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A. D. 27.

A. D. 27.

of man ;

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The explanation of the parable

ST. MATTHEW.

of the tares and the wheat. A.M.4031. that soweth the good seed is the Son || burned in the fire; so shall it be in the A. N.4 31.

end of this world.

An Oly inp. An. Olymp. CCI. 3.

38 · The field is the world ; the 41 The Son of man shall send forth good seed are the children of the kingdom; his angels, dand they shall gather out of his but the tares are bthe children of the wicked kingdom all things that offend, and them which one;

do iniquity; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of * the harvest is the end of the world ; and the fire: 8 there shall be wailing and gnashing of reapers are the angels.

teeth. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and 43 "Then shall the righteous shire forth as

f

a (h. 24. 14. & ing 19. Mark 16. 15, 20. Luke 24. 47. Rom. 10. 18. Col. 1. 6,-_Gen. 3. 13. John' 8. 44. Acts 13. 10. 1 John 3. 8. Juel 3. 13. Rev. 14. 15.

a Ch. 18. 7. 2 Pet. 2. 1,%.('r, scandals

.--ch, 3. 12. Rev. 19. 9), & 20. 10.-- -8 ch. 8. 12. ver. 50.-Dan. 12. 3. Visd. 3. 7. 1 Cor. 13. 4., 13, 58.

human mind, to drive it out; and to make and keep man the exercise of many of the graces of the Spirit, on which our holy.

spiritual perfection greatly depends. 2. After a thousand volumes are written on the origin of 3. Nor could the grace of God be so manifest in supporting evil, we shall just know as much of it as Christ has told us and saving the righteous; and consequently could not have here--An enemy hath done it ; and this enemy is the Devil, that honour which now it justly claims. verse 39.

4. Were not this evil tolerated, how could the wicked be 1. This enemy is represented as a deceitful enemy: a converted? the bastard wheat, by being transplanted to a friend in appearance, soliciting to sin, by pleasure, honour, better soil, may become good wheut; so sinners may be enriches, &c.

grafted in Christ, and become sons of God through faith in 2. A vigilant enemy. While men sleep, he watches, ver. 25. his name ; for the long-suffering of God leads multitudes lo

3. A hidden or secret enemy. After having sown his seed, repentance. he disappears, ver. 25. Did he appear as himself, few would IV. Observe the end of the present state of things: receive solicitations to sin; but he is seldom discovered in 1. The wicked shall be punished, and the righteous reevil thoughts, unholy desires, flattering discourses, bad books, warded. &c.

The wicked are termed bastard wheat—the children of the II. Why was evil permitted to enter into the world? wicked one, ver. 38. the very seed of the serpent.

1. There are doubtless sufficient reasons in the Divine Observe the place in which the wicked shall be punished, Mind for its permission ; which, connected with his infinite a FURNACE, The instrument of this punishment, Fire.

This essence, and extending to eternity, are not only unfathom- is an allusion to a punishment inflicted only on those supposed able by us, but also, from their nature, incommunicable to to be the very worst of criminals. See Dan. iii. 6. They were men.

cast into a burning fiery furnace. The effect of it, DESPAIN; 2. But it may be justly said, that hereby many attributes weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, ver. 42. of the Divine Nature become manifest, which otherwise could 2. Observe the character and state of the righteous; not have been known; such as mercy, compassion, long-suffer- 1. They are the children of the kingdom, a seed of God's ing, &c. All of which endear the Deity to men, and perfect sowing, ver. 38. the felicity of those who are saved.

2. As to their persons, they shall be like the sun. III. But why does he suffer this mixture of the good and 3. The place of their felicity shall be the kingdom of bad seed now?

heaven : and, 1. Because of the necessary dependance of one part of the 4. The object of it, God in the relation of Father, ver. 45. creation on the other. Were the wicked all rooted up, so- This is a reference to Dan. xii. 2, 3. ciety must fail-the earth be nearly desolated---noxious things Some learned men are of opinion, that the whole of this greatly multiplied—and the small remnant of the godly, not || parable refers to the Jewish state and people; and that the being able to stand against the onsets of wild beasts, &c. words GUITEMEIQ TOU alwvos, which are commonly translated the must soon be extirpated, and then adieu to the economy of end of the world, should be rendered the end of the age, viz. grace.

the end of the Jewish polity. That the words have this mean2. Did not the wicked exist, there would be no room for ing in other places, there can be no doubt; and this may be

2

The parables of the hidden

CHAP. XIII.

treasure, and costly pearl. 4. 1.051. the sun in the kingdom of their | of goeth and selleth all that he hath, A. M.4031. An. Olyinp. Father. Who hath ears to hear, let and buyeth that field.

