Images de page
PDF
ePub

Christ meets his disciples, and

ST. MATTHEW. them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. 11% (Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and showed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.

12 And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers, 13 Saying, say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14 And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.

15 So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and

■ See Jn 20,17. Rom. 8.29. Heb. 2 11-b Ch.26.22. Ver.7.- Dan. 7. 13,14. Ch.11. 27.& 16.29. Luke 1.32. & 10.22. John 3. 35. & 5. 22. & 13.3. & 17.2. Acts 2.36. Rom. 14.9. 1 Cor. 15.27. Eph.1.10,21. Phil, 2.9, 10. Heb. 1.2. & 2.8. 1 Pet. 3.22. Rev.17.14. CROSS, notwithstanding their attachment to him exposed them to the most imminent danger; and now they come to watch and weep at his TOMB. The common opinion is, that women are more fickle and less courageous than men. The reverse of this I believe to be the truth, in those who are thoroughly converted to God; and who previously to conversion, whether man or woman, can be trusted in any case?

6. Come, see the place] The tomb in which our Lord was laid, was no doubt like the rest of the Jewish burying places, a receptacle for the several dead of a whole family, divided into separate niches, where each had his place. Come and see the place-was tantamount to, come and see the niche in which he was laid-it is now empty-nor was there any other body in the place, for the tomb was a new one, in which no man had ever been laid, John xix. 41. so there could be no deception in the case.

7. Go quickly and tell his disciples] Thus these faithful women proclaim the Gospel to those, who were afterward to be the teachers of the whole human race! Behold what honour

God puts upon those who persevere in his truth, and continue to acknowledge him before men!

That he is risen from the dead] There is a remarkable saying of R. Judah Hakkodesh, which some critics quote on this subject. "After THREE DAYS the soul of the Messiah shall RETURN to its body, and he shall Go Out of that STONE in which he shall be BURIED.

Goeth before you into Galilee] As himself promised, chap. XXVI. 32.

8. They departed quickly from the sepulchre] At the desire of the angel they went into the tomb, to have the fullest certainty of the resurrection.

Fear and great joy] Fear, produced by the appearance of this glorious messenger of God; and great joy occasioned by the glad tidings of the resurrection of their Lord and Master. At the mention of unexpected good news, fear and joy are generally intermingled.

[ocr errors][merged small]

directs them to preach the Gospe

this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this
day.)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a
mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some
doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All pow.
er is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 d Go ye therefore, and teach fall nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy

Ghost.

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: hand, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. i Amen.

d Mark 16.15-e Isa. 52.10. Luke 24.47. Acts 2.33,39. Rom. 10.19. Col.1.23.→ f Or, make disciples, or, Christians of all nations. John 14. 14-18. Acts 2.42, 1 Tim.6.14.-b Ch. 13.3919. & 24.3. 2 Tim. 2.2.-i 1 Cor. 14. 16.

the authority of Pilate, and of the sanhedrim, must render
such an imposture as this utterly devoid of credit.
Stole him away while we slept.] Here is a whole heap of
absurdities. 1st. Is it likely that so many men would all fall
asleep in the open air, at once? 2dly. Is it at all probable that
a Roman guard should be found off their watch, much less
asleep, when it was instant death according to the Roman mi-
litary laws, to be found in this state? 3dly. Could they be so
sound asleep as not to awake with all the noise which must
be necessarily made by removing the great stone, and taking
away the body 4thly. Is it at all likely that these disciples
could have had time sufficient to do all this, and to come and
return without being perceived by any person 1 And, 5thly. If
they were asleep, how could they possibly know that it was
the disciples that stole him, or indeed that any person or per-
sons stole him! for being asleep, they could see no person.
From their own testimony, therefore, the resurrection may be
as fully proved as the theft.

14. If this come to the governor's ears] Pilate-we will per suade him that it is for his own interest and honour to join in the deception-and we will render you secure-we will take care that you shall not suffer that punishment for this pretend. ed breach of duty which otherwise you might expect.

15. Until this day.] That is to say, the time in which Matthew wrote his Gospel; which is supposed by some to have been eight, by others eighteen, and by others thirty years af ter our Lord's resurrection.

16. Then the eleven disciples went] When the women went and told them that they had seen the Lord, and that he had promised to meet them in Galilee. From the eleventh to the fifteenth verse inclusive, should be read in a parenthesis, as the sixteenth verse is the continuation of the subject mention. ed in the tenth.

17. But some doubted.] That is, Thomas only at first doubt ed. The expression simply intimates, that they did not all believe at that time. See the same form noticed on chap. xxvi. 8. and chap. xxvii. 44.

18. And Jesus came and spake unto them] It is supposed by some, that the reason why any doubted, was, that when they saw Jesus at first, he was at a distance: but when he came up, drew near to them, they were fully persuaded of the iden. tity of his person.

