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The necessity of faithfulness

CHAP. X.

in the cause of Christ.

4. 1. 161. 30 * But the very hairs of your head | 33 But whosoever shall deny me A.M. 4031.

A.D). 27. An. Olymp. are all numbered.

before men, him will I also deny before An. Olymp.

CCI. 3. CCL. 3. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of my Father which is in heaven. more value than many sparrows.

34 ° Think not that I am come to send 32 - Whosoever therefore shall confess me be- peace on earth : I came not to send peace fore men, him will I confess also before my but a sword. Father which is in heaven.

35 For I am come to set a man at vari.

* 1 Sam. 14. 15. 2 Sam. 14. 11. Luke 21. 18. Acts 27. 31.

Luke 12. 8. Rom. 10. 9, 10.-_

2 Tim. 2. 12.

Rev. 3, 5.- Mark 8. 38. Luke 9.26.
Luke 12. 49, 51, 52, 53.

Fall on the ground] Instead of ti tuyyny, Origen, Clement, That is, whosoever shall acknowledge me to be the Messiah, and Chrysostom, Jurencus, and six MSS. of Mathai, read as Tony have his heart and life regulated by my spirit and doctrine. It -zyda, into a snare. Bengel conjectures that it might have is not merely sufficient to have the heart right before God, there been written at first, smt The Tocyny; that the first syllable we must be a firm, manly, and public profession of Christ before being lost out of the word, yny the earth, instead of wokynomen. “ I am no hypocrite,” says one ; neither should you. mare, became the common reading.

“ I will keep iny religion to myself,” i. e. you will not conWithout your Father.] Without the will of your Father: ons fess Christ before men; then he will renounce you before God. Brians, the will or counsel is added here by Origen, Coptic, all We confess or own Christ when we own his doctrine, his the Arabic, latter Persic, Gothic, all the Itala except two; ministers, his servants, and when no fear hinders us from supTert. Iren. Cypr. Novatian, and other Latin fathers. If the porting and assisting them in times of necessity. eridence be considered as insufficient to entitle it to admission 1 Verse 33. Whosoeder shall deny me] Whosoever prefers his into the le.rt, let it stand there as a supplementary Italic word, worldly interest to his duty to God, sets a greater value on necessary to make the meaning of the place evident.

earthly than on heavenly things; and prefers the friendship All things are ordered by the counsel of God. This is a great of men to the approbation of Gop. consolation to those who are tried and amicted. The belief of Let it be remembered, that to be renounced by Christ, is to an all-wise, all-directing Providence, is a powerful support | have him neither for a mediator nor saviour. To appear beander the most grievous accidents of life. Nothing escapes | fore the tribunal of God without having Christ for our advobis merciful regards, not even the smallest things, of which he cate, and, on the contrary, to have him there 'as our judge, may be said to be only the creator and preserver; how much less and a witness against us,—how can a man think of this and those of wbom he is the father, saviour, and endless felicity? | not die with horror! See on Luke xii. 7.

Verse 34. Think not that I am come to send peace, &c.] The Verse 30. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.] || meaning of this difficult passage will be plain, when we conNothing is more astonishing than the care and concern of God sider the import of the word peace, and the expectation of the for his followers. The least circumstances of their life are re Jews. I have already had occasion to remark (ver. 12.) that gulated, not merely by that general providence which extends to the word dikw shalom, rendered by the Greeks signun, was used all things; but by a particular providence, which fits and directs among the Hebrews to express all possible blessings temporal all things to the design of their salvation, causing them all to and spiritual; but especially the former. The expectation of Co-operate for their present and eternal good. Rom. v. the Jews was, that when the Messiah should come, all tem

Verse 31. Fear ye not-ye are of more value] None can esti- || poral prosperity should be accumulated on the land of Judea ; mate the value of a soul, for which Christ has given his blood || therefore any yny, in this verse, should not be translated the earth, and life! Have confidence in his goodness, for he who so dearly || but this lund. The import of our Lord's teaching here, is this, purchased thee, will miraculously preserve and save thee. Did | Do not imagine, as the Jews in general, vainly do, that I am the poet intend to contradict Christ when he said, .

come to send forth (Badacın) by forcing out the Roman power, “ He sees with equal eyes, as God of all,

that temporal prosperity which they long for; I am not come " A HERO perish, or a SPARROW fall?

for this purpose, but to send forth (Bedav) the Roman sword, How cold and meagre is this shallow deistical saying! That to cut off' a disobedient and rebellious nation, the cup of whose is, a sparrow is of as much worth in the sight of God, who re- | iniquity is already full, and whose crimes cry aloud for speedy gards (if we may believe the poet) things only in general, as an vengeance. See also on Luke xii. 49. From the time they immortal soul, purchased by the sacrifice of Christ!. rejected the Messiah, they were a prey to the most cruel and

Verse 32, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men] | destructive factions; they employed their time in butchering

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Christ and his religion

St. MATTHEW.

to be preferred before all things.

