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Of forgiveness of injuries.

St. MATTHEW.

The cruel fellou-servant. 21 | Then came Peter to him, and 24 And when he had begun toreckon, 4. M. 403 2 Au. Olymp. said, Lord, how oft shall my brother one was brought unto him, which owed An. Olymp.

sin against me, and I forgive him ? him ten thousand talents. a till seven times ?

25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay,

his 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, lord commanded him 'd to be sold, and his wife, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times and children, and all that he had, and payment

to be made. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened 26 The servant therefore fell down, and 'worunto a certain king, which would take account shipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with of his servants.

me, and I will pay thee all.

seven.

a Luke 17.4.ch 6. 14. Mark 11. 25. Col. S. 13.-CA talent is 750 ounces of silver, which after five shillings the ounce is 1871. 10s.

• 2 Kings 4. 1. Neh. 5. 8.-

- Or, besought him.

imperfections of their worship; but to enlighten, strengthen, By servant in the text, we are to understand, a petty king, comfort, and save them.

or tributary prince; for no hired servant could possibly owe Verse 21. Till seven times ?] Though seren was a number such a sum as is here mentioned. of perfection among the Hebrews, and often meant much Verse 24. Ten thousand talents.] Mupowy Tomartwy, a myriad more than the units in it imply; yet it is evident that Peter of talents, the highest number known in Greek arithmetical uses it here in its plain literal sense, as our Lord's words suf- notation. An immense sum, which if the silver talent be ficiently testify. It was a maxiin among the Jews, never to designed amounts to 4,500,000 sterling; but if the gold talent forgive more than thrice : Peter enlarges this charity more be meant, which is by far the most likely, then the amount is than one hulf; and our Lord makes even his enlargement 67,500,000 sterling, a sum equal to the annual revenue of the · septuple, see ver. 22. Revenge is natural to man, i.e. man is | British empire! See the note on Exod. xxv. 34. The margin naturally a rindictive being, and, in consequence, nothing is above is incorrect. more difficult to him than forgiveness of injuries.

Verse 25. Ile had not to pay] That is, not being able to pay. Verse 22. Seventy times seven.] There is something very | As there could not be the smallest probability that a servant, remarkable in these words, especially if collated with Gen. iv. wholly dependant on his master, who was now absolutely 24. where the very same words are used—“ If any man insolvent, could ever pay a debt he had contracted, of kill LAMECH, he shall be avenged seventy times seven.The more than 67 millions ! so is it impossible for sinner, injust God punishes sin in an exemplary manner. Sinful man, finitely indebted to Divine Justice, ever to pay a mite out of who is exposed to the stroke of divine justice, should be the talent. abundant in forgiveness, especially as the merciful only, shall Commanded him to be sold-his wife-children, &c.] Our find mercy. See the note on chap. v. 7. and on vi. 14, 15. The Lord here alludes to an ancient custom among the Hebrews, sum seventy times seren makes four hundred and ninety. Now of selling a man and his family, to make payment of conan offence properly such, is that which is given wantonly, || tracted debts. See Exod. xxii. 3. Lev. xxv. 39, 47. 2 Kings iv. 1. maliciously, and without any PROVOCation. It is my opinion, | This custom passed from among the Jews to the Greeks and that let a man search ever so accurately, he will not find, that Romans. he has received, during the whole course of his life, four Verse 26. Fell down, and worshipped him] 11900EXU?! QUTWA hundred and ninety such offences. If the man who receives | crouched as a dog before him, with the greatest deference, subthe offence, has given any cause for it, in that case, the half || mission and anxiety. of the offence, at least, towards bis brother, ceases.

Have patience with me) Maxgobupan.cov sa'tmor, be long minded: Verse 23. Therefore is the kingdom] In respect to sin, towards me—give me longer space. cruelty, and oppression, God will proceed in the kingdom of The means which a sinner should use to be saved, are, heaven (the dispensation of the Gospel) as he did in former || 1. Deep humiliation of hearthe fell down. 2. Fervent prayer. times ; and every person shall give an account of himself to 3. Confidence in the mercy of God-have patience. 4. A firm God. Every sin is a debt contracted with the justice of God; | purpose to devote his soul and body to his Maker--I will pay men are all God's own servants, and thọ day is at hand in thee all. A sinner may be said, according to the æconomy

of which their Master will settle accounts with them, enquire grace, to pay all, when he brings the sacrifice of the Lord into their work, and pay them their wages. Great Judge ! || Jesus to the throne of justice, by faith ; thus offering an what an awful time must this be, when with multitudes no- | equivalent for the pardon he seeks, and paying all he owes to thing shall be found but sin and insolvency!

divine justice, by presenting the blood of the Lamb.