All power is given unto me] Or, All authority in heaven and upon earth is given unto me. One fruit of the sufferings and resurrection of Christ is represented to be, his having

"I am almost beside myself, my mind is so agitated with fear, hope, and joy, at this unexpected good news." 9. And as they went to tell his disciples] This clause is wanting in the Codex Vatican, and Codex Beze, and in twenty others, and in most of the Versions. The omission is approved by Mill, Bengel and Schmid. Griesbach leaves it in the text with a note of doubtfulness. It appears to be super-authority or right in heaven to send down the Holy Spirit-to fluous. To connect this with the next clause, the particle kaì, and, is obliged to be suppressed in all the translations. I think the verse should begin with, And behold he goeth, &c. and the former clause be suppressed. Probabiliter delenda, says Professor White, in his Crisews Griesbachiana, speak ing of the preceding words.

Jesus met them] Christ bestows his graces and consolations by degrees, first by his angels, and then by himself. He does not reveal himself to incredulous and disobedient souls; he appears not even to those women till he has tried their faith and obedience by his ministering angels.

All hail] bale pere ze, health be to you! Anglo-Saxon,-Xat PETE, be ye safe, rejoice.

10. Be not afraid] They were seized with fear at the sight of the angel; and this was now renewed by the unexpected appearance of Christ. See the note on ver. 8.

Go tell my brethren] This is the first time our Lord called his disciples by this endearing name: they no doubt thought that their Lord would reproach them with their past cowardice and infidelity; but in speaking thus, he gives them a full assurance in the most tender terms, that all that was past, was as buried for ever.

11. Some of the watch] Or guards. Probably the rest still remained at the tomb, waiting for orders to depart; and had sent these, to intimate to their employers the things that had taken place.

12. With the elders] That is, the senators of the great san. hedrim or Jewish counsel of state; elsewhere called the elders of the people; they could now meet, as the Sabbath was over. 13. His disciples came by night] This was as absurd as it was false. On one hand the terror of the disciples, the smallness of their number (only eleven) and their almost total want of faith. On the other, the great danger of such a bold enterprise, the number of armed men who guarded the tomb,

raise up his followers thither-and to crown them in the kingdom of an endless glory. In earth, to convert sinners-to sanctify, protect, and perfect his church; to subdue all nations to himself; and finally to judge all mankind. If Jesus Christ were not equal with the Father, could he have claimed this equality of power, without being guilty of impiety and blas phemy? Surely not; and does he not, in the fullest manner, assert his Godhead, and his equality with the Father, by claiming and possessing all the authority in heaven and earth? i. e. all the power and authority by which both empires are governed?

19. Go ye therefore] Because I have the authority aforesaid, and can send whomsoever I will, to do whatsoever I please :teach, panτevoare, make disciples of all nations, bring them to an acquaintance with God, who bought them, and then baptize them in the name of the Father. It is natural to sup. pose, that adults were the first subjects of baptism; for as the Gospel was in a peculiar manner sent to the Gentiles, they must hear and receive it, before they could be expected to renounce their old prejudices and idolatries, and come into the bonds of the Christian covenant. But certainly no argument can be drawn from this concession against the baptism of children. When the Gentiles and Jews had received the faith and blessings of the Gospel, it is natural enough to suppose they should wish to get their children incorporated with the visible church of Christ; especially if, as many pious and learned men have believed, baptism succeeded to circumcision, which I think has never yet been disproved. The apostles knew well that the Jews not only circumcised the children of proselytes, but also baptized them, and as they now receiv ed a commission to teach and proselyte all the nations, and baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity, they must ne cessarily understand that infants were included; nor could they, the custom of the country being considered, have under

Concluding observations on

CHAPTER XXVIII.

stood our Lord differently, unless he had, in the most express terms, said, that they were not to baptize children, which neither he nor his apostles ever did. And as to the objection, that the baptized were obliged to profess their faith, and that, therefore, only adults should be baptized, there is no weight at all in it; because, what is spoken of such, refers to those who, only at that period of life, heard the Gospel, and were not born of parents who had been Christians; therefore they could not have been baptized into the Christian faith, forasmuch as no such faith was, at their infancy, preached in the world. That the children and even infants of proselytes, were bap. tized among the Jews, and reputed in consequence clean, and partakers of the blessings of the covenants, see proved at large by Wetstein, in his note on Matt. iii. 16. See the note on chap. iii. 6. and particularly on Mark xvi. 16.

In the name of the Father, &c.] Baptism, properly speak ing, whether administered by dipping or sprinkling, signifies a full and eternal consecration of the person to the service and honour of that Being in whose name it is administered; but this consecration can never be made to a creature; there fore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are not creatures. Again, baptism is not made in the name of a quality or attribute of the Divine Nature; therefore the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, are not qualities or attributes of the Divine Nature. The orthodox, as they are termed, have generally considered this text a decisive proof of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity; and what else can they draw from it? Is it possible, for words to convey a plainer sense than these do ? And do they not direct every reader to conSiler the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as three distinct Persons? But this I can never believe." I cannot help that-you shall not be persecuted by me for differing from my opinion. I cannot go over to you: I must abide by what I beLeve to be the meaning of the Scriptures. Dr. Lightfoot has some good thoughts on this commission given to the apos

thes:

"L Christ commands them to go and baptize the nations: but how much time was past before such a journey was taken! And when the time was come that this work should be begun, Peter doth not enter upon it without a previous admoDition given him from heaven. And this was occasioned bereby, that according to the command of Christ, the Gospel was first to be preached to Judea, Samaria, and Galilee.

