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Third Sunday after the Epiphany.

ably with all men. Dearly be. 19.

loved, avenge not yourselves; The Colle&t.

but rather give place unto wrath : ALMIGHTY and everlasting God,

for it is (z) written, “ Vengeance

¢ is mine; I will repay, saith the mercifully look upon our infir

" Lord.” Therefore if thine ene- 20. mities, and in all our dangers and

my hunger, feed him; if he thirst, necessities stretch forth thy right hand to help and defend us,

give him drink : for in so doing through Jesus Christ our Lord.

thou shalt (a) heap coals of fire

on his head. Be not overcome 21. Amen.

of evil, but overcome evil with The Epistle. Rom. xii. 16.

good. Be not wise in your own con

The Gospel. Matt. viii. 1. 17. ceits. Recompense (x) to no || WHEN he was come down from

man evil for evil. Provide the (6) mountain, great multi

things () honest in the sight of titudes followed him. And, be- 2. 18. all men. If it be possible, as hold, there came a leper and

much as lieth in you, live peace worshipped him, saying, “Lord, if

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(x) “ Recompence,” &c. Solomon |
gives the same advice, Prov.xx.22. “ Say
«« not thou, I will recompence evil: but
“ wait on the Lord, and he shall save
" thee." So St. Paul exhorts, i Thess. v.
15. “ See that none render evil for
«r evil unto any man: but ever fol.
low that which is good both among
“ yourselves, and to all men.” St. Peter
also directs, i Pet. iii. 9. “ not to ren-
“ der evil for evil, or railing for rail-
“ing, but contrary-wise blessing;" and
reminds us, i Pet. ii. 23. of the ex-
ample of our Saviour, “ who when he
" was reviled, reviled not again; when
“ he suffered, he threatened not, but
“ committed himself to Him that judgeth
“ righteously."

(y) “ Honest,” j. e. well thought of.
So 2 Cor. viii. 21. he directs the pro.
“ viding for honest things, not only in
" the sight of the Lord, but also in the
“ sight of men;" where by honest he
must mean not only what really is right,
but what has also that appearance. See
also 1 Thess. iv. 12.

(2) “ Written.” 9.19.

The passage is Deut. xxxii. 35. “To me (saith the Lord) “belongeth vengeance, and recompence.” And accordingly, Ps. xciv. 1. he is appealed to as Him to whom vengeance belongeth : “ O Lord God, to whom ven. " geance belongeth, O God, to whom

“ vengeance belongeth, shew thy-
« self.”

(a) “Heap," &c. This probably alludes 0. 20.
to the method of melting metals in a cru-
cible : as by heaping coals of fire on the
head of a crucible the hardest metals are
melted, so by heaping acts of kindness
on the head of an enemy, we should en-
deavour to melt him into goodwill to-
wards us; and so according to what fol.
lows, to overcome his evil by our good
acts, his animosity by our forbearance.
The passage is taken from Prov. xxv. 21.
If thine enemy be hungry, give him
“ bread to eat, and if he be thirsty, give
« him water to drink, for thou shalt heap
« coals of fire on his head, and the Lord
" shall reward thee.” It has been sup-
posed that the heaping coals of fire upon
the head of an enemy may mean still fur-
ther, that if he is not touched by our acts
of kindness towards him, those acts will
bring upon him heavier punishment from
God: but is it consistent with the spirit
of Christianity, that we should act from
such a motive? Can he be a Christian
who would wish, in any event, to bring
down God's judgment upon a fellow
creature ?

(6) Mountain," the place where he oli had been delivering that admirable dis. course called his Sermon on the Mount, contained in the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of St. Matthew.

6 thou wilt, thou canst make me 6 no, not in Israel.” And I say 3. “ clean." And Jesus put forth his | “ unto you, That (8) many shall

hand, and touched him, saying, “I " come from the east and west, " will; be thou clean:" And im 66 and shall sit down with Abra

mediately his leprofy was cleansed. “ ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in 4. And Jesus saith unto him, “ See 6 the kingdom of heaven: But

" thou tell no man; but go thy " the children (b) of the kingdom
« way, shew (c) thyself to the | “ shall be cast out into outer
66 priest, and offer the gift that (6 darkness: there shall be weep.

