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is the preaching of the kingdom of the Messiah, unto him a woman taken in adultery; they say which is often called the word of God," did not unto him, Master, Moses in the law commanded stay amongst them :-he could not stay amongst us that such should be stoned, but what sayest them, preach and explain to them the kingdom of thou? This they said tempting him, that they the Messiah.

might accuse him.” It is plain they hoped that 58. That the word of God here signifies the this criminal cause of a woman just taken in the word of God that should make Jesus known to fact, brought before him in the sight of the people, them to be the Messiah, is evident from the con- would draw him, if he would preserve the opinion text; and this meaning of this place is made good of being the Messiah, their king, to give judgment by the event: for after this we hear no more of in it, and by the exercise of such an authority exJesus at Jerusalem, until the pentecost come pose him to the Roman deputy. Some such accutwelvemonth ; though it is not to be doubted but sation they watched for ; but they could never get that he was there the next passover, and other any such advantage against him: he marvellously feasts between, but privately And now at Jeru- defeated their design, and without lessening himsalem, at the feast of pentecost, near fifteen months self, sent them away covered with shame and siafter, he says very little of any thing, and not a lence. word of the kingdom of heaven being come or at 60. When, upon the curing of the withered hand hand; nor did he any miracle there. And re- on the Sabbath-day, “The Pharisees took counsel turning to Jerusalem at the feast of tabernacles, with the Herodians how they might destroy him, it is plain, that from this time till then, which was Jesus withdrew himself with his disciples to the a year and a half, he had not taught them at Je- sea : and a great multitude from Galilee followed rusalem. For, 1. It is said, that he teaching in him, and from Judea, and from Jerusalem, and the temple at the feast of tabernacles, “ The Jews from Idumea, and from beyond Jordan, and they marvelled, saying, how knoweth this man letters, about Tyre and Sidon, a great multitude ; when having never learned ?"* a sign they had not they had heard what great things he did, came been used to his preaching ; for if they had, they unto him, and he liealed them all

, and charged would not now have marvelled. 2. He says thus them that they should not make him known; that to them: “ Did not Moses give you the law, yet it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the pronone of you keep the law? Why go you about phet Isaiah, saying, Behold my servant whom I to kill me? One work, or miracle, I did here have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is amongst you, and ye all marvel. Moses there well pleased : I will put my Spirit upon him, and fore gave unto you circumcision, and ye on the he shall show judgment to the Gentiles : he shall Sabbath-day circumcise a man; if a man on the not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear his Sabbath-day receive circumcision, that the law of voice in the streets."* Moses should not be broken, are ye angry with me, 61. And John xi. Upon the news of our Sabecause I have made a man every way whole on viour's raising Lazarus from the dead, “ the chief the Sabbath-day?" Which is a direct defence of priests and Pharisees convened the sanhedrim, and what he did at Jerusalem a year and a half before. said, What do we ? For this man does many miThe work he here speaks of we find reported, racles. When from that day forth they took counJohn v. He had not preached to them there from sel together for to put him to death. Jesus therethat time till this, but had made good what he then fore walked no more openly amongst the Jews.” told them: “ Ye have not the word of God remain. His miracles had now so much declared him to be ing among you, because whom he hath sent, ye the Messiah, that the Jews could no longer bear believe not;" whereby, I think, he signifies his him, nor he trust himself amongst them; " but not staying and being frequent amongst them at went thence into a country near to the wilderness, Jerusalemn, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued because their great unbelief, opposition, and ma- with his disciples.” This was but a little before lice to him, would not permit it.

his last passover, as appears by the following 59. This was manifestly so in fact : for the first words: “And the Jews' passover was nigh at miracle he did at Jerusalem, which was at the hand :” and he could not, now his miracles had second passover after his baptism, brought him in made him so well known, have been secure the danger of his life. Hereupon we find he forbore little time that remained till his hour was fully come, preaching again there till the feast of tabernacles, if he had not, with his wonted and necessary cauiminediately preceding his last passover: so that tion, withdrawn, and walked no more openly till half a year before his passion, he did but one amongst the Jews, till his time (at the next passmiracle, and preached but once publicly at Jeru- over) was fully come; and then again he appearsalem. These trials he made there ; but founded amongst them openly. their unbelief such, that if he had staid and per 62. Nor would the Romans have suffered him, sisted to preach the good tidings of the kingdom, if he had gone about preaching that he was the and to show himself by miracles among them, he king whom the Jews expecied. Such an accusacould not have had time and freedom to do those tion would have been forwardly brought against works which his Father had given him to finish, him by the Jews, if they could have heard it out of as he says, verse 36. They all imaginable ways his own mouth; and that had been his public docattacked him, and he as readily eluded all their trine to his followers, which was openly preached attempts, by the wonderful quickness and conduct by his apostles after his death, when he appeared of an unparalleled wisdom. Here, at this feast of no more. And of this they were accused, Acts abernacles, “ The Scribes and Pharisees brought xvii. “But the Jews which believed not, moved

