« PreviousContinue »
The house builded on a rock ;
that on the sand.
A. 1. 1. 10.27.
$5 And the rain descended, and 27 And the rain descended, and the 4.1,972 An. Olomap. the foods came, and the winds foods came, and the winds blew, and Aul. Olymp.
blew, and beat upon that house; 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.
2 Ch. 13. 51. Mark 1. 22. & 6. 2. Luke 4. 32.
1b John 7. 46.
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 storiny Lord alludes here: first, Those of temporal afiictions, comwinds came, it was plucked up and eradicated. But he ing 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 ima wany roots; so that all the winds of heaven could not move ipetuous rivers. Thirdly, those which come froin 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 every thing 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 his 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 hew amazingly improved in passing through his hands! must fall
, and his soul be crushed into the nethermost 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 I will liken hinn unto a wise man] To a prudent man-arder woord and spirit, is no other than solemn self-deception. Emne, 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 i 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 man 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; and keeping close to the maxims of his Gospel, and having our that the gospel was brought in to liberate us from its obligro tempers and lives conformed to its woral 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 huild upon a solid Rock.
as this sermon, which Christ lays down as the rule by which Verse 23. And the rain descended-floods came- -winds blew]
Then, the fulfilling of these precepts is In Judea, and in all countries in the neighbourhood of the I the purchase of glory.” No, it is the way only to that glory tropics, the ruin sometimes falis 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, Verse 28. The people were astonished] O oxioo, them ultiof which there are whole villages in the East, literally melt tudes; for vast crowds attended the ministry of this most away before those rains, and the land-floods occasioned by popular and faithful of all preachers. They were astonished
we are to walk.
A leper applies to Christ
to be healed.
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 trilling teachings of their most of morality urgeil home 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 Nicn-made ministers, and those whom Gov 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, xmd on Daszutaus, und 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 conrersion of teacher, and not as the Scribesand 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 ends a serinon, the most strict, pure, holy, profound profit the people at all. Jer. xxiii. 32.
and subliine, ever delivered to man; and yet so amazingly Verse 29. Having authority] They felt a commanding sinple 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 perspicious; bis cxhortations persuasive, his beseech thee! Amen.
CHAPTER VIII. Great multitudes follow Christ, 1. He heals a leper, 2—4. Heals the Centurion's sertant, 5—13. Heals Peter's
wife's mother, 14, 15. and sereral other diseased persons, 16, 17. Departs from that place, 18. Two persons offer to be his disciples, 19–22. IIe and his disciples are overtaken with a tempest, which he miraculously stills, 23—27. He cures Damonides, and the Demons which were cast out enter into a herd of swine, which, rushing into the sea, perish, 23–32. The stine-herds announce the miracle to the Gergesenes, who request Christ to depart from their country, 33, 34.
HEN he was come down from 2 "And, behold, there came a leper A.1.4631.
the mountain, great multi- and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if An. Olymp. tudes followed him.
thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
1. M. 4031. A. 1), 27. in Olymp CCI, ;
W the a
a Chap. 5. 1. Luke 7. 1.
Mark 1. 40, &c. Luke 5. 12, Sc.
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 asiga, from 2:7ış a scale, was an inveterate cutaneous disease, sanctifying and heuling influences of the Holy Spirit. appearing in dry, thin, white scurfy scales or scabs, either The Greek name denço, 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 lotlısome kind, covered, as to give them the appearance of snow, Exod. iv. highly contagious, so as to imfect garments, (Lev. xiii. 47, 6. Num. xii. 10. 2 Kings v. 27. &c.) and louses, (Lev. xiv. 34, &c.) and was deerned 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 rwhite applied to for its removal; and the cure was ever attributed scab; and says, that those who were afiected 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. 11. 4031.
