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after the (h) Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20. And they went forth, and preached every-where, the (bi) Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.
Sunday after Ascension Day.
O God, the King of Glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Epistle. 1 Pet. iv. 7. The (c) end of all things is at
hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8. And above all things have fervent (of) charity among yourselves: for charity shall (e) cover the (g) multitude of sins. 9. Use hospitality one to another, without grudging. 10. As every man hath received the gift (A), even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold (»') grace of God. 11. If any man speak, let him speak as the (k) oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ; to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel. John xv. 26. and part of Chap. xvi. (/)
"When the (m) Comforter is "come, whom I («) will send
(6) v. 19. ""The Lord," "b Kipm," & 75 Kt/p/s, with the article.
(c) v. 7. " The end," i. e. probably one of the times so often signified by the expression, " the day of the Lord," the "coming of the Lord," the great period of the destruction of the Jews. See ante, 32. note on Luke xxi. 25. It is called "the end" several times in our Saviour's prediction, (Matt. xxiv. 6. 13, 14. — Luke xxi. 9.) and it did put an end to the temple, the sacrifices, the ceremonies, and the nation. Has the sceptre at any time since been in Judah, or a lawgiver between his feet? See Gen. xlix. 10. ante, 69. note (/) on Mai. iii. 1.
(rf) v. 8. "Fervent charity," i. e. " warm, "active benevolence." So our Saviour says, (John xiii. 35.) "by this shall all "men know that ye are my disciples, if "ye have love one to another." See ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 8. Christianity inculcates not only benevolence "among "ourselves," to relations and neighbours, but general good-will to all mankind."
(e) " Cover," i. e. "either obtain re•• mission for," (like Jam. v. 26.) or '* over
"look," in the first case, referring to our own sins; in the second, to those of others.
(g) " The," or "a." No article in the original: Tajjco.-.
(h) v. 10. " The gift," i.e. " any gift." No article: "x^ia-/**."
(i) " Manifold grace," i. e. "whatever "God has given."
(£) v. 11. "As the oracles, &c." Perhaps, in speaking, ministering, &c. ascribe to God your power so to speak, minister, &c.; and so, according to verse 10. you will be good stewards, &c. and the consequence desired, verse 11. will follow: "God will in all things be glorified.''
(/) Part of our Lord's discourse at the last supper, the evening he was betrayed. St. John sat next him.
(m) v. 26. " The Comforter," i. e. "the "Holy Ghost." Ante, 159. note on John xvi. 7.
(n) "I will send, &c." So that our Saviour, after his crucifixion, was to have this power. Some proof of his divinity! Who less than God could send his Comforter? See ante, 160. note on John xvi. 1 *•
unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from theFather, he shall testify of me: 27. and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with (o) me from the beginning, xvi. l. These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be (p) offended. 2. They shall put (q) you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. 3. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not (r) known the Father nor me. 4. But these things have I told you, that, when the time shall come, ye
However in another part of his discourse, (John xiv. 16.) he says, "I will pray the "Father, and he shall give you another "Comforter ;" and John xiv. 26. he speaks of "the Comforter whom the Father will "send in my name."
(o) v. 27. "With me, &c." and have therefore seen the innocence of my life, and the mighty works I have wrought; have heard the warnings and predictions I have delivered, and my constant disclaimer of all worldly advantages.
(p) v. 1. "OfFended," i. e. "drawn off "from your faith, deterred from acting as "my soldiers."
(a) v. 2. "Put you out, &c." Our Saviour had repeatedly apprized them that they would meet with the strongest opposition, would have to undergo the bitterest persecutions, and must give up all worldly prospects and attachments. When he tent out the twelve apostles two years before his death, he told them, (Matt. x. 16, 17,18. 21, 22.) "I send you forth as sheep "in the midst of wolves. Beware of men, "for they will deliver you up to the coun"cils, and they will scourge you in their "synagogues; and ye shall be brought "before governors and kings for my sake. "And the brother shall deliver up the "brother to death, and the father the "child; and the children shall rise up "against their parents, and shall cause "them to be put to death;— and ye shall "be haled of all men for my name's sake."
"may (s) remember that I told "you of them."
Ciod, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by the sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit: G rant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgement in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort, through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Again, in his prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, (Matt. xxiv. 9.) he says, "then shall they deliver you up to be "afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall "be hated of all men for my name's sake." So in Luke xiv. 26. "If any come to me, "and hate not" (i. e. when his religion requires) "his father and mother, and "wife and children, and brethren, and "sisters, yea, and his own life also, he "cannot be my disciple. And whosoever "doth not bear his cross and come after "me, cannot be ray disciple;" and, v. 33. "whosoever he be of you that forsaketh "not all that he hath, he cannot be my "disciple." (See also Luke xii. 11.— xxi. 12. 16. 17. and Matt. xvi. 24.) Are these the prospects and language of an impostor; and what with these prospects could attach the apostles and disciples to Christ and his religion, but the full conviction that he was the Messiah, and that God was with him?
