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wavering. For he that wavereth, is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7. For let (u) not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the (a) Lord. 8. A (y) double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9. Let (2) the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10. but the rich, in that he is made low because as the flower of the
grass he shall pass away. 11. For
the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away his ways. 12. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which (a) the
(u) v. 7. "Let not, &c." If a man ask in faith, nothing wavering, he shall receive directions: he who wavers when he asks, shall receive none.
(x)" The Lord," 75 Kupía.
(y) v. 8. "Double-minded," "unfixed, "with two minds; whose whole mind is "not on God."
(z) v. 9. "Let, &c." Not that this verse is to be literally understood: the object from verse 2. is to shew the advantage of enduring trials, and the conclusion of v. 10. and the whole of v. 11. assign reasons why the rich should rejoice in being reduced, but no reason is given why the poor should rejoice for being exalted. V. 9. therefore may be ironical. "Let the poor "brother," (if he will,) "rejoice in that "he is exalted," he little knows what it will bring upon him; the rich has greater cause for rejoicing in being reduced. The rich, whether raised from poverty or not, will pass away as the flower of the field, will fade away in his ways; the only person who shall have cause to rejoice, who shall receive the crown of life, is he who shall have endured temptation.
(α) ν. 12. ὁ Κύριος.
(b) v. 1. "Jesus said." Part of his discourse at the last supper. St. John sat next him, and was therefore an ear-witness.
Lord hath promised to them that love him.
The Gospel. John xiv. 1. AND Jesus (b) said unto his disciples, "Let (c) not your heart "be troubled: ye believe in God, "believe also in (d) me. 2. In my "Father's house are many man"sions: if it were not so, I would "have told you. I go to prepare "a place for you. 3. And if I "and prepare a place for you, I "will come again, and receive you "unto myself; that where I am, "there ye may be also. 4. And (e) "whither I go ye know, and the
way ye know." 5. Thomas saith unto him, "Lord (g), we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" 6. Jesus saith unto him, "I am "the way, and the truth, and the
(c) "Let, &c." Our Saviour had been saying to his apostles, (John xiii. 33.) “ yet "a little while I am with you; ye shall "seek me; and whither I go, ye cannot "come," and this had probably made them uneasy. In part of the same conversation, (John xvi. 6.) he says, "because I have "said these things unto you, sorrow hath "filled your hearts." This was after Judas was gone out to bargain with the chief priest to betray him, and the very night on which he was apprehended.
(d) "In me." So that belief in him is made by Christ himself of the same importance with belief in God the Father! and would this have been the case, had he been inferior in nature to the Father? So when he assumes to himself the high appellations, "I am the Resurrection and the "Life," he attaches the highest importance to belief in him. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he "live; and whosoever liveth and believeth “in me, shall never die. John xi. 25.”
(e) v. 4. "Whither I go, &c." He explains in verse 6. that he was going to the Father, and that the only way to the Father was by him, by believing on him, and walking in his commandments.
(g) v. 5. "Lord," Kúpiɛ. See ante, 29. note (m).
"life: no man cometh unto the "Father but by me. 7. If ye had "known me, ye should have "known my Father also: and "from henceforth ye know him, " and have seen him." 8. Philip saith unto him, "Lord (g), shew "us the Father, and it sufficeth "us." 9. Jesus saith unto him, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not "known me, Philip? He that
(g) v. 8. "Lord," Kúpie.
(h) v. 9. "Hath seen, &c." making the Son, what he is called (Heb. i. 3.)" the ex"press image of the Father!"
(i) v. 10, 11. “I am in the Father, and the "Father in me." Can words be used to intimate a more complete union? Could a being of an inferior nature make such an assertion?
(k)" But," or "and," de Пap. "The "words I speak are not mine, nor are the "works I do; both (the words and the "works) are the Father's."
(2) "Dwelleth in me." "Animates me, "inspires me."
