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of the Devil bete Son of God As this temptation starts with the and still further, is it not said that Christ came to kiume point as the first-our Lord's determination not destroy by His death "him that hath the power of
be disputed out of His Sonship-it seems to us death, that is, the devil? (Hebrews, 2. 14.) No doubt dear that the one came directly after the other; and these passages only express men's voluntary subjecw the remaining temptation shows that the hope of tion to the rule of the wicked one while they live,
Tying that point was abandoned, and all was staked and his power to surround death to them, when it una desperate venture, we think that remaining comes, with all the terrors of the wages of sin. But aptation is thus shown to be the last; ae will appear | as this is a real and terrible sway, so all Scripture re
more when we come to it. cast thyself down presents men as righteously sold under it. In this trunn hence," Lake, 19: for it is written Psalm 91. sense he speaks what is not devoid of truth, when :1 'But what is this I see?' exclaims stately he says, "All this is delivered unto me." But how
OP HALL, Satan himself with a Bible under does he deliver this "to whornsoever he will?' As bu arm and a text in his mouth!" Doubtless the employing whomsoever he pleases of his willing subrapter, having felt the power of God's word in the jects in keeping men under his power. In this case met temptation, was eager to try the effect of it his offer to our Lord was that of a deputed supremacy tra his own mouth (2 Corinthians, 11. 14). He shall commensurate with his own, though as his gift and his sagels charge concerning thee; and in-rather, for his ends. if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
-their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time This was the sole, but monstrous condition. No en dash thy foot against a stone. The quotation is Scripture, it will be observed, is quoted now, because recisely as it stands in the Hebrew and LXX., save none could be found to support so blasphemous a that after the first clause the words, "to keep thee claim. In fact, he has ceased now to present his
dl thy ways," is here omitted. Not a few good temptations under the mask of piety, and stands out tractors have thought that this omission was in- unblushingly as the rival of God Himself in his claims Mathipal, to conceal the fact that this would not on the homage of men. Despairing of success as an bave been one of " His ways," i.e., of duty. But as angel of light, he throws off all disguise, and with a wa Lord's reply makes no allusion to this, but seizes splendid bribe solicits divine honour. This again a the great principle involved in the promise quoted: shows that we are now at the last of the temptations,
ben we look at the promise itself, it is plain that and that Matthew's order is the true one. 10. Then the sense of it is precisely the same whether the saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan. Since the care in question be inserted or not. 7. Jesus said tempter has now thrown off the mask, and stands tada him. It is written again (Deuteronomy, 6. 16-q.d., forth in his true character, our Lord no longer deals Tree, it is so written, and on that promise I im. with him as a pretended friend and pious counsellor, actly rely, but in using it there is another scripture but calls him by his right name-His knowledge of which must not be forvotten, Thou shalt not tempt the which from the outset He had carefully concealed till Lad tay God Preservation in danger is divinely now-and orders him off. This is the final and conBetaal: sball I then create danger, either to put the clusive evidence, as we think, that Matthew's must promised security sceptically to the proof, or wantonly be the right order of the temptations. For who to demand s display of it? That were to "tempt the can well conceive of the tempter's returning to the Lord thy God," which, being expressly forbidden, assault after this, in the pious character again, and
