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John baptizes many.

S. Matthew.

pare ye the way of the Lord,c make his paths straight. d 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, e and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7¶ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees f come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers! who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance. g

9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father; for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees;h

c Lord. In the Hebrew of the Old Testament Jehovah.

d Make bis paths straight. In ancient times, when princes and sovereigns journeyed, pioneers or attendants, went before to level and straighten the way for them; so John preached repentance and reformation to prepare the for the Saviour of men. way e Camel's bair, a coarse cloth. f Pharisees and Sadducees; see Introduction, pages 6 and 7. g Let your conduct prove your repentance sincere.

b And now the axe, &c. The Gospel is the last dispensation of mercy we are ever to expect. They, who neglect and disobey it, must suffer all the evils it denounces upon the impenitent.

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Christ baptized.

therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance; but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12 Whose fani is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purgej his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; k but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14 But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15 And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. I Then he suffered him.

16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

i Fan, an instrument to winnow grain or corn.

j Purge or cleanse his floor; will entirely separate the grain from the

chaff.

k Garner. Granary, or store-house.

Fulfil all righteousness; perform. all the duties and ordinances of God according to his appointment.

Christ tempted;

Chap. iv.

17 And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

CHAP. IV.

1 Christ fasteth, is tempted, and overcometh; 17 begin neth to preach, and calleth some to be his disciples. THEN was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil.

2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered.

3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered, and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city,and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, if thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down; for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

8 Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;

9 And saith unto him, All

goes to Capernaum.

these things will I give thee, If thou wilt fall down and worship me.

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan ; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

11 Then the devil leaveth him; and, behold, angels came and ministereda unto him.

12 Now, when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Galilee; b

18 And, leaving Nazareth,c he came and dwelt in Capernaum, d which is upon the seaa Ministered unto, waited upon.

b Galilee, a large fertile territory in the northern parts of Canaan. Here our Saviour and most of his disciples were educated; and here he taught and wrought most of his miracles.

c Nazareth, a small city of Galilee about 70 or 75 miles north of Jerusalem, and a little west of mount Taof its inhabitants. In this obscure city

bor. It was noted for the wickedness

our Saviour lived and laboured most of the thirty first years of his life but when he began to preach, the people being offended, and attempting to destroy him, by throwing him from their hands and afterwards refrom the brow of a hill, he escaped sided little in the place.

d Capernaum, one of the principal cities of Galilee at the north end of lake Gennesareth, where, after leaving Nazareth, Jesus frequently resided and taught; hence it was said to be exalted to heaven ; but from its negligence in improving the instructions of Christ, he said it should be cast down to bell. The sufferings of this city from the Romans, soon after, were excessive.

Christ begins to preach, S. Matthew. heals diverse diseases;

coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim:

14 That it might be fulfil led which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,

15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan,e Galilee of the Gentiles :

16 The people which sat in darkness f saw great light; g and to them which sat in the region and shadow of deathh light is sprung up.

17 ¶ From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand; i

18 ¶ And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishers.

e Jordan, the most considerable river of Judea. It issues from the small lake Phiala. It falls into the earth and runs about fifteen miles

under ground, whence it rises again in a cave at the foot of a mountain. In its course it flows through the lake Gennesareth, the sea of Galilee or

Tiberias, and thence southward, after a winding course of about 130 miles, it falls into the large bituminous lake Asphaltiles; called also the Dead sea, the Salt sea, and the sea of Sodom.

f Darkness, ignorance.

g Light, the divine instruction of Jesus.

b Region and shadow of death, great ignorance and wickedness.

i Kingdom of heaven, see Matt. iii. Note a.

19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

23 ¶ And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues,j and preaching the Gospel of the kingdom, k and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease, among the people.

24 And his fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.

25 And there followed him

great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea, and from beyond Jordan.

j Synagogue, a Jewish meeting house, or place of public worship. k Gospel of the kingdom, the religion of Jesus Christ.

1 Decapolis, a district of ten cities.

kis sermon

CHAP. V.

Chap. v.

3 Who are blessed. 13 The Apostles are the salt of the earth, and light of the world. AND seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain; and, when he was set, his diseiples a came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit;b for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.c

4 Blessed are they that mourn,d for they shall be comforted.

5 Blessed are the meek; e for they shall inherit the earth. 6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart;f for they shall see God. 9 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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on the mount.

11 Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

13 Ye are the salt of the earth;g but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the light of the A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

world.

15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick ; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

16 Let your light so shine before men,h that they may see your good works, and glorify yourFather which is in heaven.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; i I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittlej shall g Salt of the earth, guides, and teachers of pure religion.

b Your light shine; Let your pious example so appear.

i The law of Moses and the writings of the prophets.

j One jot or tittle, &c. Not the least part of the law shall fail of attaining

its end.

What it is to kill. S. Matthew. Call not thy brother fool.

in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

19 Whosoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, k and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,l ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

21 ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,m Thou shalt not kill; and, whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment. n

Commandments, the precepts of

the moral law.

1 Pharisees, a Jewish sect, who in opinion of their own righteousness despised all others.

m Them of old time, the ancients. n Judgment, &c. To understand verses 21 and 22, it may be observed, that the Jews had two courts; one common, called the judgment, which consisted of 23 men; the sentence of this court on malefactors was strangling or, beheading;. the other was called the council or sanhedrim. This was the supreme court of the Jews; it consisted of 72 judges, by whom the highest crimes were tried, which this court, and this alone, punished with stoning; this, in their opinion, was a more terrible death than the former. The phrase bell-fire, at the close of verse 22, is not here supposed to mean the future punishment of the wicked; but a punishment by

22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall he in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, o shall be in danger of the council; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, p shall be in danger of hell-fire.

23 Therefore, if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee, q

24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

death still more awful than the other two, i. e. being burnt alive in the valley of Hinnom. This valley of Hinnom, or Tophet, is where Moloch, the principal idol of the Ammonites was placed, in whose cruel worship children were burnt in sacrifice. Josiah destroyed this inhuman worship, or as it is said, 2 Kings xxiii. ro, he defiled Tophet, &c.; this he did by making it a receptacle for the filth of the city, to consume which, fires were kept continually burning. Hence it is a fit emblem to represent that future punishment of the wicked, mentioned in Mark ix. 43, &c., • Raca. A silly, foolish fellow.

Fool. An impious, profane person. q Ought against thee, reason of complaint,

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