiv. 16.
A Certain (£) man made a great supper, and bade many: 17. and sent his servant at supper-time to say to them that were bidden, "Come; for all things are now "ready." 18. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, "I have bought a piece of ground, "and I must needs go and see it: "I pray thee have me excused." 19. And another said, "I have "bought five yoke of oxen, and I "go to prove them: I pray thee "have me excused." 20. And another said, "I have married a "wife, and therefore I cannot "come." 21. So that servant came, and shewed his Lord these things. Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, "Go out quickly into the streets
. M v. 24. "Dwelleth in him, &c." The idea of God's dwelling in us, is often noticed by St. John. Thus, 1 John iv. 12. "Ifwe love one another, God dwelleth in "us." And John xiv. 23. "If a man love 'me, he will keep my words, and my "Father will love him, and we will come 'unto him, and make our abode with "him."
_ (a) "The Spirit," i. e. "the temper and "disposition." He may be truly said to «>ide in us> wnen our temper is that which his would be, when, to use St. Paul's expression, (Philip, ii. 5.) " the same mind is in us, which was also in Christ Jesus." j-n the occurrences of life, might it not wen be of service to us, to refer to this flue, "Is the mind, the temper, the disposition in which we now are, a godlike
"and lanes of the city, and bring "in hither the poor, and the "maimed, and the halt, and the "blind." 22. And the servant said, "Lord, it is done as thou "hast commanded, and yet there "is room." 23. And the Lord said unto the servant, "Go out "into the highways and hedges, "and compel them to come in, "that my house may be filled. "24. For I say unto you, That "none of those men which were "bidden shall taste of my supper."
Saint Barnabas the Apostle.
O Lord God Almighty, who didst endue thy holy apostle Barnabas with singular gifts of the Holy Ghost; Leave us not, we beseech thee, destitute of thy manifold gifts, nor yet of grace to use them alway to thy honour and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For the Epistle. Acts xi. 22.
Tidings (c) of these things came unto the ears of the Church which
"mind, temper, and disposition? Can "God be considered as now abiding in "us?" See ante, 167. note on John xiv. 17.
(b) v. 16. "A certain man, &c." This parable refers to the conduct of the Jews in rejecting our Saviour; it expresses God's indignation at those who, upon frivolous grounds, or worldly motives, turned their backs upon the great preparations which had been making for their sakes, and intimates distinctly that they should be utterly excluded from the benefits of Christ's coming. A warning to us not to suffer ourselves to be drawn off from religious duties!!
(c) v. 22. "Tidings, &c." The persecution which followed immediately after the death of St. Stephen (Acts vii. 60.
was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. 23. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of (rf) God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the (e) Lord. 24. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith: and much people was added unto the (e) Lord. 25. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek (g) Saul: 28. and when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the Church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch. 27. And in these days came prophets from Jerusalem unto Antioch. 28. And there stood up one of them, named Agabus, and signified by the (A) Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the (i) world:
which came (k) to pass in the days of Claudius Cesar. 29. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: 30. which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
The Gospel. John xv. 12. (/)
This is my commandment, That ye (m) love one another, as I have loved you. 13. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. 15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his Lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. 16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go
drove many of the disciples to very distant parts; some of them went as far as Phcenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch. At Antioch they preached unto the Grecians: and "the hand of the Lord was with "them: and a great number believed, and "turned unto the Lord. Acts xi. 19, 20, "21." It was the intelligence of this success that is here mentioned. It is observable, that the very steps which were taken to suppress Christianity extended the limits of its propagation. The disciples were so fully convinced of its truth, that nothing could deter them from preaching it; and when they were driven from Jerusalem, and other places, they exerted themselves in the distant parts to which they were driven.
(d) v. 23. "The grace of God," i. e. "the success of their preaching. The "number of believers."
