صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

a Mat. iv. 1. Mark i. 12.-b ver. 14. ch. ii. 27.-c Ex. xxxiv. 28. I Kings xix. 8.-d Deut. viii. 3.-e John xii.

18 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted,

31 ; & xiv. 30. Rev. xiii. 2, 7.-11 Or, fall down before to preach deliverance to the

13; & x. Mat iv. Ps. 11.

-i Deut. vi. 16.-k John xiv. 30. Heb. iv. 15.

See § XII.

Matthew IV. 1-11.


CHAP. IV. 14-32.

Christ beginneth to preach. The people of Nazareth admire his gracious words.

14 'And Jesus returned " in the power of the Spirit into "Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 ¶ And he came to 'Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, "he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are buised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. 22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, 'Is not this Joseph's son ?

23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done Capernaum, do also here in "thy country.


24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years

and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

26 But unto none of them

was Elias sent save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the

on the sabbath day. Although our Saviour took all occasions to instruct and admonish his disciples and followers, whether in the fields or houses, even wheresoever he could upon the mountains, in private find an opportunity to do it; yet upon sabbath-days he always frequented the public worship of God,

he went into the synagogues, places appointed for public prayers and reading and hearing the word; -a thing which I fear many amongst us do not think of, or at least not rightly consider it, for if they did, they would not dare methinks to walk so directly contrary to our blessed Saviour in this particular.

We may observe that our Saviour did not go into a synagogue or

hill whereon their city was built, church by the bye, to see what they that they might cast him down headlong.

[ocr errors]

30. But he passing through passing through the midst of them went his way,


31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.

32 And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.

Mat. iv. 12. John iv. 43.—m ver. 1.—n Acts x. 37.-0 Mat. ii. 23; & xlil. 54. Mark vi. 1.-p Acts xiii. 14; & xvii. 2.-g Is. Ixi. 1.- Ps. xlv. 2. Mat xiii. 54. Mark vi. 2. ch. ii. 47.-8 John vi. 42.- Mat. iv. 13; & xi. 23.

Mat. xiii. 54. Mark vi. 1. Mat. xiii. 57. Mark vi. 4.

John iv. 44.-y I Kings xvii. 9; & xviii. I. James v. 17 -2 Kings v. 14.-|| Or, edge.-a John viii. 59; & x. 39. - Mat iv. 13. Mark i. 21.-c Mat. vi. 28, 29. Titus ii. 15.

READER. He taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.-As his custom was, he went into the synagogue

were doing there; neither did he happen to go in by chance upon the sabbath-day; but it was his custom and constant practice to do so, even to go each sabbath-day to the public ordinances, there to join with the congregation in performing their service and devotions to Almighty God. And here I must take leave to say, that was there no other law, nor any other obligation upon us, (as there be many) to frequent the public worship of God, this practice and example of our blessed Saviour doth sufficiently and effectually oblige us all to a constant attendance upon the public ordinances. For, as we are Christians, and profess ourselves to be his disciples, we are all bound to follow him, he commands us here and elsewhere to do it; and

certainly there is nothing that we can be obliged to follow him in, more than in the manner of his worshipping God. And therefore, whosoever out of any humour, fancy, or slothfulness, shall presume to neglect the public worship of God, he doth not only act contrary to Christ's example, but transgresses also his command that enjoins him to follow that example. What they who are guilty of this, will have to answer for themselves, when they come to stand before Christ's tribunal, I know not. But this I know, that all those who profess themselves to be Christians should follow Christ in all things that they can, and by consequence in this particular; and that they sin who do not.-BEVE


He began to say unto them, This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. -The completion of the prophecy affords strong consolation to us. We are here taught to regard Jesus as the anointed of God, sent from above, and as bringing with him the gracious offers of pardon for the guilty, peace for the miserable, and salvation for those "who are ready to perish." In this represent ation the sinful, depraved, and helpless condition of man is clearly implied; and the blessings of redemption are freely proposed to the acceptance of all who feel and lament the melancholy truth. If we pride ourselves on any fancied goodness or ability of our own, we grossly mistake our case, and overlook the grand peculiarities of the Gospel; nor can we receive those important

benefits which Jesus came to bestow. He gives wisdom to the ignorant, righteousness to the guilty, sanctification to the unholy, and redemption to the miserable captive. But he confers no favour on the proud and self sufficient, who, not being sensible of their own necessities, will not submit or apply to him.

We ask, then, are you "the poor" of whom the prophet speaks, poor, in a spiritual sense, as perceiving yourselves destitute of every thing really excellent? The Gospel proclaims glad tidings in your ears: Jesus brings a message of mercy to you, and bids you take "the unsearchable riches" of his grace.

Or, are you distressed in mind, not on account of worldly losses, but from a conviction of your guilt and danger? Is your anguish extreme, so that under the rebuke of God's displeasure you cry out, "Thy rebuke hath broken my heart?" Jesus is commissioned to administer suitable and adequate relief. He will "bind up your wounds pouring in oil and wine"; and will continue his kind attentions to you till the cure be perfected. It is his peculiar office to "heal the broken hearted."