oid forieit the right to expect preservation.' 8. hoping still to dislodge the consciousness of His SonLea, the devil taketh him up-conducteth him,' as ship; while our Lord must in that case be supposed to before-into, or 'unto,' an exceeding high mountain, and quote Scripture to one He had called the Devil to Creth bhn all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory his face-thus throwing His pearls before worse than
them Luke (4. 6) adds the important clause. " in a swine? for it is written (Deuteronomy. 6. 13): Thus moment of time a clause which seems to furnish does our Lord part with Satan on the rock of Scripa key to the true meaning. That a scene was pre- ture, Thou shalt worship. In the Hebrew and LXX. mated to our Lord's natural eye seems plainly ex- it is, * Thou shalt fear:" but as the sense is the same, esed But to limit this to the most extensive scene so "worship" is here used to show emphatically that which the astural eye could take in, is to give a what the tempter claimed was precisely what God sense to the expression, "all the kingdoms of the had forbidden. the Lord thy God, and him only shalt World." quite violent. It remains, then, to gather thou serve. The word "serve" in the second clause, is from the expression, *in a moment of time"-which one never used by the LXX. of any but religious sermaaifestly is intended to intimate some superna- vice, and in this sense exclusively is it used in the tad operation-that it was permitted to the tempter New Testament, as we find it here. Once more the to extend preternaturally for a moment our Lord's word "only," in the second clause--not expressed in rage of vision, and throw a "glory" or glitter over the Hebrew and LXX.-is here added to bring out troede of vision; a thing not inconsistent with the emphatically the negative and prohibitory feature of any of other scriptural statements regarding the the command. See Galatians, 3. 10 for a similar
uitted operations of the wicked one. In this supplement of the word "all" in a quotation from cire, the "exceeding height of the "mountain" from Deuteronomy, 27. 26.) 11. Then the devil leaveth him, Puch this sight was beheld would favour the effect Luke says, “And when the devil had exhausted"Dodel to be produced. 9. And saith unto him, Allor, 'quite ended,' as in Luke, 4. 2- "every (modo fea bings will I give thee" and the glory of them," of temptation, he departed from him till a season." wa Lake But Matthew having already said that The definite "season" here indicated is expressly re
Tas showed Him." did not need to repeat it ferred to by our Lord in John, 14. 30, and Luke, 22
Lake (4. a adds these other very important | 52. 53. and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him Cames, bere omitted~" for that is,” or 'has been, -or supplied Him with food, as the same expression
tavered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give means in Mark, 1. 31, and Luke, 8. 3. Thus did 1 W this wholly false? That were not like angels to Elijah (1 Kings, 19. 6-8). Excellent critics staa's usual policy, which is to insinuate his lies think that they ministered, not food only, but superwder cover of some truth. What truth, then, is natural support and cheer also. But this would be Sare here? We answer, Is not Satan thrice called the natural effect rather than the direct object of the
ou Lord Himself. " the prince of this world visit, which was plainly what we have expressed. in, 12 21:14. 30; 16. 11: does not the apostle call And after having refused to claim the illegitimate o
the god of this world ? (2 Corinthians, 4. 4;) ministration of angels in His behal, O with what deep the cod
Christ Begins His Galilean Ministry. MATTHEW, IV.
Entry into Galilee. joy would He accept their services when sent, un- Nazareth" here? We answer, just as the same word asked. at the close of all this Temptation, direct is used in Acts, 21. 3, Now when from Him whom He had so gloriously honoured? Cyprus, and left it on the left, we sailed unto Syria." What "angels' food” would this repast be to Him : &c.-i.e., without entering Cyprus at all, but merely and as He partook of it, might not a Voice from *sighting' it, as the nautical phrase is, they steered heaven be heard again, by any who could read the South East of it, leaving it on the North West. So Father's mind, 'Said I not well, This is my beloved here, what we understand the Evangelist to say is. Son, in whom I am well pleased !