(e) v 23, 2-1. "The Lord, If Kvptv." i. e. "Christ." In die 16th verse of this chapter, ihe term "Lord" is distinctly applied to
our Saviour, "then remembered I the word "of the Lord, how he said, « John indeed "baptized with water,' &c." and it is not probable the same word would again hare been used, had any other than our Saviour been meant.
(g) v. 25. "Saul," i. e. "St. Paul." (A) v. 28. "The Spirit," i. e. "Impir"ation."
(i) "World," i.e. "the land of Judea."
(k) "Came to pass." It is noticed •*
occurring in Jewry (i. e. Judea). Josephu*
Antiq. lib. 20. c. 3. in Claudius's time,
(/) Part of our Lord's discourse at the last supper, just before he was betrayed. St. John sat next to him: he record? therefore what he himself heard.
O) v. 12. "That ye love, Ac" This injunction seems to have made a strong impression upon St. John. He urges this duty with great earnestness in his epistle*. See ante, 175, 176. 1 John iv. ana ante, 178. 1 John iii.
"and bring forth fruit, and that "your fruit should remain; that "whatsoever ye shall ask of the "Father in my name, he may "give it you."
Third Sunday after Trinity.
O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to hear us; and grant that we, to whom thou hast given an hearty desire to pray, may by thy mighty aid be defended and comforted in all dangers and adversities, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 Peter v. 5. All of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God (w) resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 6. Humble yourselves therefore under the (o) mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7. casting (p) all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour: 9. whom resist, stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your (y) brethren that are in
(») v. 5. "God resisteth, &c." A quotation from Prov. iii. 34. Exhortations to humility occur repeatedly in the Old and New Testament. See Matt. v. 3.—xviii. 4.
(o) v. 6. "The mighty hand, &c." i. e. (probably) "the afflictions and persecu"tions which were to put their sincerity to "the test," what St. Peter calls (1 Pet. iv. 12.) " the fiery trial which was to try them."
(p) v. 7. "Casting, &c." See Matt. vi. 25. post,—
(y) v. 9. " Brethren that are in the "world," i. e. '• Christian converts in "other places."
(r) v. 1. "Sinners, &c." Upon another
the world. 10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel. Luke xv. 1. Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners, for to hear him. 2. And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying, "This "man receiveth (r) sinners, and "eateth with them." 3. And he spake this parable unto them, saying, 4. "What man of you, "having an hundred sheep, if he "lose one of them, doth not "leave the ninety and nine in the "wilderness, and go after that (s) "which is lost, until he find it? "5. And when he hath found it, "he layeth it on his shoulders, re"joicing. 6. And when he cometh "home, he calleth together his "friends and neighbours, saying "unto them, "Rejoice with me; "for I have found my sheep "which was lost." 7. I say unto you, that "likewise joy shall be "in heaven over one sinner that "repenteth, more than over ninety "and nine just persons which need
occasion, when the disciples were questioned, why our Saviour ate with publicans and sinners, his answer was, "They "that be whole need not a physician, but "they that are sick: I am not come to "call the righteous, but sinners to re"pentance. Matt. ix. 12, 13. — Luke v. "31, 32." And the parable which follows shews that the redemption of sinners, the recovery of those who were in a lost slate, was the great object of his coming. See post, — note on Matt. ix. 12.
(s) v. 4. "That which is lost." Making it the great topic of his anxiety, while lost; the great topic of his rejoicing, when found.
ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we finally lose not the things eternal: Grant this, O heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Rom. yiii. 18.
I Reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the (u) glory which shall be revealed in us.
19. For the earnest expectation of the (x) creature waiteth for the (y) manifestation of the sons of God.
20. For the (z) creature was made subject to vanity, not (o) willingly, but by (b) reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope;
21. because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22. For we know that the
if) v. 10. "Joy, &c." A strong additional motive for sinners to repent, and for others to lead them to repentance! This joy is well intimated in the parable of the prodigal son. Luke xv. 3 to 32.
