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1 ABOUT that time Jesus went through the

cornfields on the sabbath day; and his disci

ples were hungry, and began to pluck the ears 2 of corn, and to eat. But when the Pharisees *

saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disci

ples do that which is not lawful to do upon the 3 sabbath-day. But he said unto them, Have

ye not read what David did when he was hun4 gry, and they that were with him ?. How he

entered into the house of God, and the shew-bread, which was not lawful for him to

cat, neither for them who were with him, •5 but only for the priests? Or have ye not read

in the law, how that on the sabbath-days the

priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and 6 are blameless ?* But I say unto you, that in 7 this place is a greater than the temple. But

if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have

mercy, in preference to sacrifice, ye would not 8 have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of 9 man is Lord even of the sabbath-day.t 'And

when he was departed thence, he went into

their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a

withered hand. And they asked him, saying,

• They profaned it, in a sense, by preparing and offering sacrifices—for they were forbidden in the law to do any thing; yet as it was a duty to sacrifice on the sabbath, they were blameless.

+ He can alter the day, or dispense with the peenliar darins

Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath-days ? that 11 they might accuse him. And he said unto

them, What man is there among you who shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a

pit on the sabbath-day, will not lay hold on 12 it, and lift it out ? * How much then is á man

better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to 13 do well on the sabbath-days.* Then saith he

to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole,

like as the other. • 14 Then the Pharisees went out, and held a

council against him, how they might destroy 15 him. But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew

himself from thence : and great multitudes 16 followed him, and he healed them all, and

charged them that they should not make him 17 known.f That it might be fulfilled which was 18 spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying, Behold

my servant, whom I have chosen; my belov. ed, in whom my soul is well pleased I will

put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew 19 judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive :: nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice 20 in the streets.I A bruised reed he shall not

* This argument was so convincing, that they could not reply to it.

+ Lest the people insist on bis assuming the title and the authority of a temporal prince, which was their idea of the Messiah : And this would occasion tumult and confusion a mong the Jews and Romans.

| Christ was unlike the vociferous bawlers of the present age. He made no attempt to excite the people against their rulers, nor attempt to gain followers by addressing the passions and prejudices of the people.

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break, and smoking flax he shall not quench, 21 till he send forth judgment unto victory. And

in his name shall the Gentiles confide. 22 Then was brought unto him one possessed ; with a devil, * blind and dumb: and he healed

him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both 23 spake and saw. And all the people were

amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David ?+ 24 But when the Pharisees heard it, they said,

This man doth not cast out devils, but by 25 Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Je.

sus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought

to desolation; and every city or house divided 26 against itself shall not stand. And if Satan

cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; 27 how shall then his kingdom stand? And if

I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do

your children cast them out? therefore they 28 shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils

by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of 29 God is come unto you. For, how can one

enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his

goods, except he first bind the strong man? 30 and then he will spoil his house. He that is

* As the common people supposed those to be who are dumb and blind; and it is simply said that Christ healed him.

The promised Messiah : one of whose titles was, “Son of David."

| How could they evade the force of this argument ?

♡ In the parallel passage in Luke, it is said, "Ifl by the finger of God cast out devils," &c. the meaning is, that it was by a divine power that he wrought miracles.

not with me, is against me; and he that gath

ereth not with me, scattereth abroad. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of

sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:

but the blasphemy of the Spirit shall not be 32 forgiven unto men.* And whosoever speak

eth a word against the Son of man, it may be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him,

neither in this world, neither in the world to 33 come. Either make the tree good, and his

fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and

his fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by its 34 fruit. O generation of serpents, how can ye,

being evil, speak good things ? for out of the

abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the

heart, bringeth forth good things : and an evil

man out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth 36 evil things. But I say unto you, that every

idlet word that men shall speak, they shall give 37 account thereof in the day of judgment. For

by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. I

*They who continue in onbelief and opposition to Christ, after being made acquainted with the miracles which he performed which were evidently of the divine spirit of God; or who attributed those works to an evil spirit, could have no greater proofs to convince them : And such conduet, shewing their wilful and obstinate opposition to divine truth and light, they were given up as incorrigible, ansi not to be convinced.

† False or calumniating.

| That is, words profane, blasphemous and impious: for they indicate a most perverse and malignant disposi


38 Then some of the scribes and of the Phar

isees spake, saying, Master, we would see 39 a sign from thee. * But he answered and said

unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be

given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. 40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights

in the whale's belly : so shall the Son of man

be three days and three nights in the heart of 41 the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise up

in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the

preaching of Jonas; and behold, a greater than 42 Jonas is here. The queen of the south shall rise

up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom

of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solo43 mon is here.

When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, 44 seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith,

I will return into my house from whence I

came out; and when he is come, he findeth it 45 empty, swept and garnished.t Then goeth he

and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in, and

Strange that they should make such a request, when Christ had already performed so many miracles ! They had seen enough to convince them : And it was perfectly rational to refuse working any more miracles to gratify their perverse disposition.

+ This shows the extreme difficulty of giving up bad babits, and admonishes us against supposing that the mere reforming from some evil practice, without a thorough change of heart and affections, will make us real Christians.

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