that Jesus, on His return to Galilee, did not, as might 12-25. CHRIST BEGINS HIS GALILEAN MINISTRY have been expected, make Nazareth the place of His -CALLING OF PETER AND ANDREW, JAMES AND stated residence, but “leaving for passing by) NazaJOHN - HIS FIRST GALILEAN CIRCUIT. =Mark, reth," he came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is upon 1. 14-20, 36-39; Luke, 4. 14, 15.) There is here a notable the sea coast- maritime Capernaum,' on the North gap in the History, which but for the fourth Gospel West shore of the sea of Galilee; but the precise spot we should never have discovered. From the former is unknown. (See on ch. 11. 23.) Our Lord seems to Gospels we should have been apt to draw three infer- have chosen it for several reasons. Four or five of ences, which from the fourth one we know to be the Twelve lived there : it had a considerable and erroneous: First, that our Lord awaited the close of mixed population, securing some freedom from that John's ministry, by his arrest and imprisonment, | intense bigotry which even to this day characterizes before beginning His own; next, that there was but a all places where Jews in large numbers dwell nearly brief interval between the baptism of our Lord and alone; it was centrical, so that not only on the apthe imprisonment of John; and further, that our proach of the annual festivals did large numbers pass Lord not only opened His work in Galilee, but never through it or near it, but on any occasion multitudes ministered out of it, and never visited Jerusalem at could easily be collected about it; and for crossing all nor kept a Passover till He went thither to be and recrossing the lake, which our Lord had so often come "our Passover, sacrificed for us." The fourth occasion to do, no place could be more convenient Gospel alone gives the true succession of events; not But one other high reason for the choice of Capers only recording those important openings of our Lord's naum remains to be mentioned, the only one specified public work which preceded the Baptist's imprison. by our Evangelist. in the borders of Zabulon and Nephment-extending to the end of the third chapter- thalim-the one lying to the West of the sea of Galilee. but so specifying the Passovers which occurred during the other to the North of it; but the precise bounour Lord's ministry as to enable us to line off, with & | daries cannot now be traced out. 14. That it might be large measure of certainty, the events of the first fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet (ch. 9. three Gospels according to the successive Passovers 1, 2, or, as in Hebrew, ch. 8. 23, and 9. 1), saying, 15. which they embraced. EUSEBIUS, the ecclesiastical The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, (by I historian, who, early in the fourth century, gave much | the way of the sex-the coast skirting the sea of Galiattention to this subject, in noticing these features lee westward - beyond Jordan-& phrase commonly of the Evangelical Records, says (3. 24) that John meaning eastward of Jordan; but here and in several wrote his Gospel at the entreaty of those who knew places it means westward of the Jordan. The word the important materials he possessed, and filled up seems to have got the general meaning of the other what is wanting in the first three Gospels. Why it side; the nature of the case determining which side was reserved for the fourth Gospel, published at so that was. Galilee of the Gentiles-so called from its late a period, to supply such important particulars position, which made it the frontier' between the in the Life of Christ, it is not easy to conjecture with Holy Land and the external world. While Ephraim any probability. It may be, that though not un- and Judah, as STANLEY says, were separated from acquainted with the general facts, they were not the world by the Jordan-valley on one side and the furnished with reliable details. But one thing may hostile Philistines on another, the northern tribes be affirmed with tolerable certainty, that as our Lord's were in the direct highway of all the invaders from teaching at Jerusalem was of a depth and grandeur the North, in unbroken communication with the scarcely so well adapted to the prevailing character promiscuous races who have always occupied the of the first three Gospels, but altogether congenial to heights of Lebanon, and in close and peaceful alli. the fourth; and as the bare mention of the successive ance with the most commercial nation of the ancient Passovers, without any account of the transactions world-the Phoenicians. Twenty of the cities of Gaand discourses they gave rise to, would have served lilee were actually annexed by Solomon to the adlittle purpose in the first three Gospels, there may jacent kingdom of Tyre, and formed with their terrihave been no way of preserving the unity and con- tory, the "boundary" or "offscouring" ("Gebul" or sistency of each Gospel, so as to furnish by means of "Cabul") of the two dominions-at a later time still them all the precious information we get from them, known by the general name of "the boundaries save by the plan on which they are actually con- (coasts" or "borders”) of Tyre and Sidon." In the structed.
first great transportation of the Jewish population. Entry into Galilee (v. 12-17). 12. Now when Jesus had Naphthali and Galilee suffered the same fate as the heard that John was cast into prison-more simply, 'was trans-Jordanic tribes before Ephraim or Judah had delivered up; as recorded in ch. 14. 3-6; Mark, 6.17-20; 1 been molested (2 Kings, 16. 29). In the time of the Luke, 3. 19, 20-he departed-rather, withdrew-into Christian era this original disadvantage of their Galilee-as recorded, in its proper place, in John, 4. position was still felt; the speech of the Galileans 1-3. 13. And leaving Nazareth. The prevalent opinion bewrayed them" by its uncouth pronunciation is, that this refers to a first visit to Nazareth after His(Matthew, 26. 73): and their distance from the seats baptism, whose details are given by Luke (4. 16, &c.); of government and civilization at Jerusalem and & second visit being that detailed by our Evangelist Cæsarea gave them their character for turbulence or (ch. 13. 54-68), and by Mark (ch. 6. 1-6). But to us independence, according as it was viewed by their there seem all but insuperable difficulties in the friends or their enemies. 16. The people which sat in supposition of two visits to Nazareth after His bap- darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the tism; and on the grounds stated on Luke, 4. 16. &c, region and shadow of death light is sprung up. The we think that the one only rusit to Nazareth is that prophetic strain to which these words belong com. recorded by Matthew (13.), Mark (6.), and Luke (4.). mences with Isaiah, 7., to which ch. 6. is introductory. But how, in that case, are we to take the word "lcavmg and goes down to the end of cb. 12., which hymns the
Jesus Beginneth to Preach.