"IL He commands them to baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; but among the Jees they baptized only in the name of Jesus, see Acts. ii. 38. and viii. 16. and xix. 5. For this reason, that thus the baptizers might assert, and the baptized confess, Jesus to be the true Messias; which was chiefly controverted by the Jews. Of the same nature is that apostolic blessing, Grace and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Carist. Where then is the Holy Ghost? He is not excluded, Lowever he be not named. The Jews did more easily consent to the Spirit of the Messias, which they very much celebrate, than to the person of the Messias. Above all others they deny and abjure Jesus of Nazareth. It belonged to the Apostles therefore, the more earnestly to assert Jesus (to be the Messias) by how much the more vehemently they opposed him: which being once cleared, the acknowledging of the Spirit of Christ would be introduced, without delay or scruple. Moses (in Exod. vi. 14.) going about to reckon up all the tribes of Israel, goes no further than the tribe of Leri; and takes up with that to which his business and story at that present related. In like manner the apostles, for the present, baptize in the name of Jesus, and bless in the name of the Father and of Jesus, that thereby they might more firmly establish the doctrine of Jesus which met with such sharp and virulent opposition; which doctrine being esta blished among them, they would soon agree about the Holy Ghost.

the Gospel of St. Matthew.

confessions of faith, in place of the Sacred Writings; but those things, and those only, which Jesus has commanded. And, lo, I am with you alway] Kai idov eyw pet' var ut Taras ras nuɛpas-literally, Behold I am with you every day. A minister of Christ should consider, that while his soul simply and uniformly follows Jesus, he shall be made a constant instrument of bringing many sons and daughters to glory. The dark, it is true, must be enlightened, the igno rant instructed, the profligate reclaimed, the guilty justified, and the unholy sanctified; and who is sufficient for this work? He, with whom the Son of God is EVERY DAY, and none other.

Unto the end of the world] Some translate, εws TNS OVVTεAetas Tov atovos, to the end of this age: meaning the apostolic age, or Jewish dispensation, and then they refer the promise of Christ's presence to the working of miracles, and explain this by Mark xvi. 17-19. By my name they shall cast out demons, &c. &c. But though the words are used in this sense in several places, see chap. xiii. 39, 40, 49. and xxiv. 3. yet it is certain they were repeatedly used among the primitive ecclesiastical writers, to denote the consummation of all things; and it is likely that this is the sense in which they are used here, which the Anglo-Saxon has happily expressed: And lc beo mid eop ealle dagar oð poɲulde ge-endunge—And 1, be with you all days, until world ending; and this is indispensably necessary, because the presence and influence of Jesus Christ are essentially requisite in every age of the world, to enlighten, instruct, and save the lost. The promise takes in not only the primitive apostles, but also all their successors in the Christian ministry, as long as the earth shall endure. Amen.] This word is omitted by some of the oldest and most authentic MSS. and by some Versions and Fathers. When it is considered, that the word amen simply means so be it! we may at once perceive that it could not be added by our Lord. For our Lord could not pray that his own will might be done, or his own promise fulfilled. The word s therefore, utterly impertinent as a part of the sacred text and could neither have been added by our Lord, nor by the evangelist. The amens at the end of the sacred books, have no other authority than what they derive from the transcribers of copies; and at best are only to be considered as the pious wish of the writer, or of the church, that the promises contained in the sacred volume may be accomplished.

In the MSS. and Versions there are various subscriptions, or epigraphs, to this Gospel; the following are the principal. "The Gospel according to Matthew-written by him in Jerusalem-in Palestine-in the East-in the Hebrew dialectin Hebrew-eight years after the ascension of Christ-interpreted by John--by James the brother of the Lord."

The subscription in some copies of the Arabic version is very full: "The end of the copy of the Gospel of Matthew the apostle. He wrote it in the land of Palestine, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in the Hebrew tongue, eight years after the bodily ascension of Jesus the Messiah into heaven, in the first year of the reign of Claudius Cesar, king of Rome."

These are sufficient to show how little credit should be attached to the subscriptions found at the end of the sacred books, either in the MSS. or in the Versions.

*IIL Among the Jews, the controversy was about the true Messias; among the Gentiles, about the true God. It was therefore proper among the Jews to baptize in the name of Jesus, that he might be vindicated to be the true Messias. Among the Gentiles, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; that they might be hereby in. structed in the doctrine of the true God.-Let this be particu-rectly laid down: even Paul himself has added nothing; he larly noted.

IV. The Jews baptized proselytes, into the name of the Father, that is, into the profession of God, whom they called by the name of Father. The apostles baptize the Jews into the name of Jesus the Son, and the Gentiles into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

V. The Father hath revealed himself in the Old Cove. mant; the Son in the New; in human flesh by his miracles, doctrine, resurrection, and ascension; the Holy Ghost in his gifts and miracles. Thus the doctrine of the ever blessed Trinity grew by degrees to full maturity. For the arriving to the acknowledgment of which, it was incumbent upon all who professed the true God to be three in one, to be baptized into ins name." LIGHTFOOT'S WORKS, Vol. II. p. 274.

