Page images

multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. 15 And straightway all the people, when they beheld him, were greatly amazed, and running to him saluted him. 16 And he asked f the scribes, What question ye with them? 17 And one of the multitude answered ff and said, Master, I have brought unto thee my son, which hath a dumb spirit; 18 and wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him : and he foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and 8 pineth away: and I spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not. 19 He answereth gg him, and saith, O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you ? bring

him unto me. 20 And they brought him unto him: and 8 ch. i. 26. h 8 when he saw him, straightway the spirit tare him; and

he fell on the ground, and wallowed foaming. 21 And he asked his father, How long is it ago since this came unto him ? And he said, Of a child. 22 And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him :

but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, f read, them.

ff or, unto him. g or becometh rigid

88 read, them. h render, when the spirit saw him, straightway it tare him. day following the transfiguration, Luke, 18.] The words rendered pineth away may ver. 37. 14.] The scribes were pro- perhaps mean becomes dry or stiff. bably boasting over the disciples, and rea- 19.] O faithless generation, not addressed soning from their inability to that of their to the man, as unbelieving,- nor to the disMaster also. As Stier remarks, there ciples,-but generally, to the race and is hardly such another contrast to be generation among whom the Lord's minisfound in the Gospel as this, between the try was fulfilled. The additional words and open heaven and the sons of glory on the perverse(Matthew, Luke) are probably mount, and the valley of tears with its from Deut. xxxii. 5; see further ib. ver. 20, terrible forms of misery and pain and un- where “faithless" is also expressed by belief. I have already in the notes to Mat "children in whom is no faith.The thew spoken of the noble use made of this question is not asked in a spirit of longing contrast in the last and grandest picture to be gone from them, but of holy imof the greatest of painters- the Trans- patience of their hardness of heart and figuration of Raffaelle. 15.] The Lord's unbelief. In this the father, disciples, countenance probably retained traces of Scribes, and multitude are equally inthe glory on the mount; so strong words volved. “The kingdom of Satan, in as were greatly amazed would hardly small and great, is ever stirred into a have been used merely of their surprise fiercer activity by the coming near of the at His sudden approach : see Exod. xxxiv. kingdom of Christ. Satan has great 29, 30. That brightness, however, terri. wrath, when his time is short ” (Trench, fied the people : this attracts them : see Mir. 365). Vv. 21–27 are peculiar to 2 Cor. iïï. 7-18. 16.) them (first Mark. 21.7 The Lord takes occasion time), i. e. 'the multitude,' regarding the to enquire thus of the father, to bring Scribes as a part of the multitude. One in the trial of his faith. 22.) See of the multitude answers, 17.7 unto Matthew, ver. 15. if thou canst do any thee-i, e. intended to do so, not being thing] This bespeaks, if any faith, at most aware of His absence. From Luke, ver. 38, but a very ignorant and weak one. we learn that this was his only son.

us--the wretched father counts his child's dumb, i. e. causing deafness and dumbness, misery his own: thus the Syrophenician and fits of epilepsy ; see Luke xi. 14. woman, Matt. xv. 25, help me.

Luke xvii. 6

and help us. 23 Jesus said unto him, h If thou canst h eh. xi. 28. [i believe,] all things are possible to him that believeth. John xi. 10. 24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said [i with tears,] [k Lord,] I believe; help thou mine unbelief. 25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, he rebuked the foul spirit, saying unto him, Thou dumb and deaf spirit, 11 charge thee, come out of him, and enter no more into him. 26 And the spirit cried, and rent him sore, and came out of him: and he was as one dead; insomuch that m many said, He is dead. 27 But Jesus took him by the hand, and lifted him up; and he arose. 28 And when he was come into the house, his disciples asked him privately, Why could not we cast him out? 29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer [mm and fasting.]

k omit.

i omitted in many ancient authorities. See note.
j omit, with nearly all ancient MSS.
I the I is emphatic.

m literally, the many, i.e. most of those present. mm omitted by our two oldest MSS. See on 1 Cor. vii. 5.