(m) v. 11. "Or else, &c." The meaning seems to be, believe me, because I say it; my assertion is sufficient ground for your belief: if not, look at the works I do; are they not such as must have God's aid? He uses the same argument, John x. 37. "If I do not the works of my Father, be"lieve me not; but if I do, though ye "believe not me, believe the works." (So John v. 36.-x. 25.) As our Saviour appeals to the works he did, and as they furnish one strong ground for our belief, it may be of some advantage to collect some of them together, and we may then ask ourselves this question, what should we think of any one who should do such works in our sight; who should assert at the same time that he came from God; who should appear too at a time when there was ground from incontrovertible prophecies to expect some such person, and in whom the distinguishing marks stated in those prophecies should be found to exist?" He gave his twelve dis"ciples power against unclean spirits, to "cast them out, and to heal all manner "of sickness and all manner of disease." (Matt. x. 1.) He directed a man who 66 had a withered hand to stretch it "forth," and he stretched it forth,
“hath seen me, hath (h) seen the "Father; and how sayest thou "then, Shew us the Father? "10. Believest thou not that (i) "I am in the Father, and the Fa"ther in me? The words that I "speak unto you, I speak not of "myself: but (k) the Father, that "dwelleth ( in me, he doeth "the works. 11. Believe me "that (i) I am in the Father, and "the Father in me: or (m) else
and it was restored "whole like as "the other." (Matt. xii. 10. to 13.) He healed one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb, so that he both saw and spake. (Matt. xii. 22.) He fed five thousand men besides women and children with five loaves and two fishes, so that they did all eat and were filled, and the fragments that remained filled twelve baskets. (Matt. xiv. 17 to 21. John vi. 8 to 13.) He fed four thousand men, besides women and children, with seven loaves and a few fishes, and they did all eat and were filled, and left seven baskets of fragments. (Matt. xv. 32. to 39.) When he was in the land of Gennesaret, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and as many as only touched the hem of his garment were made perfectly whole. (Matt. xiv. 35, 36.) He healed the daughter of the woman of Canaan who was grievously vexed with a devil, and this by a word only, without ever seeing her. (Matt. xv. 22 to 28.) When he was in a mountain near the sea of Galilee, "great "multitudes came unto him, having with "them those that were lame, blind, dumb, "maimed, and many others, and cast them "down at Jesus's feet, and he healed them; "insomuch that the multitude wondered "when they saw the dumb to speak, the "maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, "and the blind to see, and they glorified "the God of Israel." (Matt. xv. 29 to 31.) He healed a child who was lunatic. (Matt. xvii. 14 to 18.) When he went into the coast of Judea, beyond Jordan, "great "multitudes followed him; and he healed "them there." (Matt. xix. 1, 2.). He touched the eyes of two blind beggars, and immediately their eyes received sight. (Matt. xx. 29 to 34.) When he said to the barren fig-tree, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever, it presently withered away. (Matt. xxi. 19.) He turned water into wine. (John ii. 7 to 11.)
"believe me for the very work's (n) "sake. 12. Verily, verily, I say "unto you, He that believeth on "me, the works that I do, shall (0) "he do also; and greater (p) works "than these shall he do; because "I go unto my Father. 13. And
healed the son of a nobleman at Capernaum, who was at the point of death, and by what means? by saying only, "Go thy way, thy son liveth." (John iv. 47 to 53.) He healed an impotent man, who had had an infirmity thirty-eight years, by saying only, "Rise, take up thy bed and walk." (John v. 1 to 9.) Many of the people said, "when Christ cometh, will he do greater "miracles than these which this man hath "done?" (John vii. 31.) He gave sight to one born blind, by putting clay upon his eyes, and bidding him wash in the pool of Siloam. (John ix. I to 7.) He restored Lazarus to life after he had been dead four days. (John xi. 1 to 44.) These selections are made from St. Matthew and St. John, because they were in constant attendance upon our Saviour, and were therefore probably eye-witnesses of what they record. How then shall we answer the question proposed at the beginning of the note? and what shall we say of a religion of which this evidence constitutes but a small part of its proofs? When we add the completion of the prophecies in the Old Testament, the completion of the prophecies in the New, the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation, the innocence of our Saviour's life, the peaceable character of his religion and precepts, and the conduct of his apostles and of St. Paul, can any one really doubt? Let it be remembered too, that where God has taken pains to supply such evidence, it is probable he considers belief a matter of moment. Is it likely that he who does nothing in vain should have furnished such abundance of light, had he thought it indifferent whether mankind saw or not? The destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews is an awful lesson. God grant we may make of it the proper use. (n) "Very work's sake." they are such, and such only, as the Father himself would do. So John x. 37. where he justifies calling himself the Son of God, he appeals to the character of his own works as a proof of his right: "If I "do not the works of my Father, believe
(o) v. 12. "He do also." The apostles did accordingly perform miracles, and those of the same kind as our Saviour's. Whilst Philip was preaching in Samaria, "unclean spirits, crying with loud voice,
came out of many that were possessed "with them; and many taken with palsies, "and that were lame, were healed." (Acts viii. 7.) Peter healed one man who had been lame from his birth, (Acts iii.) and another, Æneas, who had kept his bed eight years, and was sick of the palsy; (Acts ix. 33, 34.) and he brought again to life a disciple named Tabitha. (Acts ix. 36 to 41.)