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* John vii.

* Matt. xii; Mark iii.

with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of selves just men, that might take hold of his words, the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all that so they might deliver him unto the power and the city in an uproar, and assaulted the house of authority of the governor.” And the very thing Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. wherein they hoped to entrap him in this place And when they found them (Paul and Silas) not, was paying tribute to Cæsar, which they afterthey drew Jason and certain brethren unto the wards falsely accused him of. And what would rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned they have done, if he had before them professed the world upside down, are come hither also, whom himself to have been the Messiah, their king and Jason hath received : and these all do contrary to deliverer? the decrees of Cæsar, saying, that there is another 66. And here we may observe the wonderful king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people providence of God, who had so ordered the state and the rulers of the city, when they heard these of the Jews, at the time when his Son was to come things : and when they had taken security of Jason into the world, that though neither their civil conand the other, they let them go.”

stitution nor religious worship were dissolved, yet 63. Though the magistrates of the world had no the power of life and death was taken from them; great regard to the talk of a king, who had suffer- whereby he had an opportunity to publish the kinged death, and appeared no longer any where ; yet dom of the Messiah; that is, his own royalty, if our Saviour had openly declared this of himself under the name of the kingdom of God and of in his life time, with a train of disciples and follow- heaven; which the Jews well enough understood, ers every where owning and crying him up for and would certainly have put him to death for, their king, the Roman governor of Judea could had the power been in their own hands. But this not have forborne to have taken notice of it, and being no matter of accusation to the Romans, have made use of their force against him. This hindered him not from speaking of the kingdom of the Jews were not mistaken in ; and therefore heaven, as he did ; sometimes in reference to his made use of it as the strongest accusation, and appearing in the world, and being believed on by likeliest to prevail with Pilate against him for the particular persons; sometimes in reference to the taking away his life ; it being treason, and an un- power that should be given him by the Father at pardonable offence, which could not escape death the resurrection; and sometimes in reference to from a Roman deputy, without the forfeiture of his his coming to judge the world at the last day, in own life. Thus then they accuse him to Pijate : the full glory and completion of his kingdom. “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and These were ways of declaring himself, which the forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar; saying, that Jews could lay no hold on, to bring him in danger he himself is a king ;" or rather, the Messiah, the with Pontius Pilate, and get him seized and put to king.

death. 64. Our Saviour indeed, now that his time was 67. Another reason there was that hindered come, (and he in custody, and forsaken of all the him as much as the former from professing himself world, and so out of all danger of raising any se- in express words to be the Messiah; and that was, dition or disturbance,) owns himself to Pilate to that the whole nation of the Jews expecting at this be a king : after having frst told Pilate, “ that his time their Messiah, and deliverance by him from kingdom was not of this world;" and for a king. the subjection they were to a foreign yoke, the dom in another world, Pilate knew that his master body of the people would certainly, upon his de- ! at Rome concerned not himself. But had there claring himself to be the Messiah their king have been any the least appearance of truth in the al- rose up in rebellion, and set him at the head of legations of the Jews, that he had perverted the them. And, indeed, the miracles that he did, so nation, forbidding to pay tribute to Cæsar, or much disposed them to think him to be the Mesdrawing the people after him as their king, Pilate siah, that, though shrouded under the obscurity of would not so readily have pronounced him inno- a mean condition, and a very private simple life; cent. But we see what he said to his accusers : though he passed for a Galilean, (his birth at BethPilate, “when he had called together the chief lehem being then concealed,) and assumed not to priests and the rulers of the people, said unto himself any power or authority, or so much as the them, You have brought this man unto me, as one name of the Messiah ; yet he could hardly avoid that perverteth the people ; and behold I having being set up by a tumult, and proclaimed their examined him before you, have found no fault in king. So John tells us, chap. vi. " Then those this man touching those things whereof you accuse men, when they had seen the miracles that Jesus him ; no, nor yet Herod, for I sent you to him ; did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should and lo, nothing worthy of death is done by him.” come into the world. When, therefore, Jesus perAnd therefore finding a man of that mean condi- ceived that they would come to take him by force tion, and innocent life, (no mover of seditions, or to make him king, he departed again into a moundisturber of the public peace,) without a friend or tain himself alone.” This was upon his feeding of a follower, he would have dismissed him, as a king five thousand with five barley loaves and two fishes. of no consequence; as an innocent man, falsely So hard was it for him, doing those miracles which and maliciously accused by the Jews.