“ Moses commanded for a (d)tes “ ing and gnashing of teeth." 5. “ timony unto them.” And when | And Jesus said unto the centurion,

Jesus was entered into Caper. Go thy way; and as thou hast

naum, there came unto him a cen “ believed, so be it done unto 6. turion, beseeching him, and say " thee.” And his servant was

ing, “ Lord, my servant lieth at | healed in the self-same hour.

6 home sick of the palsy, griev7. “ ously tormented.” And Jesus

saith unto him, “I will come and The Conversion of St.Paul. 8. “ heal him.” The centurion an

The Collect. swered and said, “ Lord, I am O God, who through the preach“ not worthy that thou shouldest

| ing of the blessed Apostle Saint “ come under my roof: but speak Paul hast caused the light of the

the word only, and my servant Gospel to shine throughout the s shall be healed. For I am a world; Grant, we beseech thee, " man under authority, having that we having his wonderful con.

soldiers under me: and I say to version in remembrance, may

this man, (e) Go, and he goeth; shew forth our thankfulness unto “ and to another, Come, and he thee for the same, by following " cometh ; and to my servant, the holy doctrine which he “ Do this, and he doeth it.”

taught, through Jesus Christ our 10. When Jesus heard it, he marvel

Lord. Amen. led, and said to them that followed, “ Verily I say unto you, I have For the Epistle. Acts ix. 1. () " not found so great (f) faith, And Saul, yet breathing out

0.4. (c) “ Shew thyself,” &c. It was || have as much power over the disease as I

part of the Levitical law, that a person have over my soldiers. who recovered from the leprosy was to (f) « Faith," i.e. Confidence, assur- ! shew himself into the priest, that the ance of my power. priest might examine whether he was (8) ~ Many,” &c. i.e. Gentiles. O clean, and make an offering. See Lev. xiv. (6) - Children of the kingdom," i.e. v I to 57.

Jews. The strong instance of faith in 0.4. (d) “ For a testimony unto them,"

the Centurion, who was a Gentile, natui. e. as a proof of being cleansed.

rally led our Saviour to contrast the con

duct of the Gentiles with that of the 0.9. (e) - Go,” &c, i, e. as my word is

Jews. obeyed by those who are under me, be

(0) Lord Lyttleton, in an admirable cause of my temporal authority, so will

discussion on the conversion and conduct the disease be obedient to your word,

of St. Paul, considers it of itself sufficient because of your spiritual authority. You

to satisfy any reasonable mind of the

threatenings (k) and slaughter || voice (1), but seeing no man. against the disciples of the Lord, And Saul arose from the earth'; 8.

went unto the high priest, and and when his eyes were opened, 2. desired of him letters to Damas he saw no man: but they led

cus to the synagogues, that if he him by the hand, and brought found any of this way, whether || him into Damascus. And he was 9. they were men or women, hemight three days without sight, and

bring them bound unto Jerusa- | neither did eat nor drink. And 10. 3. lem. And as he journeyed, he there was a certain disciple at

came near Damascus; and sud. || Damascus, named Ananias : and

denly there shined round about to him said the Lord in a vision, 4. him a light from heaven: and he « Ananias.” And he said, “Be.

fell to the earth, and heard a I “ hold, I am here, Lord.” And 11, voice saying unto him, “ Saul, || the Lord said unto him, “ Arise,

6 Saul, why persecutest thou « and go into the street which is 5. “ me?" And he said, “ Who 6 called Straight, and inquire in

6 art thou, Lord?” And the " the house of Judas for one
Lord said, “I am Jesus whom 66 called Saul of Tarsus : for,
“ thou persecutest : it is hard - behold, he prayeth, and hath 12.