Calling of Peter and Andreso. spirit of that whole strain of prophecy. It belongs | after His return to Galilee. 2. Here, Christ calls to the reign of Ahaz, and turns upon the combined Andrew: there, Andrew solicits an interview with ettorts of the two neighbouring kingdoms of Syria Christ. 3. Here, Andrew and Peter are called toand Larael to crush Judah. In these critical cir- gether; there, Andrew having been called, with an cunstances Judah and her king were, by their ungod- unnamed disciple, who was clearly the beloved disFiness, provoking the Lord to sell them into the ciple (see on John, 1. 40), goes and fetches Peter his hands of their enemies. What, then, is the burden brother to Christ, who then calls him. 4. Here, John of this prophetic strain, on to the passage here is called along with James his brother: there, John is quoted? First. Judah shall not, cannot perish, be- I called along with Andrew, after having at their own cause IXMANUEL, the Virgin's Son, is to come forth request had an interview with Jesus; no mention befrom his loins. Next. One of the invaders shall soon ing made of James, whose call, if it then took place, perish, and the kingdom of neither be enlarged. would not likely have been passed over by his own Further. While the Lord will be the Sanctuary of brother. Thus far nearly all are agreed. But on the such as confide in these promises and await their ful next question opinion is divided-Was this the same fillment. He will drive to confusion, darkness, and de- calling as that recorded in Luke, 5. 1-11? Many able gair the vast multitude of the nation who despised critics think so. But the following considerations His oracles, and, in their anxiety and distress, betook are to us decisive against it. First, Here, the four are themselves to the lying oracles of the heathen. This I called separately, in pairs: in Luke, all together. carries us down to the end of the eighth chapter. At Next, In Luke, after a glorious miracle: here, the one the opening of the ninth chapter a sudden light is pair are casting their net, the other are mending seen breaking in upon one particular part of the theirs. Further, Here, our Lord had made no public country, the part which was to suffer most in these appearance in Galilee, and so had gathered none wans and devastations-"the land of Zebulun, and the around Him; He is walking solitarily by the shores land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond Jor of the lake when He accosts the two pairs of fisherdan, Galilee of the Gentiles." The rest of the pro- men: in Luke, “the multitude are lying upon Him,
becy stretches over both the Assyrian and the Chal and hearing the word of God, as He stands by the lake dean esptivities, and terminates in the glorious of Gennesaret"-a state of things implying a someNessianic prophecy of ch. 11., and the choral hymn what advanced stage of His early ministry, and some of ch. 12 Well, this is the point seized on by our popular enthusiasm. Regarding these successive Evangelist. By Messiah's taking up His abode in callings, see on Luke, 6. 1. thoge very regions of Galilee, and shedding His glori- First Galilean Circuit (v. 23-25). 23. And Jesus went ons light upon them, this prediction, he says, of the about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. These evangelieal prophet was now fulfilled; and if it was were houses of local worship. It cannot be proved not thus fulfilled, we may confidently affirm it was that they existed before the Babylonish captivity: pot fulfilled in any age of the Jewish economy, and I but as they began to be erected soon after it, prohas received no fulfilment at all. Even the most bably the idea was suggested by the religious inconnationalistic critics have difficulty in explaining it inveniences to which the captives had been subjected. any other way. 17. From that time Jesus began to In our Lord's time, the rule was to have one wherever preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is I ten learned men, or professed students of the law re# hand. Thus did our Lord not only take up the sided; and they extended to Syria, Asia Minor, strain, bat give forth the identical summons of His Greece, and