Page images

called in one home la parable when he

walk (n) worthy of the vocation || he took him, and healed him 2. wherewith ye are called, with all and let him go; and answered

lowliness (0) and meekness, with them, saying, “ Which of you

long - suffering, forbearing one “ shall have an ass or an oi 3. another in love; endeavouring | “ fallen into a pit, and will no

to keep the unity of the Spirit () “ straightway pull him out 01 4. in the bond of peace. There is " the sabbath-day?” And the

one body (g) and one Spirit, | could not answer him again t

even as ye are called in one hope these things. And he put fort 5. of your calling ; one Lord, one || a parable to those which wer 6. faith, one baptism, one God and bidden, when he marked hor

Father of all, who is above all, | they chose out the chief rooms and through all, and in you all. saying unto them, “ When (s

“ thou art bidden of any mant · The Gospel. Luke xiv. I.

“ a wedding, sit not down in th It came to pass, as Jesus went “ highest room ; lest a mor into the house of one of the chief “ honourable man than thou by Pharisees to eat bread on the sab “ bidden of him; and he tha

bath-day, that they watched him. " bade thee and him come and 2. And, behold, there was a certain “ say to thee, " Give this mar

man before him which had the “ place;" and thou begin with 3. dropsy. And Jesus answering, " shame to take the lowest room

spake unto the lawyers and Pha “ But when thou art bidden, go risees, saying, “ Is it lawful to " and sit down in the lowest

c heal (r) on the sabbath-day ?” | “ room; that when he that bade 4. And they held their peace. And thee cometh, he may say unto

[ocr errors]

(n) “Walk.” It is observable how | ian Church, not several; one hope, not constantly St. Paul calls their attention several, &c. &c. See ante 137, 138., to their condu&; to the necessity of shew

(9) “ One body," i. e. of Christ and ing by their acts that they were Christians.

Christians, Christ being the head. Thus (0) « Lowliness," &c. The nature he says, 1 Cor. xi. 12. “ As the body is of the virtues St. Paul recommends also “ one, and hath many members, and all require attention : such as our Saviour " the members of that one body, being had also prescribed : not such as the 66 many, are one body, so also is Christ," world usually admires, and were in high i.e. Christ and his followers constitute estimation until our Saviour's time, such one body. So Rom. xii. 4. 5. “ As we as active courage, a quick sense of ho “ have many members in one body, so nour, impatience of injuries, &c.

6 we, being many, are one body 1! ( “The unity of the Spirit." In “ Christ.” And Col. i. 18. “ He" 1 Cor. xii. he endeavours to guard the (viz. Christ) “ is the head of the body, converts against overvaluing those who the Church." had the more important gifts of the (r) “ To heal,” to do an a& of Spirit, and undervaluing those who had mercy. the less important, by reminding them (s) “ When," &c. Solomon gives the that all the gifts, the more and the less same advice, Prov. xxv. 6, 7. “ Put not important, proceeded from the same “ forth thyself in the presence of Spirit ; that there was but one Spirit “ king, and stand not in the place of which conferred these gifts. And he great men: for better it is that it be here presses them to unanimity in all « said unto thee, come up hither, than things, by the consideration that there is “ that thou shouldest be put lower.' only one Spirit, not several; one Christ

- thee, “Friend, go up higher:" | The Epistle. 2 Cor. iv. I.

then shalt thou have worship * in the presence of them that THEREFORE, seeing we have this “ sit at meat with thee. For ministry (u), as we have received . * whosoever exalteth himself mercy (x), we faint not (V); but 2. * shall be abased ; and he that have renounced (z) the hidden humbleth (t) himself shall be things of dishonesty, not walking exalted.”

in craftiness, nor handling the
word of God deceitfully ; but by

manifestation of the truth com-
Saint Matthew the Apostle.

mending ourselves to every man's The Collect.

conscience in the sight of God. 10 ALMIGHTY God, who by thy But if (a) our Gospel be hid, it 3. blessed Son didst call Matthew is hid to them that are lost : in 4. from the receipt of custom, to be whom the God of this world hath Fan Apostle and Evangelist; Grant blinded the minds of them which

us grace to forsake all covetous believe not, lest the light of the desires and inordinate love of glorious Gospel of Christ, who is riches, and to follow the same the image of God, should shine thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth unto them. For we preach not 5. and reigneth with thee and the ourselves (6), but Christ Jesus the Holy Ghost, one God, world Lord; and ourselves your servants without end. Amen.

for Jesus' sake. For God, who 6.

(7) “Humbleth,” &c. Humility is me of the passive virtues strongly recommended both in the Old and New Testabent. L () “ This ministry," i.e. of the gospel dispensation : he calls it, in the prececang chapter, 2 Cor. ij. 8, 9 ante i91.

the ministration of the Spirit,” “the "pinistration of righteousness,” in oppaton to the Mosaic dispensation, which be calls the ministration of death,” and

the ministration of condemnation." .. (1) * As we have received mercy," Le perhaps, in return for the great mercy We have received, as a proper acknowedgment for it.

