« הקודםהמשך »
The necessity of leaving all for Christ.
IVe must count the cost, fc.
A. M. 4033 them to come in, that my house may is that behold it begin to mock him, A. M. 4058 .
30 Saying, This man began to build, An. Olymp. CCII. 1.
24 For I say unto you, · That none and was not able to finish. of those men which were bidden, shall taste of 31 Or what king going to make war against my supper.
another king, sitteth not down first, and con25 [ And there went great multitudes with sulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to him: and he turned, and said unto them, meet him that cometh against him with twenty
26 "If any man come to me, and hate not thousand ? his father, and mother, and wife, and children, 32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way and brethren, and sisters, " yea, and his own off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conlife also, he cannot be my disciple.
27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, 33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that and come after me, cannot be my disciple. forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my
28 For which of you, intending to build disciple. a tower, sitteth not down first, and count- 34 Salt is good : but if the salt have lost eth the cost, whether he have sufficient to fin- his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned ? ish it?
35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the 29 Lest haply, after he hath laid the foun- dunghil; but men cast it out. He that hath dation, and is not able to finish it, all ears to hear, let him hear.
ditions of peace.
• Matt. 21. 45. & 22. 8. Acts 13. 16.-_ Deut. 13. 6. & 33. 9. Matt. 10.57.
« Rom. 9. 13. a Rev. 12. 11.
e Matt. 16. 24. Mark 8. 34. ch. 9. 23. 2 Tim. 3. 12.- Prov. 24. 27.
& Matt. 5. 13. Mark 9. 50.
disciples to get into the vessel, nothing but his commanding or air on, and to serve for refuge from, and defence against an persuading them to do it, can be reasonably understood. The enemy. It was also used for prayer and meditation. Latins use cogo, and compello, in exactly the same sense, i. e. This parable represents the absurdity of those who underto prevail on by prayers, counsels, entreaties, &c. See several took to be disciples of Christ, without considering what diffiexamples in Bishop Pearce, and in Kypke. No other kind culties they were to meet with, and what strength they had to of constraint is ever recommended in the gospel of Christ; enable them to go through with the undertaking. He that will every other kind of compulsion is antichristian, can only be be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, shall require no less than submitted to by cowards and knaves, and can produce nothing the mighty power of God to support him; as both hell and but hypocrites. See at the end of the chapter.
earth will unite to destroy him. Verse 26. And hate not] Matthew, chap. x. 37. expresses Verse 33. Whosoever he be of you] 'This seems to be adthe true meaning of this word, when he says, he who loveth dressed particularly to those who were then, and who were to be his father and inother more than me. In chap. vi. 24. he uses preachers of his gospel; and who were to travel over all counthe word hate in the same sense. When we read Rom. ix. 13. tries, publishing salvation to a lost world. Jacob have I loved, but Esau hare I huted, the meaning is Verse 34. Salt is good] See on Matt. v. 13. and Mark ix. 51. simply, I have loved Jacob—the Israelites ; more than Esau— the Edomites : and that this is no arbitrary interpretation of On the subject referred to this place from ver. 23. Compel the word hate, but one agreeable to the Hebrew idiomn, ap- them to come in, which has been adduced to favour religious pears from what is said on Gen. xxix. 30, 31. where Leah's persecution; I find the following sensible and just observations being hated is explained by Rachel's being loved more than in Dr. Dodd's notes. Leah. See also Deut. xxi. 15–17. and Bishop Pearce on this • Ist. Persecution for conscience sake, that is, inflicting peplace. See also the notes on Matt. x. 37.
nalty upon men merely for their religious principles or worVerse 27. Doth not bear his cross) See on Matt. x. 38. xvi. ship, is plainly founded on a supposition that one man has a 24.
right to judge for another in matters of religion, which is Verse 28. To build a tower] Probably this means no more manifestly absurd, and has been fully proved to be so by many than a dwelling house, on the top of which, according to the excellent writers of our church. Asiatic manner, battlements were built both to take the fresh " Ind. Persecution is most evidently inconsistent with that
The absurdity and wickedness
of religious persecution, proved.