were necessary to testify his mission, and which 65. How necessary this caution was in our Sa- often drew great inultitudes after him, to keep the viour, to say or do nothing that might justly offend, heady and hasty multitude from such disorder as or render him suspected to the Roman governor, would have involved him in it, and have disturbed and how glad the Jews would have been to have the course, and cut short the time of his ministry, any such thing against him, we may see, Luke xx. and drawn on him the reputation and death of a 20: “ The chief priests and the Scribes watched turbulent seditious malefactor; contrary to the dehim, and sent forth spies, who should feign them- I sign of his coming, which was to be offered up a

lamb, blameless and void of offence; his innocence and there he drives the traders out of the temple, appearing to all the world, even to him that deli- saying, "Make not my Father's house a house of vered him up to be crucified. This it would have merchandize.” Where we see he uses a phrase been impossible to have avoided, if in his preach- which, by interpretation, signifies that he was the ing every where, he had openly assumed to himself Son of God, though at that time unregarded, the title of their Messiah; which was all was want- Hereupon the Jews demand, “ What sign dost thou ing to set the people in a flame; who, drawn by show us, since thou doest these things ? Jesus his miracles, and the hopes of finding a deliverer answered, Destroy ye this temple, and in three in so extraordinary a man, followed him in great days I will raise it again." This is an instance of numbers. We read every where of multitudes; what way Jesus took to declare himself; for it is and in Luke xii. 1, of myriads that were gathered plain by their reply the Jews understood him not, about him. This conflux of people, thus disposed, nor his disciples neither; for it is said, “When, would not have failed, upon his declaring himself therefore, he was risen from the dead, his disciples to be the Messiah, to have made a commotion, and remembered that he said this to them : and they with force set him up for their king. It is plain, believed the Scripture, and the saying of Jesus to therefore, from these two reasons, why (though he them." came to preach the gospel, and convert the world 69. This therefore we may look on, in the beto a belief of his being the Messiah; and though ginning, as a pattern of Christ's preaching, and ye says so much of his kingdom, under the title of showing himself to the Jews; which he generally the kingdom of God, and the kingdom of heaven) followed afterwards ; viz. such a manifestation of he yet makes it not his business to persuade them himself, as every one at present could not underthat he himself is the Messiah ; nor does, in his stand; but yet carried such an evidence with it to public preaching, declare himself to be him. He those who were well disposed now, or would reinculcates to the people, on all occasions, that the flect on it when the whole course of his ministry kingdom of God is come. He shows the way of was over, as was sufficient clearly to convince admittance into this kingdom, viz. repentance and them that he was the Messiah. The reason of baptism; and teaches the laws of it, viz. good life, this method used by our Saviour, the Scripture according to the strictest rules of virtue and mo- gives us here, at this his first appearing in public, rality. But who the king was of this kingdom, he after his entrance upon his ministry, to be a rule leaves to his miracles to point out to those who and light to us in the whole course of it: for the would consider what he did, and make the right next verse takes notice that many believed on him use of it now; or to witness to those who should because of his miracles,” (which was all the hearken to the apostles hereafter, when they preaching they had.) It is said, “ But Jesus did preached it in plain words, and called upon them to not commit himself unto them, because he knew believe it, after his resurrection; when there should all men ;"* that is, he declared not himself so be no longer room to fear that it should cause any openly to be the Messiah, their king, as to put disturbance in civil societies and the governments himself in the power of the Jews, by laying bimof the world. But he could not declare himself to self open to their malice, who he knew would be be the Messiah, without manifest danger of tumult so ready to lay hold on it to accuse him ; for, as and sedition : and the miracles he did declared it the next verse shows, he knew well enough what so much, that he was fain often to hide himself, was in them. We may here further observe, and withdraw from the concourse of the people. that “ believing in his name," signifies believing The leper that he cured, Mark i., though forbid to him to be the Messiah. Verse 22 tells us, that say any thing, yet " blazed it so abroad, that Jesus “many at the passover believed in his name, could no more openly enter into the city, but was when they saw the miracles that he did ?" What without in desert places,” being in retirement, as other faith could these miracles produce in them appears from Luke v., and there “ they came to who saw them, but that this was he of whom him from every quarter.” And thus he did more the Scripture spoke, who was to be their dethan once.

