1. The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. The gospel is the history of the foundation of the kingdom of God, which is the church ; formed by the vocation and union of the Jews, (David,) and Gentiles, (Abraham,) in one and the same faith. It is the relation of the sojourning life of Jesus Christ, the founder of this church, prefigured by the life of Abraham ; and of his conquests, prefigured by those of David. It is the covenant of the adoption of the children of the promise made to those two great saints. What consolation is it, to find here, at first sight, the two titles by which we belong to thee, Jesus ! The first is the choice and eternal adoption of thy Father, who becomes ours. And the second is thy grace and Spirit, (the" worthy fruit of all thy labours and conflicts,) which make us thy members. Grant that, in this quality, we may become true penitents, like David, and true worshippers of God, in the spirit of faith, like Abraham ! 2. Abraham begat Isaac; and Isaac begat Jacob; and Jacob begat Judas and his brethren : 3. And Judas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar; and Phares begat Esrom; and Esrom begat Aram; 4. And 43

44 MATTHEW. Aram begat Aminadab ; and Aminadab begat Naasson ; and Naasson begat Salmon; 5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse ; 6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias. This genealogy of the Son of God is an abridgment of the faith of his incarnation. It informs us that he is true man, by the generations which it contains ; that he is a Saviour, by the name of Jesus, which it gives him ; that he is both priest and prophet, by the title of Christ, which in him signifies anointed with the Holy Ghost, and with the Divinity itself; that he is the prince and the author of peace, as son of David ; author of the faith, father of them who believe, and model of the most perfect self-denial, and of the true circumcision, as son of Abraham; born miraculously, and in virtue of the promise, the immortal sacrifice of the living God, and heir of the promises, as son of Isaac ; and lastly, the eldest among his brethren, through free predestination, persecuted by his carnal brethren, and head of the church, which is the Israel of God, as son of Jacob. 7. And Solomon begat Roboam; and Roboam begat Abia; and Abia

begat Asa; 8. And Asa begat Josaphat; and Josaphat begat Joram; and Joram begat Ozias ; 9. And Ozias begat Joatham ; and Joatham begat Achaz ; and Achaz begat Ezekias ; 10. And Ezekias begat Manasses; and Manasses begat Anion; and Anion begat Josias ; 11. And Josias begat Jechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon: 12. And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel ; and Salathiel begat Zorobabel ; 13. And Zorobabel begat Abiud ; and Abiud begat Eliakim ; and Eliakim begat Azor ; 14. And Azor begat Sadoc ; and Sadoc begat Achim ; and Achim begat Eliud. The true nobility of these kings, and of all the ancestors of Jesus Christ, is to have their names found in his genealogy, and to have a share in his birth ; that of Christians, is to be born of and in Jesus Christ himself. Men are apt to be fond and to boast of an illustrious birth, which yet, perhaps, in the sight of God, has been more criminal than a meaner ; but they never employ their thoughts upon a holy birth, which renders us children of God and members of his Son. Greatness, power, and human wisdom appear in the family of the

CHAPTER I. 45 ancestors of the Son of God incarnate ; but he will not enter into it himself, till all those are first gone out. 15. And Eliud begat Eleazar ; and Eleazar begat Matthan ; and Matthan begat Jacob ; 16. And Jacob begat Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. The parents of Jesus, and Jesus himself, draw no manner of advantage from the power, splendour, or riches of their ancestors, except only the joy they conceive to see themselves reduced to a low estate, that they may be subservient to the designs of God in the temporal, poor, and humble birth of his Son ; and that, by their mean condition, they may represent his humiliation in the flesh, and the concealment of his eternal glories from the eyes of men. my Saviour, how dost thou confound the pride and vanity of men, in relation to their genealogies, by having thy own composed of a long train of sinners ! 17. So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations ; and from David until the carrying away into Babylon are fourteen generations ; and from the carrying away into Babylon unto Christ are fourteen generations. The various states and conditions through which the people of God passed, made it evident that none of all these was that which had been promised; and that in Jesus Christ alone the promises were to be accomplished, by the establishment of a state of royalty and an unchangeable covenant. Nothing was able to hinder the execution of this design ; neither the age of Abraham, nor the barrenness of Sarah, nor the slavery of their posterity in Egypt, nor their infidelity in the wilderness, and before the time of the kings;

nor the sins of David, and those of the kings, his descendants and successors ; nor the captivity and desolation of this people, after the declining of their regal government.


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