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23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was fpoken by the prophets, He fhall be called a Na
CHA P. III.
John the Baptift's Life and Office, ver. 1. The Baptism of Chrift, ver. 13.
IN those days came John the Baptift, preaching in the wilderness of Judea.
2 And faying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
23. And there he dwelt in the City Nazareth. From whence Jefus was called a Nazarite: As the Prophets had foretold that he fhould be, in feveral Senfes of that Word: And particularly, as it was prophefied in those words, Judg. xiii. 5. which were fpoken of Sampfon as a Type of Christ: He fhall be a Nazarite from the Womb..
3 For this is he that was spoken of
THU HUS Jefus dwelt privately with his Parents, till the time drew near that he was to begin his publick Miniftry About which time, his Forerunner John the Baptift, began to preach in the Wilderness of Judea.
2. And the Subject of John's preaching to the people, was, that they fhould repent, and reform their Lives; because now the Kingdom of the Meffias and the Christian Religion was about to be established; wherein all ceremonial Performances being to cease, nothing but true Repentance and fincere Obedience was required and would be accepted by God to eternal Life,
3. This John the Baptift was that Fore-runner of Chrift, of whom Efaias, B 3
* This Place, though scarce taken Notice of by Commentators, feems to be more immediately refpected by the Evangelift, than those where only the word 3 or 3 is ufed in different Senfes.
prophefied, that in like manner as pow-
4. Now the manner in which this Preacher of Repentance appeared, was with all Humility, Holinefs, and Aufterity of Life. His Cloathing was of the most common and meaneft kind of +Axis Garments, and his Food was of the † fome un- cuarfeft fort. derstand of Herbs, 5. Upon his appearing in this Form others of and Garb of a Prophet, and Preaching Animals, the neceffity and the acceptablenefs of without Repentance; much People, both of any mate- Jerufalem and of all Judæa, came out to him;
rial difference of the Sense.
6. And they were baptized by him in the River Jordan, publickly confeffing their former Sins, and profeffing their Refolutions of amendment of Life.
7. Now among the reft that came thus to be baptized by John, were many of the Pharifees and Sadducees, Men of great Pride, valuing themselves on their being defcended from Abraham and the Patriarchs, and trufting in their ftrict obfervance of certain outward and ceremonial Rites of the Law. Thefe Men John feverely reproved, faying; O ye perverfe and hypocritical Generation of Men; Think not that by being baptized of me, or by any other ritual or external Performance, you can efcape the Wrath and Judgment of God.
8. But if ye will indeed escape it, repent and forfake your Sins; reform your Lives to the Obedience of God's Commands; and this do with fuchy
by the prophet Efai-
his meat was locufts
and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerufalem and all Judea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confeffing their fins.
7 But when he
8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.
Humility and Conftancy, as may prove the Truth and Sincerity of your Repen
9. And do not imagin that you fhall escape the Wrath of God, by being the Children of Abraham. For if you imitate not his Faith and his Piety, God will caft you off, and adopt Men from among the Gentiles, or even raise Men out of the Stones of the Earth, (rather than fave you in your Wickedness;) who fhall fucceed in the Faith, and in the Obedience, and in the Bleffing of Abraham.
10. Nor is there any more time of delay. God is now about to offer the laft Difpenfation of Repentance and Mercy: And if you do not immediately repent and reform your Lives, his Vengeance hangs over you as fruitlefs Trees ready to be cut down, and you fhall be utterly and irrecoverably destroyed.
II. And I indeed, as a Sign to oblige you to repent and prepare your felves for the Coming of the Messiah, do baptize with Water. But when he himself fhall appear, who is fo far Superior to me, as that I account not my felf worthy to do the meanest Offices for him, he fhall baptize you with the powerful Influence of his Holy Spirit, whose appearance fhall be as Fire, [Acts ii. 3.]
12. And he fhall throughly try the Spirits of Men, as when with a Fan one feparateth the Chaff from the Corn: And those who are fincere and good, he fhall preferve and reward; but those who are wicked and incorrigible,he fhall condemn to utter Destruction, as the Chaff to the Fire. B 4
13. Thus John inftructed thofe that were to be baptized by him. And while he was thus baptizing, Jefus himfelf came down from Galilee to Jordan, to be baptized of him.
14. But John, knowing him now by immediate Revelation to be the Perfon, +whom God by the Signal of the vifible defcent of the Holy Ghoft would immediately discover to be the Meffiah, refused to baptize him, saying, It is much more fit that fhould baptize me, than I you. 15. But Jefus faid to him; You fhall baptize me notwithstanding. For thus God hath appointed to initiate me into my Miniftry; and thus it becomes us to give an Example of doing all things decently and with order. Then John baptized him.
16. Jefus being thus baptized, came up out of the Water; and immediately John faw the appointed Token: The Clouds opened, and the Spirit of God defcended like a Dove, and refted upon Jefus.
17. And with it a Voice was heard out of Heaven, faying, This is my beloved Son, the Meffiah fent into the World to reveal the Will of God to Mankind; him believe ye and obey.
By this Hiftory of St. Matthew, John feems to have known Chrift before he baptized him; whereas in St. John, Christ feems to have been first made known to him by the descent of the Holy Ghoft after his Baptism. It is most probable, that God having before given John that Token to know Chrift by, did upon Chrift's coming to be baptized, reveal to John that this was the Perfon, upon whom he should prefently fee the Signal.
CHA P. IV.
Chrift's Fafting and Temptation, ver. 1. His beginning to Preach, ver. 12. His choofing Apoftles, ver. 18.
After this, Jefus by the Conduct of the Spirit of God retired into the Wilderness, to prepare himself for his Miniftry by Prayer and Fafting, and to refift and vanquish the Temptations of the Devil.
THen was Jefus led up of the fpirit into the wilderness, to be temp
ted of the devil.
2 And when he
had fafted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward hungred.
3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that thefe ftones be made
4 But he answer, ed and faid, It is written,Man fhall 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 fetteth him on a Pinnacle of the temple. 6 And faith unto him, If thou be
2. In this place he continued fafting for forty Days and forty Nights together, as Mofes and Elias, the two great Prophets under the Law, had done; After which he grew hungry.
3. Upon this occafion, the Devil hoping to prevail upon him through the Infirmity of his Body, to do fomewhat that might argue fome diftruft in his Mind concerning the Providence of God, affaults him with his firft Temptation; faying, If you are indeed the Son of God, make proof now of your Power, to your own Relief, and command that thefe Stones be turned into Bread.