Page images
PDF
EPUB

Where they]

CHAP. XXI.

[were fishing go a fishing. They say unto him, We coat unto him, (for he was naked) also go with thee. They went forth, and did cast himself into the sea. and entered into a ship immediately ; 8 And the other disciples came in and that night they caught nothing. a little ship; (for they were not far

4 But when the morning was now from land, but as it were two hundred come, Jesus stood on the shore : but cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. the disciples knew not that it was 9 As soon then as they were come Jesus,

to land, they saw a fire of coals there, 5 Then Jesus saith unto them, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Children, have ye any meat? They 10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of answered him, No.

the fish which ye have now caught. 6 And he said unto them, Cast the 11 Simon Peter went up, and net on the right side of the ship, and drew the net to land full of great se shall find. They cast therefore, fishes, an hundred and fifty and and now they were not able to draw tbree: and for all there were so many, it for the multitude of fishes.

yet was not the net broken. 7 Therefore that disciple whom 12 Jesus saith unto them, Come Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the and dine. And none of the disciples Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard durst ask him, Who art thou ? knowing that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's that it was the Lord.

EXPOSITION. and so far was he from persevering in his of Christ as the truc God.” (See Dr. Smith's objection, that he no sooner saw the Lord Messiah, vol. ji. p. 277.) than he both confessed and adored him- It is not necessary to suppose that ThoThomas answered, “ My Lord, and my mas's incredulity so far prevailed as to Jesus tries the]

God!"

induce him to feel the Saviour's wounds, These worrls have indeed been variously but rather the contrary ; for Jesus adds, explained, and to avoid the evidence re- “ Because thou hast seen me thou hast sulting from them in favour of our Lord's believed : blessed are they that have not divinity, some have supposed this to be the seen, and yet have believed"—that is, as language merely of surprise and astonish- Doddi idge judiciously explains it, who debt; a vain, and, indeed, a' profane ex- " have believed on the credible testimony clamation ! But the text says, “ Thomas of others; for they have shown a greater answered and said unto him," that is, unto degree of candour and bumility, which renChrist himself—“My Lord, and my God!" ders the faith it produces so much the and our Lord himself plainly so under- more acceptable." stood it, for he replies, " Thomas, because The chapter closes with stating that thou hast seen me thou hast believed.” Jesus did many more things than are So the learned Reformer, Beza: “ From stated in this Gospel (or indeed in all the the

pronoun to him, it appears that the Evangelists), and i he end of all is--not to Words which follow are not merely i he ex- gratify curiosity, or furnish an amusepression of the Apostle's admiration, as ment, as is the case of most other writings; the Nestoriaus used to evade this passage; but that we may believe that Jesus is thé but the words represent him addressing Christ, and that believing we may have Jesus himself as the true God and his life through his name;" for “the end” of Lord : .... and there is not a more express all true « faith is the salvation of our instance in the Gospels, of the invocation souls."

NOTES. Ver. 5. Children.-Doddr. and Camp. “My lads." to dress fish on the sea-shore."-Harmer. Have ye any meat ? --Camp. " victuals." Dodir. Ver. 12. Come and dine.-Bishop Pearce prefers, any thing to eat?" i, e. have ye caught any fish? " Come (and) breakfast," because it was early in Fer. 7. His fisher's coat —'Doddr. “ his coat." the morning. Doddr. “ Come, refresh yourselves Camp: * upper garment;" we might say more cha- Wesley, “ Come, eat.” The ancients had usually

but two meals, dinner and supper ; the word here Sot absolately, but nearly so, as fishermen and sailors used strictly means the former, whether taken sooner

or later. Times change : “ Our ancestors,'' Ver. 9. and fisk laid thereon." It was common Campbell, "dined at eleven, and supped at live,

66

says

S. JOHN.

(love of Peter 13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh thou me? And he said unto him, bread, and giveth them, and fish like Lord, thou knoweat all things; thou wise.

knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith 14 This is now the third time that unto him, Feed my sheep. Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, 18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, after that he was risen from the When thou wast young, thou girdedst dead. (L)

thyself, and walkedst whither thou 15 [ So when they had dined, Jesus wouldest : but when thou shalt be old, saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? another shall gird thee, and carry He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou thee whither thou wouldest not. knowest that I love thee. He saith 19 This spake he, signifying by unto him, Feed my lambs.

what death he should glorify God. 16 He saith to him again the second And when he had spoken this, he saith time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou unto him, Follow me. me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord ; 20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth thou knowest that I love thee. He the disciple whom Jesus loved followsaith unto him, Feed my sheep. ing; which also leaned on his breast

17 He saith unto him the third at supper, and said, Lord, which is he time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou that betrayeth thee? me? Peter was grieved because he 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, said unto him the third time, Lovest Lord, and what shall this man do?