An. Olymp. him hear.

45 4 Again, the kingdom of heaven 44 [ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly unto treasure hid in a field; the which when pearls : a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy there- 46 Who, when he had found "one pearl of

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Ver. 9. Phil. 3.7, 8.

c Isai. 55. 1. Rev. 3. 18.

- Prov. 2. 4. & 3. 14, 15. & 8, 10, 19.

their primary meaning here ; but there are other matters in bought the book for the sake of the salvation it described, the parable which agree far better with the consummation of but by the blood of the covenant, buys gold tried in the fire, all things, than with the end of the Jewish dispensation and white raiment, &c.; in a word, pardon and purity, which he polity. See on Mark iv. 29.

receives from God for the sake of Jesus. We should consider Verse 44. The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid the salvation of God, 1. As our only treasure, and value it in a field] Ong cucw xexquplesw, to a hidden treasure.

We are

above all the riches in the world. 2. Search for it in the not to imagine that the treasure here mentioned, and to which Scriptures, till we fully understand its worth and excellence. the Gospel salvation is likened, means a pot or chest of money | 3. Deeply ponder it in the secret of our souls. 4. Part hidden in the field, but rather a gold or silver mine, which with all we have in order to get it. 5. Place our whole joy he who found out, could not get at, or work, without turning and felicity in it; and 6. Be always convinced that it must up the field, and for this purpose he bought it. Mr. Wake-be bought, and that no price is accepted for it but the blood field's obscrvation is very just ; “ There is no sense in the pur- of the covenant; the sufferings and death of our only. Lord chase of a field for a pot of money, which he might have and Saviour Jesus Christ. carried away with him very readily, and as honestly too, as by

Verse 45. A merchant man, seeking goodly pearls) A story overreaching the owner by an unjust purchase.”

very like this is found in the Talmudical Tract Shabbath: “JoHe hideth-i. e. he kept secret, told the discovery to noseph, who sanctified the sabbath, had a very rich neighbour; person, till he had bought the field. From this view of the the Chaldeans said, All the riches of this man shall come to subject, the translation of this verse, given above, will appear Joseph, who sanctifies the sabbath. To prevent this, the rich proper-a hidden treasure, when applied to a rich mine, is man went and sold all that he had, and bought a pearl, and more proper than a treasure hid, which applies better to a went aboard of a ship; but the wind carried the pearl away, pot of money deposited there, which I suppose was our trans- || it fell into the sea, and was swallowed by a fish. This fuh was lator's opinion :--and kept secret, or concealed, will apply bet- ' caught, and the day before the sabbath it was brought into the ter to the subject of his discovery till he made the purchase, market, and they proclaimed, Who wishes to buy this fish? than hideth, for which there could be no occasion, when The people said, Carry it to Joscph, the sanctifier of the sabthe pot was already hidden, and the place known only to bath, who is accustomed to buy things of great value. They himself.

carried it to him, and he bought it, and when he cut it up

he Our Lord's meaning seems to be this.

found the pearl, and sold it for thirteen pounds weight of The kingdom of heaven,--the salvation provided by the golden Denarii!” From some tradition of this kind our Lord gospel-is like a treasure-something of inestimable 'worth might have borrowed the simile in this parable. hidden in a field; it is a rich mine, the veins of which run The meaning of this parable is the same with the other; in all directions in the sacred Scriptures; therefore, the field and both were spoken to impress more forcibly this great truth must be dug up, the records of salvation diligently and care- on the souls of the people : eternal salvation from sin and its fully turned over, and searched. Which, when a man hath consequences, is the supreme good of man, should be sought found—when a sinner is convinced that the promise of life after abere all things, and prized beyond all that God has eternal is to him ; he kept secret-pondered the matter deeply made. Those merchants who compass sea and land for tempoin his heart; he examines the preciousness of the treasure, ral gain, condemn the slothfulness of the majority of those and counts the cost of purchase ; for joy thereof--finding that called Christians, who, though they confess that this salvation this salvation is just what his needy soul requires, and what is the most certain, and the most excellent, of all treasures; will make him presently and eternally happy, went and sold yet seek worldly possessions in preference to it! Alas for him all that he had-renounces his sins, abandons his evil com- who expects to find any thing more amiable than God, more panions, and relinquishes all hope of salvation, through his worthy to fill his heart, and more capable of making him own righteousness; and purchased that field -- not merely happy!

