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SECT. cxvi.




Except we repent, we shall all perish.
And Jesus, without making any remarks on

2 And Jesus, an-
cause on which they were engaged, endea- swering, said

them, Suppose ye that voured, with his usual wisdom and piety, to lead these Galileans were XIII. 2. the minds of his hearers into some profitable re- singers above all the flections upon the event; and, in reply, said to Galileans, because they

suffered such things? them, Do you think that these Galileuns were notorious sinners above all the rest of the Galileans,

that they suffered such sad things as these, and 3 were cut off in su miserable a manner ? If 3 I tell you, Nay; you do, you are very unfit to judge of the con

but, except ye repent, duct of Providence: for, howsoever you may perish.

ye shall all likewise
censure them, as shewn hereby to be the most
enormous sinners, I tell you, No; you are not
to conclude from bence, this was the case; but,
except you repent, you shall all perish thust, ven-
geance will overtake you in your evil ways, and,

in the desolating judgments, that will shortly
come on your whole nation, the blood of many

you shall be mingled with your sacrifices.
Or, to instance in another unhappy case that

4 Or those eighteen has lately occurred, I mean that of those eigh, in Siloam fell, and slev

upon whom teen men on whoin the tower in Siloam fell, and them, think ye that they slew them, do you think they were greater of

were sinners above all fenders than all the other inhabitants of Jerusa

lem, that they were thus providentially singled
5 out for destruction ? I tell you, No; you

5 I tell you, Nay; would judge very rashly if you were in general but, except ye repen,

yo to draw such conclusions ; for the best of men may be involved with others in temporal calamities: but remember what I told you before, thai,



that dwelt in Luke

b You shall all perish thus, woeeulus &no- a little stream flowed into the city (Isa. 211591.) Some content themselves with viii. 6), which was received in a kind of rendering it, You shall all perish as well as bason, which some have thought to be the they; and possibly no more may be in. same with the pool of Bethesda (see 2 Kings tended: yet the rendering I prefer appears xx. 20. Neh. ii. 16. Isa. viii. 6. and to be more literal; and I the rather choose John v. 2. ix. 7). Being near the icmit, because (as Grotius, Tillotson, Whitby, ple, it is no wonder that many frequented it and many others have observed) there was for purification; but the calamity occaa remarkable resemblance between the fate sioned by the fall of the neighbouring of these Galileans and that of the whole tower is not, that I can find, mentioned Jewish nation; the flower of which was any where but here; probably it had hapslain at Jerusalem by the Roman sword pened at some late feast; and some of while they were assembled at one of their Christ's hearers might then have been at great festivals (see Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. Jerusalem.-- Erasmus indeed takes this Sia vi. cap. 9 (al. vii. 17), § 3, 4); and many loam to have been Shiloli, the place where thousands of them perished in the temple the tabernacle was first settled (Josh. xviii. itself, and were (as their own historian re- 1. Psal. xxviii. 60), but without sufficient presents it at large) literally buried under reason; see Drusius, in loc.--This last inits ruins. Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. vi. cap. 4 stance might seem in some respects more (al. vii. 10), 06, & cap. 5 (al. vii, 11), § to the purpose than the former, as there 3, 2.

was no human interposition attending the c On whom the tower in Siloam fell, and death of these men; so tbat it seemed more slew them.] From the fountain of Siloam, immediately providential, than that of the which was without the walls of Jerusalem, Galileans whom Pilate bad massacred.

d These & These three years.] Many have sup- if it had disappoin!ed the expectation of the garsed that these words allude to the time planter three years together after the time, of Christ's personal ministry, which, is most in which it should have yielded fruit, which have computed the chronology of the Neto was yet worse. Testament, had now lasted three years: but e Perhaps it may bear fruit: x'ar per it is certain the patience of God bore with woman rempfov.] It is in the original some. them much longer than another yeur Gro. thing of an abrupt way of speaking, of tius therefore thinks it more probable, it which Raphelius has produced many exmay refer to the nature of a fig-tree, which, amples, (Annot. er. den. p. 102, 103); it it bear at all, generally begins to do it but I think, the way of rendering the idion within three years after it is planted; but I have here used, would suit it in most of might to be sure be looked upou as burren, those instances.



Christ delivers the parable of the barren fig-tree. ye shall all likewise except you repent, you shall all perish thus; you SECT. perish.

shall be pressed under the insupportable load of cxvi.
the Divine vengeance, and be destroyed un-
der the ruins of that holy city in which you XIII. 5.

6 He spake also this And, in order to awaken them more effectually 6
parable: A certain man to such deep and serious repentance, he spake
had a fig-trce planted
in his vineyard; and this parable to them; There was a certain man
he came and sought who had a fig-tree planted in his vineyard; and
fruit thereon,and found he came, for several successive seasons, searching
7 Then said he unto for fruit upon it, but he found none.