fundamental principle of morality; that we should do to others it must often be by upright and conscientious men, who have as we could reasonably wish they should do to us; a rule which the greater claim upon the protection and favour of gorerncarries its own demonstration with it, and was intended to take | ment) the mischievous consequences of its fury will be more off' that bias of self-love, which would divert us from the flagrant and shocking. Nay, perhaps where there is no true straight line of equity, and render us partial judges betwixt religion, a native sense of honour in a generous mind may stiour neig!ıbours and ourselves. I would ask the advocate of|mulate it to endure some hardships for the cause of truth. 2: kolesome ser:erities, how he would relish his own arguments if Obstinacy,' as one well observes, “ may rise as the unlerturned upon himself? What if he were to go abroad into the standing is oppressed, and continue its opposition for a while, world among papists, if he be a protestant; among Maho- | merely to avenge the cause of its injured liberty. metans if he be a Christian? Supposing he was to behave like “Nay, 5th. The cause of truth itself must, humanly speaking, an honest man, a good neighbour, a peaceable subject, avoid- | be not only obstructed, but destroyed, should persecuting prining every injury, and taking all opportunities to serve and ciples universally prevail. For, even upon the supposition, that oblige those about him; would he think that merely because in some countries it might tend to promote and establish the be refused to follow his neighbours to their altars or their | purity of the gospel, yet it must surely be a great impediment mosques, he should be seized and imprisoned, his goods con- to its progress. What wise Heathen or Mahometan prince fiscatel, his person condemned to tortures or death ? Un- | would ever adınit Christian preachers into his dominions, if doubtedly he would complain of this as a very great hardship, he knew it was a principle of their religion, that as soon as and soon see the absurdity and injustice of such a treatment the majority of the people were converted by arguments, the when it fell upon him, and when such measure as he would rest, and himself with them, if he continued obstinate, must mele to others, was measured to him again.
be proselyted or extirpated by fire and sword? If it be as the “30. Persecution is absurd, as being by no means calculated advocates for persecution have generally supposed, a dictate of to answer the end which its patrons profess to intend by it; the law of nature to propagate the true religion loy the sword; wamely, the glory of God, and the salvation of men. Now if then certainly a Mahometan or an idolater, with the same noit does any good to men al all, it must be by making them tions, supposing him to have truth on bis side, must think truly religious ; but religion is not a mere name or a cere- himself obliged in conscience to arm his powers for the ex. mony. True religion imports an entire change of the heart, || tirpation of Christianity; and thus a holy war must cover the and it niu-t be founded in the inward conviction of the mind; | face of the whole earth, in which nothing but a miracle could or it is impossible it should be what yet it must be, a reason- | render Christians successful against so vast a disproportion in able serrice. Let it only be considered ; what violence and per- | numbers. Now it seems hard to believe that to be a truth secution can do towards producing such an inward conviction. which would naturally lead to the extirpation of truth in the A man miglit as reasonably expect to bind an immaterial spirit world; or that a divine religion should carry in its own bowels with a cord, or to beat down a wall with an argument, as to the principle of its own destruction. convince the understanding by threats and tortures. Persecu- “ But, 6th. This point is clearly determined by the lip of tion is much more likely to make men hypocrites, than sin- | truth itself; and persecution is so far from being encouraged cere converts. They may perhaps, if they have not a firm || by the gospel, that it is most directly contrary to many of its and heroic courage, change their profession while they retain precepts, and indeed to the whole genius of it. It is contheir sentiments; and supposing them before to be unwarily | demued by the example of Christ, who went about doing good; in the wrong, they may learn to add falsehood anıl villainy to | who came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them ; who error. Ilow gloricus is a prize! especially when one considers waved the exercise of his miraculous power against his eneat what an expence it is gained. But,
mies, even when they most unjustly and cruelly assaulted him, “ 4th. Persecution tends to produce much mischief and con- | and never exerted it to the corporal punishment, even of those fusion in the world. It is mischievous to those on whom it l who had most justly deserved it. And his doctrine ako, as falls; and in its consequences so mischievous to others; that well as his examples, has taught us to be harınless as dozes ; one would wonder any wise privces should ever have admitted to lore our enemies ; to do good to them that hate us; and pray it into their dominions, or that they should not have immedi- || for them thut despitefully use and persecute us.” ately banished it thence, for even where it succeeds so far as From all this we may learn, that the church which tolerates, to produce a change in men's forms of worship, it generally encourages and practises persecution, under the pretence of conmakes them no more than hypocritical professors of what they do cern for the purity of the faith, and zeal for God's glory; is not not believe, which must undoubtedly debauch their characters ; || the church of Christ : and that no man can be of such a church, so that having been villains in one respect, it is very pwobable without endangering his salvation. Let it ever be the glory of that they will be so in another; and having lorought deceit and the protestunt church, and especially of the church of England, falsehood into their religion, that they will easily bring it into that it discountenances and abhors all persecution on a religious their conversation and commerce. This will be the effect of account ; and that it has diflused the same benign temper persecution where it is yielded to, and wbere it is opposed (as through that state, with which it is associated.