liverer? 68. This being premised, let us take a view of 70. Whilst he was now at Jerusalem, Nicode. the promulgation of the gospel by our Saviour him. mus, a ruler of the Jews, comes to him, to whom self, and see what it was he taught the world, and he preaches eternal life by faith in the Messiah, required men to believe. The first beginning of but in general terms, without naming himself to his ministry, whereby he showed himself, seems to be that Messiah, though his whole discourse tends be at Cana in Galilee, soon after his baptism, to it. This is all we hear of our Saviour the first where he turned water into wine; of which St. year of his ministry, but only his baptism, fasting, John says thus : “ This beginning of miracles Jesus and temptation in the beginning of it, and spendmade, and manifested his glory, and his disciples ing the rest of it, after the passover in Judea, with believed in him." His disciples here believed in his disciples, baptizing there. But " when he bim; but we hear not of any other preaching to knew that the Pharisees reported that he had made them, but by this miracle, whereby he manifested and baptized more disciples than John, he left his glory; that is, of being the Messiah, the prince. Judea, and got out of their way again into Galilee. So Nathanael

, without any other preaching, but In his way back, by the well of Sichar, he disonly our Saviour's discovering to him that he knew courses with the Samaritan woman; and after him after an extraordinary manner, presently ac- having opened to her the true and spiritual worknowledges him to be the Messiah ; crying, “ Rab- ship which was at hand, which the woman prebi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of sently understands of the times of the Messiah, Israel.” From hence, staying a few days at Capernaum, he goes to Jerusalem to the passover;

John ii. 75


who was then looked for ; thus she answers: “I pronounced to be a believer. And what does he know that the Messiah cometh : when he is come, believe ? even that which Jesus complains, “they he will tell us all things.' Whereupon our Savi- would not believe, except they saw signs and our, though we hear no such thing from him in wonders; which could be nothing but what those Jerusalem or Judea, or to Nicodemus ; yet here, to of Samaria, in the same chapter, believed ; viz. this Samaritan woman, he in plain and direct words that he was the Messiah: for we no where in the owns and declares, that he himself, who talked gospel hear of any thing else that had been prowith her, was the Messiah. This would seem very posed to be believed by them. strange, that he should be more free and open to a 72. Having done miracles, and cured all their Samaritan than he was to the Jews, were not the sick at Capernaum, he says, “ Let us go to the reason plain from what we have observed above. adjoining towns, that I may preach there also ; for He was now out of Judea, with a people with therefore came I forth.” Or, as St. Luke has it, whom the Jews had no commerce; who were not chap. iv., he tells the multitude, who would have disposed, out of envy, as the Jews were, to seek kept him, that he might not go from them: “I his life, or to accuse him to the Roman governor, must evangelize," or tell the good tidings of the or to make an insurrection to set a Jew up for “ kingdom of God to other cities also, for theretheir king. What the consequence was of his dis- fore am I sent.” And St. Matthew, chap. iv., tells course with this Samaritan woman we have an ac us how he executed this commission he was sent count: "she left her water-pot, and went her way on. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching, into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of man who told me all things that ever I did : is not the kingdom, and curing all diseases.” This then this the Messiah? And many of the Samaritans was what he was sent to preach every where, viz. of that city believed on him for the saying of the the gospel of the kingdom of the Messiah ; and woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I by the miracles and good he did, let them know did." So when the Samaritans were come unto who was the Messiah. him, they besought him that he would tarry with 73. Hence he goes up to Jerusalem, to the sethem: and he abode there two days. And many cond passover since the beginning of his ministry. more believed because of his own word; and said And here discoursing to the Jews, who sought to unto the woman, Now we believe not because of kill him, upon occasion of the man whom he had thy saying ; for we have heard him ourselves; cured carrying his bed on the Sabbath-day, and and we know (that is, are fully persuaded) that it for making God his Father, he tells them, that he is indeed the Messiah, the Saviour of the world.” wrought these things by the power of God, and By comparing John iv. verse 39, with 41 and 42, that he shall do greater things; for that the dead it is plain, that " believing on him," signifies no shall, at his summons, be raised; and that he, by more than believing him to be the Messiah. a power committed to him from his Father, shall

