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of the strait gate, false prophets, CHAP. VII.
yood and evil fruits, fc. A. 11.4031. is the gate, and broad is the way, that: 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. A. M. 4031.
• A. D. 27. An.Olymp. leadeth to destruction, and many therc, Do men gather grapes of thorns, or An. Olymp. _ be which go in thereat.
figs of thistles ? 14 - Because strait is the gate, and narrow : 17 Even so 5 every good tree bringeth forth is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth there be that find it.
evil fruit. 15 Beware of false prophets, which come 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good are "ravening wolves.
advantage of another, and to enrich himself at his expence, all the world leave their sins, and all the world may walk rather than to walk according to the rule laid down before, by il abreast in this good way. our blessed Lord, and that acting contrary to it, is the way to il Verse 15. Beware of false prophets By false prophets, everlasting misery. With those who say it means repentance, we are to understand teachers of erroneous doctrines, who and forsaking sin, I can have no controversy. That is cer come professing a commission from God, but whose aim is tainly a gate and a strait one too, through which every sinner not to bring the heavenly treasure to the people, but rather must turn to God, in order to find salvation. But the doing to rob them of their earthly good. Teachers who preach for to every one as we would they should do unto us, is a gate ex hire, having no motive to enter into the ministry but to get tremely strait, and very difficult, to every unregenerate mind. I a living as it is ominously called by some, however they may
Verse 14. Because strait is the gate] Instead of oro because, bear the garb and appearance of the innocent useful sheep, I should prefer to how, which reading is supported by a the true pastors commissioned by the Lord Jesus; or to great majority of the best MSS. rèrsions, and fathers. whatever name, class, or party they may belong, are, in the How struit is that gate! This mode of expression more sight of the heart-searching God, no other than ravenous wolves, forcibly points out the difficulty of the way to the kingdom. whose design is to feed themselves with the fat, and clothe themHow strange is it that men should be unwilling to give up selves with the fleece, and thus ruin, instead of save, the flock. their worldly interests to secure their everlasting salvation !! Verse 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.] Fruits, in the and yet no interest need be abandonexł, but that which is Scripture and Jewish phraseology, are taken for works of produced by injustice and unkindness. Reason, as well as any kind. “ A man's works,” says one, " are the tongue of God, says, such people should be excluded from a place of his heart, and tell honestly whether he is inwardly corrupt blessedness. He who shews no mercy (and much more he or pure." By these works you may distinguish (Embywcette) who shews no justice) shall have judgment without mercy. | these ravenous wolves from true pastors. The judgment Jam, ii. 13.
.. formed of a man by his general conduct is a safe one: if the Few there be that find it.] The strait gate, OTEYN muan, judgment be not favourable to the person, that is his fault, signifies literally what we call a wicket, i. e. a little door in ' as you have your opinion of him from his works, i. e. the a large gate. Gate, among the Jews, signifies, metaphorically, confession of his own heart. the entrance, introduction, or means of acquiring any thing. Verse 17. So every good tree] As the thorn can only proSo they talk of the gate of repentance, the gate of prayers, duce thorns, not grupes; and the thistle, not figs, but prickles ; and the gate of tears. When God, say they, shut the gate of so an unregenerate heart will produce fruits of degeneracy. paradise against Adam, He opened to him the gate of re- As we perfectly know that a good tree will not produce bad pentance. The way to the kingdom of God is made sufficiently fruit, and the bad tree will not, cannot produce good fruit; manifest--the completest assistance is promised in the way, so we know, that the profession of godliness, while the life is and the greatest encouragement to persevere to the end, is ungodly, is imposture, hypocrisy, and deceit. A man cannot held out in the everlasting gospel. But men are so wedded be a saint and a sinner at the same time. Let us remember, to their own passions, and so determined to follow the that as the good tree means a good heart, and the good fruit, imaginations of their own hearts, that still it may be said: a holy life, and that every heart is naturally vicious ; so there There are few who find the way to heaven; fewer yet who is none but God who can pluck up the vicious tree, create abide any time in it; fewer still who walk in it; and fewest a good heart, plant, cultivate, water, and make it continually of all who persevere unto the end. Nothing renders this fruitful in righteousness and true holiness. way either narrow or dificult to any person, but Sin. Let | Verse 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit) Love
A, N1.4931. . 19 ? Every tree that bringeth not || Lord, have we not prophesied in thy A. M. 4051. A.D. 27.