A. D. 47. An. Olymp
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and and offer the gift that Moses coman. Olymp. touched him, saying, I will; be thou manded, for a testimony unto them.
clean. And immediately his leprosy 5 T. And when Jesus was entered was cleansed.
into Capernaum, there came unto him a centu4 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
* Ch. 9. 30, Mark 5. 43.
• Lev. 11. 3, 4, 10. Luke 5. 14.-_ Luke 7. 1, &c.
considerell it a punishment on the person, from their great with the most lothsone disease, cleansed from it in a moment gol 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 miler 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 his 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 douf; and of that supreme will which works every thing bran like scales were daily rubbed oft; the flesh appeared according to its own counsel. quick or raw underneath.” See the Doctor's Medica Sucra,
Verse 4. Jesus saith--See thou teil no manj Had our Lord chiap. ii. It was probably on account of its tendency to at this early period, fully manifested hiinself 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 ishi 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 i This alone seems to be the reason why he said io the leper; of Judta. 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 man
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 zood, with scarlet, and hyssop, Lev. xiv. 4. which were Christ. A sinner truly penitent, seeks God with a respectful to be brought for his cleansing; and when clean, two lie faith; approaches him in the spirit of adoration, humbles lumbs, one ewe lamb, three tenth deals of flour, and one log of himself under his 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 filence 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 willing- way, to give full proof to the priesthood, that Jesus was the ness 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 A centurion] Exatoyraz xos. 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 wu should fullest conviction, and by the clearest demonstration, that always be translated when a Roman is the speaker. his authority was absolute, and his power unlimited. Be
Lieth at home] B:Santos, lieth all along; intimating that thou cleansed, xc9deguontı; 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- tence, through the grievous torments with which it was nishing sight! A man whose whole body was covered over accompanied,
A. D 27.
A D. 27.
A centurion applies to Christ
to heal his servant, A. M. 4031. sick of the palsy, grievously tor- come under my roof: but " speak 4. 1.901. An Olymp. mented.
the word only, and my servant shall An.Olymp. 7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will be healed. come and heal him.
9 For I am a man under authority, having 8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, soldiers under me: and I say to this man, a I not worthy that thou shouldest Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come,
Sick of the palsy] Or paralytic. See chap. iv. 24. This manipuli or companics; and every manipulus made two centuries centurion did not act as many masters do when their ser- or companies of one hundred men. Every manipulus had two vants are afflicted, have them immediately removed to an centurions, but these were very far from being equal in rank infirmary, often to a work-house ; or sent home to friends or and honour, though possessing the very same office. The Trirelatives, who probably either care nothing for them, or are arii and Principes were esteemed the most honourable, and had unable to afford them any of the comforts of life. In case their centuriors elected first; and these first clected centurions, of a contagious disorder, it may be necessary to remove an took precedency of the centurions of the Histuti who were infected person to such places as are best calculated to cure elected last. The centurion in the text was probably one the distemper, and prevent the spread of the contagion of this last order, he was under the authority of either the But in all common cases, the servant should be considered || Principes or Triarii, and had none under him but the hunas a child, and receive the same frienilly attention. If by a dred men whom he commanded, and who appear to have been hasty, unkind, and unnecessary removal, the servant die, are in a state of the most loving subjection to him. The argument not the master and mistress murderers before God?
