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Service of Christ. before God." as it is in Luke. 30. But the very hairs sake and love to his Master. (See 2 Kings. 4. 9. 10.) of your head are all numbered. See Luke, 21. 18 (and shall receive a prophet's reward. What an encourageel for the language 1 Samuel, 14. 45; Acts, 27. 34). 31. | ment to those who are not prophets! (See 3. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many 5-8.) and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name SPATTUTS. Was ever language of such simplicity felt of a righteous man-from sympathy with his character to carry such weight as this does? But here lies and esteem for himself as such, shall receive a rightmuch of the charm and power of our Lord's teaching. eous man's reward--for he must himself have the seed 22 Whosoever therefore shall confess ine before men- of righteousness who has any real sympathy with it * despising the shame," him will I confess also before and complacency in him who possesses it. 42. And * Father which is in heaven-I will not be ashamed whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little of him, but will own him before the most august of ones. Beautiful epithet! originally taken from Zechaali assemblies. 33. But whosoever shall deny me before riah, 13. 7. The reference is to their lowliness in DED, him will I also deny before my Father which is in spirit, their littleness in the eyes of an undiscerning besten-before that same assembly: 'He shall have world, while high in Heaven's esteem. a cup of cold from Me his own treatment of Me on the earth.' water only-meaning, the smallest service, in the name But see on ch. 16. 27. 34. Think not that I am come to of a disciple-or, as it is in Mark (9. 41), because ye are saad peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword | Christ's: from love to Me, and to him from his con-strife, discord, conflict: deadly opposition between nection with Me, verily I say unto you, he shall in no eternally hostile principles, penetrating into and wise lose his reward. There is here a descending rending asunder the dearest ties. 35. For I am come climax_"a prophet." "a righteous man," "a little

at a man at variance against his father, and the one;" signifying that however low we come down in daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law our services to those that are Christ's, all that is done against her mother-in-law. See on Luke, 12, 51-53. 36. for His sake, and that bears the stamp of love to His And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. blessed name, shall be divinely appreciated and This saying, which is quoted, as is the whole verse, owned and rewarded. from Micah, 7. 6, is but an extension of the Psalmist's

CHAPTER XI. complaint. Psalm 41. 9: 65. 12-14, wbich had its most Ver. 1-19. THE IMPRISONED BAPTIST'S MESSAGE adecting illustration in the treason of Judas against TO HIS MASTER-THE REPLY, AND DISCOURSE, ON var Lord Himself (John, 13. 18: Matthew, 26. 48-50). THE DEPARTURE OF THE MESSENGERS, REGARDING Hence would arise the necessity of a choice between JOHN AND HIS MISSION. (=Luke, 7. 18-35.) 1. And Christ and the nearest relations, which would put it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of comthera to the severest test. 37. He that loveth father or manding his-rather, 'the twelve disciples, he departed mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that thence to teach and to preach in their cities. This was Loret son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me, scarcely a fourth circuit-if we may judge from the

1. Deuteronomy, 33.9. As the preference of the less formal way in which it is expressed-but, perhaps, ose would, in the case supposed, necessitate the a set of visits paid to certain places, either not reached abandonment of the other, our Lord here, with a at all, or too rapidly passed through before, in order sublime, yet awful self-respect, asserts His own claims to fill up the time till the return of the Twelve. As to supreme affection. 38. And he that taketh not his to their labourg, nothing is said of them by our Evan. ons, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me-a gelist. But Luke (9. 6) says, "They departed, and uring which our Lord once and again emphatically went through the towns," or 'villages,' "preaching Deiterates (ch. 16. 24; Lake, 9. 23: 14. 27). We have be- the Gospel, and healing everywhere." Mark (6. 12, cutie so accustomed to this expression-"taking up 13), as usual, is more explicit: "And they went out, obe's cross"-in the sense of being prepared for and preached that men should repent. And they truk in general for Christ's sake,' that we are apt to cast out many devils (or 'demons'), and anointed

