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Christ explains the nature of

St. MATTHEW. the sin against the Holy Ghost; A. M. 4031. o Whoms A. D. 27. · 31 Wherefore I say unto you, · All li the Son of man, “it shall be forgiven A. . 4031.

" A. 1. 2. An. Olymp. manner of sin and blasphemy shall be him : but whosoever speaketh against An. Olymp. CCI. 3."

CCI. 3." forgiven unto men: but the blas- || the Holy Ghost, it shall not be for- phemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be for given him, neither in this world, neither in the given unto men.

world to come. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against || 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit

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into the fold, is, most likely, one who wishes to scatter them, | under the Christian dispensation as it was under the Jewish, that he may have the opportunity of stealing and destroying || viz. by the destruction of the body? And is not this the them. I do not find any parallel to this proverbial mode of mentioned 1 John i. 7. called there the sin unto death ; i. e, a speech in the Jewish Rabbins, if it be one, nor have I met sin that was to be punished by the death of the body, while with it among the Greek or Roman writers.

mercy might be extended to the soul? The punishment for Verse 31. All manner of sin and blasphemy] B200 pmusa, in- | presumptuous sins, under the Jewish law, to which our Lord jurious or impious speaking, bysmor spræc, mocking and de- evidently alludes, certainly did not extend to the damnation of riding speech, Anglo-Saxon. See chap. ix. 3.

the soul, though the body was destroyed : therefore I think But the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost] Even personal that, though there was no such forgiveness to be extended to reproaches, revilings, persecutions against Christ were remis- this crime as to absolve the man froin the punishment of temsible; but blasphemy, or impious speaking, against the Holy | poral death, yet, on repentance, mercy might be extended to Spirit was to have no forgiveness ; i. é. when the person obsti- || the soul ; and every sin may be repented of under the gospel nately attributed those works to the Devil, which he had the 11 dispensation fullest evidence could be wrought only by the Spirit of God. || Dr. Lightfoot has sufficiently vindicated this passage from That this, and nothing else, is the sin against the Holy Spirit, || all false interpretation. “ They that endeavour hence to prove is evident from the connexion in this place, and more particu- || the remissions of some sins after death, seem little to underlarly from Mark iij. 28, 29, 30. “ All sins shall be forgiven stand to what Christ had respect, when he spake these words. unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they | Weigh well this common and most known doctrine of the shall blaspheme, but he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Jewish schools, and judge. Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal “ He that transgresses an affirmative precept, if he presently damnation; Because they said he hath an unclean spirit.” Il repent, is not mored until the Lord pardon him, and of such it is

Here the matter is made clear beyond the smallest doubt | said, Be ye converted, O backsliding children, and I will heal the unpardonable sin, as some term it, is neither less nor more your backslidings. He that transgresses a negatire precept and than ascribing the miracles Christ wrought, by the power of God, repents, his repentance suspends judgment, and the day of erpiato the spirit of the Devil. Many sincere people have been tion erpiates him; as it is said, This day shall all your uncleangrievously troubled with apprehensions that they had com- | nesses be expiated to you. He that transgresses to cutting off milted the unpardonable sin; but let it be observed that no l (by the stroke of God) or to death by the Sanhedrin, and re• man who believes the divine mission of Jesus Christ, ever can | pents, repentance and the day of expiation do suspend judgment, commit this sin : therefore let no man's heart fail because of and the strokes that are laid upon him wipe off sin, as it is said, it, from benceforth and for ever, Amen. See below. l and I will visit their transgression with a rod, and their ini

