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posing this question before the cure, and of conferring the cure in this form of expressión, are assigned. No sooner had Jesus spoken the words mentioned, than the blind men received their sight. 30. And their eyes were opened. And though he straitly charged them to conceal the miracle, they were so overjoyed that they could not forbear speaking of it wherever they came; by which means Christ's fame was spread abroad in all that country. And Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. 31. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country. When the men that had been blind were gone away, there was brought to him a dumb demoniac, whom he also cured with great humanity, for he never wearied in well-doing. Matth. ix. 32. As they went out, behold they brought to him a dumb man, possessed with a devil. From the circumstance of the demoniac's being dumb, Erasmus conjectures that he was also deprived of the use of his reason. If so, being insensible of his own misery, he.. had as little inclination as ability to apply for a cure. He could not even make his misery known by signs, and therefore needed to be brought to the Saviour by others. But after he was cured, this demoniac spake both rationally and fluently, to the astonishment of all who heard him, in so much that they extolled the, author of that miracle, above all the prophets that had ever appeared. See on Matth. xv. 30. § 67. 33. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake; and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel, never any person did such a number and variety of miracles. 34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out the devils through the prince of the devils. Observing how much the people were struck with these instances of our Lord's power, they were moved with the bitterest spite, and im pudently affirmed, that instead of being a prophet, he was a vile magician, who cast out the devils by the help of Beelzebub their prince. This was a calumny which the Pharisees frequently uttered. See the foundation on which they pretended to build it, § 86.

The miracle under consideration, is commonly confounded with the cures mentioned Mark vii. 32. § 66. Luke xi. 14. § 86. But the most superficial inspection of Mark's relation, will prove it to be the history of a different miracle; for there the subject of the cure is called, (iv) one that had an impediment only in his speech; whereas the subject of this miracle was (por da poniousvor) a dumb demoniac. That it was different from the miracle in Luke also, see proved in Prelim. Observat. IV. § 3. No. i.

VOL. I.

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§ XXXVII.

é XXXVII. Jesus makes a fourth tour through Galilee. He chooses twelve of his disciples to attend on him constantly. The names and history of the twelve apostles. Matth. ix. 35,-38. Mark iii. 13,-19. Luke vi. 12,-16.

THE calumnies with which the Pharisees persecuted Jesus, though most malicious, did not irritate him, nor make him leave off those good offices to men which they interpreted so basely. On the contrary, he the more earnestly endeavoured to promote the prosperity and salvation of all. For he immediately left Capernaum, and travelled through the country in quest of opportu nities of doing good. Matth. ix. 35. And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness, and every dis ease among the people. Probably our Lord was now going up to some of the festivals; for it is thus the evangelists describe his journeys to Jerusalem. See on John v. 1. § 45.

In returning home, Jesus was attended by great multitudes of people, who began to have a more than ordinary relish of his doctrine. And as they were utterly neglected by the Scribes and Pharisees, the appointed public teachers who ought to have instructed them, the indefatigable zeal with which our Lord spread the knowledge of divine things, was most seasonable and acceptable. The teachers just now mentioned were blind, perverse, lazy guides, who every day discovered their ignorance and wickedness more and more. They either neglected the office of teaching altogether, or they filled the peoples minds with high notions of ritual observances and traditions, to the utter disparage. ment of moral duties, which in a manner they trampled under foot; so that instead of serving God, they served their own glory, their gain, and their belly. Wherefore, any appearance of religion which they had, was wholly feigned and hypocritical, in so much that they rather did hurt by it, than were of real service to the interests of virtue. Besides, the common people being distracted by the disagreeing factions of the Pharisees and Sadducees, knew not what to choose or refuse. Their case, therefore, called loudly for the compassion of Jesus, which indeed was neyer wanting to them at any time, for he always cherished the tenderest affection towards his countrymen, but it flowed particu larly on this occasion, when he considered that they were in great distress for want of spiritual food. Matth. ix. 36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Being either deserted or misled by their spiritual guides, they had strayed from the pastures of the law and the prophets, and were in the greatest danger of perishing. Hence they are called, the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Matth. x. 6. Jesus,

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therefore, deeply touched with a feeling of their distress, resolved to provide some remedy for it. Accordingly he directed his disciples to intercede with God, who by his servants the prophets had sowed the seeds of piety and virtue in the minds of the Jews, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the Labourers are few; there are multitudes of people willing to receive instruction, but there are few able to give it. 38. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. Pray God to send out into the world skilful and faithful ministers, who shall convert all such as are capable of being made virtuous. Moreover, he went up privately by himself into a mountain, and spent a whole night in prayer to the same effect, as may be gathered from the transactions of the following day. Luke vi. 12. And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God: si in meoosugn to des. This some would have translated, and he continued all night in a (proseuche) prayer house of God. For the Jews had many houses on mountains, and by the sides of rivers, set apart for prayer. See Dr Benson on Acts xvi. 13. This translation does not alter the sense of the passage. For as Jesus went up to the mountain to pray, we cannot avoid supposing, that he spent the greatest part of the night in acts of devotion. 13. (And when it was day, he called unto him (Mark, whom he would) his disciples; and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles. Early in the morning he called such of his disciples as he thought proper, and chose twelve of them to attend him constantly. Mark iii. 14. And he ordained twelve, (Luke, whom also he named apostles) that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach. 15. And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. He ordained them to be with him always, that they might from his mouth learn the doctrine which they were in due time to preach through the world; that they might see his glory, John i. 14. the transcendent glory of the virtues which adorned his human life; and that they might be witnesses to all the wonderful works which he should perform, Acts x. 39,-41. and by which his mission from God was to be clearly demonstrated. The twelve were thus to be qualified for supplying the people with that spiritual food which their teachers neglected to give them, and that both before and after their Master's death. Accordingly, when they had continued with Jesus as long as was necessary for this end, he sent them out by two and two into Judea, on the important work of preparing the people for his reception, who was the true Shepherd. Hence he named them apostles, that is, persons sent out. But their name was more peculiarly applicable to them, and their office was raised to its perfection after 3 U 2