Publicans and sinners hear Christ.
Parable of the lost sheep.
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T the publicans and sinners for to
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CHAPTER XV. Publicans and sinners draw near to hear our Lord, at which the Pharisees are offended, 1, 2. Christ vindicates his conduct in receiving them by the parable of the lost sheep, 3—7. The parable of the lost piece of money, 8—10. und the affecting parable of the prodigal son, 11-32. HEN * drew near unto him all that which is lost, until he find it? A. M. 4033.
5 And when he hath found it, he An. Olymp. hear him.
layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 2 And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, 6 And when he cometh home, he calleth tosaying, This man receiveth sinners, and eat- gether his friends and neighbours, saying unto eth with them.
them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my 3 [ And he spake this parable unto them, sheep " which was lost. saying,
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be 4 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more if he lose one of them, doth not leave the than over ninety and nine just persons, which ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after need no repentance.
* Matt. 9. 10.-Acts 11. 3. Gal. 9. 12. Matt. 18. 12.
di Pet. 2. 10, 25. ch. 5. 39.
NOTES ON CHAP. XV.
their destruction. I have known ravens often attempt to Verse 1, Publicuns and sinners] Terwyos xos apagtwhos, tar- destroy lambs by picking out their eyes, in which, when gatherers and heathens; persons who neither believed in Christ they have succeeded, as the creature does not see whither it nor in Moses. See the note on chap. vii. 36. Concerning | is going, it soon falls an easy prey to its destroyer. Satan is the tar-gatherers, see the note on Matt. v. 46.
ever going about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may deVerse 2. Receiveth sinners] Neoodsxetas. He receives themvour : in order to succeed, he blinds the understanding of sincordially, affectionately-takes them to his bosom; for so the ners, and then finds it an easy matter to tumble them into word implies. What mercy! Jesus receives sinners in the the pit of perdition. Who but a Pharisee or a devil would most loving, affectionate manner, and saves them unto eternal find fault with the shepherd who endeavours to rescue his life! Reader, give glory to God for ever!
sheep from so much danger and ruin! Verse 4. What man of you] Our Lord spoke this and the Verse 7. Just persons, which need no repentance.) Who do following parable to-justify his conduct in receiving and con. not require such a change of mind and purpose as these doversing with sinners, or heathens.
who are not so profligate, and cannot repent of sins they A hundred sheep] Parables similar to this, are frequent have never committed. Distinctions of this kind frequently among the Jewish writers. The whole flock of mankind, occur in the Jewish writings. There are many persons who both Jews and Gentiles, belongs unto this divine shepherd; I have been brought up in a sober and regular course of life, and it is but reasonable to expect, that the gracions proprietor attending the ordinances of God, and being true and just in will look after those who have gone astray, and bring them all their dealings; these most materially differ from the heaback to the flock. The lost sheep is an emblem of a heedless, thens mentioned ver. 1. because they believe in God, and at. thoughtless sinner: one who follows the corrupt dictates of his tend the means of grace: they differ also essentially froin the own heart, without ever reflecting upon his conduct, or con tax-gatherers, mentioned in the saine place, because they sidering what will be the issue of his unholy course of life. I wrong no man, and are upright in their dealings. Therefore Nu creature strays more easily than a sheep; none is more they cannot repent of the sins of a heathen, which they have heedless; and none so incapable of finding its way back to not practised; nor of the rapine of a tar-gatherer, of which the flock, when once gone astray: it will bleat for the flock, they have never been guilty. As therefore these just persons and still run on in an opposite direction to the place where are put in opposition to the tar-gatherers and heathens, we the flock is: this I have often noticed. No creature is more may at once see the scope and design of our Lord's words: defenceless than a sheep, and more exposed to be devoured these needed no repentance in comparison of the others, as by dogs and wild beasts. Even the fowls of the air seek not being guilty of their crimes. And as these belonged, by
Parable of the lost piece of money.
Parable of the prodigal son.