se sight of its primary and proper sense here-'a with oil many that were sick, preparedness to go forth even to crucifixion,' as when Though this "anointing with oil" was not mentioned Ott Lord had to bear His own cross on His way to | in our Lord's instructions-at least in any of the reCalvary--& saying the more remarkable as our Lord cords of them-we know it to have been practised ad not as yet given a hint that He would die this long after this in the apostolic Church (see James, death, nor was crucifixion a Jewish mode of capital 5. 14, and cf. Mark, 6. 12, 13)-not medicinally, but as prenshment. 39. He that findeth his life shall lose it: a sign of the healing virtue which was communicated azad be that loseth his life for my sake shall fipd it | by their hands, and a symbol of something still more

atber of those pregnant sayings which our Lord so I precious. It was unction, indeed, but, as BENGEL den reiterates (ch. 16. 25; Luke, 17. 33: John, 12. 25). remarks, it was something very different from what 16e pith of such paradoxical maxims depends on the Romanists call extreme unction. He adds, what is Gaube sepse attached to the word "life"-& lower | very probable, that they do not appear to have carried SDI higher, the natural and the spiritual, the tem. the oil about with them, but, as the Jews used oil as

hal and eternal An entire sacrifice of the lower, a medicine, to have employed it just as they found with all its relationships and interests-or, which is it with the sick, in their own higher way. 2. Now Mas me thing, a willingness to make it-is indis- when John had heard in the prison. For the account pensable to the preservation of the higher life; and of this imprisonment, see on Mark, 6. 17-20. the De boeannot bring himself to surrender the one for works of Christ, he sent, &c. On the whole passage, the sake of the other shall eventually lose both. 40. see on Luke, 7. 18-35. 10 Treceiveth-or entertaineth' you, receiveth me; 20-30. OUTBURST OF FEELING, SUGGESTED TO THE and be that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me. As MIND OF JESUS BY THE RESULT OF HIS LABOURS IN the treatment which an ambassador receives is GALILEE. The connection of this with what goes widerstood and regarded as expressing the light in before it, and the similarity of its tone, makes it eviShea be that sends him is viewed, so, says our Lord | dent, we think, that it was delivered on the same bert, Your authority is mine, as mine is my Father's.' occasion, and that it is but a new and more compre1. He that receiveth a prophet-one divinely commis. hensive series of reflections in the same strain. 20. moond to deliver a message from heaven. Predicting Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his Iblare events was no necessary part of a prophet's mighty works were done, becanse they repented not. 21. Ole, especially as the word is used in the New Woe unto thee, Chorazin!-not elsewhere mentioned, Erlaneal in the naine of a prophet-for his office' I but it must have lain near Capernaum. Woo unto

