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2. That he might by his own baptism sanc- || Learn hence, 1. That whatever the law tify the ordinance of baptism unto his required in order to perfect righteousness, church. 3. That thereby he might fulfil that Christ fulfilled in most absolute perthe righteousness of the ceremonial law, fection. 2. That as it became Christ to which required the washing of the priests fulfil the righteousness of the ceremonial in water, when they entered upon their law for himself, so it is our duty and inoffice, as appears from Exod. xxix. 4. terest to fulfil the righteousness of the Observe, 4. The great condescension of moral law for ourselves, as an evidence of Christ, in seeking and submitting to the our being righteous in God's sight, 1 John baptism of John: Christ cometh to John, ini. 7. He that doeth righteousness is righteous, not John to Christ. Behold! the Lord even as he is righteous. seeking to his servant; Christ will be
16 And Jesus, when he was bapbaptized of his messenger! our Saviour's design hereby no doubt was, to put ho- tized, went up straightway out of the nour upon the ministry of John. O how water: and, lo, the heavens were dare the greatest upon earth despise the opened unto him, and he saw the ministry of man, being appointed by God, Spirit of God descending like a dove, which Christ honoured in his own person, and lighting upon him: 17 And, lo, and graced with his own presence ?
a voice from heaven, saying, This is 14 But John forbade him, saying, my beloved Son, in whom I am well I have need to be baptized of thee, pleased. and comest thou to me?
Here we have the solemn inauguration Note here, 1. The modesty of John's of Christ into his prophetic office, accomrefusal: John forbade him, and refused to panied with a threefold miracle. 1. The admit him: but why? 1. In regard of opening of the heavens. 2. The descent Christ, because he knew he needed it not: of the Holy Ghost upon him like as a dove such was his majesty and greatness, that descends. 3. God the Father's voice conhe was above it; and such was his purity cerning the Son. The heavens were open. and holiness, that he could not want it.ed, to show that heaven, which was closed 2. In respect of himself, he knew his own and shut against us for our sins, is now uncleanness: I have need to be baptized of opened to us, by Christ's undertaking for us. thee, &c. He thought it unsuitable that a As the first Adam shuts us out of heaven, sinner should baptize and wash him that the second Adam lets us into it; he openwas no sinner. 3. With respect to the ed heaven to us by his meritorious passion, people; lest they seeing Christ baptized, and he keeps it open by his prevailing inshould apprehend him to be a sinner, and tercession. Next, the Holy Ghost descends one that wanted the baptism of repentance like a dove upon our Saviour: here we as well as themselves. Observe, 2. As the have an evidence of the blessed Trinity; modesty of John's refusal, so the reason he | the Father speaks from heaven, the Son assigns for it; I have need to be baptized of comes out of the water, and the Holy thee : As if he had said, “Thou art purity, Ghost appears upon him. Hence we gather, I am pollution; thou art spirit, I am flesh; That the Holy Ghost is not a quality or thou art the Son of God, I am the son of an operation, but a person, and a person Adam:" such an humble apprehension really distinct from the Father and the Son. has this holy man of himself. Learn, That But why did the Holy Spirit now descend the more hcly a person is, the more sensi. upon Christ, seeing he was now truly and ble he is of his unholiness; where there really God ? Answ. The divinity of Christ is most grace, there is the greatest sense was quiescent in him, till he entered upon of the want of grace.
his prophetic office at thirty years old, and 15 And Jesus answering said unto after. And the Holy Ghost now descends, him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus first, For the designation of his person, tó it becometh us to fulfil all righteous- for the work and office of a mediator.
show that Christ was the person set apart ness. Then he suffered him.
