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51 And he went down with them,
and came to Nazareth, and was fub
jeft unto them; but his mother kept all thefe fayings in her
52 And Jefus increased in wisdom and ftature, and in favour with God and
1 NOW in the
fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Cefar, Pontius Pilate being governour of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea, and of the region of fanias the tetrarch of
norant either of his Nature or Office.
2 Annas and Caiphas being the high
51. However Jesus went down with them to Nazareth, and dwelt with them, and was obedient to them. And Mary kept all these things in Remembrance, and pondered them in her own Mind.
CHA P. III.
John the Baptift's Office and Miniftry, ver. 1. His Inftructions to the Common People, the Collectors of the Tax, and the Soldiers, ver. 10. His Account of Chrift, ver. 16. His Death, ver. 19. Jefus's Baptifm, ver. 21. and Genealogy, ver. 23.
52. And Jefus continued to increase, as in Stature of Body, fo in Wisdom of Mind; the Divine Power difcovering it felf in him by Degrees. And he became remarkably endued with such excellent Qualifications, as made him moft acceptable to God, and beloved of Men.
I & 2.
OW in the fifteenth Year of the Emperour Tiberius ; Tiberius; Pontius Pilate being the in the Divifion of the Kingdom Roman Governour of Judæa: And, of Syria, Herod the Son of Herod the Great, being King of Galilee; and his Brother Philip ruling in Iturea and Trachonitis, and Lifanias in Abylene; and Annas and Caiphas executing the Office of High-Pricft among the Jews: In this Year, I fay, John the Baptift, the Son of Zacha
rias and Elizabeth, have hitherto lived privately in the Wilderness, was commanded of God to enter upon his publick Miniftry, and begin to preach to the People.
3. Accordingly, leaving the Wilderness, he went and preached in all the Country about Jordan. And the Subject of his Preaching was, To exhort Men to prepare themselves by Baptifm and Repentance, for the receiving of Chrift, and for the Entertainment of his Divine Religion, wherein no outward Rites or Ceremonies, but only a hearty Faith in God, an actual forfaking their paft Sins, a real and univerfal Amendment of Life, and a fincere Endeavour to obey both in Heart and Mind the Commandments of God, would avail to procure Forgiveness of Sin, and Eternal Life.
4, 5 & 6. Thus John was that Fore-runner of Chrift, of whom it was prophefied in old time by Efaias, That he should be as a Voice crying aloud in the Wilderness, to give Notice of the Coming of the Meffiah, and to warn men to provide and make ready against his appearing And that, as great Princes used at their folemn or triumphal Entries to have the Ways cleared and levelled before them; fo this Fore-runner of Christ, by preaching the Acceptablenefs and the Neceffity of Repentance, fhould remove all Hindrances, and difpofe Mens Hearts to receive that great and glorious Salvation, which God was gracioufly about to reveal and offer to all Mankind by his
7 Then faid he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the
wrath to come ?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and be gin not to fay within your felves, We have Abraham
father: for I fay unto you, that God is able of these ftones to raise up children unto Abra
V o L. II.
repent, give Evidence of the Sincerity
9. Nay; and if ye intend to repent, ye muft refolve to do it fpeedily and without Delay. For God is now about to offer you the laft Difpenfation of his Mercy; And if ye reject thefe gracious Terms of Salvation, there will be no more Remedy, but a final Sentence of Destruction fhall be paffed upon you; even as barren Trees, after many vain Trials to make them bear, are at last irrevocably condemned to the Fire.
10 & 11. This was the Sum of John's Exhortations to Repentance in general. But more particularly he taught alfo people of all Sorts, their peculiar Duty refpectively in every State of Life. For when fome of the Common People, moved by his denouncing of God's Wrath, and general Exhortations to Repentance, asked him, What They fhould do to escape this Vengeance, and how they should repent worthily and acceptably to God? he faid, Do not rely wholly on the outward Rites and Ceremonies of the Law; but principally, and above all, be fure to maintain fuch a pious Difpofition of Mind, and fuch an univerfal Love and Charity towards all Men, as to be ready upon all Occafions to do Acts of real Piety Having and Charity, to relieve out of your + Atrvo Coats, bundance the Neceffities of those that fignifies want, and to affift in all cafes, thofe plenty. that need your Help.
12 Then came also
12 & 13. Again, when fome of the Collectors or Tax-gatherers came to be baptized by him, and asked, What Their peculiar Duty was? He faid, Perform what you are appointed, justly and mercifully, and be sure never to extort from any one, more than what which is appointed your Office obliges you to demand.
the publicans to be baptized, and faid unto him, Master, what fhall we do?
13 And he faid unto them, Exact no more then that
fhall we do? And
14 And the fouldiers likewife demanded of him, faying, And what he faid unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accufe any falfly, and be content with your
15 And as the people were in expectation, and all hearts of John, whe
men mused in their
ther he were the Christ or not;
16 John anfwered, faying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloofe he shall baptize you with the holy Ghost, and with
17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will VOL. II.
14. Again, when fome of the Soldiers coming to be baptized by him, defired him to inftruct Them alfo in their Duty: He faid, Let not your Employment make you infolent and cruel; neither pillage nor opprefs any one upon vain and unjuft Pretences, to maintain any vicious or extravagant Expence; but keep good Order and Difcipline, and be content to live upon your lawful Pay and Subfiftence.
15. All these Things John fpake and acted with fo much Piety and Modefty, with fo much Gravity and Authority; that the People began to be perfuaded in their Hearts that he was himself the Meffiah, and feemed continually to expect that he should make fome further Manifestation of himself to them.
declared to them, both the Meannels 16. But John plainly and openly of his own Perfon, and the Nature of his Office, faying; I indeed, as the Fore-runner of Chrift, to difpofe you to repent, and to prepare for the Coming of the Meffiah, do baptize you with Water: But the Meffiah himself fo that I judge not my felf worthy to is an infinitely greater Person than I, do the meaneft Offices of Service for him; And when He appears, he shall baptize you with his Holy Spirit, whofe Appearance fhall be as Fire, (Acts ii. 3.) and whofe influence over the Minds of Men, fhall be as much more powerful than my outward Washing of the Body by Baptifm, as Fire is of a more powerful and penetrating Nature than Water.
17. And he shall throughly try the Spirits of Men, as when Chaff is feparated from the Corn by the force of C 2