Christ Upbraideth the


Impenitence of Capernaum. thee. Bethsaida! ('hunting' or 'fishing-house'-a fish- | (see on Luke, 10. 21), probably He did the same now. ing station' on the western side of the sea of Gali- though not recorded. O Father, Lord of heaven and lee, and to the north of Capernaum; the birth-place earth. He so styles His Father here, to signify that of three of the apostles-the brothers Andrew and from Him of right emanate all such high arrangePeter, and Philip. These two cities appear to be ments. because thou hast hid these things-the knowsingled out to denote the whole region in which they | ledge of these saving truths-from the wise and prudent. lay-& region favoured with the Redeemer's pres. The former of these terms points to the men who ence, teaching, and works above every other, for if pride themselves upon their speculative or philosothe mighty works the miracles' which were done in phical attainments; the latter to the men of worldly you had been done in Tyre and Sidon-ancient and cele-shrewdness--the clever, the sharp-witted, the men of brated commercial cities, on the north-eastern shores affairs. The distinction is a natural one, and was of the Mediterranean sea, lying north of Palestine, well understood. (See 1 Corinthians, 1. 19; &c.) But and the latter the northern-most. As their wealth why had the Father hid from such the things that and prosperity engendered luxury and its concomi- belonged to their peace, and why did Jesus so tant evils-irreligion and moral degeneracy-their emphatically set His seal to this arrangement? Beoverthrow was repeatedly foretold in ancient pro- cause it is not for the offending and revolted to speak phecy, and once and again fulfilled by victorious or to speculate, but to listen to Him from whom we enemies. Yet they were rebuilt, and at this time have broken loose, that we may learn whether there were in a flourishing condition. they would have be any recovery for us at all; and if there be, on repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. Remarkable what principles-of what nature-to what ends. To language, showing that they had done less violence to bring our own “wisdom and prudence" to such conscience, and so, in God's sight, were less criminal questions is impertinent and presumptuous; and if than the region here spoken of. 22. But I say unto the truth regarding them, or the glory of it, be "hid" you, It shall be more tolerable--more 'endurable,' for from us, it is but a fitting retribution, to which all Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. the right-minded will set their seal along with Jesus. 23. And thou, Capernaum (see on ch. 4. 13), which art But, Thou hast revealed them anto babes-to babe-like exalted unto heaven. Not even of Chorazin and Beth men; men of unassuming docility, men who, consaida is this said. For since at Capernaum Jesus scious that they know nothing, and have no right to had His stated abode during the whole period of His sit in judgment on the things that belong to their public life which He spent in Galilee, it was the most peace, determine simply to "hear what God the Lord Javoured spot upon earth, the most exalted in privi will speak," Such are well called "babes." (See lege. shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty | Hebrews, 6. 13; 1 Corinthians, 13. 11; 14. 20; &c.) 26. works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Even 50. Father; for so it seemned good-the emphatic and Sodom-destroyed for its pollutions, it would have chosen term for expressing any object of divine comremained until this day-having done no such violence placency; whether Christ Himself (see on ch. 3. 17) or to conscience, and so incurred unspeakably less guilt. God's gracious eternal arrangements (see on Philip24. But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable pians, 2. 13)-in thy sight. This is just & sublime echo for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for of the foregoing words; as if Jesus, when He uttered thee. It has been indeed,' says Dr. STANLEY, 'more them, had paused to reflect on it, and as if the glory tolerable, in one sense, in the day of its earthly judg- of it-not so much in the light of its own reasonable ment, for the land of Sodom than for Capernaum:ness as of God's absolute will that so it should be for the name, and perhaps even the remains, of had filled His soul. 27. All things are delivered unto Sodom are still to be found on the shores of the Dead me of my Father. He does not say, They are revealedSea; whilst that of Capernaum has, on the Lake of as to one who knew them not, and was an entire Gennesareth, been utterly lost.' But the judgment stranger to them save as they were discovered to him of which our Lord here speaks is still future: a -but. They are delivered over,' or 'committed to judgment not on material cities, but their respon-me of my Father; meaning the whole administration sible inhabitants-a judgment final and irretrievable. of the kingdom of grace. So in John, 3. 35,"The 25. At that time Jesus answered and said. We are not Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into to understand by this, that the previous discourse His hand" (see on that verse). But though the wall had been concluded; and tbat this is a record only of things" in both these passages refer properly to the something said about the same period. For the con- kingdom of grace, they of course include all things Dection is most close, and the word "answered"- necessary to the full execution of that trust-that is. which, when there is no one to answer, refers to unlimited power. (So ch. 28. 18; John, 17. 2; Ephesians. something just before said, or rising in the mind of 1. 22.) and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father: the speaker in consequence of something said-con- neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and firms this. What Jesus here "answered" evidently he to whomsoever the Son will-or-willeth to reveal was the melancholy results of His ministry, lamented him, What a saying is this, that 'the Father and the over in the foregoing verses. It is as if He had said, Son are mutually and exclusively known to each "Yes; but there is a brighter side of the picture: even other!' A higher claim to equality with the Father in those who have rejected the message of eternal life, cannot be conceived. Either, then, we have here one it is the pride of their own hearts only which has I of the most revolting assumptions ever uttered, or blinded them, and the glory of the truth does but the the proper Divinity of Christ should to Christians be more appear in their inability to receive it: Nor have beyond dispute. "But alas for me! may some burall rejected it even here; souls thirsting for salvation dened soul, sighing for relief, here exclaim. If it be have drawn water with joy from the wells of salva- thus with us, what can any poor creature do but lie tion: the weary have found rest; the hungry have been down in passive despair, unless he could dare to hope filled with good things, while the rich have been sent that he may be one of the favoured class 'to whom empty away.' I thank thee-rather, 'I assent to thee.' the Son is willing to reveal the Father?' But nay. But this is not strong enough. The idea of 'full' or This testimony to the sovereignity of that gracions * cordial' concurrence is conveyed by the preposition. "will," on which alone men's salvation depends. is The thing expressed is adoring acquiescence, holy designed but to reveal the source and enhance the satisfaction with that law of the divine procedure glory of it when once imparted-pot to paralyse or about to be mentioned. And as, when He after shut the soul up in despair. Hear, accordingly. what wards uttered the same words, He "exulted in spirit" | follows: 28. Come unto me, all ve that labour and are