A.M. 4031. ancea against his father, and the me, is not worthy of me: and he that 1.11.4031. A. D. 97.

A. 1). 27. An. Olymp. daughter against her mother, and the loveth son or daughter more than me, An. Olymp.

(CL, S. daughter in law against her mother is not worthy of me. in law.

| 38 “And he that taketh not his cross, and fol36 And "a man's foes shall be they of his own loweth after me, is not worthy of me. household. .

39 € He that findeth his life shall lose it: and 37 “He that loveth father or mother more than he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

a Mic. 7. 6.—b Ps. 41. 9. & 55. 13. Mic. 7. 6. John 13. 18.

Luke 14. 26.

& Ch. 16. 24. Mark 8. 34. Luke 9. 23. & 1.1. 27.

17. 33. John 12. 25.

ch. 16. 23. Luke

one another, till the Roman sword was unsheathed against enemy of his servant, and the servant that of his master, when them, and desolated the land.

the one takes no care of the other's salvation, and the latter is Verse 35. I am come to set a man at variance] The spirit of subservient to his master's passions.” Christ can have no union with the spirit of the world. Even a Verse 37. He that loveth father or mother more than me] He father, while unconverted, will oppose a godly child. Thus whom we love the most, is he whom we study most to please, the spirit that is in those who sin against God, is opposed to that and whose will and interests we prefer in all cases. If, in order spirit which is in the followers of the Most High. It is the to please a father or mother who are opposed to vital godliness, spirits then that are in opposition, and not the persons. we abandon God's ordinances and followers, we are unworthy

Verse 36. A man's foes shall be they of his own household.] of any thing but Hell. Our Lord refers here to their own traditions. So Sota, fol. 49. Verse 38. Ile that taketh not his cross) i. e. He who is not “ A little before the coming of the Messiah, the son shall in- ready, after my example, to suffer death in the cause of my relisult the father, the daughter rebel against her mother, the gion, is not worthy of me, does not deserve to be called my disciple. daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and each man shall This alludes to the custom of causing the criminal to bear have his own household for his enemies.” Again, in Sanhedrin, li his own cross to the place of execution, so Plutarch, Exasos muy fol. 97. it is said, “ In the age in which the Messiah shall come, | xo xoveyw sz Ospel TOY QUTCU saugsy. Each of the malefactors car. the young men shall turn the elders into ridicule; the elders | ries on, his own cross. See John xix. 17. shall rise up against the youth, the daughter against her mo Verse 39. He that findeth his life, &c.] i. e. He, who for ther, the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and the || the sake of his temporal interest, abandons his spiritual concerns, men of that age shall be excessively impudent; nor shall the shall lose his soul; and he who, in order to avoid martyrdom, son reverence his father.” These are most remarkable sayings, abjures the pure religion of Christ, shall lose his soul, and perand by them our Lord shews them that he was the Messiah, haps his life too. He that findeth his life shall lose it, was lifor all these things literally took place shortly after their final re- || terally fulfilled in Archbishop Crunmer. He confessed Christ jection of Christ. See the terrible account, given by Josepbus, l against the devil, and his eldest son, the Pope. He was ordered relative to the desolations of those times. Through the just judg- to be burnt; to save his life he recanted, and was, notwithment of God, they who rejected the Lord that bought them, standing, burnt. Whatever a man sacrinces to God is never became abandoned to every species of iniquity; they rejected lost, for he finds it again in God. the salvation of God, and fell into the condemnation of the devil. There is a fine piece on this subject in Jurenal, Sat. vui.

Father Quesnel's note on this place is worthy of deep at- 1. 80. which deserves to be recorded here. tention. “ The father (says he) is the enemy of his son when,

ambiguæ si quando citabere testis through a bad education, an irregular love, and a cruel indul

Incertæque rei, Phalaris licet imperet ut sis gence, he leaves him to take a wrong bias, instructs him not in Falsus, & admoto dictet perjuria tauro, his duty, and fills his mind with ambitious views. The son is Summum crede nefas ANIMAM præferre PUDORI, the father's enemy when he is the occasion of his doing injustice, Et propter VITAM VIVENDI perdere causas. in order to heap up an estate for him, and to make his fortune.

