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John the Baptist comes in the
spirit and power of Elijah,
A.11.4031. are born of women, there hath not || 13' For all the prophets and the A.M. 2031. 4. D. 27.
A. D. 27. An. Olymp. risen a greater than John the Baptist : law prophesied until John.
• An Olymp. CCI. 3.
CCI. 3. - notwithstanding, he that is least in the 14 And if ye will receive it, thi: kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Elias, which was for to come. 12'* And from the days of John the Baptist | 15 € He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. until now, the kingdom of heaven suffereth 16 T But whereunto shall I liken this geviolence, and the violent take it by force. neration? It is like unto children sitting in
butely determined to
fbhe world till that than any prophet froin
, Verse 13. Ath everlasting
be fulfilment elly, Because
and glorified Saviour wolenitude Elijah, gave the would be the forerunner
Verse 11. A greater than John the Baptist] A sirth excel | lutely determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and Tency of the Baptist; he was greater than any prophet from have his soul saved at all hazards, and at every expence, he the beginning of the world till that time-Ist. Because he will surely perish everlastingly. was prophesied of by them. Isai. xl. 3. and Mal. iii. 1. where 1 Verse 13. All the prophets and the. law prophesied until Jesus Christ himself seems to be the speaker. 2dly. Because John.] I believe aposDNTEVOOL means here, they taught, or conbe had the privilege of shewing the fulfilment of their pre- tinued to instruct. They were the instructors concerning the dictions, by pointing out that Christ as now come, which they Christ who was to come, till John came and shewed that all foretold should come. And 3dly. Because he saw and enjoy the predictions of the one, and the types and ceremonies of the ed that salvation, which they could only foretel. See Quesnel. I other, were now about to be fully and finally accomplished;
Notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of hewen] for Christ was now revealed. By the kingdom of heaven in this verse is meant, the fulness Verse 14. This is Elias, which was for to come.) This of the blessings of the gospel of peace; which fulness was not should always be written Elijah, that as strict a conformity known till after Christ had been crucified, and had risen from as possible might be kept up between the names in the Old the dead. Now the least in this kingdom, the meanest Testament and the New. The prophet Malachi, who prepreacher of a crucified, risen, and glorified Saviour was greater dicted the coming of the Baptist in the spirit and power of than John, who was not permitted to live to see the plenitude Elijah, gave the three following distinct characteristics of hiin. of gospel grace, in the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Let First, That he should be the forerunner and messenger of the reader observe, Ist. That the kingdom of heaven here | the Messiah : Behold I send my messenger before me, Mal. ii. does not mean the state of future glory-See chap. ii. 2. || 1. Secondly, That he should appear before the destruction 2dly. That it is not in holiness or devotedness to God that the ll of the second temple : Even the Lord whom ye seek, shall sudleast in this kingdom is greater than John; but 3dly. That it | denly come to his temple, ibid. Thirdly, That he should is merely in the difference of the ministry. The prophets | preach repentance to the Jews, and that some time after, pointed out a Christ that was coming. John shewed that that the great and terrible day of the Lord should come, and the Christ was then among them : and the preachers of the Gospel Jewish land be smitten with a curse, chap. iv. 5, 6. Now prove that this Christ has suffered, and entered into his glory, these three characters agree perfectly with the conduct of and that repentance and remission of sins are proclaimed through the Baptist, and what shortly followed his preaching, and his blood. There is a saying similar to this among the Jews. have not been found in any one else; which is a convincing * Even the servant maid that passed through the Red-sea, saw | proof, that Jesus was the promised Messiah. what neither Ezekiel, nor any other of the prophets had seen." || Verse 15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. ] As if
Verse 12. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence] The our Lord had said, These things are so clear and inanifest, tax-gatherers and heathens whom the scribes and Pharisees that a man has only to hear them, to be convinced and fully think have no right to the kingdom of the Messiah, filled satisfied of their truth. But neither the Jews of that time, with holy zeal and earnestness, seize at once on the proffered nor of the succeeding times to the present day, have heard mercy of the Gospel, and so take the kingdorn as by force or considered these things. When spoken to on these subfrom those learned doctors who claimed for themselves the "jects, their common custom is to stop their ears, spit out, chiefest places in that kingdom. Christ himself said, The 'l and blaspheme.; thus shews not only a bad but a ruined tar-gatherers and harlots go before you, into the kingdom of cause. They are deeply and wilfully blind. They will not God. See the parallel place Luke vii. 28, 29, 30. He that come unto the light lest their deeds should become manifest, will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness, that they are not wrought in God. They have ears, but they peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest; all hell will op- i will not hear. pose him in every step he takes; and if a man be not abso- || Verse 16. But whereunto shall I liken this generation ?]
