תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

Julian Pe.
MARK i. 17-20.

Sea of riod, 47-40.

Galilee. Valgar Æra,

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and 27. I will make you to become fishers of men >.

ther tells us, that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, assisted
Peter in landing the fish which he had taken ; and that when
they, that is, the four partners, had brought their ships to land,
they forsook all and followed Christ. And here also this Evan-
gelist harmonizes with the two others. St. Mark says, that
when Christ had gone a little further thence from the place
where Peter and Andrew began to follow him, he saw James the
son of Zebedee, and Jobn his brother, who also were in a ship,
as Peter had been when he was called, mending their nets, their
nets being torn by the weight of fish which they had hauled to
shore; and straightway he called them and they went after
him, in company with Peter and Andrew.

The two accounts, that of St. Matthew and St. Mark on one
side, and that of St. Luke on the other, thus concurring in the
place and situation in which St. Peter was called, in the pro-
mise made to him, and the time when he was called, speak evi.
dently of the same vocation-consequently St. Matthew and St.
Mark' have abridged the story (e).

This manner of considering the narrative seems preferable either to that of Newcome, Whitby, or Hammond (f).

(a) Townson's works, vol. i. p. 42, 43. (6) Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 193. (c) Pilkington's Evang. History, &c. (d) Marsh's Michaelis, part i. p. 49. and vol. iii. part ii. p. 67. (e) Townson's Discourses, vol. i. p. 43, 44.. (f) To prevent trouble in noting the references to the five principal harmonies, from which my authorities are principally selected, I will mention the editions referred to. Lightfoot's works, folio edition, London, 1684. Archbishop Newcome's Harmony, large folio, Dublin, 1787. Pilkington's Evangelical History, folio, London, 1747. Doddridge's Family Expositor, 5 vols. 8vo. Baynes, London. Michaelis's works, (Marsh's) 8vo. 2nd edit. 1802.

21 The wisdom of our Lord's conduct was eminently displayed in the choice of his Apostles: they were generally chosen from the inferior ranks of life, and most of them were fishermen. If the disciples of Christ had been men of rank and distinction, of wealth or eminence; is they had been esteemed for their knowledge, or literature, or political influence, these means, might more or less have been employed for promoting the kingdom of the Messiah, which nearly all the Jews imagined would be of an earthly nature. The success of the Gospel too, would have been attributed, by its enemies at least, if not by the disciples, to mere human exertions. Hence Caiaphas enquired with so much solicitude of Christ, respecting his disciples, (John xviii. 19.) from whose unpretending life less opposition was made to the first beginnings of Christianity: for no danger could possibly be apprehended from the efforts of such inferior and illiterate individuals. In addition to these reasons for selecting the Apostles from the lowest occupation, it must be remembered, that men accustomed to a sterner and severer mode of life, would be so habituated to dangers and anxieties, that they would not easily be daunted by them. By this choice, too, all pretence that the Gospel was advanced by mere human means was destroyed; and it appeared from the very beginning, that not many wise, or noble, or mighty, were called.

2° There is one subject in theology which has generally escaped the attention of commentators and writers; the types

Julian Pe 18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and fol- Sea of riod, 4740. lowed him.

Galilee. Vulgar Æra, 27.

of the New Testament. If we consider the design of Revela.
tion, and the plan on which the former part of the inspired
pages are written, it will not appear improbable, or unreason-
able, that we may discover the same union of types and pro-
phecies in the New, that are to be found in the Old Testament.

A type is a designed resemblance between two events, one of
which takes place before the other. The latter of these events
is of so much importace, that it is usually the subject of pro-
phecy. It may be observed also, respecting the types, that
those circumstances recorded in the Old Testament, which are
now known to be typical, were not generally understood in the
complete typical signification at the time they took place.
Thus we cannot be assured that the offering of Isaac by Abra-
ham was regarded by his cotemporaries as typical of the
sacrifice of the Son of God. It was comprehended on a future
day, and the resemblance between them was so complete, that
we have internal evidence, as well as the testimony of authors,
that the first event was a prophetical intimation of the latter:
and we well know, that the latter was the object also of a great
variety of prophecies.

The design of Revelation is likewise to demonstrate to the world, that all that can or shall take place is known to God; and that every event among all the nations of thc earth concurs in accomplishing his predetermined will. That will is known and declared to be, the universal happiness of the sons of Adam, accomplished by means which shall not clash with the freedom of human will, and human action.