71. From Sichar Jesus goes to Nazareth, the judge them; and that he is sent by his Father; place he was bred up in, and there, reading in the and that whoever shall hear his word, and believe synagogue a prophecy concerning the Messiah, in him that sent him, has eternal life. This, though out of the sixty-first of Isaiah, he tells them, a clear description of the Messiah, yet we may ob“ This day is the Scripture fulfilled in your ears." serve that here, to the angry Jews, who sought to But being in danger of his life at Nazareth, he kill him, he says not a word of his kingdom, nor leaves it for Capernaum; and then, as St. Mat- so much as names the Messiah ; but yet that he thew informs us, " he began to preach, and say, is the Son of God, and sent from God, he refers Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” them to the testimony of John the Baptist, to the Or, as St. Mark has it," preaching the gospel of testimony of his own miracles, and of God himself the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is ful in the voice from heaven, and of the Scriptures, filled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and of Moses. He leaves them to learn from ye, and believe in the gospel;" that is, believe this these the truth they were to believe, viz. that he good news. This removing to Capernaum, and was the Messiah sent from God. This you may seating himself there in the borders of Zabulon read more at large, John v. and Naphtali, was, as St. Matthew observes, that 74. The next place where we find him preacha prophecy of Isaiah might be fulfilled. Thus the ing was on the mount. This is by much the longactions and circumstances of his life, answered est sermon we have of his any where: and, in all the prophecies, and declared him to be the Mes likelihood, to the greatest auditory : for it appears siah. And by what St. Mark says in this place, to have been to the people gathered to him from it is manifest that the gospel which he preached, Galilee, and Judea, and Jerusalem, and from beand required them to believe, was no other but yond Jordan; and that came out of Idumea, and the good tidings of the coming of the Messiah, from Tyre and Sidon, mentioned Mark iii. and and of his kingdom, the time being now fulfilled. Luke vi. But in this whole sermon of his we do In his way to Capernaum, being coine to Cana, a not find one word of believing, and therefore no nobleman of Capernaum came to him, “ and be- mention of the Messiah, or any intimation to the sought him that he would come down and heal his people who himself was : the reason whereof we son, for he was at the point of death. Then said may gather from Matt. xii., where “Christ forbids Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, them to make him known;" which supposes them ye will not believe.” Then he returning home to know already who he was. For that this twelfth wards, and finding that his son began to “mend chapter of Matthew ought to precede the sermon at the same hour in which Jesus said unto him, in the mount is plain, by comparing it with Mark Thy son liveth; he himself believed, and his whole ii., beginning at verse 13, to Mark iii. 8, and comhouse." Here this nobleman is, by the apostle, I paring those chapters of St. Mark with Luke vi

And I desire my reader, once for all, here to take what his preaching was, and consequently what notice, that I have all along observed the order of was to be believed. time in our Saviour's preaching, and have not, as 77. Soon after, he preaches from a boat to the I think, passed by any of his discourses. In this people on the shore. His sermon at large we sermon our Saviour only teaches them what were may read, Matt. xiii. Mark iv. and Luke vit. But the laws of his kingdom, and what they must do this is very observable, that this second sermon who were admitted into it; of which I shall have of his here, is quite different from his former in occasion to speak more at large in another place, the mount: for that was all so plain and intelligibeing at present only enquiring what our Saviour ble that nothing could be more so; whereas this proposed as matter of faith to be believed. is all so involved in parables, that even the apos