Verse 32. Neither in this world, neither in the world to quity with scourges. But he by whom the name of God is procome.] Thougb I follow the common translation, yet I am fully || phaned (or blasphemed) repentance is of no avail to him to sus• satisfied the meaning of the words is, neither in this dispensa- || pend judgment, nor the day of erpiation to erpiute it, nor scourges tion (viz. the Jewish) nor in that which is to come, viz. the ll (or corrections inflicted) to wipe it off, but all suspend judgment, Christian. Xan Shiy olam ha-bo, the world to come, is a con- || and death wipes it off. Thus the Babylonian Gemarú writes, stant phrase for the times of the Messiah, in the Jewish | but the Jerusalem thus : Repentance and the day of expiation writers. See beluw. The sin here spoken of by our Lord, erpiute as to the third part, and corrections as to the third part, ranks high in the catalogue of presumptuous sins, for which and death wipes it off, as it is said, and your iniquities shall not there was no forgiveness under the Mosaic dispensation. See l be expiated to you until ye die : behold we learn that death ripes Num. xv. 30, 31. xxxv. 31. Lev. xx. 10. 1 Sam. ji. 25. When off. Note this, which Christ contradicts, concerning blasour Lord says that such a sin hath no forgiveness, is he not || phemy against the Holy Ghost. It shall not be forgiten, saith to be understood as meaniug that the crimé shall be punished he, neither in this world, nor in the world to come ; that is, nei.

und reprehends the wicked Jere's.

: CHAP. XII.“

Idle words condemned.

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: M. 9031. good ; or else make the tree corrupt, | 36 But I say unto you, That every A. M. n. Olymp. and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is idle word that men shall speak, they An. Olymp.

CCI. 3.' is known by his fruit.

shall give account thereof in the day 34 O * generation of vipers, how can ye, being of judgment. ril, speak good things ? for out of the abun- | 37 For by thy words thou shalt be justi. ince of the heart the mouth speaketh. fied, and by thy words thou shalt be con5 A good man out of the good treasure || demned.

the heart bringeth" forth good things: and 38 f 'Then certain of the scribes and of the ... evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would forth evil things.

see a sign from thee.

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ther before death, nor as you dream, by death. Jerus. Sanhed. Verse 34. O generation of vipers] These are apparently fol. 37. and Bab. Yoma, fol. 86.

severe words, but they were extremely proper in reference to " In the world to come.—I. Some phrases were received into! that execrable people to whom they were addressed: the whole common use, by which, in common speech, they opposed the he verse is an inference from what was spoken before. resy of the Sadducees, who denied immortality. Of that sort were out of the abundance (To Egito EVMOTOs, the overflowings) of the 830 Siw ôlam ha-bu, Alwy ó usarwy, The world to come.; ya gan heart] Wicked words, and sinful actions may be considered as aden, Tapaduto?, Paradise: S19 a gei hinnom, rena, Hell, &c. the overflowings of a heart that is more than full of the spirit

At the end of all the prayers in the temple, (as we observed of wickedness; and holy words and righteous deeds may be before) they said Shwy w ad õlam for ever. But when the Here il considered as the overflowings of a heart that is filled with the tics (i. e. the Sadducees) brake in, and suid there was no 'Age Holy Spirit, and running over with love to God and man. but one ; then it was appointed to be said for ever and ever. Shisel Verse 35. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart), you Sbryn jo min ha-olam, vead ha-olam. Bab. Beracoth, | Ins xedias, of his heart, is omitted by upwards of one hun-, fol. 54. This distinction of n99 Sbry ôlam hazeh, this world, dred MSS. many of them of the greatest antiquity and auand of xan Shv olam ha-ba, the world to come, you may find thority: by all the Syriac, Arabic, and Persic; by the Slatonic, almost in every page of the Rabbins.

Saxon, Vulgate, and Itala (except four) and by several of the The Lord recompense thee a good reward for this thy good primitive fathers. It seems to have been added here by some cowork in this world, and let thy reward be perfected in the world i pyist, merely to explain. The good heart is the good treasury, to come. Targum on Ruth.

and the treasure that is in it is the love of God, and of all man" It (that is, the history of the creation and of the Bible) there- kind. The bad heart is the bad treasury, and its treasure is the fore begins with the letter , beth (in the word nipina bereshith) || carnal mind, which is enmity against God, and ill-will to man. because two worlds were created, this world, and a world to Verse 36. Every idle word) Pouce agyov, a word that does come. Baal Turim.