The New Testament, like the Old, contains a great number of prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled, many are now fulfilling, many remajn to be accomplished. The same spirit of God dictated both covenants : the design of the one revelation is uniform : the plan, we may naturally conclude the same; and we may expect, therefore, that some events in the New Testament may be intended to typify those circumstances. which are the subject of its prophecies.

In the instance before us, we have a plain example of a prophecy which was delivered under circumstances which may seem to typify the event foretold. Christ assured his disciples that they should become fishers of men : that is, they should be successful preachers of his Gospel. The words, in their simple meaning, must be considered only as a metaphor; but the events which took place at the time they were spoken will possibly justify us in supposing that they are to be interpreted as an intended resemblance, or type, of the fulfilment of our Lord's prophecy. As the net drew up so great a multitude of fishes, so also should the Apostles on a future day bring many myriads into the Church of God.

Lampe (a), in his work on St. John's Gospel, has indulged his imagination very fully on this subject. He certainly demonstrates that the several objects, means, and terms, which are used by fishermen, and concerning fishing, were interpreted by the ancients in an emblematical sense, and similar interpretations may be found in the talmudical writers. I am always anxious to avoid any fanciful meanings of Scripture, as inconsistent with sobriety and sound judgment. The imagination is the worst and blindest guide in these things. But as the subject is curious, and may profitably engage the attention of theolo

Julian Pe 19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he Ses of riod, 4740. Vulgar Æra,

saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who Galilee. 27. also were in the ship mending their nets.

gical students, I have collected some instances, which may
prove the reasonableness of the supposition in question.

Lampe first refers to the Old Testament, to shew the pro-
priety of considering the act of fishing, &c. to be emblematical.
We rend in Ezek. xlvii. 10. “And it shall be that the fisbers shall
stand upon the river, from Engedi, even to Eneglaim : they
shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be accord-
ing to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea,” &c. The pro-
phet, in the whole passage, is comparing the future progress of
the Gospel to thai of rivers, giving life wherever they flow :
and this same emblem is adopted in many other passages of the
Old Testament, Prov. xi. 30. Isa. xix. 9, 10, &c.

Engedi and Eneglaim were situated at the north ard south points of the Dead Sea. This sea then, as having covered the cities of the plain, which were consumed for their wickedness, may be considered

as a most appropriate emblem of the state of the Heathen or Gentile world, and gives additional force to the passage: even that sea should be so changed by the waters of the river of life, that there, even there, should be the spreading forth of nets, and abundant success to the labour of the fishermen.

Archishop Newcome translates the text more intelligibly than in our own version, which is rendered obscurely.

The instruments of fishing, Lampe observes further, are the hook and the net. Men are said to be drawn as with the bands of a man: and it is the hook of judgment and restraint with which Isaiah represents Jehovah as restraining the madness of Sennacherib.

In the mode of fishing also, two things particularly resemble the ministry of the Gospel. The persevering labour required, night and day constantly at work, and although frequently disappointed, still urging, persevering, and labouring, with the hope of success. The cunning and skill requisite in this pursuit, as pertaining to the Christian teacher, is well described in Matt. x. 16. and 2 Cor. xii. 16.

Ambrose remarks on this subject—the apostolical instruments are appropriately compared to nets, which do not kill their prey,

but keep them and bring them from the darkness of the deep into the light of day.

The Talmudists also have used the same metaphor. The teachers of the law are called by Maimonides, Talm. Torah. p. 7. 77777777

Petronius Satyr. cap. 3. gives the same emblem. The arbiter
elegantiarum, would be surprized to find himself in this com-
pany.

Lampe quotes also from a hymn, preserved by Clemens Alex-
andrinus (b), in which Christ is thus addressed-
Αλιεύ μερόπων

Piscator hominum
Τών σωζομένων

Qui salvi fiunt
Πελάγες κακίας

Pelagi vitii
Ιχθύς αγνές

Pisces castos
Κύματος εχθρού

Undâ ex infestâ
Γλυκερή ζωή δελεάζων Dulci vità inescans.
Plutarch also, in his treatise on Isis and Osiris, affirms, that in
the Egyptian bieroglyphics a fish was placed as an emblem of
batred.