s, seize ate dingdon can be over the learned blaspheme ise deply more dedo
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17 And saying, We have piped unto publicans and sinners. But wisdom you, and ye have not danced; we have mourn- | is justified of her children. ed unto you, and ye have not lamented. | 20 | Then began he to upbraid the cities
ne neither eating nor drink- || wherein most of his mighty works were done, ing, and they say, a He hath a devil,
because they repented not : 19 The Son of Man came eating and drink- | 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee,
a John 8. 48.
Ch. 9. 10.
Luke 7. 35.
Luke 10. 13, &c.
That is, the Jewish people-in yeveay : aviny, this race : and solent, the holy maxims by which they are guided, for they the word yeres is often to be understood in the Evangelists. find the way, pleasuntness, and the path, peace. Of here and
In the markets] Or, places of concourse, ayogass, from in many places of our translation, ought to be written by, in zyniga, I gather together; not a market place only, but any modern English. place of public resort : probably meaning here, places of pub- Some suppose that our blessed Lord applies the epithet of lic amusement.
in copoo, that Wisdom, to himself; as he does that of Son of Calling unto their fellows] Or, companions. Instead of Man, in the first clause of the verse; and that this refers to XT Tipous, companions, many of the best MSS. have Etegons, the sublime description given of wisdom in Prov. vii. Others others. The great similarity of the words might have easily have supposed that by the children, or sons (TSXvwv) of wisdom, produced this difference.
our Lord ineans John Baptist and himself, who came to preach There are some to whom every thing is useful in leading them the doctrines of true wisdom to the people, and who were to God; others, to whom nothing is sufficient. Every thing known to be teachers come from God, by all those who seriis good to an upright mind, every thing bad to a vicious heart. ously attended to their ininistry; they recommending them
Verse 17. We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced] | selves by the purity of their doctrines, and the holiness of We have begun the music, which should have been followed their lives, to every man's conscience in the sight of God. by the dance, but ye have not attended to it.
It is likely however, that by children our Lord simply means We hare mourned-und ye have not lamented.] Ye have not the fruits or effects of wisdom, according to the Hebrew mote the breast : qux exolache, from Xot Topiced, to strike, or | idiom, which denominates the fruits or eifects of a thing, its beat the breasts with the hands, particularly in lamentation. children. So in Job, chap. v. 7. sparks emitted by coals, are So used Nah. ii. 7. Luke xviii. 13. xxiii. 48. and by the best termed 909 va beney resheph, the children of the coal. It was Greek and Roman writers. There is an allusion here to those probably this well known meaning of the word, which led funeral lamentations explained chap. ix. 23.
the Codex Vaticanus, one of the most ancient MSS. in the Verse 18. For John came neither enting nor drinking) Lead world, together with the Syriac, Persic, Coptie, and Ethiopic, ing a very austere and mortified life: and yet, ye did not to read egywy, works, instead of texvwy, sons or children. Wisreceive him. A sinner will not be persuaded, that what he dom is vindicated by her works, i. e. the good effects prove lias no mind to imitate, can come from God. There are that the cause is excellent. some who will rather blame holiness itself, than esteem it in The children of true wisdom can justify all God's ways in those whom they do not like.
their salvation; as they know, that all the dispensations of He hath a devil.] lle is a vile hypocrite, influenced by a Providence work together for the good of those who love and damon, to deceive and destroy the simple.
fear God. See on Luke vii. 35. Verse 19. The Son of Man came eating and drinking] That | Verse 20. Then began he to upbraid the cities] The more Is, Went where oever he was invited to eat a morsel of bread, God has done to draw men unto himself, the less excusable and observed no rigid fasts: how could he, who had no.cor- || are they if they continue in iniquity. If our blessed Lord rupt appetites to mortify or subdue?
had not done every thing that was necessary for the salvation They say, Behold a man gluttonous, &c.] Whatever mea- of these people, he could not have reproached them for their sures the followers of God may take, they will not escape the limpenitence. Censure of the world: the best way is not to be concerned at || Verse 21. Woe unto thee, Chorazin-Bethsaida!) It would Uzm. Iniquity being always ready to oppose and contradict be better to translate the word oves gou, alas for thee, than the Divine conduct, often contradicts and exposes itself. zwoe to thee. The former is an exclamation of pity; the latter
But wisdom is justified of her children.] Those who fellow a denunciation of wrath. It is evident, that our Lord used the dictates of true wisdom, ever justify, point out as excel- l it in the former sense. It is not known precisely where
Chorazin und Bethsaida
condemned for their impenitence.
