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The disciples require
CHAP. XIII.

its explanation. 13 Therefore speak I to them in pa- || and should be converted, and I should A. M.4931. An. Olymp. rables : because they seeing, see not ; | heal them.

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and hearing, they hear not, neither do 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they understand.

they see : and your ears, for they hear. 14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of 17 For verily I say unto you, " That many Esaias, which saith, * By hearing ye shall hear, prophets and righteous men have desired to see and shall not understand ; and seeing ye shall those things which ye see, and have not seen see, and shall not perceive:

them ; and to hear those things which ye hear, 15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and have not heard them. and their ears bare dull of hearing, and their 18 ( Hear ye therefore the parable of the eyes they have closed ; lest at any time they | sower. should see with their eyes, and hear with their 19 When any one heareth the word of the ears, and should understand with their heart, kingdom, and understandeth it not, then com

* Isai. 6. 9. Ezek. 12. 2. Mark 4. 12. Luke 8. 10. John 12. 40. Acts

28. 26, 27. Rom. 11. 8. 2 Cor. 3. 14, 15. _Hebr. 5. 11.

· Ch. 16. 17. Luke 10. 23, 24. John 20. 29. Hebr. 11. 13. 1 Pet. 1.

10, 11.-_-_Mark 4. 14. Luke 8. 11.fch. 4. 23.

He had one small bed, six little pitchers, the ornament of a generally overlooked. The Evangelist means, that as these side-board; a small jug or tankard, the image of a centaur, words were fulfilled in the Jews in the time of the prophet and an old chest with some Greek books in it, on which the Isaiah, so they are now again fulfilled in these their posterity, mice had already begun to make depredations. And all this who exactly copy their fathers' example. These awful words he lost ; probably by continuing, in spite of his destiny, to may be again fulfilled in us, if we take not warning by the be a poet. So those who devote not the light and power things which these disobedient people have suffered. which God has given them, to the purposes for which he has Dy hearing ye shall hear] Jesus Christ shall be sent to you, granted these gifts, from them shall be taken away these un- his miracles ye shall fully see, and his doctrines ye shall disemployed or prostituted blessings. This seems to have been tinctly hear, but God will not force you to receive the salvaa proverbial mode of speech, which our Lord bere uses to tion which is offered. inform his disciples, that he who does not improve the first Verse 15. Heart is wared gross] Enxuron, is become fat operations of grace, howsoever small, is in danger of losing-inattentive, stupid, insensible. They hear heavily with their not only all the possible product, but even the principal ; forears—are half asleep while the salvation of God is preached God delights to heap benefits on those who properly improve unto them. them. See the note on Luke viii. 18.

Their eyes they have closed] Totally and obstinately resisted Verse 13. Therefore speak I to them in parables) On this the truth of God, and shut their eyes against the light. account, viz. to lead them into a proper knowledge of God. Lestthey should see, &c.] Lest they should see their lost I speak to them in parables, natural representations of spirit-estate, and be obliged to turn unto God, and seek his salvaual truths, that they may be allured to enquire, and to find || tion. His state is truly deplorable who is sick unto death, out the spirit, which is hidden under the letter ; because see- and yet is afraid of being cured. The fault is here totally ing the miracles which I have wrought, they see not, i. e. the in the people, and not at all in that God, whose name is end for which I have wrought them : and hearing my doc- || mercy and whose nature is love. trines, they hear not, so as to profit by what is spoken; neither Verse 16. But blessed are your eyes] Ye improve the light do they understand, cude ou lovos, they do not lay their hearts which God has given you; and you receive an increase of to it. Is not this obviously our Lord's meaning? Who can heavenly wisdom by every miracle and by every sermon. suppose that he would employ his time in speaking enigma- Verse 17. Many prophets and righteous men] These lived tically to them, on purpose that they might not understand by, and died in the faith of the promised Messiah : the fulwhat was spoken? Could the God of trụth and sincerity act ness of the time was not then come for his manifestation in thus ? If he had designed to act otherwise, he might have the flesh. See also on ver. 11. saved his time and labour, and not spoken at all, which Verse 19. When any one hcareth the word of the kingdom) would have answered the same end, viz. to leave them in Viz. the preaching of the gospel of Christ. gross ignorance.

And understandeth it not] Mn Ouyusytos, perhaps more proVerse 14. In them is fulfilled] Ayatangoutan, Is AGAIN ful-perly, regardeth it not, does not lay his heart to it. filled: this proper meaning of the Greek word has been The wicked one] O Teungos, from Toxos, labour, toil, he who

Explanation of the

ST. MATTHEW.

parable of the sower,

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22

way sile.