And at7 the dresser of his vinc- length, despairing of

better success,

he said yard, Behold, these to the keeper of the vineyard, Behold, these three three years I come seeking fruit on this years togetherd I have come to look for fruit upon fig-tree, and find none: this fig-tree, and still I find none; cut it down cut it down, why cum- therefore immediately, as a barren tree: for why bureth it the ground? does it thus cumber the ground, filling up the

place of more profitable plants with its useless

bulk, and drawing away nourishment from those 8 And he, answer- that grow round it? but such was the concern 8 ing, said unto him, of the vine-dresser for its preservation, that he Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall said to him in reply, Sir, I desire thou wouldst dig about it, and dung let it alone this year also, till I shall dig up the

ground about it, and lay dung to the root of it : 9 And if it hear And then perhaps it may bear fruite, and if so, I fruit

, well: and if not, it is well, and thou preservest thy tree ; but if
Then after that thou
shalt cut it down. not, after this thou shalt, if thou pleasest, cut it

down, and I will say nothing farther to prevent
it. By which parable onr Lord did plainly re-
present to the Jewsthe Divine displeasure against
them for having neglected the many opportuni-
ties they had enjoyed as planted in the vineyard
of God's church (compare Isa. v. 1, 2. xxvii.
2, 3.) and in an awful manner intimated, that
though they had hitherto, at his intercession,
been spared, vet, if they continued unfruitful
under the additional cultivation they were short-
ly to receive, on the descent of the Spirit, and


it :

f Under


Reflections on the guilt and danger of unfruitfulness,
SECT: the proposal of the gospel in its full extent and

evidence', they must expect nothing but speedy,
irresistible and irrecoverable ruin.

Luke XIII. 9.


Ver. Which of us may not learn a lessen for himself from this in

6 structive parable of the fig-tree? Have we not long been planted

in God's vineyard, and favoured with the cultivation of his ordinances, yea, with the dews of his grace too; and yet how little 7 fruit have we borne in proportion to those advantages ? How long bas he come seeking it in vain, while we have frustrated the most reasonable expectations, perhaps not only for three, but several of us for more than thirty years? Wonderful is it, that the

dreadful sentence has not long since gone forth against us, Cut 8 them down, why cumber they the ground ? We owe it to the inter

cession of our blessed Redeemer, the Great Keeper of the garden of God, that this has not long since been our case. Let us not be high minded, but fear! (Rom. xi. 20.) Let barren sinners reflect, 9 that this may be the last year, perhaps indeed the last month, or last day of their trial; for even now also is the ar laid to the root of the tree! (Mat. iii. 10.) And let them remember, that though there be hope of a tree, when it is cut down, that it may sprout again, (Job xiv. 7), vet, whea the doom is executed on them, their root will be as rottenness, and their blossom will go up like dust (Isa. v. 2+); and every tree which brings not forth good fruit, will be hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Let such therefore meditate tcrror, when the judgments of God are abroad in the earth; and, when others are overwhelmed in

ruin, let them not harshlv censure the sufferers, as if they were 3,5 greater sinners than any others; but let them apply that salatary,

though awful admonition to their own souls, repeating it again and again, till they are pricked to the heart by it, Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish 1 Terrible indeed was the case of those, whose blood Pilate mingled

with their sacrifices, and of those who were dashed to pieces in a 4 moment by the fall of Siloam's tower': but infinitely more dreadful

will be the condition of them, that fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. x. 31), especially of those deceivers, who, baving surrounded his altars with the hypocritical forms of devotion, shall themselves be made the victims of his justice, and be crushed by the resistless weight of his almighty vengeance.



f Under the additional cultivation, &c.] ing of the apostles, might, with great proThe extraordinary me:ins used to bring them priety, be expressed by digging round the to repentance after the resurrection of Christ, barren tree, and applying warm compost, or by the effusion of his Spirit, and the preach. dung, to its roots.

a Had

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Christ cures a crooked woman in the synagogue, and vindicates his

doing it on the sabbath-day ; and afterwards repeats the parables
of the grain of mustard-seed, and of the leaven, Luke XIII, .


AND he was teach-


"HUS our Lord went on in his journey SECT: ing in one of the

through Galilee for a considerable time;
Synagogues on the sah.

and as he was teaching in one of the synagogues on Luke
11. And, behold, the sabbath-day, Behold there was present a Xill,11.
there was a
which had a spirit of in. poor disabled woman, who (as the Jews used
firmity eighteen years, commonly to express it, and was now actually
and was bowed toge.. the case) had been afflicted by a spirit of weak-
ther, and could in no nessa no less than eighteen years, and was bowed
Wise lift up herself,

together in so sad a manner that, from the time
it first seized her, she was utterly unabletoraise

herself upright", or to stand straight.
12 And when Je- And Jesus seeing her, and intimately knowing 12
sus saw her, he called all the sad circumstances of her affliction, and
ker to him, and said
unto her, Woman, thou the difficulty with which she was then come to
art loosed from thine attend the solemnities of Divine worship there,

called her to him, and said to her, Woman, thou
art loosed from that affliction, which thou hast

long been under by reason of thy weakness and
13 And he laid his malady. And, as he was speaking these words, 13
hands on her: and he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she
immediately she was
made straight, and was strengthened, and made straight; so that she
glorified God. stood before them all in an erect posture, and

moved with as much ease and freedom as if
she had never been disabled : and, as was most
reasonable, she in a very affectionate manner
glorified God before the whole assembly ; prais-
ing him for so signal and unexpected a favour,