Secondly, For the qualification of his These words contain our Saviour's rea- person for the performance of his office. son why he submitted to John's baptism, This was Christ's unction, Isa. Ixi. 1. when because it became him to fulfil all right- he was anointed above his fellows, to be eousness; that is, to own every divine in the king, priest, and prophet of his church. stitution, particularly the righteousness of Last of all, We have the audible voice of the ceremonial law, which required the God the Father pronouncing, 1. The nearwashing of the priests in water, when ness of Christ's relation to himself, This is they entered upon their office, Exod. xxix. 4. my Son, not by adoption, but by eternal Vol. 1-3
generation. 2. The endearedness of his persons that live in them have a tempter person, This is my beloved Son. 3. The fruit without, and an enticer within, as well and benefit of this near and dear relation as other men. Observe, 4. The efficient unto us, In him I am well pleased. Note, 1. cause of Christ's going into the wilderness That there is no possibility for any person to be tempted by Satan: He was led up of to please God out of Christ; both our per- | the Spirit, says St. Matthew: The Spirit sons and our performances find accept- | drove him, says St. Mark : that is, the Holy ance only for his sake. 2. That in and Spirit of God, not Satan the unclean spirit, through Christ, God is well pleased with all for the devil is seldom if ever called the believers: This is my beloved Son, in whom I spirit, but usually some brand of reproach am well pleased, &c. Lord! what reviving is annexed, as the evil spirit, or the unnews is this to thy church, to hear that her clean spirit. Christ was led by the Spirit; head and husband, her surety, mediator, that is, he was carried by a strong impulse and intercessor, is that only Son of God in of the Spirit of God into the wilderness to whom his soul is delighted and ever well be tempted by Satan. Learn hence, 1. That pleased! that Son who always pleased thee, none of the children of God ought to exand by and through whom thou art well pect a freedom from temptation; seeing pleased with, and reconciled to, thy offend- Christ himself, in the days of his flesh, was ing creatures!
strongly solicited by Satan unto sin. 2. That CHAP. IV.
all the temptations where with the children The former part of this chapter acquaints us with of God are assaulted, are ordered by a diour blessed Saviour's combat with, and conquest vine and special dispensation. Satan could over, Satan; and the first verse informs us of the not assault our Saviour till he was led by time when, and place where the combat was fought.
the Spirit into the wilderness for that end; THEN was Jesus led up of the and he shall not assault any of his mem
Spirit into the wilderness, to be bers, but by divine permission. tempted of the devil.
2 And when he had fasted forty Observe, 1. The great humiliation of the days and forty nights, he was afterSon of God, how exceedingly was he hum- ward an hungered. bled by the horrid temptations wherewith he
Observe here, How the divine power upwas assaulted, than which nothing could held the human nature of Christ without be more grievous to his holy heart. What food. What Moses did at the giving of the could be more burdensome to him that was law, Christ doth at the beginning of the brought up from eternity with God the Fa- gospel, namely, fast forty days and forty ther, than to be shut up in a wilderness with nights. Christ hereby intended our admi. the devil, there to be baited by him so many ration, not our imitation; or, if our imitadays, having his ears filled, though not de- tion, of the action only, not of the time. filed, with horrid blasphemies spit upon Christ teaches us by fasting and prayer to the holy and reverend name of God!' o prepare ourselves for a conflict with our deep abasement and wonderful humiliation spiritual enemies; as he prepared himself of the Son of God! Observe, 2. The time by fasting to grapple with the tempter, so when Christ entered the lists with Satan, || should we. implied in the word then! that is, first, 3 And when the tempter came to immediately after his baptism; he is no him, he said, If thou be the Son of sooner out of the water of baptism, but he is in the fire of temptation : secondly, im- God, command that these stones be mediately after the Spirit descended upon,
made bread. and the Father had by a voice from heaven Observe here, 1. The occasion of the manifested his complacency and satisfac- || temptation. 2. The temptation itself. The tion in him: This is my beloved Son, &c. occasion was our Saviour's hunger and Note thenee, That great manifestations of want of bread. Learn thence, That when love from God are usually followed with God suffers any of his dear children to fall great temptations from Satan. Observe, 3. | into want, and to be straitened for outward The place where this combat was fought, things, Satan takes a mighty advantage and that is, in the wilderness. Learn thence, thereupon to tempt and assault them. But That no place can privilege us from temp- what doth he tempt our Saviour to? to the tation, or be a sanctuary from Satan's as- sin of distrust, to question his Sonship, If saults: the solitary wilderness has a tempter thou be the Son of God; and next, lo distrust in it, yea, Satan sometimes makes use of his Father's providence and care, Command men's solitariness to farther his tempta- | that these stones be made bread. As if Satan tions: a cell, a nunnery, or a cloister, are had said, “How unlikely is it that thou as open to Satan as the open fields; and the shouldesi be highly favoured, and yet de.
