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17 Elias was a man sub- 17 Ηλιας ανθρωπος ην οject to like passions as we μοιοπαθης ημιν και προσευare, and he prayed earnest- χη προσηύξατο του μη βρεly that it might not rain και ξαι και ουκ εβρεξεν επι της and it rained not on the earth by the space of three γης ενιαυτους τρεις και μηyears and six months. 18 And he prayed again,
18 Και σαλιν προσαυξαand the heaven gave rain, το, και ο ουρανος υετον εδωand the earth brought κε, και η γη εβλαςησε τον forth her fruit.
καρπον αυτης. 19 Brethren, if any
of 19 Αδελφοι. εαν τις εν υyou do err from the truth, μιν πλανηθη απο της αληand one convert him;
θειας, και επιςρεψη τις αυτον,
person whatever. Whereas the impenitent have no reason to expect that blessing, although'absolved by all the priests in the world.
3. The inwrought prayer of the righteous man availeth much, namely, to obtain health for the sick. - Because this is called dendis tyegz8pesyr, the inwrought prayer, 1 think it must be understood of the prayer of the elder for the miraculous recovery of the sick, to which he was moved by the Spirit, and not of the prayer of any righteous man whatever. For we do not find in scripture that the prayers of such were followed with miraculous cures, unless they possessed the gift of healirg, and were moved by an impulse of the Spirit to pray for the cure. In this verse it is intimated, that if the disease was inflicted on the sick person for some injury which he had com. mitted, he was to shew his repentance by confessing his fault to him whom he had injured, before the elder prayed for his recovery : And, that to ren. der the elders prayer the more effectual, the injured party was to join the elder in praying that the sick person might be healed. Ver. 17.–1. Elias was a man of like infirmity witb us.
In this sense the word ooccaratne is used, Acts xiv. 15. Literally it signifies suffering like things with another. Elijah through natural infirmity suffered as we do, from disease, from temptation, from persecution, &c.
2. Ant he prayed fervently. In the history it is not said directly, either that the drought was brought on, or the rain sent, in consequence of Elijah's praying. But it is insinuated, that both happened through his prayer. For, 1 Kings xvii. 1. we are told that Elijah sware there should not be dew, nor rain these but according to his word; that is, as James hath explained it, according to bis inspired prayer for drought or for rain.
3. And it did not rain upon the land for three years and six months. This is the period which our Lord likewise says the drought continued, Luke is.
17 Elias was a man of 17 The infirmities to which the like infirmity 1 with us. And elders are subject, will not hinder he prayed fervently 2 (60.) the efficacy of their prayers. Elijah that it might not rain, and was a man of like infirmity with us. it did not rain upon the land And he, to shew Ahab, that the God for three years and six whom he worshipped was the true months. 3
God, prayed fervently that it might not rain. And it did not rain on the land of Israel, for three years and six
months. 18 And again he prayed, 18 And the famine occasioned by and the heaven gave rain, the drought having humbled Ahab, and the land brought forth Again Elijah prayed for rain, and the ils fruit.
heaven gave rain, and the land brought
forth its fruit plentifully. 19 Brethren, if any one 19 Ye ought to be solicitous for among you is seduced from each others eternal welfare, as well the truth, and any one turn as for their temporal happiness. I him back,
therefore tell you, Brethren, if any one among you is seduced from the doctrine and practice of the gospel, and any person turn him back to the right
25. It is said indeed, 1 Kings xviii. 1. Tbat in the third year the word of the Lord came to Elijah, namely, concerning the rain. But this third year was computed, from the time of his going to live at Zarephath, which happened many days after the drought began; as is plain from this, that he remained at the brook Cherith till it was dried up, and then went to Zarephath in the country of Sidon, 1 Kings xvii. 7. 9. Wherefore, the three years and six months must be computed from his denouncing the drought, at which time that judgment commenced.
Ver. 18.-1. And again he prayed, and the heaven gave rain. Of this second prayer there is an insinuation in the history : 1 Kings xviii. 42. where we are told, that he cast bim self down on the earth, and put his face berween bis knees : for that was the posture of an humble and earnest supplicant. Be. sides, Moses's praying, is expressed by his falling on his face, Numb. xvi. 4.
Ver. 19.-1. And any one turn him back. This teaches us, that it is the duty of those who persevere in the path of truth, to endeavour, by friendly admonition and by good example, to turn back those who have wandered into error through the viciousness of their own disposition. See 2 Thess, xi. 12.
20 Let him know, that 20 Γινώσκετω, ότι και επιhe which converteth the sρεψας αμαρτωλον εκ πλαsinner from the error of
νης οδου αυτου, σωσει ψυhis way shall save a soul from death, and shall Me χην εκ θανατου, και καλυ
ψει πληθος αμαρτιων. a multitude of sins.
Ver. 20.-1. Will save a soul from death. What greater motive can there be to excite the virtuous earnestly to exert themselves, in accomplishing the reformation of their erring brethren ?
2. And will cover a multitude of sins. The covering of sin is a phrase which often occurs in the Old Testament, and always signifies the pardoning of sin. Nor has it any other meaning here. For surely it cannot be the apostle's intention to tell us that the turning of a sinner from the error of his way, will conceal from the eye of God's justice, a multitude of sins committed by the person who does this charitable office, if he continueth in them. Such a person needs himself to be turned from the error of his way, in order that 20 Let him know that 20 Let such an one know, that he he who turneth a sinner who lurneth a sinner back from false back from the error of his doctrine and bad practice, will save a way, will save a soul from soul from the spiritual death, and will death,' and will cover a procure him the pardon of all his sins ; multitude of sins. 2
and for that good office will himself shine as the stars for ever and ever, Dan. xii. 3.
his own soul may be saved from death. St. Peter haih a similar expression : 1 Pet. iv. 8. Love covers a multitude of sins, not, however, in the person who is possessed of love, but in the person who is the object of his love. It disposes him to forgive his sins, see Prov. x. 12.-Atterbury however, (Serm. vol. 1. p. 46.) and Scott (Christ. Life, vol. 1. p. 368.) contend that the covering a multitude of sins includes also, that the pious action of which the apostle speaks, engages God to look with greater indulgence on the character of the person who performs it, and to be less severe in marking what he hath done amiss.
OF THE FIRST
EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLE PETER.
The History of Simon, whom our Lord surnamed Peter. Simon a
was a native of Bethsaida, a town situated on the western shore of the lake of Gennesareth. He was by trade a fisherman, and had a brother named Andrew; but whether he was elder or younger than Simon, is not known. Their father was named Jonah or John ; and probably was of the same occupation with his sons. Andrew was a disciple of John Baptist, John i. 35. 41. and heard him point oui Jesus us the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world. This good news Andrew communicated to his brother Simon and brought him to Jesus, who foreseeing the fortitude he would exercise in preaching the gospel, honoured him with the name of Cephas or Peter, which is by interpretation a stone, or rock. John i. 42.
Andrew and Peter, now become the disciples of Jesus, often attended him. Yet they still followed their trade of fishing occasionally, till he called them to a more constant attendance, promising to make them fishers of men, Matth. iv. 19. Afterwards, when he chose twelve of his disciples to be with him always and to be his Apostles, Peter and Andrew were of the number. About that time Peter had left Bethsaida, and had gone to Capernaum with his wife, who is thought to have been of that town. From Andrew's accompanying his brother thither, and living with him in the same house, it may be conjectured that their father was dead. With them Jesus also abode,