Do you fear that the sentence of condemnation is gone forth against you, and that you are detained as "prisoners" in the hands of divine justice? Such, indeed, is your natural state; nor is there any escape possible, but by the gracious interposition of Jesus. He grants "deliverance to the captives," cancels the sentence, and proclaims a full forgiveness. Or do you bewail

your spiritual bondage, under the oppression of those enemies to whom you have long been subject, and who are too strong for you? On this account also, we would direct you to look to Jesus, who alone can rescue you from this miserable servitude. He calls upon you to assert your freedom; for he says to the prisoners "Go forth;" to them that are in darkness, "Shew yourselves." (Isa. xlix. 9.)

[ocr errors]

You are distressed, perhaps, by your extreme ignorance in divine things, and lament that all appears darkness and confusion to your minds. It may be that you had conceived highly of your own discernment, but are now free to confess that you are spiritually blind. It is a happy change. While you said "We see" you would have spurned at the proposal of any one to open your eyes. Now you cannot but welcome the Saviour, who "recovers the sight;" and exhorts you to "anoint your eyes with eye-salve, that you may see." Rev. iii. 18. Yet, after various struggles and painful conflicts, your distress may probably increase, if no sensible deliverance be wrought for you; and every attempt to gain your liberty may make your chains the more galling and insupportable. You are therefore fitly described as being "bruised" with your fetters. But, though you are heavily oppressed, and unable to extricate yourselves, your case is not desperate. Jesus appears with a powerful arm which shall be exerted on your behalf. He not only gives

you permission to go forth, but he will himself break your bonds in sunder, release you from the tyranny of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and make you free indeed.

Should the desponding fear arise, "We have sinned so long and so presumptuously, that mercy cannot now be extended to us, the time of grace is expired, this great prophet of our God will quiet your apprehension, while he preaches "the acceptable year of the Lord." In his name we can assure you, that if you return to your offended God you shall find a favourable reception. He waits to pardon and to bless you. This is the happy season prefigured by the ancient jubilee: the proclamation of the Gospel, like the joyful sound of the trumpet among the Israelites, declares that your debt is cancelled, the appointed hour of your enlargement is come, and your inheritance shall be restored. "Behold, now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of salvation."

Such is the purport of that important prophecy which our Lord applied to himself, and on which he insisted in his preaching to the Nazarenes.-ROBINSON.

And all bare him witness, and wondered, &c.-They were struck with wonder; the dignity and grace of the speaker made a strong impression upon their minds. But admiration was all: they did not seriously consider his words, or believe his declarations. Their prejudices immediately appeared; and

they began to cavil at the meanness of his birth and extraction. He knew what was in their hearts, and addressed them, probably with a particular reference to their very thoughts concerning him. He gave them to understand that he was aware of their objection to his family and education, and that he expected they would demand from him the same miraculous operations which he had wrought at Capernaum. But he warned them not to reject the evidence offered to themselves while he maintained that God, as a sovereign Arbiter, is not accountable to any one; and that he has a right to dispense his favours as he pleases. Accordingly, many perish who are placed in the most advantageous circumstances; and mercy is extended to others at a distance, whom we should not have thought of. Thus he observed to them that a poor Gentile widow was relieved by Elijah, while many widows in Israel were left to suffer all the severities of famine; a stranger and an enemy to Israel was cured of his leprosy by Elisha, though the same dreadful disease continued to prey upon many others in the very country and under the immediate notice of the prophet. He intimated, then, that the grace of the gospel might be sent to some remote kingdom, even among the heathens, and that they themselves might never experience the blessing, but be destroyed through their unbelief.

This was more than they could bear: "they were filled with wrath;"

and the violence of their conduct soon discovered the enmity of their hearts. Ah! foolish people and unwise, who so rashly rejected the Saviour! We might be constrained to weep over their sad case: but it will become us rather to be anxiously concerned for ourselves. What reception does Jesus meet with among ourselves? His gospel excites the admiration of many who know no more of it than the Nazarenes. They soon begin to cavil and urge a variety of objections. It is in vain to answer; nay, perhaps the most temperate reply will increase their violence: nor would it be surprising, if the ministers of Christ, like their Lord and Master, should be driven away with contempt and abhorrence. Ah! what availed it to live at Nazareth, to be near to Jesus, to observe his holy conduct, and to hear his gracious words? Or what avails it now to be placed within the notice of the most excellent persons, and under the most lively ordinances of religion? Even in such circumstances, you may feel a vehement hatred of the truth. But beware: whilst you endeavour to get rid of that which gives you pain, you are rejecting your best mercies, and destroying your im mortal souls.-ROBINSON.


Jesus! transporting sound!
The joy of earth and heaven!
No other help is found;

No other name is given
By which we can salvation have;
But thou didst come the world to save.

« السابقةمتابعة »