Plucking Corn-ears

on the Sabbath Day. heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Incomparable, the priests! No example could be more apposite than ravishing sounds these-if ever such were heard in this. The man after God's own heart, of whom the this weary, groaning world! What gentleness, what Jews ever boasted, when suffering in God's cause and sweetness is there in the very style of the invitation straitened for provisions, asked and obtained from - Hither to Me: and in the words. All ye that toil the high priest what, according to the law, it was and are burdened,' the universal wretchedness of illegal for any one save the priests to touch. Mark man is depicted, on both its sides-the active and the (2. 26) says this occurred "in the days of Abiathar parise forms of it. 29. Take my yoke upon you-the the high priest." But this means not during his high yoke of subjection to Jesus-and learn of me; for I am priesthood - for it was under that of his father Ahimemeek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your lech-but simply, in his time. Ahimelech was soon rond. As Christ's willingness to empty Himself to succeeded by Abiathar, whose connection with David, the uttermost of His Father's requirements was the and prominence during his reign, may account for spring of ineffable repose to His own spirit, so in the his name, rather than his father's, being here intro

be track does He invite all to follow Him, with duced. Yet there is not a little confusion in what the assurance of the same experience. 30. For my! is said of these priests in different parts of the Old poke is easy, and my burden is light. Matchless Testament. Thus he is called both the son and paradox, even amongst the paradoxically couched the father of Ahimelech (1 Samuel, 22, 20; 2 Samuel. Latims in which our Lord delights! That rest 8. 17); and Ahimelech is called Ahiah (1 Samuel, 14. 3), which the soul experiences, when once safe under and Abimelech (1 Chronicles, 18. 16). 5. Or have ye Christ's wing, makes all yokes easy, all burdens light. not read in the Law, how that on the sabbath days the CHAPTER XII.

priests in the temple profane the sabbath-by doing Ver. 1-8 PLUCKING CORN-EARS ON THE SABBATI *servile work," - and are blameless! The double DAT. =Mark, 2. 23-28; Luke, 6. 1-5.) The season of offerings required on the sabbath day (Numbers, the year when this occurred is determined by the 28. 9) could not be presented, and the new-baked event itsell. Ripe corn-ears are only found in the showbread (Leviticus, 24. 5; 1 Chronicles, 9. 32) could

elds just before harvest. The barley harvest seems not be prepared and presented every sabbath mornclearly intended here, at the close of our March and ing, without a good deal of servile work on the part bedaning of our April. It coincided with the Pass- of the priests; not to speak of circumcision, which, OTAR-season, as the wheat harvest with Pentecost. when the child's eighth day happened to fall on a But in Luke 16. 1) we have a still more definite note sabbath, had to be performed by the priests on that of time, if we could be certain of the meaning of the day. See on John, 7. 22, 23.) 6. But I say unto you, peculiar term which he employs to express it. "It That in this place is one greater than the temple-or came to pass (he says) on the sabbath, which was the rather, according to the reading which is best supPatucona"-for that is the proper rendering of the ported, *something greater.' The argument stands Ford, and not "the second sabbath after the first" thus: The ordinary rules for the observance of the is in our version of the various conjectures what sabbath give way before the requirements of the this may mean, that of SCALIGER is the most ap temple; but there are rights here before which the prored, and, as we think, the freest from difficulty, temple itself must give way.' Thus indirectly, but re, the first sabbath after the second day of the not the less decidedly, does our Lord put in His own Passover; e., the first of the seven sabbaths which claims to consideration in this question-claims to be Tere to be reckoned from the second day of the Pass presently put in even more dakedly. 7. But if ye had over, which was itself a sabbath, until the next feast, known what (this) meaneth, I will have mercy, and not the feast of Pentecost (Leviticus, 23. 15, 16; Deutero- sacrifice (Hosea, 6. 6; Micah, 6. 6-8, &c.). See on ch. sony, 16 9. 10). In this case, the day meant by the 9. 13. ye would not have condemned the guiltless:Lrabælist is the first of those seven sabbaths inter- q.d., 'Had ye understood the great principle of all vening between Passover and Pentecost. And if we religion, which the Scrir se right in regarding the" feast" mentioned in John, - that ceremonial observances must give way before

