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A cordial for our fears."
29 that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take
my yoke upon you, and learn of me ; for I am meek and lowly 30 in heart ; and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke
is easy, and my burden is light. reformation of the world. Spiritual sive commandments of men, and things must be spiritually known. vindicate in their power the laws Only the godlike can comprehend of God. He would extract the the godlike.
sting from sorrow, sickness, and 28-30. This paragraph grows death, and give rest and gladness naturally out of the preceding ver- to the sons and daughters of grief.
He had been speaking with a When the soul is directed to Jesus thankful exultation of the commis- it finds peace, as the disturbed magsion given him by the Father for netic needle, pointing to its pole of the salvation of mankind. He now attraction, straightway subsides, and invites all, but especially the weari- becomes still. The knowledge of ed and overburdened, to come and God which he communicates calms experience the life, liberty, and bliss the agitated soul. The burdens he of this salvation. His mind had imposes, so far from wearying, rebeen raised so high in the contem- new the strength. The duties he plation of his mission, that he enjoins promote present and future breaks out into a beautiful apos- happiness. Here is found trophe to the children of toil and
“A sovereign balm for every wound, sorrow, to come to him and experience the blessings of the Gospel. 29. Take my yoke, fc. A comThe imperative mode is here used mon figure. To follow or obey one less in the sense of command than is to wear his yoke; a metaphor of earnest supplication. O come from husbandry, to illustrate reli
gion. The sense is without dis28. Come unto me. Not physi- pute, - Submit to my instruction, cally, but spiritually. Those come learn of me the truth of God, and unto Christ, who obey and love obey it. - For I am meek and lowly him. John vi. 35, vii. 37. — All in heart. Jesus would be a mild, ye that labor and are heavy laden. condescending teacher and guide, in All without distinction are invited. contrast with the haughty Scribes Those who labored under the en- and Pharisees, who treated the peocumbrances of the Mosaic ritual, ple at large with contempt; who those who were heavy-laden with put upon them burdens heavier than human traditions, those who groan- they could bear, and would not so ed under the slavery of sin, and much as touch them with one of those who were oppressed with the their fingers. Matt. xxiii. 4; Luke nameless cares and trials of human xi. 46. — Ye shall find rest. Fulfil existence, were addressed in this the condition, and you shall receive moving entreaty. Whatever be the the reward. — Unto your souls. Jetoil or the suffering, rest is prom- sus does not promise his followers ised, on condition of going unto Je- exemption from the common, out
- I will give you rest. Jesus ward, physical ills of life. But he would supersede burdensome cere- does promise that they shall have monies, with a simple, spiritual faith rest, where rest is of most value, in and practice. Acts xv. 10; Gal. v. the soul. There shall be peace in i. He would overthrow the oppres- the heart. In the virtues of the
The Reasonings of Jesus with the Scribes and Pharisees, and his Rebukes of their Wickedness. At that time Jesus went on the sabbath-day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw il, they 2 Christian character, in purity, self- erty, smoothing the pillow of sickdenial, piety, and mercy, there is a ness, and glorifying the bed of quiet and tranquil happiness truly death; and in all giving a peace divine. The soul feels a conscious that passeth understanding. dignity and serene elevation, as if We have probably read these last raised above the storms that sweep paragraphs of the chapter so many this lower world. " There is in times in a monotonous mood and the man a higher than love of happi- sluggish acquiescence of habit, that
; he can do without happiness, we have not considered the comand instead thereof find blessed- manding and awful strain, as of the ness.' Let not the good grieve, summons to judgment, fitted to make if they have little of the gold, or every heart quake, with which the rehonors, or pleasures of this world. sponsibility of the hearers of Christ Our Father does not pay his faith- is sounded forth, or the inexpressible ful ones in things of so perishable a sweetness and winning grace with nature, but in the higher rewards which he calls on the wearied, sufof the spirit itself.
fering, and sinful to come to him 30. For my yoke is easy, fc. The and to forget their woes in the boChristian religion makes none but som of his love. It is a passage to reasonable requirements, and im- startle all the fears, and thrill with poses none but necessary restraints. ecstasy all the hopes, that inhabit the It is free from the burdensome cere- -human heart; a passage to be read monial of the Jews. It requires with deep awe, with tears of penino arduous pilgrimages like Ma- tence, and tears of joy. Muse upon hometanism, nor the bloody sacri- it in thy heart till the fire burns. fices and human offerings of pagan idolatry. It gives free course and
CHAP. XII. noble gratifications to all the high, 1-8. Mark ii. 23-28; Luke vi. enduring faculties of the soul, and 1-5. enjoins self-denial only in things 1. At that time. About that time. hurtful, and where it brings joys Luke specifies the time, though obfar deeper and richer than those of scurely, as “the second Sabbath afany sensual or worldly nature. The ter the first,” which is conjectured Christian has found it to be so by by Carpenter to mean the first Sabexperience. The yoke of Christ is bath after Pentecost, in our month easy, and his burden light to him. of May. Sabbath-day.
