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I came not to send peace, but a such, is a consequence and an insword. Such was the effect of our dication of want of love to their Saviour's coming, in consequence of message and its author. And a sinthe wickedness and perverseness of cere attachment to Christ and bis man. Mercies abused draw after cause is accompanied with proper them corresponding judgments.-If respect for the Christian ministry. our Lord referred to the design of his A cup of cold water only.-Recoming, his meaning probably was spect is had not to the value of that he did not come to send tempo- the gift, but to the motives and disral prosperity to the Jews by working position of the giver.—Love consea deliverance from the Roman yoke, crates every gift; and none are holy but rather to be the means of mani- and acceptable to God without it. festing their final impenitence, and See Luke xxi. 3, 4; Heb. vi. 10.to be the signal of their national We see here that even the poor may destruction.
be rich in charity and good works, A man's foes shall be they of his proceeding from faith in Christ.own household.—What a proof of The same principle which may prompt the total and irreconcileable variance
the poor to give small things out of which subsists between Christ and
their poverty, ought to excite the the world !-It was a tradition
among rich to give largess out of their the Jews that family dissensions abundance. should be carried to this extreme
HYMN. height in the age of the Messiah. O Lord ! I would delight in thee, How literally was this fulfilled during And on thy care depend; the siege of Jerusalem !
To Thee in every trouble flee,
My best and only friend. Is not worthy of me.-Christ must
When all created streams are dried, be supreme in our affections; else
Thy fulness is the same; we do not honour him as God.
May I with this be satisfied He that findeth his life, &c.—He And glory in thy name. who supremely loves, desires, and No good in creatures can be found, preserves the things of this life will But may be found in Thee; lose the happiness of that which is to
I must have all things and abound
If God be God to me. come: but he who prefers the service
RYLAND. of Christ to all temporal considerations, will receive that eternal life which he bestows upon his faithful
§ XXXVII. people.
CHAP. XI. 1–15. A prophet in the name of a pro
John sendeth his disciples to Christ. phet ;-i.e. a Christian minister and
Christ's testimony concerning John. teacher in his sacred character and capacity, and with regard to his office. And it came to pass, when Jesus - The Lord knows that hatred had made an end of commandto the ministers of the Gospel as ing his twelve disciples, he de
parted thence to teach and to shall prepare thy way before preach in their cities.
thee. 2 Now when John had heard 11 Verily I say unto you, in the prison the works of Among them that are born of Christ, he sent two of his dis women there hath not risen a ciples,
greater than John the Baptist : 3 And said unto him, Art notwithstanding he that is least thou ‘he that should come, or in the kingdom of heaven is do we look for another !
greater than he. 4 Jesus answered and said 12 'And from the days of unto them, Go and shew John John the Baptist until now the again those things which ye do kingdom of heaven || suffereth hear and see :
violence, and the violent take it 5 . The blind receive their by force. sight, and the lame walk, the 13 "For all the prophets and lepers are cleansed, and the deaf the law prophesied until John. hear, the dead are raised up, 14 And if ye will receive it, and 'the poor have the gospel this is " Elias, which was for to preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whoso 15 °He that hath ears to ever shall not be offended in me. hear, let him hear.
7 f'And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see ? "A reed shaken with the wind ?
8 But what went ye out for Reader. We cannot suppose that to see ? A man clothed in soft John sent these disciples to Christ raiment ? behold, they that wear for his own satisfaction, unless we soft clothing are in kings' houses. fear that his faith had been shaken
9 But what went ye out for by the circumstance of his imprito see ? A prophet ? yea, I say
sonment, or that he had partaken in
the false expectations of the Jews unto you,
and more than a pro- respecting the temporal kingdom of phet.