4, N, 1031. eth the wicked one, and catcheth away || ariseth because of the word, by and A. M.4031. An. Olymp. that which was sown in his heart.by bhe is offended.

An. Olymp This is he which received seed by the

He also that received seed CCI. 3.

among the thorns, is be that heareth the word; 20 But he that received the seed into stony and the care of this world, and the deceitfulplaces, the same is he that heareth the word, ness of riches choke the word, and he becomand anon with joy receiveth it;

eth unfruitful. 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth 23 But he that received seed into the good for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ground, is he that heareth the word, and under

* Isai. 58. 2. Ezek. 33. 31, 32. John 5. 33.

Ch. 11. 6. 2 Tim. 1. 15.-ich. 19. 23. Mark 10. 23. Luke 18. 24.

1 Tim. 6. 9. 2 Tim. 4. 10.-djer. 4.3.

distresses and torments the soul. Mark, chap. iv. 15. calls | land ploughed, but not properly cleared and weeded. Is hehim ó catuva;, the adversury or opposer, because he resists represents that person who heareth the word, but the cares, men in all their purposes of amendment, and to the utmost rather, the anxiety, n leegspero, the whole system of anxious of his power, opposes, in order to frustrate, the influences of carking cares. Lexicographers derive the word Megbura

from divine grace upon the heart. In the parallel place in Luke, reputasy TOY vous, dividing, or distracting the mind. Thus a chap. viji. 12. he is called ó Soz Bolos, the devil, from diaBan- poet, dev, to shoot, or dart through. In allusion to this meaning of Tot me impediunt curæ, quæ meum animum divorsè trahunt. the name, St. Paul, Eph. vi. 16. speaks of the fiery Darts of So many cares hinder me, which draw my mind different the wicked one. It is worthy of remark, that the three Evan- ways.Terence. gelists should use each a different appellative of this mortal The deceitfulness of riches) Which promise peace and pleaenemy of mankind; probably to shew, that the devil, with sure, but can never give them. all his powers and properties, opposes every thing that tends Choke the word) Or, together choke the word, oortry, to the salvation of the soul.

meaning, either that these grow up together with the word, Catcheth away] Makes the utmost haste to pick up the overtop, and choke it; or that these united together, viz. good seed, lest it should take root in the heart.

carking worldly cares, with the delusive hopes and promises A careless inattentive hearer is compared to the way

sidem of riches, cause the man to abandon the great concerns of his heart is an open road, where evil affections, and foolish || his soul, and seek in their place, what he shall eat, drink, and hurtful desires continually pass and repass without either and wherewithal he shall be clothed. Dreadful stupidity of notice or restraint. “A heart where Satan has," (as one man, thus to barter spiritual for temporal good-a heavenly terms it) ingress, egress, regress, and progress : in a word, inheritance for an earthly portion! The seed of the kingthe devil's thoroughfare."

dom can never produce much fruit in any heart, till the Verse 20. But he that received the seed into stony placosis thorns and thistles of vicious affections and impure desires ke] That is, is a fit emblem of that man, who hearing the be plucked up by the roots and burned. The Persic transgospel, is affected with its beauty and excellency, and imme- lator renders it is als call lol asle kalmé-ra khubé diutely receiveth it with joy~is glad to hear what God has kund, chokes the root of the word : for it appears the seed had done to make man happy.

taken root, and that these cares, &c. choked it in the root, Verse 21. Yet hath he not root in himself] His soul is not before even the blade could shew itself. deeply convinced of its guilt and depravity; the fallow Verse 23. Good ground] That which had depth of mould, ground is not properly ploughed up, nor the rock broken. was rell ploughed, and well weeded. When persecution, &c. ariseth, which he did not expect, he is Is he that heareth] Who diligently attends the ministry of soon stumbledseeks some pretext to abandon both the doc the word. trine and followers of Christ. Having not felt his own sore, And understandeth it) Lays the subject to heart, deeply and the plague of his heart, he has not properly discovered weighing its nature, design, and importance. that this salvation is the only remedy for his soulthus he Which also beureth fruit] His fruitfulness being an alhas no motive in his heart, strong enough to counteract the most necessary consequence of his thus laying the divine outward scandal of the cross so he endureth only for the message to heart. Let it be observed, that to hear, to undertime, in which there is no difficulty to encounter, no cross stand, and to bring forth fruit, are the three grand evidences to bear.

of a genuine believer. He who does not hear the word of Verse 22. He also that received seed among the thorns) In wisdom, cannot understund what makes for his peace; and

Parable of the

CHAP. XIII.

wheat and the tares.