serted. What! the Son of God, and yet | then and there Satan is most active and ready to starve! Certainly if thou canst busy, and most desirous to draw us into not supply thy necessities, thou art nothing akin to God.” Learn hence, 1. That
6 And saith unto him, If thou be Satan's grand design is, first to tempt the the Son of God, cast thyself down: children of God to doubt of their adoption for it is written, He shall give his and next, to distrust God's fatherly care over them, and provision for them; and last angels charge concerning thee: and of all, to use unwarrantable means to help in their hands they shall bear thee themselves. Thus Satan dealt with Christ, up, lest at any time thou dash thy and thus he deals with christians: for to foot against a stone. work a miracle at Satan's direction was not a lawful mean of providing food for
Here we have observable, first, The sin himself.
which Satan tempts Christ unto: and next, 4 But he answered and said, It is | The argument which he tempts him from: written, Man shall not live by bread der; Cast thyself down. Whence we learn,
the sin tempted to, is the sin of self-muralone, but by every word that pro- That self-murder is a sin which Christ ceedeth out of the mouth of God. himself was, and the best of saints may,
Observe here, The weapons which our by Satan, be tempted to the commission of. Saviour made use of to repel the tempta. But forasmuch as Satan tempted Christ to tion, and to vanquish the tempter; and murder himself, but had not power to do it that is, the word of God: It is written. himself, (do thou cast thyself down,) we Learn, That the scripture, or the written | learn, That though Satan may tempi, yet word of God, is the only sure weapon he cannot compel; he may entice, but can. wherewith to vanquish Satan, and to beat not enforce any to sin, without their own back all his fiery temptations. Satan him- consent. Observe, 2. The argument which self has not the impudence to oppose scrip- Satan uses, it is a scripture argument; he ture. What monsters of impiety then are quotes the promise of God, He shall give his they who ridicule and deride it? They angels charge over thee. What a marvel is not only run counter to the practice of here, to find Satan with a Bible under his Christ, but outdo the devil himself in im- arm, and a text of scripture in his mouth! pudence.
Christ had alleged scripture before to Sa5 Then the devil taketh him up again to Christ: It is written, says Christ;
tan; here Satan retorts scripture back into the holy city, and setteth him on It is written, says Satan. Learn thence, That a pinnacle of the temple.