2. Teaching them to observe all things.] Men are ignorant of divine things, and must be taught. Only those can be considered as proper teachers of the ignorant, who are thoroughly instructed in whatsoever Christ has commanded. Persons who are entrusted with the public ministry of the word, should take care that they teach not human creeds and

I. In concluding my notes on this evangelist, I cannot express myself better than in the words of the late Mr. Wakefield, to whom this commentary has been in many instances indebted. "I have now finished my observations on the Gospel of Matthew: a piece of history, it must be acknowledged, the most singular in its composition, the most wonderful in its contents, and the most important in its object, that was ever exhibited to the notice of mankind. For simplicity of narrative, and an artless relation of facts, without any applause or censure, or digressive remarks on the part of the historian, upon the characters introduced in it; without any intermixture of his own opinion, upon any subject whatsoev er: and for a multiplicity of internal marks of credibility this Gospel certainly has no parallel among human productions." 2. One thing the pious and intelligent reader has, no doubt, already noticed; there is not one truth, or doctrine, in the whole oracles of God, which is not taught in this evangelist. The outlines of the whole spiritual system are here corhas amplified and illustrated the truths contained in this Gospel: but even under the direct inspiration of the Holy Ghost, neither he nor any other of the apostles have brought to light any one truth, the prototype of which has not been found in the words or acts of our blessed Lord, as related by Matthew, in the work which has already passed under review. The Gospel by St. Matthew is the grand text-book of Christianity; the other Gospels are collateral evidences of its truth, and the Apostolic Epistles are comments on the text. In the commencement of this work, I stated my wish, "to assist my fellow labourers in the vineyard to lead men to HIM Who is the fountain of all excellence, goodness, truth, and happiness-to magnify his LAW, and make it honourable;-to show the wonderful provision made in his GOSPEL for the recovery and salvation of a sinful world-to prove that God's great design is to make his creatures HAPPY: and that such a salvation as it becomes God to give, and such as man needs to receive, is within the grasp of every human soul." See General Preface, before Genesis. And having thus far done what I could, in reference to these great and important pur

The mission, preaching, and

ST. MARK.

success of John the Baptist. poses, here I register my thanks to the ever-blessed God, Fa- | ners; who is the Object and End of this glorious system 3. ther, Word, and Holy Spirit, that he has permitted me to cast truth. And to Him, with the Father and Eternal Spirit, be my mite into this sacred treasury, to add my feeble testimony glory and dominion, thanksgiving and obedience, for ever and to His Eternal Truth: and has spared me, in the midst of ever. Amen and amen! many infirmities and oppressive labours, to see the conclusion of this Gospel, a consummation which I had long devoutly wished, but which I had scarcely hoped ever to see real May the divine Author of this sacred book give the reader a heart-felt experience of all the truths it contains, make and keep him wise unto salvation, build him up in this most holy aith, and give him an inheritance among the blessed, through nrist Jesus, the Friend of mankind, and the Saviour of sin

ized.

For an explanation of the Chronological Notes, the reader is referred to the Tables at the end of the Acts. This will explain the reason why the crucifixion of our Lord appears, by the notes at the head of the chapters, to have taken place in this, twenty-ninth year of his age; because the vulgar or common reckoning is four years short; these four years being added, will bring our Lord's death to the true time, viz. thirtythree years from his birth. This note the reader will have the goodness to bear in mind. END OF THE NOTES ON THE GOSPEL OF ST. MATTHEW.

PREFACE TO ST. MARK.

[ocr errors]

account, and Mark wrote it down from his mouth. St. Augus tine appears to have been the first who maintained that Mark abridged St. Matthew's Gospel; and that it is not to be considered as an original work-on this opinion, several remarks will be made in the course of these notes. Others sup. pose that Mark compiled it, partly out of Matthew's Gospel, and partly out of the Gospel of Luke. But most of these are conjectures which appear to have very little foundation. Critics are also divided, concerning the language in which it was written, and the people to whom it was sent. Some have contended for a Latin original, because of several Latin words found in it, such as σTexvλar@p, chap. vi. 27. Kerruptor, xv. 39, 44, 45. ovoonpov, xiv. 44. But such words are better accounted for, by supposing that his Gospel was written for the use of the Roman people: and that it is on this account, that he wholly passes by the genealogy of our Lord, as being a point of no consequence to Gentile converts, though very necessary for the Jews, and especially the Jews of Palestine. That it was originally written in Greek, is a point now ac

It may be necessary to state the things omitted by Mark in the beginning of his Gospel, which are mentioned by Matthew and Luke.