A. D. 27. An Olymp. forth good fruit is hewn down, and name ? and in thy name have cast out An. Olymp. CCI.3.
CCI. 3. cast into the fire.
devils ? and in thy name done many " · 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know wonderful works? them.
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never 21 | Not every one that saith unto me, "Lord,| knew you: depart from me, ye that work Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; iniquity. but he that doeth the will of my Father which is 24 Therefore whosoever heareth these saya in heaven.
ings of mine,and doeth them, I will liken him unto 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
to God and man is the root of the good tree; and from this Verse 22. IIany will say to me in that day). Fizesyn ta mpepæ, ir principle all its fruit is found. To teach, as some have done, that rery day, viz. the day of judgment--hare re not prothat a state of salvation inay be consistent with the greatest | phesied, taughi, publicly preached, in thy nume; acknowcrimes, (such as murder and adultery in David) or that the || ledging thee to be the only Saviour, and proclaiming thee righteous necessarily sin in all their best works; is really to as such to others; cast out dæmons, impure spirits, who had make the good tree bring forth bad fruit, and to give the lie | taken possession of the bodies of men ; done many miracles, being to the Author of Eternal Truth.
assisted by supernatural agency to invert even the course of Verse 19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit | nature, and thus prove the truth of the doctrine we preached What a terrible sentence is this against Christless pastors, and Verse 23. Will I profess] Opozoynow, I will fully and plainly Christless hearers! Every tree that produceth not good fruit, tell them, I never knew you I never approved of you ; for so EKKOTTETC), is to be now cut down, the act of excision is now the word is used in many places, both in the Old and New taking place: the curse of the Lord is even now on the head Testaments. You held the truth in unrighteousness, while and the heart of every false teacher, and impenitent hearer. you preached my pure and holy doctrine; and for the sake
Verse 20. Wherefore by their fruits, &c.] This truth is often || of my own truth, and through my love to the souls of men, repeated, because our eternal interests depend so much upon I blessed your preaching ; but yourselves I could never it. Not to have good fruit, is to have evil: there can be no esteem, because ye were destitute of the spirit of my Gospel, innocent sterility in the invisible tree of the heart. He that unholy in your hearts, and unrighteous in your conduct. brings forth no fruit, and he that brings forth bad fruit, are Alas! alas! how many preachers are there who appear proboth only fit for the fire.
phets in their pulpits; how many writers, and other evari. • Verse 21. Not every one] Ou nas, a Hebraism, say some, I gelical workmen, the miracles of whose labour, learning, and for no person. It is a Græcism and a Latinism too: ou||doctrine, we admire, who are nothing, and worse than noTurTwy towy, not all of the gods, i. e. not any of the gods. I thing, before God; because they perform not his will, but Hom. Odyss. Z. 240. So TERENCE: Sine omni periclo, with their own? What an awful consideration, that a man of out all danger, i. e. without any danger. And JUVENAL: eminent gifts, whose talents are a source of public utility, Sine omni lube, without all imperfection, i.e. without any. I should be only as a way-mark or finger-post in the way to See more in Mr. Wakefield. The sense of this verse seems to eternal bliss, pointing out the road to others, without walking be this; No person, by merely acknowledging my authority, || in it himself! believing in the divinity of my nature, professing faith in Depurt from une] What a terrible word! What a dreadful the perfection of my righteousness, and infinite merit of my separation ! Depart from ME! from the very Jesus whom atonement, shall enter into the kingdom of heuren-shall have you have proclaimed, in union with whom alone eternal life any part with God in glory; but he who doeth the will of my is to be found. For, united to Christ, all is heuven ; separated Father—he who gets the bad tree rooted up, the good tree from him, all is hell. planted, and continues to bring forth fruit to the glory and l. Verse 24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of praise of God. There is a good saying among the Rabbins | mine] That is, the excellent doctrines laid down before in on this subject. “ A man should be as rigorous as a panther, this and the two preceding chapters. There are several pa, as swift as an eagle, as fleet as a stag, and as strong as a lion, || rables or similitudes like to this in the Rabbins. I shall quote to do the will of his Creator.”
but the two following:
The house builded on a rock ;
that on the sand.
