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of what was intended, which was, in effect, a prediction of immediate success: (so Peter says, Acts iii. 6, In the name of Jesus Christ, Rise up and walk; ix. 34, Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee || whole; and again, verse 40, Tabitha, arise.) And, || in pronouncing this, the person speaking pawned all his credit as a messenger from God, and consequently all the honour and usefulness of his future life, on the immediate miraculous energy to attend his words, and to be visibly excited on his uttering || them. And hence it is that such a firm, courageous faith, is so often urged on those to whom such miraculous powers were given. But what kind of inti- || and, as you have offended the Majesty of heaven by mation of God's intended miraculous interposition the apostles, in such cases, felt on their minds, it is impossible for any, without having experienced it, to know. It is, therefore, an instance of their wisdom, that they never pretend to describe it, since no words could have conveyed the idea.”

the prayers of his faithful people; innumerable instances of which, especially with respect to recovery from sickness, may easily be produced. For instances, see the Arminian Magazines, vol. v., pages 251, 312; vol. viii., page 200; vol. ix., pages 35, 36; vol. xiv., pages 468, 532; vol. xvi., page 146; vol. xix., page 409.

Verses 25, 26. When ye stand praying-Standing was their usual posture when they prayed. Forgive, if ye have aught against any—If you expect your prayers should prevail with God, you must || take care to offer them in love as well as in faith;




many provocations, if you expect forgiveness from him, you must forgive your fellow-creatures if you have any matter of complaint against any of them. See notes on Matt. vi. 14, 15; xviii. 23–35.

Verses 27-29. There come to him the chief priests, &c.-It seems that Christ's sermons made a great This exhortation, however, is not to be considered || impression on those who heard him, for the number as being exclusively given to our Lord's apostles of his followers and admirers increased so as to and first disciples: it is also given to us, and to all alarm the rulers, who feared that the people, on his his true followers, to the end of the world. We are account, would endeavour to shake off the Roman all here exhorted to have a steadfast faith in the yoke. They consulted, therefore, among thempower, love, and faithfulness of God; and to be fully || selves, how they might destroy him, and resolved persuaded that he will make good all his declara- to do it under pretext of law; the attachment which tions, and fulfil all his promises, in their proper || the multitude had to him hindering them from laymeaning, to all true believers in due season; and this, notwithstanding any difficulties or apparent improbabilities which may be in the way. And it is on this foundation that we must approach God in prayer, fully expecting, if we ask such things as we are authorized by his word to ask, and are earnest, importunate, and persevering in asking them, that we shall certainly receive what we ask, as our Lord declares in the next words; even if the granting of our petitions imply God's doing what is really extraordinary, he having, in all ages, on certain occasions, done what was truly miraculous, in answer to

ing violent hands on him. In consequence of this resolution, the chief priests, scribes, and elders, that is, some of the first men of the nation, came, probably by appointment of the senate, to Jesus one day when he was in the temple, and before all the peo||ple, put two questions to him. The first was, concerning the nature of the authority by which he acted, whether it was as a prophet, a priest, or a king; no other person having a right to make any reformation in church or state. The second question was, that if he claimed the authority of any, or all of these characters, they desired to know from

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Parable of the vineyard


let out to husbandmen

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A. M. 4037. We cannot tell. And Jesus an- || I tell you by what authority I do A. M. 4037 swering saith unto them, Neither do these things.

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whom he derived it. The things done by him, to|| and his receiving the acclamations of the people, which they referred, were his entering the city with who gave him the title of Messiah. Jesus answered, such a numerous train of attendants; his taking I will also ask of you one question.-See note on upon him to reform the economy of the temple; || Matt. xxi. 23–27.


In this chapter we have, (1,) The parable of the vineyard let out to ungrateful husbandmen, representing the sin and ruin of the Jewish Church, 1-12. (2,) Christ's silencing the Pharisees and Herodians, who thought to insnare him with a question about paying tribute to Cesar, 13–17. (3,) His silencing the Sadducees, who attempted to perplex the doctrine of the resurrection, 18-27. (4,) His conference with a scribe, about the first and great command of the law, 28-34. (5,) His puzzling the scribes with a question about Christ's being the son of David, 35–37. (6,) His caution to the people to beware of the scribes, 38-40. (7,) His commendation of the poor widow that cast her two mites into the treasury, 41-44. chapter coincides with Matt. xxi. 33—xxiii. 6.

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ND a he began to speak unto them || loved, he sent him also last unto them, A. M. 4037. by parables. A certain man saying, They will reverence my planted a vineyard, and set a hedge about it, son. and digged a place for the wine-fat, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

2 And at the season he sent to the husbandmen a servant, that he might receive from the husbandmen of the fruit of the vineyard.