For an explication of the word GOSPEL, and the title SAINT, the reader is referred to the Preface to Matt. p. ii-v. MARK. This person is the second in the commonly received order of the four evangelists, was named JOHN MARK, and was the son of a pious woman called Mary, who dwelt at Jerusalem: she was an early believer, and the disciples used to meet at her house. Peter, having been delivered out of prison by an angel, came to the house of Mary, mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered toge. ther, praying, Acts xii. 12. This very first mention of John Mark, assures us of Peter's intimacy in that family: it is almost universally allowed, that Mark, mentioned by Peter, 1 Epist. chap. v. 13. is this evangelist, and that he is the same with him who is called sister's son to Barnabas, Col. iv. 10. and is supposed to have been converted by Peter to the Christian faith. He travelled from Jerusalem to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, Acts xii. 25. and some short time after, he accompanied them to other countries as their minister, Acts xiii. 5. When they returned to the continent, and came on shore at Perga in Pamphylia, he departed from them and re-knowledged by almost all learned men. turned to Jerusalem, ver. 13. Afterward, he would have gone with Paul and Barnabas, but the former refused to take him, because of his having left them at Pamphylia; Paul and Barnabas then separated, and Mark accompanied his uncle Barnabas to Cyprus, Acts xv. 36-41. Afterward Paul and he were fully reconciled, as evidently appears from 2 Tim. iv. 11. Take Mark and bring him with thee; for he is profitable to me for the ministry. This appears also from Philemon, ver. 24. where Mark is styled Paul's fellow-labourer; and from Col. iv. 10. where we find the apostle recommending him in a particular manner to the church of God at that place. He is generally supposed to have been particularly intimate with St. Peter, to have written his Gospel at ROME, A. D. 64. and to have died at Alexandria in Egypt, in the eighth year of the reign of Nero. Dr. LARDNER has fully proved that Mark the evangelist, and John Mark nephew to Barnabas, were one and the same person. See his Works, vol. vi. p. 77, &c. How Mark composed his Gospel, is a question not yet deci-NEY to Jerusalem when twelve years of age, Luke ii. 40-48. ded among learned men. Many of the primitive fathers, such as Papias, Clemens Alexandrinus, Irenæus, Tertul ian, Origen, Eusebius, &c. believed that he was only the amanuensis of St. Peter; that this apostle, through modesty, would not put his name to the work, but dictated the whole

1. The PREFACE, found in Luke and John, chap. i. 2. The CONCEPTION of Elizabeth, Luke i. 5-25. 3. The SALUTATION of Mary, Luke i. 26-38. 4. Mary's visit to Elizabeth, Luke i. 39-56. 5. John Baptist's BIRTH, Luke i. 57-79. 6. The Angel's APPEARANCE to Joseph, Matt. i. 18-25. 7. The BIRTH OF CHRIST, Matt. i. 25. Luke ii. 1-7. 8. The GENEALOGY OF CHRIST, Matt. i. 1-17. Luke iii. 1-76. 9. The appearance of the Angel to the SHEPHERDS, Luke ii. 8-20. 10. The CIRCUMCISION of CHRIST, Matt. i. 25. Luke ii. 21. 11. The PRESENTATION of Christ in the temple, Luke ii. 22-38. 12. The coming of the MAG1, Matt. ii. 1-12. 13. The FLIGHT into Egypt, Matt. ii. 13-15. 14. Herod's MURDER of the INNOCENTS, Matt. ii. 16-18. 15. The RETURN of the holy family from Egypt, Matt. ii. 19-23. Luke ii. 39. 16. Christ's JOUR

From the particulars enumerated here, it appears, that the things omitted by Mark, are also omitted by John, except the Preface; and that St. Luke is the most circumstantial. For other particulars relative to this Gospel, see at the end of the last chapter.

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MARK.

[For Chronological Æras, see at the end of the Acts.]
CHAPTER I.

The mission, preaching, and success of John Baptist, 1-5. His manner of life, 6. Proclaims Christ, and baptizes him in Jordan, 7-11. The temptation of Christ, 12, 13. John being put in prison, Christ begins to preach, 14, 15. He calls Andrew and Simon, 16-18. James and John, 19, 20. Teaches in Capernaum, 21, 22. Casts out a demon, 23-28. Goes into the house of Simon, and heals his mother-in-law, 29-31. Heals many diseased persons, 32-34. Goes to the desert, and is followed by his disciples, 35-37. Preaches in different towns and synagogues of Galilee, and casts out devils, 38, 39. Cleanses a leper, who publishes abroad his miraculous cure, 40–45. [A. M. 4030. A. D. 26. An. Olymp. CCI. 2.] HE beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of 3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

T God:

2 As it is written in the prophets, b Behold, I send my mesenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

a Matthew 14. 33. Luke 1 35. John 1. 34.-b Malachi 3. 1. Matthew 11. 10. Luke 7. 27.

d

4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

[ocr errors]

c Isa. 40.3. Matt.3.3. Luke 3.4. John 1. 15, 23-d Matt. 3. 1. Luke 3.3. John 3. 23.- Or, unto.

NOTES.-Verse 1. The beginning of the Gospel] It is with 2. As it is written in the prophets] Rather, As it is written the utmost propriety, that Mark begins the Gospel dispensa- by Isaiah the prophet. I think this reading should be adopttion by the preaching of John the Baptist, he being the fore-ed, instead of that in the common text. It is the reading of runner of Jesus Christ, and the first proclaimer of the incarnated Messiah. Gospel-for the meaning of the word, see the preface to Matthew.

Son of God] To point out his divine origin; and thus glancing at his miraculous conception. This was an essential character of the Messiah. See Matt. xvi. 16. xxvi. 63. Luke xxii. 67, &c.

the Coder Beza, Vatican, and several other MSS, of great repute. It is found also in the Syriac, Persic, Coptic, Arme nian, Gothic, Vulgate, and Itala versions, and in several of the Fathers. As this prophecy is found both in Isaiah and Malachi, probably the reading was changed to Tois pornrais, the prophets, that it might comprehend both. In one of ASSEMAN'S Syriac copies, both Isaiah and Malachi are men.