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A. M.4031. standeth it; which also beareth fruit, 25 But while men slept, his enemy
An. Olymp. and bringeth forth, a some a hundred- | came and sowed “tares among the An. Olymp.

fold, some sixty, some thirty. wheat, and went his way. 24 | Another parable put he forth unto them, 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares a man which sowed good seed in his field : also.

"Gen. 26. 12. John 15. 4, 5, 8. Gal. 5. 22.

Mark 4. 26.

Deut. 22. 9. Isai. 56. 9, 10. Wisd. 2, 24. 1 Tim. 4. 2.

he who does not understand what the gospel requires him to whose hearts are not right with God. He who sows this basbe and to perform, cannot bring forth fruit ; and he who is tard wheat among God's people, is here stiled God's enemy : not fruitful, very fruitful, cannot be a disciple of Christ: see and he may be considered also as a sower of them, who permits John xv. 8. and he who is not Christ's disciple, cannot enter them to be sown and to spring up through his negligence. into the kingdom of God.

Woe to the indolent pastors, who permit the souls under their From the different portions of fruit produced by the good care, to be corrupted by error or sin ! ground, a hundred, sirty, and thirty, we may learn, that all The word tifana zizania, which is here translated tares, sound believers are not equally fruitful—all hear, understand, and which should rather be translated bastard or degenerate and bring forth fruit, but not in the same degrees occasion wheat, is found in no Greek writer : even those who have ed partly, by their situation and circumstances not allowing written expressly on botany and agriculture, have neither it, them such extensive opportunities of receiving and doing nor any thing like it. It is a Chaldee word, and its meaning good; and partly, by lack of mental capacity--for every must be sought in the Rabbinical writers. In a treatise in mind is not equally improvable.

the Mishna called Keluyim, which treats expressly on differLet it be farther observed, that the unfruitfulness of the ent kinds of seeds; the word So zunim, or 7211 sunin, is different lands was not owing to bad seed or an unskilful | used for bastard or degenerated wheat : that which was wholly $ower—the same sower sows the same seed in all, and with the a right seed in the beginning, but afterwards became degenesame gracious design-but it is unfruitful in many, because rate-the car not being so large, nor the grains in such quanthey are careless, inattentive, and worldly minded.

tity as formerly, nor the corn so good in quality. In Psal. But is not the ground naturally bad in every heart? Un- || cxliv. 13. the words ir sxe pro mizzan al zan, are translated, doubtedly. And can any but God make it good ? None. all manner of store ; but they properly signify, from species But it is your business, when you hear of the justice and to species: might not the Chaldee word 70317 zunin, and the mercy of God, to implore him to work in "you that which is Greek word fanc zizania, come from the Psalmist's 1137. zunpleasing in his sight. No man shall be condemned because | zan, which might have signified a mixture of grain of any he did not change his own heart, but because he did not cry kind, and be here used to point out the mixing bastard or to God to change it; who gave him his Holy Spirit for this degenerate wheat, among good seed wheat ? The Persic very purpose ; and which he, by his worldly mindedness and translator renders it tils Źhlö telki daneh, bitter grain, but it impiety, quenched. Whoso huth ears to hear, let him hear : seerns to signify merely degenerate wheat. This interpretation and may the Lord save the Reader from an impenitent and throws much light on the scope and design of the whole pasunfruitful heart !

sage. Christ seems to refer first, to the origin of evil-God Verse 24. The kingdom of heaven] God's method of man- sowed good seed in his field ; made man in his own image. aging the affairs of the world, and the concerns of his and likeness :--but the enemy, the devil, (ver. 39.) corrupted

this good seed, and caused it to degenerate. Secondly, he Is likened unto a man which sawed good seed in his field] In seems to refer to the state of the Jewish people : God had general, the world may be termed the field of God; and in sowed them at first, wholly a right seed, but now they were particular, those who profess to believe in God through become utterly degenerate, and about to be plucked up and Christ, are his field or farm; among whom God sows nothing destroyed by the Roman armies, which were the angels or but the pure unadulterated word of his truth.

messengers of God's justice, whom he had commissioned to Verse 25. But while men slept] When the professors were sweep these rebellious people from the face of the land. lukewarm, and the pastors indolent; his enemy came and sou-Thirdly, he seems to refer also to the state in which the ed tares, degenerate or bastard wheat. The righteous and the world shall be found, when he comes to judge it. The rightwicked are often mingled in the visible church. Every Chris-eous and the wicked shall be permitted to grow together, tian society, how pure soever its principles may be, has its till God comes to make a full and final separation. bustard wheat—those who bear a resemblance to the good, but Verse 26. When the blade was sprung up-then appeared the

church.

