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ness of life universally allows; and, in reality, the practice of reading Scripture in the family is often neglected from the acknowledged difficulty of selecting an exposition.
The present volume has been prepared with the sole object of supplying this deficiency; and, if I should be permitted to fulfil my intention, will be followed by the other historical books of the New Testament. I shall be happy if it should tend to promote, generally, a more uniform attention and a closer application to the Scriptures themselves, in every department of Christian instruction ; because I am assured that this is what individuals most need, and congregations would most profit by. But certainly the purpose kept mainly in view, both in the design and composition of the volume, is to increase the usefulness of family devotion by facilitating the practice of family instruction.
That it may receive the blessing of “ the Father of lights,” the source of “every good and perfect gift,” is the earnest prayer of the Author,
J. B. CHESTER.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW.
BIRTH OF CHRIST AND NAME OF JESUS.
Matt. i. Of Matthew, the writer of this gospel, we learn from his own account (Matt. ix. 9, and x. 3) that he was a publican, or collector of taxes, whom Jesus called from “the receipt of custom” to follow him as his disciple. From that period he attended him throughout his ministry, and is therefore one of those who bore record of what he had seen, and testified that which he knew.
It is believed that he wrote his gospel within eight years of our Lord's ascension.
Matthew begins with an account of the generation, or descent of Jesus Christ, according to the promises, from Abraham and David.
1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham ;
2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isuac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren;
3. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram;
4. And Aram begat Aminadab; and Aminadab begat Naasson ; and Naasson begat Salmon ;
5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse ;
6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that hud been the wife of Urias ;
7. And Solomon begat Roboum ; and Roboam begat Abia ; and Abia begat Asa ;
8. And Asa begat Josaphat ; and Josaphat begat Joram ; and Joram begat Ozias.
9. And Ozias begat Joatham ; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias ;
10. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias ;
11. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon ;
12. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel ;
13. And Zorobabel begat Abiud; and Abiud begat Eliakim; and Eliakim begat Azor;
14. And Azor begat Sadoc; and Sadoc begat Achim ; and Achim begat Eliud;
15. And Eliud begat Eleazar; and Eleazar begat Matthan; and Matthan begat Jacob;
16. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.
17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations.
It had been promised, from the first, that THE CHRIST should spring from the seed of Abraham. He had been also foretold as the son of David.
The genealogy here recorded by St. Matthew, proves that Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus, was so descended : and the genealogy of Mary, given by St. Luke, proves that Jesus himself was so descended. Jesus was born, therefore, as it had been prophesied, and as it was expected that He should be born who was to “ redeem Israel.”
18. Now the birth of Jesus was on this wise : When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
The word Jesus was a name in frequent use among the Jews, and simply means a saviour. It was particularly assigned to him who succeeded Moses in leading the people of Israel into the promised land of Canaan. We call him Joshua; but the name is exactly the same as that of Jesus: and is so written Acts vii. 45, and Heb. iv. 8.
Such was the meaning of the name; a deliverer, a saviour: and it was given to the Son now born into the world, because it described the character which he should bear and the office which he should