EXPOSITION.
CHAP. XXI.

alluded, probably led the beloved disciple, (L) Ver. 1-14. Jesus appears again to John, to conclude that it was the same his disciples at the sea of T'iberias.-This voice that had before given them the like sea was no other than the lake of Genne.

success, and he intimated this to Peter, sareth, s. ofteu mentioned in the Gospels, who, with his usual impeļuosity, threw an It is evident from this narrative, that the upper garment over him, and, jumping greater part of the disciples had returned into the water, waded eagerly through it to their former occupation, that of fishing, somewhat more than the distance of a and perhaps were compelled to do so for hundred yards, while the other disciples iu their support. Their dreams of temporal the boat dragged the full net with them to bonour were now vanished, and it does not the shore. Upon the land they found a fire appear that they yet understood any thing with fish laid to broil thereon, and bread with of their future destination or employment. it. They were now directed to bring some of It was a night scene (or rather very early the fresh caught fish, when Peter ran bastily in the morning), like that in which Jesus to fetch them from the boat, and though once before appeared to them, walking on the net was so heavily laden it did not the water-how they saw him standing on break; another circumstance that must the shore. The moon-beams silvered over call to mind the former miracle, and conthe waves, and they were probably lament: firm the opinion they had formed. This opiing, as they had once done before, that nion musi arrive to certainty when Jesus, after toiling all night they had caught in his usual manner, distributed to them nothing. Ä voice from the shore now food, and ate with them-the great pledge directed them to cast the net on the right of friendship among the eastern nations, side of the ship, when, lo! they were not This was as much as to say-You may able to draw it ashore, from the multitude now rely upon me for the pardon of all of fishes which it enclosed. The similarity your offences, and the continuance of my of these circumstances to those of the favour. former miracle, to which we have above

NOTES-Chap. XXI. Con. Ver. 14. The third time.-Grotias understands Ver. 15. More than these ! - Camp. gives both the this of the third day of our Lord's appearing ; Doddr. senses mentioned in our Exposition; Doddr. the of the third time of bis appearing to such a number former only. The reader will judge for himself which of disciples.

is the most natural.

A prediction]

CHAP. XXI.

[respecting John. 22 Jesus saith unto him, Jf I will 24 This is the disciple which testifieth that he tarry till I come, what is that of these things, and wrote these things: to thee? follow thou me.

and we know that his testimony is true. 23 Then went this saying abroad 25 And there are also many other among the brethren, that that disciple things which Jesus did, the which, if should not die: yet Jesus said not they should be written every one, I unto him, He shall not die; but, If I suppose that even the world itself could will that he tarry till I come, what is not contain the books that should be that to thee?

written. Amen. (M)

EXPOSITION. (M) Ver. 15—25. Our Lord puts the ab- glorify God." Ecclesiastical History intachment of Peter to the test, and reproves forms us that this was fulfilled in Peter's his curiosity. The conclusion. - Dinner crucifixion, about A.D. 68; and that, by being over, our Lord thus addresses Peter: his own request, he was executed with his "Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me head downward, considering himself unmore than these?” Than these what? worthy to suffer in the same manner as his The expression has been generally under- Lord. (Cave's Lives of the Apostles, and stood as referring to the other disciples; Milner's Church Hist, vol. i. p. 113.) "Simon, lovest ihou me more than Tho- Peter being ordered to follow Jesus, mas, and Nathaniel, and the sons of Ze- turned round and saw John also following bedee?" If so, “ feed my sheep.” But with him, and had the boldness to ask, it may bear another interpretation :- “Lord, and what shall this man (dv)? or, Lovest thou me more than thy means of as Dr. Campbell translates it, “ Lord, livelihood? Canst thou again forsake thy what shall become of this man?" which boats and nets, and, abandoning those certainly better suits the answer," if I means of support, devote thyself to feed will that he tarry till I come, what is that may scattered sheep ?' And Peter's reply to thee? follow thou me." We need not may be thus understood : 'Lord, notwith- wonder, however, if this saying he now staudiog my cowardice and ingratitude, in misunderstood, since it was so at the time forsaking and denying tbee, thou knowest by those who heard it; for “ then went that I love thee.' The repetition of this this saying abroad among the brethren, question seems designed to give him time that that disciple should not die;" yet Jea to reflect on bis former conduct. Thrice sus said not so. By tarrying till Christ had he denied his Master, thrice therefore should come, is generally understood, till is he put upon considering: as if his Lord the destruction of Jerusalem. This is somehad said-Simon, be not hasty in thy times called Christ's coming, which the Tepiy-- consider what it may cost thee to be apostle John is believed to have survived my disciple.' Peter was now wounded to many years.--See Note on Matt. xvi. 28. the quick, and replied, with all his ener- The last verse--the world itself “ could gies, “ Lord, thou knowest all things- not contain the books that should be writthou knewest that I should deny thee; ten,” to record every minute circumstance and now thou knowest, potwithstanding of the Saviour's life, is generally consiall my cowardice-thou knowest that I