most places of the dispersion. The larger bonoured forerunner. Our Lord sometimes speaks of towns had several, and in Jerusalem the number apthe new kingdom as already come-in His own Person proached 500. In point of officers and mode of worand ministry; but the economy of it was only "at ship, the Christian congregations were modelled after land" notil the blood of the cross was shed, and the the synagogue. and preaching the gospel-proclaiming Spirit on the day of Pentecost opened the fountain the glad tidings of the kingdom, and healing all manner for sin and for uncleanness to the world at large. of sickness-every disease-and all manner of disease
Calling of Peter and Andrew, James and John every complaint.' The word means any incipient I. 13- 18. And Jesus, walking. The word “Jesus" | malady causing 'softness.' among the people. 24. Aud bere appears not to belong to the text, but to have his fame went throughout all Syria-reaching first to been introduced from those portions of it which were that part of it adjacent to Galilee, called Syrophetranscribed to be used as Church Lessons; where it nicia (Mark, 7. 26), and thence extending far and was naturally introduced as a connecting word at the wide. and they brought unto him all sick people all commencement of a Lesson.) by the sea of Galilee, that were ailing' or unwell.' (those that were taken
# two brethren, Simon called Peter-for the reason for this is a distinct class, not an explanation of the mentioned in eh. 16. 18-and Andrew his brother, cast. "unwell" class, as our translators understood it: with
net into the sea: for they were fishers. 19. And he divers diseases and torments-i.e.. acute disorders: and suth unto them, Follow me-rather, as the same expres- those which were possessed with devils-'that were de. goo is rendered in Mark, "Come ye after me"--and monized' or 'possessed with demons.' and those which I will make you fishers of men-raising them from a were lunatic - 'moon-struck' - and those that had the lower to a higher fishing, as David was from a lower paley-paralytics,' a word not naturalized when our to bigber feeding Psalın 78. 70-72). 20. And they version was made-and he healed them. These healstraightway lert their nets, and followed him. 21. Andings were at once His credentials and illustrations of fin es from thence, he saw other two brethren, James "the glad tidings" which He proclaimed. After read. tre son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship ing this account of our Lord's first preaching tour, can rather in the ship.' their fishing boat-with Zebedeel we wonder at what follows? 25. And there followed their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22. I him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from DeAnd es immediately left the ship and their father. capolis-& region lying to the East of the Jordan, so Mark adds an important clause: "They left their called as containing ten cities, founded and chiefly father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants: inhabited by Greek settlers and from Jerusalem, and showing that the family were in easy circumstances. I from beyond Jordan-meaning from Perea. Thus not ad followed him. Two harmonistic questions here only was all Palestine upheaved, but all the adjaarise. Furst, Wag this the same calling with that re- cent regions. But the more immediate object for corded in Joha. 1. 35-42? Clearly not. For, 1. That which this is here mentioned is, to give the reader all is ren while Jesus was yet in Judea : this, I some idea both of the vast concourse and of the
on the Moun varied complexion of eager attendants upon the great | Thongh the latter only answered to the subiecte Preacher, to whom the astonishing Discourse of the | His kingdom, described in this Discourse, there w next three chapters was addressed. On the import-drawn from time to time into this inner circle 80 ance which our Lord Himself attached to this first from the outer one, who, by the power of His mat preaching circuit, and the preparation which He made | less word, were constrained to forsake their all for it, see on Mark, 1. 35-39.
the Lord Jesus. 2. And he opened his mouth-a soler CHAPTERS V-VII.