Parable of the grain

Sr. MATTHEW.

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27 So the servants of the housholder f reapers, Gather ye together first the 4.1.4931, An. (dynip. came and said unto him, Sir, didst tares, and bind them in bundles to An. Olymp.

not thou sow good seed in thy field ? | burn them: but ‘gather the wheat from whence then hath it tares ?

into
my

barn. 28 He said unto them, a An enemy hath done 31 | Another parable put he forth unto them, this. The servants said unto him, "Wilt thou saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like to a then that we go and gather them up?

grain of mustard seed, which a man took and 29 But he said, Nay ; lest while ye gather sowed in his field : up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with 32 Which indeed is the least of all seeds : but them.

when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, 30 Let both grow together until the harvest : 1 and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the and in the time of harvest I will say to the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

á Estli. 7. 6.

b Luke 9. 54.

1 Pet. 1. 23.

. Ch. 3. 12.

-d Isai. 2. 2, 3. Mic. 4. 1. Mark 4. 50. Luke 13. 18, 19.

tares also.] Satan has a shoot of iniquity for every shoot of corrigible sinner, yet he should proceed no farther—the man grace; and when God revives his work, Satan revives his is not to be persecuted in his body or goods, because he is not also. No marvel, therefore, if we find scandals arising sud- sound in the faith—God tolerates him; so should men. False denly to discredit a work of grace, where God has begun to doctrines are against God—he alone is the judge and punisher pour out his Spirit.

of them-man has no right to interfere in this matter. They Verse 27. So the servantssaid unto him, Sir, didst not thou who burnt Vanini for atheism, usurped the seat of judgment, sow] A faithful and vigilant minister of Christ fails not to and thus proved themselves to be not less a diabolic seed, discover the evil, to lament it, and to address himself to God than the person they thus, without God's leave, hurried into by prayer, in order to find out the cause of it, and to receive eternity. Mary, of execrable memory, and the inquisitofrom him proper information how to behave on this oc rial tormentors she employed, were all of this diabolic sowcasion.

ing. See more on this parable at ver. 37, &c. Verse 28. An enemy hath done this.] It is the interest of Verse 31. The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard Satan to introduce hypocrites and wicked persons into religi- seed] This parable is a representation of the progress of the ous societies, in order to discredit the work of God, and to gospel in the world; and of the growth of grace in the soul. favour his own designs.

That
grace

which leads the soul to the fulness of glory, may Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up ?] A zeal begin, and often does, in a single good desire-a wish to eswhich is rash and precipitate, is as much to be feared as the cape hell, or a desire to enjoy God in heaven. total lack of strict discipline.

Verse 32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds] That is, of all Verse 29. But he said, Nay] God judges quite otherwise those seeds which produce plants, whose stems and branches, than men, of this mixture of good and evil in the world : he according to the saying of the botanists, are apt devdeoštov, arknows the good which he intends to produce from it; and borescere, to grow into a ligneous or woody substance. how far his patience towards the wicked should extend, in Becometh a tree] That is, it is not only the largest of order to their conversion, or the farther sanctification of the plants which are produced from such small seeds, but parrighteous. Men often persecute a true Christian, while they takes, in its substance, the close woody texture, especially in intend only to prosecute an impious person.

“ A zeal for warm climates, where we are informed it grows to an almost the extirpation of heretics and wicked men,” said a pious | incredible size. The Jerusalem Talmud, tract Peah. fol. 20. Papist, “not regulated by these words of our blessed Saviour, says, " There was a stalk of mustard in Sichin, from which allows no time for the one to grow strong in goodness, or to sprang out three boughs; one of which being broken off

, the other, to forsake their evil courses. They are of a spirit served to cover the tent of a potter, and produced three cabes very opposite to his, who care not if they root up the wheat, of mustard seed. Rabbi Simeon ben Chalapha said, A stalk provided they can but gather up the tares.” The zeal which of mustard seed was in my field, into which I was wont to leads persons to persecute others for religious opinions, is not climb, as men are wont to climb into a fig-tree.” See Lightless a seed of the devil, than a bad opinion itself is.

foot and Schoetgen. This may appear to be extravagant; Verse 30. Let both grow together] Though every minister and it is probable, that in the case of the three cabes of seed, of God should separate from the church of Christ, every in there is considerable exaggeration : but if it had not been

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Tlie parable of the leaven. Why CHAP. XIII. Christ spake to the people in parubles. 33 F · Another parable spake he i by the prophet, saying, "I will

open An. Olymp. unto them: The kingdom of heaven my mouth in parables; o I will utter An. Olymp.

is like unto leaven, which a woman things which have been kept secret took, and hid in three measures of meal, till from the foundation of the world. the whole was leavened.