|| nothing, that neither ministers grace, nor instruction to them " II. The world to come hints two things especially (of which | who hear it. The word agyon corresponds to the Hebrew xw sce Rambam, in Sanhed. cap. Chelek.) I. The times of the shavé, which signifies not only vain or empty, but also wicked. Messiah : · Be mindful of the day wherein thou camest out of and injurious, such as a false testimony against a neighbour, Egypt, all the days of thy life; the wise men say, by the days compare Deut. v. 11. and 20. Add to this that Symmachus of thy life is intimated this world, by all the days of thy life, I translates 120 piggul, polluted, Lev. xix. 7. by the very Greek the days of the Messiah are superinduced. In this sense the word in the text. It was to explain this ambiguous meaning apostle seems to speak Heb. ij. 5. and vi. 5. II. The state of the word, that ten MSS. have changed.apyor into toungov, after death, thus Rab. Tancum, The world to come, is when all evil. Our Lord must be understood here as condemning all man has departed out of this world.”

false and injurious words: the scope of the place necessarily Verse 33. Either make the tree good] That is, the effect will requires this meaning. be always similar to the cause, a bad tree will produce bad Verse 37. By thy words thou shalt be justified] That is, the fruit, and a good tree, good fruit.

whole tenor of thy conversation will be an evidence for or. The works will resemble the heart, nothing good can pro- | against thee, in the great day. How many are here who.. ceed from an evil spirit, no good fruit can proceed from a cor count words for nothing, and yet eternity often depends on rupt heart ;-before the heart of man can produce any good, them. Lord, put a watch before the door of my lips ! is a, it must be renewed and influenced by the Spirit of God,

prayer, proper for all men.

Jonah a sign of Christ's

Sr. MATTHEW.

death and resurrection.

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A. M.4031. 39 But he answered and said unto | 40 For as Jonas was three days A.M.4931. A. 1), 27.

A. 1), 27. An. Olymp. them, An evil and · adulterous gene- and three nights in the whale's belly : An. Olymp. CCI.3.

o ration seeketh after a sign; and there so shall the Son of man be three days shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the and three nights in the heart of the earth. prophet Jonas :

41 · The men of Nineveh shall rise in judg

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Verse 38. We would see a sign from thee.] That is, we wish | in vindication of the propriety of the expression in the text. now to see thee work a miracle. Pride, vain curiosity, and For farther satisfaction, the Reader, if he please, may conincredulity, have never proof sufficient of the truth : for they sult Whitby and Wakefeld, and take the following from Light will not be satisfied.

foot. Verse 39. An evil and adulterous generation] Or, race of peo- “ I. The Jewish writers extend that memorable station of ple; for so yeysa should be translated here, and in most other the unmoving sun at Joshua's prayer, to six and thirty hours; places in the Gospels; for our Lord, in general, uses it to for so Kimchi upon that place. According to more exact point out the Jewish people. This translation is a key to un- | interpretation, the sun and moon stood still for six and thirty lock some very obscure passages in the Evangelists.

| hours : for when the fight was on the eve of the subbath, Joshua Seeketh after a sign] Or, seeketh another sign, ( SITE) so feared lest the Israelites might break the sabbath, therefore he I think this word should be translated. Our Lord had already spread abroad his hands, that the sun might stand still on the given the Jews several signs: and here they desire sign upon sixth day, according to the meusure of the dny of the sabbath, ..sign.

and the moon according to the measure of the night of the subOur Lord terms the Jews an adulterous race. Under bath, and of the going out of the sabbath, which amounts to sit the Old Covenant, the Jewish nation was represented as in a und thirty hours.' marriage contract with the Lord of hosts; as believers, in II. If you number the hours that passed from our Savithe New Covenant, are represented as the spouse of Christ - our's giving up the ghost upon the cross to his resurrection, · all unfaithfulness and disobedience was considered as a breach you shall find almost the same number of hours; and yet of this marriage contract : hence the persons who were thus that space is called by him three days and three nights, whereguilty, are denominated adulterers and adultresses. But in- as two nights only came between, and only one complete day.