way of arousing the reader's attention, and prepari SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
him for something weighty (Job, 3. 1; Acts, 8. 35; 10. That this is the same Discourse with that in Luke, -and taught them, saying, 3. Blessed, &c Of the t 17-49-only reported more fully by Matthew, and less words which our translators render "blessed," t fully, as well as with considerable variation, by Luke one here used points more to what is inward, and
is the opinion of many very able critics (of the Greek might be rendered "happy," in a lofty sense; while t commentators; or CALVIN, GROTIUS, MALDONATUS other denotes rather what comes to us from witho who stands almost alone among Romish commente (as Matthew, 25, 34). But the distinction is not tors, and of most moderns, as THOLUCK, MEYER, ways nicely carried out. One Hebrew word express DE WETTE, TISCHEXDORF, STIER, WIESELER, both. On these precious Beatitudes, observe tha ROBINSON). The prevailing opinion of these critics though eight in number, there are here but seven d is, that Luke's is the original form of the Discourse, tinct features of character. The eighth one -- tl to which Matthew has added a number of sayings, "persecuted for righteousness' sake"-denotes mere uttered on other occasions, in order to give at one the possessors of the seven preceding features. view the great outlines of our Lord's ethical teaching account of which it is that they are persecute But that they are two distinct Discourses - the one (2 Timothy, 3. 12). Accordingly, instead of any di delivered about the close of His first missionary tour, tinct promise to this class, we have merely & repet and the other after a second such tour and the solemn tion of the first promise. This has been noticed b choice of the Twelve-is the judgment of others who several critics, who by the sevenfold character tbu have given much attention to such matters (of most set forth have rightly observed that a complete cha. Romish commentators, including ERASMUS; and acter is meant to be depicted, and by the sevenf. among the moderns, of LANGE, GRESWELL, BIRKS, blessedness attached to it, a perfect blessedness is ir WEBSTER & WILKINSON. The question is left unde- tended. Observe, again, that the language in whic cided by ALFORD). AUGUSTIN's opinion-that they these beatitudes are couched is purposely fetche were both delivered on one occasion, Matthew's on from the Old Testament, to show that the new kina the mountain, and to the disciples ; Luke's in the dom is but the old in a new form; while the chai plain, and to the promiscuous multitude-is so clumsy acters described are but the varied forms of this and artificial as hardly to deserve notice. To us the spirituality which was the essence of real religio! weight of argument appears to lie with those who all along, but had well-nigh disappeared under cor think them two separate Discourses. It seems hard rupt teaching. Further, the things here promised to conceive that Matthew should have put this Dis- far from being mere arbitrary rewards, will be found course before his own calling, if it was not uttered in each case to grow out of the characters to which till long after, and was spoken in his own hearing as they are attached, and in their completed form ar one of the newly-chosen Twelve. Add to this, that but the appropriate coronation of them. Once more Matthew introduces his Discourse amidst very de-as "the kingdom of heaven," which is the first and finite markings of time, which fix it to our Lord's the last thing here promised, has two stages-& pre first preaching tour; while that of Luke, which is ex sent and a future, an initial and a consummate stage pressly said to have been delivered immediately after -80 the fulfilment of each of these promises has two the choice of the Twelve, could not have been spoken stages-a present and a future, a partial and a per till long after the time noted by Matthew. It is hard, fect stage. 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit. All fa too, to see how either Discourse can well be regarded miliar with Old Testament phraseology know how as the expansion or contraction of the other. And frequently God's true people are styled "the poor" as it is beyond dispute that our Lord repeated some the 'oppressed,' afflicted,' miserable'-"the needy, of His weightier sayings in different forms, and with or both together (as in Psalm 40. 17; Isaiah, 41. 17). varied applications, it ought not to surprise us that, The explanation of this lies in the fact that it is after the lapse of perhaps a year-when, having spent generally "the poor of this world” who are "rich in a whole night on the hill in prayer to God, and set faith" (James, 2. 6; cf. Corinthians, 6. 10, and Rethe Twelve apart, He found Himself surrounded by velation, 2. 9): while it is often the ungodly" who crowds of people, few of whom probably had heard "prosper in the world" (Psalm 73, 12). Accordingly, the Sermon on the Mount, and fewer still remem- in Luke (6. 20, 21), it seems to be this class-the liter. bered much of it - He should go over again its prin- ally “poor" and "hungry”--that are specially adcipal points, with just as much sameness as to show dressed. But since God's people are in so many their enduring gravity, but at the same time with that places styled "the poor" and "the needy," with no difference which shows His exhaustless fertility as the evident reference to their temporal circumstances great Prophet of the Church.
