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23 But he turned and said It may be asked, In what sense unto Peter, Get thee behind me,
did our Lord use the term Satan in Satan : 'thou art an offence un
his answer to Peter, ver. 23? Some to me: for thou savourest not meaning of the word, which is op
interpreters refer us to the original the things that be of God, but
poser, adversary, and so would render those that be of men.
the phrase, Get thee behind me, 24 "Then said Jesus unto his thou opponent of my work! But disciples, If any man will come the word is not used in this sense in after me, let him deny himself, the New Testament, being employed and take up his cross, and fol- only as an appellative, or the name
of that great adversary of God and 25 · For whosoever will save of the air, the Devil.—Others, with
his people, the prince of the power his life shall lose it: and who- more propriety, observe that our soever will lose his life for my blessed Lord perceived that Satan sake shall find it.
was at work by means of Peter, and 26 For what is a man pro- was in fact approaching him with a fited, if he shall gain the whole temptation through the agency of world, and lose his own soul ? the Apostle ;—that he had taken ador 'what shall a man give in vantage of Peter's ignorance of the
real nature and tendency of his adexchange for his soul ?
vice, or of his vanity and love of 27 For 'the Son of man shall earthly prosperity and dominion, and come in the glory of his Father had employed him as an instrument . with his angels : " and then he to suggest the unholy thought of shall reward every man accord- shrinking from the task of suffering ng to his works.
which had been appointed for the
Redeemer by the will of the Father; 28 Verily I say unto you, and that our Saviour, in his reply, * There be some standing here, addressed himself directly to the inwhich shall not taste of death, visible demon, rejecting his impious till they see the Son of man counsel with abhorrence, just as he coming in his kingdom.
gave him his final reproof and dis14. 9. 17. Mark vili. 31; & Ix 31; & x. 83. Luke missal in the wilderness, chap. iv, 10.
-Or we may regard this rebuke as Thes. 8. 2 Tim. ii. 12–7 Luke xvii. 33. John addressed solely to Peter, and implyLake iz. 25.--. Dan. vil. 10. Zech. xiv...
ch. Iv.31 ing that he was imitating the great Jer. Ivil. 10., & 11. 10. Rom. 1. c. 1 Cor. 1. 8. adversary, and serving his interests,
by giving counsel against suffering Reader. There are some points and submission; that being prein these verses which may require a cisely the nature of the temptation little explanation.
with which Satan made his attack in
ir. 22.; & rviii, 31.; & xxiv. 6. 7. + Gr. Pity thyself.
ire 2 Sam. xix. 22.- Rom. vili. 7.-uch. X. 38. Mark viil. 34
Lake ix. 23.; & xiv. 27. Acts xiv. 22. 2 Cor. v. 10. 1 Pet. i. 17. Rev. ii. 23.; & xxil. 12.Mark ix. 1. Luke ix. 27.
He answered and said unto them. their eyes, with due reference to the Not without mourning over their predictions of their own prophets, this ungodliness and folly, for St. Mark would have become a means of leadtells us (viii. 12) that “he sighed ing them to a knowledge of the deeply in his spirit.”—By his an- truth concerning the Messiahship swer our blessed Lord reproves the of Jesus. ignorance and stupidity of unbeliev A wicked and adulterous generation, ing men with regard to spiritual 80.—See note on ch. xii. 38–40.things and the truths of religion, The sign demanded by curious, especially as contrasted with their proud, and captious men was absoshrewdness and intelligence in tem- lutely refused; but this refusal was poral matters. Men take pains to accompanied with the promise of a inform themselves about things in miracle which should be abundantly which they feel that their interest and sufficient for the conviction and happiness are concerned, and hence comfort of men of humble and bethey become well skilled in them; lieving minds, while, at the same and the reason why they know so time, it would leave without excuse little of religious truth is that they all those who should continue in : are not persuaded and sensible of unbelief. its importance.