125 & Passover, and consequently the second during | moral duties, and particularly the necessities of our Lond's public ministry (see on that passage), this nature-ye would have refrained from these captious Plucking of the ears of corn must have occurred complaints against men who in this matter are blamea mediately after the scene and the Discourse re less. But our Lord added a specific application of corded in John. 6., which, doubtless, would induce this great principle to the law of the sabbath, preour Lord to hasten His departure for the north, to served only in Mark: "And he said unto them, the ved the wrath of the Pharisees. which fe had sabbath was made for rnan, and not man for the Kindled at Jerusalemn. Here, accordingly, we find sabbath" (Mark, 2. 27). A glorious and far-reaching Him in the fields-on His way probably to Galilee. maxim, alike for the permanent establishment of the I As that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through sabbath and the true freedom of its observance. 8.

-"the corn fields" (Mark, 2. 23; Luke, 6. 1). For the Son of man is Lord (even) of the sabbath day. In As disciples were an hungered-not as one may be what sense now is the Son of man Lord of the sabbelor his regular meals; but evidently from short- bath day! Not surely to abolish it-that surely De provisions; for Jesus defends their plucking were & strange lordship, especially just after saying Le com ears and eating them on the plea of necessity. that it was made or instituted for MAN-but to own se began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat-"rubbing it, to interpret it, to preside over it, and to ennoble it.

a in their hands" (Luke, 6. 1). 2. But when the by merging it in "the Lord's Day" (Revelation, 1. 10), FAT3223 it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples breathing into it an air of liberty and love necessarily

Bal which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day. unknown before, and thus making it the nearest 1 de set itself was expressly permitted (Deuteronomy, resemblance to the eternal sabbatism.

S. But as being "servile work," which was pro- 9-21. THE HEALING OF A WITHERED HAND ON bitel on the sabbath day, it was regarded as sinful. THE SABBATH DAY, AND RETIREMENT OF JESUS TO & But he said tuto them. Have ye not read-or as Mark AVOID DANGER. =Mark, 3. 1-12; Luke, 6. 6-11.) HealDAN, "Have ye never read"-what David did (1 Samuel, ing of a Withered Hand (v. 9-14). 9. And when he was IL 14, when he was an hungered, and they that were departed thence--but “on another sabbath” (Luke, ut him; 4 How he entered into the house of God, and 6.6), he went into their synagogue-"and taught." He

a the sbowbread, which was not lawful for him to had now, no doubt, arrived in Galilee; but this, it GAL, Reither for them which were with him, but only for would appear, did not occur at Capernaum, for after