23.] The most probable rendering of the ori. himself to the father as a Creator and ginal here is, Jesus said to him the saying, bringer out of faith first, before He heals "If thou canst believe, all things are,” &c.: his son. In the struggle of his anxiety, a saying which doubtless He often uttered the strength of Faith is born, by the aid on similar occasions. Some, omitting the of Christ, in the soul empty of it before." believe, would set an interrogation after There is strong analogy in the Lord's canst, and suppose our Lord to be citing treatment of the father here, for the sponthe Father's words : didst thou say, sorial engagement in infant baptism. The 'If thou canst ?' - all things are," &c. child is by its infirmity incapacitated ; Others, as Dr. Burton, suppose it to mean : it is therefore the father's faith which is - Believe what you have expressed by tested; and when that is proved, the child your if thou canst,' &c. But both these is healed. The fact is, that the analogy renderings involve methods of construction rests far deeper : viz. on the inclusion and expression not usual in the Gospels. of the old man’in Adam and the 'new The if thou canst believe is a manifest man' in Christ : see Rom. v. 12-21. reference to the if thou canst do any

25.] This took place at a distance thing before, and meant to convey a re. from the crowd, among those who had proof, as the father's answer testifies. run forward to meet our Lord, ver. 15. The sentence, also, unless I am mistaken,

I charge thee] The personal prois meant to convey an intimation that the noun is emphatic, as opposed to the want healing was not to be an answer to that of power on the part of the disciples. This challenge, so that the Lord's power was to is the only place where we have such a be challenged and proved, but an answer charge as enter no more into him,-shewto faith, which (of course by laying hold ing the excessive malignity and tenacity on Him who is Almighty) can do all of this kind (see ver. 29) of spirit. This is things. 24.7 Nothing can be more also shewn by ver. 26.

27.] See ch. touching and living than this whole most v. 41; also Matt. xvii. 6, 8: Rev. i. 17: masterly and wonderful narrative. The Dan. x. 9, 10. 29.] The answer is given poor father is drawn out into a sense of more at length in Matthew, ver. 20, and the unworthiness of his distrust, and the the Lord there distinctly includes the dislittle spark of faith which is kindled inciples in the faithless generation, by tellhis soul reveals to him the abysmal deepsing them “ Because of your unbelief.of unbelief which are there.” (Trench, The assurance also occurs there, which was p. 367.) “Thus,” remarks Olshausen (B. repeated Matt. xxi. 21, where see notes. Comm. i. 534), “ does the Redeemer sliew

This kind) That there are kinds,

30 And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. 31 For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him ; and after that he is killed, he shall rise n the third day. 32 But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And nn he came to Capernaum : and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed [o among your

selves] by the way? 34 But they held their peace: for by Luke xxii. 24. the way they had i disputed among themselves, who

[oo should be] the greatest. 35 And he sat down, and * Matt. 11. 28. called the twelve,' and saith unto them, “If any man desire

to be first, the same shall be last of all, and P servant of all. Ich. 1. 16. 36 And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them :

and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto

them, 37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in m Matt. I. 40. my name, receiveth me : and m whosoever shall receive me, n Num. xi. 28. receiveth not me, but him that sent me. 38 n And John

answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out n read, after three days. nn some very ancient authorities have, they came. o omit.

00 or, was : not expressed in the original. , P render, ministering servant. more and less malicious, of evil spirits, we selves referred the question to our Lord, and find from Matt. xii. 45—and the per. He took the child, &c. Who can forbear seetinacity and cruelty of this one shewed ing in these narratives the unfettered and him to belong to the worst kind. The independent testimony of three witnesses, Lord's saying here is rather for their after consistent with one another in the highguidance, than their present; for they est form and spirit of truthfulness, but could not fast while He was with them, differing in the mere letter ? St. Mark's ch. ii.

account is again the richest and fullest, and 30-32.7 SECOND ANNOUNCEMENT OF we can hardly donbt that if the literal HIS DEATH AND RESURRECTION. Matt. exact detail of fact is in question, we xvii. 22, 23. Luke ix. 43-45, where see have it here. 33.7 Between the comnotes, as this account is included in the ing to Capernaum, and this discourse, haptwo others.

pened the demand of the tribute-money, 33 - 50.7 DISCOURSE RESPECTING THE Mt. xvii. 20—27.

