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Luke vii. 15.

Luke vii. 16.

Luke vii. 17.

Luke vii. 18.

And he that was dead sat up, and began to Nain. speak. And he delivered him to his mother 5.

And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people.

And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judæa, and throughout all the region round about.

And the disciples of John shewed him of all these things.

51 In one of the MS. letters of Lord Barrington to Dr. Lardner, I meet with an argument in favour of the cessation of consciousness between death and the resurrection, derived from this history of the raising to life the widow's son. Our Lord is represented as raising the youth to life, from the deep compassion he felt at the sight of his funeral. Lord Barrington reasons,—that if the soul was conscious in an intermediate state, then the widow's son, and Lazarus, and the bodies of the saints which rose at the resurrection of Christ, and went into the holy city, were brought from a condition of great happiness to undergo a second time the miseries of an inferior state of being: and their resurrection would be rather a source of sorrow than of joy. I mention this circumstance, because the argument is frequently urged by the Psychopannychists. The reply, however, to the objection, may be derived from a consideration of the cause, for which these various restorations to mortal life took place. It was not for the benefit of the deceased that their resurrection was accomplished, but for the strengthening the faith of the spectators of the miracle, and of the survivors, and companions of the witnesses. If an objection be further proposed, that we never hear of any discoveries respecting the world of spirits from those who were raised from the dead, and that if their consciousness had not ceased, it is probable some of its mysteries would be disclosed; we answer, that every animated being is provided by his Creator with those faculties only, which are adapted to the condition which that Creator has assigned to him. The faculties which develope themselves in the next stage of our existence, may be so utterly different from those we at present possess, that if a human being were restored to life he might be unable to relate them, or convey an idea concerning them to others. We are unable, even from the hints in Revelation, to form any idea of the invisible world. We seem to require other faculties to comprehend that which is all spiritual, yet possible in space: which defies all language, calculation, and comprehension. There is a beautiful idea in some Brahminical record concerning the Deity. "I am like nothing human, with which to compare myself." So there is nothing in this state of existence, which can enable us to comprehend the invisible world: it could not be understood, and therefore, if the mortal faculties only were restored to those who were raised from the dead, the things which are unseen could not be clothed in human language; they could not be remembered, they could not be imparted.

MS. letter of Lord Barrington to Dr. Lardner, dated Dec. 18, 1728, communicated to me by his son, the late Bishop of Durham.

On a tour.


Message from John, who was still in Prison, to Christ 52.

MATT. xi. 2-7. LUKE vii. 1823.

Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he,

Matt. xi. 2.

Luke vii. 19.

Matt. xi. 3.

calling unto him two of his disciples, sent them to

And said unto him, Art thou he that should
come, or do we look for another ?

When the men were come unto him, they said, Luke vii. 20. John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?

59 This message of the Baptist is placed here on the joint authority of all the five harmonizers, whose united labours form the basis of this arrangement. The internal evidence, that it is rightly placed, is deduced from the transition in Luke vii. 18. and the reply of our Lord to the disciples of the Baptist, in allusion to the miracle of raising the widow's son-the dead are raised, (Luke vii. 22.) The commentators are divided in their opinion, whether the Baptist sent to Christ for his own satisfaction, or for that of his disciples. The opinion of those who espouse the latter of these appears much more probable, when we remember-the Baptist's solemn testimony to Christ-the sign from heaven, and the miraculous impulse, which made John acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah (a).

Witsius has some very curious remarks on the dancing of Herodias, the place where the Baptist was confined (b), &c.

The Jewish writers mention the Baptist in language of respect and veneration. In addition to the testimony of Josephus, who observes that John was a good and pious man, who excited the Jews to the love of virtue, piety, and justice-pointing out the necessity of repentance, and enforcing, by baptism, habitual purity of soul and body. He imputes this imprisonment to the fear of Herod, his death to the instigation of Herodias, and the calamities that befel the army of Herod as the result of the divine vengeance for the death of the Baptist (c).

Rabbi David Ganz, the author of the celebrated work on Chronology, which is generally received among the Jews, and which is merely an attempt so to falsify the ancient chronology, that discredit shall be thrown upon the system received among Christians, calls John the Baptist the high priest; an error which is exposed in the notes by his learned editor Vorstius; who supposes that the name by which the Baptist was known among his countrymen, and referred to by Josephus, was bau, qui baptizabat, vel baptista erat (d).

(a) Vide Doddridge, vol. i. p. 301. (b) Vide Witsius de vitâ Johannis, Exerc. Sacræ, vol. ii. p. 554. (c) Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. 18. (d) R. D. Ganz, Chronol. Vorstius' Edition, p. 89. and 284. This was the same Vorstius respecting whom King James I. wrote to the United Provinces, that they should not harbour the proposer of so many obnoxious heresies.

Luke vii. 21.

Luke vii, 22.

Matt. xi. 5.

Matt. xi. 6.

And in the same hour he cured many of their on a tour. infirmities, and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight.

Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind

receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers

are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are
raised up", and the poor have the Gospel h Isa. Ixi. 1.
preached to them.

And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offend-
ed in me.

MATT. xi. part of ver. 2. ver. 4. and part of ver. 5.

2 -sent two of his disciples,

4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:

5 The blind

LUKE vii. part of ver. 19. 22. and ver. 23.

19 saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another?


the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are

raised, to the poor the Gospel is preached.

23 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

i Isa. xxxv. 6.

Luke vii. 24.

Matt. xi. 7.