If ever callid The mother is the daughter's enemy when she instructs her to To give thy witness in a doubtful case, please the world, breeds her up in excess and vunity, and suffers Though Phalaris himself should bid thee lic, any thing scandalous or unseemly in her dress. The daughter On pain of torture in his flaming bull, is the mother's enemy when she becomes her įdol, when she en

Disdain to barter innocence for life; gages her to comply with her own irregular inclinations, and To which life owes its lustre and its worth. to permit her to frequent balls and plays. The master is the

Wakefield

Acts of kindness done to the

CHAP. XI. disciples of Christ are done to himself. A. M. 403140 ? He that receiveth you, re- name of a righteous man, shall receive A. M. 4031.

A. D. 27. An Olymp. ceiveth me; and he that receiveth me, | a righteous man's reward..

An. Olymp. who we receiveth him that sent me.

42° And whosoever shall give to drink u 41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward ; only, in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto and he that receiveth a righteous man in the you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

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Ch. 18. 5.

Luke 9, 18. & 10. 16. John 13. 20. Gal. 4. 11.-
bi Kings 17. 10. & 18. 4. 2 Kings 4. 8.

Ch. 8. 5, 6. & 23. 40. Mark 9. 41. Hebr. 6. 10.

Verse 40. He that receiveth you) Treats you kindly, receiveth But a cup of water in the eastern countries was not a matter me; I will consider the kindness as shewn to myself, for he who || of small worth. In India, the Hindoos go sometimes a great receiveth me as the true Messiah, receiveth that God by whose | way to fetch it, and then boil it that it may do the less hurt to counsels and through whose love I am come.

travellers when they are hot; and after that they stand from Verse 4). He that receiveth a prophet) IIpooniny, a teacher, morning to night in some great road, where there is neither pit not a foreteller of future events, for this is not always the meaning Il nor rivulet, and offer it in honour of their god to be drunk by all of the word; but one commissioned by God to teach the doc- | passengers. This necessary work of charity, in these hot trines of eternal life. It is no small honour to receive into one's countries, seems to have been practised by the more pious and house a minister of Jesus Christ. Every person is not admitted humane Jews; and our Lord assures them, that if they do this to exercise the sacred ministry; but none are excluded from in his name, they shall not lose their reward. See the Asiatic partaking of its grace, its spirit, and its reward. If the teacher Miscellany, vol. i. p. 142. should be weak, or even if he should be found afterwards to Verily-he shall in no wise lose his reward.] The Rabbins have been worthless; yet the person who has receired him in the have a similar saying, “ He that gives food to one that studies name, under the sacred character of an evangelist, shall not in the law, God will bless him in this world, and give him a lose his reward; because what he did, he did for the sake of lot in the world to come.” Syn. Sohar. Christ, and through love for his church. Many sayings of Love heightens the smallest actions, and gives a worth to this kind are found among the Rabbins, and this one is common; them which they cannot possess without it. Under a just and "He who receives a learned man, or an elder, into his house, is merciful God, every sin is either punished or pardoned, and the same as if he had received the Shecinah ;and again, “ He every good action rewarded. The most indigent may exercise who speaks against a faithful pastor, it is the same as if he had the works of mercy and charity; seeing even a cup of cold spoken against God himself.” See Schoetgen.

water given in the name of Jesus, shall not lose its reward. Verse 42. A cup of cold water] rdatcs is not in the common How astonishing is God's kindness! it is not the rich merely text, but it is found in the Codex Bezæ, Coptic, Armenian, || which he calls on to be charitable; but even the poor, and the Gothic, Anglo-saxon, Slavonic, all copies of the Itala, Vulgate, most impoverished of the poor! God gives the power and inclinaand Origen. It is necessarily understood, the ellipsis of the tion to be charitable, and then rewards the work which, it may same substantive is frequent, both in the Greek and Latin || be truly said, God himself hath wrought. It is the name of writers. See Wakefield.

Jesus that sanctifies every thing, and renders services, in themLittle ones] My apparently mean, and generally despised selves comparatively contemptible, of high worth in the sight disciples.

of God. See Quesnel.

CHAPTER XI. ; .