John the Baptist's preaching.

CHAPTER I.

Jesus calls several disciples.

And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and | and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river were fishers. Jordan, confessing their sins.

6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;

7 And preached, saying, & There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.

SI indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall bap-
tize you with the Holy Ghost.

9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from
Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the
bearens i opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon

him:

11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, k Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.

13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and ‍the angels ministered unto him.

141 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into
Galilee, preaching the Gospel of the kingdom of God,

15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of
God is at hand repent ye, and believe the Gospel.
16' Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon

a Matt 3.5.-b Matt. 3. 4.- Lev. 11.22-d Matt.3. 11. John 1. 27. Acts 13. 25.Acis 1. 5. & 11. 16. & 19. 4.- Isa. 44. 3. Joel 2. 28. Acts 2. 4. & 10, 45. & 11, 15, 16 1 Cor. 12. 13.- Matt 3 13 Luke 3. 21-h Matt. 3. 16. John 1. 32.-i Or, daven, or, rent.-k Psa. 2.7. Mart.3.17. Ch.9.7.

tioned. See all the authorities in Griesbach, 2d edit. and see the parallel place in Matthew, chap. iii. 3. where the prophet Isaiah is mentioned, which seems fully to establish the authority of this reading.

17 And Jesus said unto them, Come ye after me, and I wil make you to become fishers of men.

18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed him. 19 And when he had gone a little further thence, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the ship, mending their nets.

20 And straightway he called them: and they left their fa-
ther Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and went
after him.

21" And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on th
Sabbath-day he entered into the synagogue, and taught.
22 And they were astonished at his doctrine, for he taugh
them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an un-
clean spirit; and he cried out,

24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou
Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee
who thou art, the Holy One of God.

25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him.

26 And when the unclean spirit had torn him, and cried with a loud voice, he came out of him.

27 And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doc. trine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him.

1 Matt. 4. 1. Luke 4. 1.-m Matt. 4. 11.-n Matt. 4. 12-o Matt. 4. 23-p Dan. 9 25 Gal. 4. 4. Ephes. 1. 10.-g Matt. 3 2 & 4. 17.-r Matthew 4. 18 Luke 5, 4.s Matt. 19. 27. Luke 5. 11.- Matt. 4. 21.-u Matt. 4. 13. Luke 4, 31.-v Matt. 7 28-w Luke 4. 33.-x Matt. 8. 29.-y Ver. 34.-z Ch. 9. 20.

their place. 3. That the kingdom of God, and his reign by grace, begins with repentance for past sins. 4. That this reign of grace is at hand; and that nothing but an obstinate perseverance in sin and impenitence, can keep any soul out of it; and that Now is the accepted time to enter in.

3. The voice of one crying] See on Matt. iii. 1—3. 4. John] The original name is nearly lost in the Greek 16. As he walked by the sea, &c.] See on Matt. iv. 18-22. Ivans, and in the Latin Johannes, and almost totally so in Andrew his brother] Instead of the common reading, adcλthe English John. The original name is pro Yehochanan, pov avrov, his brother, the best MSS. and versions have compounded of janm Yehovah chanan, the grace or mercy adeλpov тov Eipovos, the brother of Simon, which should be of Jehovah: a most proper and significant name for the fore-received into the text. The most eminent critics approve of runner of the God of ALL GRACE. It was John's business to this reading. proclaim the Gospel of the grace of God, and to point out that Lamb or sacrifice of God, which takes away the sin of

the world.

For the remission of sins.] Or, toward the remission-eis aper. They were to repent, and be baptized in reference to the remission of sins. REPENTANCE prepared the soul for it, and BAPTISM was the type or pledge of it. See on Matt. iii. 2

5. All the land] See on Matt. iii. 4-6. Confessing their sins] It was an invariable custom among the Jews, to admit no proselyte to baptism, till he had, in the most solemn manner, declared that he for ever had renounced all idolatrous worship, all heathenish superstitions; and promised an entire and unreserved submission to the law of Moses. This was necessary for a proselyte adult-a child dedicated to God by baptism, must be brought up in this faith. 6. John was clothed, &c.] See the note on Matt. iii. 4. 7. The latchet of whose shoes] The shoe of the ancients, was properly only a sole tied round the foot and ankle with strings or thongs. See on Matt. iii. 11.

21. Capernaum] See Matt. iv. 13.

He entered into the synagogue] Their synagogues-tv ταις συναγωγαίς αυτών, according to the Syriac, which has the word in the plural.

22. As one that had authority] From God, to do what he was doing; and to teach a pure and beneficent system of truth.

And not as the scribes.] Who had no such authority, and whose teaching was not accompanied by the power of God to the souls of the people; 1. Because the matter of the teaching did not come from God; and, 2. Because the teachers themselves were not commissioned by the Most High. See the note on Matt. vii. 28.

23. A man with an unclean spirit] This demoniac is only mentioned by Mark and Luke, chap. iv. 31. It seems the man had lucid intervals; else he could not have been admitted into the synagogue. Unclean or impure spirit-a common epithet for those fallen spirits: but here it may mean one who filled the heart of him he possessed, with LASCIVIOUS thoughts, images, desires, and propensities. By giving way to the first attacks of such a spirit, he may soon get in and take full pos session of the whole soul.