CorreTake the whole checkered course sponding to our Saturday. The of life through, and he has discov. corn. The fields of grain, probably ered only one thing suited alike to barley or wheat. Indian corn was all states and all changes, and that unknown till modern times. All is Religion ; tempering and enhanc- kinds of grain were formerly called ing pleasures, soothing troubles, corn. — Ăn hungered. An old Engcheering difficulties, enriching pov- lish expression for hungry. — The said unto him : Behold thy disciples do that which is not law3 ful to do upon the sabbath-day. But he said unto them : Have
ye not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and 4 they that were with him ? how he entered into the house of
God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the
ears of corn. The heads of grain. nies, and of personal hostility to Luke adds, they rubbed them in Christ. See Matt. xii. 10; Luke their hands, for the purpose, no xiii. 14, xiv. 1-3; John v. 16, ix. doubt, of shelling out the kernels 16. They gladly seized hold of any from the heads. Eat. This they pretext to blacken his character. were allowed to do by the law of And his lofty independence, though Moses, Deut. xxiii. 25, but they tempered by gentleness and pruwere not to reap, or carry any away. dence, gave them frequent opportu
2. Thy disciples do that which is nities of misconstruing his words not lawful, i. e. do that which is and actions. forbidden by law. What they held 3. What David did. Jesus deto be forbidden was not the plucking fends himself and his disciples, first, and eating of the grain, but doing it by the example of David ; an auon the Sabbath. Moses had en- thority which the Jews very much joined abstinence from labor on that respected. The history of the case day. Ex. xx. 10, xxxv. 2, 3; referred to is contained in 1 Sam. Numb. xv. 32 - 36. And these xxi. 3-6.- An hungered. Hungry. rigid formalists carried his laws, 4. How he entered into the house of relative to the day of rest, to such God. David seems, from the narextremes, as to forbid even works of ration, not actually to have entered necessity and mercy. One teacher the house or tabernacle, - the tem held that attendance on the sick was ple had not yet been built,
but to unlawful on that day. The follow- have met the priest elsewhere, probing passage occurs in one of the ably in the court of the tabernacle. Rabbinical books, which may ex- The shew-bread. Lev. xxiv. 5-9. plain the opinions of the time, and This bread was so called because it illustrate the text before us ; was placed on a table in the taberthat reaps on the Sabbath, though nacle, before the presence of God, never so little, is guilty. And to as there manifested. It was the pluck the ears of corn is a kind of shown bread. Twelve fresh loaves, reaping; and whosoever plucks any an emblem of the offerings of the thing from the springing of his own Twelve Tribes," were put there fruit is guilty under the name of a weekly; the old bread being, rereaper. The Pharisees nominally moved, and eaten by the priests directed the charge of Sabbath- alone. David, in his extremity, and breaking against the disciples, but by the permission of the priest, parin reality they aimed their blow at took of this holy bread, contrary to Jesus himself. He answered it in the law, and gave it to his companthis light. They appeared to have ions. But he was justified by the been actuated on this and other oc- necessity of the case. He had been casions, when the observance of the pursued by Saul, and had no time Sabbath was in question, by a union to provide for his journey. In vioof superstition for outward ceremo- lating therefore the letter of the law, priests? Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the 5 sabbath-days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless ? But I say unto you, that in this place is one 6 greater than the temple. But if ye had known what this mean- 7 eth : “I will have mercy and not sacrifice,” ye would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord 8 even of the sabbath-day. he might be said not to have violated had power to supersede that sysits living spirit. So the disciples tem and its laws, and establish one were justified in their seeming trans- less ceremonial. What he allowed gression by the necessity of nature. his disciples to do was justifiable, We may suppose, perhaps, that though contrary to the traditions of Jesus does not admit that his disci- the elders. Their health and life ples did break the Sabbath by pluck- were of more consequence than exing and eating of the grain, but that ternal observances. His second jushe reasoned with the Pharisees on tication, therefore, is drawn from their own ground, as the readiest the fact of his superiority to Moses. way to silence their calumny.
