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Parable of the grain

St. MATTHEW.

of mustard seed.

An.

An

A. N.4031. 27 So the servants of the housholder i reapers, Gather 'ye together first the
A. D. 27.

A. D. 97. An. Clynp. came and said unto him, Sir, didst tares, and bind them in bundles to An.

CCI. 3. Col.3. not thou sow good seed in thy field ? | burn them: but gather the wheat from whence then hath it tares ?

ll 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, 80 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.

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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 rerives 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 faitḥ—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.

ll 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 inforınation how to behave on this oc- rial tormentors she employed, were all of this diabolic sow. casion.

| 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 disciplipe.

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 derdeutetur, 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 I 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 li 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, 1 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

Tlie parable of the leaven. Why

CHAP. XIII.

Christ spake to the people in parubles.

A.M. 4031. 33 - Another parable spake her by the prophet, saying, I will open A. 1.1031, A.D. 27.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. unto them: The kingdom of heaven my mouth in parables; I will utter An. Olyan CCS. 3.

do 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

· Luke 15. 90.-- The word in the Greck is a mcusure contnining about

a peck and a half, wanting a little more than a pint.

Mark 4. S3, 34. ---- Psal. 78. 2.--7° Rom. 16. 35, 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 to us in tions as these would not have appeared even in the Talmud; li that language which is peculiar to heaven, clothing those and the parable of our Lord sufficiently attests the fact

d'ufficiently attests the fact. Il ideas which angelic minds form, how little should we comSome soils being more luxuriant than others, and the climate | prehend of the things thus described ? How great is our much varmer. raise the same plant 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 vos-rables of Christ, assume to themselves a boily, 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 Asuph, he must be the incredible size. I have myself seen a field of common cab-i prophet who is meant in the text; and, indeed, he is exbages in one of the Norman isles, each of which was from seven pressly called a prophet, 1 Chron. xxv. 2. Several JSS. to nine feet in licight; and one in the garden of a friend, which have Hoclov, Isaiah ; but this is a manifest error. Jerom sudgrew 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- il came] Circumstances of this kind should not pass unnoticed : quainted only with the prodluctions 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 lerven] On! to understand fully the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. the nature and effects of leuten, 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 douzh with which it is mixed; so the pro- It is thus that the word of God sinks into the heart, is wateres. 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 (@gasov, 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 ex position may be deemed a earthly. Both these parables are prophetic, and were in- ll necessary appendage: tended to shew, principally, how, from very small be 1 1. What is the cause of evil in the world? ginnings, the Gospel of Christ should pervade all the na

of Christ should perrade all the na! 1. We must allow, that God, who is infinite in holiness, putions 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 maxim 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 things Divine things cannot be taught to mau but through the consistent with his own perfections, and the freedoin of the

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. M.4 31. A. D. 47.

A. D. 77. An. Olymp. of man;

Il end of this world.

An Olying.

(C1: 3. 3. 38 a The field is the world ; the 41 The Son of man shall send forth " good seed are the children of the kingdom ; his angels, and 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: 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 shine forth as

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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 hare 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: al 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 10

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

The wicked are termed bustard 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 l 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 grashing 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- l 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. 43. 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 I 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 CUYTEELU Tou alwos, which are commonly translated the must soon be extirpated, and then adieu to the æconomy of || end of the world, should be rendered the end of the age, viz.

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

grace.

The parables of the hidden

CHAP. XIII.

treasure, and costly pearl.

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A. M. 1031. the sun in the kingdom of their of goeth and selleth all that he hath, A. M. 4031. A. D. 27.

A. D. 27. An. Oryinp. Father. Who hath ears to hear, let and “buyeth that field.

An. Olymp." _ him hear.

CCI. 3.

|| 45 | Again, the kingdom of heaven 44 9 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 done pearl of

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their primary meaning here ; but there are other inatters 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] Ongausw xexquppesiw, 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 observation 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 l) and Saviour Jesus Christ. carried away with him very readily, and as honestly too, as byl 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 no || seph, 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 fwh 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 Joseph, 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 huth! consequences, is the supreme good of man, should be sought found—when a sinner is convinced that the promise of life, after abore 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 I 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 seck worldly possessions in preference to it! Alas for him all that he had--renounces his sins, abandons his evil com- i 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!

The parable of the drag-net,

Sr. MATTHEW.

and its explanation.

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5.11.401. great price, went and sold all that he' 50 And shall cast them into the A.1. 4931. 4. D. 27.

A.D.27. an. Olymp. had, and bought it.

furnace of fire : there shall be wailing An. Olymp.

CCI. 3. v 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 kind : .

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 things from among the just,

new and old.

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Verse 47. Is like unto a net] A drag-net. This is the proper overwhelmed with the general destruction. See chap. xxiv. meaning of Laynion, 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 o fundo. MARTINIUS. chap. viii. ver. 12. Which is cast into the water to catch fish, and the particular 1 Verse 51. Have ye understood all these things?) Divine use of which is to drag them up from the bottom. As this is truths must not be lightly passed over.--Our Lord's question dragged along it keeps gathering all in its way, both good and here, 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 which 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.

i variety of human learning, (though of this he should acquire By drawing 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 and 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 inerchant traffick with them, to ing the former into hell, and bringing the latter to heaven. lcnrich himself, but like a bountiful futher or householder, dis

instead of ra xana 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 the xardista comfort and support of the whole heavenly family. the best, the rery best :-every reader would naturally hope that l 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 the genuine followers of Christ only should escape, and the rest bel past, and the produce of the present year, may also refer to

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