(as in Psalm 68. 10: 69. 29-33; 132. 16; Isaiah, 61. 1; 66. 21, CHAPTER V.
it is plainly a frame of mind which those terms are Ver. 1-16. THE BEATITUDES, AND THEIR BEARING meant to express. Accordingly, our translators someUPON THE WORLD. 1. And seeing the multitudes-those times render such words "the humble" (Psalm 10. mentioned in ch. 4. 25-he went up into a mountain-one 12, 17). "the meek" (Psalm 22. 26). "the lowly” (Proof the dozen mountains which ROBINSON says there verbs, 3. 34), as having no reference to outward cir. are in the vicinity of the sea of Galilee, any one of cumstances. But here the explanatory words, * in them answering about equally well to the occasion. | spirit," fix the sense to those who in their deepest So charming is the whole landscape that the descrip-consciousness realize their entire need' (cf. the Greek tions of it, from JOSEPHUS downwards (J. W., 4. 10,8), of Luke, 10. 21; John, 11. 33: 13. 21; Acts, 20, 22; Romans, are apt to be thought a little coloured, and when he 12. 11; 1 Corinthians, 6. 3; Philippians, 3.). This selfwas set-had sat' or seated Himsell'-his disciples l emptying conviction, that 'before God we are void of came unto him-already a large circle, more or less at everything,' lies at the foundation of all spiritual tracted and subdued by His preaching and miracles, I excellence, according to the teaching of Scripture. in addition to the smaller band of devoted adherents. Without it we are inaccessible to the riches of Christ:
on the Mount with it we are in the fitting state for receiving all and ye shall find rest into your souls" (Matthew, 11. spiritual supplies (Revelation, 3. 17, 18: Matthew, 9. 29); and the apostle besought one of the churches by 12. 13). for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. See on ch "the meekness and gentleness of Christ" (2 Corin. 22 The poor in spirit not only shall have-they thians, 10. 1). In what esteem this is held by Him already have-the kingdom. The very sense of their who seeth not as man seeth, we may learn from poverty is begun riches. While others "walk in 1 Peter, 3. 4, where the true adorning is said to be that vain show"_'in a shadow,' an image' in an unreal of "a meek and quiet spirit, which in the sight of world, taking & false view of themselves and all God is of great price." Towards men this disposition around them the poor in spirit are rich in the is the opposite of high-mindedness, and a quarrel knowledge of their real case. Having courage to some and revengeful spirit; it "rather takes wrong. look this in the face, and own it guilelessly, they feel and suffers itself to be defrauded" (1 Corinthians, 6. strong in the assurance that "unto the upright there 7); it "avenges not itself, but rather gives place unto ariseth light in the darkness" (Psalm 112. 4); and soon wrath” (Romans, 12. 19): like the meek One, "when it breaks forth as the morning. God wants nothing reviled, it reviles not again; when it suffers, it threatfrom us as the price of His saving gifts; we have but ens not; but commits itself to Him that judgeth to feel our universal destitution, and cast ourselves righteously” (1 Perer, 2. 19-22). "The earth" which upon His compassion (Job, 33. 27, 28: 1 John, 1. 9).the meek are to inherit might be rendered “the land" So the poor in spirit are enriched with the fulness of bringing out the more immediate reference te Christ, which is the kingdom in substance; and when Canaan as the promised land, the secure possession of He shall say to them from His great white throne, which was to the Old Testament saints the evidence * Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the king- and manifestation of God's favour resting on them, dom prepared for you." He will invite them merely and the ideal of all true and abiding blessedness. to the full enjoyment of an already possessed inheri. Even in the Psalm from which these words are taken tance. 4. Blessed are they that mourn ; for they shall the promise to the meek is not held forth as an be comforted. This * mourning" must not betaken arbitrary reward, but as having a kind of natural ful. loosely for that feeling which is wrung from men un-filment. When they delight themselves in the Lord, der pressure of the ills of life, nor yet strictly for sor- He gives them the desires of their heart: When they Tow on account of committed sins. Evidently it is commit their way to Him, He brings it to pass ; that entire feeling which the sense of our spiritual bringing forth their righteousness as the light, and poverty begets, and so the second beatitude is but the their judgment as the noon-day: The little that they complement of the first. The one is the intellectual, have, even when despoiled of their rights, is better the other the emotional aspect of the same thing. It than the riches of many wicked, &c. (Psalm 37.) All is poverty of spirit that says. “I am undone;" and it things, in short, are theirs-in the possession of that in the mourning which this causes that makes it break favour which is life, and of those rights which belong forth in the form of a lamentation-"Woe is me, for to them as the children of God--whether the world, I am undone." Hence this class are termed "mourn or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; ens is Zion," or. 29 we might express it, religious all are theirs (1 Corinthians, 3. 