3 And they caught him, and beat him, and sent him away empty.

4 And again he sent unto them another servant: and at him they cast stones, and wounded him in the head, and sent him away shamefully handled.

5 And again he sent another; and him they killed, and many others; beating some, and killing some.

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7 But those husbandmen said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours.

8 And they took him, and killed him, and cast him out of the vineyard.

9 What shall therefore the lord of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the husbandmen, and will give the vineyard unto others.

10 And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

11 This was the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?


12 © And they sought to lay hold on him, but 6 Having yet therefore one son, his well-be- feared the people; for they knew that he had

a Matt. xxvii. 33; Luke xxii. 9.——b Psa. cxviii. 22.

c Matt. xxi. 45, 46; Chap. xi. 18; John vii. 25, 30, 44.

NOTES ON CHAPTER XII. they gloried, was to be taken from them; their relaVerses 1-11. He began to speak unto them by tion to God as his people cancelled; and their naparables—“Christ having showed the rulers, chief tional constitution destroyed. But because these priests, and scribes, the heinousness of their sin, in were topics extremely disagreeable, he couched rejecting John the Baptist, (Matt. xxi. 28-32,) judged them under the veil of a parable, which he formed it proper, likewise, publicly to represent the crime upon one made use of long before, by the Prophet of the nation, in rejecting all the messengers of God || Isaiah, chapter v. 1.”—Macknight. A certain man from first to last, and among the rest his only-begot- || planted a vineyard, &c.—See this parable explained ten Son; and in misimproving the Mosaic dispensa- | at large in the notes on Matt. xxi. 33–46. tion, under which they lived. At the same time, he Verse 12. They sought to lay hold on him, but warned them plainly of their danger, by reason of || feared the people-Greek, Tov oxλov, the multitude. the punishment which they had incurred, on account || How wonderful is the providence of God, using all of such a continued course of disobedience and re- || things for the good of his children! Generally the bellion. The outward economy of religion, in which || multitude is restrained from tearing them in pieces,

Question about paying tribute.


Jesus silences the Sadducees.

A. M. 4037. spoken the parable against them: || first took a wife, and dying left no A. M. 4037. and they left him, and went their seed.

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13 ¶ And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees, and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words.

14 And when they were come they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the || person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Cesar, or not?

15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a 1penny, that I may see it.

16 And they brought it. And he saith unto. them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Cesar's.

17 And Jesus answering, said unto them, Render to Cesar the things that are Cesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.

18 ¶ Then come unto him the Sadducees, 1 which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,

19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 20 Now there were seven brethren: and the

d Matt. xxii. 15; Luke xx. 20.——— Valuing of our money sevenpence halfpenny, as Matt. xviii. 28. Matt. xxii. 23 Luke xx. 27.

only by the fear of their rulers. And here, the rulers themselves are restrained, through fear of the multitude!

Verses 13-17. They send unto him certain of the Pharisees, &c.—See notes on Matt. xxii. 15-22. They marvelled at him-At the wisdom of his




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21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.

22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.

23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them" for the seven had her to wife.

24 And Jesus answering, said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?

25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.


26 And as touching the dead, that they rise, have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, i I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?

27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. 28 TkAnd one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, 1Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

f Acts xxiii. 8.- Deut. xxv. 5.—h 1 Cor. xv. 42, 49, 52.-—i Ex. iii. 6.—— Matt. xxii. 35.- Deut. vi. 4; Luke x. 27.

also, xx. 19; but Matt., εis e§ avтwv voμikos, one of them being a lawyer. In this diversity of words, however, there is no difference in sense. For the scribes not only transcribed the Scriptures, but were generally, also, teachers of the law, from which they had the name of lawyers: Having heard them reasoning together-Having attended to the discourse between Jesus and the Sadducees; and perceiving that he had answered them well-Had confuted their degrading doctrine of materialism, and proved, even from the books of Moses, the divine authority of which the Sadducees themselves could not but acknowledge, the certainty of a future state; asked him another question, with a view to make a further trial of his skill in the sacred volume. Which is the first commandment of all—The principal, and most necessary to be observed? See the note on Matt. xxii. 34-36. Jesus answered, The first of all the commandments-And the foundation of all the rest, is, The Lord our God is one Lord-One Jehovah, Verses 28, 29. One of the scribes came-So Luke || one self-existent, independent, infinite, eternal Being:

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Verses 18-26. These verses are explained in the notes on Matt. xxii. 23–33. He is not the God of the dead, but of the living—That is, (if the argument be proposed at length,) since the character of his being the God of any persons, plainly intimates a relation to them, not as dead, but as living; and since he cannot be said to be at present their God at all, if they are utterly dead; nor to be the God of human persons, such as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, consisting|| of souls and bodies, if their bodies were to abide in everlasting death; there must needs be a future state of blessedness, and a resurrection of the body, to share with the soul in it.


