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3 For

CHAPTER III.

Jan. 4, May 5, SEPT. 2. TRINITY SUNDAY, morn. St. John BAPTIST, morn. In those days came John the Baptist *, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, 2 Repentance is the first step toRepent ye: for the kingdom wards a righteous life.

We must of heaven is at hand.

first cease to do evil, ere we can

learn to do well. this is he that was spoken of

3 Isaiah thus foretold the office of by the prophet Esaias, saying, the Baptist-to prepare the hearts The voice of one crying in of men for the reception of the Gosthe wilderness, Prepare ye pel of Christ. the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judæa, and all the region round about Jordan, and were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. ? But

7 The Pharisee was conspicuous for when he saw many of the self-righteousness and spiritual pride: Pharisees and Sadducees his was the exclusive feeling—" I am come to his baptism, he said not as other men.” Such is not the unto them, () generation of spirit of Christ +. vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come ? bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance : 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 The Roman armies are at hand 1 And now also the ax is

to take vengeance-type of those anlaid unto the root of the trees: gelic hosts, who will fearfully avenge therefore every tree which God's truth in the day when He shall bringeth not forth good fruit judge the world in righteousness. is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 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 12 In the fall of Jerusalem, the Holy Ghost, and with fire : Christians fled safely away ; their 12 whose fan is in his hand, safety being an emblem of final safety and he will throughly purge

to the faithful in Christ Jesus. * John the Baptist ; so called from his office : and to distinguish him from John the Apostle and Evangelist.

+ The Pharisees erred in interpreting the word of God by the traditions of men. The Sadducees held the impious doctrine of materialism ; and believed neither angel, nor spirit, nor the resurrection. It is no wonder that the Baptist reproves thus the pride of the one, and the subtlety of the other.

his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner ; but he will burn up the chaff with un- 13 Jesus fulfilled all righteousness ; quenchable fire. 13 Then and every religious ordinance He cometh Jesus from Galilee to strictly observed. Go we and do

likewise, Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

And Jesus, when he was 16 The three persons of the ever baptized, went up straight- blessed Trinity are here plainly deway out of the water : and, signated *. lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: apd, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

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CHAPTER IV.

Jan. 5, May 6, SEPT. 3. 1 Then was Jesus led up of

1 So a Christian's life is, from the the spirit into the wilderness beginning of his course, a life of trial. to be tempted of the devil. 2 This hunger clearly proved that ? And when he had fasted the Son of God was also the son of forty days and forty nights, man, touched with the feeling of our

infirmities. he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

But he answered and said, 4 Christ does not argue the point. It is written, Man shall not The word of God was the best reply. live by bread alone, but by Deut. viii. 3. Let the unlearned re

member this. The same word is every word that

proceedeth out of the mouth of God. always at hand, and free to them. 5 Then the devil taketh him

5 We are not to court danger and

persecution ; that is to tempt God. up into the holy city, and We also learn, that when the devil setteth him on a pinnacle of tempts us to sin, his power is rethe temple, and saith unto

strained. He cannot cast us down. him, If thou be the Son of If we fall, it will be our own act +. God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his

* The Son is baptized ; the Holy Ghost descends upon Him at his baptism ; and the Father declares himself “ well pleased in his beloved Son.”

+ Our Lord teaches us, that if wicked men try and pervert parts of Scripture to their own purposes, the general tenor of the word will clear up all doubt. The positive commands are never to be broken. Deut. vi. 16.

angels charge concerning thee : and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Again the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory 9 Almighty God is the only proper of them, and saith unto object of his creatures' worship. him, All these things will I Deut. vi. 13; x. 20. give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 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 11 So, if we “ resist the devil, he him, and, behold, angels will flee from us” also (James iv. 7,) came and ministered unto

and God will then comfort us. Whenhim. Now when Jesus heard Christ's sake, have you not found

ever you have denied yourself for that John was cast into pri- an inward peace, which the world son, he departed into Galilee; never gave ? and leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon the sea coast, in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim : 14 that it might be 14 Is. ix. 1. Jesus Christ is “ the fulfilled which was spoken light” which dispelleth the darkness by Esaias the prophet, say

of ignorance and sin. ing, The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; the people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. 17 From that time Jesus

17 Jesus, like the Baptist, preaches began to preach, and to say, first,“ repentance;" as the fit prepaRepent : for the kingdom of ration for receiving the laws of the heaven is at hand. 16 And Gospel kingdom. (iii. 1.)

18 What noble decision in obeying Jesus, walking by the sea of

the call of Christ! Peter and AnGalilee, saw two brethren, drew “ straightway follow him.” Simon called Peter, and An- “ James also and John immediately drew his brother, casting a left the ship and their father, and fol. net into the sea : for they lowed him.” Ver. 22. were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. 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. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and fol

23 By miraculously healing the inlowed him. 23 And Jesus firmities of the body, Jesus strengthwent about all Galilee, teach- ened faith in him as the healer of ing in their synagogues, and

the soul—the long-promised “healer

of the nations." Ps, liü, 5. preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria : and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy ; 25 Let us gladly join the goodly and he healed them. And company of these faithful followers. there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judæa, and from beyond Jordan.

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CHAPTER V.

Jan. 7, Mar 7, Sept. 4. In this our Lord's first sermon, how heavenly is the doctrine ! how decided the authority ! yet how plain the instruction ! How affectionate the manner of it ! In the union which it enforces of heavenly feeling with a corresponding practice--of Christian principles with Christian moralitywhat a noble pattern of a sermon does it present to the preachers of the Gospel for ever! What an exalted standard of morality! Where is the honour which rises not higher when thus sustained ! where the generosity which is not encouraged ? where the benevolence which is not enlarged ! AND seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain : and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying, Blessed are the poor

in spirit: for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful : for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart : for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake : for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are ye, when men 11 God's blessing well compensates shall revile you, and perse- man's persecution. Eternity of bliss cute you, and shall say all

for a short season of misery! manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad : for great is your reward in heaven : for so persecuted they the pro

13 The faithful purify the great mass phets which were before you. of society, even as salt purifies that is Ye are the salt of the with which it is mingled; whilst

16 Let your

20 For

earth: but if the salt have their example in a sinful world is lost his savour, wherewith light amid the darkness. shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 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 The poorest and most unlearned light so shine before men, follower of Christ may do this, by that they may see your good leading a holy and religious life. works, and glorify your fa- 17 The whole of this sermon is in ther which is in heaven. evidence, that Christian faith with1 Think not that I am come

out Christian morality is dead. to destroy the law, or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, 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 A self-righteous spirit - which I say unto you, That except sets a man up above his neighbour, your righteousness shall ex- with the proud vaunt,“ I am not as ceed the righteousness of the other men"—is not the spirit of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye

Gospel of Christ. (i. 7.) shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: but I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council : but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell

23 Apply this precept. Have you fire. 23 Therefore if thou hatred in your heart i for thy soul's bring thy gift to the altar, sake cast it out; lest death hurry thee and there rememberest that

to the prison-house of the grave, and thy brother hath ought against

thou diest, miserably, unforgiving. thee ; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles 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. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost

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