Christ's

Christ's ascension, when he sent them out into all the world with the doctrine of the gospel, which he enabled them to preach by inspiration, giving them power at the same time to confirm it by the most astonishing miracles. That this was the nature of the new dignity which Jesus now conferred on the twelve disciples, is evident from John xx. 21. where we find him confirming them in the apostolical office: As my Father hath sent me, so send I you; I send you upon the same errand, and with the same authority: I send you to reveal the will of God for the salvation of men, and I bestow on you both the gift of tongues and the power of working miracles, that you may be able to preach the doctrine of salvation in every country, and to confirm it as divine, in opposition to all gainsayers. Perhaps the number of twelve apostles was fixed upon rather than any other, to shew that God intended to gather the scattered remnant of the twelve tribes by their ministry. After their election, the twelve accompanied Jesus constantly, lived with him on one common stock as his family, and never departed from him unless by his express appointment.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke, have each of them given us a catalogue of the names of the apostles; and their exactness in this particular is greatly to be praised. For as the apostleship cloathed the person on whom it was conferred, with the high authority of directing the religious faith of mankind, it was of no small importance to the world to know who they were to whom this dignity belonged. Mark iii. 16. And Simon he sirnamed Peter, (Luke, Simon whom he named Peter). 17. And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he sirnamed them Banerges, which is, the sons of Thunder. 18. And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, (Matth. Matthew the publican) and Thomas. And James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, (Luke, and Judas the brother of James. Matth. Lebbeus, whose sirname was Thaddeus) and Simon the Canaanite, (Luke, Simon called Zelotes). 19. And Judas Iscariot which also betrayed him. See Matthew's catalogue, chap. x. 2. $ 40.

In the catalogues given by Matthew and Luke, Simon and Andrew, the sons of Jonah, are named first, not because they were greater in dignity than their brethren of the apostolical college, but because they had become Christ's disciples before them. With resp ct to Andrew, this is plain from John i. 40, 41. § 18. And as for Peter, he may have been the second disciple, notwithstanding it was another person who accompanied Andrew when he first conversed with Jesus. That person is supposed to have been John the son of Zebedee, and the author of the gospel, because he is there spoken of in the manner that John usually speaks of himself. But whoever he was, Peter may have been a disci

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ple before him, because it by no means follows from Andrew's being convinced, that his companion was convinced also. The foundation of his faith may have been laid at that meeting, though he did not acknowledge Christ's mission till afterwards. Now, as some one of the disciples was to have the first place in the catalogue, the earliness of Peter's faith might be a reason for conferring that honour on him. But he takes place even of his brother Andrew, who was converted before him, perhaps because decency required it, being, as is generally believed, the elder brother. In like manner, James the son of Zebedee being elder than John his brother, is mentioned before him, though it is probable he was the younger disciple. Whatever was the reason of ranking the apostles in the catalogue, we are certain they are not ranged according to their dignity; for had that been the case, the order of the names would not have been different in the different evangelists; neither would the apostle Paul, in speaking of the pillars of the church, Gal. ii. 9. have mentioned James the Less before Peter. Farther, on supposition that the apostles are ranked in the catalogues according to their dignity, it will follow that John and Matthew, whose praise is in all the churches on account of their writings, were inferior to apostles who are scarce once named in the Gospels or Acts, except in the catalogues. Add to this, if Peter was the chief apostle, how came it that James the son of Alpheus presided in the first council at Jerusalem? Acts xv. 19. as is plain from his summing up the debate, and wording the decree. Or if Peter was the greatest in point of activity and courage, how came Herod to kill James the son of Zebedee before he laid hold on Peter, whom indeed afterwards he was going to have put to death? In short, if any of the apostles were greater than the rest, how came Jesus, when they disputed about superiority, to reprove them, and to declare that they were all brethren or equals? In the catalogue, Simon the brother of Andrew is distinguished from the other Simon by the sirname of Peter, which had been conferred on him when he first became acquainted with Jesus at Jordan. The reason of the name, however, was not assigned till long after that, viz. when Simon declared his faith in Jesus as Messiah, Matth. xvi. 17, 18. § 70. for it was then that Jesus told him he was called Cephas and Peter, (which by interpretation is a rock) on account of the fortitude wherewith he was to preach the gospel. Simon and Andrew were originally fishermen, and inhabitants of Bethsaida, a town situated on the north shore of the lake of Gennezareth. See § 60. But after Peter was married, he and his brother settled in Capernaum, perhaps because his wife lived there. Before they became acquainted with Christ, they were disciples of the Baptist, who pointed him out to them as Messiah. Andrew has left no writings, for which reason we are at a loss to judge of

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