“ for thee to kick against the " seen in a vision a man named 6. 6 pricks.” And he trembling “ Ananias coming in, and put

and astonished, said, “ Lord, || “ ting his hand on him, that he 66 what wilt thou have me to 66 might receive his sight.” Then 13. “ do ?” And the Lord said unto Ananias answered, “ Lord, I him, " Arise, and go into the 66 have heard by many of this

«. city, and it shall be told thee “ man, how much evil he hath.. 7. 66 what thou must do.” And “ done to thy saints åt Jerusalem:

the men which journeyed with “ and here he hath authority 14. him stood speechless, hearing a - from the chief priests to bind

truth of the Christian religion. St. Paul
must have known, to a certainty, whether
what is here stated really did happen to
him, and whether he really received the
spiritual communications, and possessed
the supernatural powers elsewhere men-
tioned ; and he could have had no tem-
poral views, because his profession was
decidedly against his worldly interests.
What he went through and endured for
the Christian cause (see 2 Cor. xi. 23. to
27. Sexagesima Sunday) is pretty strong
proof that he was no impostor. St. Luke,
who wrote the Acts, was with St. Paul
the greatest part of twelve years, from
A.D. 46 to A.D. 58, 80 that his ac-
count of the conversion may be depended
upon as correct. The conversion is sup-
posed to have occurred A.D. 35, two
years after the Crucifixion.

(k) “ Threatenings and slaughter."

This implies pretty strongly that the
first converts were severely persecuted,
and that it could not be desirable, as to
worldly views, to embrace Christianity :
what then could have induced the apostles
to persevere themselves, and to bring
over others, but the certain knowledge
that they had seen our Saviour after his
crucifixion, and that they had assurances
in which they could not have been mis-
taken or deceived, that Jesus was the
Messiah; and what could have worked
upon any one to turn to this persuasion,
but the conviction, from seeing what the
apostles did, that God was with them?

(1) “ A voice." In Acts xxii. 9. St. v.7.
Paul says, They heard not the voice : the
two passages may be reconciled by sub-
stituting here “a mighty sound,” or
“ noise,” for voice.

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18.

15. “ all that call on thy name.” But 1. The Gospel. Matt. xix. 27.

the Lord said unto him, " Go || PETER answered and said unto " thy way : for he is a chosen Jesus, “ Behold, we have forsaken 6 vessel unto me, to bear my | 66 all, and followed thee: what " name before the Gentiles, and u shall we have therefore ?"

6 kings, and the children of Is- | And Jesus said unto them, “ Ve. 16. “ rael : for I will shew him how “ rily I say unto you, That ye

“ great things he must suffer for Il " which have followed me, in “ my name's sake.” And Ana the regeneration, when the Son nias went his way, and entered " of man shall sit in the throne into the house; and putting his “ of his glory, ye also shall sit hands on him, said, “ Brother “ upon twelve thrones, judging “ Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, “ the twelve tribes of Israel. 6 that appeared unto thee in the “ And every one that hath for“ way as thou camest, hath sent 66 saken houses, or brethren, or 6 me, that thou mightest receive “ sisters, or father, or mother, or • thy sight, and be filled with « wife, or children, or lands, " the Holy Ghost." And im. “ for my name's sake, shall remediately there fell from his eyes “ ceive an hundred-fold, and as it had been scales; and he re « shall inherit everlasting life.

ceived sight forthwith, and arose, “ But many that are first shall 19. and was baptized. And when he “ be last; and the last shall be

had received meat, he was 66 first."
strengthened. Then was Saul

certain days with the disciples 20. which were at Damascus. And Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany. straightway he preached Christ in

The Collect. the synagogues, “ that he is the O God, who knowest us to be « Son of God.” But all that heard

set in the midst of so many and him were amazed, and said, “ Is

great dangers, that by reason of “ not this he that destroyed them the frailty of our nature we canus which called on this name in not always stand upright; Grant 6 Jerusalem, and came hither for

to us such strength and protec“ that intent, that he might bring

tion, as may support us in all " them bound unto the chief

dangers, and carry us through all os priests ?” But Saul increased

temptations, through Jesus Christ the more in strength, and con.

our Lord. Amen. founded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this is The Epistle. Rom. xiii.i. very Christ.