the Messiah, of which no indication 10 For this is he, of whom it had yet been given. It is usually is written, "Behold, I send my considered that the Baptist sent this messenger before thy face, which message for the sake of his disciples,
a Luke vii. 18, 19, &c. bch. xiv. 3.-c Gen. xlix. 10. Num. xxiv. 17. Dan. ix. 24. John vi. 14.-d Is. xxix. 18; & xxxv. 4, 5, 6; & xlii. 7. John ij. 23; & iii, 2; & V. 36; & x. 25, 38; & xiv. 11. e Ps. xxii. 26. Is. Ixi. 1. Luke iv. 18. Jam. ii. 5.--f Is. viii. 14, 15. ch. xiii, 57; & xxiv. 10; & xxvi. 31. Rom ix. 32, 33. 1 Cor. i. 23; & ii. 14. Gal. v. 11. 1 Pet. ii. 8.-9 Luke vii. 24. h Eph. iv. 14.-i ch. xiv. 5; & xxi. 26. Luke i. 76 ; & vii. 26.-k Mal. iii. 1. Mark i. 2. Luke i. 76; & vii. 27. - Luke xvi. 16. || Or, is gotten by force, and they that thrust men.-m Mal. iv. 6.-n Mal. iv. 5. ch. xvii. 12. Luke i. 17.-och. xiii. 9. Luke viii. 8. Rev. ii. 7, 11, 17, 29; & iii. 6, 13, 22.
in order that they might have an Blessed is he whosoever shall not be opportunity of witnessing the mira- offended in me,—who shall not stumcles of Christ, and of being brought ble at me, shall not refuse to believe to believe in him, instead of continu
in me because I may not be such as ing to be (as perhaps they were) jea- he desires, or such as he had exlous of his rising reputation.
pected. Alas, Christ, in his person,
his doctrine, or his work, becomes READER. He departed thence to even now a stumbling-block to many, teach and to preach.—The Lord Jesus through their own evil hearts, love did not discontinue his own labours of sin, and wilful blindness. See after having assigned employment to Luke ii. 34 ; 1 Pet. ii. 8. his Apostles. He was not weary of As they departed,—when they had going about doing good.
This commendation of Heard in prison the works of Christ. John was not given in the presence -Thus St. Paul heard, with joy, of of his disciples. It was praise, not the success of the Gospel while he flattery; it was truth and justice, was in bonds. May the sound of not the weakness of blind or excesthe Gospel reach and cheer us in sive admiration. seasons of affliction or distress!
He began to say unto the multitudes He sent two of his disciples.—Thus concerning John.- The sum of what should ministers always send their our Lord said concerning the Bappeople to Christ himself.— And thus tist is this :—that he was a man of should all those who know the power firm principle and consistent characand value of the Gospel endeavour ter,-that he led a sober and simto bring all who belong to them to a ple life, without affectation of high saving and happy acquaintance with things, or display of a worldly mind, the Saviour.
—and that he was (as he had anArt thou he that should come, i. e. nounced himself) the forerunner of the coming, -or, as we should say, the Messiah.—Why then did they the expected, — Messiah?—Let us not believe his testimony, corrobonot omit, as occasion may require, rated as it was by our Saviour's perto use the help of serious inquiry, me sonal ministry and work? ditation, and prayer, for the strength What went ye out for to see ?-Men ening of our faith.
will be questioned concerning their The things that ye do hear and see. real intentions and aims in frequent-The works of Christ bore witnessing places of Worship, and using to his character and office. Let our means of
grace. works, wrought by the imparted More than a prophet.-Christ is power of the Holy Spirit, testify in not ashamed of his faithful servants, our favour as Christians.
even when they are in prison or disThe poor have the Gospel preached tress. John had humbled himself, unto them.See Isa, lxi. 1 ; Matt. v. and had done honour to Christ (ch. 2-12.
iii. 11; John iii. 29, 30); now he
begins to be exalted.- Is not this a gate," and "give all diligence to beautiful, though partial, illustration make our calling and election sure.” and fulfilment of our Saviour's pro- While we depend on the merits and mise in the last chapter, v. 32?- grace of Christ, we must use honest, John was indeed more than any of zealous, and persevering efforts in the ancient prophets, inasmuch as he the ways of godliness. was himself a subject of prophecy Prophesied until John,-continued (Isa. xl. 3; Mal. iii. 1);-he bore to be the means of instruction for witness to the fulfilment of their the church. predictions; -—and saw that which If ye will receive it,-if ye are willthey only desired to see.