A.M.4051. Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, || unto heaven, shalt be brought down A.M. 4031. A.D..
A. D. . · An. Olymp. which were done in you, had been to hell : for if the mighty works, which An. Olymp. CCI. 3.
done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have been done in thee, had been have repented long ago a in sackcloth and done in Sodom, it would have remained until ashes.
this day. 22 But I say unto you,' It shall be more | 24 But I say unto you, « That it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judg- | tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of ment, than for you.
judgment, than for thee. 23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted 25 ° At that time Jesus answered and said,
Chorazin was situated; but as Christ joins it in the same helan, to cover, or lide, hence the tyling or slating of a censure with Bethsaida, which was in Upper Galilee, beyond | house is called, in some parts of England, (particularly the sea, Mark vi. 45. it is likely that Chorazin was in the Cornwall) heling to this day; and the covers of books (in same quarter. Though the people in these cities were (ge Lancashire) by the same name : so the literal import of the nerally) impenitent, yet there is little doubt that several received | original word Adrs was formerly well expressed by it. llere the word of life. Indeed, Bethsaida itself furnished not less it means a state of the utmost woe, and ruin, and desolation; than three of the twelve apostles, Philip, Andrew, and Peter. || to which these impenitent cities should be reduced. This See John i. 44.
prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled; for, in the wars Tyre and Sidon] Were two heathen cities, situated on the between the Romans and the Jews, these cities were totally shore of the Mediterranean Sea, into which it does not appear destroyed, so that no traces are now found of Bethsaida, that Christ ever went, though he was often very nigh to them; Chorazin, or Capernaum. See Bp. Pearce. see chap. xv. 21.
Verse 24. But-il shall be more tolerable for the land of They would have repented long ago] Ione, formerly, seems Sodom) In Eodouws, the land of the Sodomites; i.e. the ancient here to refer to the time of Ezekiel, who denounced de- inhabitants of that city and its neighbourhood. struction against Tyre and Sidon, Ezek. xxvi. xxvii. and In Jude, verse 7. we are told that these persons are sufxxviii. Our Lord then intimates, that if Ezekiel had done fering the vengeunce of eternal fire. The destruction of as many miracles in those cities, as himself had in Chorazin Sodom and Gomorrah happened A. M. 2107, which was and Bethsaida, the inhabitants would have repented in sack- 1897 years before the incarnation. What a terrible thought cloth and ashes, with the deepest and most genuine sorrow. is this! It will be more tolerable for certain sinners who have
Verse 22. But—it shall be more tolerable] Every thing will | already been damned nearly four thousand years, than for help to overwhelm the impenitent at the tribunal of God those who live and die infidels under the Gospel! There are the benefits and favours which they have received, as well as various degrees of punishments in hell, answerable to various the sins which they have committed.
degrees of guilt; and the contempt manifested to, and the Verse 23. Thou, Capernaum-exalted unto heaven] A He- abuse made of, the preaching of the Gospel, will rank semibrew metaphor, expressive of the utmost prosperity, and the infidel Christians in the highest list of transgressors, and purenjoyment of the greatest privileges. This was properly chase them the hottest place in hell! Great God! save the speken of this city, because that in it our Lord dwelt, and Reader from this destruction! wrought many of his miraculous works.