75. After this, John the Baptist sends to him tles themselves did not understand it. If we inthis message, asking,—“Art thou he that should quire into the reason of this, we shall possibly come, or do we expect another?” That is, in short, have some light from the different subjects of art thou the Messiah? And if thou art, why dost these two sermons. There he preached to the thou let me, thy forerunner, languish in prison ?- people only morality; clearing the precepts of the Must I expect deliverance from any other? To law from the false glosses which were received in which Jesus returns this answer: "Tell John what those days, and setting forth the duties of a good you have seen and heard :—the blind see, the life in their full obligation and extent,* beyond lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, what the judiciary laws of the Israelites did, or the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is the civil laws of any country could prescribe or preached; and blessed is he who is not offended take notice of. But here, in this sermon by the in me.” What it is to be offended” or “scandal- seaside, he speaks of nothing but the kingdom o. ized in him we may see by comparing Matt. xiii. the Messiah, which he does all in parables. One 28, and Mark iv. 17, with Luke viii. 13; for what reason whereof St. Matthew gives us, chap. xiii. the two first call scandalized, the last calls stand- “That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by ing off from, or forsaking; that is, not receiving the prophet, saying, I will open my mouth in him as the Messiah, (vide Mark vi. 1–6,) or re- parables ; I will utter things that have been kept volting from him. Here Jesus refers John, as he secret from the foundation of the world.” Anodid the Jews before, to the testimony of his mira- ther reason our Saviour himself gives of it : "Becles, to know who he was; and this was generally cause to you it is given to know the mysteries of his preaching, whereby he declared himself to be the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not the Messiah ; who was the only prophet to come, given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, whom the Jews had any expectation of; nor did and he shall have more abundantly ; but whosothey look for any other person to be sent to them ever hath not,” that is, improves not the talents with the power of miracles, but only the Messiah. that he hath, “ from him shall be taken away even His miracles, we see by his answer to John the that he hath.” Baptist, he thought a sufficient declaration among 78. One thing it may not be amiss to observe, them that he was the Messiah. And therefore, that our Saviour here, in the explication of the upon his curing the possessed of the devil, the first of these parables to his apostles, calls the dumb, and blind, Matt. xii., the people who saw preaching of the kingdom of the Messiah, simply, the miracle said, “ Is not this the Son of David ?” “the Word;” and, Luke viii. 21, " the Word of as much as to say, Is not this the Messiah ?- God:” from whence St. Luke, in the Acts, often Whereat the Pharisees being offended, said, he mentions it under the name of “the Word," and cast out devils by Beelzebub. Jesus showing the falsehood and vanity of their blasphemy, justifies the conclusion the people made from this miracle,

* Every thing necessary to make a man a Chrissaying, that his casting out devils by the Spirit of tian is clearly delivered in the New Testament.God, was an evidence that the kingdom of the This

Locke frequently
insists on and in this all


and moderate men agree. Milton, in Scripture Messiah was come,

more deeply read than Locke, or, perhaps, than any 76. One thing more there was in the miracles other writer with whom I am acquainted, observes done by his disciples, which showed him to be the on this subject—" It is true, there be some books, Messiah-that they were done in his name. “In and especially some places in those books, that rethe name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise up and walk,” | main clouded; yet ever that which is most necessary says St. Peter to the lame man whom he cured to be known is most easy; and that which is most in the temple, Acts ii. And how far the power difficult

, so far expounds itself ever, as to tell us of that naine reached, they themselves seem to how little it imports our saving knowledge. Hence, wonder, Luke x.; " And the seventy returned to infer a general obscurity over all the texts, is a again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are reading it, and casts an aspersion of dishonor both

mere suggestion of the devil to dissuade men from subject to us in thy name.” From this message upon the mercy, truth, and wisdom of God. We from John the Baptist, he takes occasion to tell count it no gentleness or fair dealing in a man of the people, that John was the forerunner of the power amongst us, to require strict and punctual Messiah ; that from the time of John the Baptist obedience, and yet give out all his commands ambithe kingdom of the Messiah began; to which time guous and obscure, we should think he had a plot all the prophets and the law pointed.* “ After- upon us; certainly such commands were no comwards he went through every city and village, mands, but snares. The very essence of truth is preaching and showing the good tidings of the plainness and brightness, the darkness and crookedkingdom of God.” Here we see, as every where, derstanding, fit and proportionable to truth, the ob

ness is our own. The wisdom of God created un

ject and end of it, as the eye o the thing visible."*Luke vii.; Matt. xi.


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