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35 not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at vari

ance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the 36 daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man's foes shall be 37 they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more

than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more 38 than me is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross, and 39 followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall

cific. His birth-song was, “On faithful to the injunctions, and othearth peace.” But it would be the ers not so, there will inevitably unavoidable result of his coming arise ill will, contention, treachery, and the gradual spread of his reli- and persecution, even amongst gion in the face of a sinful world, families and between friends. But to stir up opposition, hatred, and the Apostles were not to be terrified party spirit. The Gospel would when they beheld the engine of didivide men into sects before it vision at work, for they had been would finish its work and produce 'forewarned what to expect. a state of union. Severe diseases 36. The orılinary law of enmities need powerful remedies. As the would be reversed. Foes would world was deeply corrupted, the spring up in the bosom of the famipurifying fire, Mat. iii. 11, Luke xii. ly itself, more bitter and treacher49, and the separating sword of the ous than strangers. See verse 21. Spirit, must go forth to purge the 37. But a caution is added, that earth and cut off its abominations they should not be deterred from before there could be a reign of religion by these feuds and divipeace. There can be no peace, sions. They were to triumph over until the conditions of peace are private feelings, over the partialicomplied with. This prophecy of ties of friendship and relationship, Jesus has been fulfilled on every in espousing the cause of truth. page of ecclesiastical history, and Nothing was to stand in the way is now fulfilling.-1 came not to of their becoming followers of send peace, but a sword, i. e. shall Christ. The cause of God should send a sword, rather than peace. be, dearer than peace purchased by The consequences temporarily of ease and indifference. Father, my advent will be às warlike as if mother, brother, sister, wife, child, I had come on purpose to produce are dear ties all, but there are even dissension. But those consequen- holier than these,-a Heavenly Faces were not chargeable to religion, ther, a Divine Brother.-Is not worbut to the prejudices and passions thy of me. Is not entitled to be of men. In the end, Christianity called my disciple. “He who could produces peace in the soul, peace not rise above the strongest ties of in the world, peace towards God. kindred and affection, and surren-,

35. Micah vii. 6; I am come to der all relatives and friends for the set, i. e. the temporary effect of my sake of the Gospel, was not fit to coming will be to set the nearest be its advocate.” relatives at variance with each oth- 38. Taketh not his cross, and fol

As all cannot think alike and loweth after me. Here is a distant feel alike, as there will be some allusion, perhaps, to the manner of

er.

lose it; and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. He that 40
receiveth you receiveth me; and be that receiveth me receiveth him
that sent me. He that receiveth a' prophet, in the name of a prophet, 41
shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous
man, in the naine of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous man's
reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little 42
ones a cup of cold water only, in the naine of a disciple, verily I say
unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

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Christ's death on that instrument. would receive the Gospel of God
It was the custom for the criminal and his Messiah. Respect to the
to carry bis own cross to the place ambassador is respect to the sove-
of execution. So did Jesus Christ. reign who sends bin.
It has been said that what was 41. Prophet. Used here in the
usually carried by the doomed was sense of a public teacher of reli-
not the whole cross, but the piece gion.-Righteous man. A private
put at right angles near the top. Christian. Those, who, in times of
This was a refinement of cruelty peril, hospitably entertained the per-
and disgrace, to compel the indi- secuted, would be entitled to equal
vidual to bear the instrument of his rewards in the sight of God with

Jesus signifies in this their guests.- In the name of. In the
vivid manner that his followers character of; to receive as a proph-
were to be daunted by no hardships et, as a righteous man, i. è. treating
and dangers, but to be fearless in them kindly on that account.
their profession of his religion, 42. These little ones. As if he
even in the prospect of exquisite had said, My children. A phrase
suffering and death. And many of endearment; or perhaps one of
did follow their
Master to the
cross humility, signifying his lowly

, oband the stake, and died in vindica scure disciples.-A cup of cold wation of his holy Gospel.

ter only, i. e. the smallest office of 39. The word life is used in this kindness and hospitality.—He shall verse in two senses, as the word in no wise lose his reward. If so dead is in Mat. viii. 22. The mean- slight a favor was done to a person ing is, that he who preserves his because he was a disciple of Jesus, earthly life by base compliances it would show an interest in reliwill lose his spiritual one, and that gion, and would not, therefore, go he, who, faithful to duty and unrewarded. The value of hureligion, undergoes suffering and man actions consists in the motive death, will secure spiritual and with which they are performed. eternal life. The renunciation of The least deed, if performed in self, of life, of this world, in the reference to the will of God, under cause of religion, will secure life a sense of duty, is more honorable everlasting:

and more rewarded, than the great40. But in the midst of difficulty ést, done with selfish views. and discouragement, they would have the satisfaction of meeting

CHAP. XI. with some good men who would 1.- This verse would be more receive them, and in receiving them properly attached to the tenth chap

CHAPTER XI.