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a Had been afflicted by a spirit of zoeak. The topic is very judiciously handled by
ness.] It is very evident the Jews appre, that illustrious writer Mr. Howe (see his
hended that all remarkable disorders of body works, Vol. II. p. 360, 361); and there
proceeded from the operation of some ma- are some curious and entertaining remarks
lignant demon. Perhaps they might draw in Wolfius on this text.
an argument from what is said of Satan's b Utterly unable to raise herself upright.]
agency in the affliction of Job (chap. i. and This verson of pen evvelsen avcemufas es
ii.) and from Psal. xci. 6. (compare Sep- so wavlenes seems preferable to thai other
tuag.) and 1 Sam. xvi. 14. They also which the words εις το πανθελες night
considered Satan as having the poreer of bear; “ She could not lift herself up, so as
Death. Heb. ii. 14.–And that, in some to stand perfectly straight." (Compare
maladies, this was indeed the case, is inti. Heb. vii. 25. Gr.) For on the rendering
mated by our Lord's reply here, ver. 16. I have given, which is equally literal, the
and by St. Paul's words, 1 Cor. v. 5. miracie appears much more important than
where he speaks of delivering an offender on the other,
to Satan for the destruction of the flesh.-


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Luke X111.14.

14 And the ruler


in them therefore come
and be healed, and not


Offence is taken at his healing on the sabbath.
SECT: and declaring how long her illness had continu.

ed, and how desperate and incurable it was

But a ruler of the synagogue', instead of join-
ing in acknowledgments of the Divine power swered with indigna-

of the synagogue an-
and goodness displayed in that gracious action zion, because that Jc-
of our Lord, was moved with indignation, which sus had healed on the
he endeavoured to disguise under the form of sabbath-day, and said

unto the people, There
piety and zeal; and, as if he only had been angry are six days in which
because Jesus had healed ber on the subbuth-day, men ought to work;
he answered and said unto the people, There
six days on which the common work of human

on the sabbath-day,
life must be done, on some of these therefore you
may surely find time to come and be healed, and
should not make these applications on the sabbath
day, which you know is appropriated to the

sacred purposes of religious rest and worship.
15 Then the Lord answered him with a just seve-

rity, and said, Thou hypocrite, who thus makest answered him, and
thv pretended zeal for the honour of Divine in- said, Thou hypocrite,

doth not each one of
stitutions a specious cloak for thy malice against you on the salbath
me, art thou not self-condemned? Does not every loose his ox or his ass
one of you, even the Pharisees and rulers of sy- him away to watering?

from the stall, and lead
nagogues among the rest, without any scruple
or blame, loose his or or his ass from the manger,
and lead him away to drink on the sabbath-day, as

well as on any other : though the work be more 1

servile than what I have done, and the occasion 16 far less important ? Now, if you have such a 16 And ought not regard to the thirst of one of your cattle, was

this woman, being a it not much inore apparently fit, that this good

daughter of Abraham, woman, who is a believing daughter of Abraham,

bound, whom

15 The Lord then

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¢ A ruler of the synagogue.] It is plain nagogues among the rest.] Had not this that there were several rulers of the same been generally the case, the answer would synagore. (Compare Mark v. 22, Acts not have been sufficient for conviction in xüi. 15. xviii 8 17.) And Dr. Light- the present circumstance.

Perhaps this fut and Vitringa have observed that, in ruler might that very day have been perevery town where there was a synagogue, forming such an office for one of his cattle there were at least ten inen who were ob- with his own hands : I say, with his own liged constantly to attend on the public hands ; for it was by no means essential to worship in it of these, three were called bis being a ruler of the synagogue that he rulers, who presided in directin

the wor

should be a person of wealth or dignity in ship, and judged of such little disputes and common life; though probably, in large litigations as might be determined in the and splendid cities (such, for instance, as synagogue ; but not without a reserve of Capernaum was,) such persons might ge; appeal to the seve al superior courts. If of nerally be chosen.-Critics have collected these three there was any one who had a dis- passages from rabbinical writers, in which tinguised authority, and might by way of they allow it to be lawful to feed or teater eminence be called the ruler of the syna- a beast on the sabbath-day. See Lightfoot's gogue, it is strange the Jewish writers omit Hor. Heb. on this text; 'where be shews to mention it, which, -ü far as I can recol- they were expressly allowed even to drato lect, they never do, see Il'olfius on this water for their beasts; a much more latext, and Vitrinri, Synog. Pet. p. 585. borious work than leading them to it.

d Even tbe Pharisees and rulers of sy• also Wotton's Miscell. Vol. II. p. 41–46.


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