ing to receive it. Want of will, rather He that is least in the kingdom of than the want of power and occasion, heaven is greater than he.— The weak- is the cause of unbelief. est preacher of a complete salvation,
This is Elias.—See Luke i. 17.who declares the finished work of May the words of divine truth, and the crucified, risen, and ascended the dispensations of providence, be Redeemer, has a higher office and a to
as so many Elijahs,-and more excellent ministry than his im- “ make ready a people prepared for mediate forerunner.—How great a
the Lord!" privilege and happiness to preach,
HYMN. and to hear, the glad tidings of their Gospel, in all their clearness, sim
Now let a true ambition rise
And ardour fire my breast, plicity, and fulness !-And yet even To reign in worlds above the skies, the best men, the most enlightened In heavenly glories drest. Christians, in this state of infirmity Behold Jehovah's royal hand and imperfection, fall short of the A radiant crown display, happiness and glory of saints in
Whose gems with vivid lustre shine,
While stars and suns decay. heaven. The kingdom of heaven suffereth
Away each grovelling, anxious care,
Beneath a Christian's thought; riolence, and the violent take it by
I spring to seize immortal joys force. The ministry of John was Which my Redeemer bought. made effectual , for the conversion
DODDRIDGE. and reformation of large multitudes of persons, many of whom once
$ XXXVIII. seemed unlikely to become servants of God.-Let us not despair of the
CHAP. XI. 16-4-24. most profligate and abandoned. Nor
Christ upbraideth the unthankfulness and let the greatest sinner, who desires unrepentance of Chorazin, Bethsaida, to return to God, despair of pardon and Capernaum. and acceptance.—We must ourselves use a holy violence in entering the
16 But whereunto shall I kingdom of heaven. We must
liken this generation ? It is like "strive to enter in at the strait unto children sitting in the
markets, and calling unto their | it shall be more tolerable for the fellows,
land of Sodom in the day of 17 And saying, We have judgment, than for thee. piped unto you,
have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented, 18 For John came neither
p Luke vii. 31.-9 ch. ix. 10. r Luke vii. 35.- Luke x. 13, &c.- Jonah iii. 7, 8.-u ch. x. 15, ver. 24.-a See Is. xiv. 13. Lam. ii. 1.-ych. x. 15.
READER, It islike unto children, eating nor drinking, and they &c.--By this similitude, our Saviour say, He hath a devil.
points out the inconsistency of the 19 The Son of man came eat- | Jews, and their perverse opposition ing and drinking, and they say,
to ungodliness, under every form. Behold a man gluttonous, and a
Neither our Lord's own mild and bewinebibber, ?a friend of publi- nignant conduct
, nor the more austere
manner of John, could win their af. cans and sinners. But wisdom
fections ; neither piping nor mournis justified of her children.
ing could excite their sympathy. 20 Then began he to up- When the heart loves sin and error, braid the cities wherein most of it is prepared to resist the appeals of his mighty works were done, be
the Holy Spirit under every variety cause they repented not :
of form.-God mercifully employs 21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! sometimes promises to excite our
hopes, sometimes threatenings to woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if
arouse our fears; sometimes he sends the mighty works, which were prosperity, and sometimes he visits done in you, had been done in
us with adversity. This manifold and Tyre and Sidon, they would variegated wisdom and grace of God have repented long ago 'in sack are brought to bear upon us, in order cloth and ashes.
that we may be suitably affected, and 22 But I say unto you,
that our wills may be brought into a shall be more tolerable for Tyre But awful and dangerous is the pro
compliance with the divine will.and Sidon at the day of judg- pensity of evil men to thwart or conment, than for you.
tradict the conduct and revelation of 23 And thou, Capernaum, God under all circumstances what* which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell;
And they say he hath a devil. for if the mighty works, which Alas, how often does it happen that
when men refuse to receive the meshave been done in thee, had
sage of God, they revile and find fault been done in Sodom, it would
with his messenger! have remained until this day.
Gluttonous, and a winebibber.24 But I say unto you,
y That What malice and impiety! How