Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

to Rome A.D. 65. From Macedonia, A.D. 64, he wrote his first Epistle to Timothy, and that to Titus. In this journey he left books, parchments, and a cloak (pænula, the mark of a Roman citizen), with Carpus, his host at Troas.

On his first appearance, or trial, at Rome, he was again imprisoned, and visited by Onesiphorus. Here he wrote the 2d Epistle to Timothy, which Chrysostom calls his last testament. It is said he provoked Nero by converting one of his concubines ; but this is without authority. We know he suffered martyrdom at the Aquæ Salviæ, near the Ostian Gate, at Rome, and was buried where the church of S. Paolo fuori delle Mura now stands.

5. The Articles of our Church :when published in their present form, and under whose authority.

Henry VIII. published Articles, retaining some of the popish doctrines. Edward VI. published, A.D. 1552, forty-two Articles, agreed to in Convocation. These were repealed by Mary. But Elizabeth published Thirty-nine Articles, drawn up by the Convocation A.D. 1562, which were revised, with some. slight alterations, in 1571. See Bennett.

6. “ Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.Explain the import of this petition.

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: but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, James i. 13, 14. Satan is also called the tempter (Matt. iv. 3, 1 Thess. iii. 5), that is, by permission of God, who, having created men, and distinguished them by reason, sets heaven before them as a crown, to be obtained through an exercise of their faith, and faculties aided, but not forced, by his Holy Spirit; for he will never suffer us to be tempted (unless by our own remissness) above what we are able to bear, but with the temptation will make a way to escape, 1 Cor. x. 13. His grace is sufficient for us, 2 Cor. xii. 9. His strength is perfected in our weakness, and he will not refuse his Holy Spirit unto them who ask him, Luke xi. 13. Thus will he deliver us from evil, or from the evil one, árò TOū movnpow, as it stands in the Jewish formularies.

When, therefore, it is said, God did tempt Abraham, this signifies, God TRIED him (Gen. xxii. 1); and he thus tries his servants to prove their faith— to exercise their graces of resistance or patience—and to strengthen them by such trials. Thus are examples of obedience furnished ; and men, under Divine assistance, fight their way to the kingdom of heaven. “ Lead us not into temptation,” then, signifies, Suffer us not to be placed in situations of overwhelming trial; but whatever thou seest fit, may thy Spirit ever be at hand to deliver us from the evil ; and may we not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, Ephes. iv. 30.

7. IIoù éotiv ó Texoeis Baoilevs TÔV Iovdaiwv; eidou6v yào aỦroũ Tùy ảơiếpa rộ ảvaToàn, KTN. Matt. ii. 2. Were there other notices of the expected appearance of a king at that time, and of a star's presaging similar events ?

The scene of prophecy respecting the Messiah was opened gradually; and Daniel had fixed the time of his appearance to 70 weeks (i. e. weeks of years), or 490 years, from the going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem, after the Babylonish captivity; while Zechariah had spoken of him, Behold, thy King cometh ; Dan. ix. 25, Zech. ix. 9. The prophecies of Daniel, and the Old Testament generally, were circulated in the East by the captive Israelites ; and the still earlier prophecy of Balaam (Num. xxiv. 17), A star shall arise out of Jacob, and a sceptre out of Israel, was there applied to the Messiah, and brought the oriental magi, under the guidance of the star, to Bethlehem, with their offerings to the King of the Jews.

Tacitus (Hist. v. p. 621) writes, “ Pluribus persuasio inerat antiquis sacerdotum literis contineri, eo ipso tempore fore ut valesceret oriens, profectique Judæâ rerum potirentur.” And Suetonius, in Vita Vespas. cap. iv. “ Percrebuerat oriente toto vetus et constans opinio, esse in fatis, ut eo tempore Judeâ profecti rerum potirentur.”

Many of the prophecies, borrowing the emblems of earthly power, spoke of the Messiah as a king, a ruler, a conqueror, who should extend, his dominion over the earth ; but ignorance and national pride led the Jews to mistake the metaphorical for literal language. They knew not of a lowly Saviour, whose kingdom was spiritual, and not of this world; but expected a mighty temporal deliverer. Their traditions and glosses excited the jealousy of Herod, and brought about the massacre of Bethlehem. Many false Messiahs arose before or about the time of our Saviour, relying on the same views; and Josephus tells us, that “the Jews rebelled against the Romans, encouraged by a doubtful prophecy, that about that time a great person should be born amongst them, who should rule the world.”