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The parable of the drag-net,
Sr. MÅTTHEW.

and its explanation. 4. 11,401. great price, went and sold all that he 50° And shall cast them into the A. M. 1931. An. Olymp. had, and bought it.

furnace of fire : there shall be wailing An. Olymap. 47 | Again, the kingdom of heaven and gnashing of teeth. is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, 51 Jesus saith unto them, Have ye underand ? gathered of every

stood all these things? They say unto him, 48 Which, when it was full, they drew to Yea, Lord. shore, and sat down, and gathered the good 52 Then said he unto them, Therefore every into vessels, but cast the bad away.

scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of 49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the heaven is like unto a man that is a housholder, angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked which bringeth forth out of his treasure a things from among the just,

new and old.

every kind :

*Ch, 22. 10,

b ch. 25. 32.

• Ver. 44

- Cant. 7. 13.

Verse 47. I like unto a net] A drag-net. This is the proper orerwhelmed with the general destruction. See chap. xxiv. meaning of Edynion, which the Latins translate rerriculum, a ver. 30, &c. sweep-net, Quod in aquam jacitur ad pisces comprehendendos ; Verse 50. Into the furnace of fire] See the note on imprimis, cujus usus est extrahendis iis d fundo. MARTINIUS. chap. viii. ver. 12. Which is cast into the water to catch fish, and the particular Verse 51. Haro ye understood all these things?) Divine use of which is to drag them up from the bottom. As this is trutlis must not be lightly passed over.-Our Lord's questions dragged along it keeps gathering all in its way, both good and bere, shews them to be matters of the utmost weight and imbad, small and great; and when it is brought to the shore, portance; and that they should be considered again and again, those whieh are proper for use are preserved, and those which till they be thoroughly understood. are not, are either destroyed or thrown back into the water. Verse 52. Every scribe] Minister of Christ who is in

By the net may be understood the preaching of the gospel structed--taught of God: in the kingdom of heaven--in the of the kingdom, which keeps drawing men into the profession mysteries of the gospel of Christ;-out of his treasury-his of christianity, and into the fellowship of the visible church of granary, or store-house, things new and old-a Jewish phrase Christ : By the sea may be represented that abyss of sin, error, for great plenty. A small degree of knowledge is not sufficient ignorance and wickedness in which men live, and out of which for a preacher of the gospel. The Sacred Writings should be they are drawn by the truth and Spirit of God, who cordially his treasure, and he should properly understand them. His close in with the offers of salvation made to them in the knowledge does not consist in being furnished with a great preaching of the Gospel.

variety of human learning, (though of this he should acquire By druwing to shore, may be represented the consummation as much as he can ;) but his knowledge consists in being well of all things, see ver. 49. when a proper distinction shall be instructed in the things concerning the kingdom of heaven, made between those who served God, and those who served and the art of conducting men thither. Again, it is not him not; for many shall doubtless be found who shall bear the enough for a man to have these advantages in possession : he name without the nature of Christ. By picking out the good, must bring them forth, and distribute them abroad. A good und throwing away the bad, ver. 48. is meant that separation pastor will not, like a miser, keep these things to himself to which God shall make between false and true professors, cast- please his fancy; nor like a merchant traffick with them, to ing the former into hell, and bringing the latter to heaven. cnrich himself, but like a bountiful father or householder, dis

instead of ra xed.ce the good, the Cod. Bezæ, and five copies tribute them with a liberal though judicious hand, for the of the old antehieronimian, or Itala version, read ta xardıcta comfort and support of the whole heavenly family. the best, the rery best :-every reader would naturally hope that A preacher whose mind is well stored with divine truths, this is not the true reading, or that it is not to be understood and who has a sound judgment, will suit his discourses to the literally, as it seems to intimate that only the very best shall circumstances and states of his hearers. He who preaches the be at last saved.

same sermon to every congregation, gives the fullest proof that It is probable that this parable also refers, in its primary however well he may speak, he is not a scribe who is inmeaning, to the Jewish, state, and that when Christ should | structed in the kingdom of heaven. Some have thought that come to judge and destroy them by the Roman power, the old and new things here, which imply the produce of tite genuine folowers of Christ only should escape, and the rest be past, and the produce of the present year, may also refer to

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Christ preaches among his own

CHAP. XIII. countrymen, and is rejected by thein. 53 | And it came to pass, that'|and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? An. Olymp. when Jesus had finished these parables, 56 And his sisters, are they not all A. Olymp. he departed thence.

with us? Whence then hath this man 54 · And when he was come into his own all these things ? country, he taught them in their synagogue, 57 And they were offended in him. But insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Jesus said unto them, 'A prophet is not withWhence hath this man this wisdom, and these out honour, save in his own country, and in his mighty works?

own house. 55 Is not this the carpenter's son ? is not his 58 And he did not many mighty works there, mother called Mary? and his brethren, “James, because of their unbelief.

a Ch. 2. 23. Mark 6. 1. Like 4. 16, 93.- _ Isai. 49.7. Mark 6.3.

