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Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
THE POOR MAN'S EXPOSITOR, No. VIII.
Matt. xvi. 28. “ There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” This passage has generally been supposed to refer to the signal manifestation of Christ's power in the destruction of Jerusalem; and one of the disciples, namely St. John, did actually survive that event; but perhaps the most natural and satisfactory interpretation is that given by Bishop Porteus in his Lectures on St. Matthew's Gospel, which refers this and the preceding verse to our Saviour's approaching transfiguration on the Mount, which is described in the following chapter. Now the design of the transfiguration was, to set before the eyes of the disciples, a visible and figurative representation of our Saviour's coming in glory to judge the world : and, when he said that “some shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom,” he meant only to intimate that a few of them should, before their death, be favoured with a representation of his glorious appearance at the day of judgment. And this illustrious scene was actually displayed a few days afterwards in the transfiguration.
Matt. xvii. 2. “His face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." This is a representation of the glorified state of saints in heaven. St.
No. 2.- VOL. XI.
Luke says, that “ Moses and Elias appeared in glory;"
Matt. xvii. 11, 12. “ Elias shall come-Elias is come,” that is, the prophets said “Elias shall first come and restore all things,” and “he is come already" in spirit and power, in the person of the Baptist. The expression which is here rendered “ restore,” is the same as at Mal. iv. 6, “ he shall turn the hearts of the disobedient to the wisdom of the just,” that is, he shall set all things right in regard to religion, by preaching repentance.
Matt. xvii. 20.“ Faith as a grain of mustard-seed," a proverbial expression, meaning a very small portion. To the apostles was given the power of performing miracles; and yet they could not exercise this power without sincere faith ; so with regard to Christians of the present day, it is only by that true faith which is given them by the Holy Spirit, that they are enabled to overcome the snares and temptations of the world. If their measure of grace be only “ as a grain of mustard-seed," yet with prayer and vigilance, it will enable them to withstand temptations and to mortify passions and lusts, which, to a carnal man, would be as difficult as the removal of mountains.
Matt. xvii. 23. “ They shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again.” Our blessed Saviour's first intimation to his disciples of his death and resurrection was at chapter xvi. 21. This passage contains the second declaration of them; and by this means he prepared their minds for the approach of his degrad. ing and painful death. But his declarations were hid
The Poor Man's Expositor.
51 from them, and they understood them not; the doctrine of the atonement, though prefigured by types, and more clearly revealed by the prophets, was not perfectly understood till life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel.
Mait. xvii. 24. “ Tribute money.” This was not money paid to the Romans, as that mentioned Matt. xxii, 24. but an annual payment for the use of the temple. Our Saviour's argument is this- kings do not collect tribute from their own children, but from their subjects (strangers); but as Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he was, therefore, exempt from a payment intended for the service of God.
Matt. xvii. 25.“ Jesus prevented him," that is, spoke before Simon had an opportunity of doing so. Nearly the same meaning is attached to this word in some of the collects; for instance, “ Lord, we pray thee, that thy grace may always prevent and follow us ;” and again, "prevent us, O Lord, in all our doings, with thy most gracious favour,”--that is, “ go before us."
Matt. xviii. 3. “Except ye be converted.”—To be" converted” means to be changed; and here it means changed from your worldly-mindedness and anxious ambition after worldly things :-unless ye become as humble and as unconcerned about these distinctions as little children are, “ ye cannot. enter into the kingdom of God.”
Matt. xviii. 6. • Offend,” in a scriptural sense, means to lead men into sin, causing them to renounce their profession of Christianity, or to fall from a state of grace, into a carnal state of sin. It is, as it were, to put a stumbling-block in their way, and to hinder them from proceeding in their Christian course:-a crime against which our blessed Lord declares that the punishment will be most awful and severe.
ADDRESS OF M. OBERLIN TO HIS PARISHIONERS
AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF A NEW YEAR.
[This address did not arrive in time for our last number.; but its contents are worthy of our regard at all times.-Ed.]
January 1, 1779. " And he that sat on the throne said, behold I make all things new."-Rev. xxi. 5.
" Through the grace of God we have entered upon a new year. Oh! that it may be new with respect to our sins, our sufferings, and the temptations we may have to combat. As to sins, may their number diminish daily : and may we be more constantly animated and governed by the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. As to sufferings and tribulations, may they produce the effect which God designs in sending them; namely, that of detaching our affections from this transitory world, and of rendering us attentive to his will and word. May they quicken us to prayer, and induce us to strive more earnestly to enter in at the strait gate, and to “ press toward the mark for the prize of our high calling."-And, as to the temptations which may be placed in our way, may we live entirely to Jesus Christ, and maintain constant communion with him, in order that we may receive, from time to time, fresh supplies of grace and strength to resist them, and be enabled to bring forth fruits of righteousness, to the glory of God and to the honour of his holy Gospel. O Lord, be thou pleased, with the renewal of the year, to renew our strength. O Lord Jesus Christ, thou hast said, 'I make all things new,' O make our faith new also.
“ May this year be marked by a more lively, more deep, and more serious repentance; by greater fervour in supplicating the influences of God's Holy Spirit;
53 by renewed earnestness in devoting ourselves to him, and to his service. May we look to him, and employ all our mental and bodily powers, our time, and all our property, to his glory, and to the purpose for which Jesus quitted his throne; namely, the conversion and happiness of mankind. O may we, this year, apply ourselves, with renewed faithfulness, to obey all his commandments.
“May this year be distinguished by an increase of the number of the children of God, and of the followers of Jesus Christ, by the weakening of the kingdom of Satan within us, and by the coming of the kingdom of God.
“ May we, not only during the present, but also during each succeeding year, which God shall grant us in this probationary world, become more and more prepared for a blessed eternity,-abound more and more in prayers of intercession and supplication-shed more tears of penitence, contrition, love, and piety,--and perform more good works, in order that we may reap an abundant harvest on that day when God, through Jesus Christ, shall make all things new."
From the New Year's Gift, published in 1728.
“ Godliness with contentment is great gain.”—1 Tim. vi 6. LET us sit down in peace, O my soul, and rest secure in the bosom of Providence! Let us not disturb the order of those mercies which our God has designed us in his eternal counsels! Every accident may be turned into a virtue, and every virtue is a step towards our glorious end. If our affairs succeed, let us praise our great Benefactor, and think what he will give us here