A. JI. 301. 25 And the rain descended, and l 27 And the rain descended, and the A.11.4131. ' A.D. 27.
A. D. 27. An. Olymp. the foods came, and the winds floods came, and the winds blew, and An. Olymp).
- blew, and beat upon that house ; l; beat upon that house; and it fell: and and it fell not: for it was founded upon a great was the fall of it. rock.
| 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings ended these sayings, 'the people were astonishof mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened' ed at his doctrine: unto a foolish man, which built his house upon | 29 "For he taught them as one having authority, the sand :
and not as the scribes.
: Ch. 13. 54. Mark 1. 22. & 6. 2. Luke 4. 32.
5 John 7.46.
ch in the law, and
its place. But the man who
user, them, so, pur brick works, to ma
Rabbi Eleasar said, “ The man whose knowledge exceeds || them. There are three general kinds of trials to which the his works, to whom is he like? Ile is like a tree which had followers of God are exposed; and to which, some think, our many branches, and only a few roots; and when the stormy Lord alludes here: first, Those of temporal afflictions, comwinds came, it was plucked up and eradicated. But he jing in the course of divine providence : these may be likened whose good works are greater than his knowledge, to what to the torrents of ruin. Secondly, those which come from is he like? He is like a tree which had few branches, and the passions of men, and which may be likened to the immany roots; so that all the winds of heaven could not move petuous rivers. Thirdly, those which come from Satan and it from its place.” Pirke Aboth.
his angels, and which, like tempestuous whirlwinds, threaten Elisha, the son of Abuja, said. - The man who studies to carry everything before them. He alone, whose soul is much in the law, and maintains good works, is like to a man | built on the Rock of Ages, stands all these shocks; and not who built a house, laying stones at the foundation, and build- only stands in, but profits by them. ing brick upon them; and though many waters come against Verse 26. And every one that heareth-and doeth them not it, they cannot move it from its place. But the man who Was there ever a stricter system of morality delivered by God studies much in the law, and does not maintain good works, to man, than in this sermon? He who reads or hears it, and is like to a man who, in building his house, put brick at the does not look to God to conform his soul and life to it, and foundation, and laid stones upon them, so that even gentle ! notwithstanding is hoping to enter into the kingdom of waters shall overthrow that house." Aboth Rab. Nath. heaven, is like the fool who built fris house on the sand.
Probably our Lord had this or some parable in his eye: When the rain, the rivers and the winds come, his building but how amazingly improved in passing through his hands ! must fall, and his soul be crushed into the netherinost pit In our Lord's parable there is dignity, majesty, and point, by its ruins. Talking about Christ, his righteousness, merits which we seek for in vain in the Jewish archetype.
and atonement, while the person is not conformed to his
ar ciletype. I will liken him unto a wise man] To a prudent man-ardio word and spirit, is no other than solemn self-deception. Osonjas, to a prudent man, man of sense and understanding, Let it be observed, that it is not the man who hears or who, foreseeing the evil, hideth himself, who proposes to believes these sayings of Christ, whose building shall stand himself the best end, and makes use of the proper means to when the earth and its works are burnt up : but the ma accomplish it. True wisdom consists in getting the building who does them. of our salvation completed : to this end, we must build on. Many suppose that the law of Moses is abolished, merely the Rock, Christ Jesus, and make the building firm, by because it is too strict, and impossible to be observed: ano keeping close to the maxims of his Gospel, and having our that the gospel was brought in to liberate us from its obligna tempers and lives, conformed to tempers and lives conformed to its world and spirit; and tions; but let all such know, that in the whole of the old when, in order to this, we lean on nothing but the grace of covenant nothing can be found so exceedingly strict and holy Christ, we then build upon a solid Rock.
