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he came, and had seen the grace " that a man lay down his life for of() God, was glad, and exhorted “ his friends. Ye are my friends, them all, that with purpose of if ye do whatsoever I command
heart they would cleave unto the you. Henceforth I call you 24. Lord. For he was a good man, not servants; for the servant
and full of the Holy Ghost and of " knoweth not what his lord
faith : and much people was “ doeth : but I have called you 25. added unto the Lord. Then de- “ friends; for all things that I
parted Barnabas to Tarsus, for “ have heard of my Father I 26. to seek (9) Saul: and when he had
66 have made known unto you. found him, he brought him unto - Ye have not chosen me, but I Antioch. And it came to pass, “ have chosen you, and ordained that a whole year they assembled you, that ye should themselves with the Church, and « bring forth fruit, and that your taught much people. And the 66 fruit should remain; that whatdisciples were called Christians
soever ye shall ask of the Fa. 27. first in Antioch. And in these “ther in my name, he may give
days came prophets from Jerusa28. lem unto Antioch. And there
stood up one of them, named Aga-
O LORD, we beseech thee mer29. of Claudius Cesar. Then the cifully to hear us; and grant
disciples, every man according to that we, to whom thou hast given his ability, determined to send re
an hearty desire to pray, may by lief unto the brethren which dwelt thy mighty aid be defended and 30. in Judea : which also they did,
comforted in all dangers and adand sent it to the elders by the versities, through Jesus Christ hands of Barnabas and Saul. our Lord. Amen.
- it you.
The Gospel. John xv. 12. (u)
The Epistle. 1 Peter v. 5. This is my commandment, All of you be subject one to
“ That ye (x) love one another, another, and be clothed with hu13. “ as I have loved you. Greater mility : for God (y) resisteth the
“ love hath no man than this, proud, and giveth grace to the
of God," i.e. the
(9) “ Saul," i. e. “ St. Paul."
(s) “ World,” i.e. either the Roman
(0) “ Came to pass.” It is noticed as occurring in Jewry (i.e. Judea.) Jose. phus Antiq. lib. 20. c. 3. in Claudius's time, A.D. 48,
(u) This is part of our Lord's discourse at the last supper, just before he was betrayed, when St. John was next to him,
(x) “ That ye love,” &c. This injunction seems to have made a strong impression upon St. John. He urges this duty with great earnestness in his epistles. See ante 163. 1 John iv. and ante 165. i John iii.
(9) “God resisteth,' &c. This is
6. humble. Humble yourselves || scribes murmured, saying, “ This
therefore under the (2) mighty man receiveth (e) sinners, and
“ eateth with them.” And he 3. 7. alt you in due time: casting (6) all spake this parable unto them, your care upon him ; for he saying,
66 What man of you, 4. 8. careth for you. Be sober, be having an hundred sheep, if
vigilant ; because your adversary “ he lose one of them, doth not
eth about seeking whom he may “ in the wilderness, and go after 9. devour: whom resist, stedfast " that (f) which is lost, until
in the faith, knowing that the 66 he find it? And when he hath 5. same (c) afflictions are accom- “ found it, he layeth it on his
plished in your (d) brethren that 6 shoulders, rejoicing. And 6. 10. are in the world. But the God " when he cometh home, he
of all grace, who hath called us “ calleth together his friends and
a while, make you perfect, sta- “ found my sheep which was 11. blish, strengthen, settle you. To
a lost.” I say unto you, that 7. him be glory and dominion for “ likewise joy shall be in heaven ever and ever. Amen.
over one sinner that repenteth,
“ more than over ninety and nine The Gospel. Luke xv. I.
just persons which need no Then drew near unto him all repentance. Either what wo- 8.
the publicans and sinners, for to “ man having ten pieces of silver, 2. hear him. And the Pharisees and “ if she lose one piece, doth not
a quotation from Prov. iii. 34. Exhor.
v. 3.-xviii. 4.
(probably) the heavy aMictions which were
shall be hated of
(a).“ Exalt you." St. Peter was per-
mark of God's favour to be shewn upon
(6) “ Casting,” &c. See Matt. vi. 25. v.7.
