Page images
PDF
EPUB

Christ foretels how

9 freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver, nor brass in your purses, 10 Nor bag for your journey, nor two coats, nor sandals, nor staves; for the labourer is worthy 11 of his food. And into whatsoever city or town ye enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and there 12 abide till ye depart. And when ye enter the house, 13 salute the household. And if the household

MATTHEW

be worthy, let your wish of peace come upon it; but if it be not worthy, let your wish of peace 14 return to yourselves. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust 15 of your feet. your feet. Verily I Verily I say to you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city.

16 "Behold, I send you forth as sheep amidst wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents, and 17 harmless as doves. And beware of these men; for they will deliver you up to councils, and 18 they will scourge you in their synagogues. And ye will be brought before governors and kings for my sake; for a testimony to them and to the 19 Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no anxious thought how or what ye shall speak; [for it shall be given to you in that same hour 20 what ye shall speak.] For it is not ye that

CHAP. X.

sense of the text. The inspired historian, simply adverts to the fact, without noticing the sinfulness or criminality of it.

5, 6. The mission of our Lord, was to the Jews: Comp. Chap. xv. 24, with Rom. xv. 8.

8. The clause, raise the dead, is wanting, ver. 1. and Luke ix. 1. in many of the best manuscripts, versions, and fathers; nor is it noticed, Mark vi. 13, where they give an account of the miracles they had done. It does not appear that they received this power, until after the gift of the spirit. I have therefore omitted the words after Campbell, and others.

9. In your purses. The zones, or girdles, with which the eastern people bound their loose garments, were used by them as purses.

10. Bag. For carrying provisions.Nor Sandals, &c. Provide no additional supply of such articles.

X.

they will be treated.

speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh by you. Now the brother will deliver 21 up the brother to death, and the father the child; and the children will rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And 22 ye will be hated of all men for my name's sake; but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in one city, flee 23 ye into another; and if they persecute you out of this, flee into another." For verily I say to you, Ye shall not have gone through the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come. The 24 disciple is not above his teacher, nor the servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple 25 that he be as his teacher, and the servant as his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household? Fear them not there- 26 fore; for there is nothing covered which shall not be manifested; or hidden which shall not be known: What I tell you in darkness, that 27 speak ye in light: and what ye hear by the ear, that proclaim ye upon the housetops. And fear 28 not those who kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Are not 29 two sparrows sold for a penny? and yet one of them falleth not to the ground without your

11-15. There abide. That the family may enjoy the full benefit of your instruction and miracles; and if any treat you unkindly, shake off the dust of your feet, to show that you disclaim all intercourse with them; and I assure you it shall be more tolerable for Sodoma, &c.; for these would have repented, had they received such instruction, and seen such miracles.

17. Scourge you. The Jews made use of synagogues, not only for the purpose of religious worship, but for the administration of justice. They there held their courts; and it seems inflicted this kind of punishment on offenders: See Chap. xxiii. 34. Acts xxii. 19.

VOL. III. PART XIX.

C

23. Mss. Vers. and Fathers.

19. No anxious thought. Had not the apostles been thus divinely taught, and inspired, they would not have been able to conduct themselves with propriety.

22. Will be hated of all. Those who received the apostles' testimony, must highly esteem and love them; and the term all can with propriety be applied only to all unbelievers. So we must understand it in many instances. -Shall be saved. Newcome, Wakefield, and Pearce render, preserved; and apply it to the preservation of christians, when Jerusalem was destroyed. The parallel passage, Chap, xxiv. 13. seems to have this sense, but here, I conceive it includes also spiritual deliverance, and final happiness.

"

23. Son of man be come. To destroy the Jewish state by the Romans. 25. Beelzebub. This was an Idol of the Philistines: 2 Kings i. 2, 3. The word signifies, The Lord of flies. The Jews styled him, The Prince of demons; and Heinsius thinks this sense might be attributed, because Zebub denoted, a deadly kind of insect, whose sting was mortal, and might be regard ed as a fit emblem of demons.

[ocr errors]

26, 27. Our Lord warns them of approaching persecution; and observes that his Gospel, notwithstanding, must he preached openly and boldly, as if proclaimed from the house-tops. See Deut. xxii. 8. and Acts x. 9.

28. Kill the soul. There is here such an opposition between the soul and body, as clearly proves the former to be immaterial; and as what does not, and cannot perish with the body. The soul exists separate from the body, and 17

[ocr errors]

Variances will occur.

"

30 Father. And even the hairs of your head are all 31 numbered. Fear ye not therefore; ye are of 32 more value than many sparrows. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in 33 heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is 34 in heaven. Think not that I am come to bring peace on this land; I came not to bring peace, 35 but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law 36 against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes 37 will be they of his own household. He who loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me and he who loveth son or daugh38 ter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who taketh not his cross, and followeth me, is 39 not worthy of me. He who secureth his life shall lose it; and he who loseth his life for my sake shall secure it.