How God resents cruelty

CHAP. XVIII.

and oppression in men.

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27 Then the lord of that servant was 31 So when his fellow-servants saw An. Olymp. moved with compassion, and loosed what was done, they were very sorry, An. Olymp.

him, and forgave him the debt. and came and told unto their lord all 28 But the same servant went out, and found that was done. one of his fellow-servants, which owed him a 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: that thou owest.

33 Shouldest not thou also have had compas29 And his fellow-servant fell down at his sion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity feet, and besought him, saying, "Have patience on thee? with me, and I will pay thee all. .

34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him 30 And he would not: 'but went and cast him to the tormentors, “ till he should pay all that into prison, till he should

pay
the debt.

was due unto him.

* The Roman penny is the eighth part of an ounce, which afier fire shillings he ounce, is seven pence haljpenny, cl. 20. 2__ Psal. 32. 1. & 78. 38.

Jam, 2 13.—_ Luke 6.36.ch. 5. 25, 26.& 6. 12–14.

Verse 27. Moved with compassion) Or with tender pity.

But judge you as you are? Oh! think on that, This is tlie source of salvation to a lost world, the tender

And mercy then will breathe within your lips, pity, the eternal mercy of God!

Like man new made.-
Verse 28. A hundred pence] Rather denarii. The de- Tho' justice be thy plea, consider this,
Karius was a Roman coin, worth about seven-pence‘lialfpenny That in the course of justice, none of us'
English. The original word should be retained, as our word

Should see Salcation : : we do pray for mercy; penny does not convey the seventh part of the meanting A

And that same prayer, doth teach us all to render hundred denarii' would amount to about 31. 2s. 6d. British,

The deeds of Mercy.--" or, if reckoned as some do, at' seven-pence three farthings, the sum would be 31. 4s. 7d.

Verse 31. His fellot-servants saw what was done] An act Took him by the throat] Kpainoas AUTOV EVYE. There is no of this kind is so dishonourable to all the followers of Christ, word I am acquainted with, which so fully expresses the and to the spirit of his Gospel; that through the respect they meaning of the originalenvy, as the Anglo-saxon term owe to their Lord and Master, and through the concern they throttle : it signified (like the Greek) to half choak a person, feel for the prosperity of his cause, they are obliged to plead by seizing his throat

against it at the throne of God. Verse 29. Fell down at his feet] This clause is wanting in se- Verse 32. His lord, after that he had called himn] Alas! veral ancient MSS. Versions, and Fathers. Several printed editi- || how shall he appear?“Confounded. What shall he answer? ons also have omitted it; Griesbach has left it out of the text. || -He is speechless !

Pay thee all.] Tavto, all, is omitted by a multitude of MSS. Verse 33. Shouldest not thou also have' had compassion] Versions, and Fathers.

Oux eder van of, Did it not become thee also ? What a cutting Verse 30. And he would not, &c.] To the unmerciful, God reproach! It became me to shew mercy, when thou didst will shew no mercy; this is an eternal purpose of the Lord, earnestly entreat me, because I am merciful. It became which never can be changed. God teaches us what to do to thee also to have shewn mercy, because thou wert so deep in a fellow sinner, by what he does to us. Our fellow-servant's || Jebt thyself, and hadst obtained mercy. debt to us, and ours to God, are as one hundred denarii, to Verse 34. Delivered him to the tormentors] Not only conten thousand talents! When we humble ourselves before tinued captivity is here intended, but the tortures to be enbim, God freely forgives us all this mighty sum! and shall || dured in it. If a person was suspected of fraud, as there was we exact from our brother, recompence for the most trifling reason for in such a case as thať mentioned here, he was put faults ? Reader, if thou art of this unmerciful, unforgiving to very cruel tortures among the Asiatics, to induce him to cast, read out the chapter.

confess. In the punishments of China, a great variety of “ All the souls that are, were forfeit once,

these appear; and probably there is an allusion to such torAnd he who might the vantage best have took, ments in this place. Before, he and all that he had, were only Found out the remedy. How would you be,

to be sold. Now, as he has increased his debt, so he bas If He, who is the top of judgment, should

increased his punishment; he is delivered to the tormentors,

2 2
z 2

The punishment which cruel and Sr. MATTHEW,

oppressive men may expect. 35 “So likewise shall my heavenly l your hearts o forgive not every one his ANICOS2

.