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8 Either what woman having ten 10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is 4.1.403. An. Olymp. pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, joy in the presence of the angels of Au. Oiymp.
doth not light a candle, and sweep the God over one sinner that repenteth. house, and seek diligently till she find it? 11 And he said, a certain man had two sons:
9 And when she hath found it, she calleth her 12 And the younger of them said to his fa. friends and her neighbours together, saying, ther, Father, "give me the portion of goods Rejoice with me; for I have found the piece that falleth to me. And he divided unto them which I had lost.
* Druchmn, here translated a piece of silver, is the eighth part of an ounce, which cometh 10 seven pence halfpenny, and is equal to the Roman penny,
Matt. 18. 28.- Deut. 21. 16. Psal. 17. 14. Prov. 19. 13, 14.- Mark 12. 44.
outward profession at least, to the flock of God, and were coins, and to state their value in English money. Every sincere and upright according to their light; they are consi- Reader will naturally wish to know by what numes such and dered as being in no danger of being lost: and as they fear such coins were called in the countries in which they were God, and work righteousness according to their light, he will || current. The Grecian drachma was worth about seren pence take care to make those farther discoveries to them, of the three furthings of our money; being about the same value purity of his paturė, the holiness of his law, and the neces as the Rom an denarius. sity of the atonement, which he sees to be necessary.". See The drachma that was lost, is also a very expressive emthe case of Cornelius, Aets x. 1, &c. On this ground, the || blem of a sinner who is estranged from God, and enslaved owner is represented as feeling more joy in consequence of to habits of iniquity. The longer a piece of money is lost, finding one sheep that was lost, there having been almost no the less probability is there of its being again found; as it hope of its recovery, than he feels, at seeing ninety and nine, may not only lose its colour, and not be easily observed, but still safe under his care. “ Men generally rejoice more over will continue to be more and more covered with dust and a small unexpected advantage, than over a much greater good, i dirt: or its value may be vastly lessened by being so trampled to which they have been accustomed.” There are some, on, that a part of the substance, together with the image and and their opinion need not be hastily rejected, who imagine | superscription, may be worn oft. So the sinuer sinks deeper that by the ninety and nine just persons, our Lord means thc and deeper into the impurities of sin, loses even his character angels--that they are in proportion to men, as ninety-nine are among men, and gets the image' and superscription of his to one, and that the Lord takes more pleasure in the return Maker defaced from his heart. He who wishes to find the and salvation of one sinner, than in the uninterrupted obedience image of God which he has lost by sin; must attend to that of nine y-nine holy angels; and that it was through his su word which will be a lantern to his steps, and receive that perior love to fallen man, that he took upon him his nature, spirit which is a light to the soul, to convince of sin, righteand not the nature of angels. I have met with the following ousness, and judgment. He must sweep the house-put away weak objection to this: viz. “ The text says just persons; the evil of his doings; and seek diligently-use every mean now, angels are not persons, therefore angels cannot be meant." of grace, and cry incessantly to God till he restore to him This is extremely foolish; there may be the person of an the light of his countenance. Though parables of this kind angel, as well as of man: we allow persons even in the god- must not be obliged to go on all fours as it is termed; yet head; besides, the original word Soxaloss, means simply just they afford many useful hints to preachers of the gospel, by ones, and may be, with as much propriety, applied to angels, ', which they may edify their hearers. Only let all such take as to men. After all, our Lord may refer to the Essenes, a care not to force meanings on the words of Christ, which are sect among the Jews, in the time of our Lord, who were contrary to their gravity and majesty. strictly and conscientiously moral; living at the utmost dis Verse 12. Give me the portion of goods] It may seem tance from both the hypocrisy and pollutions of their country- strange that such a demand should be made, and that the pamen. These, when compared with the great mass of the rent should have acceded to it, when he knew, that it was to Jews, needed no repentance. The Reader may take his minister to his debauches, that his profligate son made the choice of these interpretations; or make a better for himself. demand here specified. But the matter will appear plain, I have seen other methods of explaining these words, but when it is considered, that it has been an immemorial customi they have appeared to me cither too absurd, or 100 impro- in the East, for sons to demand and receive their portion of bable to merit particular notice.
the inheritance during their father's lifetime: and the parent, Verse 8. Ten pieces of silver] Aşaxuces Sexa, ten drachmas.! however aware of the dissipated inclinations of the child, I think it always best to retain the names of these ancient could not legally refuse to comply with the application. I
Parable of the prodigal son ;
he returns to his fatheri
13 And vot many days after the How many hired servants of my fa- A.M. 10:3. an Olymp. younger son gathered all together, || ther's have bread enough and to spare, An. Olymp.
