Page images
PDF
EPUB

norant either of his Nature or

Office. 51 And he went 51. However Jefus went down with down with them, them to Nazareth, and dwelt with and came to Naza

them, and was obedient to them. And reth, and was subjett unto them; but Mary kept all these things in Rememhis mother kept all brance, and pondered them in her own these sayings in her Mind. heart.

52 And Jesus in 52. And Jefus continued to increase, creased in wisdom as in Stature of Body, so in Wisdom and stature, and in of Mind ; the Divine Power discofavour with God and vering it self in him by Degrees. And

he became remarkably endued with such excellent Qualifications, as made him most acceptable to God, and beloved of Men.

man.

CHA P. III. John the Baptist's Office and Ministry, ver. 1. His Instruc

tions to the Common People, the Collectors of the Tax, and the Soldiers, ver. 10. His Account of Christ, ver. 16. His Death, ver. 19. Jesus's Baptifm, ver. 21. and Genea

logy, ver. 23. INow in the

I ES 2. OW in the fifteenth fifteenth year

Year of the Emperour of the reign of Ti Tiberius ; Pontius Pilate being the berius Cesar, Pontius Pilate being gover:

Roman Governour of Judæa : And,

in the Division of the Kingdom nour of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Syria, Herod the Son of Herod of Galilee, and his the Great, being King of Galilee ; brother Philip te.

and his Brother Philip ruling in Itutrarch of Iturea, and rea and Trachonitis, and Lisanias in of the region of Abylene ; and Annas and Caiphas exfanias the tetrarch of ecuting the Office of High-Priest a

.. Abilene,

mong the Jews : In this Year, I say, 2 Annas and Cai- In the Baptist, the Son of Zacha

rias phas being the high

[ocr errors]

rias and Elizabeth, have hitherto lived priests, the word of privately in the Wilderness, was com

God came unto John manded of God to enter upon his pub- the son of Zacharias lick Ministry, and begin to preach to in the wilderness. the People. 3. Accordingly, leaving the Wil

3

And he came derness, he went and preached in all into all the country the Country about Jordan. And the about Jordan, preachSubject of his Preaching was, To ing the baptism of exhort Men to prepare themselves by remission of fins ;

repentance for the Baptism and Repentance, for the receiving of Christ, and for the Entertainment of his Divine Religion, wherein no outward Rites or Ceremonies, but only a hearty Faith in God, an actual forsaking their paft Sins, a real and universal Amendment of Life, and a sincere Endeavour to obey both in Heart and Mind the Commandments of God, would avail to procure Forgiveness of Sin, and Eternal Life. 4, 5 & 6. Thus John was that 4

As it is written Fore-runner of Christ, of whom it in the book of the was prophesied in old time by Efaias, words of Efaias the That he should be as a Voice crying prophet, saying, The aloud in the Wilderness, to give No voice of one crying tice of the Coming of the Messiah, Prepare ye the way

in the wilderness, and to

to provide and of the Lord, make make ready against his appearing his paths straight. And that, as Igreat Princes used at 5. Every valley their folemn or triumphal Entries to shall be filled, and have the Ways cleared and levelled every mountain and before them ; so this Fore-runner of hill shall be brought Christ, by preaching the Acceptable- ed 'Thall be made

low ; and the crookness and the Necessity of Repen- ftreight, and the tance, should remove all Hindrances, rough ways shall be and difpofe Mens Hearts to receive made smooth; that great and glorious Salvation , 6 And all felh which God was graciously about to re- shall see the salvativeal and offer to all Mankind by hison of God. Son,

warn

men

was

7 Then said he to 7. The Sum therefore, of John the multitude that Baptiff's Doctrine, to exhort came forth to be Men to sincere Repentance and Rebaptized of him, o

formation. And accordingly, when generation of vipers, who hath warned among those who came to be bapyou to flee from the tized, he faw many Disciples of the wrath to come ? Pharisees and Sadduces, Men proud

and haughty, boasting themselves of their Descent from the Patriarchs, and trusting in their strict Observation of several external Rites and Ceremonies of the Law; he warned them, saying ; Do not think, that by being baptized of me, or by any other outward Ceremony whatever, ye can be secured from the Judgments which God will send upon this Nation : For assuredly, nothing will be accepted of God, but real Reformation, and hearty Obedi

ence. 8 Bring forth there

8. Wherefore, if ye profess to fore fruits worthy of repent, give Evidence of the Sincerity repentance, and be of it, by your Humility, and by the gin not to say with inward Holiness of your Minds, showin your felves, We

ing forth itself in a suitable Conversatihave Abraham our father : for I tion; For these are the only genuine say unto you, that Fruits, and true Marks of sincere ReGod is able of these pentance. And do not presume, that ftones to raise up because ye are the Pofterity of Abrachildren unto Abra- ham, and the peculiar Pecple of God, ham.

ye can therefore, though impenitent, escape the Vengeance due to your Sins. For verily, unless ye return to the Imitation of the Piety and Holiness of your Ancestors whom ye boast of, God will utterly cast you off; and adopt Men from among the Gentiles, or even work a Miracle to raise up to himself faithful Servants, rather than save you in your Impenitency and Pride.

to

VOL. II.

