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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
The two accounts, that of St. Matthew and St. Mark on one
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.
A type is a designed resemblance between two events, one of
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
Lampe first refers to the Old Testament, to shew the pro-
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
Lampe quotes also from a hymn, preserved by Clemens Alex-
Qui salvi fiunt
Undâ ex infestâ
Julian Pe 20 And straightway he called them: and they left Sea of
LUKE Y. 1-11.
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the
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
Arnold proves in his notes to the Sota of the deeply learned
Ιχθύσι δ' έτε δίκη μεταρίθμιος, έτε τις αιδώς
Πότυον άγων έτερος δ' ετέρω πορσύνεν έδωδήν.
(a) Prolegomena ad Evang. Johan. p. 12, 13. and notes. (6) Pæd.
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
11 And when they had brought their ships to land,
MARK I. 16. MATT. iv. 19-22.
MATT. iv. 19_22.
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.
MARK i. 21-28. LUKE iv. 33-38.
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.