in as two nights only come between, and only one comp dependantly of this, there is the utmost proof from their own Nevertheless, while he speaks these words, he is not without writings, that in the time of our Lord, they were most lite- the consent both of the Jewish schools and their computation. rally an adulterous race of people : for, at this very time, Weigh well that which is disputed in the tract Scabbath, conR. Jochanan ben Zacchai abrogated the trial by the bitter cerning the separation of a woman for three days; where waters of jealousy, because so many were found to be thus many things are discussed by the Gemarists, concerning the criminal. See on John viii. 3.

computation of this space of three days. Among other things Verse 40. Three days and three nights) Our Lord rose from these words occur : R. Ismael saith, Sometimes it contains four the grave on the day but one after his crucifixion : so that in | 01318 onoth, sometimes five, sometimes sir. But how much is the computation in this verse, the part of the day on which the space of an nis onah ? R. Jochanan saith, Either a dng he was crucified, and the part of that on which he rose again, or a night. And so also the Jerusalem Talmud: R. Akiba are severally estimated as an entire day: and this, no doubt, fired a day for an onuh, and a night for an onah.' But the exactly corresponded to the time in which Jonah was in the tradition is, that R. Eliazar ben Azariah said, A day and n belly of the fish. Our Lord says, As Jonah was, so shall the night make an onah ; and a part of an onah is as the WHOLE. Son of man be, &c. Evening and morning, or night and day, And a little after, R. Ismael computed a part of the onah for is the Hebrew phrase for a natural day, which the Greeks the whole.Thus then, three days and three nights, accordtermed vux onuesgoy nuchthemeron. The very same quantity of ing to this Jewish method of reckoning, included any part time which is here termed three days and three nights, and of the first day; the whole of the following night; the next which in reality was only one whole day, a part of two others, day and its night; and any part of the succeeding or third and two whole nights, is termed three days and three nights, | day. in the book of Esther : Go; neither eat nor drink THREE DAYS, In the whale's belly] That a fish of the shark kind, and not Night or day, and so I will go in unto the ning: chap. iv. 16. a whale, is here meant, Bochart has abundantly proved, voi. Afterwards it followe, chap. v. 1. On the THIRD DAY, Esther | iii. col. 742, &c. edit. Leyd. 1692. It is well known, that the stood in the inner court of the king's house. Many examples throat of a whale is capable of admitting little more than the might be produced from both the sacred and profane writers, arm of an ordinary man; but many of the shark species can The Ninevites, and the queen of the South, CHAP. XII.

much more teachable than the Jeu's.

A. M. 431. ment with this generation, and shall || parts of the earth to hear the wisdom A. M. 4631. A.D. 97.

A. 1). 27. An. Olymp. condemn it: because they repented of Solomon; and, behold, a greater An. Olymp. CCT. 3.

CCI. 3. diam at the preaching of Jonas; and, be-| than Solomon is here. hold, a greater than Jonas is here.

| 43 - When the unclean spirit is gone out of a 42 · The queen of the south shall rise up in man, he walketh through dry places, seeking the judgment with this generation, and shall || rest, and findeth none : condemn it: for she came from the uttermost|| 44 Then he saith, I will return into my house

See Jer. 3. 11. Ezek. 16. 51, 52. Rom. 2. 27.- bJonah 3. 5.

10. 1. 2Chron. 9. 1. Luke 11. 31. ..

1 Kings

a Luke 11. 24.

Job 1.7. 1 Pet. 5. 8.

