Verse 53. "Were continually in the temple" - Especially till the day of pentecost came, when they received the promise, mentioned ver. 49.
"Praising and blessing God." - Magnifying his mercy, and speaking good of his name. Thus the days of their mourning were ended; and they began that life upon earth in which they still live in the kingdom of God. May the God of infinite love give the reader the same portion in time and in eternity, through the same glorious and ever-blessed Jesus! Amen and amen.
THERE are various subscriptions to this book in the MSS. and versions.
The following are the principal.
Through the assistance of the Most High God, the Gospel of St. chap. the physician, the proclaimer of eternal life, is finished. ARAB.-The most holy Gospel of Luke the Evangelist is completed. SYR.-The end of the holy Gospel according to Luke-written in Greek-published in Alexandria the Great,-in Troas,-in Rome,-in the confines of Achaia and Baeotia,-in Bithynia,-in Macedonia,-in the Italic (or Latin) character, fifteen years after the ascension of Christ.
It is likely, the word Amen was added by the Church, on the reading of this book; but there is no evidence that it was affixed by the evangelist. It is omitted by some of the best MSS. and versions.
It is evident that, at the conclusion of this Gospel, St. Luke passes very rapidly over a number of interesting circumstances related by the other evangelists, and particularly by St. John, concerning the last forty days of our Lord's sojourning on earth; but, to compensate for this, he has mentioned a variety of important particulars which the others have passed by, a list of which I think it necessary to subjoin. It seems as if the providence of God had designed that none of these evangelists should stand alone: each has his peculiar excellence, and each his own style and mode of narration. They are all witnesses to the truth in general; and each most pointedly to every great fact of the Gospel history. In each there is something new; and no serious reader ever finds that the perusal of any one supersedes the necessity of carefully consulting and reading the others.
The same facts and doctrines are exhibited by all in different points of view, which renders them both impressive and interesting; and this one circumstance serves to fix the narrative more firmly in the memory. We should have had slighter impressions from the Gospel history, had we not had the narrative at four different hands. This variety is of great service to the Church of God, and has contributed very much to diffuse the knowledge of the facts and doctrines contained in this history. Parallel passages have been carefully studied, and the different shades of meaning accurately marked out; and the consequence has been, what the wisdom of God designed, the fuller edification of the faithful. It is not the business of a commentator to point out beauties in the composition of the sacred text.
Many might be selected from the evangelists in general, and not a few from Luke, who not only tells a true story, but tells it well; especially when he has occasion to connect the different parts of the narration with observations of his own. But this is his least praise: from his own account we learn that he took the utmost pains to get the most accurate and circumstantial information relative to the facts he was to relate: see the note on chap. i. 3. While, therefore, he thus diligently and conscientiously sought for truth, the unerring Spirit of God led him into all truth. Even he who expected the revelation of the Almighty, and to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, that he might correctly, forcibly, and successfully proclaim the truth and righteousness of his Maker, must stand upon his watch, and set himself upon his tower, and watch to see what God would speak IN him, Hab. ii. 1. In a similar spirit we may expect the fruits of these revelations. He who carefully and conscientiously uses the means may expect the accomplishment of the end.
I cannot close these observations with a more profitable word than what is contained in that truly apostolic and sublime prayer for the second Sunday in Advent; and may he who reads it weigh every word in the spirit of faith and devotion! "Blessed God! who hast caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning; grant that we may in such wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that, by patience and comfort of thy holy word, we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in our saviour Jesus Christ!" Now to him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever! Amen.
FActs AND CIRCUMSTANCES RELATED AT LARGE BY ST. Luke, WHICH ARE EITHER NOT MENTIONED AT ALL, OR BUT VERY TRANSIENTLY, - BY THE OTHER EVANGELISTS The conception of Elisabeth, Luke i. 5-25.
The salutation of Mary, Luke i. 26-38.
Mary's visit to Elisabeth, Luke i. 39-56.
The birth of John the Baptist, Luke i. 57-79.
The decree of Caesar Augustus, Luke ii. 1-6.
Apparition of the angel to the shepherds, Luke ii. 8-20.
The circumcision of Christ, Luke ii. 21.
The presentation of Christ in the temple, Luke ii. 22-38.
Dispute with the doctors when twelve years of age, Luke ii. 40-52.
Chronological dates at the commencement of our Lord's ministry, Luke iii. 1, 2.
Success of the preaching of John the Baptist, Luke iii. 10- 15.
Christ's preaching and miraculous escape at Nazareth, Luke iv. 15-30.
Remarkable particulars in the call of Simon, Andrew, James, and John, Luke v. 1-10.
The calamities that fell on certain Galileans, Luke xiii. 1- 9.
Mission of the seventy disciples, Luke x. 1-16.
The return of the seventy disciples, with an account of their success, Luke x. 17-24.
Story of the good Samaritan, Luke x. 25-37.
Cure of the woman who had been diseased eighteen years, Luke xiii. 10-20.
The question answered, Are there few that be saved? Luke xiii. 22, 23.
Curing of the man with the dropsy, Luke xiv. 1-24.
Difficulties attending the profession of Christianity, to be carefully preconsidered, Luke xiv. 25-35.
Parable of the lost sheep, and the lost piece of money, Luke xv. 1-10.
Parable of the prodigal son, Luke xv. 11-32.
Parable of the unjust steward, Luke xvi. 1-18; Parable of the rich man and the beggar, Luke xvi. 19-31.
Various instructions to his disciples, Luke xvii. 1-10.
The refusal of the Samaritans to receive him into their city, Luke ix. 52-56; xvii. 11.
The cleansing of the ten lepers, Luke xvii. 12-19.
The Pharisees ask when the kingdom of God should come, and our Lord's answer, Luke xvii. 20-38.
The Pharisee and the publican, Luke xviii. 1-14.
Account of the domestic avocations of Martha and Mary, Luke x. 38-42.
The account of Zaccheus, Luke xix. 2-10.
The parable of the nobleman that went to obtain a kingdom, Luke xix. 11-28.
Pilate sends Jesus to Herod, Luke xxiii. 6-16.
Account of the women that deplored our Lord's sufferings, Luke xxiii. 27-32.
Remarkable particulars concerning the two thieves that were crucified with our Lord, Luke xxiii. 39-43.
Account of the two disciples going to Emmaus, Luke xxiv. 13- 35.
Remarkable circumstances concerning his appearance to the eleven, after his resurrection, Luke xxiv. 37-49.
Finished the correction for a new edition, Oct. 31, 1831. A. C.