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ciples, that a small ship should wait on him, because of the multitude, left they should throng him. 10. For he had healed many, insomuch that they * pressed [Or, rushed] upon him for to touch him, as many as had plagues. unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God.

12. And he straitly charged them, that they fhould not make him known. 13. And he p goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. 14. And he 9 ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach : have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils. 16. And Simon her firmamed Peter.

17. And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James, (and he firnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of Thunder,) 18. And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Canaanite, 19. And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went * into an house [or, home]. 20, And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much fas eat bread. 21. And when his * friends [Or, kinsmen] heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.

22. And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem, said, “He hath

• He hath Beelzebub

and of Mar. 1. 25: Jefus rebuked Church, and had prayed with fasthim, saying, Hold thy peace, and ing, they commended them to come out of him.

the Lord on whom they believed. Mat. 10. 1. When he had Gal. 1.1. Paul an Apostle, not of called unto him his Twelve Disciples, s Men, neither by Man, but by Jesus he gave them Power against un Chrift, and God the Father, who clean Spirits, to cast them out, and raised him from the Dead. Joh, to heal all manner of Sickness, 15. 16. Ye have not chosen me, and all manner of Disease. Luk.

but I have chosen you, and ordained 6.12. It came to pass in those days, 10 you, that you should go and bring that he went out into a Mountain forth Fruit. to pray, and continued all Night + Joh. 1. 42. -Thou art Siin Prayer to God.

+Luk. 9. 1.

mon the Son of Jona : thou shalt Then he called his twelve Disciples be called Cephas, which is by in together, and gave them Power 15 terpretation, a Stone. and Authority over all Devils, and + Mar. 6. 31. Come ye your to cure Diseases.

selves apart into a defert Place and 9 A&. 1. 24. They prayed and rest a while ; for there were many faid, Thou Lord, which knoweft coming and going, and they had

the Hearts of all Men, Shem whe- 20 no, leisure so much as to eat. *ther of these two thou hast chosen. Ac. 14. 23. When they had ore + Joh. 8. 48, 52. Job. ained them Elders in every

See on Mat. 9. 34.

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† Joh.7. 29,

+Joh. 19. 20.

and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. 23. And he called them unto him, and said unto them « in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? 24. And if a Kingdom be divided against it self, that Kingdom camiot stand. 25. And if a houfe be divided against it felf, that house cannot stand. 26. And if Satan ritë up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. 27. No man can enter into a b strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man, and then he will spoil his house. 28. Verily I say unto you, o Au fins shall be forgiven unto the fons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soeyer they hall blafpheme: 29. But he that shall (1) blaf

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hora (1) I am inclined to make some Observations concerning the Sin a. de gainst the Holy Ghost, because good Christians have been much perplex.

ed and terrified with the Apprehenfions that they have committed this Sin

, when indeed they have not, and because such as have lived wicked

ly may not be discouraged from setting about a true Repentance by any the Fears that they have been guilty of this Sin, and that therefore their Beer Case is desperate.

firf, The Sin here spoken of seems to be, the Sin of the Jews, particularly of the Pharifees, who ascribed the miraculous Works our Lord did by the Power of the Holy Ghost, to prove himself to be the Son of God, and Saviour of the World, to a Power derived from the Devil. For the very nezt Verse runs thus, Because they said he hath an unclean Spirit. And Se,

Matthew, Chap. 12. 22, 23. records that our Lord having healed one pofbut felfed with a Devil, blind and dumb, the People were amazed, and said,

Is not this the son of David? that is, the Messiah, or the Christ. But to prevent their believing in him, the Pharisees, Ver. 24. faid, This Fellom doth not cast out Devils, but by Beelzebub the Prince of the Devils. This Ca

lumny our Lord refutes; and then follows what he delivered concerning goaty the Sin against the Holy Ghost,

Secondly, The Sins which come nearest to this against the Holy Ghost, feem tobe the Renouncing of and Apoftatizing from the Christian Religion,after Men bave been baptized, and had clear Convictions of its Truth and Cere tainty; and an obftinate Continuance in a Course of Sin to the End of their Lives without Repentance, notwithstanding all that God and Christ have done to reclaim and reform them. I have often wondred to find People under great Fears left they should have committed this Sin, when at the fame time they have had no Fears about their living in a course of Sin, and dying without Repentance; which, considering the mighty uncertainty oflife, all who live in the Commission of any known and wilful Sin, have great Reason to do.

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pheme against the holy Ghost, háth never forgiveness, but i in danger of eternal damnation: 30. Because they said,

He hath an unclean Spirit. 31. There came then his d Bre: thren and his Mother, and standing without, sent unto him, calling him. 32. And the multitude fat about him, and they faid unto him, Behold, thy Mother and thy Brethren with, out seek for thee. 33. And he answered them, saying, Who is my Mother, or my Brethren? 34. And he looked round about on them which fat about him, and said, Behold my Mother and my Brethren. 35. For whosoever shall do the Will of God, the same is my Brother, and my Sister, and Mother,

CHAP.

d* See on Mat. 12. 46.

Thirdly, It deserves to be considered, whether there is not here, as well as in other Cases, a tacit Condition to be supposed, unless they Repent. Is it not exprefly and positively declared, that adulterers, Fornicators, Drunkards, &c. hall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Is it not as plainly said, that all Liars hall have their part in the Lake which burneth with Fire und Brimstone? Do not all Divines acknowledge notwithstanding, that Repentance will save Men from these Evils? Since therefore Repents ance is not expressed in these Places, (Gal. 5. 19,6 and Rev. 21.