34.] There is no GREATEST AMONG THEM. Matt. xviii. 1-9. real difference in the matter in question Luke ix. 46–50. Here again the three here (and in Luke), and in Matthew. The accounts are independent, and differ in kingdom of heaven was looked on as about some particulars unimportant in them. soon to appear : and their relative rank selves, but very instructive for a right now would be assumed as their relative comparison of the three Gospels. First rank then. The difference in the exprestake St. Luke's account. The disciples had sion of this is a mark of independence and been disputing ;-our Lord knowing the authority. 35.] See Matt. xx. 26, and strife of their hearts, took a child, &c. :

36. taken him in his arms] then compare St. Mark-our Lord asked This particular we learn from Mark. them, on coming into a house, what had 37.] See Matt. x. 40. 38.] Only found been the subject of their dispute ;---they besides in Luke, vv. 49, 50. Notice were silent from shame ; He sat down, the repetition of he followeth not us as delivered his sentence to the twelve,-and characteristic of Mark. The connexion of then took the child, &c.- Lastly turn to this remark with what goes before, is : If St. Matthew. There, the disciples them. the receiving any one, even a little child,


Matt. v. 29: xviii. 8.

devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us. 39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not : ° for there is no man which shall do o 1 Cor. xii. 3. a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me. 40 For P he that is not against us is on 9 our part. 41 9 For p see Matt. xii.

Matt. x. 49. whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink r in my ? name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. 42 And whosoever shall offend one of [s these] little ones that [t believe in me), it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea. 43 ? And if thy hand beant. Film offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into

q many old authorities read, you and your.
I read, by reason that : see note.
s omitted by some ancient authorities : in that case supply the.

t this is variously read : some ancient authorities have believe only ; others, have faith, which is most likely right. in thy Name, be receiving Thee; were we purport of his weighty saying. For this doing right when we forbade one who is the very fault of the disciples, that they used thy Name, but did not follow us ?" laid down outward and visible communion “ Let those observe this,” says Bengel, with them as the decisive criterion of com“ who bind on spiritual gifts to canonical munion with the Lord : and this very succession.” This man actually did what fault the Lord rebukes with his repu. the very Apostles themselves were specially diatory you." Still, there is a propriety, appointed to do: and our Lord, so far a tempering the rebuke with a gracious from prohibiting, encourages him; see reminiscence of their unity with Him, and Num. xi. 26-29. 39.] See 1 Cor. something exceedingly suiting the belong xii. 3. The very success of the miracle to Christ below, in us and our. In the will awe him, and prevent him from soon divided state of the critical evidence, the or lightly speaking evil of me. We reading must be ever doubtful. 41.] must beware of supposing that the applica. This verse does not take up the discourse cation of this saying is to be confined to the from ver. 37, as some think, but is immeworking of a miracle-ver. 40 shews that diately connected with ver. 40:– Even it is general - a weighty maxiin of Chris. the smallest service done in my Name tian toleration and charity, and caution to shall not be unrewarded, much more men how they presume to limit the work should not so great an one as casting out of the Spirit of God to any sect, or suc- of devils be prohibited. The original cession, or outward form of Church; com- bas in the name that:i.e, by reason that, pare Phil. i. 16–18. 40.) This say. but not without an allusion to my name, ing is not inconsistent with that in Matt. which furnishes the reason. xii. 30. They do not refer to the same ye belong to Christ] The only place in the thing. This is said of outward con- Gospels where this expression is used. St. formity-that, of inward unity of pur. Paul has it; see reff. and Rom. viii. 9: pose-two widely differing things. On 1 Cor. iii. 4. 42.] See Matt. xviii. 6. that saying, see note there. On this, we

43-48.] These solemn repetitions may say-all those who, notwithstanding of former declarations (see Matt. V. 29; outward differences of communion and xviii. 8, 9) are by no means to be regarded government, believe in and preach Jesus as arbitrary insertions by this or that. Christ, without bitterly and uncharitably Evangelist, but as the truth of what was opposing each other, are hereby declared uttered by our Lord. Vv. 44, 46, to be helpers forward of each other's 48 are only in Mark; they are cited from work. O that all Christians would re- Isaiah (see reff.), where the prophecy is of member this! Stier (Red. J. iii. 24) the carcases of those who have transstrongly deprecates the reading us and gressed against the Lord. This triple our: “the us in the mouth of our Lord repetition gives sublimity, and leaves no here confuses and destroys nearly the whole doubt of the discourse having been ver

Ezek. xliii.

