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(t)" Knew not," &c. Our Saviour had told the Scribes and Pharisees, " as "Jonas was three days and three nights " in the whale's belly, so shall the Son "of man be three days and three nights "in the heart of the earth." Matt. xii. 40. And at another time he said unto the Jews, "Destroy this temple, and in three "days I will raise it up," speaking_to them of the temple of his body. See John ii. 19. He also told his disciples, Matt. xx. 19. that the Son of Man should be crucified, and "the third day he should "rise again." It may be collected, however, from John ii. 22. that what he meant by destroying this temple," &c. was not understood till he was risen from the dead. And however plain the intimation is in Matt. xx. 19. St. Luke tells us in the parallel passage, Luke xviii. 34. "they understood none of "these things; and this saying was "hid from them; neither knew they" (i. e. comprehended)" the things that were spoken." See post, note on Luke xxiv. 45.
(x)" Peter," &c. The occasion of this address was as follows: Cornelius, a centurion, a Gentile of Cesarea, a devout man, had been directed in a vision to send for Peter, with this intimation, "He shall tell thee what thou oughtest "to do." When the messengers from
yet they (t) knew not the Scrip ture, "that he must rise again "from the dead." Then the dis ciples went away again unto their own home.
Monday in Easter Week.
For the Epistle. Acts x. 34. PETER (x)opened his mouth, and said, "Of a truth I perceive that "God is no respecter of persons: "but in every nation he that "feareth him, and worketh righ"teousness, is accepted with him. "The word which God sent un"to the (y) children of Israel,
Cornelius arrived, Peter had just seen a vision, in which he was told that he was to consider nothing 66 as common or un"clean which God had cleansed." He at once drew this inference from the vision, that he was not to disregard even a Gentile, who had God's approbation; and he therefore accompanied the mes sengers. Cornelius met him, with his kinsmen and friends; and after mentioning the vision he (Cornelius) had had, he said, "Now, therefore, are we all here
present before God, to hear all things "that are commanded thee of God." And it was in answer thereto that St. Peter made this address.
(y) "The Children of Israel." It was to the Jews first that the Gospel was preached, because they had long been the only worshippers of the one true God; it was to their nation that the later prophecies were delivered; and it was in their sacred books that all the prophecies were preserved. They are accordingly called "the children of the "kingdom," Matt. viii. 12. (ante 58.) Our Saviour told the woman of Canaan, "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep "of the house of Israel." Matt. xv. 24. It was in the wilderness of Judea (the Jews country) that John the Baptist be gan his preaching. Matt. iii. 1. And when our Saviour sent forth the twelve
"preaching (z) peace by Jesus "Christ; (he is Lord of all ;) 37. "that word, I say, ye know, "which was published through❝out all Judea, and began from "Galilee, after the (a) baptism "which (b) John preached: how "God anointed Jesus of Naza"reth with the Holy Ghost and "with power; who went about "doing (c) good, and (d) healing "all that were oppressed of the "devil: for God was with him. "And we are (e) witnesses of all "things which he did, both in "the land of the Jews and in "Jerusalem; whom they slew Him "and hanged on a tree. "God raised up the third day, "and shewed him openly; not "to all the people, but unto "witnesses chosen before of God,
apostles to preach the gospel, he commanded them, "Go not into the way of "the Gentiles," &c. but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matt. x. 5, 6. See ante 84. note on Matt. xv. 24. (*)" Peace," either from God to man, or between man and man. "chastisement of our peace" (that is, the punishment by which we obtained pardon and goodwill from God)" was upon him," Isaiah liii. 5. He "made reconciliation "for iniquity," Dan. ix. And the spirit of his religion is universal benevolence, " on earth peace, goodwill to"wards man." Luke ii. 14.
(a)" Baptism," i. e. unto repentance. "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance." Matt. iii. 11.
(b) "John," i. e. the Baptist. (c) "Doing good." The character of our Saviour's life and miracles was according to the spirit of his religion; promoting the happiness, and diminishing the miseries of man.