Of the general expectation of the Messiah at the time of Christ's birth, we have proofs in John i. 45-49, xi. 27, Matt. xxvi. 63, John iv. 23, 29.

Virgil, in his fourth eclogue, supposed to be taken from the Sibylline books, speaks of a renovation of things as about to take place, and almost in the words of Scripture :

“ Magnus ab integro sæclorum nascitur ordo,
Aspice venturo lætentur ut omnia sæclo."

The Roman historians and poets speak of new stars as announcing the birth of extraordinary characters :

“ Micat inter omnes
Julium sidus, velut inter ignes
Luna minores."

HOR.

8. Does the Gospel of St. Matthew furnish any internal evidence that it was written for Jews ?

· St. Matthew's Gospel has more references than the others to Jewish customs. He traces the genealogy of Jesus through David to Abraham, and there stops. In his publication of the sermon on the mount, our Lord is represented as correcting the popular expectations of a temporal kingdom ; while he humbles pharisaical pride, and draws back the Jewish notions of the divine law from literal to spiritual obedience, and from ceremonious observances to purity of heart. He abounds in references to the prophetic writings of the Jews—prepares them for the admission of the Gentiles into the Christian Church-shews them that their privileges will condemn them, and tells them that Christ is come, not to destroy, but to fulfil the law and the prophets.

9. Jesus occurs as the name of several persons. Is there any thing in the New Testament that distinguishes Christ from such ?

Jesus, or Joshua, was a common name among the Jews, as a benefactor was called Soter among the Greeks ; but our Saviour is distinguished as Christ — the anointed the same as Messiah, n'wa Matt. i. 16, John xvii. 3. Again ; Jesus said, There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders ; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before, Matt. xxiv:25. Thus, our Lord's prophecy of his first coming to the destruction of Jerusalem, to be fulfilled in that generation, made a distinction between him and these false prophets. Many such are mentioned, and two in particular in Acts v., viz. Theudas, and Judas of Galilee, whose adherents were either destroyed or dispersed, and whose artifices came to nought. But the stability of the true Messiah's kingdom would be the chief distinction between him and the false Christs. Refrain, said Gamaliel, to the Sanhedrim, from injuring the apostles of Jesus; for if this counsel, or this work, be of men, it will come to nought ; but if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it, Acts v. 38, 39.

10. Of Christ's miracles, one only is related by all the evangelists, and several by St. Luke alone.

The feeding of the five thousand is the only miracle related by all the evangelists. St. Luke alone relates the miracles of Zechariah's dumbness, the raising of the widow's son at Nain, the healing of the woman bowed together, the dropsical man, and the ten lepers.

11. The civil and the sacred year.

The civil year among the Jews commenced on the 15th of September, or their month Tisri, because it was an old tradition that the world was then created; and it is reasonable to suppose, that when man was called into existence, the fruits of the earth would be ripe for his nourishment. This was also the time when, for the same reason, the waters abated after the deluge. From

this time the Jews computed their jubilees, dated contracts, and took note of the birth of children and the reign of kings.

Their ecclesiastical year began in March, on the first day of the month Nisan, in order to commemorate the release of their ancestors from Egyptian bondage. Observe the month Abib, and keep the passover unto the Lord, Deut. xvi. 1. Abib signifies green ears of corn; for part of the paschal solemnity was the waving of a sheaf of the first-fruits of the barley, then green and unripe, before the Lord. This month shall be to you the first month of the year, Exod. xii. 2 ; this day came ye out in the month Abib. From this month were computed the Jewish festivals and religious ordinances.

12. Faith and belief, divine and human.

Belief is assent, on testimony or other evidence, to a proposition which we do not know of ourselves.

Faith is belief in the truths of religion, and, if sincere, will lead to conduct in conformity with its conviction. It substantiates the invisible, and makes the future present; it is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. It is in the heart, as well as in the understanding.

Human faith is reliance on human authority, or it relates to human affairs; and would make a man, in prudence, act in human affairs conformably to the strength of his belief in the truths proposed to him.

Divine faith is belief on the authority of God, and of those inspired Scriptures which are the voice of God. The objects of divine faith are matters of revelation. Without divine faith it is impossible to please God: we must believe that he is, and is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. And the genuineness of such a faith is tested by our actual diligent seeking of him; otherwise it is only a faith in words. Saving faith — that faith hy which the Scripture saith the just shall live (Heb. x. 38)—is a belief in the merits of Christ as the sole ground of our salvation. But this faith must work by love; it must bear the fruits of repentance and holiness; otherwise, as in the former case, we but deceive ourselves in calling it faith at

« ZurückWeiter »