C) - AMictions,” &c. This imports v.9. that the persons to whom it was written were under sufferings, and that this was the case with the Christian converts in other places.
(d) *** Brethren that are in the world,” v.9. i.e, other Christian converts elsewhere.
(e) “ Sinners,” &c. Upon another v. 2. occasion, when the disciples were questioned, why our Saviour eat 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
repentance.” Matt. ix. 12, 13.-Luke v. 31, 32.
(f) " That which is lost.” Appear- v.4. ing to set his whole mind upon that, whilst it is lost, and making it the sole subject of his rejoicing, when it is found.
See post 170.
“ light a candle, and sweep the
Increase and multiply upon us “ house, and seek diligently till thy mercy, that thou being our 9. “ she find it? And when she
ruler and guide, we may so pass “ hath found it, she calleth her through things temporal, that we “ friends and her neighbours to- finally lose not the things eter“ gether, saying, Rejoice with nal: Grant this, O heavenly Fa
me; for I have found the piece ther, for Jesus Christ's sake our 10. “ which I had lost. Likewise, I Lord. Amen. say unto you, There is (g) joy
The Epistle. Rom. viii. 18. " in the presence of the angels “ of God over one sinner that I reckon that the sufferings of “ repenteth."
this present time are not worthy to be compared with the (b) glory which shall be revealed in us.
For the earnest (i) expectation of Fourth Sunday after Trinity.
the (k) creature waiteth for the The Collect.
manifestation of the sons of God. O God, the protector of all that For the (1) creature was made trust in thee, without whom no- subject to vanity, not (m) willingthing is strong, nothing is holy; | ly, but by (n) reason of him who
(s) “ Joy,” &c. A strong additional motive to sinners to repent, and to others to lead them to repentance! This joy is well intimated in the parable of the prodigal son. Luke xv. 3 to 32.
(b) “ The glory,” &c. See ante 68. note on 1 John iii. 2. There are many passages in which the prospect of some eminent glory is held out as an encouragement to the converts to bear the
persecutions, &c. to which they were exposed. Thus, 1 John iii. 2. “ Beloved,
now we are the sons of God, and it “ doth not yet appear what we shall be : “ but we know that when he shall ap
pear, we shall be like him," &c.
(i) “ The earnest expectation,” &c. Part of our Saviour's famous prophecy as to his coming, Matt. xxiv. 28. and Luke xxi. 27. &c. (see ante 29.) naturally accounts for this expectation ; and we find the apostles continually pressing it upon the converts, to induce them to bear up against the great evils they endured.
(4) “ The creature,” &c. The meaning of this (not very clear) passage, may be this : there is a very earnest expectation of that great period so often referred to, see note on Rom. xiii. 11. ante 25. when those who are entitled to the appellation of God's sons shall be so signally distinguished : for we are made subject to
trouble, as all mankind was at Adam's fall, not from any act in which our own choice has concurred, but because it was the will of God, who added hope for our support, and meant thereby to try us.
But we shall be delivered from these troubles (which may well be called the bondage of corruption) and be advanced to the glorious situation of being treated by God as his children : for the whole world is in the situation of a wo. man in labour, in great uneasiness, but looking anxiously for deliverance ; and this is the case even with us also, 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 apostles encourage the converts to brave the troubles to which they are exposed, by the pros. pect of what they should receive at the period so much looked up to, “ coming or appearing of our Lord."
(?) “« The creature," i.e. either the world in general, or the Christian verts, probably the latter.
(m) " Willingly," i. e. perhaps from any
act in which their will concurred. (n) “ By reason of him," &c. This suggestion, that the evils they suffered were not imputable to any thing they had done, but arose from God's apo
hath subjected the same in hope ; “ Judge (p) not, and ye shall not 37. 21. because the creature itself also “ be judged: condemn not, and
shall be delivered from the bond- ye shall not be condemned :
ous liberty of the children of God. given : give, and it shall be 38. 22. For we know that the whole given unto you: good measure,
creation groaneth and travaileth pressed down, and shaken to23. in pain together until now. And “gether, and running over, shall
not only they, but ourselves also, " men give into your bosom.