dered as a strong hyperbole, and exlove thee."--" Jesus saith unto him (again), pressions of the like kind may be found in Feed my sheep."

Numb. xiii. 33; Judges vii. 12; 1 Kings Our Lord then adds this alarming pre- x. 27; Matt. xix. 24; John xii. 19, &c. diction : “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The words are, however, capable of a more When thou wast young, thou girdedst thy- literal interpretation, and are thus exself and walkedst whither thou wouldest: plained by Dr. Doddridge :-" The world but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt itself (that is, its inhabitants) would not stretch forth thy hands, and another shall receive them;" that is, they would neither gird thee, and carry thee whither thou purchase nor read the voluminous records, Kouldest not. This spake he (Jesus Christ), much less could we expect them to be iestifying by what death he (Peter) should believed.

NOTES. Ver. 4. What is that to thee? -See our Esposi. seas were ink, and every reed a pen, and the whole tian on Dent. xxix.

heaven and earth parchment, and all the sons of men Ver. 25. The world could not contain, &c.—The were writers, they could not be sufficient to write kamed Wetstein qnotes a saying of the Rabbies con- them all.” cerning the lessoas of one

Jochanan:-“ Hall the

APPENDI X.

Having now gone through the four Gospels, with occasional attempts to harmonize apparent incongruities, the writer begs leave here to present a short Harmony of the last and most important event, our Lord's resurrection, which he borrows from a former work written by himself about forty years ago. See “ The Age of Infidelity," Part II., page 86, 87. MATTHEW XXVIII. MARK XVI.

LUKE XXIV.

JOHN XX. Fact No. I. Verse 1. In Fact No. I. Ver. 1. When Fact No. I. Ver. 1. Very Fact No. I. Ver. 1. The the end of the sabbath, as the sabbath was past, Mary early the first day of the first day of the week Mary the first day of the week Magdalen, and other wo-week Mary Magdalen and Magdalen came to the sea began to dawn, came Mary men, brought spices to the other women came to the pulchre while it was set Magdalen, and the other sepulchre, just as the sun sepulchre, and

somewhat) dark, and she Mary, to the sepulchre, was rising, and

Ver. 2. Found the stone seeth the stone rolled away and found the stone rolled Ver. 4. Found the stone rolled a wayfrom its mouth. from its mouth. from the mouth of the se-rolled from the mouth of pulchre.

the sepulchre. "II. (Omitted.) II. (Omitted.) II. (Omitted.)

II. Ver. 2-10. She runs immediately to the aposlles Peter and John, both whom run to the sepulchre : John gets there first, and looks in; Peter comes up and goes first in, and thea Jobo follows; both see nothing but the tomb and grave-clothes, and both re

turn home. III. Ver.5—7. They see III. Ver. 5. Entering the III. Ver. 4-8, Enter. III. Ver. 11–13. Mary an angel, who comforts sepulchre she sees an an- ing the sepulchre, they see Magdalenbaring them, that Jesus was risen, gel, who,

two angels, who comfort while stood weeping with and gone to Galilee, where

Ver. 6, 7. Comforts the the women, assuring theia out, now looksin, and sees his disciples should meet women, and assures them that Jesus would meet his two angels, who endeawith him.

Jesus would meet his dis- disciples in Galilee. vour to comfort her; bat

ciples in Galilee. IV. They run, with a IV. Ver. 8, 9. They run IV. Ver.9, 10. They re- IV. Ver. 14–18. Turning mixtare of fear and joy, to away trembling to the dis- turn to tell

the rest of the back, she sees Jesus, whom the disciples; but meet ciples, but by the way be disciples, who believe not. she takes for the gardener, Jesus by the way. appears to Mary.

till he discovers bimsell. Then Mary goes to tell the other disciples that she

had seen the Lord.
V. (Omitted.)
V. (Omitted.).

V. Ver. 12. But Peter V. (Omitted.)
Ver. 10, 11. Mary goes runs (a second time) to
and tells the rest of the the sepulchre, sees only
disciples, but they believe the clothes, and returns

wondering. VI. (Omitted.)