eh facts || the perse 42. The queensaba, which was acc, of Jude

swallow a man whole; and men have been found whole in the standing all this, the people of Judea did not repent, though stomachs of several. Every natural history abounds with facts | the people of Nineveh did of this kind. Besides, the shark is a native of the Mediter | Verse 42. The queen of the south] In 1 Kings x. 1. this ranean sea, in which Jonah was sailing, when swallowed by || queen is said to be of Saba, which was a city and province what the Hebrew terms 5973 97 dag gadol, a great fish ; but of Arabia Felix, to the south, or south-east, of Judea. every body knows that whales are no produce of the Medi-l Uttermost parts of the earth] Ispatwy ans yns-a form of terranean sea, though some have been by accident found there, || speech which merely signifies, a great distance. See Deut. as in most other parts of the maritime world; but let them be || xxviii, 49. found where they may, there is none of them capable of swal- || Verse 43. When the unclean spirit. If there had been no lowing a man. Instead of either whale or shark, some have | reality in demoniacal possessions, our Lord would have translated 5172. 17 dag gadol, Jonah i. 17. by a fishing cove, || scarcely appealed to a case of this kind here, to point out or something of this nature ; but this is merely to ged rid of the real state of the Jewish people, and the desolation which the miracle : for, according to some, the whole of Divine re- ll was coming upon them. Had this been only a vulgar error, of velation is a forgery—or it is a system of metaphor or allegory, || the nonsense of which the learned Scribes and the wise Phathat has no miraculous interferences in it. But independantly risees must have been convinced, the case not being one in of all this, the criticism is contemptible. Others say, that the point, because not true, must have been treated by that very great fish means a vessel so called, into which Jonah went, || people with contempt, for whose conviction it was alone deand into the hold of which he was thrown, where he conti- || signed. nued three days and three nights. In short, it must be any He walketh through dry places] Ai' ayudewy Tomwr. There thing but a real miracle, the existence of which, the wise men, || seems to be a reference here to the . Orphic demonology, in 80 called, of the present day cannot admit. Perhaps these which evil spirits were divided into various classes, accord. very men are not aware, that they have scarcely any belief | ing to the different regions of their abode, or places in even in the existence of God himself!

which they delighted. These classes were five : 1. Aaspores Verse 41. The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment] || ougaros, Celestial dæmons. 2. Accspoves negson, Aerial. 3. The voice of God, threatening temporal judgments, caused Aaspoves svudgsoo, Aquatic. 4. Aaspoves xbovuos, Terrestrial. 5. a whole, people to repent, who had neither Moses nor Christ, || Kes Sablones UTOxbovios, And subterranean dæmons. See neither the Law nor the prophets; and who perhaps never had Orph. ad Mus, ap. Schott. The Platonists, the followers of but this one preacher among them. What judgment may | Zoroaster, and the primitive Jews, made nearly the same not we expect, if we continue impenitent, after all that God || distinctions. has bestowed upon us ?

Seeking rest] Or refreshment. Strange! a fallen corrupt A greater than Jonas is here.] I£oy, for to delov, some- || spirit can have no rest but in the polluted human heart : the thing more. The evidence offered by Jonah sufficed to con- | corruption of the one is suited to the pollution of the other, vince and lead the Ninevites to. repentance; but here was and thus like cleaves to like. more evidence, and a greater person ; and yet so obsti- || Verse 44. Into my house] The soul of that person from nate are the Jews, that all is ineffectual. 1. Christ, who whom he had been expelled by the power of Christ, and out preached to the Jews, was infinitely greater than Jonah in of which he was to have been kept by continual prayer, his nature, person, and mission. 2. Jonah preached repent- faith, and watchfulness. ace in Nineveh only forty days, and Christ preached among | He findeth it empty] Unoccupied, cxona forta, empty of the the Jews for several years. 3. Jonah wrought no miracles to former inhabitant, and ready to receive a new one: denoting, authorize his preaching ; but Christ wrought miracles every || a soul that has lost the life and power of godliness, and the day, in every place, and of every kind. And 4. Notwith- || testimony of the Holy Spirit.

Of the unclean spirit.

St. MATTHEW. Who are our Lord's kindred. A. M. 4031 from whence I came out; and when || 47 Then one said unto him, Behold, A.M. 4031. A. D. 27.