21. 22); and at length, Mourners, in sharp contrast with all other sorts overcoming, they "inherit all things" (Revelation, (Isaiah, 61.1-3; 66. 2). Religion, according to the Bible, 21. 7). Thus are the meek the only rightful occupants
neither a set of intellectual convictions nor a bun- of a foot of ground or a crust of bread here, and heire dle of emotional feelings, but & compound of both, of all coming things. 6. Blessed are they which do han. the former giving birth to the latter. Thus closely do ger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled the first two beatitudes cohere. The mourners shall 'shall be saturated." "From this verse,' says le "comforted." Even now they get beauty for THOLUCK, 'the reference to the Old Testament backashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of ground ceases.' Surprising! On the contrary, none praise for the spirit of heavinesg. Sowing in tears, of these beatitudes is inore manifestly dug out of the they reap even here in joy. Still all present comfort. rich mine of the Old Testament. Indeed, how could even the best. is partial,' interrupted, short-lived. any one who found in the Old Testament "the poor But the days of our mourning shall soon be ended, in spirit," and "the mourners in Zion,” doubt that and then God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes. he would also find those same
he would also find those same characters also craving Then, in the fullest sense, shall the mourners be that righteousness which they feel and mourn their
comforted." 5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall I want of? But what is the precise meaning of "right meerit the earth. This promise to the meek is but a l eousness" here? Lutheran expositors, and some of repetition of Psalm 37. 11; only the word which our our own, seem to have a hankering after that more Evangelist renders "the meek," after the LXX., is restricted sense of the term in which it is used with the same which we have found so often translated reference to the sinner's justification before God.
the poor," showing how closely allied these two (See Jeremiah, 23. 6; Isaiah, 45. 24; Romans, 4. 6: Teatures of character are. It is impossible, indeed. / 2 Corinthians, 6. 21.) But, in so comprehensive & say. that "the poor in spirit" and "the mourners" in | ing as this, it is clearly to be taken-as in v. 10 also-in Con should not at the same time be "meek;" that a much wider sense, as denoting that spiritual and en
to say, persons of a lowly and gentle carriage. tire conformity to the law of God, under the want of now fitting, at least, it is that they should be so, may which the saints groan, and the possession of which De seen by the following touching appeal: "Put them constitutes the only true saintship. The Old Testa19 mind to be subject to principalities and powers, ment dwells much on this righteousness, as that bo obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, which alone God regards with approbation (Psalm 11. ko speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, 7: 23. 3; 106. 3; Proverbs, 12. 28; 16. 31; Isaiah, 64. 6, &c.). suring all meeleness unto all men : FOR WE OUR-As hunger and thirst are the keenest of our appetites, SELVES WERE ONCE YOOLISH, disobedient, deceived, | our Lord, by employing this figure here, plainly serving divers lusts and pleasures... But after that the means 'those whose deepest cravings are after spiriKiadness and love of God our Saviour toward man tual blessings.' And in the Old Testament we find appeared,...according to His mercy He saved us," &c. this craving variously expressed :-"Hearken unto hits, 3. 1-7.) Bat He who had no such affecting me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek Tessons for manifesting this beautiful carriage, said, the Lord” (Isaiah, 61. 1): "I have waited for thy salva Devertheless, of Himself. * Take My yoke upon you, tion. O Lord,” exclaimed dying Jacob (Genesis, 49. 1815 and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: "My soul,” says the sweet Psalmist, "breaketh for