40

"He who receiveth you receiveth me, and he who receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. 41 He who receiveth a teacher in the name of a

MATTHEW XI.

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER X. 1. How diligent and compassionate was our Lord: He went about all the cities and villages, preaching the glad tidings of his kingdom; for when he saw the neglected condition of men, he was moved with compassion. How plenteous was the harvest, and how few faithful labourers were found! Lord of the harvest, send out more labourers, that thy neglected people may be gathered in.

2. Jesus acts as Lord of the harvest,-commissions and qualifies the twelve, to preach the glad tidings of the kingdom; and gives them power to confirm their doctrine, by the strong and decisive evidence of miracles. To confound the wisdom of this world, he selected as his ambassadors, men from the lowest rank in life; and, that our faith might not rest in the power of men, but of God, he made use of the weakest instruments, to confound the things that were mighty; and this he does even to the present day.

must be conscious of that existence, else the soul would be as properly killed as the body. The latter clause proves that the soul may perish, by being subject to future misery; but it does not cease to exist.

29-31. The inducements and motives to faithfulness, from the dread of eternal misery, the kindness and providential care of God, are admirably stated. The subject is continued to the end of the chapter.

Christ worketh miracles.

teacher, shall receive a teacher's reward ; and he who receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's reward. And whosoever shall give one of these 42 little ones a cup of cold water only to drink, in the name of a disciple, verily I say to you, He shall by no means lose his reward." And it 1 came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, that he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.

34-36. To bring peace. Our Lord expresses not the design of his coming, but what would be the event or consequence of it. Some in a family being converted, would be persecuted by those who remained unconverted. 39. Shall lose it. In the future state; and he who loseth it in this world, shall save it in the next.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER XI.

A. D. 31. John sendeth some of his disciples to Christ; Christ's testimony to John; the opinion of the people respecting Christ and John; he upbraideth Chorazin, &c. for impenitence, and inviteth sinners.

Now when John had heard in the prison the 2 works of Jesus, he sent two of his disciples, And said to him, "Art thou he that cometh, or 3 must we look for another?". Jesus answered 4 and said to them, "Go and tell John those things which ye hear and see: The blind 5 receive their sight, and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear; the

3. Our Lord teaches them, not to expect great things for themselves. They are to be content with food; and they would ever find some, who would be ready to receive them, and minister to their necessities. He admonishes them, that others would be enraged by their doctrine, and like wolves, would be ready to devour. What need have all his disciples, and especially the ministers of his word, of the prudence of the serpent, united with the innocence of the dove!

4. What encouragements he offers to them. On all occasions, they should receive divine assistance; and a special providence should guide and watch over them. In the cause of Christ, let us not be afraid of men. Their utmost rage can only kill the body; and they who show the least kindness to his disciples, shall be rewarded; but how awful the punishment of persecutors. O let us confess the Saviour, maintain his cause, be faithful to our engagements, whatever temporal sacrifices it may cost us! For at the last we shall be saved.

[blocks in formation]

John commended.

dead are raised, and to the poor glad tidings 6 are preached. And happy he who shall not offend because of me."

MATTHEW XI.

7 And as they departed, Jesus said unto the Jesus said unto the multitudes concerning John, "What went ye out into the desert to behold? A reed shaken 8 with the wind? But what went ye out to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they 9 that wear soft raiment are in palaces. But what went ye out to see? A prophet? Yea,

I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall 11 prepare thy way before thee.' Verily I say to you, Among those who are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; but the least in the kingdom of heaven 12 is greater than he. And from the days of

John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven is invaded, and the invaders take it by 13 force. For all the prophets and the law taught 14 you until John. And if ye be willing to re15 ceive it, this is Elijah who was to come. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

16

1

"But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like to children sitting in the market-place, 17 and calling to their fellows, And saying, We have played to you on the pipe, and ye have not danced; we have sung mournful songs to

Comp. Isa. xxxv. 4-6. and lxi. 1. They therefore formed the strongest proof that Jesus was He that cometh.

6. Shall not offend. Campbell renders, To whom I shall not prove a stumbling-block.' The term signifies more than to be offended; it implies being so ensnared as to fall off from the belief and profession of the Gospel. The humble appearance of our Lord, and the nature of his kingdom, so contrary to the worldly views of the Jews, caused many thus to offend because of him.

7. Said. It is clear that yours is often pleonastic: and may be in our language, properly omitted; or rather it is used to modify the infinitive following, and convert it to a preterite sense: Matt. xii. 1. Mark v. 17. and vi. 7, 4. and xi. 15. Luke iii. 8. and xiii. 25, 26.- A reed shaken, &c. One meanly clothed, and exposed to the injuries of the weather. This sense is fixed by the opposition in the next verse. Others, one unsteady, or irresolute.