(r) v. 3. "Known," i. e. "followed the "commandments of - esteemed." See 1 John iv. 7, 8. "Every one that loveth, is "born of God, and knoweth God: he that "loveth not, knoweth not God."
(.?) v. 4. "Remember," and therefore be confirmed in your faith. He here calls to their observation, that he is exercising what God describes (Is. xliv. 7.) as one of his own peculiar characteristics, fore*, knowledge.
For the Epistle. Acts ii. 1. When the day of (J) Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3. And there appeared unto them cloven (u) tongues like as (.r) of fire, and it sat upon each of them: 4. and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other (z) tongues,
(t) v. 1. "Pentecost," i. e. "the feast "of weeks," our Whit-sunday: the second of the three great solemnities in which (according to Deut. xvi. 16.) all the males were enjoined to appear before the Lord in the place which he should choose; which place was afterwards fixed to be Jerusalem. It was the fiftieth day after the feast of the passover. All the Jews therefore who had been at Jerusalem at the time of the crucifixion, would be there again at the time of this great miracle, would have the opportunity of personally witnessing its effects, would naturally carry an account of it to their own homes, and so would be themselves prepared, and would prepare others, to receive the truths of the gospel when it should be preached amongst them. An instance of God's wisdom in selecting appropriate times for accomplishing his purposes!
(u) v. 3. "Cloven tongues, &c." something visible: perhaps to intimate that the Holy Ghost was not merely an impulse from God, but a separate existence. When it descended upon our Saviour, it came down visibly; perhaps for the same reason. The Heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him. Luke iii. 5s2. and see Matt. iii. 16. Mark i. 10.
(x) v. 3,4. "As of fire," "with the Holy "Ghost." The Baptist had declared, (Matt. iii. 11. Luke iii. 16.) that our Saviour should "baptize with the Holy Ghost "and viilhjire" This therefore was a fulfilment of that prediction, and a proof that God was with the Baptist, to whom this power of prophecy was given, as well as with our Saviour. Our Saviour also assured the apostles in his conversation at
as the (a) Spirit gave them utterance. 5. And there were (b) dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. 6. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded (c), because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7. And they were all amazed, and marvelled, saying one to another, "Behold, are not all these which "speak Galileans? 8. And how "hear we every man in our own
the last supper, and after his resurrection, that he would "send the Comforter unto "them, even the Spirit of truth;" that he would send "the promise of his Father "unto them;" that "they should be en"dued with power from on high;" (John xiv. 16. 26.—xv. 26.—xvi. 7.—Luke xxiv. 49.) and this was a completion of these assurances.
(z) "Other tongues." This wonderful gift would naturally rivet the faith of those on whom it was conferred, and increase thenumber of believers, because it could not have been the effect of delusion or deceit: nothing but a preternatural power could have bestowed it. We are told, accordingly, (Acts ii. 41.) that on the same day there were added to the faith three thousand souls. It was not however merely to convince the disciples and those who witnessed its operation, that this miracle was performed; it was essential to enable the apostles to preach the gospel, as our Saviour had commanded them, to all nations. (See ante, 163. note on Acts i. 8.) According to Matt, xxviii. 19. he told them to " go, and teach all nations;" according to Mark xvi. 15. to "go into all the world, "and preach the gospel to every creature; (and see Luke xxiv. 49.) and according to Acta i. 8. that they should be "witnesses "unto him, both in Jerusalem, and in all "Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the "uttermost part of the earth."
(a) "The Spirit," i.e. "the Holy Ghost."
(6) v. S. "Dwelling," rather "sojourn"ing," abiding during the feast, Ko7«xj>7«<
(c) v. 6. "Confounded." What would be our feelings and convictions were we to witness such a miracle?
"tongue, wherein we were born? "9. Parthians, and Medes, and "EJamites, and the dwellers in "Mesopotamia, and in Judea, "and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and "Asia, 10. Phrygia, and Pam"phylia, in Egypt, and in the "parts of Libya about Cyrene, "and strangers of* Rome, Jews "and proselytes, 11. Cretes and "Arabians, we do hear them "speak in our tongues the won"derful works of God."
The Gospel. John xiv. 15. (d)
Jesus said unto his disciples, "If "ye love me, keep (e) my com"mandments. 16. And I will
(<f) Part of our Saviour's discourse at the last supper the night he was betrayed. St. John sat next him.
(e) v. 15. "Keep, &c." Obedience is the test God requires. Samuel told Saul, (1 Sam. xv. 22. J "To obey is better than notice;" and St. John in his epistles (perhaps from a recollection of this discourse) repeatedly presses obedience to God's commandments as the only true criterion of love to God. Thus, (1 John ii. 5.) "Whoso keepeth his" (i. e. God's) "vcord, in him verily is the love of "God perfected." So, (1 John v. 3.) "This is the love of God, that we keep his "commandments." And, (2 John i. 6.) "This is love, that we walk after his com"mandments." The similarity of sentiment in St John's gospel and epistles affords u argument that they are rightly ascribed to the same person.
(f) V. 16. "Another," for Christ himKlf had been one.
(A) "Comforter," or advocate, exhorter, "or guide. Hamm. irapax>.vy\».''