of the centurion seems to run thus. If I who am a person subVerse 7. I will come and heal him.) Eyw £9,9wY GegativOW av-ject to the controul of others, yet have some so completely subTou, I am coming, and will heal him. This saying is worthy ject to myself, that I can say to one, Come, and he cometh, to of observation. Jesus did not positively say, I will come and another, Go, and he goeth, and to my slare (sw douaw uov) do hcul him; this could not have been strictly true, because our this, and he doeth it; how much more then canst thou accom; Lord healed him without going to the house, and the issue plish whatsoever thou willest, being under no controul, and harshews that the words ought to be taken in the most literal ing all things under thy command. He makes a proper use of sense : thus understood, they contained a promise which it his authority, who by it, raises his mind to the contemplation of seems none of them distinctly comprehended. Foreseeing the the sovereign power of God, taking occasion from it to humble exercise of the centurion's faith, he promises that while he is himself before him who has all power in heaven and earth ; and coming, ere he arrives at the house, he will heal him, and to expect all good from him. this was literally done, verse 13. There is much beauty in There are two beautiful passages in Arriun that tend much
to illustrate this speech of the centurion. Καταταγείς Αγαμεμνων, Verse 8. But speak the word only] Or instead of ειπε λογον, λέγει μοι, πορευου προς τον Αχιλλέα, και αποσπασαν την Βρισηίδα, read, tms doyw, Speak by zword or command. This reading is optuou cb. Eexou, egxquav. “He who personates Agameranon, supported by the most extensive evidence from MSS. versions says to me, Go to Achilles, and bring hither Briseis : I go. He and fathers. See here the pattern of that living faith and, says, Come hither; I come.” Dissert. 1. i. c. 25. p. 97. genuine humility which ought always to accompany the Οταν ο Θεος ειση τοις φυτοις ανθειν, αιθει. Οταν ειπη βλαγαγειν, , prayer of a sinner: Jesus can will αιuy the palsy, and speak | βλατανει. Οταν εκφες εις τον καρσον, εκφερει. Οταν πεπαινειν, πεπαινεί. aluny the most grievous torments. The first degree of humility | Οταν παλιν αποβαλλειν, και φυλλορροειν, και αυτα εις αυτα συνειλουμενα is to acknowledge the necessity of God's mercy, and our own εφ' ησυχιας μενειν, και αναπαυεσθαι, μενει και αναπαυεται.
" When madilny wo heip ourselves : the second, to confess the freeness God commands the plants to blossom, they bear blossoins. When of his grace, and our own utter unworthiness. Ignorance, he commands then to bear secd, they bear seed. When he unbelief, and presumption will ever retard our spiritual cure. commands them to bring forth fruit, they put forth their fruits.
Verse 9. For I am a man under authority] That is, under the When he commands them to ripen, they grow ripe. When he authority of others. This verse has given considerable embarrass- commands them to fade, and shed their leaves, and to remain ment to commentators and critics. I believe the paraphrase inactive, involved in themselves, they thus remain, and are ingiven above to be the true meaning of the evangelist. To make active.” Cap. 14. p. 62. See Raphelius. this matter more plain, let it be observed, that the Roman foot This mode of speech fully marks supreme and unconwas divided into three grand parts, Hastáti, Principes, and Tratrouled power, and that power put forth by a sovereign arii. Each of these grand divisions was composed of thirty will to effect any purpose of justice or mercy. And God
A. M. 4031.
commends his faith. A. M. 4031. and he cometh ; and to my servant, 11 And I say unto you, that An. Olymp. Do this, and he doeth it.
many shall come from the east and An Olymp. 10 When Jesus heard it he mar-west, and shall sit down with Abravelled, and said to them that followed, Verily ham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, heaven. no, not in Israel.
12 But the children of the kingdomshall be
* Gen. 12. 3. Isai. 2. 2, 3. & 11. 10. Mal. 1. 11. Luke 1S. 29. Acts 10. 15.
& 11. 18.& 14. 27. Rom. 15. 9, &c. Epli. 3.6.
+ Ch. 21. 3. ch. 13. 42, 50. & 2. 13. & 21. 51. & 5. 30. Luke 13. 28.
