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'mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;
Saviour wrought miracles by himself, by his disciples; John wrought none by either. Wherein Christ meant to show himself a lord, and John a servant; and John meant to approve himself a true servant to him whose
16 John answered, saying unto them all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but one might-harbinger he was. ier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose he shall baptizeyou with the Holy Ghost and with
17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner, but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.
18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,
20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Or, in suspense. Or, reasoned, or, debated.-n Mat. ill. 11-o Mic. iv. 12. Mat. xiii. 30.-p Mat. xiv. 3. Mark vi. 17.
READER. John answered, saying unto them all, &c. John did every way forerun Christ, not so much in the time of his birth, as in his office. Neither was there more unlikeness in their disposition and carriage, than similitude in their function. Both did preach and baptize only John baptized by himself, our Saviour by his disciples:
It was fit that he which had the prophets, the star, the angel, to foretell his coming into the world, should have his usher to go before him when he would notify himself to the world. John was the voice of a
crier; Christ was the Word of his Father. It was fit this voice should make a noise to the world, ere the Word of the Father should speak to it. John's note was still repentance. The axe to the root, the fan to the
floor, the chaff to the fire. As his raiment was rough, so was his tongue; and if his food was wild honey, his speech was stinging locusts. Thus must the way be made for Christ in every heart. Plausibility is no fit preface to regeneration. If the heart of man had continued upright, God might have been entertained without contradiction: but violence must be offered to our corruption ere we can have room for grace. If the great way-maker do not cut down hills, and raise up valleys, in the bosoms of men, there is no passage for Christ. Never will Christ come into that soul, where the herald of repentance hath not been before him.-HALL.
Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. The visible kingdom of God
upon earth is but an imperfect state and condition; for, though all that are members of it are selected and taken out of the world, yet there is a great deal of mixture and dross, and many things that do offend. For,
First; there is a mixture of wicked persons with those who are really holy. Many belong to it only because their consciences are convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, although their lives are not subject to the power of it; and these are taken out of the world only as they are brought into the pale of the church, and profess the name of Christ and his religion, as distinct from all other religions in the world. And therefore we find the church, or the kingdom of heaven, in scripture, frequently compared to a net cast into the sea, gathering every kind of fish, both good and bad, Matt. xiii. 47. Both sorts are embraced in the bosom of this net, and no perfect separation can be made, until it be drawn to shore at the day of judgment; and then the good will be gathered into vessels, and the bad cast away, as it is there expressed. Again, it is compared to a floor, wherein is both chaff and wheat; and these will be mixed together until the last discriminating day, and then shall the wheat be gathered into the garner, and the chaff burned up with unquenchable fire.-Again, it is compared to a field, wherein grow tares as well as corn, Matt. xiii. 24-25; which must grow together until the harvest, and then shall the tares be bound in bundles
to be burned, and the profitable grain be gathered into the barn. This hath been, and will be, the mixed condition of God's church on earth; wherein, through hypocrisy and gross dissimulation, many that are enemies to the cross of Christ will yet go under that cognizance, and keep up a form of godliness, though they deny and hate the power thereof.
Secondly: There is even in the invisible church here on earth a great mixture too; those who have a real and vital union to Christ, and maintain a spiritual union with him, yet even they have a sad mixture of evil in all their good, of sin with all their grace and holiness, so that the church is still imperfect, not only from a mixture of persons, but from a mixture in persons; as we know but in part, so we love but in part, we fear, we obey God, but in part. And with our profession of faith we have need also to prefer that humble petition, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." Mark ix. 24-HOPKINS.
Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done. (See Matthew xiv. 1—12, with the commentary; § 47) added yet this above all that he shut up John in prison.-We commonly reckon the greatness of sin by the abruptness of our advance to it. Possibly, it would seem a horrid thing, at the first rising of a temptation in our hearts, if we should presently perpetrate the utmost of it into act. Therefore, the method of sin is more
smooth and deceitful; it counts a sinful thought a little transgression, and sinful discourse to have but a little more guilt in it than a sinful thought, and sinful actions to have but a little more guilt in them than sinful words; a great sin but in a little degree exceeds the less; and so, comparing sin with sin, and not with the law, we at length come, by invisible advances, to look upon the greatest impieties in the world to be but little sins, and so to commit them. If Satan prevails with us to go with him one step out of our way, we are in danger to stop no where till we come to the height of all profaneness; he will make us take a second, and a third, and so to travel on to destruction, for each of these is but one step as well as the first; and if the devil prevail with us to take one step, why should he not prevail with us to take the last step as well as the first step, seeing it is but one? Your second sin no more exceeds your first, than your first doth your duty; and so of the rest.-HOPKINS.
When man grows bold in sin
But there's a righteous God
Christ baptized receiveth testimony from heaven. The age and genealogy of Christ from Joseph upwards.
21 Now when all the people were baptized," it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,
22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.
23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) 'the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,
24 Which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi, which was the son son of Melchi, which was the son of Janna, which was the son of Joseph.
25 Which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, "which was the son
Mattathias, which was the son of Amos, which was the son of Naum, which was the son Esli, which was the son Nagge,
26 Which was the son of Maath, which was the son of Mattathias, which was the son of Semei, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Juda,
27 Which was the son son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was the son of Zorobabel, which was the son of Salathiel, which was the son of Neri,
28 Which was the son of Melchi, which was the son of Addi, which was the son of Cosam, which was the son of Elmodam, which was the son
29 Which was the son of Jose, which was the son of Eliezer, which was the son of Jorim, which was the son of Matthat, which was the son of Levi,
30 Which was the son of Simeon, which was the son of Juda, which was the son of Joseph, which was the son of Jonan, which was the son of Eliakim,
32 Which was the son of Jesse, which was the Obed, which was the Booz, which was the Salmon, which was the Naason,
33 Which was the son of Aminadab, which was the son of Aram, which was the son of Esrom, which was the son of Phares, which was the son of Juda,
34 Which was the son of Jacob, which was the son of Isaac, which was the son of Abraham, which was the son of Thara, which was the son of Nachor,
35 Which was the son of Saruch, which was the son of Ragau, which was the son of Phalec, which was the son of Heber, which was the son of Sala,
36 Which was the son of Cainan, which was the son of Arphaxad, which was the son of Sem, which was the son of Noe, which was the son of Lamech,
37 Which was the son of Mathusala, which was the son
31 Which was the son of of Enoch, which was the son Melea, which was the son of of Jared, which was the son of
Maleleel, which was the son of shall not live by bread alone,
38 Which was the son of
but by every word of God.
5 And the devil, taking him
9 Mat. iii. 13. John i. 32.-r See Num. iv. 3, 35, 39,
6 And the devil said unto
25 am. v. 14. 1 Chr. lii. 5.- Ruth iv. 18, &c.-1 Chr. him, All this power will I give
10, &c.-y Gen. xi. 24, 26.- See Gen. xi. 12.-a Geu. v.
See § § II. XI.
Matthew I. 1-17. III. 13-17.
CHAP. IV. 1—13.
The temptation and fasting of Christ.
AND "Jesus being full of the
2 Being forty days tempted
3 And the devil said unto
4 And Jesus answered him,
thee and the glory of them:
7 If thou therefore wilt" wor-
8 And Jesus answered and