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if from brother their trespasses.
ye

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a Prov. 21. 13. ch. 6. 12. Mark 11. 26. James 2. 13.

b Mark 11. 26. Lev. 19. 18. Ephes. 4. 2. Co!. 3. 13. James 2. 13.

mentors.

to the horrors of a guilty conscience, and to a fearful look- in prison, and all their circumstances there are so many toring for a fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. mentors; the place, the air, the company, the provision, the But if this refers to the day of judgment, then the worm accommodations, all, all destructive to comfort, 10 peace, to that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, are the tor- | health, and to every thing that humanity can device. If the

person be poor, or comparatirely poor, is his imprisonment Verse 35. So likewise shull my hearenly Father do also unto likely to lead him to discharge his debt? His creditor may you] The goodness and indulgence of God towards us, is the rest assured that he is now farther from his object than ever; pattern we should follow in our dealings with others. If we the man had no other way of discharging the debt, but by take man for our exemplar we shall err, because our copy is his labour ; that is now impossible, through his confinement, a bad one; and our lives are not likely to be better than the and the creditor is put to a certain expence towards his maincopy we imitate. Follow Christ, be merciful as your Father tenance. How foolish is this policy! And how much do who is in heaven is merciful. You cannot complain of the such laws stand in need of revision and amendment. Imprifairness of your copy. Reader, bast thou a child, or serrant, sonment for debt, in such a case as that supposed above, can who has offended thee, and humbly asks forgiveness? Hast answer no other end than the gratification of the malice, thou a debtor, or a tenunt who is insolrent, and asks for a revenge, or inhumanity of the creditor. Better sell all that little longer time? And hast thou not forgiven that child or he has, and, with bis hands and feet untied, let him begin servant ?'' Hast thou not given time to that debtor or tenant ? || the world afresh. Dr. Dodd very feelingly enquires here, How, then, canst thou ever expect to see the face of the " Whether rigour in exacting temporal debts, in treating just and merciful God? Thy child is banished, or kept at a without mercy such as are unable to satisfy them—whether distance; thy debtor is thrown into prison, or thy tenant sold this can be allowed to a Christian, who is bound to imitate up : yet the child offered to fall at thy feet; and the debtor his God and Father? To a debtor, who can expect forgiveor terunt, utterly insolvent, prayed for a little longer time, ness only on the condition of forgiving others? To a servant hoping God would enable him to pay thee all ; but to these who should obey his Master ? and to a criminal, who is in things thy stony heart and seared conscience paid no regard ! daily expectation of his judge and final sentence ?” Little O monster of ingratitude! Scandal to human nature, and did he think, when he wrote this sentence, that himself should reproach to God! if thou canst, go hide thyself even in hell, be a melancholy proof, not only of human weakness, but of from the face of the Lord !

the relentless nature of those laws by which property, or Their trespasses.] These words are properly left out by rather money is guarded. The unfortunate Dr. Dodd was GRIESBACH, and other eminent critics, because they are want- hanged for forgery, in 1777, and the above note was written ieg in some of the very best MSS, most of the Versions, and by only seven years before! some of the chief of the Fathers. The words are evidently an The unbridled and extravagant appetites of men, someinterpolation ; the construction of them is utterly improper ; times require a rigour even beyond the law, to suppress them. and the concord false.

While, then, we learn lessons of humanity from what is be

fore us, let us also learn lessons of prudence, sobriety, and In our common method of dealing with insolvent debtors, moderation. The parable of the two debtors is blessedly calwe in some sort imitate the Asiatic customs: we put thein il culated to give this information.

CHAP. XIX. Jesus leares Galilee, and comes into the coasts of Judea, and is followed by great multitudes, whom he heals, 1, 2.

The question of the Pharisees concerning ditorce answered, and the doctrine of marriage explained, 3-9. The enquiry of the disciples on this subject, 10. Our Lord's answer, explaining the case of eunuchs, 11, 12. Liltle children brought to Christ for his blessing, 13—15. The case of the young man who wished to obtain eternal life, 16–22.' Our Lora's reflections on this case, in which he shew's the difficulty of a rich man's salvation, 2326. What they shall possess who have left all for Christ's sake and the gospel, 27-29. Flow many of the first shall be last, and the last first, So.

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The question concerning divorce

CHAP. XIX.

answered by our Lord. A

N D it came to pass, that when || 4 And he answered and said unto 1.11.4083.