( 20 )



Jesus shows which is the


first and great commandment.

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31 And the second is like, namely, A. M. 4037. thy God with all thy heart, and with this, m Thou shalt love thy neigh|| all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with || bour as thyself: there is none other commandall thy strength: this is the first commandment. ment greater than these.

mLev. xix. 18; Mat:. xxii. 39;|| Rom. xiii. 9; Gal. v. 14; James ii. 8.

one in essence; inclusive, however, of three, vñosaσeis, tion that bears any proportion to that of loving him. subsistences, generally termed persons. See on The honour assigned to this precept proves, that Matt. xxviii. 19, and note on Exod. iii. 14. Dr. piety is the noblest act of the human mind, and that Campbell translates this clause, The Lord is our God: || the chief ingredient in piety is love, founded on a the Lord is one; in Deut., Jehovah is our God: Je- clear, extensive view of the divine perfections, a perhovah is one; and not as one sentence, Jehovah our manent sense of his benefits, and a deep conviction God is one Jehovah. Among other reasons for ren- of his being the sovereign good, our portion, our dering the words thus, he gives the following: 1st, happiness. But it is essential to love, that there be a That "it appears to have been the purpose of their || delight in contemplating the beauty of the object begreat legislator, to establish among them these two loved; that we frequently, and with pleasure, reflect important articles, as the foundation of that religious || on the benefits which the object of our affection has constitution he was authorized to give them. The conferred on us; that we have a strong desire of first was, that the God whom they were to adore, || pleasing him, great fear of doing any thing to offend was not any of the acknowledged objects of worship in the nations around them, and was therefore to be distinguished among them, the better to secure them || against seduction, by the peculiar name Jehovah, by which alone he chose to be invoked by them. The second was, the unity of the divine nature, and con- || sequently, that no pretended divinity (for all other || gods were merely pretended) ought to be associated with the only true God, or share with him in their adoration. 2d, That in the reply of the scribe, || verse 32, which was approved by our Lord, and in which he, as it were, echoes every part of the answer that had been given to his question, there are two distinct affirmations with which he begins; these are, There is one God, and there is only one, cor- || responding to The Lord is our God, and the Lord is one. The first clause, in both declarations, points to the object of worship; the second, to the necessity of excluding all others. Accordingly, the radical precept relating to this subject, quoted by our Lord,|| Matt. iv. 10, from the LXX., is exactly suited to both parts of this declaration. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God. This may be called the positive part of the statute, and corresponds to the article, The Lord is our God. Thou shalt serve him only. This is the negative part, and corresponds to the article, The Lord is one."


him, and a sensible joy in the thought of being beloved in return. Hence the duties of devotion, prayer, and praise, are the most natural and genuine exercises of the love of God. Moreover, this virtue is not so much any single affection, as the continual bent of all the affections and powers of the soul. In which light, to love God is, as much as possible, to direct the whole soul toward God, and to exercise all its faculties on him as its chief object. But the beauty and excellence of this state of the mind is best seen in its effects; for the worship and obedience flowing from such a universal bent of the soul toward God, is as much superior to the worship and obedience arising from partial considerations, as the light of the sun is to any picture of it that can be drawn. For example, if we look on God only as a stern lawgiver, who can and will punish our rebellion, it may indeed force an awe and dread of him, and as much obedience to his laws as we think will satisfy him, but can never produce that constancy in our duty, that delight in it, and that earnestness to do it in its utmost extent, which are produced and maintained in the mind by the sacred fire of divine love, or by the bent of the whole soul, turned toward God; a frame the most excellent that can be conceived, and the most to be desired, because it constitutes the highest perfection and happiness of the creature." This is the first (Matthew, and great)

the greatest commandment in the law.

Verse 30. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God|| with all thy heart—The summary of piety contained|| commandment—As this is the first in order, so it is in these words, (see notes on Deut. vi. 5; Matt. xxii. 37,) is introduced by the preceding emphatical and strong assertion of the unity of God; because, "it || is necessary that men should be deeply impressed with just notions of the object of their worship, par- || ticularly that he is the only true God, the maker of all things, and the possessor of all perfection, to whom there is not any being equal, or like, or second: in order that they may apply themselves, with the utmost diligence, to obey his precepts, the first and chief of which is, that they give him their hearts. God is so transcendently amiable in himself, and, by the benefits he hath conferred on us, hath such a title to our utmost affection, that there is no obliga

Verse 31. And the second is like-Of a like comprehensive nature; comprising the whole of our duty to man. Thou shalt love thy neighbour—“The precept enjoining love to our neighbour is like to the great commandment which enjoins the love of God, because charity is the sister of piety, clearly proving its relation by the similarity of its features, complexion, and temper. As piety is the offspring of God, so is its sister, charity, being enjoined by the same authority, and produced by the influence of the same Spirit. Piety and charity consist of the like motions and dispositions of soul, and are kept alive by the same kind of nourishment; the beauties of moral

Jesus cautions his disciples

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32 And the scribe said unto him, he taught in the temple, How say A. M. 4037. Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: the scribes that Christ is the son of for there is one God; " and there is none other || David? but he:


33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices.