Matt. xi. 8.


Christ's Testimony concerning John.

MATT. xi. 7—16. LUKE vii, 24-31.

And when the messengers of John were de-
Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concern-
ing John, What went ye out into the wilderness
to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

But what went ye out for to see? A man
clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear
soft clothing,

Luke vii. 25. Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts.

Luke vii. 26.

But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet:

This was one of the tokens which was to distinguish the reign of the Mes.

Terra in qua mortui resurgent, ea-ארץ שמתיים היים תחלה מלך המשיח,siah

est, ubi principium regni Messiæ observabitur. The appeal to the Jews is uniformly made in compliance with the popular and well known traditions and opinions. Schoetgenius, Hor. Heb. vol. i. p. 111.

On a tour.

k Mal. iii. 1.

1 Luke xvi. 16.

*Or, is got ten by force,

and they that thrust men.


For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, Matt. xi. 10. I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.


Verily I

say unto you, Among them that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater prophet than John the Baptist :

Luke vii. 28.

Matt. xi. 11.

Luke vii, 28.

notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom Matt. xi. 11. of heaven is greater than he "*.


And from the days of John the Baptist until Matt. xi. 12. now, the kingdom of heaven * suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force 55.

54 Every, the meanest Christian, after the resurrection of Christ, was better acquainted with the mysteries of religion, and the nature of the kingdom of the Messiah, than the greatest of the ancient prophets (a).

Matt. xi. 13. It was a saying among the Jews before the time of our Saviour,

all the prophets prophesied only ,לע נתנבאו אלא לימות המשיה כל הנבאים כולן

till the times of the Messiah (b).

55 Schoetgen is of opinion that these words are to be understood in their usual sense. So many obstacles were thrown in the way of those who were invited to become disciples of Christ, that all who would receive his religion, were required to resist with labour and persevering violence every difficulty that presented itself. Every human power and institution were opposed to the establishment of the Gospel. Authority, manners, opinion, prejudice, were alike leagued against it.

The Pharisees condemned the religion of Christ, as inconsistent with many of their interpretations of Scripture, as too spiritual, and as violating the laws and traditions of the elders. The Sanhedrim opposed it, as exciting tumults and dissensions among the people, and disturbing the public peace. The Roman soldiers and officers, both civil and military, were inclined to treat the apostles and their doctrine with contempt, and thus the whole power of the state was arrayed against them.

The kingdom of heaven was violently attacked on every side, and those humble disciples who were anxious to gain admittance into it, were obliged to contend against all these difficulties, and to take possession of it by violence, contrary to the opinions and the opposition of the Pharisees, and the whole Jewish Sanhedrim. Luke xvi. 16.

Among the passages from the Talmudists, which Schoetgen quotes on this text, is Berachoth, fol. 34. 2. and which is quoted also by Dr. Gill, the learned commentator, and great ornament of the Baptist dissenters. All the inspired writers and prophets who were before John speak of the Messiah as one who was to come: John spake of him as one who is come: and directed the people in plain terms to Jesus of Nazareth, as the Messiah, the Lamb of God. Since the time of John vision and prophecy have been utterly taken away: and this is ac

(a) Vide Schoetgen. vol. i. p. 112. (b) Berachoth, fol. 34. 2. and Schabbath, fol. 63. 1. Schoetgen. vol. i. p. 113. and Dr. Gill's comment in loc.

Matt. xi. 13.

Matt. xi. 14.

Luke vii. 29.

Luke vii. 30.

Matt. xi. 15.

For all the prophets and the law prophesied on a tour. until John:


And if ye will receive it, this is " Elias, which m Mat. iv. 5. was for to come.

And all the people that heard him, and the Publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.

But the Pharisees and Lawyers rejected the counsel of God † against themselves, being not baptized of him.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

MATT. xi. part of ver. 7, 8. ver. 9. and part of ver. 11.

7 And as they departed—

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9 But what went ye out for to see? a prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.

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LUKE vii. part of ver. 24, 25. ver. 27. and part of ver. 28.

24 -he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

25 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment ?27 This is he of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

28-I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater-but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.

כל הנביאים כולן לא נתנבאו אלא knowledged by the Jews themselves, who say Omnes Prophetae non לימות המשיח אבל לע" הב עין לא ראתה אלהים זולתף

nisi usque ad tempora Messiæ prophetarunt, sed de vitâ æterna oculus non vidit præter te Domine, and from the day the temple was destroyed, JM ID MINIA)

T. Bava Bathra, fol. 12. 1. Since that time Abarbinel (a) confesses they have had no prophet. Schoetgen quotes also to the same effect.-Schabbatt, fol. 63. 1. and fol. 151. 2. Pesachim, fol. 68. 1. Sanhedrim, fol. 99. 1.

That John was a prophet, may be gathered not only from the express declaration of St. Luke, that the word of God came to him in the wilderness; but from the nature of his ministry, and his declaration to the people.

John prophesied—

1. The approach of Christ, in the character of Elijah.

2. His pre-existence and dignity, as the eternal Son of God.

3. His atonement.

4. Rejection by the Jews, and adoption by the Gentiles.

5. Judgments on Jews, and final separation of the good from the evil, at the end of the world.

6. Christ's increase, and his own decrease.

7. He completed the chain of prophecies which predicted the coming of Christ, by pointing out Christ personally at his baptism.-Hales's Anal. of Chronology, vol. ii. part ii. p. 742.

(a) In Dan. fol 63. 4. ap. Gill.

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