6) “ Faint not." St. Paul's exertions are a decisive proof of his conviction and ancerity. Let a man have full means of conviction, (as St. Paul must have had, trom what happened upon his conversion, and from his subsequent power of work. ing miracles), let him go through what St. Paul describes himself as having sufered, 2 Cor. xi. 23. ante 73. and let lim have no objea but such as St Paul Dad, not temporal power or honour, but the advancement of goodness and God's glory, and he must be an infidel who

doubts his sincerity. Lord Lyttelton
considers St. Paul's condua alone as suf.
ficient to prove the truth of the Christian
religion. See Lord Lyttelton on the
conversion of St. Paul ; a work well worth

(z) “ Renounced,” &c. i.e. perhaps, q.2.
abstaining from all sin, using no deceit to
advance Christianity, and having no ob.
ject 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 object of their
own in preaching the gospel. It led to
no temporal rewards, and exposed them
to great dangers and persecutions. .

ia) “ If," &c. Sin is elsewhere no- v.3. ticed 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, bateth the light, neither cometh " to the light, lest his deeds should be " reproved." Post, John xv. 21.

(6) « Not ourselves.” Without any v.5.

commanded the light (c) to shine || unto them, " They that 1 out of darkness, hath shined in “ whole (b) need not a physicia our hearts, to give the light of " but they that are sick. B the knowledge of the glory of God " go ye and learn what th in the face (d) of Jesus Christ. “ meaneth, “I will have merc

" and not sacrifice(i):" for la The Gospel. Matt. ix. 9. " not come to call the righteou And as Jesus passed forth from “ but sinners to repentance.” thence, he saw a man, named Matthew (e), sitting at the receipt (f) of custom: and he saith Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity. unto him, “ Follow me.” And

The Collect. he arose, and followed him, And

LORD, we beseech thee, grai it came to pass, as Jesus sat at

thy people grace to withstand th meat in the house (8), behold, temptations of the world, th many publicans and sinners came

flesh, and the devil; and wit and sat down with him and his

pure hearts and minds to follor 11. disciples. And when the Pharisees thee the only God, through Jesu

saw it, they said unto his disciples, Christ our Lord. Amen.

" Why eateth your master with 12. “ publicans and sinners ?” But The Epistle. Cor. i. 4. · when Jesus heard that, he said || I THANK my God always of

[ocr errors]

views of our own. Not seeking glory,
or honour, or power, or profit, or any

.thing for ourselves.
0.6. (c) “ The light;" &c. referring to

his command at the creation, “ Let

“ there be light." Gen. i. 3. v. 6. (d) In the face,” &c. This is sup

posed 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 191. and he probably here means, 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 the

world. v... (e) “ Matthew,” i.e. St. Matthew the

Evangelist. v.9.

“ The receipt of custom.” He was what they called a publican, that is a collector of the Roman taxes ; an office in great disrepute among the Jews : he calls himself, Matt. X. 3. “ Matthew the “ publican."

(8) « The house," i.e. Matthew's According to 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." . (b) They that be whole,” &c. So my object is to assist where my 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 practices and principles.

c) “ Mercy and not sacrifice," from Hos. vi. 6. “ Mercy rather than sacri. “ fice,that love of God which is shewn in acts of benevolence, &c. to man, rather than that which is shewn in ceremonial acts of worship to God: that mercy which will reform sinners, rather than that outward ceremonial attention to God's commands, which would keep us from their company. The substance, rather than the appearance. The im. portant part of bringing a sinner to God, rather than the external shew of respect to God. Our Saviour referred to this same passage, when the Pharisees cen. sured his disciples for plucking ears of corn on the Sabbath-day to satisfy their hunger. Matt. xii. 7.

your behalf, for the grace of which was a lawyer, asked him a

God (k) which is given you by question, teinpting him, and say: 5. Jesus Christ; that in every thing ing, “ Master, which is the great 36.

ye are enriched by him, in all “ commandment in the law ?

utterance, and in all knowledge; Jesus said unto him, « Thou 37. 6. even as the testimony of Christ 66 shalt love (6) the Lord thy God 7. was confirmed in you : so that ye « with all thy heart, and with all

come behind in no gift (1); wait 6 thy soul, and with all thy mind.

ing for the coming (m) of our “ This is the first and great com- 38. 8. Lord Jesus Christ: who shall also 6 mandment. And the second is 39.

confirm you unto the end, that 6 like unto it, Thou shalt love thy
ye may be blameless in the day of “ neighbour as thyself. On these 40.
our Lord Jesus Christ.

“ two commandments hang (0)

“ all the law and the prophets." The Gospel. Matt. xxii. 34. While the Pharisees were gathered 41. When the Pharisees had heard together, Jesus asked them, saythat Jesus had put the Sadducees ing, “ What think ye of Christ? 42.

to silence (n), they were gathered “ whose son (9) is he?” They 35. together. Then one of them, say unto him,“The son of David."