A. D. 27. An. Olymp. he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, thy mother and thy brethren stand An. Olymp. CCI. 3.

th the CCI. S. e and garnished.

without, desiring to speak with thee. _ 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with himself || 48 But he answered and said unto him that seven other spirits more wicked than himself, told him, Who is my mother? and who are my and they enter in and dwell there : * and the brethren? last state of that man is worse than the first. | 49 And he stretched forth his hand toward Even so shall it be also unto this wicked gene- his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and ration.

my brethren! 46 [ While he yet talked to the people, "be- 50 For “whosoever shall do the will of my hold, his mother and his brethren stood with- || Father which is in heaven, the same is my bro. out, desiring to speak with him.

ther, and sister, and mother.

a Hebr. 6. 4. & 10. 26. 2 Pet. 2. 20, 21, 22.-46 Mark 3. 31. Luke 8.

1 Cor. 9. 5. Gal. 1. 19. 19, 20, 21.- ch, 13. 55. Mark 6. 3. Jobn 2. 12. & 7. 3, 5. Acts 1, 14. || 3. 11. Hebr. 2. 11.

See John 15. 14. Gal. 5. 6. & 6. 15. Col.

Swept, und garnished.] As oxoratw signifies to be idle, or frequently used among the Hebrews in this sense. But there unemployed, it may refer here to the person, as well as to his 1) are others who believe Mary had other children beside our state. His affections and desires are no longer busied with || Lord, and that these were literally his brothers, who are the things of God, but gad about like an idle person, among 1 spoken of here. And although it be possible, that these were the vanities of a perishing world. Swept, from love, meek- || the sons of Mary, the wife of Cleopas or Alpheus, his moness, and all the fruits of the Spirit; and garnished, or adorn ther's sister, called his relations, Mark iii. 21. yet it is as ed, xexosunu snov, decorated, with the vain showy trifles of folly likely, that they were the children of Joseph and Mary, and and fashion. This may comprize also smart speeches, cunning || brethren of our Lord, in the strictest sense of the word. See repartees, &c. for which, many who have lost the life of God, || on chap. xiii. 55. are very remarkable.

Verse 48. Who is my mother ? and who are my brethren ?) Verse 45. Seven other spirits more wicked] Seven was a || The reason of this seeming disregard of his relatives was this; favourite number with the Jews, implying. frequently with they came to seize upon him, for they thought he was distracted. them, something perfect, completed, filled up, for such is the || See Mark iii. 21. proper import of the Hebrew word you sheva or shepung : Verse 50. Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, &c.] nearly allied in sound to our seven. And perhaps this mean || Those are the best acknowledged relatives of Christ, who are ing of it refers to the seventh day, when God rested from his united to him by spiritual ties, and who are become one with work, having filled up, or completed the whole of his creative him, by the indwelling of his Spirit. We generally suppose design. Seven dæmons-as many as could occupy his soul, || that Christ's relatives must have shared much of his affecharassing it with pride, anger., self-will, lust, &c. and tor tionate attention; and doubtless they did : but here we find, turing the body with disease.

that whosoever does the will of God is equally esteemed by The last state of that man is worse than the first.] His soul Christ, as his brother, sister, or even his virgin mother. What before, influenced by the Spirit of God, dilated and expanded an encouragement for fervent attachment to God! under its heavenly influences, becomes more capable of re I L. From various facts related in this chapter, we see the finement in iniquity, as its powers are more capacious than l nature and design of the revelation of God, and of all the orformerly. Evil habits are formed and strengthened by re- || dinances and precepts contained in it—they are all calculated lapses; and relapses are multiplied and become more incur- | to do man good: to improve his understanding, to soften able through new habits.

and change his nature, that he may love his neighbour as So shall it be also unto this wicked generation. And so it himself. That religion that does not inculcate and produce was : for they grew worse and worse, as if totally abandoned | humanity, never came froin heaven. to diabolic influence; till at last the beesom of destruction 1 2. We have already seen what the sin against the Holy swept them and their privileges, national and religious, utterly Ghost is: no soul that fears God can commit it: perhaps it away. What a terrible description of a state of apostacy is would be impossible for any but Jews to be guilty of it, and contained in these verses! May he who readeth, inderstand! | they only in the circumstances mentioned in the text; and in

Verse 46. His mother and his brethren] These are supposed l such circumstances, it is impossible that any person should now to have been the cousins of our Lord, as the word brother is be found.

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