Luke 3. 23. Johu 6. 12.

• Ch. 12. 16.–Mark 15.10.-_e Ch. 11. 6. Mark 6. 3,4.- Luke 4. 21.

John 4. 44.- Mark 6. 5, a.

the old and new corenants-a proper knowledge of the Oralikely. Why should the children of another family be brought Testament Scriptures, and of the doctrines of Christ as con- in here to share a reproach, which it is evident'was designeil tained in the New. No man can properly understand the for Joseph the carpenter, Mary his wife, Jesus their son, and Old Testament but through the medium of the Neig, nor can

their other children? Prejudice apart, would not any person the New be so forcibly or successfully applied to the conscience of plain common sense suppose from this account, that these of a sinner, as through the medium of the old. The Luw is were the children of Joseph and Mary, and the brothers and still a schoolmaster to lead men to Christ—by it, is the know- sisters of our Lord, according to the flesh. It seems odd that ledge of sin, and without it, there can be no conviction--where this should be doubted; but through an unaccountable preit ends, the Gospel begins, as by the Gospel alone is salration judice, Papists and Protestants are determined to maintain as froin sin. See the whole of the coinment on the Pentateuch. a doctrine, that on which the Scriptures are totally silent,

Verse 5t. And when he was come into his own country] | viz. the perpetual virginity of the mother of our Lord. See Probably Nazareth, where his parents lived, and where he had ch. i. ver. 25. continued till his thirtieth year, though it appears he had a Verse 57. And they were offended in irim.] They took oflodging in Peter's house, at Capernaum.

fence at him, εσκανδαλιζοντο IY QUTW, making the meanness of They were astonished] It appears hence, that our blessed his family, the reason why they would not receive him as a Lord had lived in obscurity all the time above specified; for prophet, though they were astonished at his wisdom, and at his countrymen appear not to have heard his doctrines, nor his miracles, ver. 54. So their pride and their envy were tite seen his miracles until now. 'Tis a melancholy truth, that causes of their destruction. those who should know Christ best, are often the most igno- A prophet is not without honour] This seems to have been a rant, of himself, the doctrines of his word, and the operations proverbial mode of speech, generally true, but not without

some exceptions. The apparent meanness of our Lord was one Verse 55. Is not this the carpenter's son ?] Seven copies of pretence why they rejected hiin; and yet, God, manifested the old Itala have, Is not this the son of Joseph the carpenter? | in the flesh, humbling himself to the condition of a servant, and But it is likely our Lord, during the thirty years of his abode to the death of the cross, is the only foundation for the salva at Nazareth, wrought at the same trade with Joseph; and tion of a lost world. Perhaps our Lord means, by prophet perhaps this is what is intended, Luke ii. 51. He went down in this place, himself alone, as if he had said, My ministry is with them (his parents) to Nazareth, and was subjECT unto more generally reputed, and my doctrine better received in any them. An honest trade is no discredit to any man.—He who other part of the land than in my own country, among my own spends his time in idleness, is fit for any business in which the relatives ; because, knowing the obscurity of my birth, they Devil chooses to employ him.

can scarcely suppose that I have these things from heaven. Is not his mother-Mary, and his brethren James, &c.] This Verse 58. And he did not many mighty works there, becuuse of insulting question seems to intimate, that our Lord's family || their unbelief:] Aurousses miracles. So the word is used, ch.vii. was a very obscure one; and that they were of small repute || 22. xi. 20. Acts xix. 11. I Cor. xii. 28. Gal iii. 5. Feb. ii. 4. anong their neighbours, except for their piety.

The Septuagint translates 18 183 niphleoth el, the mirucuIt is possible that brethren and sisters may mean here near || lous works of God, by dux apusy xugos.

as the words are used among the Hebrews in this Unbelief and contempt drive Christ out of the heart, as latiude of meaning; but I confess it does not appear to me they did out of his own country. Fuick seems to put tha

of his spirit.

relations,

WRITING,

Dissertation on parables,

Sr. MATTHEW.

fables, similitudes, &c. almighty power of God into the hands of men; whereas might exasperale, when too plainly-spoken, rather than corunbelief appears to tie up even the hands of the Almighty. rect, could be conveyed with delicacy and success under the A man, generally speaking, can do but little good among disguise of parable. Even to the present time, information his relatives, because it is difficult for them to look with concerning grievances, oppressive acts of government, &c. is the

eyes of faith upon one, whom they have been accustomed conveyed to the despotic Asiatic rulers, under the guise of to behold with the eyes of the flesh.—QUESNEL.

parable. An ancient instance of this we find in the reproof

conveyed to the heart of David, by the prophet Nathan, in A DISSERTATION ON THE NATURE AND USE OF PARABOLICAL the parable of the poor man's ewe lamb.