The lawyer who put the question to our
Saviour,“ What he should do to inherit
“ eternal life?” Luke x. 27. treated this
as the substance of the law : our Saviour
said unto him, “ What is written in the
“ law ? how readest thou? And he an.
o swering 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 mind; and thy neigh-
“ bour as thyself.” May not this be
the very transaction here stated, with
this difference, that St. Luke has put
the words into the lawyer's mouth? ante


(k) “ Grace of God.” The gifts of the Spirit, with which they were endowed (as explained in verse 5.) “ in all utter« ance and knowledge," &c.

(1) “ 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. 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 if they had not had these gifts ? and 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 that the Christian cause had his sanction, that its pretensions were just.

(m) “ The coming," i.e. the period so often referred to as 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 25. note on Rom. xiii. II.

(n)“ To silence,” by establishing that important truth, “ the resurrection of the

« dead." 1. 37. () “ Thou shalt love," &c. The first 39. passage is a quotation from Deut. vi. 5. the

second from Levit. xix. 18. See ante 194.

V. 7.

00) “ Hang,” &c. It is to one or the v.40. other of these two great points, the love of God or the love of the man, that whatever is contained in the writings of Moses and the Prophets mainly tends. The advancement of one or the other of these great duties is their chief object; and it raises a strong presumption in favour of Chrisianity, that these are its leading views. If there were no external evidence to prove that the religion came from God, its character, in aiming principally, if not altogether, at these ob. jects affords strong internal evidence of its divine original, that it proceeded from God, not from man. Ante 197. note on Gal. v. 22. and ante 179.

(9) “ Whose son," i. e. of what line. V. 43.

43. He saith unto them, “ How then || derful order; Mercifully granti

“ doth David in spirit(r) call him that as thy holy Angels alway do “ Lord? saying, “The Lord (s) thee service in heaven; so by thy « said unto my Lord, Sit thou on appointment they may succoui “ my right hand, till I make thine and defend us on earth, through 6 enemies thy footstool.” If Da Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

6 vid then call him Lord, how is 46. “ he his son ?” And no man

For the Epistle. Rev. xii. 7. (*) was able to answer him a word;

THERE was war in heaven (u) neither durst any man, from that

Michael and his angels(x) fough day forth, ask him any more

against the dragon; and the dra questions.

gon fought and his angels (Y) and prevailed not; neither was

their place found any more in Saint Michael and all Angels.

heaven. And the great dragon (2)

was cast out, that old serpent, The Colle&t.

called the Devil, and Satan, which O EVERLASTING God, who hast deceiveth the whole world: he

ordained and constituted the ser was cast out into the earth (a), . vices of Angels and men in a won. and his angels were cast out with

v. 43. (r) “ In spirit,” i. e. when under the licly professed Christianity, and having, influence of inspiration.

with a large army, chiefly of Christians, V. 44. (s) “ The Lord,” &c. This is the first defeated Maxentius, who was a stedfast verse of Psalm cx.

supporter of Paganism, he issued edias (t) This passage is by some writers to ease the Christians from all their grievconsidered as figurative or allegorical, re ances, and for admitting them into places presenting the struggle the primitive of trust and authority. This was such Christians had in overcoming the tempt a change in their favour,as might well be ations of sin and the allurements of the the subject of previous prophecy, and fully world ; others think it historical, alluding warranted the lofty strains of the propheto the downfall of one of the first great tic song, verse 10. “Now," &c. It is said opposers of Christianity, Simon Magus, that Constantine, on his march towards who perished about twenty years before Rome against Maxentius, saw the figure the Book of the Revelations was written; of a cross in the heavens, with an inscrip a third supposition is, that it is pro tion that by that sign he should overphetical, alluding to the strong contests come, “ in hoc signo vinces,” and that which would occur between the Chris | after his victory he caused it to be inscribed tians and the Heathen powers, and the

upon his statues, that it was under the ultimate triumphs of Christianity. The influence of the cross that he succeeded. latter seems best to correspond with the (u) “ In heaven," i. e. (perhaps) in character of the Book of Revelations. those parts where the Christians princiFrom the part of the Revelations in pally lived ; within the Roman empire. which it occurs, it seems to refer to the (a) “ Michael and his angels" i.e. times of Constantine, about A.D. 311, the Christians and their leaders. when, after severe persecutions against (g) “ The dragon and his angels," ! the Christians, and strong contests for i. e. the opposers of Christianity the throne of Rome, Constantine publicly (z) “ The great dragon," i. e. the professed Christianity, and became Em. devil, the great enemy of Christianity, peror of Rome. The Christians were

the great patron of those who opposed repeatedly persecuted by the Roman Emperors, and in those persecutions (a) “ Cast out into the earth.” Is 1 many thousands of them lost their lives.

perhaps nothing but a figurative expresAt length Constantine the Great pub- |sion to express great degradation ; 1


« PreviousContinue »