34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far

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36 For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

37 David therefore himself calleth him Lord, and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

38 T And the said unto them in his docfrom the kingdom of God. And no man after trine, " Beware of the scribes, which love to go that durst ask him any question. in long clothing, and love salutations in the

35 ¶ And Jesus answered and said, while market-places,

n Deut. iv. 39; Isa. xlv. 6, 14; xlvi. 9.————o1 Sam. xv. 22 Hos. vi. 6; Mic. vi. 6-8.-P Matt. xxii. 46. 9 Matt. xxii. 41;


Luke xx. 41.———r 2 Sam. xxiii. 2.———s Psa. cx. 1.—t Ch. iv. 2. u Matt. xxiii. 1, &c.; Luke xx. 46. - Luke xi. 43.

excellence appearing, whether in the great Father, || art not far from the kingdom of God-He applaudor in his children, who bear his image. They have || ed the piety and wisdom of the scribe's reflection, the same happy tendency to make those in whom || by declaring, that he was not far from embracing they reside, like God, who is God by being good and the gospel, and becoming a true member of Christ's doing good; like him, also, in his felicity, which Church, possessed of all the blessings belonging to arises, not only from the possession, but from the his disciples. Reader, art thou not far from the communication of his goodness. They are like to || kingdom of God? Then go on: be a real Christian each other in their sublime and important nature, || else it had been better for thee to have been afar off. and of like use in the conduct of life; the one being Verses 35-37. See the note on Matt. xxii. 41-46, the principle from which the whole duty we owe to where this paragraph is explained. And the comGod must spring; the other that from which the mon people heard him gladly—They heard him with whole duty we owe to man must flow. To conclude, great attention and pleasure; for the clear and solid they have a like power on the minds of the behold- answers which he returned to the insnaring quesers, raising both esteem and love wherever they tions of his foes, gave them a high opinion of his appear in their genuine beauty. These are the fea- | wisdom, and showed them how far he was superior tures by which piety and charity are strongly to their most renowned rabbis; whose arguments marked, by which their affinity to each other is to prove their opinions, and answers to the objecclearly proved, and by which they are rendered sis- tions that were raised against them, were, generally ter graces, and inseparable companions."--Mac-speaking, but mean and trifling in comparison of his. knight. There is no other moral, much less cere- Besides, the common people were neither so much monial, commandment, greater than these. prejudiced in behalf of the commonly received opinions, nor so much interested, as the scribes or other teachers.

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Verses 32-34. The scribe-Who had proposed the question to try him, being struck with the solidity and spirit of his answer, said, Well, Master-In Verses 38-40. Beware of the scribes-See that ye the original it is, kahwç, excellently, finely, or beau- | do not imitate their hypocrisy, or imbibe their printifully; a phrase which expresses his high satisfac- || ciples, and be on your guard against their insidious tion in the reply much more strongly than the word counsels and designs. There was an absolute neceswell. Thou hast said the truth-Thy declaration sity for these repeated cautions of our Lord. For, is perfectly correct, and unspeakably important; for considering the inveterate prejudices of these scribes there is one God, &c., and to love him with all the || against him and his doctrine, it could never be supheart-To love and serve him with all the united posed that the common people would receive the powers of the soul, in their utmost vigour; and with- gospel till these incorrigible blasphemers of it were out a rival; and to love his neighbour as himself— || brought to just disgrace. Yet he delayed speaking To maintain the same equitable and charitable tem- || in this manner till a little before his passion, as knowper and behaviour toward all men, as we, in like cir- || ing what effect it would quickly produce. Which cumstances, would wish from them toward ourselves, love to go in long clothing, &c.-Here our Lord asis a more necessary and important duty, and a more signs the reason why he bid his disciples beware of acceptable service, than the offering the most noble || imitating them. They were excessively proud and and costly sacrifices; nor could the most exact and || arrogant, as was plain from their affected gravity of pompous ritual observances be acceptable without dress, from the anxiety which they discovered to such graces and virtues as these. When Jesus saw || get the principal seats at feasts, and all public meetthat he answered discreetly—And thereby showed || ings, as things belonging to them, on account of their that he had just views of true religion; he said, Thou | superior worth, and from their courting to be saluted

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