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4. “ for another ?” Jesus answered | “ written, (k) Behold, I send my
and said unto them, “ Go and “ messenger before thy face,
Fourth Sunday in Advent.
The Collect. " and the poor have the Gospel O Lord, raise up (we pray thee) “ preached to them. And blessed I thy power, and come among us, " is he, whosoever(8) shall not be and with great might succour us ; " offended in me.” And, as they that whereas, through our sins departed, Jesus began to say unto and wickedness, we are sore let the multitudes concerning John, and hindered in running the race " What went ye out into the that is set before us, thy bounti
« wilderness to see ? a (b) reed ful grace and mercy may speedily 8. “ shaken with the wind ? But help and deliver us, through the
“ what went ye out for to see? satisfaction of thy Son our Lord; 6 a man clothed in soft raiment ? to whom with thee and the Holy “ Behold, they that wear soft Ghost be honour and glory,
“ clothing are (i) in kings'houses. world without end. Amen. 9. “ But what went ye out for to
“ see ? a prophet? yea, I say unto The Epistle. Phil. iv. 4. “ you, and more than a prophet. Rejoice in the Lord alway: and " For this is he of whom it is again I say, Rejoice. Let your 5.
(e) “ See.” According to Luke vii.21. || added some weight to these miraculous whilst John's Disciples were with Jesus ll acts that they corresponded with what “ he cured many of their infirmities and the prophet had foretold. “ plagues, and of evil spirits, and unto (8) "Shall not be offended in,”i.e.shall 7.6. “ many that were blind he gave sight," boldly and firmly adhere to me, withso that he might properly refer to what out being deterred by persecution or they saw as well as what they might danger. have heard.
(5) “A reed," &c.that is a mere trifle. - 7. 0.5. v) “The blind,” &c. Our Saviour “ In kings' houses" and therefore . 8.
refers them to his works because of their not in the wilderness. agreement with two prophecies in Isaiah: (k)“Behold,” &c. This is the prophecy u. 10. In Isaiah xxxv.4,5,6. the Prophet, alluding in Mal. ii. 1. “Behold I will send my to the times of the Messiah, says, “Behold “ messenger, and he shall prepare the way " your God will come with vengeance, “ before me and the Lord whom ye seek “ even God with a recompence : he will (i. e. the Messiah) “ shall suddenly come “ come and save you: then the eyes of “ to his temple, even the Messenger of " the blind shall be opened, and the ears “ the covenant, whom ye delight in: u of the deaf shall be unstopped, then “ behold he shall come, saith the Lord " shall the lame man leap as an hart, and
“ of hosts.” See an able Commentary " the tongue of the dumb sing." And in upon this prophecy, Chandler's Defence Isaiah xvi. 1. he says, “ The Spirit of the of Christianity, first ed. p. 63. The “ Lord is upon me, because the Lord way was prepared by reforming their " hath anointed me to preach good tid. lives, and by that means fitting them to " inge unto the meek,” &c. &c. His receive the precepts of Christianity, and performing the miracles was a decisive to undergo all dangers, &c. in adhering proof that God was with him ; but it l to it.
moderation be (1) known unto all || : The Gospel. John i. 19.
" Who art thou }” And he con- 20. quests be made known unto God: fessed, and denied not; but con7. And the peace of God, which fessed, “ I am not the Christ.”
passeth (o) all understanding, shall And they asked him, “ What 21. keep your hearts and minds " then? Art thou (9) Elias?" And through Christ Jesus.