(u) v. 18. "The glory, &c." See ante, 73. note (t) on 1 John iii. 2. Many other passages hold out the prospect of some eminent glory as an encouragement to the converts to bear the persecutions and trials to which they were exposed.
(x) v. 19. "The creature, &c." The meaning of this (not very clear) passage may be this: there is an earnest expectation of the period so often referred to, as "the coming, or day of the Lord," when God shall shew who are his, and who are not; whom he adopts as sons, and whom not. For mankind was not made subject to sin and death, the bondage of corruption, (from which Christ's coming is to set them free,) from any thing in which their own choice and will concurred, but it was God's appointment: and God also gave them the hope that they should be delivered, and again admitted into the glorious liberty of the children of God: and so strong is this expectation, that the world
may be compared to a woman in labour, in great uneasiness, but looking anxiously for deliverance; and this is the case even with us, who have the first gifts of the Spirit, the beginnings of these spiritual
blessings This sense of the passage falls
in with the context, and is in unison with those many other passages where the prospect of "the coming, or day of the "Lord," is pressed as an argument to encourage the converts to brave their sufferings.
(y) "The manifestation,&c." i.e. (probably) "the time when it shall be manifest "whom God will treat as his children."
(z) D. 20. "The creature," i. e. (probably) "mankind."
(a) "Willingly," i.e. (perhaps) "from "any act in which their will concurred."
(b) "By reason of him, &c." This suggestion, that evils were not always imputable to misconduct in those who suffered them, but arose from God's appointment, (where the object might be to try man's merit, and put his virtues to a test) was admirably calculated to raise their spirits and fortify their resolution.
whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 23. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
The Gospel. Luke vi. 36.
Be ye therefore merciful as (c) your Father also is merciful.
37. Judge (</) not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
38. give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete
withal, it shall be measured to you again." 39. And he spake parable unto them: "Can the (e) blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?
40. The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
41. And (g) why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
42. Either how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite! cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye."
(c) v. 36. "As, &c." Let your mercy and benevolence be as extensive as his. It had just been stated, that God "is kind "to the unthankful, and to the evil."
(d) v.37. " Judge not, &c." Christianity requires us to look to our own faults, that we may compare our own actions with God's rules, and correct our own failings; it does not allow us officiously to inquire into the faults of others, or to contrast our conduct with theirs. We may form a very wrong estimate of other men's actions, because we cannot tell accurately what has influenced their conduct, and we are referring to a wrong standard, when we draw the comparison between theirs and ours; ours may be relatively better than theirs, and yet they may not come up to the standard God has fixed. Bringing our actions to the test of God's commands shews us our own unworthiness, teaches us humility, makes us think worse of ourselves, and become better; contrasting them with those of others gives us a degree of pride to which we have no claim, makes us think more highly of ourselves than wc ought to think, encourages us to conclude we are as good as we need be, and has a tendency to prevent our endeavours to im
prove. Our Saviour strongly condemns this conduct in his parable of the Pharisee and the publican. (Luke xviii. 10., &c. post, —) The practice of judging others is condemned by St. Paul, (Rom xiv. 4.) "Who art thou that judgest another man's "servant? to his own master he standeth « or falleth." So St. James, (ch. iv. 12.) "Who art thou that judgest another?" and see 1 Cor. iv. 5. And before any one assumes to himself the right of deciding upon another's conduct, let him recollect our Saviour's answer to those who brought before him the woman taken in adultery, (John viji. 7.) "He that is without sin "among you, let him first cast a stone at '« her."
(e) v. 39. "Can the blind, &c." If the conduct of other men, instead of God's command, is to be your guide, you have a blind guide, one who is continually taking a wrong course himself, and will therefore never lead you right.
(g) v. 41. "And why, &c." The same conduct is censured in Hor. lib. i. sat. 3. 1. 25.
"Cum tua prxvideas oculis mala lippus inunctis "Cur in amicorum vitiis tain crmis arutum "(ilium aut Aquila, aut serpens Epitlaurius."