24. What have we to do with thee] Or, What is it to us and to thee? or, What business hast thou with us? That this is the meaning of the original, rпuiv kaι σoi; Kypke has sufficiently shown. There is a phrase exactly like it in 2 Sam. xvi. 10. What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah?

3 I indeed have baptized you with water] As if he had sad: This baptism is not to be rested in; it is only an emblem of that which you must receive from him who is mightier than I. It is he only who can communicate the Holy Spirit; and water baptism is nothing, but as it points out, and leads to the baptism of the Holy Ghost. The subject of these two verses is not found in Matthew nor John: but is mentioned ma li v'lacem beney Tseuriah, What bu with some varying circumstances by Luke, chap. iii. 16. 9-11. See the subject of these verses, which contain the account of our Lord's baptism, explained Matt. iii. 13—17. 12 The Spirit driveth him] Ekẞaddet, putteth him forth. St. Matthew says, chap. iv. 1. avon, was brought up. See this important subject of our Lord's temptation explained at large, Matt. iv. 1-11.

siness have ye with me, or, Why do ye trouble me, ye sons of Tseruiah? The Septuagint translate the Hebrew, just as the evangelist does here, ri Epot kai vμiv; it is the same idiom in both places; as there can be no doubt but the demoniac soke in Hebrew, or in the Chaldeo-Syriac dialect of that language, which was then common in Judea. See on Matt. viii. 2

Art thou come to destroy us?] We may suppose this spirit to 13. With the wild beasts] This is a curious circumstance, have felt and spoken thus: "Is this the time of which it nath which is mentioned by none of the other evangelists: and been predicted, that in it the Messiah should destroy all that seems to intimate, that he was in the most remote, unfrequent-power which we have usurped and exercised over the bodies ed, and savage part of the desert; which, together with the and souls of men? Alas! it is so: I now plainly see who thou diabolic influence, tended to render the whole scene the more art-the Holy one of God, who art come to destroy that unhohorrid. Perhaps this very circumstance is mentioned, as em-liness, in which we have our residence, and through which blematical of that savage and brutal cruelty, with which he was persecuted to death by the Jews and Gentiles, instigated thereto by the malice of Satan.

14. Preaching the Gospel of the kingdom] See the notes on Matt iii. 2. and on the office of the preacher or herald, at the end of that chapter.

15. The time is fulfilled] That is, the time appointed for sending the Messiah: and particularly the time specified by Daniel, chap. ix. 24-27. Here are four points worthy of deep attention, in the preaching of the Son of God. 1. Every thing that is done, is according to a plan laid by the divine Wisdom, and never performed till the time appointed was filled up. 2 That the kingdom and reign of sin are to be destroyed, and the kingdom of grace and heaven, established in

we have our reign in the souls of men." An unholy spirit is the only place where Satan can have his full operation, and show forth the plenitude of his destroying power.

25. And Jesus rebuked him] A spirit of this cast will only yield to the sovereign power of the Son of God. All watch ings, fastings, and mortifications, considered in themselves, will do little or no good. Uncleanness of every description, will only yield to the rebuke of God.

26. And when the unclean spirit had torn him] And had thrown him down in the midst, Luke iv. 35. kaι orapažar, and convulsed him. Never was there a person possessed by an unclean spirit, who did not suffer a convulsion, perhaps a total ruin of nature by it. Sins of uncleanness, as the as tle intimates, are against the body; they sap the foundation

[blocks in formation]

28 And immediately his fame spread abroad throughout all the region round about Galilee.

29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

30 But Simon's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her.

31 And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left lier, and she ministered unto

them.

32b And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed of devils.

33 And all the city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils & to speak, because they knew him.

35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

36 And Simon and they that were with him, followed after him.

a Matt. 8. 14. Luke 4. 38-b Matt. 8. 16. Luke 4. 40. Ch. 3. 12. Luke 4. 41 See Acts 16. 17, 18-d Or, to say that they knew him.-e Luke 4. 42.- Luke 4.43.

of life, so that there are very few of this class, whether male or female, that live out half their days: they generally die martyrs to their lusts. When the propensities of the flesh are most violent in a person who is determined to serve God, it is often a proof that these are the last efforts of the impure spirit, who has great rage, because he knows his time is but

short.

27. What thing is this?] Words of surprise and astonishment. And what new doctrine] I have added the particle And, from the Syriac, as it helps the better to distinguish the members of the sentence; but there is a vast diversity in the MSS. on this verse. See Griesbach.

For with authority] They had never heard such a gracious doctrine, and never saw any teaching supported by miracles before. How much must this person be superior to men! they are brought into subjection by unclean spirits; this person subjects unclean spirits to himself.

28. And immediately his fame spread abroad] The miracle which he had performed was, 1. Great; 2. Evidenced much benevolence in the worker of it: and 3. Was very public; being wrought in the synagogue. The many who saw it, published it wherever they went; and thus the fame of Christ, as an incomparable teacher, and unparalleled worker of mi racles, became soon spread abroad through the land.

The word cuocos, immediately, occurs more frequently in this evangelist, than in any other writer of the New Covenant: it is very often superfluous, and may often be omitted in the translation, without any prejudice to the sense of the passage in which it is found. It seems to be used by St. Mark, as our ancient writers used forsooth, and such like words.