Christ Heals the Withered Hand,


and Retirelh to Avoid Danger. it was over He "withdrew Himself," it is said, "to interesting details: "A great multitude from Galilee the sea(Mark, 3. 7), whereas Capernaum was at the followed Him, and from Judea, and from Jerusasen 10. And, behold, there was a man which had his lem, and from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan; hand withered-disabled by paralysis (as 1 Kings, 13. 4). and they about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude, It was his right hand, as Luke graphically notes. And when they had heard what great things he did, came they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sab- unto Him. And he spake to His disciples, that a bath days! that they might accuse him. Matthew and small ship"-or wherry'-"should wait on Him be. Luke say they "watched Him whether He would cause of the multitude, lest they should throng Him. heal on the sabbath day." They were now come the For He had healed many; insomuch that they pressed length of dogging His steps, to collect materials for & upon Him for to touch Him, as many as had plagues. charge of iin piety against Him. It is probable that And unclean spirits, when they saw Him, fell down it was to their thoughts rather than their words that before Him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of Jesus addressed Himself in what follows. 11. And God. And He straitly charged them that they should he said unto them, What man shall there be among you not make Him known" (Mark, 3. 7-12). How glorious that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the this extorted homage to the Son of God! But as this sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out! was not the time, so neither were they the fitting 12. How much then is a man better than a sheep? preachers, as BENGEL says. See on Mark, 1. 25, and Resistless appeal! "A righteous man regardeth the cf. James, 2. 19.) Coming back now to our Evangelist: life of his beast" (Proverbs, 12. 10), and would instinc. after saying "He healed them all," he continues, 16. tively rescue it from death or suffering on the sab And charged them-the healed-that they should not bath day: how much more his nobler fellow-man. make him known. (See on ch. 8. 4.) 17. That it might But the reasoning, as given in the other two Gospels, be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, say. is singularly striking: " But He knew their thoughts, ing (Isaiah, 42. 1), 18. Behold my servant, whom I have and said to the man which had the withered hand, chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose will put my Spirit upon him, and he shall show judgment and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will to the Gentiles. 19. He shall not strive, nor cry; neither ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to | shall any man hear his voice in the streets. 20. A bruised do good, or to do evil? to save life or to destroy it?" reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall be not (Luke, 6. 8, 9) or as in Mark (3. 4) "to kill?” He thus quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory-"unto shuts them up to this startling alternative: 'Not to iruth," says the Hebrew original, and the LXX. also. do good, when it is in the power of our hand to do it. But our Evangelist merely seizes the spirit, instead is to do evil; not to save life, when we can, is to kill of the letter of the prediction in this point. The --and must the letter of the sabbath-rest be kept at grandeur and completeness of Messiah's victories this expense ? This unexpected thrust shut their would prove, it seems, not more wonderful than the mouths. By this great ethical principle our Lord, unobtrusive noiselessness with which they were to be we see, held Himself bound, as Man. But here we achieved. And whereas one rough touch will break must turn to Mark, whose graphic details make the a bruised reed, and quench the flickering, smoking second Gospel so exceedingly precious. "When He flax, His it should be, with matchless tenderness had looked round about on them with anger, being love, and skill, to lift up the meek, to strengthen the grieved for the hardness of their hearts, He saith weak hands and confirm the feeble knees, to comfort unto the man" (Mark, 3. 5). This is one of the very | all that mourn, to say to them that are of a fearful few passages in the Gospel History which reveal our heart, Be strong, fear not. 21. And in his name shall Lord's feelings. How holy this anger was, appears the Gentiles trust. Part of His present audience were from the "grief” which mingled with it at "the Gentiles-from Tyre and Sidon-first-fruits of the hardness of their hearts." 13. Then saith he to the great Gentile harvest, contemplated in the prophecy. man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth 22-37. A BLIND AND DUMB DEMONIAC HEALED. -the power to obey going forth with the word of AND REPLY TO THE MALIGNANT EXPLANATION PUT command, and it was restored whole, like as the other. UPON IT. (Mark, 3. 20-30; Luke, 11. 14-23.) The The poor man, having faith in this wonderful Healer precise time of this section is uncertain. Judging -which no doubt the whole scene would singularly from the statements with which Mark introduces it. help to strengthen-disregarded the proud and veno- we should conclude that it was when our Lord's mous Pharisees, and thus gloriously put them to popularity was approaching its zenith, and so, before shame. 14. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a the feeding of the five thousand. But, on the other council against him, how they might destroy him. This hand, the advanced state of the charges brought is the first explicit mention of their murderous de against our Lord, and the plainness of His warnings signs against our Lord. Luke (6. 11) says "they were and denunciations in reply, seem to favour the later filled with madness, and communed one with another period at which Luke introduces it. "And the mulwhat they might do to Jesus.” But their doubt was titude," says Mark (3. 20, 21), "cometh together again," not, whether to get rid of Him, but how to compass it. referring back to the immense gathering which Mark Mark (3. 6), as usual, is more definite: "The Phari- had before recorded (ch. 2. 2)—" so that they could sees went forth, and straightway took counsel with not so much as eat bread. And when His friends" the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy --or rather, 'relatives,' as appears from . 31, and see Him." These Herodians were supporters of Herod's on ch. 12. 46–"heard of it, they went out to lay hold dynasty, created by Cæsar-& political rather than on Him; for they said, He is beside Himself." C. religious party. The Pharisees regarded them as un-2 Corinthians, 6. 13, "For whether we be beside ourtrue to their religion and country. But here we see selves, it is to God." 22. Then was brought unto him them combining together against Christ, as a common one possessed with a devil-or a demonized person' enemy. So on a subsequent occasion, ch. 22. 16, 16. blind and dumb, and he healed him, insomuch that the