CCII. 1. and took his journey into a far. coun- and I perish with hunger. try, and there wasted his substance with riot 18 I will arise and go to my father, and will ous living
say unto him, Father, I have sinned against · 14 And when he bad spent all, there arose | heaven, and before thee, a mighty famine in that land; and he began to 19 And am no more worthy to be called thy be in want.
son; make me as one of thy hired servants. 15 And he went and joined himself to a ci 20 And he arose, and came to his father. tizen of that country; and he sent him into But when he was yet a great way off, his fahis fields to feed swine.
ther saw him, and had compassion, and ran, 16 And he would fain have filled his belly and fell on his neck, and kissed him. with the husks that the swine did eat: and no 21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have man gave unto him.
sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and 17 And when he came to himself, he said, am no more worthy to be called thy son.
* Psal. 73. 27. Prov. 29. 3. 1 Pet. 4. 3.
• Acts 2. 59. Ephes. 2. 13, 17.- Ps. 51. 4.
appears indeed that the spirit of this law was to provide for the very dregs of the people, have any matrimonial connectthe child, in case of ill treatment by the father : yet the de- || ions with them. Herod. lib. ii. cap. 47. mand must first be acceded to, before the matter could be Verse 16. With the husks) Kepatiw. Bochart, I think, has legally inquired into; and then “if it was found that the proved that regerice does not mean husks : to signify which the father was irreproachable in his character, and had given no Greek botanical writers use the word acBoo; several examples just cause for the son to separate from him; in that case, the of which he gives from Theophrastus. He shews also, that civil magistrate fined the son in two hundred punts of cow the original word means the fruit of the ceratonia or charub ries.” Ste Code of Gentoo laws, pr. disc. p. 56. see also do. tree, which grows plentifully in Syria. This kind of pulse, chap. ii. sec. 9. p. 81, 82. xxi. sec. 10. p. 301.
Columella observes, was made use of to feed swine. See BoVerse 13. Not muny days after] He probably hastened his chart, Hieroz. lib. ji. cap. lvi. col. 707—10. departure for fear of the fine which he must have paid, and Verse 17. When he came to himself] A state of sin is rethe reproach to which he must have been subjected, had the presented in the Sacred Writings, as a course of folly and inatter come before the civil magistrate. See above.
madness; and repentance is represented as a restoration to Riotous living.] Zwy aswtws; in a course of life that led || sound sense. See this fully explained on Matt. iii. 2. bim to spend all: from a not, and oww I save. And this we I perish with hunger!] Or, I perish here. Nde here, is added are informed, ver. 30. was among harlots; the readiest way by BDL. Syriac, all the Arabic and Persic, Coptic, Æthiopic, in the world, to exhaust the body, debase the mind, ruin the Gothic, Suxon, Vulgate, all the Itala, and several of the svul, and destroy the substance.
Fathers. Verse 14. A nighty fumine in that lund] As he was of a Verse 18. Against heaven] Ess Toy ougavay; that is, against profligate turn of mind himself, it is likely he sought out a God. The Jews often make use of this periphrasis in order place where riot and excess were the ruling characteristics of to avoid mentioning the name of God, which they have ever the inhabitants; and as poverty is the sure consequence of treated with the utmost reverence. But some contend that it prodigality, it is no wonder that famine preyed on the whole should be translated, even unto heaven ; a Hebraism for, I have country.
sinned exceedingly--beyond all description. Verse 15. To feed swine.] The basest and vilest of all Verse 20. And kissed him.) Or, Kissed him again and employments; and to a Jew, peculiarly degrading. Shame, again; the proper import of xatepianowy autor. The father contempt and distress are wedded to sin, and can never be thus shewed his great tenderness towards him, and bis great divorced. No character could be meaner in the sight of a affection for him. Jew than that of a swine-herd: and Herodotus informs us, Verse 21. Make me as one of thy hired servants, is added that in Egypt, they were not permitted to mingle with civil here by several MSS. and Versions; but it is evident this has society; nor to appear in the worship of the gods, nor would been added, merely to make his conduct agree with his reso