2 l'et. 2. 17. Jude 13.
mid, Let there be light, and there was light, is a similar ex- 60ds, hautaks, Auxreta, ¢x;, Torches, lamps, candles and lanpression.
thorns, by Athenæus and Plutarch : so they who were admitted Verse 10. I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.) | to the banquet, had the benefit of the light; but they who That is, I have not found so great an instance of confidence were shut out, were in darkness, called here outer darkness, i, e. and faith in my power, even among the Jerus, as this Roman, the darkness on the outside of the house, in which the guests a Gentile, has shewn himself to possess.
were; which must appear more abundantly gloomy, when comFrom Luke vii. 5. where it is said of this centurion," he pared with the profusion of light within the guest-chamber. loved our nation, and has built us a synagogue;" we may infer, | And because they who were shut out, were not only exposed that this man was like the centurion mentioned Acts x. 1. Ato shame, but also to hunger and cold; therefore it is added, devout Gentile, a proselyle of the gate, one who believed in the there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. As these feasts God of Israel, without conforming to the Jewish ritual, or re- are often alluded to by the Evangelists, I would observe once for ceiving circumcision. Though the military life is one of the all: that they who were invited to them, entered by, a gate demost improper nurses for the christian religion, yet in all na- signed to receive them; whence Cbrist, by whom we enter into tions there have been found several instances of genuine hu- | the marriage feast, compares himself to a gate, Jolin x. 1, 2, mility, and faith in God, even in soldiers; and perhaps never i 7,9. This gute at the time the guests were to conne, was made more in the British military, than at the present. A. D. 1812. narrow, the wicket only being left open, and the porter standing
Verse 11. Many shall come from the cust und west) Men there, that they who were not bidden to the marriage might of every description, of all countries, and of all professions ; not rush into it. Hence Christ exhorts the Jews to enter in at and shall sit down, that is, to meut, for this is the proper mean- the strait gate, ch. vii. 13, &c. When all that were invited were ing of a vexabancoran, intimating the recumbent posture used by once come, the door was presently shut, and was not to be the Easterns at their meals. The Rabbins represent the opened to any who came too late, and stood knocking without: blessedness of the kingdom of God under the notion of a ban- so after the wise virgins had entered with the bridegroom, the quet. See several proofs of this in Schoetgenius. This was gute wus shut, and was not opened to the foolish tirgins, who spoken to soften the unreasonable prejudices of the Jews, stood knocking without, chap. xxv. 11. And in this sense we which they entertained against the Gentiles, and to prepare
are to understand the words of Christ, Luke xiii. 24, 25. Many them to receive their brethren of mankind into religious fel- | shall seck to enter in, but shall not be able. Why? because the lowship with themselves, under the Christian dispensation. master of the house hath risen up und shut to the door, they would With Abraham, and Isaac', and Jucob] In the closest commu- not come unto him when they might, and now the day of
pron.on with the most eminent followers of God. But if we bation is ended, and they must be judged according to the deeds desire to inherit the promises, we must be followers of them done in the body. See Whitby on the place. How many of c ho through faith and patience enjoy them. Let us therefore those who are called christians, suffer the kingdom, the graces, lauitate Abraham in his fuith, Isaac in his obedience unto death, and the salvation which they had in their hands, to be lost; and Jacob in his hope and expectation of good things to come, while West-India negroes, American Indians, Windoo Polyamidst all the evils of this life, if we desire to reign with them.theists, and atheistic Hottentots obtain salvation ! An eternity:
Verse 12. Shall be cast out into outer darkness] As the enjoy- of darkness, fears and pains, for comparatively a moment of lient of that salvation which Jesus Christ calls the kingdom of sensual gratification, how terrible the thought! What outer durkheaven, is here represented under the notion of a nuptial ness, or, to OXOTOS 1o Egutipov, that darkness, that which is the festival,
at which the guests sat down in a reclining posture, outermost, may refer to, in eternal damnation, is hard to say: Billy the inaster of the feast; so the state of those who were what it alludes to I have already mentioned : but as the words excluded from the banquet is represented as deep darkness; be- Beuypos Twvc@ovtur, grushing or CHATTEKING of teeth, convey the cause the nuptial solemnities took place at night. Hence at idea, not only of extreme anguislı, but of extreme cold; some chose suppers, the house of reception was filled with lights called have imagined that the punishment of the damned consisted in.