Jesus had finished these sayings, them, Have ye not read, that he which An. Olymp.

he departed from Galilee, and came made them at the beginning, made them into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan. male and female,

2 And great multitudes followed him ; and 5 And said, “For this cause shall a man leave he healed them there.

father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife : 3 | The Pharisees also came unto him, tempt- and they twain shall be one flesh ? ing him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one for a man to put away his wife for every flesh. What therefore God hath joined togecause ?

ther, let not man put asunder.

a Mark 10. 1. John 10. 40.--bch. 12. 15.

Gen. 1. 27. & 5. 2. Mal. 2. 15 ---_. Gen. 2. 24. Mark 10. 5—9.

Eplies. 5. 31.--- I Cor. 6. 16. & 7. 2.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIX.

better. See the case of Josephus, mentioned in the note on Verse 1. Beyond Jordan.) Or, by the side of Jordan. Mat- chap. v. 30. and Calmet's Comment, Vol. I. part ii. p. 319. thew begins here to give an account of Christ's journey, (the By answering the question, not from Shammai or Hillel, but only one he mentions) to Jerusalem, a little before the pass- from Moses, our blessed Lord defeated their malice, and conover, at which he was crucified. See Mark x. 1. Luke is. founded their devices. 51.

Verse 4. He which made them at the beginning] When Jesus came from Galilee (which lay to the north of Judea) Adam and Eve were the first of human kind. into the coasts of Judea ; and from thence, in his way to Je

Made them male and female] Merely through the design rusalem, he went through Jericho, (chap. xx. 17, 29.) which of matrimonial union, that the earth might be thus peopled. lay at the distance of sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a

To answer a case of conscience, a man should act as Christ half from Jordan to the western side of it. See Joseph. war, does here; pay no regard to that which the corruption of book iv. chap. 8. sect. 3. It seems, therefore, most proba- manners has introduced into divine ordinances, but go back ble, that the course of Christ's journey, led him by the side to the original will, purpose, and institution of God. Christ of the river Jordan, not beyond it. That the Greek word will never accommodate his morality to the times, nor to the reçar, especially with a genitive case as here, has sometimes inclinations of men. What was done at the beginning, is this signification ; see on John vi. 22. see also Bp. Pearce.

what God judged most worthy of his glory, most profitable Verse 2. Great multitudes followed him] Some to be in- || for man, and most suitable to nature. structed some to be healed-some through curiosity and

Verse 5. For this cause] Being created for this very pursome to ensnare hiin.

pose, that they might glorify their Maker in a matrimonial Verse 3. Tempting him] Trying what answer he would connection. A man shall leare, (xatamenfan, wholly give up) give to a question, which, however decided by him, would both father and mother--the matrimonial union being more expose him to censure.

intimate and binding than even paternal or filial affection :Is it luwful--for every cause ? ) Instead of estic, fault, cause, and shall be closely united, a gorxonan Inoetan, shall be firmly Teason, three MSS. and the Coptic version read augstuar, sin | cemented to his wife. A beautiful metaphor, which most foror transgression : this was probably the original reading--the cibly intimates that nothing but death can separate them : as first syllable being lost, aptoay alone would remain, which a a well glued board will break sooner in the whole wood, than subsequent transcriber would suppose to be a mistake for in the glued joint. So also the Hebrew word par dabak 25712y, and so wrote it: hence this various reading. What implies. made our Lord's situation at present so critical in respect to And they twain shall be one flesh ?] Not only meaning, that this question was : At this time there were two famous divi- | they should be considered as one body; but also, as two souls nity and philosophical schools among the Jews, that of SHAM- | in one body, with a complete union of interests, and an inHal, and that of Hillel. On the question of divorce, the dissoluble partnership of life and fortune, comfort and supschool of Shammai maintained, that a man could not legally port, desires and inclinations, joys and sorrows. Farther it put away his wife, except for whoredom. The school of Hil- appears to me, that the words in Gen. ii. 24. 778 wwas lebulei taught, that a man might put away his wife for a multi- sar achad, for one flesh, which our Lord literally translates, tude of other causes, and when she did not find gruce in his | mean also, that children compounded as it were of both, sight ; i. e. when he saw any other woman that pleased him should be the product of the matrimonial connection. Thus,

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Why Moses suffered the

St. MATTHEW.

Israelites lo divorce their wives. 17 They say unto him, "Why did Mo- | hardness of your hearts suffered you 4. 1. 235. An. Olymp. 'ses then command to give a writing to put away your wives: but from the An Olymp

of divorcement, and to put her away? beginning it was not so. 8 He saith unto them, Moses because of the 9 "And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put

CCII. 1.

CCII. 1.

· Deut. 24. 1. ch. 5. 31. Mar. 10. 4. Luke 16. 18.

