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Explanation of the

ST. MATTHEW.

parable of the sower,

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A. M. 4031. eth the wicked one, and catcheth away | ariseth because of the word, by and A.M.4031. A. D. 27.

A.D. 197. A.1. Olymp. that which was sown in his heart. || by "he is offended.

• An. Olymp •8._ This is he which received seed by the 22 · He also that received seed_ch way side.

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

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

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

Ch. 11. 6. 2 Tim. 1. 15.

1 Tim. 6. 9.

sch. 19. 23. Mark 10. 93. Luke 18. 94. 2 Tim. 4. 10,-_ Jer. 4.3.

distresses and torments the soul. Mark, chap. iv. 15. calls || land ploughed, but not properly cleared and weeded. Is hehim ó catavas, the adversary or opposer, because he resists represents that person who heareth the word, but the cares, men in all their purposes of amendment, and to the utmost rather, the anxiety, n Megopya, the whole system of anxious of his power, opposes, in order to frustrate, the influences of carking cares. Lexicographers derive the word megspeva from divine grace upon the heart. In the parallel place in Luke, Msgo SEDY TOY youv, dividing, or distracting the mind. Thus a chap. viii. 12. he is called ó doaßoros, the devil, from diaban- || poet, dely, to shoot, or dart through. In allusion to this meaning of Tot me impediunt curæ, quæ meum animum divorsè trahunt. the name, St. Paul, Eph. vi. 16. speaks of the fiery Darts of “ So many cares hinder me, which draw my mind different the wicked one. It is worthy of remark, that the three Evan- ways.” Terence. gelists should use each a different appellative of this mortal The deceitfulness of riches] Which promise peace and pleaenemy of mankind; probably to shew, that the devil, with sure, but can never give them. all his powers and properties, opposes every thing that tends Choke the word] Or, together choke the word, cuptuys, to the salvation of the soul.

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

carking worldly cares, with the delusive hopes and promises A careless inattentive hearer is compared to the way side- 1 of riches, cause the man to abandon the great concerns of his heart is an open road, where evil affections, and foolish his soul, and seek in their place, what he shall eat, drink, and hurtful desires continually pass and repass without either and wherewithal he shall be clothed. Dreadful stupidity of notice or restraint. “ A heart where Satan has," (as one man, thus to barter spiritual for temporal good—a heavenly terms it) “ ingress, egress, regress, and progress : in a word, inheritance for an earthly portion! The seed of the kingthe devil's thoroughfare."

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

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

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

ashe kalmera khube اصل کلمه را خبه کند lator renders it |

Parable of the

CHAP. XIII.

wheat and the tares.

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A.M.4031. standeth it; which also beareth fruit,|| 25 But while men slept, his enemy A.M.4031. A.D. 97.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. and bringeth forth, a some a hundred- came and sowed o tares among the An. Olymp.

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

*Gen. 28. 12. John 15. 4, 5, 8. Gal. 5. 22.

Mark 4. 26.

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

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

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

the Mishna called Keluyim, which treats expressly on differLet it be farther observed, that the unfruitfulness of the ent kinds of seeds, the word 397 zunim, or 1397 cunin, is different lands was not owing to bad seed or an unskilful | used for bastard or degenerated wheat : that which was wholly sower—the same sower sows the same seed in all, and with the a right seed in the beginning, but afterwards became degenesame gracious design—but it is unfruitful in many, because rate the car not being so large, nor the grains in such quanthey are careless, inattentive, and worldly minded.

tity as formerly, nor the corn so good in quality. In Psal. But is not the ground naturally bad in every heart? Un- || cxliv. 13. the words yo be yo mizzan al zan, are translated, doubtedly. And can any but God make it good ? None. || all manner of store ; but they properly signify, from species But it is your business, when you hear of the justice and to species : might not the Chaldee word 7217 zunin, and the mercy of God, to implore him to work in "you that which is Greek word i fana zizania, come from the Psalmist's ;137. zanpleasing in his sight. No man shall be condemned because zan, which might have signified a mixture of grain of any he did not change his own heart, but because he did not cry kind, and be here used to point out the mixing bastard or to God to change it; who gave him his Holy Spirit for this degenerate wheat, among good seed wheat? The Persic very purpose; and which he, by his worldly mindedness and translator renders it wila želi telki daneh, bitter grain, but it impiety, quenched. Whoso hath ears to hear, let him hear : seems to signify merely degenerate wheat. This interpretation and may the Lord save the Reader from an impenjtent and throws much light on the scope and design of the whole pasunfruitful heart!

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

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

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

Parable of the grain

St. MATTHEW.

of mustard seed.

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A. 11.4031. 27 So the servants of the housholder i reapers, Gather 'ye together first the
A D. 27.

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

CCI.S. Col.9. not thou sow good seed in thy field ? || burn them: but gather the wheat from whence then hath it tares ?

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

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

when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, 30 Let both grow together until the harvest : 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 revives his is not to be persecuted in his body or goods, because he is not also. No marvel, therefore, if we find scandals arising sud sound in the faith—God tolerates him; so should men. False denly to discredit a work of grace, where God has begun to doctrines are against God-he alone is the judge and punisher pour out his Spirit.

