« הקודםהמשך »
equal degree of danger. All are in a wilderness : for such, at the best, must this world be called: but all are not with wild beasts. Some may still think, and justly think, that such is their condition. And they to whom is assigned this harder trial, and severer test, may have comfort in reflecting that as “the servant is not greater than his lord,” so le is not more sorely tried. And they may be assured of the like support to be afforded them in proportion to their need. Though all the heavenly host were at his command, there are only two occasions concerning which we find it recorded that angels ministered to Jesus. They were the occasions of his heaviest temptations : in the season here related, when Satan thus assaulted him; and afterwards, when he was preparing for death in the garden of Gethsemane. Then, as now in the desert, “there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.” 5 And so all the true servants of God may depend on finding, that the time of their trial, if it comes on them whilst they are in the way of duty, will also be the time when they will experience the divine support, and experience it most abundantly.
4 Luke xxii. 43.
JESUS PREACHES IN GALILEE.
MARK i. 14, 15.
14. Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.
Jesus had already been in Galilee, where he performed his first miracle at Cana. He had also manifested himself at Jerusalem, being present at the Passover there, at the time when he cleared the temple of those who made it a “house of merchan
“ dize,” and surprised his disciples by the zeal which animated him. The Pharisees perceived his growing influence. Nicodemus, “one of themselves," had even visited bim, though privately, and acknowledged that he “ came from God.”: John had made many
3 disciples; but Jesus was making more. In consequence, the chief priests and elders became jealous, and began to lay snares against him. Herod, too, had put John in prison.
Jesus, therefore, saw it good to quit the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, and returned through Samaria to
John ii. 1-11. 3 John v. 1, &c.
2 See John ii. 12-25.
- John iv. 1. 5 John iv, 4-45.
the more retired district of Galilee, where the Galileans welcomed him, having “seen all the things which he did at Jerusalem at the feast." Thither he came preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15. And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand : repent ye, and believe the gospel.
The time is fulfilled, according to the counsels of God, when the promises shall be accomplished, and the prophecies explained, and the purposes of God disclosed. They who have been “waiting for the kingdom of God,” shall be satisfied. Their “ shall see his salvation.” The period is now arrived which the prophet Daniel announced, when he spoke of “Messiah the prince,” who should appear, and be “cut off, though not for himself :"6 and by “his decease, which he should accomplish at Jerusalem," should lay the foundation of a kingdom that shall have no end. Satan has long reigned, as “the prince of this world;" his dominion has hardly been disturbed. The nations of the earth have “not liked to keep God in their knowledge,” and they have been "given over to a reprobate mind;" have left the worship of the Creator for the worship of the creature, and “have burnt incense to graven images. Even “the royal nation, the peculiar people,” whom God “had chosen for himself from among all the nations of the earth;" they too have “transgressed the covenant, and dealt treacherously against God.”!
But the time is now at hand when the Lord shall
6 Dan. ix. 26.
? Rom. i. 25–28.
8 llos. vi. 7.
erect his kingdom. “Israel shall cry, O God, we know thee!” 9 And the Gentiles shall cast off their idols, and turn unto the living and true God, who has sent his Son from heaven to “make an end of sins, and make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness." That shall take place which is foretold by the prophet Malachi; “ The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come into his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold he shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth ? For he is like a refiner's fire."%
Therefore Repent ye, and believe the gospel. “ Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel."3 So the prophets had exhorted of old time, and reproved the unfaithfulness of the land. There was still room for the same exhortation and reproof. “Hear the word of the Lord, ye children of Israel : for the Lord hath a controversy with the inhabitants of the land, because there is no truth, nor mercy, nor knowledge of God in the land. By swearing, and lying, and killing, and stealing, and committing adultery, they break out, and blood toucheth blood.” “ And they consider not in their hearts that I remember all their wickedness; now their own doings have beset them about: they are before my face."
Therefore repent ye. Say in your hearts, “Come
9 Hos. viii. 2.
Dan. ix. 24. 3 Hos. iv. 1.
Hos. vii, 2.
bind us up:
and let us return unto the Lord; for he hath torn, and he will heal us : he hath smitten, and he will
After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight." 3
And believe the gospel. They are glad tidings which the world shall hear. The word might justly have gone forth, Prepare, 0 earth, to meet thy God, who cometh against thee with his judgments. Ye have cast him off, and he will cast you off for ever. But this is not the message which he sends. Prepare to meet your God, who cometh to you in love, and mercy, and forgiveness; who delivers you from the pit of destruction, for he has “found a ransom ;”? has provided a way of pardon for the returning sinner.
The kingdom of God shall be established in the world, and the pillars on which it stands shall be HOLINESS, and MERCY: Holiness, for sin is punished; Mercy, for the sinner is forgiven. Believe this gospel. “ Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy : break up your fallow ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon
Jesus went through Galilee, preaching this gospel of the kingdom of God. We are blessed in knowing, that it is “an everlasting gospel,” a covenant for ever; and declares the mercy of God towards every one of every age or nation who repents, and believes the
gospel. “ This is the record, that God hath given to us
5 Hos. vi. 1, 2.
6 See Amos iv. 12.