LET (m) every soul be subject

20. which heway he prea that he is tard

21.

set in thecers, that

1. (m) Let, &c.” The apostles were

anxious to satisfy their converts that their spiritual subjection to Christ did not exempt them from temporal subje&tion to the established government under which they lived. A contrary doctrine would have had a tendency to set all established

governmentsagainst them, and would have answered no spiritual end: Thus St. Paul directs Titus “ to put the converts in “ mind to be subject to principalities and

“ powers, and to obey magistrates." | Tit. iii, .; and St. Peter exhorts them,

1 Pet. ii. 13. to “ submit to every ordi

For rulers | tribute is due:

e not a terror ti.

unto the higher powers. For | sake. For, for this (s) cause 6. there is no power but of God: pay you (t) tribute also: for they

the powers that be are ordained are God's ministers, attending 2. of God. Whosoever therefore continually upon this (u) very

resisteth the power, resisteth the thing. Render therefore to all 7. ordinance (n) of God; and they their dues; tribute to whom (x)

that resist shall receive to them tribute is due; custom to whom 3. selves damnation. For rulers custom ; fear to whom fear;

are not a terror to good works, honour to whom honour.
but to the evil. Wilt (0) thou
then not be afraid of the power ?

The Gospel. Matt. viii. 23. (1)
Do that which is good, and

thou shalt have praise of the () And when he was entered into . 4. same: for he is the minister of || a ship, his disciples followed

God to thee for good. But if him. And, behold, there aroge 24. thou do that which is evil, be a great tempest in the sea, insoafraid ; for he beareth not the much that the ship was covered sword in vain : for he is the with the waves : but he was minister of God, a revenger to asleep. And his disciples came 25.

execute (9) wrath upon him that to him, and awoke him, saying, 5. doeth evil. Wherefore ye must “ Lord, save us : we perish.” And

needs be subject, not only for he saith unto them, " Why are 26. wrath (r), but also for conscience " ye fearful, Oye of little faith?”

“ nance of man for the Lord's sake
(i. e. as matter of duty) “whether it be
" to the king, as supreme, or unto go-
“ vernors, as unto them that are sent
" by him for the punishment of evil
“ doers, and for the praise of them that
“ do well.” See post, note on i Pet.

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v.2 (m) « Ordinance," i.e. appointment.

“ Wilt, &c." i.e. if you wish to avoid being in fear of the power do that which is good, and instead of punishment, &c. from it, it shall give thee praise, for it is the minister of God to thee for good, if thou actest right, and for punishment if thou doest evil.

“The same,” i. e. the power. 0.4. (9) “Wrath," i.e. punishment.

() “For wrath, &c." Not only to avoid the punishment of man, but from a

sense that it is part of your duty to God. 0.6. (s) « For this cause," i. e. because

they are God's ministers. 0.6. (O) “ Pay you,” i. e. you are to pay,

it is your duty. v.6. (u) This very thing," i. e. the pu.

nishment of evil-doers, and the praise, &c.

of them that do well. v.7. (x) “ Tribute, &c." When some of

the Pharisees, &c. sought occasion against
our Saviour, to bring him under the
cognizance of the civil magistrate by
putting to him the question whether in
his opinion it was lawful to give tribute
unto Cæsar ? he told them * to render
“ unto Cæsar the things which are Cæ-'.
" sar's, and unto God the things which
" are God's," Matt. xxii. 15, 17, 21.-
Mark xii. 13, &c.—Luke xx. 20, &c.;
meaning perhaps to insinuate, that his
religion would not interfere with the
civil government, and that his followers
would still continue subject to the laws
and control of the state.

(y) The miracles here stated were pers haps before the call of St. Matthew, so that the testimony is not, as in many other instances, that of an eye-witness. St. Matthew's call is not mentioned till the next chapter ; and his statement implies that it was after these events, though not long after them. His associ-. ation, however, almost immediately after their occurrence, with those disciples in whose presence they occurred, when they would naturally be topics of con.

versation and astonishment, gives his \l statement great credit.

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