Why is it that He left them and departed.--Christ men of good common sense, men of forsakes those who in their hearts learning, men of science, are often depart from him. The Gospel, as so unconcerned with regard to we have already seen, abounds with Christian truth and the interests of warnings of this kind. religion --why is it that they are Take heed and beware of the learen often so ignorant, so ostentatiously of the Pharisees.-We must be on ignorant, of Gospel facts ? Is it our guard against false doctrines that religion is really beneath their and evil principles. They are very notice? No. It is that they have insidious and dangerous ; and if we no love for the pursuit ; no wish, do not fortify our minds by a deno desire to be instructed in the vout study of God's word, by watchthings pertaining to the kingdom of fulness, and prayer, we may easily God.
to the most mischie. Can ye not discern the signs of the vous delusions. times? See Jer. viii. 7-9.-It is Oye of little faith, why reason ye a good and profitable exercise, and among yourselves because ye have a source of much practical wisdom, brought no bread ?-One cause of the to compare the state of the world, weakness of our faith is our forgetand the dispensations of divine pro- fulness of what God has already vidence, with the declarations of wrought on our behalf. We should God's will in his holy word. If the remember and consider attentively Jews, in our Saviour's time, had what he has already done, if we considered what was passing before would rightly trust Him for what
he is yet to do. “I remember the | ing marks of the Pharisee ;-inteldays of old; I meditate on all thy lectual pride and worldly-mindedworks ; I muse on the work of thy ness, with scepticism veiled under hands." Ps. cxlii. 5.
an appearance of candour, were the How is it that ye do not understand? peculiar sins of the Sadducee. “In -Surely this word of expostulation our age, we may reckon atheism and may well be addressed to us also, deism to be the leaven of the Sadso far as we are deficient in spiritual ducees, and Popery to be the leaven knowledge and wisdom. Such want of the Pharisees, against both which arises, not from any defect in divine it concerns all Christians to stand teaching, but from our own care upon their guard.” And we should lessness and dulness. How great are fortify ourselves against these evils, the patience and goodness of God, not only in their extremes, and their who gives us line upon line, precept gross developements, but even in upon precept, here a little, and there their more plausible and moderate a little, in order to instruct us in forms. Pseudo-rationalism, or false the things that belong unto our philosophy, on the one hand, and peace! Let us thankfully and ultra high-churchmanship, or blind wisely make use of this instruction deference to supposed authority and while we have it.
fabulous tradition, on the other, are He bade them not beware of the the Scylla and Charybdis of our learen of bread, but of the doctrine of times. the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
HYMN. False doctrine, and error in opinion
God is a spirit, just and wise, or judgment in matters of religion,
He sees our inmost mind; matter of indifference.
In vain to heaven we raise our cries, Our belief has great influence on And leave our souls behind. our practice; and we are responsible for what we believe as well as
Nothing but truth before his throne
With honour can appear; for what we do. When God gives
The painted hypocrites are known us means of ascertaining truth and Through the disguise they wear. avoiding error, it is as much our
Their lifted eyes salute the skies, duty to do so as it is to perform
Their bended knees the ground; what is good and depart from evil. But God abbors the sacrifice Doctrine is like leaven ; it spreads
Where not the heart is found. through the soul, and imparts to it
Lord, search my thoughts, and try my ways, a certain quality.
And make my soul sincere ; The doctrine of the Pharisees and Then shall I stand before thy face of the Sadducees.-Spiritual pride,
And find acceptance there.
WATTS. hypocrisy, superstition and pretences of devotion, together with a desire of tyrannising over men's consciences, were the distinguish
is not a
the wilderness. And so we may para- | And this event was witnessed by phrase the words of our Saviour's only a few of those who were present reply (with Baxter) in the following when our Lord delivered the address manner,—'I say to thee, as I said here recorded.—But there is a fact to the Devil when he tempted me, which points to another, and perget thee behind me; for thou doest haps a better, interpretation of this the work of Satan the adversary, in passage. In all the gospels in which tempting me, for self-preservation, to this prediction is recorded, it is imviolate my Father's command and mediately followed by the narrative my undertaking, and to forsake the of our Lord's transfiguration in prework of man's redemption and sal- sence of three of his apostles; and vation.'