he saith, I am not. “ Art thou
(1)“ Known unto all men,” not for os U (m) “ The Lord is at hand.” That is, v. s. tentation, but to advance the interests of the time spoken of as the coming of the Christianity, by bringing it into good Lord, the day of vengeance to the wicked repute, It casts the highest credit upon and unbelievers, and of redemption and religion, when its professors make a con salvation to the faithful converts, is near science of all their ways, and act as if approaching. See ante 25. on Rom. xiii. they had God in all their thoughts 11. The Epistle to the Philippians is sup: when they abstain from every appearance posed to have been written in the year of evil, and put in practice the virtues 59, about 11 years before the destructheir religion inculcates. And we then tion of Jerusalem. glorify God, when in every action we (n)“Careful for nothing." So 1 Peter, v. 6. consider how far it is agreeable to his v.7. “ Cast all your care upon him, will. Our Saviour, in his Sermon on the “ for he careth for you." Mount, Matt. v. 16. recommends good (0) “Passeth all understanding," i e.ei 0.7. actions with this view. “ Let your light ther, better than all knowledge, or greater " so shine before men, that they may than we can conceive, inconceivable. See * see your good works, and glorify your post, Eph. iii. 19. the like expression. * Father which is in heaven." In “ The love of Christ, which passeth Tit. ï. i to 5. St. Paul directs Titus to “ knowledge." recommend gobriety, temperance, pa W “ John," i.e. “ the Baptist." 0.19. tience, chastity, and other virtues, to this (9) “ Elias.” The Jews expected that v.21. end, " that the word of God (i.e. Christ's Elijah the prophet would appear again "religion) be not blasphemed.” And before the coming of the Messiah, in be inculcates certain particulars of good consequence of the prophecy, Mal. iv. 5. conduct, in 1 Tim. v. 14 and vi. 1. “ Behold I will send you Elijah the that * occasion be not given to the ad “ prophet, before the coming of the "versary to speak reproachfully, and “ great and dreadful day of the Lord." " that the name of God, and his doc In Matt. xvii, 10. the disciples noticed "trine, be not blasphemed,” that is, “evil this tradition to our Saviour, “Why then "spoken of.” St. Peter also beseeches “ say the Scribes, that Elias must first the believers “ to abstain from fleshly “ come?” And our Saviour admits that " lusts, which war against the soul, and Elias was first to come, but explains to " to have their conversation honest among them that John the Baptist, who, accord" the Gentiles, that whereas they speak ing to Luke i. 17. “was to go before the " against you as evil-doers, they may by “ Messiah in the spirit and power of Elias," "your good works which they shall behold, was the person to whom Malachi refers. "glorify God in the day of visitation.” (r) “ That Prophet.” It is not clear 1 Pet. ii. 11, 12. And see 1 Pet. iii. whether they referred to any particular 25. 12. To act from ostentation, with || prophet, or whether the translation should a view to obtain praise of men, and not be indefinitely“ a prophet.” See Mark not to advance the glory of God, is a vi. 15. and viñ. 28.-Luke ix. 8. 19. If different thing, and is condemned by our the former was the case, they might perhaps Saviour, Malt. vi. I to 5. and Matt, vi. refer to the Prophet foretold by Moses, 16. post.
ll Deut.xviii. 15. “The Lord thy God will
22. swered, “ No." Then said they || and said unto him, “ Why bap
unto him, “ Who art thou ? that " tizest thou then, if thou be
or the way of the Lord,” as said “ whom ye know not; He it is, 27. 24. the prophet Esaias. And they “ who, coming after me, is pre
which were sent were of the “ ferred before me, (u) whose 25. Pharisees. And they asked him, " shoe's latchet I am not worthy
“ raise up unto thee a Prophet from the must increase, but I must decrease. See
the Jewish historian Josephus, born A.D.
« bodies they should add the cleanness of v. 26. “ One among you," that is, Jesus “ their souls, repurified by justice And Christ.
“ whereas it came to pass, that divers v. 27. (u)“ Whose shoe's latchet,” i.e. who is « flocked and followed him to hear his
so transcendently great, that I am unwor. « doctrine, Herod feared, lest his subthy to do even the meanest offices for him. “ jects, allured by his doctrine and per: Would an impostor, or one who sought “ suasions, should be drawn to revolt: his own glory, thus disparage himself, “ for it seemed that they would subscribe and aggrandize another? Can any motive “ in all things to his advice: he therebe ascribed to John's conduct, but that “ fore thought it better to prevent a which the Scripture ascribes, " to pre “ mischief by putting him to death, than “ pare the way for Christ's kingdom!" « to expect some sudden commotion, According to John iii. 28. he appeals to “ which he might afterwards repent. his disciples if he had not told them he Il “ Upon this suspicion, Herod caused was not the Christ, and adds, v. 30. he ll “ him to be bound,' &c.
28. “ to unloose.” These things
The Epistle, Ephes. ii. 19.
Now therefore ye are no more
of the household of God; and 20. St. Thomas the Apostle's Day.
are (y) built upon the foundation The Collect.
of the apostles and prophets, Jesus ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, Christ himself being the chief who for the more confirmation of corner-stone(z); in whom all the 21. the faith, didst suffer thy holy building, fitly framed together, Apostle Thomas to be doubtful groweth unto an holy temple in: in thy Son's resurrection : Grant | the Lord: in whom ye also are 22. us so perfectly, and without all builded together for an habitadoubt, to believe in thy Son Jesus || tion of God through the spirit.. Christ, that our faith in thy sight may never be reproved. Hear
The Gospel. John XX. 24. us, O Lord, through the same Jesus Christ ; to whom, with thee THOMAS, one of the twelve, and the Holy Ghost, be all ho called Didymus, was not with nour and glory, now and for them (a) when Jesus came. The 24. evermore. Amen.
other disciples therefore said unto
1.19. (*)“ Saints.” i.e. The Jews, who, be.