VI. Ver. 12. He appears VI. Ver. 13-32. Jesus VI. (Omitted.)
to two disciples going into appears to two disciples
the country:

going to Emmaus, and
Ver. 13. They report it stops to sup with them.
to the rest of the disciples, Ver. 33–35. Tbey re-
who still believe not. turn to Jerusalem, and ac-

quaint the rest. VII. Ver. 16–17. Thel VII. Ver. 14, 15. He ap- VII. Ver. 36. Jesus ap. VII. Ver. 19. The same disciples go to Galilee, pears to the apostles and pears to the apostles and evening Jesus apprårs 10 where they see him, as was disciples at supper, and others, and commissions bis apostles, &c. and parappointed, and he com-commissions them to go them to preach the Gospel, cularly addresses Peter. missions them to preach. and preach.

beginning at Jerusalem.

this

not.

The leading facts are here reduced to seven, which are marked with namerical letters, I. II., &c. On No. 1. it may be proper to remark, that, on comparing the different Evangelists, it seems evident that the women did not come all to the sepulchre at one time, but some at day-break, aud the other some (probably their servants, who were loaded with the spices), not till sun-rise. None of them seem to have been aware, that Nicodemus had brought spices on the night before, or that the sepulchre had been sealed and guarded.

On Fact III. we may remark, that Matthew and Mark mention the appearance of one angel only-Luke and John, two. Perhaps one only spoke, and appeared the principal. -Seu Note on Mark x. 46–52.

P.S. Should the reader wish to pursue the present suhject farther, he will find a most learned and candid statement of all the facts, with the opinions of the ablest critics and commentators, in Mr. Prebendary Townsend's elaborate Harmony of the Resurrection in bis “ Arranged N. Test. vol. i. p. 520 et seq.

THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.

INTRODUCTION.

This is the last of the historical books of the New Testament, and forms a link of connexion between the Gospels and Apostolical Epistles. The Acts or transactions of the Apostles, is the title given to this book in the Coder Beza, and in all the modern versions or editions; but in the Alexandrine, and many other manuscripts and editions, and by most of the Christiau Fathers, it is called “The Acts of the Holy Apostles.”

That St. Luke was the author of this Book, as well as of the Gospel which bears his oaine, " is evident,” as Mr. Hurtwell Horne remarks, “both from the introduction, and from the unanimous testimonies of the early Christians. Both are inscribed to Theophilus, and, in the very first verse of the Acts, there is a reference made to his Gospel, which be calls the former Treatise. ...... From the frequent use of the first person plural, it is clear that he was present at most of the transactions he relates. He appears to have accompanied St. Paul to Philippi ; he also attended him to Jerusalem, and afterwards to Rome, where he remained two years during that Apostle's first confuement. Accordingly we find St. Luke particularly mentioned in two of the Epistles written by St. Paul, from Rome, during that confinement. And as the Book of Acts is continued to the end of the second year of St. Paul's imprisonment, it could not have been written before the year 63; and as the death of that Apostle is not mentioned, it is probable that the book was composed before that event, which is supposed to have happened A.D. 65.” Michaelis, Dr. Lardner, Dr. Benson, Rosenmuller, Bp. Tomline, and the generality of critics, therefore, assign the date of this book to the year 63 (or 64).

This Book of the Acts has been divided into three principal parts.- Part I. including the first seven chapters and four verses of the eighth, contains “ the rise and progress of the Mother Church at Jerusalem, from our Saviour's ascension to the first Jewish perfecution.”—Part II. ch. viii. 5 to the end of ch. xii. relates the dispersion of the disciples by persecution-the propagation of the Gospel among the Samaritans—the conversion of St. Paul, and the foundation of a Christian Church at Antioch.-Part III. from chap. xiii. to the end, “ describes the conversion of the more remote Gentiles, by Baroabas and Paul; and, after their separation, by Paul and his associates, among whom was Luke himself during the latter part of Paul's labours."

The style, though not entirely free from Hebraisms, especially in the parts addressed to Jews, is considered “much purer than that of most other Books of the New Testament, particularly in he speeches delivered by Paul at Athens, and before the Roman Governors.” The history, as it gives the only credible account of the rise and spread of Christianity, furnishes, at the same time, abundant evidence of its truths, and of its happy effects wherever it was received, in raising and improving the character of man. (See Mr. Horne's judicious Analysis of the New Test, in his Critical Introd. vol. iv, Part ïi. ch. ii. $ 7.)

« PreviousContinue »