Day of judgment] May either refer to that particular time Shalt be brought down to hell] Perhaps not meaning here, in which God visits for iniquity, or to that great day in which the place of torment, but rather a state of desolation. The he will judge the world by the Lord Jesus Christ. The day original word is hades 'Adns, from a, not, and odevy, to see- of Sodom's judgment was that in which it was destroyed by the invisible receptacle or mansion of the dead, answering to fire and brimstone from heaven, Gen. xix. 24. and the day of 5980 sheol, in Hebrew ; and implying often, Ist. the grave; judgment to. Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, was the 2dly. the state of separate souls, or unseen world of spirits, time in which they were destroyed by the Romans, ver. 23. whether of torment, Luke xvi. 23. or, in general, Rev. j. 18. | But there is a day of final judgment, when Hades itself vi. 8. xx. 13, 14. The word hell, used in the common trans- (sinners in a state of partial punishment in the invisible lation, conveys now an improper meaning of the original world) shall be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which word; because hell is only used to signify the place of the is the second death. See Rev. xx. 14. damned. But as the word hell comes from the Anglo-Saxon, Verse 25. I thank thee] EŠquoło youuero con, I fully agree with
. from a, not, dead, answering te: judgment hich they we
Christ's invitation lo the
weary and heavy laden.
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A.D. 27. An. Olymp. heaven and earth, because a thou Son, but the Father ; neither know. An. Olymp.
CCI.3. Cel. s. hast hid these things from the wise | eth any man the Father, save the and prudent, and hast revealed them unto | Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal babes.
him. 26 Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in || 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and thy sight.
are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 27 € All things are delivered unto me of my 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
thee I am perfectly of the same mind. Thou hast acted in | No mun knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth all things according to the strictest holiness, justice, mercy, any man, &c.] None can fully comprehend the nature and and truth.
attributes of God, but Christ; and none can fully comprel'ise and prudent] The scribes and Pharisees, vainly puffed || hend the nature, incarnation, &c. of Christ, but the Father. up by their fleshly minds, and having their foolish hearts! The full comprehension and acknowledgment of the Godhead, darkened, refusing to submit to the righteousness of God, and the mystery of the Trinity, belong to God alone. (God's method of saving man by Christ) and going about to Verse 28. Come unto me] This phrase in the New Coveestablish their own righteousness, (their own method of saving nant implies simply, believing in Christ, and becoming his themselves) they rejected God's counsel, and God sent the disciple, or follower. peace and salvation of the Gospel to others, called here babes, All ye that labour and are heury laden] The metaphor here (his disciples) simple-hearted persons, who submitted to be appears to be taken from a man who has a great load laid instructed and saved in God's own way. Let it be observed, upon him, which he must carry to a certain place: every that our Lord does not thank the Father that he had hidden step he takes, reduces his strength, and renders his load the these things from the wise and prudent, but that, seeing they more oppressive. However, it must be carried on; and he were hidden from them, he had revealed them to the others. | labours, uses his utmost exertions, to reach the place where
There is a remarkable saying in the Talmudists, which it is to be laid down. A kind person passing by, and seeing casts light upon this: “ Rab. Jochanan said, ' From the time his distress, offers to ease him of his load, that he may enin which the temple was destroyed, wisdom was taken away I joy rest. from the prophets, and given to fools and children.' Bava The Jews, heavily laden with the burdensome rites of the Bathra, fol. 12. Again, In the days of the Messiah, every Mosaic institution, rendered still more oppressive by the species of wisdom, even the most profound, shall be revealed; || additions made by the scribes and Pharisees, who, our Lord and this even to children." Synop. Sohar. fol. 10.
says, (chap. xxiii. 4.) bound on heavy burdens; and labourVerse 26. Even so, Father) Nar o matng. An emphaticaling, by their observance of the law, to make themselves ratification of the preceding address.
ll pleasing to God, are here invited to lay down their load, and It was right that the heavenly wisdom, despised, rejected, receive the salvation procured for them by Christ. and persecuted by the scribes and Pharisees, should be offer- Sinners, wearied in the ways of iniquity, are also invited. ed to the simple people, and afterwards to the foolish people, to come to this Christ, and find speedy relief. the Gentiles, who are the children of wisdom ; and justify | Penitents, burthened with the guilt of their crimes, may God in his ways, by bringing forth that fruit of the Gospelcome to this Sacrifice, and find instant pardon. of which the Pharisees refused to receive even the seed. I Believers, sorely tempted, and oppressed by the remains
Verse 27. All things are delivered unto me of my Futher] This of the carnal mind, may come to this Blood, that cleanseth is a great truth, and the key of the science of salvation. The from all anrighteousness; and purified from all sin, and: man Christ Jesus receives from the Father, and in conse- | powerfully succoured in every temptation, they shall find quence of his union with the Eternal Godhead, becomes the uninterrupted rest in this complete Saviour. Lord and Sovereign Dispenser af all things. All the springs of All are invited to come, and all are promised rest. If few. the divine favour are in the hands of Christ, as Priest of God, || find rest from sin and vile affections, it is because few come and atoning Sacrifice for men : all good proceeds from him, ta Christ to receive it. as Saviour, Mediator, Head, Pattern, Pastor, and Sovereign | Verse 29. Take my yoke upon you] Strange paradox ! that Judge of the whole worlul.