« be measured to you again.” adoption, to wit, the redemption And he spake a parable unto 39. of our body.
them: “ Can the (9) blind lead
" the blind ? shall they not both The Gospel. Luke vi. 36.
o fall into the ditch ? The dis- 40.
“ ciple is not above his mas“ Be ye therefore merciful(o), as
ter : but every one that is your Father also is merciful.
“ perfect shall be as his master.
pointment, to try their merit, and to
@ “ As,” &c. Let your mercy,
(P) “ Judge not," &c. Christianity requires us to look to our own faults, that we may compare our own a&tions 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 their's. 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, because though ours may be relatively better than theirs, this will be no excuse to us, unless ours come up to the standard God has fixed. Bringing our actions to the test of God's commands shews us our own unworthi. ness, teaches us humility, and has a tendency to make us endeavour to be better ; contrasting them with those of other men giyes us a degree of pride to which we have no claim, makes us think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, encourages us to conclude we
are as good as we need be, and has a
to his own
(9) “ Can the blind,” &c. If the v. 39:
41. “ And (r) why beholdest thou doctrine and holy life, that we
" the mote that is in thy bro- may truly repent according to his “ ther's eye, but perceivest not preaching; and after his example " the beam that is in thine own constantly speak the truth, boldly
eye? Either how canst thou rebuke vice, and patiently suffer
say to thy brother, Brother, for the truth's sake, through Je“ let me pull out the mote that sus Christ our Lord. Amen. “ is in thine eye, when thou thyor self beholdest not the beam
For the Epistle. Isaiah xl. 1. () " that is in thine own eye? Thou
“ Comfort ye, comfort ye my “ hypocrite! cast out first the
saith your God. 5 beam out of thine own eye, and Speak ye comfortably to Jerusa- then shalt thou see clearly to lem, and cry unto her, that her
pull out the mote that is in thy warfare is accomplished, that her brother's eye.
iniquity is pardoned : for she hath received of the Lord's hand
double for all her sins. The Saint John Baptist's Day.
voice (t) of him that crieth in the
wilderness, “ Prepare ye the way The Collect.
“ of the Lord, make straight in Almighty God, by whose pro. “ the desert a highway for our vidence thy servant John Baptist “ God.” Every (u) valley shall was wonderfully born, and sent be exalted, and every mountain to prepare the way of thy Son our and hill shall be made low: and Saviour, by preaching of repent- the crooked shall be made straight, ance; Make us so to follow his and the rough places plain : and
(v) “ And why,” &c. The same 0.41.
conduct is censured in Hor. lib.i. sat. 3.
“ Cum tua prævideas oculis mala lippus inunctis
(s) A very spirited prophecy, inti-
“ The voice,” &c. It was the v. 3:
practice of Eastern monarchs, when they went upon an expedition or journey, to send pioneers before them, to open the passes, level the ways, and remove all impediments. The supposition here, that proclamation was made in the wilderness for such a preparation, implies that some uncommon personage was to be expected. St. John the Baptist applies this part of the prophecy to himself, for when he was asked who he was, his answer was,
I am the voice of one
crying in the wildernesss, make
straight the way of the Lord, as said “ the prophet Esaias," (John i. 23. ante 34.) intimating that the person much expected was approaching, and that he was to prepare by turning men to repentance.
(u)“ Every valley,” &c. This im. ports that it could be no common person for whom such extraordinary preparations were to be made. It has also been supposed to imply that at his coming, the humble should be raised, and the proud brought down. There is a passage, Baruch v. 7. upon the same idea. "For God hath appointed that every
high hill and banks of long conti
nuance should be cast down, and val“ lies filled up, to make even the ground, “ that Israel may go safely in the glory "6 of God."
According to Diodorus Siculus, Semiramis in her journey through Asia, had the mountains and precipices levelled, and raised causeways in the vallies wherever she went. 2 Lowth's
Isaiah 253. 254•