36 | Then Jesus sent the multitude away, 34 “All these things spake Jesus unto the and went into the house : and his disciples came multitude in parables; and without a parable unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable spake he not unto them:

of the tares of the field. 35 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken

37 He answered and said unto them, He

Mark 4. 33, 31.

· Lule 13. 90.-- The word in the Greck is a mcusure contrining about

u peck and a half, wunting a little more than a pint.

dls. l. 78. 9. e Rom, 16. 55, 26. 1 Cor. 2. 7.

Eph. 3. 9. Col. 1. 20.

usual for this plant to grow to a very large size, such rela- medium of earthly things. If God should speak tv us in tions as these would not have appeared even in the Talmud; that language which is peculiar to heaven, clothing those and the parable of our Lord sufficiently attests the fact. ideas which angelic minds form, how little should wc comSome soils being more luxuriant than others, and the climate prehend of the things thus described? How great is our much warmer, raise the same plait to a size and perfection privilege in being thus taught! Ileavenly things, in the pafar beyond what a poorer soil, or a colder climate, can pos- rables of Christ, assume to themselves a body, and thus render sibly do. Herodotus says, he has seen wheat and barley in themselves palpable. the country about Babylon, which carried a blade full four Verse 35. By the prophet) As the quotation is taken from fingers breadth : and that the millet and sesamum grew to an

Psal. lxxviii. 2. which is attributed to Asaph, he must be the incredible size. I have myself seen a field of common cab- ' prophet who is meant in the text; and, indeed, he is exbages in one of the Norman isies, each of which was from seven pressly called a prophet, 1 Chron. xxv. 2. Several JSS. to nine feet in height; and one in the garden of a frieni), which have Hrasou, Isaiah ; but this is a manifest error. Jerom supgrew beside an apple-tree, though the latitude of the place is , poses that Asaph was first in the text, and that some ignorant only about 48°. 13. North, was fifteen feet high, the stem of transcriber, not knowing who this Asaph was, inserted the which is yet remaining, (September 1798). These facts, and word Isaiah; and thus, by attempting to remove an imaginary several others which might be added, confirm fully the pos- i error, made a real one. sibility of wbat our Lord says of the mustard-tree, however Verse 36. Jesus went into the house : and his disciples incredible such things may appear to those who are ac- came] Circumstances of this kind should not pass unnoticed : quainted only with the procluctions of northern regions and they are instructive and important. Those who attend only cold climates.

to the public preaching of the Gospel of God, are not likely Verse 33. The kingdom of heaven is like urto lenven] On to understand fully the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. the nature and effects of leuren, see the note on Exod. xii. 8. To understand clearly the purport of the divine message, a As the property of leaven is to change, or assimilate to its own man must come to God by frequent, fervent, secret prayer. nature, the meal or douch with which it is mixed; so the pro-It is thus that the word of God sinks into the heart, is watered, perty of the grace of Christ is to change the whole soul into and brings forth much fruit. its own likeness : and God intends that this principle should Declare unto us (@garov, explain) to us the parable of the continue in the soul till all is leavened, till the whole bear thres of the field.] To what has already been spoken on this the image of the heavenly, as it before bore the image of the parable, the following general exposition may be deemed a earthly. Both these parables are prophetic, and were in- | necessary appendage: tended to shew, principally, how, from very small be- I. What is the cause of Evil in the world? ginnings, the Gospel of Christ should perrade all the na- 1. We must allow, that God, who is infinite in holiness, puticns of the world, and fill them with righteousness and true rity, and goodness, could not have done it. Nothing can proholiness.

duce what is not in itself. This is a inaxim which every man Verse 34. All these things spake Jesus--in parables] Christ subscribes to : God then could not have produced sin, forasdescends from divine mysteries to parables, in order to ex- | much as his nature is infinite goodness and holiness. He made cite us to raise our minds, from and through natural things, man at first in his own image, a transcript of his own purity: to the great God, and the operations of his grace and Spirit. and since sin entered into the world, He has done every thing Divine things cannot be taught to mau but through the consistent with his own perfections, and the freedom of the

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