Jesus Retires to Avoid Danger (v. 16-21). 15. But blind and the dumb both spake and saw. 23. And all the when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence- people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David! whither, our Evangelist says not; but Mark (3. 7) says | The form of the interrogative requires this to be "it was to the sea"-to some distance, no doubt, from rendered, 'Is this the Son of David?' And as ques. the scene of the miracle, the madness, and the plot- tions put in this form (in Greek) suppose doubt, and ting just recorded. and great multitudes followed him, expect rather a negative answer, the meaning is, 'Can and he healed them allMark gives the following it possibly be the people thus indicating their

Of Blasphemy against

the Holy Ghost cret impression that this must be He: yet saving 1 of which it may be said. That is not a pardonable themselves from the wrath of the ecclesiastics, which sin. This glorious assurance is not to be limited by a direct assertion of it would have brought upon what follows; but, on the contrary, what follows is them. See on a similar question in John, 4 29: and to be explained by this. but the blasphemy against the on the phrase, "Son of David," on ch. 9. 27.) 24. But Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32. And when the Pharisees heard it Mark (3. 22) says "the whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it scribes which came down from Jerusalem;" so that shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against this had been a hostile party of the ecclesiastics, who the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in bol come all the way from Jerusalem to collect this world, neither in the world to come. In Mark the materials for a charge against Him. (See on v. 14.) language is awfully strong, "hath never forgiveness, they said, This fellow-an expression of contempt-doth but is in danger of eternal damnation"-or rather, Datcast out devils, but by Beelzebub-rather, Beelzebul according to what appears to be the preferable, see on ch. 10. 25)-the prince of the devils. Two things though very unusual reading. 'in danger of eternal are here implied-first, that the bitterest enemies of guilt-a guilt which he will underlie for ever. Mark our Lord were unable to deny the reality of His has the important addition (v. 30), “Because they miracles, and next, that they believed in an organized said, He hath an unclean spirit." (See on ch. 10. 25.) infernal kingdom of evil, under one chief. This belief What, then, is this sin against the Holy Ghost-the would be of small consequence, had not our Lord unpardonable sin? One thing is clear: Its unpar

Hiis seal to it; but this He immediately does. donableness cannot arise from anything in the nature Stung by the unsophisticated testimony of "all the of the sin itself; for that would be a naked contradicpeople," they had no way of holding out against His tion to the emphatic declaration of v. 31st, that all daimns, but by the desperate shift of ascribing His manner of sin is pardonable. And what is this but miracles to Satan. 25. And Jesus knew their thoughts the fundamental truth of the Gospel? (See Acts, 13. -"called them" (Mark, 3. 23). and said unto them, 38, 39; Romans, 3. 22, 24; 1 John, 1. 7; &c.) Then, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to deso again, when it is said (v. 32), that to speak against latina; and every city or house-i.e., household-divided | or blaspheme the Son of man is pardonable, but the against itself shall not stand: 26. And if Satan cast out blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is not pardonable, Satza, he is divided against himself; how shall then his I it is not to be conceived that this arises from any kingdom stand: The argument here is irresistible: greater sanctity in the one blessed Person than the