29. See this account of the healing of Peter's mother-in-law, explained at large, Matt. viii. 14-17.

32. When the sun did set] See on Matt. viii. 14. 34. Because they knew him.] To be the Christ, is added here by several ancient and respectable MSS. and Versions; but it appears to be only a gloss.

35. In the morning-a great while before day] By pw, the morning, is to be understood the whole space of three hours, which finished the fourth watch of the night.

And there prayed] Not that he needed any thing, for in him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; but that he might be a pattern to us. Every thing that our blessed Lord did, he performed either as our pattern, or as our sacrifice.

36 And Simon-followed after him.] Kareditav, follow. ed him eagerly. They had now begun to taste the good word of God; and thought they could never hear too much of it. Many possess this spirit when first converted to God; Oh! what a pity that they should ever lose it! The soul that relishes God's word, is ever growing in grace by it.

in various villages,

37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.

38 And he said unto them, 'Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. 39 h And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils.

40i And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

41 And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. 42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.

43 And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away, 44 And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things k which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

45 But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.

Isa.61.1. John 16.29. & 17.4.-h Matt. 4.23. Lk. 4. 44.-i Matt.8.2. Luke 5.12.k Lev. 14. 3, 4, 10. Luke 5. 14.-1 Luke 5. 15-m Ch. 2. 13.

should follow his steps. Let no minister of God think he has delivered his own soul, till he has made an offer of salvation to every city and village within his reach.

39. And he preached] He continued preaching-Hv knovacov: this is the proper meaning of the words-he never slackened his pace-he continued proclaiming the glad tidings of salvation to all-there was no time to be lost-immortal souls were perishing for lack of knowledge; and the grand adver sary was prowling about, seeking whom he might devour. This zealous, affectionate, and persevering diligence of Christ, should be copied by all his servants in the ministry: it is not less necessary now than it was then. Thousands, thousands of Christians, so called, are perishing for lack of knowledge. O God, send forth more and more faithful labourers into thy vineyard!

40. There came a leper] See the notes on Matt. viii. 2, &c. Should any be inclined to preach on this cleansing of the leper, Mark is the best evangelist to take the account from, because he is more circumstantial than either Matthew or Luke.

I. Consider this leper. 1. He heard of Jesus and his mira. cles. 2. He came to him for a cure, conscious of his disease. 3. He earnestly besought him to grant the mercy he needed. 4. He fell down on his knees, (with his face to the earth, Luke v. 12.) thus showing his humble state, and the distress of his soul. 5. He appealed to his love-if thou wilt; with a full conviction of his ability—thou canst; in order to get healed. II. Consider Jesus. I. He is moved with tender compassion towards him: this is the alone source of all human salvation. 2. He stretches forth his hand, showing thus his readiness to relieve him. 3. He touches him; though this was prohibited by the law, and rendered him who did it in any common case, legally unclean. 4. He proves at once his infinite love and unlimited power, by his cord and by his act: I will; be thou cleansed: and immediately his leprosy was removed. But see on Matt. viii. 2.

43. Straitly charged] See the reason for this, Matt. viii. 4. This verse is wanting in two copies of the Itala.

45. Began to publish it much] Began to publish, roda, many things; probably all that he had heard about our Lord's

miraculous works.

And to blaze abroad the matter] That is, his own healing: thinking he could never speak too much, nor too well, of him who had thus mercifully and miraculously cleansed him.

Jesus could no more openly enter into the city] A city of Galilee, probably Chorazin or Bethsaida, in which he did not appear, for fear of exciting the jealousy of the secular government; or the envy and malice of the Jewish rulers.

And they came to him from every quarter.] So generally had the poor man, who was cleansed of his leprosy, spread abroad his fame. And can we suppose, that all of these peo

37. All men seek for thee.] Some to hear, some to be heal-ple who came to him from all parts, and to whom he preached ed; some to be saved; and some, perhaps, through no good motive. There are all sorts of followers in the train of Christbut how few walk steadily, and persevere unto the end! 38. The next towns] Koporoλεis properly signifies such towns as resembled cities for magnitude and number of inhabitants, but which were not walled as were cities. The Codex Beza, most of the Versions, and all the Itala read, Let us go into the neighbouring villages AND INTO THE CITIES. For therefore came I forth.] Eis TOUTO, for this purpose am I come forth-to preach the Gospel to every creature, that all might hear, and fear, and return unto the Lord. The towns and the villages will not come to the preacher-the preacher must go to them, if he desires their salvation. In this also, Jesus has left his ministering servants an example, that they

144

the glad tidings of the kingdom, by the power and authority of God, few or none were saved? This is a common opinion; but every person who seriously considers it, must see that it is unfounded. Without doubt, Christ had thousands that were brought to God by his ministry; though in general, only those are mentioned, who were constant attendants on his person. It would be strange, if while God manifested in the flesh, was preacher, there should be few brought to the knowledge of themselves, and of the truth! In this respect he does not permit his faithful ministers to labour in vain. The Son of man sowed the seed of the kingdom; and it afterward produced a plentiful harvest. Multitudes of Jews were converted by the preaching of the Gospel, and the first Christian church was founded at Jerusalem.

« PrécédentContinuer »