as this sermon, which Christ lays down as the rule by which Verse 25. And the rain descended-floods came-winds blew] || we are to walk. “ Then, the fulfilling of these precepts is. In Judea, and in all countries in the neighbourhood of the the purchase of glory.” No, it is the way only to that glory tropics, the rain sometimes falls in great torrents, producing which has already been purchased by the blood of the Lamb. rivers, which sweep away the soil from the rocky hills; and To him that believes, all things are possible. the houses, which are builded of brick on y dried in the sun, il Verse 28. The people were astonished] 0. oxwo1, them ultiof which there are whole villages in the East, literally melt tudes; for vast crowds attended the ministry of this most way before those rains, and the land-floods occasioned by popular and faithful of all preachers. They were astonished
at his doctrine. They heard the law defined in such a manner doctrine sound and rational, and his arguments irresistible. as they had never thought of before ; and this sacred system These they never felt in the trifling teachings of their most of morality urged hoine on their consciences with such clear- celebrated doctors, who consumed their own time and that ness and authority, as they had never felt under the teaching of of their disciples and hearers, with frivolous cases of contheir Scribes and Pharisees. Here is the grand difference | science, ridiculous distinctions, and puerile splittings of conbetween the teaching of Scribes and Pharisees, the self-created troversial hairs-questions not calculated to minister grace or Men-made ministers, and those whom God sends. The to the hearers. first may preach what is called very good and very sound Several excellent MSS. and almost all the ancient versions doctrine; but it comes with no authority from God to the read, xet On Dopoulos, and the Pharisees. He taught them as souls of the people : therefore, the unholy is unholy still : one having authority, like the most eminent and distinguished because preaching can only be effectual to the conversion of teacher, and not as the Scribes—and Pharisees, who had no men, when the unction of the Holy Spirit is in it; and as part of that unction, which he in its plenitude possessed. . these are not sent by the Lord, therefore they shall not Thus endls a sermon, the most strict, pure, holy, profound profit the people at all. Jer. xxiii. 32.
and sublime, ever delivered to man; and yet so amazingly Verse 29. Having authority] They felt a commanding simple is the whole, that alınost a child may apprehend it! power and authority in his word, his doctrine. His state- Lord! write all these thy sayings upon our hearts, we ments were perspicuous; bis exhortations persuasive, his beseech thee! Amen.
CHAPTER VIII. Great multitudes follow Christ, 1. He heals a leper, 2—4. Heals the Centurion's serrant, 5–13. · Heals Peter's wife's mother, 14, 13. and several other diseased persons, 16, 17. Departs from that place, 18. Two persons ofjer to be his disciples, 19–22. He and his disciples are overtaken with a tempest, which he miraculously stills, 23—27. He cures Dæmoniacs, and the Demons which were cast out enter into a herd of swine, which, rushing into the sea, perish, 28-32. The swine-herds announce the miracle to the Gergesenes, who request Christ to depart from their country, 33, 34. 1. M.4031. W H EN he was come down from 2 And, behold, there came'a leper A. M. 4031. A. 1). 27. In Olymp.
the a mountain, great multi- and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if An. Olymp. CCI. 3
CCI 3. _ tudes followed him.
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
NOTES ON CHAP. VIII.
was a striking emblem of sin, may be seen in Lev. xiii. and Verse 1. From the mountain] That mountain on which he xiv. where also may be read the legal ordinances concerning had delivered the preceding imitable sermon.
it; which, as on the one hand, they set forth how odious Great multitudes followed him.] Having been deeply im- sin is to God, so on the other, they represent the cleansing pressed with the glorious doctrines which they had just heard. of our pollutions by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ,
Verse 2. And, behold, there came a leper] The leprosy | by the sprinkling and application of his blood, and by the 28tpa, from 2sTuS a scale, was an inveterate cutaneous disease, | sanctifying and healing influences of the Holy Spirit. appearing in dry, thin, white scurfy scales or scabs, either | The Greek name dengue, seems to have been given to this on the whole body, or on some part of it, usually attended distemper, on account of the thin, white scaLES (Astrodes), with violent itching, and often with great pain. The with which the bodies of the leprous were sometimes so eastern leprosy was a distemper of the most lothsome kind, covered, as to give them the appearance of snow, Exod. iv. highly contagious, so as to infect garments, (Lev. xiii. 47, 6. Num. xii. 10. 2 Kings v. 27. &c.) and houses, (Lev. xiv. 34, &c.) and was deemed incurable Herodotus, lib. 1. mentions this disorder as existing, in by any human means. Among the Jews, God alone was his time, among the Persians. He calls it deuxny, the white applied to for its removal; and the cure was ever attributed scab; and says, that those who were affected with it, were to his sovereign power.
prohibited from mingling with the other citizens; and so The various symptoms of this dreadful disorder, which : dreadful was this malady esteemed among them, that they Christ heals him
with a touch.
A. M. 4031, 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and" and offer the gift that Moses com- A.N.1031. .1. 11. 27.