Christ having finished his instructions to his disciples, departs to preach in different cities, 1. John sends two of his

disciples to him to enquire whether he were the Christ, 9--6. Christ's testimony concerning John, 7—15. He upbraids the Jews with their capriciousness, 16–19. The condemnation of Chorazin, and Bethsaida, and Capernaum, for their .unbelief and impenitence, 20–24. Praises the divine wisdom for revealing the gospel to the simple-hearted, 25, 26. Shew's that none can know God but by the revelation of the Son; 27. Invites the distressed to come unto him, and gives them the promise of rest for their souls, 28-30.

John the Baptist sends

St. MATTHEW.

two of his disciples to Christ. A.11.4036. AND it came to pass, when Je- ! should come, or do we look for an. A. M. 4031. A. D. 27.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. O sus had made an end of com- other?

An. Olymp. CCI. 3.

CCI. 3." *- manding his twelve disciples, be de- 4 Jesus answered and said unto them, parted thence to teach and to preach in their Go and shew John again those things which ye cities.

do hear and see: 2 . Now when John had heard "in the pri- ; 5 « The blind receive their sight, and the lame son the works of Christ, he sent two of his, walk; the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf disciples,

hear; the dead are raised up, and the poor 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that have the gospel preached to them:

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NOTES ON CHAP. XI.

MSS. with both the Syriac, Armenian, Gothic, and one copy Verse 1. This verse properly belongs to the preceding of the Itala, have dia by; he sent by his disciples. chapter, from which it should on no account be separated; asi Verse 4. Go and shew John the thingsye do hear and see] with that it has the strictest connexion, but with this it has | Christ would have men to judge only of him and of others none.

by their works. This is the only safe way of judging. A To teach and to preach] To teach, to give private instruc- man is not to be credited because he professes to know such tions to as many as came unto him; anal to preach, to pro- and such things; but because he demonstrates by his conduct clain publicly, that the kingdom of God is at hand ; two that his pretensions are not vain. grand parts of the duty of a gospel minister.

Verse 5. The blind receive their sight, &c.] Aranetwo, Their cities.] The cities of the Jews.

look upwards, contemplating the heavens which their Lord Verse 2. John had heard in the prison] John was cast into

When was cast into hath made. prison by order of Herod Antipas, chap. xiv. 3, &c. (where see1 The lame walk] TI&Roma TWIt, they walk about ; to give the the notes) a little after our Lord began his public ministry, '| fullest proof to the multitude that their cure was real. These chap. iv. 12. and after the first passover, John iii. 24. miracles were not only the most convincing proofs of the sile

Verse 3. Art thou he that should come] O sexolueros, he that preme power of Christ; but were also emblematic of that cometh, seems to have been a proper name of the Messiah; work of salvation which he effects in the souls of men. 1. to save or deliver, are necessarily implied. See on Luke Sinners are blind; their understanding is so darkened by sin, vii. 19.

that they see not the way of truth and salvation. 2. They There is some difficulty in what is here spoken of John ; some / are lame; not able to walk in the path of righteousness. 3. have thought he was utterly ignorant of our Lord's divine mis. They are leprous; their souls are defiled with sin, the most sion, and that he sent merely for his own information; but this is loathsome and inveterate disease ; deepening in themselves, certainly inconsistent with his own declarations, Luke iii. 15, and infecting others. 4. They are deaf; to the voice of God, &c. John i. 15, 26, 33. iii. 28, &c. Others suppose, he sent his word, and their own conscience. 5. They are dead; in the message merely for the instruction of his disciples; that trespasses and sins; God, who is the life of the soul, being as he saw his end approaching, he wished them to have the separated from it by iniquity. Nothing less than the power fullest conviction that Jesus was the Messiah, that they might of Christ can redeem from all this; and, from all this, that attach themselves to him.

ll power of Christ actually does redeem every penitent believing A third opinion takes a middle course between the two for- | soul. Giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead, are mer, and states, that, though John was at first perfectly con- || allowed by the ancient Rabbins, to be works which the Mesa vinced that Jesus was the Christ; yet entertaining some hopessiah should perform, wben he should marfest bimself in that he would crect a secular king om in Judea, wished to Israel. know whether this was likely to take speedy place. It is very The poor have the gospel preached to them. And what was probable that John now began, through the length of his this gospel? Why, the glad tidings that Jesus Christ came confinement, to entertain doubts, relative to this kingdom, || into the world to save sinners. That he opens the eyes of the which perplexed and harassed his mind; and he took the most || blind; enables the lame to walk with an even, steady, and reasonable way to get rid of them at once, viz. by applying constant pace in the way of holiness; cleanses the lepers from to Christ himself.

all the defilement of their sins; opens the ears of the deaf to Two of his disciples] Instead of duo two several excellent hear his pardoning words; and raises those who were dead in

The exalted character

CHAP. XI.

of John thc Baptist. A. M. 4031. 6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. 4.N. 4051. A. D. 97.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. not be offended in me.