(0 "For ever," not to depart, as I have done.
(i) o. 17. "The Spirit of truth," i. e. "the Holy Ghost."
(J) "Whom," or "which," "him," (thrice) and "her," or "it." They are all neuters, not masculine, in the original:
■''•'*-:, o i wiofuf e bv»a}ai XaSiiV, Vi 4 Sliufu *"«,nil yuivrui aihm ip-iii i( yivutrtitTi aill,&C.
pray the Father, and he shall give you another (g) Comforter (A), that he may abide with you for (t) ever; 17. even the (k) Spirit of truth; whom (/) the (m) world cannot receive, because it seeth (/) him (n) not, neither knoweth him (/): but ye know him (/); for he (I) dwelleth (0) with you, and shall be in you. 18. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye (p) shall live also. 20. At that day ye shall know that I am (y) in my Father, and you in me, and I
(m) "The world," i.e. "the worldly "minded," such as are wholly taken up with worldly pursuits, setting their whole affections upon things below. So 1 John ii. 15. " If any man love the world, the love "of the Father is not in him." And agreeably to this is what our Saviour says in his sermon on the mount, "Ye cannot serve "God and mammon. Matt. vi. 24."
(n) "Seeth him not, &c." i. e. "has "not a disposition to see or know him."
(o) "Dwelleth," or "shall dwell," plvu. The spirit of holiness may be considered as dwelling within us, when our thoughts and actions are such as he would dictate, and when we endeavour to make our thoughts and actions conformable to God's will. St. Paul calls their bodies "the "temple of God," (1 Cor. iii. 16, 17.— vi. 19. and 2 Cor vi. 16.) to press upon their minds that God was to be considered as an inmate in their breasts, that their bodies were dedicated to his service, and to restrain them therefore from acts which he could not approve, or which, if his presence were visible, they could not dare to do.
in) v. 19. " Ye shall live, &c." i. e. "ye "shall partake of the life and spirit I
(q) v. 20. "That I am in my Father, "&c." i. e. "that I really came from God, "that I am animated by his spirit, and "that you are animated by mine."
"in you. 21. He "commandments, "them, he it is
that hath my and keepeth he it is that loveth me: "and he that loveth me shall be "loved of my Father; and I will "love him, and will (r) manifest "myself to him." 22. Judas saith unto him (not (s) Iscariot), "Lord, "how is it that thou wilt manifest "thyself unto us, and not unto "the world?" 23. Jesus answered and said unto him, "If a man "love me, he will keep my words: "and my Father will love him, "and we will (/) come unto him, "and make our abode with him. "24. He that loveth me not, "keepeth not my sayings: and "the word which ye near, is not "mine, but the Father's which
present with you. 26. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom (w) the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, andbring(j) all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is (y) greater than I. 29. And now I have told you before it come to pass; that when it is come to pass, ye might (z) believe.
(r) v. 21. "Manifest," i. e. "not to the • eye, but to the mind; will shew him "that I still continue with him, that I "have not forsaken him."
(*) v. 22. "Not Iscariot," but St. Jude, the author of one of the epistles.
(t) v. 23. "Come, &c." i. e. "be as it "were inmates in his breast." If he makes his mind pure, without any wrong thoughts or passions, fit for God's temple, God will treat it accordingly. So, 1 John iii. 24. "he that keepeth his commandments, "dwelleth in him, and he in him,''
(u) o.26. "Whom," or" which," Gr. i.
(x) "Bring, &c." There were many things which our Saviour said unto them before his crucifixion, which they did not understand at the time, the force of which they might afterwards see. See ante, 1+3. note on Luke xxiv. 45. and 158. note on John xvi. 6.
(y) v. 28. "Greater." St. Paul and St. Peter both call him "the God," as well as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. "The God and Father of our Lord Jesus "Christ knoweth that I lie not j" and "Blessed be the God and Father of our "Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Cor. xi. 31. and 1 Pet i. 3.) and see post, — note on Eph. iii. 14. In John v. 19. our Saviour says, "The Son can do nothing of himself,
"but what he seeth the Father do;" and v. 26, 27. "The Father hath given to the "Son to have life in himself, and hath "given him authority to execute judg"ment also;" and v. 36. "The works the "Father hath given me to finish, bear wit"ness of me, that the Father hath sent me.' In John xii. 49. our Saviour says, " I h*ve "not spoken of myself, but the Father "which sent me, he gave me a command"ment, what I should say, and what I "should speak;" and again, John xiv. 10. "The words that I speak unto you, I spea* «« not of myself, but the Father that dwell"eth in me, he doeth the works." I" J<!nn xvii. 22.24. he speaks of " the glory which "God the Father hath given nim." Superiority in the Father, is not (as f*ras we can judge) inconsistent with divinity in the Son. The Son may be God, though as between himself and the Father, the Father is superior, as an earthly father is above his son.
(*) v. 29. "Might believe." See ante, 165. note on John xvi. 4. Foreknowledge being peculiar to God, the fulfilment ot the prediction would prove he had God* countenance when he made it, and would therefore be a sufficient ground for their belief.