A. D. 7. an. Olymp. touched him, saying, I will; be thou 'manded, for a testimony unto them. An. Olymp: CCI.3.
clean. And immediately his leprosy ! 5 And when Jesus was entered was cleansed.
into Capernaum, there came unto him a centu. 4 And Jesus saith unto him, a See thou tell no rion, beseeching him, man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, 6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home
considered it a punishment on the person, from their great with the most lothsome disease, cleansed from it in a moment god the Sun, for some evil committed against him. Dr. of time! Was it possible for any soul to resist the evidence of Meud mentions a remarkable case of this kind which came this fact? This action of Christ is a representation of that mder his own observation. “A country man whose whole invisible hand, which makes itself felt by the most insensible body was so miserably seized with it that bis skin was shining
heart : of that internal word which makes itself heard by the as covered with flakes of snow; and as the furfuraceous or most deuf; and of that supreme will which works every thing bran like scales were daily rubbed off, the flesh appeared!, according to its own counsel. quick or raw underneath.” See the Doctor's Medica Sacra, Verse 4. Jesus saith—See thou tell no man] Had our Lord chap. ii. It was probably on account of its tendency to at this early period, fully manifested himself as the Messiah, produce this disorder in that warm climate, that God forbad | the people in all likelihood, would have proclaimed him the use of swine's flesh to the Jews. The use of this bad ali- King; this, however refused by him, must have excited the ment, in union with ardent spirits, is in all likelihood, the hatred of the Jewish rulers, and the jealousy of the Roman grand cause of the scurty, which is so common in the Brit- government; and speaking after the manner of men, his ish nations, and which would probably assume the form "farther preachings and miracles must have been impeded. and virulence of a leprosy, were our climate as hot as that | Tliis alone seems to be the reason why he said to the leper; of Judea. See the notes on Exod. iv. 6. and on Levit. xiii. see thou tell no man. and xiv.
Shew thyself to the priest] This was, to conform to the law Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.] As this leper instituted in this case, Lev. xiv. 1, &c. may be considered as a fit emblem of the corruption of manil Offer the gift] This gift was two living, clean birds, some by sin; so may his cure, of the redemption of the soul by cedar wood, with scurlet, and hyssop, Lev. xiv. 4. which were Christ. A sinner truly penitent, seekis God with a respectful to be brought for his cleansing; and when clean, two he faith; approaches him in the spirit of adoration, humbles ! lambs, one twe lumb, three tenth deals of flour, and one log of himself under liis mighty hand, acknowledging the great, oil, ver. 10. but if the person was poor, then he was to ness of his fall, and the vileness of his sin: his prayer like bring one lamb, one tenth deal of flour, one log of oil, and two that of the leper, should be humble, plain, and full of con- turtle doves, or young pigeons, ver. 21, 22. See the notes on fidence in that God who can do all things, and of depend- || Lev. xiv. ance upon his will or mercy from which all good must be Now all this was to be done for a testimony to them; to derived. It is peculiar to God that he need only will what prove that this leper, who was doubtless well kyown in the he intends to perform. His power is his will. The ability land, had been throughly cleansed; and thus, in this privute of God to do what is necessary to be done, and his willings way, to give full proof to the priesthood, that Jesus was the less to make his creatures happy, should be deeply consi- true Messiah. The Jewish Rabbins allowed, that curing dered by all those who approach him in prayer. The leper the lepers should be a characteristic of the Messiah; (see had no doubt of the former, but he was far from being Bishop Chandler's Vindication) therefore the obstinacy of equally satisfied in respect of the latter.
the priests, &c. in rejecting Christ, was utterly inexcusable. Verse 3. Jesus put forth his hand—I will; be thou clean.]' Verse 5. Capernaum] See chap. iv. 13. . The most sovereign authority is assumed in this speech of it A centurion] Eratoriaexos. A Roman military officer who our blessed Lord-I will, there is here no supplication of had the command of one hundred men. any power superior to his own; and the event proved to the Verse 6. Lord] Rather Sir, for so the word xugue should Iallest conviction, and by the clearest demonstration, that always be translated when a Roman is the speaker. his authority was absolute, and inis power unlimited. Bei Lieth at home] Bißantas, lieth all along; intimating that thou cleansed, xabagoontı; a single word is enough.
the disease had reduced him to a state of the utmost impoAnd immediately his leprosy was cleansed.] What an asto- li tence, through the grievous torments with which it was nishing sight! A man whose whole body was covered over || accompanied,