The cities upbraided.

you, and ye have not lamented.' For John 18 came neither eating nor drinking; and they say, 'He hath a demon.' The Son of man came 19 eating and drinking; and they say, Behold a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners.' But wisdom is justified by her children."

Then began he to reprove the cities in which 20 most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not. "Alas for thee, Chorazin! 21 alas for thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which have been done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I 22 say to you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment, than for you. And thou Capernaum, which art ex-23 alted to the heavens, shalt be brought down to hades; for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But 24 1 say to you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom on the day of judgment, than for thee."

9. Much more than a prophet. It may be justly said that John was greater than any of the ancient prophets, on account of his wonderful conception and birth, his knowledge of gospel mysteries, his testimony to the Messiah, and his success in preparing his way; and John was himself the subject of ancient prophecy.

11. Greater than he. Under the gospel dispensation, even the least disciple is greater than John in religious knowledge; in the power of working miracles, John x. 41 .and in various other spiritual privileges.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

13. Taught. See Note, Chap. vii. 15. Strictly speaking, the law did not, nor could prophesy, in any other sense, than that given.

14. Elijah. Mal. iv. 5. This is he who was to come in the spirit and power of that illustrious prophet and reformer.

17-19. John lived in abstinence; and was on this account accused of having a demon, and being melancholy, Jesus lived like other men, yet temperate and thankful; and for this was abused as a glutton. Thus nothing would please these perverse censorious men; they were like froward children.

21. The miracles our Lord wrought in these cities are not recorded. We have but a few of the mighty works Jesus did, mentioned John xxi. 25. I have followed many Critics in rendering Oval, Alas. It signifies, not so much a threat, as a prediction and a mode of commiserating. See Park. in verb. 22. On the day of judgment. Dr. Hammond and Wakefield apply this to a day of temporal punishment. This seems improbable. For how did these cities suffer more than Tyre and Sidon? They were alike destroyed. And what follows respecting Capernaum, could not be fulfilled by any temporal calamity.

25. Having hidden. Jesus does not give thanks, because these things were hidden to some, but because they were revealed to others, See Rom. vi. 17. Having hidden' signifies merely, not having revealed. There is

J

Christ inviteth men.

27 seemed good in thy sight.

All things have been delivered to me by my father; and no one knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son chooseth to reveal him." 28 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are 29 heavily laden; and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart; and ye shall find rest 30 to your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

MATTHEW XII.

[ocr errors]

REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER XI. 1. Truly our Lord is He of whom the Prophets spoke. In him their predictions were fulfilled; and the miracles they foretold the Messiah should perform, He actually did. From his divine power, the blind received their sight, the deaf heard, the lame walked, lepers were cleansed, the dead raised, and to the poor the glad tidings of his kingdom were preached. These works testified of him; and in him we ought, and may, safely confide.

2. Our Lord will honour those who honour him. John had faithfully served his generation; by his fervent piety, and ardent zeal, had excited the expectation of the Messiah's coming. He had borne testimony to Christ; and now He bears testimony to John, as his forerunner; and to the excellence of his spirit and conduct. May we confess Jesus before men, that he may confess us before his Father, who is in heaven.

3. What dreadful evils are prejudice, and hardness of heart.

a reference to the Scribes and Pharisees, who were the learned; whose vice and pride prevented their receiving the doctrine of Christ. Jehovah displayed his own kindness and grace in revealing the truths of the gospel, to babes, to such plain and sincere persons as those who followed Christ and believed on him.

27. All things. All power and knowledge.No one knoweth the Son. These words evidently declare that there is something in our Lord's person exceedingly mysterious; something which no man can fully comprehend; and so there is, on the ground of his having two natures, the divine and human, and to this I conceive he refers.

28. If all power and knowledge are given to Christ, if no one can know the Father but the Son, &c. then come to me, &c. This is clearly an inference from what precedes.

Hevindicateth his disciples.

that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath." But he said to them, "Have ye not read what 3 David did, when he was hungry, and those that were with him; How he entered into the 4 house of God, and ate the presence-bread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those that were with him, but for the priests alone? Or 5 have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbaths the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless ? sabbath, and are blameless? But I say to you, 6 That one greater than the temple is here. But if ye had known what this meaneth,; 'I 7 desire mercy rather than sacrifice,' ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the 8 Son of man is Lord of the sabbath."

29. Our Lord invites to himself as a teacher; and enforces it by his own meek and humble spirit and manner; opposed to the pride and passion

And passing on thence, he went into their 9 synagogue: And, behold, there was a man 10 who had a withered hand. And they asked him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?" that they might accuse him. And he 11 said to them, "What man is there among you,

These ruled in that race to whom John and our Lord ministered. Neither the severity of the one, nor the mildness and gentleness of the other, could please them. Against both, they vented their malice. Let us not be discouraged, if in the resolute discharge of our duty, we meet with reproaches!

