« PreviousContinue »
motive of this kind acquired any influence on our Lord, he would have declined going into Galilee, lest Herod should imprison and kill him also: and indeed his insidious enemies did afterwards urge this reason why he should leave Galilee. 1
Jesus had preached and wrought miracles, in Judea, in Galilee, and at Jerusalem, for a considerable time before John was imprisoned: and his usual abode seems to have been at Nazareth. -"But, when he had heard that John was cast " into prison, he departed" (probably from Judea) "into Galilee; and leaving Nazareth, he came " and dwelt at Capernaum."2 So far from fearing the power which had shut up John in prison, he went to reside in the heart of Herod's dominions; and his more stated labours were from that time in Galilee.
P. 57, 58.-The quotations on these pages are made with the omission of many verses, on which the meaning greatly depends; but nothing requires special notice. P. 58. 1. 24. What sign,' &c 'Not once gave them a sign,' &c.
(p. 59. 1. 10.) Our Lord paid no more court to the many than to the powerful; and would no more work a needless ostentatious miracle, to satisfy the presumptuous multitude, who were disposed to "take him by force and "make him king;" than at the demand of those enemies, who determined to "take him by force, "and put him to death."
Jesus " came into the world to save sinners." "I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." He came to be the Saviour of the "world;" the Prophet, Priest, and King of his church; the Ruler over the whole universe; and the Judge of the living and the dead. But his personal ministry consisted principally in teaching, and in confirming his doctrine by miracles of mercy and love. "He went about doing good."
P. 59. 1. 21. If this is true,' &c.-Let the reader make his own remarks on the language of this sentence. It could hardly have been expected from a Rabbi, or from a teacher of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge. The end of our Lord's coming, both as stated by Gabriel and Zacharias, takes in the whole effect of his mission, from his birth to the end of the world; and not. merely his personal ministry.
P. 60. 1. 1. His people,' &c.-Not to adduce the New Testament use of this expression, before the conclusion drawn from it is established, some passages in the prophets should be noticed.— "Whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, "blessed be Egypt, my people, and Assyria the "work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance."1 "In the place, where it was said to them, Ye are "not my people, there it shall be said unto them, "Ye are the sons of the living God."-" And I "will say to them, which were not my people, "Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou "art my God." 2 "And many nations shall be joined unto the Lord in that day, and shall be
Isa. xix. 25.
2 Hos. i. 10. ii. 23.
my people."1 "His people," therefore, includes, all who truly believe and obey him, whether Jews or gentiles, and none else. "He became the "Author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him." 2
P. 60. 1. 3. Not a preacher.' The predictions that the Messiah should be a king, by no means prove, that he would not be a preacher. Moses was "king in Jeshurun: "3 Yet he says, "Be"hold I have taught you statutes and judgments, "even as the Lord my God hath commanded "me."4" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me; "because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me "to bind up the broken hearted; to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." Is this a prophecy of the Messiah, or not? If not, whom does the prophet personate?5 Again, either David, or the Messiah says, "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation. Lo, "I have not refrained my lips, and that thou "knowest. I have not hid thy righteousness within my heart; I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy loving "kindness and truth from the great congrega❝tion." 6 And again, My mouth shall shew "forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day." "Hitherto have I declared thy wondrous "works. Now, also, when I am old and grey
1 Zech. ii. 11. 'Deut. iv. 5.
Ps. xl. 9, 10.
headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have "shewed thy strength to this generation, and thy power to every one that is yet to come." Even Solomon appears perhaps more glorious as a preacher, than as a king. "The words of the PREACHER, the son of David, the king of Je"rusalem." "I the PREACHER was king over "Israel in Jerusalem."2 In this especially Solomon was a type of Christ: but " behold a greater "than Solomon is here."
P. 60. 1. 34. To fight,' &c.-No doubt, the Messiah will fight against the enemies of Israel: but probably Zechariah, or the Holy Spirit as speaking by him, intended enemies of another kind, from whom the Saviour delivers all true believers as his people. And let it be observed, that the Sinai covenant is not referred to; but that which was confirmed to Abraham by an oath.
P. 61. 1. 21. Conclusion of his embassy.' P. 62. 1. 8. Well might,' &c.-That worldly and ungodly men should oppose and revile the holy Jesus, cannot be wonderful: but that any one should consider their revilings as a proof that he was a bad man, without any other evidence adduced, is most unreasonable and most marvellous. He was indeed taken, and judged, and put to death; but his embassy did not conclude with his death. For he arose, and ascended, and reigns over all worlds, while the desolations of Jerusalem and the temple, the dreadful judgments which overtook his crucifiers; and the subsequent establishment of Christianity in the world, with
'Ps. lxxi, 15, 17, 18.
Eccl. i. 1, 12. xii. 8—10.
all the past, present, and future happy consequences, resulting from it, are sequels of his embassy; which will be concluded, when he shall come to judge the world, to "put all enemies "under his feet," and cause his friends to sit down with him upon his throne: but not till that final catastrophe.
P. 62. 1. 14. The Messiah was to be a conqueror. He will subdue,' &c. The Messiah will eventually subdue all nations; but not immediately at his coming. "The stone cut out of "the mountain without hands," does not at once "become a great mountain, and fill the whole "earth."-" Of the increase of his government "and peace, there shall be no end." It is no where said, that this should occur at his coming. With what weapons, and in what manner, the Messiah fights and conquers, may give occasion to discordancy of sentiment: but we all agree that he fights, and conquers, and will conquer, and “must reign till all enemies are put under "his feet."2 Vast multitudes have been and will be conquered by those "weapons which are not "carnal but mighty through God," and will become his willing subjects.3 Others he has fought against, and will fight against, by his hostile armies; as he did against Jerusalem by "his armies" the Romans; 4 and as he will against all antichristian opposers of his cause, at the introduction of the millennium. Among
' Dan. ii. 34, 35, 44, 45. Is. ix. 5, 6. 'Ps. cx. 1. 1 Cor. xv. 25.
'Zech. xiv. 1, 2. Matt. xxii. 7.
'Ps. cx. 2, 3. 2 Cor. x. 4, 5.
Ezek. xxxviii. Rev. xix. 11-21.