No armanized society can stand-whether kingdom, other. These remarks so narrow the question, that alf. or household-when turned against itself; such the true sense of our Lord's words seem to disclose intestine war is suicidal: But the works I do are de themselves at once. It is a contrast between slanderatractive of Satan's kingdom: That I should be in ing "the Son of man" in His teiled condition and unlengue with Satan, therefore, is incredible and absurd.' finished work-which might be done "ignorantly, in 27. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do unbelief” (1 Timothy, 1. 13), and slandering the same your children- your sons,' meaning here, the dis blessed Person after the blaze of glory which the ciples' or pupils of the Pharisees, who were so termed | Holy Ghost was soon to throw around His claims, and after the familiar language of the Old Testament in in the full knowledge of all that. This would be to Qerking of the sons of the prophets. (1 Kirgs, 20. 36; slander Him with eyes open, or to do it "presump2 King, 2 3. &c.) Our Lord here seems to admit tuously." To blaspheme Christ in the former conthat such works were wrought by them; in which dition-when even the apostles stumbled at many take the Pharisees stood self-condemned, as ex things-left them still open to conviction on fuller pressed in Luke (11. 19), "Therefore shall they be light: but to blaspheme Him in the latter condition your judges” 28. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit would be to hate the light the clearer it became, and of God In Luke (u 20) it is, “with (or 'by') the resolutely to shut it out; which, of course, precludes lager of God." This latter expression is just a salvation. (See on Hebrews, 10. 26-29.) The Pharisees Digurative way of representing the power of God, while had not as yet done this; but in charging Jesus with the former tells us the liring Personal Agent made being in league with hell they were displaying before. ste of by the Lord Jesus in every exercise of that hand a malignant determination to shut their eyes power. then-"no doubt" (Luke, 11. 20)-the kingdom to all evidence, and so, bordering upon, and in spirit

God is come unto yon-rather "upon you,' as the committing the unpardonable sin. 33. Either make came expression is rendered in Luke:-.d., 'If this the tree good, &c. 34. O generation of vipers (see on ch. espalaion of Satan is, and can be, by no other than 3. 7). how can ye, being evil, speak good things ? for out the Spirit of God, then is his Destroyer already in of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh-2 e midst of you, and that kingdom which is destined principle obvious enough, yet of deepest significance supplant his, is already rising on its ruins,' 29. Or and vast application. In Luke, 6. 4. we find it

ker can one enter into a-or rather, 'the'-strong uttered as part of the Discourse delivered after the ar's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the choice of the apostles. 35. A good man, out of the trang want and then he will spoil his house. 30. He that good treasure of the heart, bringeth-or 'putteth' forth Si rith me is against me; and he that gathereth not good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure,

The seattereth abroad. On this important parable, bringeth-or putteth' forth evil things. The word 1x olanection with the corresponding one, v. 43-45, putteth' indicates the spontaneousness of what se a Lake, 11. 21-26. 31. Wherefore I say unto you, comes from the heart; for it is out of the abundance A mianer of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto of the heart that the mouth speaketh. We have 5: The word "blasphemy" properly signifies.de here a new application of a former saying (see on rastina,' or 'slander.' In the New Testament it is ch. 7. 16-20). Here, the sentiment is. There are but aplied, as it is here, to vituperation directed against two kingdoms, interests, parties--with the proper G a well as against men: and in this sense it is to workings of each: If I promote the one, I cannot te roderstood as an aggravated form of sin. Well, belong to the other; but they that set themselves in says our Lord, all sin--whether in its ordinary or its wilful opposition to the kingdom of light openly promore activated forms-shall find forgiveness with claim to what other kingdom they belong. As for

ML Accordingly, in Mark (3. 28) the language is you, in what ye have now uttered ye have but resill stronger: "All sins shall be forgiven unto the vealed the venomous malignity of your hearts.' 36.

of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall al blaspheme." There is no sin whatever, it seems, I speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judg.

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