Julian Pe 20 And straightway he called them: and they left Sea of
riod, 4740. their father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, Galilee.
Vulgar Æra,
27.
and went after him.

LUKE Y. 1-11.
1 And it came to pass, that as the people pressed upon
him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of
Gennesaret,

2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the
fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their
nets.

3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land. And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.

4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.

5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we

"Εν Ζάι γBν εν τω προπόλω τα ιερά τάς Αθηνάς ήν γεγλυμμένον βρέφος, γέρων, και μετά τέτο ίεραξ, εφεξής δε ιχθύς, επί πάσι δε PATOS Torapios. In the vestibule of the temple at Zai, an infant, an old man, a hawk, a fish, and a hippopotame were sculptured. Each emblem had its appropriate meaning, and the fish represented hatred, ιχθύς δε μίσος, ώσπερ ειρηται διά την θάλατταν.

It was possibly in allusion to the same well known emblem, that the ancient Christians called themselves Ixous (c).

Pythagoras also, who obtained much of his knowledge from pure sources (d), prohibited the eating of fish.

In the epistle of Barnabas, ch. x. the wicked man is compared
to fish. Μακάριος ανήρ, ός εκ επορεύθη εν βελή ασεβών, καθώς οι
ιχθύες πορεύονται εν σκότει εις τα βάθη. .

Arnold proves in his notes to the Sota of the deeply learned
Wagenseil, that voluptuaries and sensualists were represented
by the emblem of fishes.
Oppian Halient, lib. 2.

Ιχθύσι δ' έτε δίκη μεταρίθμιος, έτε τις αιδώς
"Ου φιλότης πάντες γάρ ανάρσιοι αλλήλοισι
Δυσμενέες πλώασιν, ο δε κρατερώτερος αιεί
Δαίνυτ' άφαυροτέρες άλλω δ' επινήχεται άλλος

Πότυον άγων έτερος δ' ετέρω πορσύνεν έδωδήν.
Which is an exact description not only of the manner in which
the fish are represented by naturalists, but an accurate account
also of the mode of life pursued by men who are without religion,
and in a state of nature like the fish of the sea ; they are regard-
less of shame, and law, and justice, and affection ; always at war,
and preying upon each other : the weaker the victims of the
stronger.

(a) Prolegomena ad Evang. Johan. p. 12, 13. and notes. (6) Pæd.
lib. 3. in fin. (c) Vide Bingham Eccles. Antiq. The reason he assigns
is, that the word was compounded of the initial letters 'Incoūs, xpisos,
De Yios, Ewrne, on the authority of Optatus, vol. i. p. 3. 8vo. edit.
(!) Vide arrangement of the Old Testament, vol. ii.p. 612. (e) See on
this subject also, Jones on the figurative language of Scripture.

Julian Pe- have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: never- Sea of riod, 4740. theless at thy word I will let down the net.

Galilee. Vulgar Æra, 27.

6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes : and their net brake.

7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me: for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

10 And so was also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not ; from henceforth thou shalt catch

men,

11 And when they had brought their ships to land,
they forsook all, and followed him.

MARK I. 16. MATT. iv. 19-22.
16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilec, he saw Simon and
Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea : for they were
fishers.

MATT. iv. 19_22.
19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you
fishers of men.

20 And they straightway left their pets, and followed him.

21 And going on from thence, be saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets : and he called them.

22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed bim.

SECTION VII.
The Demoniac Healed at Capernaum".

MARK i. 21-28. LUKE iv. 33-38.
And they went into Capernaum, and straightway, on Capernaume

Mark i. 21.

This event is placed after the miraculous draught of fishes, on the united authorities of Lightfoot, Newcome, Doddridge, and Pilkington. Michaelis places it after the rejection of Christ by his countrymen, at Nazareth. He supposes that this event, the choosing of the twelve apostles, the sermon on the mount, the cleansing of the leper, the healing of the centurion's servant, the restoration of the mother-in-law of Peter, and of many other sick persons, took place on one day, which he therefore calls the day of the sermon on the mount, to distinguish it from the day in which various parables were delivered, which he denominates the day of parables. His reasons for this order, with the remarks of his learned editor, will be considered hereafter. It is here sufficient to observe he confirms the order proposed by the other Harmonists, cxcepting that he places elsewhere the miracle which was given in the last section.

« הקודםהמשך »