8.) bue only supposed,why may not the like Condition be here fupposed ? If we consult the 2d and 3d Chapters of the History of the Atts, we shall find that many of thofe who did blafpheme the Holy Ghost were not only called upon to repent, but actually did repent, and were pardoned; fuch I mean as denied the Holy One and the Juft, and delivered him up to be crucified.

The chief Objection against this Suppofition, is taken from the 28th Verse, All Sins shall be forgiven to the Sons of Men, &c. That is, say fome, any manner of Sin shall be forgiven, but the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghoft shall not be forgiven. But as Mr Holes observes in his Paraphrafe on Mat. 12. this is not the Meaning of these Words ; for here is an Hebraism, frequent in Holy Scripture. Thus, Mar. 13.31. Heaven and Earth Mall pass away, but my Words shall not pass away. That is, (as St. Luke expresses it, Chap. 16. 17.) It is casier, or Heaven and Earth shall fooner pass away ; not that Heaven and Earth shall pass away, but that if it were possible, they ihall sooner pass away than his Word'shall. So here, all manner of Calumnies and Slanders are heavy Sins, and shall hardly be forgiven to those who commit them, but they will more easily be forgiven than this Calumny against the Holy Ghost.

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CH A P. IV. h his

he again teach by the there was gathered unto him a great multitude, so that he entred into a fhip, and fat in the lea, and the whole multitude was by the sea, on the land. 2. And he taught them many things by parables, and said unto them in his do&trine, 3. Hearken, Behold, there went out a fower to sow: 4. And it came to pass as he fowed, some fell by the Way-fide, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up. g. And fome fell on ftony ground, where it had not much earth, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth. 6. But when the sun was up, it was scorched, and because it had 110 root, it withered away. 7. And fome fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it

, and it yielded no fruit. 8. And other fell on good ground, and did 5 yield fruit that sprang up and increafed, and brought forth some thirty, and some fixty, and some an hundred. 9. And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. 10. And h when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve, asked of him the Parable. Il. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto k them that are without, all these things are done in Parables. 12.

Mat. 13. s. The fame Day in Heaven, whereof you heard Jefus went out of the House, and before in the Word of the Truth

+ Luk. 8.

4.

of the Gospel And when much People were ga of Mat. 13.10. And the Discia thered together, and were come to s ples came and said unto him, Why him out of every City, he spake by 'speakeft thou onto them in Paras

bles ? 'Mar. 12. 38. And he said i See the Note on Mat. 13. unto them in his Doctrine, Beware of the Scribes,&c.

+ 1 Cor. 5. 12. What have I : Joh. 15. Ś, 16. I am the to do to judge them also that are Vine, ye are the Branches: He that Without ? Do not ye judge them

that are within ? + Col.

4.5.

Walk fame bringeth' forth much Fruit ; in Wisdom toward them that are for withoue me ye can do nothing. 15 without. ti Thef. 4.

12. That I have chosen you, and ordained ye may walk honestly toward them you, that you should go and bring that are without.

† 1 Tim. 3. 7; foreh Fruit

, and that your Fruit Moreover, he [a Bishop] must hould remain. Col. 1.5. For have a good Report of them which the Hope which is laid up for you 20 are without.

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left at any tim they should be converted, and their fins should be forgiver them.

13: And he said unto them, Know ye not this Parable and how then will ye know all Parables ?

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1 + Ifa. 6.,9. 4 Luk. 8. 10. dom, and understandeth it not 4 Joh. 12. 40.

+ A&t. 28. 26. then cometh the wicked one, ani 4 Řom. II. 8. See on Mat. 13. catcheth away that which wa 14

sown in his Heart: this is he m + Mat. 13. 19. When any s'which received Seed by the way one heareth the Word of the King side.

(1) We should entertain unworthy Thoughts of the blessed Jefus, the great Lover of Souls, should we put füch an Interpretation on these Words as implies, that the great or only Reason why he fpake to the Jews in Parables was, that they might not perceive, or underft and, or be converted; for this would be to suppose our Lord to act contrary to that which he declares to be one main Design of his Coming into the World ; namely, to teach us the Knowledge of his Father's

. Will, and to turn us from Darkness to Light, &c. Parables are comparisons borrowed from Things already known by those to whom they are spoke, and intended to explain something which is more difficult.' Therefore our Lord's speaking tó them in Parables did

not proceed from his unwillingness to inftru& them, but it was because they were not so well fitted to receive Instruction in any other Way. Accordingly we read, Ver. 33. that with many such Parae bles spake he the Word unto them as they were able to hear it.

St. Matthew relates this matter more fully than either St. Mark or St. Luke, and he, Chap. 13. 15. expresly ascribes their Blindness to themselves : This Peoples Heart is waxed gross, and'their Ears are dull of Hearing, and their Eyes they have closed, lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their Ears, and should understand with their Hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them. And this no doubt was the Case.

We are mightily in the Wrong, when we go about to fasten such Coma Sequences on the wise, holy, just and good God, as make him wanting to his Creatures, or to be the Cause of their Destruction; for he hath affirm, ed in the most folemn manner, that he desires not the Death of a Sinner, and that he would have all men to be saved. If any difficult Places of Scripture seem to look another Way, it will better become us to say understand them, than to fix such Consequences upon God, sured, both by the Principles of natural Religion and Scripture, are in consistent with his infinite Perfections, and contrary to his revealed Will

. Is it not more reasonable to think, that our being unacquainted with the Eastern Language and Phrase makes them difficult to us, than to undera stand them in a Sense which contradicts a great Part of the Bible?

It is a great Aggravation of our Sins, when we attempt to lay them up, on God, and to make him to be the Author or the Cause of them. If any perish everlastingly, it is because they fight or despise the Means of Salvation, and will not be made wifer or better by them. Of the Mein ing of the Word that, see the Note oa Joh. 12. 38.

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