This was a (d)" Healing," &c. strong proof that God was with him. It was insinuated that he cast out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, that is, that Satan himself assisted
"drink with him after he rose "from the dead. And he com- 42. "manded us to preach unto the "people, and to testify that it "is he which was ordained of "God to be the Judge of quick " and dead. To him give all 43. "the prophets witness, that "through his name whosoever "believeth in him shall receive "remission (f) of sins."
The Gospel. Luke xxiv. 13. BEHOLD (g) two of his disciples went that (b) same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked toge- 14. ther of all these (i) things which had happened. And it came to 15. pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with
him; but he fully refuted that insinuation, by demonstrating, that the nature of his religion was to destroy Satan's influence, not to advance it; and therefore Satan was not likely to assist him. Ante 86. note on Luke xi. 17. "Witnesses." (e) St. Peter relies v. 39. upon what is a strong argument with that the apostles acted, not upon hearsay or the report of others, but upon what they themselves saw: it was in their presence that our Saviour's miracles were performed; and after his Resurrection they eat and drank with him: they could not therefore have been deceived. There was still another point in which they could not have been mistaken, that is, the powers communicated to them, of speaking languages they never learnt, healing diseases, &c.
(f)" Remission of sins." See ante 123. v. 43. note on Pet. iii. 18.
(g) "Two of them." Cleophas was v. 13. See post, verse 18.
(b) "That same day," i. e. the day v. 13. of the Resurrection; corresponding with our Easter Day.
(i)" All these things," i. e. the cruci- . 14. fixion, &c.
"and found it even so as the
women had said; but him "they saw not." Then he said 2 unto them, " O fools, and slow "of heart to believe all that the "prophets have spoken! Ought not Christ to have suffered "these things, and to (0) enter "into his glory?" And begin. ning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village whi ther they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, "Abide with us; for it "is toward evening, and the day "is far spent." And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, 3 "Did not our heart burn within
us, while he talked with us by "the way, and while he opened
66 company made us astonished, "which were early at the se"pulchre and when they found "not his body, they came, say
ing, "That they had also seen " a vision of angels, which said "that he was alive." "And cer"tain of (n) them which were "with us went to the sepulchre,
(k)" Their eyes were holden." Saint Mark (Mark xvi. 12.) says "he appeared "in another form.”
(1) "Deed and word," miracles and doctrine; in what he did and said.
(m) "He which should have redeemed "Israel." This implies that a Redeemer was expected. Ante 31. note on Matt. xi. 3. and note on Luke ii. 25.
to us the Scriptures ?" And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, say. ing, "The Lord is risen indeed, "and hath appeared to (p) Si
Tuesday in Easter Week.
For the Epistle. Acts xiii. 26. MEN (9) and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this 27. salvation (r) sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew (s) him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath-day, they have fulfilled 28. them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired (t) they Pilate that he should be slain. 29. And when they had fulfilled all
he had preached to them. Part is, that our Saviour" rose again the third day, "according to the Scriptures, and that "he was seen of Cephas," (which was Peter's name, see John i. 42.), "then of "the twelve," &c.
(q)" Men," &c. This is part of St. Paul's address in the synagogue at Antioch, on the Sabbath-day: the Jews and rulers of the synagogue were present, and probably some Gentiles. He had just stated, that "of David's seed had "God according to his promise raised "unto Israel a Saviour Jesus," and had noticed the testimony John the Baptist bore to him, "there cometh one after "me, whose shoes of his feet I am not "worthy to unloose ;" and then he pro ceeds, "Men and brethren," &c.
(r)"This salvation," i. e. by Jesus Christ. He had stated in verse 23. that God had raised up a Saviour Jesus.
(s) "Him," i. e. our Saviour Jesus.