(p) "Greater works." This was fulfilled when the apostles spoke in languages they had never learnt.
(q) v. 13. "Ask, &c." See ante, 151. note on John xv. 7.
(r) "That will I do ;" and verse 14. "I "will do it." And is not He to be made the object of prayer, by whom the thing prayed for is to be accomplished? And would our Saviour, who in verse 6. calls himself, "the way and the truth," would he in his last discourse plainly and unequivocally assure them that he would perform what they should ask, if he were not to have that power? and who but God could have it? In John xv. 16. he tells them, that he has chosen them, that whatsoever they shall ask the Father in his, (i. e. Christ's) name, he (i. e. the Father) may give it them. In the same discourse therefore he assumes to himself the same power in this respect as he ascribes to the Father. See Graves's Trin. 52. If the Father and Son would equally hear and equally grant the prayer, does it not follow irresistibly, (says Dr. G.) "that they must "equally possess omniscience and omni"potence, and be alike the objects of
faith, and hope, and adoration?" And again, "Is not this an assumption of au"thority and power, a promise of perpetual "assistance and support, to proceed di
rectly from himself, which nothing could "justify but his participation of the nature "and power of God?" Graves's Trin. 62.
(s) "Glorified, &c." that from what is
Fourth Sunday after Easter.
O ALMIGHTY God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. James i. 17. EVERY good () gift, and every perfect gift, is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18. Of his own will begat he us with the (u) word of truth, that
done in my name, and from seeing the efficacy of my religion, glory may be given to God; God's glory may be increased.
(t) v. 17. "Gift, &c." St. James had been saying, verse 13. "Let no man say "when he is tempted, I am tempted of "God, for God cannot be tempted with "evil, neither tempteth he any man;" and the meaning here is, God is so far from assailing us with temptations, that every good gift comes from him, and he is not changeable, first trying to gain us by what is good, and then trying if temptation will draw us off; on the contrary, he voluntarily begat us, βυληθεὶς ἀπεκύησεν uas: it was his own free choice to adopt us and make us his children, and will he behave so inconsistently, as to lead us into trials we cannot bear, and make that a ground for casting us off?
(u) v. 18. "With the word of truth," i. e. "by the gospel."
(x) "His creatures," i. e. " of them who "were especially to be so called; of those, "who according to Tit. ii. 14. were to be "a peculiar people, zealous of good ""works.'"
(y) v. 19. "Wherefore," i. e. "because "God hath so dealt with us, let one of the "first results be that you control your
we should be a kind of first-fruits of his (r) creatures. 19. (y) Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20. for the wrath of man (2) worketh not the righteousness (a) of God. 21. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the (b) engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
The Gospel. John xvi. 5.
ESUS (c) said unto his disciples, "Now I (d) go my way to him "that sent me ; and none of you "asketh me, Whither goest thou? "6. But because I have said "these things unto you (e), sor"row hath filled your heart. "7. Nevertheless I tell you the "truth; It is expedient for you
tempers, lay apart all filthiness, &c. "&c."
(z) v. 20. "Worketh not," either, "is "inconsistent with," or "advanceth not." (a) "The righteousness of God," i. e."the "Gospel dispensation, Christ's religion."
(b) v. 21. "Ingrafted word," i. e. what is called, verse 18. "The word of truth."
(c) v. 5. "Jesus said." Part of what our Saviour said at the last supper, the night he was betrayed. John was next him, and therefore an ear-witness.