A

The Testimony of Jesus respecting himself and John the Baptist, and his Rebuke of the impeni

tent Jews. ND it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of command

ing his twelve disciples, he departed thence, to teach and to preach in their cities. 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he 3 sent two of his disciples, and said unto him: Art thou he that should 4 come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto

ter, for it is connected with it in of his disciples. His disciples still sense, and it is not particularly re adhered to him in his adversity, lated to the next verse, which be and obeyed him as before. Those gins a new subject.-Had maile an friends who continue faithful in the end of commanding. Had finished day of trouble are friends indeed. giving his instructions. Thence. 3. We learn from the narrative He was now in the vicinity of Ca- that John and Jesus did not propernaum. Thence he went forth to ceed in concert, but acted indeteach and to preach, to instruct pri- pendently. Whatever testimony vately and publicly, in their cities, therefore either gave to the characi. e. in the cities of Galilee. We ter or claims of the other has the see that our Master imposes no du- value of impartial and independent. ties on his disciples which he does evidence. There could have been not readily undertake himself. He no collusion between them.-Art enforced his injunctions by his own thou he that should come? A phrase example; a model worthy of imi- answerable to Art thou the Mes. tation by all who instruct or com- siah ?”— Or do we look for another? mand others, whether parents, or Are we to expect another? A Mesteachers, or ministers, or rulers. siah had been long foretold, and the

2-19. See Luke vii. 18-35. Jews were in eager anticipation of

2. John had heard. By means of his coming. He was usually spohis disciples, Luke vii. 18.-In the ken of, therefore, as He that should prison. Rather, in prison. John come, the Great Coming One. Vahad been thrown into prison in the rious views have been taken, by fortress of Machærus, which was a different writers, of the motive short distance north-east of the which prompted John to send this Dead Sea. See Josephus' Antiqui- message to Jesus. Some hold that ties of the Jews, B. 18, chap. 5, he wished to identify Jesus, and sec. 2. The cause of this act of ascertain whether he was the one Herod Antipas was the freedom whom he had baptized, and whom with which John reproved him for he knew to be the Messiah. Some, marrying his brother's wife unlaw- that he wished to satisfy his own fully. See Mat. xiv. 3, 4.-The mind whether Jesus was the Mes. works of Christ. These stood out siah, Some, that, being convinced prominently to public notice, and himself, he wished to confirm his awakened the wonder of multi- doubting disciples, and attach them tudes. They were even borne to to Jesus, if he himself should be the dungeon of John.—He sent two destroyed, Others, that having

them: Go and show John again those things which ye do hear and see; the blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are 5 cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have