it is no wonder to hear heretics and hypoThat is, Satan, by God's permission, took crites quote scripture, when Satan himself up his body and carried it in the air, and durst recite it: he that had profanely touchset it upon one of the battlements of the ed the sacred body of Christ with his hand, temple. Learn hence, 1. What a mighty sticks not presumptuously to handle the power evil spirits have over our bodies, if holy scripture of God with his tongue. God permits them to execute and exercise Yet observe, How wretchedly the devil their power upon them. 2. That it is wrests, perverts, and misapplies, the scripowing to the gracious care and watchfulture. When God promises his angels shall proridence of God over us, that we are keep us, it is in viis, non in præcipitiis ; 'lis not hurried away bodily by Satan. Thanks in all God's ways, not in any of our own be to God, though the devil's malice be in- crooked paths. Note here, That although finite, yet his power is limited and bound the children of God have the promise of the ed; and as he cannot do all the mischief guardianship of holy angels, yet then only he would to the bodies and souls of men, may they expect their protection, when so he shall not do all he can. Quest. But they are walking in the way of their duty, why is the holy city, and holy temple, and using the means for their own preserchosen by Satan to be the scene of this vation. temptation? Answ. I cannot tell, unless
7 Jesus said unto him, It is writhe apprehended (as he might) that the holiness of the place would aggravate the sin. ten again, Thou shalt not tempt the No place so sacred, no duty so holy, as lo
Lord thy God. protect us from Satan's assaults. This ene- Observe here, Though the devil had my pursues us even to the horns of the wrested and abused scripture, yet still altar. Lord! how ought we at all times! Christ alleges scripture. The abuse of the and in all places to be upon our watch and holy scriptures by heretics and seducers is guard, especially in thy presence, because no argument against the use of them. We
must not throw away our Bibles because | dart of Satan's temptation, and that is, with
adoration to any but his Creator; hence it
combat; Satan is conquered, and quits
the field! The next sin, which Satan tempts our
Then the deril leareth him: Saviour to, is the sin of idolatry, even to
teaching us, That nothing like a vigorous worship the devil himself. O thou impu-to flee from us; Resist the devil
, and he
resistance of temptation causes the tempter dent and foul spirit! To desire thy, Creator will flee from you. Obs. 2. Our Lord's to adore thee, an apostate creature! Surely triumph over his enemy: Behold, angels there can be no sin so black and foul, so
came and ministered unto him; food to gross and monstrous, but that the christian may be tempted to it, when Christ himself his hungry body, and comfort to his tempi
ed soul. They came was tempted to worship the tempter. St.
no sooner, lest it Matthew reads the words, If thou wilt fall
should be thought he needed their assistdown and worship me : St. Luke, If thou ance; they came now, because he was wilt worship before me. Whence we may Learn hence, 'That those who in the hour of
now pleased to make use of their assistance. gather, says Dr. Lightfoot, That is to worship before the devil be to worship the temptation do hold out in resisting Satan, devil, then to worship before an image is shall find the power and faithfulness of to worship the image. Obs. 2. The bait God will not be wanting to them, to send which Satan makes use of to allure our Sa-in succour and relief in the end. viour to the sin of idolatry; and that was, 12 Now when Jesus had heard in representing to his eye and view all the that John was cast into prison, he glories of the world in the most inviting departed into Galilee: 13 And leavmanner, and that in a moment of time; to the intent it might affect him the more, ing Nazareth, he came and dwelt in and prevail the sooner. Learn thence, Capernaum, which is upon That the pomp and greatness, the glory coast, in the borders of Zabulon and and grandeur, of this world, is made use Nephthalim : 14 That it might be of by Salan, as a dangerous snare to draw men to a compliance with him, in his the prophet, saying, 15 The land
fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias temptations unto sin. When Satan sets thee upon a pinnacle, look to thyself. of Zabulon, and the land of Neph10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get
thalim, by the way of the sea, beyond thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles; 16 Thou shalt worship the Lord thy The people which sat in darkness God, and him only shalt thou serve.