(d) "I go my way, &c." A distinct intimation that his life was at its close; and a plain instance of his assuming to himself one of the divine characteristics, foreknowledge.
(e) v. 6. "Sorrow." They probably expected, even down to this time, that our Saviour's was to be a temporal kingdom, one of the kingdoms of this world. When he had told them before that he should be betrayed and killed, though he also told them he should be raised again the third day, they were exceeding sorry; (see ante, 143. note on Luke xxiv. 45.) and it appears that our Saviour made his communications to them according as he found they had strength of mind to receive them. See in this very Gospel, v. 12.
"that I go away: for if I go not away: the (g) Comforter will "not come unto you; but if I "depart, I (h) will send him (¿) "unto you. 8. And when he is come, he (i) will reprove (k) "the world of (1) sin, and of (m) " righteousness, and of (n) judge"ment: 9. Of (1) sin, because "they believe not on me; 10. Of "(m) righteousness, because I go
(g) v.7. "The Comforter," i. e. "the "Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send "in my name," John xiv. 26. "the Spirit "of truth," John xiv. 17. "the Spirit of "truth, which proceedeth from the Father, "whom I will send unto you from the "Father," John xv. 26. And how is he spoken of throughout the whole of this discourse? Clearly as a distinct being.
(h) "I will send." See note on v. 14. (i) v. 7, 8. & 13. “Him," and "He." & ἐκεῖνος ἐκεῖνος, Τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς
(k) v. 8. "Reprove," i. e. "convince, "establish to the rebuke of."
(4) "Of sin." "Because after the "mighty works I have done, (and to which "he had just been appealing, John xv. 24.) "nothing but sin, a love of darkness rather "than light, because their deeds were evil, "John iii. 19. could have prevented their "belief."
(m) "Righteousness," i. e. (perhaps) "the way to obtain eternal life, to be "treated by God as righteous, viz. by "believing in me, obeying my command"ments, looking up to my atonement and "mediation to obtain remission of sins, " and having my righteousness imputed to "them: for by going to my Father I shall "establish beyond contradiction the truth "of my religion, and the justice of my pretensions." See Locke, 158. Christianity, or the gospel dispensation, is often called "righteousness," and "the righteousness of God." See James i. 20. supra, in the epistle. In Rom. iii. 21, 22. it is called "the righteousness of God without "the law (i. e. without the Mosaic insti"tutions) even the righteousness of God "which is by faith of Jesus Christ." See also Rom. i. 17. So Rom. x. 3. the gospel dispensation is called "the righteousness of God," and the Mosaic law "their (the Jews) own righteousness.'
(n) "Of judgment," i. e. (probably) "that God is not indifferent to man's "conduct, but will judge every man ac
cording to his works: that he will take heavy vengeance upon the wicked, the "worldly-minded, the opposers of his "religion."
(o) v. 11. "The prince of this world," i. e. "the devil," so called John xii. 31. See 2 Hales, 11.
(p) "Is judged," i. e. (perhaps) is about to be, or shall be judged: the time of bruising the serpent's head is now commencing. The destruction of Jerusalem, one of the heaviest judgments since the world began, (perhaps a type of the vengeance to be inflicted at the last judgment,) came upon the great opposers of Christianity, the unbelieving Jews, within 40 years.
Dr. Hales's interpretation of the whole of this passage, of which I have availed myself, and which is better intitled to attention, is this: "He, (i.e. the Holy Spirit) "shall convince the world of sin, of ❝righteousness, and of judgment. Of sin, "for not believing in Christ after he had "done among them the works which no "man did, (Matt. ix. 33. John ix. 32.) "Of righteousness, or justification through "Christ, as proved by his resurrection "and ascension to the Father to be the "advocate of mankind, by the imputation "of his own righteousness to them, (Rom. "iii. 26. Rom. v. 18. 2 Cor. v. 21.) And "of judgment, or the future general "judgment, in which Satan, the ruler of "this world, is to be judged, with the "world itself," (2 Cor. iv. 4. Rev. xx. 10. Acts xvii. 31.)
(q) v. 13. "Truth," or "the truth, the "gospel truth." The article is in the original, which would not have been the case, especially after the word "all," except to limit its meaning. See Mark v. 33. Middl. 139. sec. 3.