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the sepulchre ; for they trembled and were amazed · neither said they any thing to any mun; for they were afraid.
* And Peter.' It is remarkable that Peter is singled out for spe. cial notice. It would have been right if the Lord Jesus had from that moment cast him off, and noticed him no more. But he loved him still. Having loved him once, he loved him unto the end, John xiii. 1. As a proof that he forgave him, and still loved him, he sent him this special message: the assurance that though he had denied him, and had done much to aggravate his sufferings, yet he had risen, and was still his Lord and Redeemer. The meaning is, ' tell his disciples, and especially Peter : sending to him a particular inessage,
Before his fall, Jesus had prayed for him that his faith should not fail, Luke xxii. 32; and the prayer of Jesus was always heard, John xi. 42.
9 | Now, when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
'Believed not.?. This is proof that they did not expect his re 'surrection ; that they were not easily deceived; and that nothing but the clearest evidence could convince them.
12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
“He appeared in another form. In a form unlike his ordinary appearance, so much so that they did not at first know him. See notes on Luke xxiv. 13-31. As they walked and went into the country. To Emmaus. Luke xxiv. 13.
12 And they went and told it unto the residue : neither believed they them.
* The residue.' The other disciples. Those who remained at Jerusalem.
14 | Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbeliet and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
As they sat at meat.' As they were reclining at their meal, * And upbraided them,' &e. Rebuked them, or reproached them. This was done because after all the evidence they had had of his
resurrection, still they did not believe. Tuis is a most important circumstance in the history of our Lord's resurrection. “Never were men more difficult to be convinced of any thing, than they were of that fact. And this shows, conclusively, that they had not conspired to impose on the world. They were not convinced, until it was impossible for them longer to deny it. Had they expected ii, they would have caught easily at the evidence, and even turned every circumstance in favour of such an event.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Into all the world.' To the Gentiles as well as the Jews. This was contrary to the opinions of the Jews, that the Gentiles should be admitted to the privileges of the Messiah's kingdom, or that the partition wall between them should be broken down. See Acts xxii. 21; xxviii. 28. It was long before the disciples could be trained to the belief that the gospel was to be preached to all men; and it was only by special revelation, even after this command ; that Peter preached to the Gentile centurion, Acts x. • Preach.' Proclaim ; make known ; offer. To do this to every creature, is to offer pardon and eternal life to him on the terms of the plan of mercy; through repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus. The gospel.' The good news. The tidings of salvation. The assurance that the Messiah is come, and that sin may be forgiven, and the soul saved. “To every creature.' To the whole creation. That is, to every human being. Man has no right to limit this offer to any men or class of men. God commands his servants to offer this salvation to all men. If they reject it, it is at their peril.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved ; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
• He that believeth.' That is, believeth the gospel. • Credits it to be true, and acts as if it were true.' This is the whole of faith. Man is a sinner. He should act on the belief of this, and repent. There is a God. Man should believe it, and fear and love him, and seek his favour. The Lord Jesus died to save him. To have faith in him, is to believe that this is true, and to act accordingly ; that is, to trust him, to rely on him, to love him, to feel that we have no merit, and to cast our all upon him. There is a heaven and a hell. To believe this, is to credit the account, and act as if it were true; to seek the one, and avoid the other. We are to die. To believe this, is to act as if this were so; to be in readiness for it, and to expect it daily and hourly. To do this, is to be a christian; not to do it, is to be an infidel, 'Is baptized.' Is initiated into the church by the baptismal water, as significant that he is a sinner, and needs the purifying influences of the Holy Ghost. Faith and baptism are the beginnings of a chrise
tian life: the one the beginning of piety in the soul, the cther o! its manifestation before men, or of a profession of religion. No man can tell how much he endangers his eternal interest by being ashamed of Christ before men. See Mark viii. 38. Shall be saved.' Saved from sin, Matt, i. 21, and from eternal death, John v. 24; iii. 36, and raised to eternal life in heaven, John v. 28; xvii. 2, 24. Shall be damned.' Shall be condemned, That is, condemned by God, and cast off from his presence 2 Thess. i. 6–9. They will be adjudged to be guilty by God ir the day of judgment, Rom. ii. 12, 16. Matt. xxv. 41; they will deserve to die for ever, Rom. ii, 6, 8; and they will be cast ou into a place of woe to all eternity, Matt. xxv. 46.—God tras a right to appoint his own terms of mercy. Man has no claim on him for heaven. The s nner rejects the terms of salvation knowingly, deliberately, and perseveringly: He shows by this that he has no love for God, and his law. He rejects God, and he must go into eternity without a Father and without a God. He has no source of comfort in himself, and must die for ever. There is no other being but God that can make man happy in eternity; and without his favour, the sinner must be wretched.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe ; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues ;
. And these signs.' These miracles. These evidences that they are sent from God. “Them that believe.'. The apostles and those in the primitive age who were endowed with like power. 'In my name, By my authority, and using the power that I would in such cases, if bodily present. He did it in his own name. He did it as possessing original, underived authority. See the account of his stilling. the sea, Matt. viii. 26, &c.; of his healing the sick, Matt. ix. 5,6; of his raising Lazarus, John xi. The prophets spoke in the name of the Lord. The apostles did likewise, Acts iii. 6, &c. There was, therefore, an important difference between Jesus and all the other messengers that God has sent into the world. He acted in his own name; they in the vame of another. He wielded his own power; they were the instrument by which God put forth the omnipotence of his arm
He was, therefore, God; they were men, of like passions as other men, Acts xiv. 15. Shall they cast out devils.' See note on Matt. iv. 24. Compare Acts xvi. 16—18. “Shall speak with new tongues.'. Shall speak other languages than their native language. This was remarkably fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, Acts ii. 4-11. It existed also in other places. See I Cor. xii. 10.
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shal] lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
• They shall take up serpents. This was litera.ly fulfilled when Paul snook the viper from his hand. See Acts xxviii. 5, 6.
Any deadly thing. Any poison, causing death. Shall no: hurt them. There is a similar promise in Isa. xliii. 2. They shall lay hands on the sick,' &c. See instances of this in the Acts of the Apostles, ch. iii. 6, 7 ; v. 15, &c.
19 [ So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
He was received up into heaven.' In a cloud from the mount of Olives. See Acts i. 9. "The right hand of God.' This phrase is taken from the manner of speaking among men, and means that hewas exalted to honour and power in the heavens. It was esteemed the place of the highest honour to be seated at the right hand of a prince. So, to be seated at the right hand of God, means that Jesus is exalted to the highest honour of the universe. Compare Eph. i. 20—22.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
“They went forth. The apostles. Every where. In all parts of the world. See the account in the Acts and the Epistles.
The Lord working with them.' By miracles, by removing obstacles, by supporting them, and by giving the gospel success, and making it effectual to saving men. . Confirming the word.' Showing it to be the word of God, or a revelation from heaven.
By signs following. By attending miracles. By raising the dead, healing the sick, &c., as signs that God was with them, and hard sent them forth to preach. Amen,' Truly, verily, so be it,
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