с

9. Nay;

9. Nay; and if ye intend to repent, 9 And now also ye must resolve to do it fpeedily and the ax is laid unto without Delay. For God is now a

the root of the trees : bout to offer you the last Difpenfation every, tree therefore of his Mercy; And if ye reject these forth good fruit, is

which bringeth not gracious Terms of Salvation, there hewn down, and cast will be no more Remedy, but a final into the fire. Sentence of Destruction shall be passed upon you ; even as barren Trees, after many vain Trials to niake them bear, are at last irrevocably condemned to the Fire. 10 & 1. This was the Sun of

10 And the peoJohn's Exhortations to Repentance in ple asked him, faygeneral. But more particularly he taught ing, What shall we also people of all sorts, their peculiar do then?

1 He answereth Duty respectively in every State of Life.

and faith unto them, For when some of the Common People, He that hath two moved by his denouncing of God's coats, let him imWrath, and general Exhortations to part to

to him

that Repentance, asked him, What They hath none ; and he should do to escape this Vengeance, and that hath meat, let how they should repent worthily and him do likewise. acceptably to God? he said, Do not rely wholly on the outward Rites and Ceremonies of the Law; but principally, and above all, be sure to maintain such a pious Difpofition of Mind, and such an universal Love and Charity towards all Men, as to be ready upon

all Occasions to do Acts of real Piety + Having and Charity, to relieve out of your + Atwo Coats,

bundance the Necessities of those that signifies want, and to assist in all cases, those plenty. that need your Help.

12 Then came also 12 & 13. Again, when some of the the publicans to be Colle&tors or Tax-gatherers came to be baptized, and said baptized by him, and asked, What unto him, Mafter, Their peculiar Duty was? He faid, what shall we do? Perform what you are appointed, justly

13 And he faid

unto them, Exact no and mercifully, and be sure never to ex

then that tort from any one, more than what which is appointed your Office obliges you to demand.

you,

more

[ocr errors]

14
And the soul-

14. Again, when some of the Soldiers likewise de. diers coming to be baptized by him, manded of him, desired him to instruct Them also in saying, And what their Duty: He said, Let not your he faid unto them, Employment make you insolent and Do violence to no cruel ; neither pillage nor oppress any man, neither accuse one upon vain and unjust Pretences, to amy fally, and be maintain any vicious or extravagant Excontent with your pence; but keep good Order and Disciwages.

pline, and be content to live upon your

lawful Pay and Subsistence. 15 And as the 15. All these Things John spake people were in ex. and acted with lo niuch Piety and pectation, and all Modesty, with so much Gravity and men mused in their hearts of John, whe- Authority; that the People began to ther he were the

be persuaded in their Hearts that he Christ or not ;

himself the Meffiah; and seemed continually to expect that he should make some further Manifestation of

himself to them. 16 John answered,

16. But John plainly and openly saying unto them all, declared to them, both the Meanness I indeed baptize you of his own Person, and the Nature of with water ; but one mightier than I his Office, saying ; I indeed, as the cometh, the latchet Fore-runner of Christ, to dispose you of whose Thoes I am to repent, and to prepare for the Conot worthy to un- ming of the Messiah, do baptize you loose : he shall bap- with Water : But the Messiah himself tize you

with the holy Ghost, and with

is an infinitely greater Person than I, fire.

so that I judge not my self worthy to do the meanest Offices of Service for him ; And when He appears, he shall baptize you with his Holy Spirit, whose Appearance shall be as Fire, (Aets ii. 3.) and whose influence over the Minds of Men, shall be as much more powerful than my outward Wahing of the Body by Baptism, as Fire is

of a more powerful and penetrating Na17 Whole fan is ture than Water. in his hand, and he 17. And he shall throughly try the will throughly purge Spirits of Men, as when Chaff'is sehis floor, and will parated from the Corn by the force of VOL. II.

C 2

the

« PreviousContinue »