4. How awful the account which men have to give of abused mercies and privileges. What can be imagined more dreadful than the guilt and condemnation of those who hear the gospel only to despise it? How can we read the doom of cities where Christ preached, without fear lest we should incur the like sentence. Such have been, and are, our religious advantages, that like them, we are exalted to heaven. The Lord grant that we may not, for our disobedience, be cast down to the lowest hell. On the other hand, let us listen to the kind invitation of our Lord, and with all our burdens of sin and guilt, come to him, who is able to teach us, and give us rest.

of the Jewish teachers. His yoke is easy in comparison with the Mosaic rites, and the prescriptions of the Scribes.

CHAP. XII. 2. On the sabbath. On any other day they might, according to Deut. xxiii. 25. The Pharisees considered this a kind of work. 4. For the priests alone. Comp. Levit. xxiv. 9. If David in a case of necessity broke a positive statute, the son of man may do so in a like case, and be blameless as David was in this instance.

5. Profane, &c. Not resting on it from the offering of the morning and evening sacrifice.

6. One greater. Some mss. read or something greater, the Lord of the temple: Mal. iii. 1. This is the first answer to the objection; and two others follow,-that God prefers works of kindness to the observance of a positive law-and that the son of man as Lord of the sabbath, has the power of dispensing with the strict observance of it, when he sees fit. Pearce

A demoniac healed.

who hath one sheep; and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath, will he not lay hold on it, 12 and lift it out? How much then is a man better

14

than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do good 13 on the sabbath." Then saith he to the man, "Stretch forth thine hand." And he stretched it forth; and it was made sound like the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and took counsel against Jesus, how they might destroy him. 15 But Jesus knew it, and withdrew thence; and great multitudes followed him, and he healed 16 them all; And strictly charged them that they 17 should not make him known: So that it was fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, 18 saying, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul delighteth: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall 19 publish judgment to the Gentiles. He will

not strive, nor cry aloud; nor shall any one 20 hear his voice in the streets. The bruised reed shall he not break, and the dimly smoking flax shall he not quench, he shall publish 21 judgment so as to establish it. And in his name shall the Gentiles hope."

MATTHEW XII.

[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Sin against the Holy Spirit. thoughts, and said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, cannot stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, 26 he is divided against himself; how then can his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast 27 out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? wherefore they shall be your judges. But 28 if I by the spirit of God cast out demous, then the kingdom of God is come to you. For how 29 can one enter into a strong man's house, and plunder his goods, unless he first bind the strong man? then indeed he may plunder his house. He who is not with me is against me; 30 and he who gathereth not with me scattereth.›. "Wherefore I say unto you, All other sin 31 and blasphemy may be forgiven to men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven to men. And whosoever speaketh a 32 word against the Son of man, it may be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this state, or in that to come. Either make the 33 tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its fruit. Ye offspring of vipers, 34 how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure 35 of the heart bringeth forth good things; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth evil things. But I say to you, 36

21. In his name. The present Hebrew has, in his law; but the reading here is supported by all the versions and manuscripts.

23. Is this the son, &c. Campbell has proved that this is the true sense. From the other places where μr occurs to render by a negative would pervert the sense: Chap. vii. 16. Mark iv. 21. and xiv. 19. Luke vi. 39. 27. Our Lord replies to the malicious objection.-1. That it is a a maxim of common sense, that if Satan cast out Satan, he opposes his own

interest, and subverts his own kingdom.-2. That if he cast out demons by Beelzebub, then their sons, or kindred, or scholars, must do the same. They shall be your judges, and their testimony will be my apology.

28, 29. This reasoning is forcible and conclusive; and the miracles of our Lord proved, that the kingdom of God was come to them.

31. May be forgiven. With Campbell and others I render in the potential mood; as it could not be our Lord's intention to say that all other sin, will, in fact be forgiven.Against the spirit. Pearce, Newcome, and others, consider the blasphemy as consisting in their ascribing the miracles of Jesus, to Beelzebub, rather than to the spirit of God: Comp. ver. 24. and Mark iii. 30.

32. Against the son of man. Such as calling him a glutton, a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners, a deceiver of the people, a demoniac.

In this state. I have followed Campbell as here preferable to either of the renderings, in this world, or in his age. Some apply this to the time when our Lord spoke; and to the period of the out-pouring of the spirit, I cannot but think with Grotius, that our Lord opposes some of the errors of the Pharisees, who maintained the final happiness of every Jew; and that the sins which were not forgiven in this state, would be at death, or in the future;

« PreviousContinue »