Ixi. 1,

originally, when he had baptized the reply to it, and the subsequent Jesus, and seen and heard the remarks by Jesus on the office and testimony from heaven, and de- character of his Forerunner. clared him to be “the Lamb of 4. Go and show John again. God which taketh away the sin of Again should be omitted. This the world,” been persuaded that Je seems to indicate clearly that John sus was the actual Messiah, yet asked this question and waited for that his delaying to assume the out a reply for his own satisfaction, ward sovereignty supposed to be- rather than to strengthen the faith long to that office, and delaying to of his disciples in Jesus.—Those rescue him so long imprisoned, things which ye do hear and see. which he could so easily effect by The messengers came at a favorahis miraculous power, had shaken ble hour; for we learn from the his previous belief, and that he now parallel passage in Luke vii. 21, wished to decide the matter by a that Jesus was then in the very act reference to Jesus himself. The of healing the sick, and casting out last seems the most rational inter- demons. Hence, according to his pretation of John's conduct. His usual manner of teaching, he drew ideas of the office of the Messiah an answer from the events of the were similar to those of his coun moment and the spot. trymen at large, who were looking 5. See Is. xxxv. 5, 6. for a temporal kingdom. This 2, 3. Luke iv. 18, 19. The answer seems to be indicated by Jesus him- of Jesus was calm, prudent, and self in this chapter, verse 11. Lan to the point. It arose spontaneguishing in confinement, his active ously from the circumstances of inind became impatient and per- the occasion. It foreclosed priestplexed, he longed for the speedy ly rage, or the equally embarrassestablishment of the Messiah's ing popular enthusiasm, to which reign, under which he would proba- an explicit declaration, in so many bly obtain his liberty, and witness words, that he was the Messiah, the great objects of his mission ad- would have exposed him. It prevanced. He sends to Jesus, in his sented the solid foundation of his trouble and disappointment, to learn claims, both to John and to afhis movements and plans. His ter generations. He mentions two inessage was, “ Art thou the real kinds of evidence, that of miracles, Christ, or are we disappointed in and that of the philanthropy of his you, and must we still look for religion. One includes the varianother to come?” A vein of im- ous specifications of healing the patience, therefore, and also of re- sick and raising the dead; the othbuke, runs in the question. This er, the fact that he preached the solution comports best with the Gospel to the poor.

He applied declarations of John, the circum the same rule to himself that he stances in which he was placed, his gave to test others. Judge the tree probable conceptions of the Mes by its fruits. His life was his desiah, the ardor of his character, monstration. His deeds were his and the language of the message, arguments. As Nicodemus said,

6 the gospel preached to them; and blessed is he, whosoever shall not be 7 offended in me. -And, as they departed, Jesus began to say unto

“No man can do these miracles that Let the Gospel continue to be thou doest, except God be with preached to the poor, till no unhaphim.” Jesus often appealed to his py, suffering soul, in the dark haunts miraculous deeds as proofs of the of our cities, or in unknown headivinity of his mission. And he then wastes, shall pipe in ignorance must have best known on what of its blessed tidings. Missions, grounds it rested. John v. 36. X. and ministries to the poor, are at 25, 37, 38. xiv. 11. xv. 24. Again, once the fruits and the proofs of the bis impartial love and labors for divinity of the Gospel. the poor, as well as the rich, for the 6. Blessed is he, &c. Mingled in slave, the beggar, the outcast leper, this beatitude is a slight tinge of as well as the powerful and refined, reproof, that John should be scancould only have proceeded from dalized that he had not assumhim who dwelt in the bosom of ed the temporal sovereignty supGod, whose mercies are free to all posed to belong to the Messiah. his creatures. He rose above the But the idea is conveyed in the narrowness of his age and country, most delicate and inoffensive manthe ignorance of Galilee, and the ner; even in a benediction.-Not be bigotry of Scribes and Pharisees, offended in me. Finds no cause of who despised the people, John vii. offence or stumbling in me, though 48, 49, and taught with the inspira- I act contrary to his wishes and tion and authority of the impartial hopes. Blessed is he who cavils Father of all. In saying that the not at my mode of proceeding, or poor bad the Gospel preached unto character, or doctrine, who finds them, he did not mean that it was nothing in me to drive him away not also preached, and to be preách- from truth and God; but who, ed, to the rich ; or that he had any whatever violence may be done to different Gospel for the poor from his preconceived notions of the that for the rich; but that the glad Messiah's kingdom and worldly tidings of heaven, the highest good, glory, regards me with a docile, the happiest privileges of which trusting, loving disposition. This human nature was capable, were to answer was adapted “to awaken be brought by his Gospel within John to new patience, thought, and the reach of the poorest as well as

faith." of the richest. He taught no exo 7. As the messengers of John teric or public doctrine to the poor were going away, Jesus generously and ignorant, and an esoteric or se- pronounced a high eulogium on cret doctrine to the learned, like him, and expressed his confidence most of the ancient philosophers. in John as of firm integrity, and It was a new era, when all men, consistency, and more than a prowithout distinction of nation or phet in his office. Perhaps he wishcondition, were called to all the ed to avert any, prejudice which highest blessings and hopes of the might arise against John on acchildren of God. None but a di count of the nature of his inquiries, vinely commissioned teacher could and his own reply to them, and to have conceived or effected such a renew the people's impressions of mighty revolution in human affairs. John's preaching and predictions.

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