Persons thus addressed, not perceiving at first the relation As parables occupy so distinguished a place in the Old and under this artificial form, to be directed against themselves, New Testaments, especially in the latter, and as the most iin- lost sight of their selfishness and prejudices, and were freportant information relative to the nature of God, the æco- quently induced, by their unsuspecting replies, to acknownomy of heaven, the state of separate spirits, the punishment ledge the justice of the reprehension, and to pronounce the of the wicked, the beatification of the godly, and the doctrines condemnation of their conduct, from their own inouth; as in of salvation, is conveyed to mankind in parables, it becomes a the case of David above referred to. This therefore was one matter of the utmost importance, fully to understand their important use of this mode of instruction. nature and their use.

Though fable, similitude, and parable are nearly of the same The word Parable we have from the Greek Itapoßoan, nature, and have been indifferently applied to the same purwhich comes either from caça near, and Cudaw I cast or put, poses ; yet it may not be amiss to examine the meaning of or sagréanasy to compare, properly different things together, each distinctly. so as to discover their relations and similarity ; in order to Similitude implies a proper resemblance between two subwhich the things to be compared are placed or put together, jects, the one well known, the other not at all, or less known; or near to each other, that by a close inspection of both, the re- the leading properties of the one serving clearly to illustrate lations and likenesses may be the more accurately ascertained. those of the other. Five rules have been given by the an

Parable and proverb are called in Hebrew yun mashal, | cients, for the regulation of similitudes. from sun mashal, to govern or rule, either because the para- 1. The first is, that the similitude must be clearer than the bolic and proverbial mode of instruction was of general use, subject it is brought to illustrate. and had a sort of universal presidency, which we know was 2. That it be not in general derived from common or well the case among the Hebrews; or because a parable or pro- known things, which are in themselves uninteresting; as it is verb was the chief, or principal illustrative point in the dis- || well known, the more novelty a thing possesses, the more it course, Hence we may discover the proper meaning of a ' is calculated to excite the attention and impress the mind. proverb-it is a word or saying, forming a maxim for the 3. It should not be false in itself, as in this case the mind government and regulation of a man's conduct in domestic, revolts not only against the thing itself, but against the concivil, religious, or political life.

clusion drawn from it. On this rule I shall take the liberty Parable has been generally defined, “ A comparison or of making the following observations : Several of the ancients similitude, in which one thing is compared with another, || illustrated and endeavoured to prove the truth and certainty especially spiritual things with natural, by which means these of the resurrection, by the history of the phạnix, a bird supspiritual things are better understood, and make a deeper im- posed to be produced in Arabia, once in one huudred years ; pression on the attentive mind.” This definition is pretty there never being more than one at a time. It is reported, correct, expecially in reference to the parables of our blessed that when this bird finds its end approaching, it builds itself Lord.—Or parable may be more generally defined, “ A repre- a nest of the most fragrant spices and aromatic plants, which sentation of any matter accommodated in the way of simili- i being set on fire by the rays of tlie sun, the bird is contude to the real subject, in order to delineate its different parts sumed in it; but from its ashes a worm or grub is formed, with the greater force and perspicuity.” This definition is out of which another phænix, in process of time, arises ; applicable to parables in their more general and extended sense. others say that it dies in the nest, and a grub is formed out

The method of conveying instruction by parables or moral of the marrow of its bones. Both these relations are equally fictions, sometimes in the form of similitudes, allegories, fables true. Herodotus, Dion Cassius, Tacitus, and Pliny, mentiou or apologues, was very common, and in high esteem among this fabulous animal; and I have met with this account all ancient nations: but the Asiatics used it most frequently, seriously produced by Clemens Alexandrinus, and other and brought it to a higher degree of perfection than any other Christian fathers, to prove the resurrection of the body. people on the earth. The despotic and tyrannical nature of Now it is well known no such bird ever did, or ever could their government led them often to make use of this method. exist; that the supposed fact is impossible, and that the concluReproof and censure, which it might not on many occasions sion drawn from it, is not only not solid and convincing, but be expedient or safe to deliver in explicit language, and which absurd, because the premisses are all false. The same objections

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