11.9 But what went ye out for to see ? An Olymp.

2 CCI. S. Cele 7 And as they departed, Jesus A prophet? yea, I say unto you, “and began to say unto the multitudes concerning more than a prophet: John, What went ye out into the wilderness to 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Be. see? 'A reed shaken with the wind ?

(hold, I send my messenger before thy face, 8 But what went ye out for to see ? A man which shall prepare thy way before thee. clothed in soft raiment ? behold, they that | 11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that

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trespasses and sins, to live in union with himself to all Verse 8. A man clothed in soft raiment?] A second crcel. eternity.

lency in John was, his sober and mortified life. A preacher Verse 6. Blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. l of the Gospel should have nothing about him which savours Or, Happy is he who will not be stumbled at me ; for the word of effeminacy and worldly pomp: he is awfully mistaken, who skardanser dan in its root, signifies to hit against or stumble orer a thinks to prevail on the world to hear him and receive the thing, which one may meet with in the way. The Jews, as was truth, by conforming himself to its fashions and manners. before remarked, expected a temporal deliverer. Many might Excepting the mere colour of his clothes, we can scarcely now be tempted to reject Christ, because of his mean appearance, distinguish a preacher of the Gospel, whether in the establish &c. and so lose the benefit of salvation through him. To ir-ment of the country, or out of it, from the merest worldly struct and caution such our blessed Lord spoke these words. man. Ruffles, powder, and fribble seem universally to preBy bis poverty and meanness he condemns the pride and pomp vail. Thus the Church and the world begin to shake hands, of this world. He who will not humble himself, and become , the latter still retaining its enmity to God. How can those base and poor and vile in his own eyes, cannot enter into the who profess to preach the doctrine of the Cross act in this kingdom of God. It is the poor in general, who hear the way? Is not a worldly-minded preacher, in the most pecugospel; the rich and the great are either too busy, or too liar sense, an abomination in the eyes of the Lord? much gratified with temporal things to pay any attention to L Are in kings' houses.) A third excellency in John was, he the voice of God.

did not affect high things. He was contented to live in the Verse 7. What went ye out into the wilderness to see?7 The desart, and to announce the solemn and severe truths of his purport of our Lord's design in this and the following verses, doctrine to the simple inhabitants of the country. Let it be is to convince the Scribes and Pharisees of the inconsistency well observed, that the preacher who conforms to the world of their conduct in acknowledging John Baptist for a divinely in his clothing, is never in his element but when he is freauthorized teacher, and not believing in the very Christ which quenting the houses and tables of the rich and great. he pointed out to them. He also shews from the excellencies | Verse 9. A prophet? yeaand more than a prophet] That of John's character, that their confidence in him was not mis- li is, one more excellent (regsorotegov) than a prophet; one placed, and that this was a farther argument why they should greatly beyond all who had come before him, being the imhave believed in him whom the Baptist proclaimed, as being mediate forerunner of Christ; (see below) and who was es. far superior to himself.

pecially commissioned to prepare the way of the Lord. This A reed shaken with the wind!] An emblem of an irreso- | was a fourth excellency; he was a prophet, a teacher, a man lute unsteady mind, wbich believes and speaks one thing to divinely commissioned to point out Jesus and his salvation; day, and another to-morrow. Christ asks these Jews if they and more excellent than any of the old prophets; because he had ever found any thing in John like this; was he not ever not only pointed out this Christ, but saw him, and had the steady and uniform in the testimony he bore to me? The honour of dying for that sacred truth, which he steadily befirst excellency which Christ notices in John was his steadiness; I lieved and boldly proclaimed. convinced once of the truth, he continued to believe and as- Verse 10. Behold, I send my messenger] A fifth excellency sert it. This is essentially necessary to every preacher, and of the Baptist was, his preparing the way of the Lord; being to every private Christian. He who changes about from the instrument, in God's hand, of preparing the people's opinion to opinion, and from one sect or party to another, is hearts to receive the Lord Jesus; and it was probably never to be depended on; there is much reason to believe through his . preaching, that so many thousands attached. that such a person is either mentally weak, or has never been themselves to Christ, immediately on his appearing as a pube rationally and divinely convinced of the truth.

lic teacher.

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