saw great light: and to them which Observe here, 1. With what zeal and sat in the region and shadow of death indignation of spirit our blessed Saviour light is sprung up. repels and beats back this temptation of Observe here, 1. Our Saviour, hearing Satan : Get thee hence. Note thence, That of John's imprisonment, provides for his the greater the sins are which the devilown safety, by departing into Galilee. tempts us to, the greater oor zeal and in-As our holy Lord avoided persecution, so dignation ought to be in opposing and re- may we. Observe, 2. The place in Galilee sisting the temptation to them. A great he comes to, Capernaum. Christ had temptation must be withstood with great three cities which he called his own; resolution. Obs. 2. The weapon with Nazareth, where he was bred; Bethlehem, which he repels and beats back the fiery II where he was born; and Capernaum,
where he dwelt: this was a sea-coast town Zebedee their father, mending their in the borders of Zabulon and Nephthali. nets: and he called them. 22 And Observe, 3. The special providence of God in this change of our Saviour's habitation; they immediately left the ship and for by that means the prophecy, Isa. ix. 1. their father, and followed him. was fulfilled, which declares, that in that Our blessed Saviour, as he was the great dark part of the country, the Messiah, the prophet of his church, had power and true light, should shine forth. Learn authority to appoint teachers under him; hence, 1. That a people destitute of the and accordingly here he begins to call his saving knowledge of the gospel are in apostles to that great work; and in his call great darkness, how great soever the light we have several particulars very observof their outward comforts may be. This able: as, 1. The meanness of the persons people had natural light enough, and civil whom he calls, illiterate fishermen; not a light enough; they had an abundance of Paul, that had long studied at the feet of wealth and riches, peace and plenty ; but Gamaliel, is first called ; but Peter, who they wanted the light of Christ and his was a stranger to eloquence and human gospel, and therefore are said to sit in learning. Hereby our Saviour took efdarkness. 2. That wherever the gospel is fectual care that his gospel should be preached amongst a people, it is a light known to be the power of God, and not springing up and shining forth among the wisdom and device of man; and that them; quickening and enlivening, re- the instrument should not carry away the viving and cheering, the souls of those glory of the work. Observe, 2. How our who entertain it, how great soever their Saviour calls his apostles by couples, two outward darkness and distress may be. | and two, Peter and Andrew, James and The people that sat in darkness saw great John; to let us understand, that the work light, and to them that sat in the region of the ministry requires the concurrence of and shadow of deaih, light is sprung all hands that are called to it; all the minis
ters of God should put their hands, join 17 From that time Jesus began
their hearts, and set their shoulders, as one
man, to this great work; and all litile to preach, and to say, Repent : for enough to carry it on with advantage and the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Observe, 3. The work which Here our Saviour begins to enter upon they were called to, from being fishermen his prophetic office, and by preaching to to being fishers of men. They catched make known the will of God to mankind; fish before with the labour of their hands; and observe, the doctrine which he preach they shall catch men now with the labour ed is the same that John the Baptist did of their tongues. Observe, 4. Our Sa. preach, namely, the doctrine of repentance, viour's command; first to follow him, Repent ye: and the argument is the same before they are sent out by him: Follow also, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand : me, and I will make you fishers of mera that is, now is the so much expected time We must be Christ's disciples before we of the appearing of the promised Messiah. are his ministers; his followers before his Learn hence, That the doctrine of Christ ambassadors. We must learn Christ before and his ambassadors is alike, and the we preach him ; otherwise we may fish for same in substance: they both teach the a livelihood, for honour and applause, but doctrine of repentance to a lost world, as
not for souls; if we be not first inclosed most suitable to the time and dispensation ourselves in the net of the gospel, we can of the gospel.
have but small hopes of bringing in
others. Observe, 5. "The promise which 18 And Jesus, walking by the Christ gives the apostles for their en. sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, couragement: 1. To qualify them, I will Simon called Peter, and Andrew his make you fishers. 2. To succeed them,
Faithbrother, casting a net into the sea: I will make you fishers of men. for they were fishers. 19 And he
fulness and care, diligence and endeasaith unto them, Follow me, and I
vour, is our part: but the blessing and
success is Christ's. “Our labour is only will make you fishers of men. 20 in the cast, Christ's power is wholly in And they straightway left their nets, the draught. Some fish cleave to the and followed him. 21 And going rocks, others play upon the sands, and on from thence, he saw other two labour all our days and catch nothing, if
more wallow in the mud; and we shall brethren, James the son of Zebedee, Christ doth not bring our fish to the net, and John his brother, in a ship with and inclose them in it, as well as assist us