24. u Matt. v. 13,

v Eph. iv, 29.

Col. iv. 0. w Rom. xii. 18

xiv. 19.

Heb. xii. 14.

life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into 6 Isa. lxvi. 24. the fire that never shall be quenched : 44 us where their

worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, [V into the fire that never shall be quenched :] 46 u where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell [w fire] : 48 where

their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. 49 For t Lev. ii. 13.

every one shall be: salted with fire, and every sacrifice bike xiv. shall be salted with salt. Luke xiv. 34.

50 u Salt is good : but if the salt w Rom. xii.18: have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have

corsi. . salt in yourselves, and whave peace one with another.

u verses 44 and 46 are omitted by many ancient authorities : probably, as not occur. ring in Matt. v. 29, 30.

v omitted by many ancient authorities : see on ver. 44.

w omitted by several ancient authorities. batim thus uttered. See note on Matt. understanding of Isa. xxxiii. 14, 15, Who v. 22. 49.] In order to understand among us shall dwell with the devouring this difficult verse, it will be necessary first fire ? &c. He that walketh in righteousto examine its connexion and composition. ness,' &c. And thus the connexion with (1) What is for? It connects it with the the preceding verses is, - it is better for solemn assertions in vv. 43–48, it is better thee to cut off,' &c.—' for it is part of the for thee ..., and furnishes a reason why it salting of thee, the living sacrifice (Rom. is better for us to cut off and cast away, &c. xii. 1), that every offence and scandal

every one then is to be taken abso. must be burnt out of thee before thou lutely: referring back both to the thee, canst enter into life.' It is perhaps necesand the their above-every sacrifice is sary to add that this is simply the ex(not opposed to Meyer], but) parallel planation of our Lord's words as they with every one, and and equivalent to just stand, in their symbolism and connexion. as. (2) This being stated, let us now en- When Mr. Elliott objects to it as a “fearquire into the symbolic terms used. FIRE, ful comment,' he has to do with those is the refiner's fire of Mal. iii. 2, to which words, not with me. Surely, nothing but indeed there seems to be a reference; the the most amazing power of misunderfire of Matt. iii. 11 and Acts ii. 3; of standing can suppose the explanation inEzek. xxviii. 14 (see my Hulsean Lectures consistent with such texts as Rom. viü. for 1811, pp. 9–12). Fire is the symbol 1, 34: 1 John ii. 1, 2. 50.7 The conof the divine purity and presence :-our nexion of this (elsewhere said in other God is a consuming fire, not only to his references, Matt. v. 13 : Luke xiv. 34) is foes, but to his people : but in them, the now plain. If this fire which is to purify fire shall burn up only what is impure and and act as a preserving salt to you, have, requires purifying out, 1 Cor. iii. 13: from the nullity and vapidity of the grace 1 Pet. i. 7; iv. 12, 17. This very fire of the covenant in you, no such power,-it shall be to them as a preserving salt. can only consume-- the salt has lost its The salt of the covenant of God (Lev. savour—the covenant is void-you will be ii. 13) was to be mixed with erery sacri. cast out, as it is elsewhere added, and the fice; and it is with fire that all men are to fire will be no longer the fire of purificabe salled. This tire is the divine purity tion, but of wrath eternal. I will and judgment in the covenant, whose pro. just add that the interpretation of the mise is, I will dwell among them.' And sacrifice as the condemned-and the fire in and among this purifying fire shall the and salt as eternal fire,- except in the people of God ever walk and rejoice ever- case of the salt having lost its savour, is lastingly. Rev. xxi. 23. This is the right contrary to the whole symbolism of Scrip

« PreviousContinue »