fore our Saviour's time, were the only people who worshipped the true God, and were called “ God's people, the
“ Holy of the Lord.” 0:30. 6)“ Built.” This is an instance of the
figurative stile of the Scripture. All Christians, whether Jews or Gentiles, and wberesoever dispersed, are considered as foaming one Church, one Temple, one House or Habitation for God. So 1 Pet ü. 5. “ Ye also as lively stones " are built up a spiritual house, an holy " priesthood to offer up spiritual sacri. "fices, acceptable to God by Jesus "Christ.” So in the Apostles Creed, and in other parts of the Liturgy, the whole body of Christians throughout all the world, is called “ The Holy Catholic " Church.” In 1 Cor. iii. 16. he says to the converts, to prevent their dishonouring their bodies, “ Know ye not " that ye are the Temple of God;" and 2 Cor. vi. 16. " ye are the Temple of
" the living God.” 9.20. (c) “Corner Stone.” Our Saviour is
often considered as the corner stone of the Christian Temple. According to Isaiah xxviii. 16 “ Thus saith the Lord God, " Bebold I lay in Zion for a foundation
" a Stone, a tried Stone, a precious Cor.
(a) “ When Jesus came,” i.e. at one v. 24.
25. him, “We have (6) seen the Lord.” | disciples were within, and Thomas
But he said unto them, “ Except with them.' Then came (d) Jesus,
« his side, I will not believe.” | “ finger, and behold my hands; 26. And after () eight days again his " and reach hither thy hand, and
7. 25. (6) “ Seen the Lord.” St.John, who 1 " ye ; for we cannot but speak the things
was one of the apostles, must have known « which we have seen and heard.” Aftsiv. whether they had really seen the Lord. 19, 20. Indeed, from this time all the According to Luke xxiv. 33. the eleven apostles, without exception, devoted were present at this time. The certain their lives to the propagation of Christ's assurance that our Saviour had risen from religion, and underwent the greatest the dead, and that they had received the hardships, and in many instances death gift of tongues, and the other privileges itself, in attestation of the truth of his of the Holy Ghost, affords an easy solu Resurrection. They could have been tion to what otherwise appears unaccount. actuated by no temporal views; their able, the difference in their conduct just conduct could have proceeded from nobefore this period and after it. When he thing but conviction; and their convicwas apprehended, all the disciples forsook tion was founded on facts in which they him and fled. Matt. xxvi. 56. Whilst he could not have been deceived; what they was before the High Priest, Peter thrice had themselves seen, that is, our Saviour's denied that he knew him ; and at the time appearance to them after his Crucifixion ; of this appearance of Christ, the doors and what they had experienced in themof the place where they were assembled selves, namely, the power of speaking were shut for fear of the Jews. Indeed, languages they had never learned, and of the crucifixion of him on whom all their working miracles. Their conduct, there. hopes were placed, was calculated to fore, affords us a strong “ reason for the depress their spirits. And yet in a very “ hope that is in us." And Dr. Paley short time we find a meeting of about one has treated it in a masterly way, as afford. hundred and twenty, with Peter amongst ing of itself, independently of other them, to choose an apostle in the room grounds, the most satisfactory evidence of Judas, “ to be a witness with them of of the truth of the Christian religion,
Christ's Resurredion.” Acts i. 15. On See also post, note on John xvi. 20. the day of Pentecost, seven weeks after (c)“After eight days,” that is, accord- 0.1 the Resurrection, when they had received ing to the Jewish manner of expressing the power of speaking languages they themselves, the 8th day, the first day of had never learnt, we find Peter publicly the succeeding week. Rehoboam ordered stating, in Jerusalem, that Jesus Christ the people to come.“ after three days," had by wicked hands been crucified and when he meant them to come the third slain, but that God had raised him up, day. 2 Chron. x. 5. 12. The Jews im. Acts ii. 23, 24. We find him repeating puted to our Saviour that he said, that the same thing after his healing the lame 56 after three days he should rise again;" man, A&s üï. 13 to 15. He repeats it and yet they understood him to mean that again when he is brought before the he should rise the third day; for after Chief Priest, the Rulers, Elders, and mentioning to Pilate what our Saviour Scribes, on this account, Acts iv. 10 ; and had said, they desired that the sepulchre when they commanded him and John not “ might be made sure until the third day." to speak at all, nor teach at all in the Matt. xxvii. 63, 64. name of Jesus, they boldly answered that (d) “ Then came Jesus." The other 0:1 they should. “Peter and John answered disciples were present at this appearance " and said unto them, “ whether it be also; so that John, who records it, could “ right in the sight of God to hearken l not have been mistaken as to this fact. " unto you more than unto God, judge