a man already weary and overloaded, must take a new weight
ed unto me of falvation. The powerfully red rese in this
What is to be understood
by the yoke of Christ. A.M.4031. for I am meek and a lowly in heart: 1 30 ° For my yoke is easy, and my A.M.4051.
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upon him, in order to be eased and find rest ! But this advice in compassion, I stand in my own nature, and dissipate the is similar to that saying, Psal. lv. 22. Cast thy burden upon darkness of their ignorance with the light of the lamp of the Lord, and he will sustain thee ; i. e. trust thy soul and con- wisdom.” Bhagvat Geeta, p. 84. cerns to him, and he will carry both thyself and thy load.
I am meek and lowly in heart] Wherever pride and anger | The word by ával, among the Jews, which we properly dwell, there is nothing but mental labour and agony ; but enough translate yoke, signifies not only that sort of neckwhere the meekness and humility of Christ dwell, all is smooth, harness by which bullocks drew in waggons, carts, or in the even, peaceable, and quiet ; for the work of righteousness is : plough; but also any kind of bond or obligation, to do some peace, and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance particular thing, or to do some particular work. By them it for ever, Isai. xxxi. 17.
is applied to the following things: Verse 30. For my yoke is easy] My Gospel imposes nothing ]. The yoke of the KINGDOM of heaven, o'yun nghna 19 that is difficult; on the contrary, it provides for the complete obedience to the revealed will of God. removal of all that which oppresses and renders man mise- 2. The yoke of the Law, oni by-the necessity of obeyrable, viz. sin. The commandments of Christ are not griev- || ing all the rites, ceremonies, &c. of the Mosaic institution. ous. Hear the whole : Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with 3. 'The yoke of the Precert, 1989 513--the necessity of all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself. Can any thing be performing that particular obligation, by which any person more congenial to the nature of man than love ? such a love had bound himself, such as that of the Nazarite, &c. as is inspired by God, and in which the soul rests supremely || 4. The yoke of REPENTANCE, nown busy--without which, satisfied and infinitely happy? Taste, and know, by expe- 1 they knew, they could not enter into the kingdom of heaven. rience, how good the Lord is, and how worthy his yoke is to | With the Jews, repentance not only implied forsaking sin, but be taken, borne, and loved. This most tender invitation of fasting, mortification, &c. the compassionate Jesus, is sufficient to inspire the most diffi- 5. The yoke of FAITH, NJIps 1983—the necessity of believing dent soul with confidence. See on Mark viii. 34.
i in the promised Messiah. Creeshna, the incarnate God of the Hindoo3, in represented 6. The Divine yoke,, abogbo 5,—the obligation to live in the Geeta addressing one of his beloved disciples thus : "I a spiritual life; a life of thanksgiving and gratitude unto am the creator of all things, and all things proceed from me. l God. Those who are endued with spiritual wisdom, believe this, In Shemoth Rabba it is said, “ Because the ten tribes did and worship ine: their very hearts and minds are in me; not take the yoke of the holy and blessed God upon them; they rejoice among themselves, and delight in speaking of therefore Sennacherib led them into captivity.” my name, and teaching one another my doctrine. I gladly il Christ's yoke means, the obligation to receive him as the inspire those who are constantly employed in my service, Messiah, to believe his doctrine, and to be in all things conwith that use of reason by which they come unto me; and, || formed to his Word and to his Spirit.
Jesus and his disciples go through the corn-fields on the sabbath, and the latter pluck and eat some of the ears, at
schich the Pharisees take offence, 1, 2. Our Lord vindicates them, 3–8. The man with the withered hand cured, 9–13. The Pharisees seek his destruction, 14. He heals the multiludes, and fulfills certain prophecies, 15–21. Heals the blind and dumb dæmoniac, 22, 23. The malice of the Pharisees reproved by our Lord, 24-30. The sin against the Holy Ghost, 31, 32, Good and bad trees known by their fruits evil and good