Ch. 5. 32. Mark 10. 11. Luke 16. 18. 1 Cor. 7. 10, 11.

they two (man and woman) shall be for the producing of one flight; to intimate, that love is to abide with them, that there flesh, the very same kind of human creature with themselves. is to be no separation in affection, but that they are to conSee the note on Gen. ii. 21.

tinue to love one another with pure hearts fervently. Thus Verse 6. What therefore God hath joined together] Evye love begins and continues this sacred union; as to end, Szuśki, yoked together, as oxen in the plough, where each must there can be none, for God hath yoked them together. pull equally, in order to bring it on. Among the ancients, A finer or more expressive set of emblems has never, I when persons were newly married, they put a yoke upon believe, been produced even by modern refined taste and their necks, or chains upon their arms, to shew that they ingenuity. This group of emblematical figures is engraved were to be one, closely united, and pulling equally together upon an onyx by Tryphon, an ancient Grecian artist. A in all the concerns of life. See Kypke in loco.

fine drawing was made of this by Cypriani, and was engraved · The finest allegorical representation of the marriage union both by Bartolozzi and Sherwin. See one of these plates in I have met with, is that antique gem representing the mar- the second volume of Bryant's Analysis of Ancient Mythology, riage of Cupid and Psyche, in the collection of the Duke of page 392. Marlborough: it may be seen also among Baron Stoch's gems, ,

Verse 7. Why did Moses then command to give a writing of and casts or copies, of it in various other collections. 1. divorcement?] It is not an unusual case for the impure and Both are represented as. winged, to shew the alacrity with unholy to seek for a justification of their conduct from the which the husband and wife should help, comfort, and sup- law of God itself; and to wrest Scripture to their own deport each other ; preventing as much as possible the expressing struction. I knew a gentleman so called, who professed of a wish or want on either side, by fulfilling it before it can deep reverence for the Sacred Writings, and, strange as it may be expressed. 2. Both are veiled, to shew that modesty is an appear, was outwardly irreproachable in every respeet but inseparable attendant on pure matrimonial connexions. 3. one; that was, he kept more women than his wife. This Hymen or Marriage goes before them with a lighted torch, man frequently read the Bible, and was particularly conver: leading them by a chain, of which each has a hold, to shew sant with those places that spoke of or seemed to legalize the that they are united together, and are bound to each other, polygamy of the patriarchs ! and that they are led to this by the pure flame of love, which A writing of divorcement See the form of it in the note at the same instant both enlightens and warms them. 4. This on chap. v. 31. chain is not iron nor brass (to intimate that the marriage union Verse 8. Moses because of the hardness of your hearts] It is a state of thraldom. or slapery) but it is a chain of pearls; is dangerous to tolerate the least evil, though prudence itself to shew, that the union is precious, beautiful and delightful. may require it: because toleration, in this case, raises itself 5. They hold a dove, the emblem of conjugal fidelity, which insensibly 'into permission, and permission soon sets up for they appear to embrace affectionately, to shew that they are command. Moses perceived that if divorce were not permitted, faithful to each other, not merely through duty, but by.in many cases, the women would be exposed to great hardaffection, and that this fidelity contributes to the happiness of ships through the cruelty of their husbands: for so the word their lives. 6. A winged Cupid, or love, is represented as oxingoxagdia, is understood in this place by some learned having gone before them, preparing the nuptial feast; to inti- men. mate that active affections, warm and cordial lode are to be to From the beginning it was not so.] The Jews named the them a continual source of comfort and enjoyment; and that books of the Law from the first word in each. Genesis they this is the entertainment they are to meet with at every step of always term Bereshith, JUAJ, which is the first word in it, their affectionate lives. 7. Another Cupid or genius of love, il and signifies In the beginning. It is probable that our Lord comes behind, and places on their heads a basket of ripe fruits; speaks in this way here, in Bereshith it was not so, intimating to intimate, that a matrimonial union of ihis kind, will that the account given in Genesis is widely different. There generally be blest with children who shall be as pleasing to all was no divorce between Eve and Adam; nor did he or his their senses, as ripe and delicious fruits to the smell and taste. family practise polyganey. But our Lord, by the beginning; 8. The genius of love that follows them, has his wings shrivelled may mean the original intention or design. wp, or the feathers all curled, so as to render them utterly unft for Verse 9. Except it be for forvication] See on chap. v. 33.

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