7. I will have mercy and not sacri5. In the law, i. e. of Moses. fice. Hos. vi. 6; 1 Sam. xv. 22. Numb. xxviii. 9, 10. — Profane the A Hebrew idiom. The sense is not sabbath and are blameless. It was a that God did not require sacrifice, Jewish saying, “ There is no sab- but that he preferred acts of righbatism at all in the temple." The teousness to mere external observlabor of the priests was as much as ances. He looks at the heart rather on other days, in slaying and pre- than at the hand. The verse may paring, and offering up the victims. be paraphrased thus : “ If you had Yet they were blameless, because considered the superiority of right it was a law that sacrifices should affections over outward ceremonies, be offered on the Sabbath. Thus you would not have condemned the the disciples were excusable, be- necessary violation of a ritual law, cause, although they did that which
or perhaps a mere tradition.” This according to the mere letter of the is the third answer of Jesus to the law might be called work, yet they accusation of the Pharisees. obeyed the higher law of self-pres- 8. The Son of Man is Lord, or ervation. What the priests did in Master, fc. By the Son of Man the temple, my disciples may do we are to understand Christ himhere. Thus far he has justified self, as in verse 32. See note on himself and them by the necessity Matt. viii. 20. Jesus was author
and the example of ized to establish a system of reliDavid.
gion, under which the Sabbath 6. Is one greater. The original would be changed from a day of is in the neuter gender. Something physical rest to one of spiritual greater than the temple. Jesus awakening; from a day of offering thus modestly expressed his claim material sacrifices to one of worto superiority. Greater than the shipping God in spirit and truth. temple may mean greater than those In his church also the Sabbath has who serve in the temple, or greater been transferred, in commemoration than that system on account of of his resurrection, from the seventh which the temple was erected. He to the first day of the week. He
of the case,
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their syna10 gogue.
And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying : Is it lawful to heal on 11 the sabbath-days ? that they might accuse him. And he said
unto them: What man shall there be among you that shall
have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath-day, 12 will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a
man better than a sheep! Wherefore it is lawful to do well on
could therefore grant a freedom to of doing good, only to slander and his disciples unknown to the scru- accuse, and which converted his pulous Pharisees. This was his acts of mercy into crimes of the fourth justification. — Mark adds, ii. deepest dye! Whilst, on the other
" The Sabbath was made for hand, with what wisdom, patience, man, and not man for the Sab- magnanimity, and calmness, did the bath; ” which signified that the day divine Teacher meet all his difficulwould be truly kept, if made sub- ties ! Who can look upon him and servient to man's greatest good. not love so noble a being? Who
9 – 16. See Mark iii. 1-6, 12, can love and not imitate him? Luke vi. 6-11.
11. Pit. A cistern or well, at 9. He went into their synagogue. which cattle were watered. The This was, according to Luke vi
. 6, Jews had carried their notions to on another Sabbath-day. The two such an extravagant length as to narratives are introduced together question whether it were lawful to because they relate to the same rescue an animal from danger on subject. We see that by studying the Sabbath day; but it had been the parallel passages of the Evan- decided in the affirmative, as we gelists we gain a more complete learn from the Rabbinical books. knowledge of the history of our “ If a beast fall into a ditch, or into Lord.
a pool of water, let the owner bring 10. Which had his hand withered. him food in that place, if he can; Who had a withered hand. This but if he cannot, let him bring was probably a species of palsy, of clothes and litters and bear up the which there were several kinds; beast, whence if he can come up, but which is never suddenly cured let him come up,” &c. Jesus by natural means. Luke mentions would therefore justify his conduct that it was the right hand. - Is it upon grounds of their own admislawful, fc. It had been decided sion, and by their actual practice in by some of the Jewish teachers, as relation to the inferior creation. we learn from their books, that it 12. How much then is a man betwas not lawful to heal on the Sab- ter than a sheep! Of how much bath-day, except in case of immi- more importance and value. Jesus nent danger. That they might ac- intimates, that the restoration of the
They asked questions withered' hand of a human being not for information, but for accusa- was of more consequence than the tion. How malignant must that life of an animal; and as the Jews · hatred have been, which the quiet admitted that the one might be resof the Sabbath did not mitigate; cued, so they must also admit that which followed Jesus in his circuits the other might be healed. - It is