hence it has been concluded, with Again, How are we to understand strong reason, that this is the event the last verse, in which our Saviour to which the promise refers. The says, “There be some standing here transfiguration was an actual and which shall not taste of death till visible display of our Lord's kingly they see the Son of man coming in majesty and power,-and it is probhis kingdom ?'—Some suppose that able that he appeared, on that occaour Saviour here refers to the publi- sion, to some of his disciples, in the cation of the Gospel after his ascen same glorious form which he will sion and the day of Pentecost, when hereafter wear when he will come his spiritual kingdom began to be with clouds, “and every eye shall
in the world, by the accession see him.” In the twenty-seventh of believers to the church. But we verse our Saviour makes a solemn may observe that the promise is, not declaration of his future coming to so much concerning the coming of judgment; and then, in the next the kingdom of Christ, as concern- verse, that he would ever give a ing the coming of Christ himself in view of himself, as he will appear his kingdom; and not only so, but, under these circumstances of awful if this had been the sense of our glory, to some persons present, durSaviour's declaration, it would have ing their life-time. been applicable to all the Apostles (except Judas), and probably to almost all the bystanders, not merely to some of them.-Others understand READER. From that time Jesus by the Son of man coming in his began to show unto his disciples.kingdom' the overthrow of Jeru- Observe the union of tenderness and salem,
which was a remarkable wisdom which was displayed in the display of Christ's power and the teaching of our blessed Lord. When truth of his predictions,—the re- his disciples had become fully conmoval of an obstacle to the progress vinced of his being the Messiah, of the Gospel, and a remarkable and were prepared to unite in that type of the awful day of judgment. confession of which we have just
read, “Thou art the Christ, the Son Lord were not confined to the awful of the living God,'—then did their scenes of Gethsemane and Calvary. gracious master impart to them Far from it. He “endured the consome intimations of his future suf- tradiction of sinners against himself” ferings, and of the difficulties which throughout the whole period of his they must themselves be prepared ministry, not to mention other sources to encounter. But even then they of pain and sorrow to which he grawere not able to endure a full view ciously submitted. How large is the of all these sufferings and difficul- amount of “the unknown sufferings ties; and it is said that Jesus only of Christ none can tell. It pleased began to shew them: he gave them the Father to bruise him and to put light and knowledge as they were him to grief ; and in “ bringing many able to bear it. Let us rest satis- sons unto glory to make the captain fied that the truths revealed in Scrip- of their salvation perfect through sufture are set forth to us in due man- ferings.” May the good pleasure of Der and proportion,-such as is best the Lord—with respect to ourselves adapted to our state and circum- prosper in his hands.—But who were stances. Doubtless, the more we they from whom the Lord of life and study the sacred record with humble glory received, for the most part, this and pious minds, the greater will unworthy treatment? They were be the amount of truth imparted The elders and chief priests and to us; but if there be limits to the scribes, the very men who ought to knowledge which even the most have been foremost in receiving him devout and learned can derive from with honour,—and who would have this sacred source, let it be remem- given him this welcome if they had bered that the author of the inspired been faithful to their religious light volume has consulted our best inter- and privileges. But, as Quesnel truly ests as well in the measure, as in the observes in his note on this passage, kind and substance, of the truths Christ is usually persecuted by three which he has been pleased to place classes of men, whose types or patterns within our reach.
may be found in the elders, the chiefHe must go unto Jerusalem, and priests, and the scribes,-namely, by suffer many things.—How can we "rich men, who have their portion in rightly understand the force of that this life; ambitious and covetous ecword must! It was a necessity laid clesiastics, who seek their portion in upon him by his own holy will, his this life ; and conceited scholars, who love for fallen man, his faithfulness set up their wisdom against the wisto his gracious undertaking on our dom of God, being more intent on behalf. “ Thus it behoved Christ to criticising words than in providing suffer." “ Ought not Christ to have for the salvation of their souls.” suffered these things, and to enter Holy Scripture is a faithful record of into his glory?"-And suffer many the wickedness of man and the evil of things. The sufferings of our blessed' sin, as well as of the goodness and