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

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

Verse 32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds] That is, of all Verse 29. But he said, Nay] God judges quite otherwise those seeds which produce plants, whose stems and branches, than men, of this mixture of good and evil in the world : he according to the saying of the botanists, are apt deydęstvy, are knows the good which he intends to produce from it; and borescere, to grow into a ligneous or woody substance. how far his patience towards the wicked should extend, in Becometh a tree] That is, it is not only the largest of order to their conversion, or the farther sanctification of the plants which are produced from such small seeds, but parrighteous. Men often persecute a true Christian, while they takes, in its substance, the close woody texture, especially in intend only to prosecute an impious person. “A zeal for | warm climates, where we are informed it grows to an almost the extirpation of heretics and wicked men,” said a pious || incredible size. The Jerusalem Talmud, tract Peah. fol. 20. Papist, “not regulated by these words of our blessed Saviour, says, “ There was a stalk of mustard in Sichin, from which allows no time for the one to grow strong in goodness, or to sprang out three boughs; one of which being broken off, the other, to forsake their evil courses. They are of a spirit | served to cover the tent of a potter, and produced three cabes very opposite to his, who care not if they root up the wheat, 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

The parable of the leaven. Why

CHAP. XIII.

Christ spake to the people in parables.

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A.M. 1031. 33 - Another parable spake heil by the prophet, saying, "I will open A.M1.4031,

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

Hoe 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 T 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

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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; that language which is peculiar to heaven, clothing those and the parable of our Lord sufficiently attests the fact. ideas which angelic minds form, how little should we comSome soils being more luxuriant than others, and the climate prehend of the things thus described? How great is onr much warmer, raise the same plant to a size and perfection | privilege in being thus taught! lleavenly things, in the pafar beyond what a poorer soil, or a colder climate, can pos- rables of Christ, assume to themselves a body, and thus render sibly do. Herodotus says, he has seen wheat and barley in themselves pulpable, 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 crew to an ' Psal. Ixxviii. 2. which is attributed to Asuph, he must be the incredible size. I have myself seen a field of common cab- il prophet who is mcant 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 MISS. to nine feet in height: and one in the garden of a friend, which have Hochov, 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 1793). These facts, and word Isaiah; and thus, by attempting to remove an imaginary several others which might be added, confirm fully the pos- error, made a real one. sibility of wbat our Lord says of the mustard-tree, however Verse 36. Jesus went into the house : and his disciples incredible such things may appear to those who are ac- came] Circumstances of this kind should not pass unnoticed : quainted only with the procluctions of northern regions and they are instructive and important. Those who attend only cold climates.

to the public preaching of the Gospel of God, are not likely Verse 33. The kingdom of hearen is like unto lerven) On to understand fully the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. the nature and effects of learen, 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 i 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 watered. perty of the grace of Christ is to change the whole soul into and brings forth much fruit. iis own likeness ; and God intends that this principle should! Declare unto us (qezcov, explain) to us the parable of the continue in the soul till all is leavened, till the whole bear trres of the field.] To what has already been spoken on this the irnage of the heavenly, as it before bore the image of the parable, the following general exposition may be deemed a earthly. Both these parables are prophetic, and were in- | necessary appendage: tended to shew, principally, how, from very small be- I. What is the cause of Evil in the world ? ginnings, the Gospel of Christ should perrade all the na- 1. We must allow, that God, who is infinite in holiness, putions of the world, and fill them with righteousness and true irity, and goodness, could not have done it. Nothing can proholiness.

duce what is not in itself. This is a maxiin 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- | wuch 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

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The explanation of the parable St. MATTHEW.

of the tares and the wheat. A.M.44131. that soweth the good seed is the Son || burned in the fire ; so shall it be in the A. N.4 31. A. D. 27.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. of man;

end of this world.

An Olyinp. 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, d 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

a('b. 94. 14. & up 19. Mark 16. 15. 20. Luke 24. 47. Rom. 10. 18. Ch. 18. 7. 9 Pet. 2. 1, 4.- Or, scandals. fch. 3. 12. Rev. 19. n. Col. 1. 6,-- Gen. 3. 13. John' 8. 44. Acts 13. 10. 1 John 3. 8. & 20. 10.-- ch. 8. 12. ver, 50.-- Dan. 12. S. Wisd. 3. 7. 1 Cor. 15. Joel 3. 13. Rev. 14. 15.

||42, 13, 58.

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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.

11 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.

1 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 wheat; 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 IV. Observe the end of the present state of things : receive solicitations to sin; but he is seldom discovered in ]. The wicked shall be punished, and the righteous reevil 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 to be the very worst of criminals. See Dan. iii. 6. They were men.

cast into a burning fiery furnace. The effect of it, DESPAIR; 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 secd 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 Some learned men are of opinion, that the whole of this greatly multiplied—and the small remnant of the godly, not l parable refers to the Jewish state and people; and that the being able to stand against the onsets of wild beasts, &c. ll words OUYTENEIG tou abwvos, 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. grace.

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

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