(t) "Desired they Pilate." The Jews had not at that time the power of inflicting capital punishment: they were obliged to procure an order from the Roman go
that was written of him, they took him down from the (u) tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But 30. God raised him from the dead: and he was seen many days 31. of (x) them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto 32. you glad tidings, how that the promise (y) which was made unto the fathers, God hathi ful- 33. filled the same unto us their children, in (z) that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, "Thou "art (a) my Son, this day have "I begotten thee." And as 34• concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, "I (b) will give you "the sure mercies of David." Wherefore he saith also in an- 35.
(u) "The tree," i. e. the cross, on which he was crucified.
(x) "Seen many days of them which came up with him." St. Paul was not converted until some time after the Ascension: he was not among those, therefore, to whom our Saviour appeared; but the eleven Apostles were. See ante 129, Acts x. 41. (y) "The promise," i. e. of the v.32. Messiah. This is our v.35.
(x)" In that," &c. assurance for saying the promise is fulfilled, that God hath raised Jesus.
(a) "Thou art my Son," &c. The v.33. meaning perhaps is, this was a promise that the Messiah should be of David's seed, and so was Jesus Christ.
(8) "Give you," &c. This alludes v.34. to Isaiah Iv. 3, 4. where God says, “In"cline your ear, and come unto me; "hear, and your souls shall live: and I "will make an everlasting covenant with
you, even the sure mercies of David. "Behold I have given him for a witness "to the people; a leader and commander "to the people," &c. And the meaning may be, that this prophecy might satisfy
other (c) Psalm, "Thou shalt "not suffer thine Holy One to 36. "see corruption." For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fa37. thers, and saw corruption: but he whom God raised again, saw 38. no corruption. Be it known
unto you, therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgive39. ness of sins: and by him, all that believe are (d) justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. 40. Beware therefore, lest that come
upon you which is spoken of in 41. the prophets; " Behold (e), ye "despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye "shall in no wise believe, though 66 a man declare it unto you.'
them that God would not leave in the grave the great personage to whom it referred.
(c)" Another Psalm." The passage is in Ps. xvi. II. "My heart was glad, "and my glory rejoiced; my flesh also "shall rest in hope. For why? thou "shalt not leave my soul in hell, neither "shalt thou suffer thine Holy One to see "corruption." David was probably referring to the Messiah; and to him St. Paul here applies it. It is also so applied by St. Peter, A&ts ii. 27 to 31.
(d) "Justified," i. e. cleared, absolved. (e) "Behold.” The passage is in Hab. i. 5. and refers to what God would do by the hands of the Chaldeans: "Be"hold ye among the heathen, and regard, "and wonder marvellously; for I will "work a work in your days, which "will not believe, though it be told " you." St. Paul, therefore, calls to their recollection what a denunciation had been made in a former instance against those who would not hear, to awaken their attention, &c. in this. It is probable be had in contemplation the approaching day of vengeance on the unbelievers, the
The Gospel. Luke xxiv. 36. JESUS himself (f) stood in the midst of (g) them, and saith unto them, "Peace be unto you." But they were terrified and af frighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said. unto them, " Why are ye trou"bled? and why do thoughts "arise in your hearts? Behold
my hands and my feet, that it " is I myself: handle (b) me, "and see; for a spirit hath not "flesh and bones, as ye see me "have." And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, "Have ye here any meat?" And they gave him a piece of a broiled fith, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did (i) eat before them. And he 4
time so often referred to as
(f) "Stood," &c. This was on the v.. day of his Resurrection; just after the two disciples to whom our Saviour ap peared on the way to Emmaus had refated the particulars of that appearance to the apostles, and to those that were with them. (Ante 129)
(g)" Of them," that is, of the apostles and their companions.
(b)" Handle me," &c. This backwardness in the apostles to believe the appearance exempts them from the charge of credulity, and contributes to stamp their accounts with credit. But their speaking languages they never learnt, was a point of all others in which they could not be deceived: they must know whether they had this faculty; and it could not have been conferred but by God, or by his permission.
(i) "Eat," &c. In Acts x. 41. t St. Peter says, that they "did eat and "drink with him after he rose from the "dead." And John states, that after appearing to them whilst Peter and others were fishing," Jesus cometh, and taketh