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228 Reflections on the kind acceptance of the smallest charity. secr. smallest pieces of brass coin then in use, called and she threw in mites, which both taken together only make a

[thither] two mites,

which make a farthing. Mark jarthing of the Roman money.

(LUKE XXI. 2.) XII, 43.

And our Lord was so pleased with this gene 13 And he called rous action of hers, that he took particular no

unto him his disciples,

and saith unto them, tice of it, and even called his disciples to him, to Verily I say unto you, hear his remarks upon it ; and as they stood That this poor widow about biin, he says to them, Look upon yonder

hath cast more in, than

all they which have woman, and observe the greatness of her piety cast into the treasury. and zeal; for assuredly I say unto you, That this (Luke XXI. 3). poor widow, however she may seem to men to have given but a very little inconsiderable matter, has appeared in the sight of God to have

cast in more than all they who have throin such 44 sumptuous gifts into the treasury: And, in 44 For all [these]

did cast in of their proportion to her circumstances, it is much abundance (upto the more ; for all these, who had presented such offerings

God ;] large sums, threw in, comparatively, but a little but sive of her (penupart of their superfluty and redundancy of pos- she had, even all her sessions into the offerings of God; but she, in living. [Luke XXI. the midst of her poverty, and the daily straits to 4.] which she is exposed, has cast in all the little stock of money that she had [even) all that she had by her for her living ; not knowing where she should get the next mite for herself to furnish out the necessary supports for her humble and indigent life.

of

IMPROVEMENT.

Mark xii. 42.

OUR Lord Jesus Christ had his eye on those who were bringing their gifts unto the sacred treasury. Let us remember his eye is also upon us, to observe in what degree we are ready, on proper occasions, to contribute for the glory of God and the good of

mankind; and in what proportion to the ability which God has 42 given us. Let not the poorest be discouraged from doing some

thing for these good purposes, however little they may have it in their power to perform ; since Christ may acknowledge the noblest charily in the smallest gift, as wherever there is a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a mun hath, and not according to

what he hath not. ( 2 Cor. viii. 12.) 43

Let us imitate the candour of our blessed Redeemer, and be ready to be pleased with little services. The circumstances of mankind are such that few have it in their power to din great matters frequently for the service of others: but the desire of a man is his kindness, (Prov. xix. 22.) the principles and circumstances of an action recommend it more than the appearance it may make; and a multiplicity of little kind offices, in persons frequently conversant with each other, are the bands of society and

friendship.

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The stately buildings of the temple shewn him.

229 friendship. We ought therefore to preserve an babitual tender-, SECT. ness and generosity of mind, and be mutually willing to oblige and to be obliged by them.

To conclude; let us not despise the poor, since there are many 44 of them who will in Christ's computation be found eininently rich in good works; many whose mite will, in the treasury of God, have the value of a talent, and will condemn the sordid parsimony with which many of the rich and great have cast their presents into it; while what the latter part with out of their abundance bears no proportion in the account of God to what the former freely spare from their necessity. Happy is it for every truly pious and benevolent mind that it is to give up its final account to him who searches the heart, and who is witness to those devout and charitable purposes which will always stretch themselves out beyond the limit of actions, and engage the charitable soul to wish more good than the power and revenues even of kingdoms could ellect.

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Our Lord foretells the approaching destruction of Jerusalem, and

here insists on the remoter signs of its approach. Mat. XXIV. 1-14. Mark XIII. 1-13. Luke XXI. 5--19.

MAT. XXIV. 1.

Mat.

was

MAT. XXIV. 1. , and departed from AND when Jesus had thus confounded his sect. thc temple: and his

adversaries, and had foretold the desolation disciples came to him that their aggravated sins would shortly bring for to shew him the both on the city and the temple, (Mat. xxiii. 39,) XXIV.I buildings of the temple; (L x x F, and p. 226,) he left the place, and going out from as some spake how it thence, departed from the temple, where he had

adorned with been discoursing to them. And as he was going
goodly
gifts,] [onc of them away, his disciples came to [him], and took that
Saith unto him, Mas- occasion to shew him the splendid buildings and
ter, see what manner magnificent decorations of the temple : and some
buildings are here.] observing what a noble structure it was, and
[M A & K XIII. 1. speaking how it was adorned with beautiful stones,
LUKE XXI. 5.)

of a prodigious size“, and with costly gifts,
which many persons, in accomplishment of their
vows for deliverances received, had hung up on
the walls and pillars of it, besides what was laid
up in its treasures b; one of [them] says unto

him,

a Beautiful stones of a prodigious size.] tion of the whole temple in that chapter, Josephus says that some of them were which is one of the most entertaining pasforty-five cubits long, pive bigh, and sir sages of such a kind I ever met with. broad: (Bell. Jui. lib. v. cap. 5 (al. vi. 6.) b Costly gifts, &c.] Hanging up such $6.) See his large and beautitul descrip- avaonpala, or consecrated gifts, was com

mon

cix.

Mat.

230

Jesus foretells ils approaching destruction.
SECT. him, Master, behold what vastly large and curi-

ous slones, and what stately edifices are these.]
And Jesus replying, said unto them, [As for

2 And Jesus (an XXIV.2 these things which ye behold with so much admi- swering,] said unto

ration, do you not see the splendour and magnifi- these things which ve cence of all these great and pompous buildings behold,) See re not which are the pride of the Jewish nation, and all these (great buik'the wonder of all the rest of mankind ? Yet unto you, (Luke, the not withstanding all the present grandeur of this days will come, in the stately temple, verily I say unto you, That the which there shall not days will quickly come, in which a victorious upon another, that eneiny shall profane its sanctity, and deface its shall not be thrown beauty, insomuch that there shull not be left one down] (Mark X111.

XXI. 6.] single stone upon unother here, that shall not be entirely demolished, till no remains of any part of it shall be preserved. 3 And when he was retired from the city, as he

sat down upon the mount of Olites, wbich was upon the mount of over-against the temple, and commanded the Olives [over-against finest prospect of it froin the cast, the disciples, ciples [Peter,

the temple,] the disa Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, who James, and John, and were favoured with a peculiar share of his inti- Andrew] came unto macy and confidence, came to him privately, say- [LUKE, Master,) tell ing Master, we entreat thee that thou woulást us when shall these tell us when these awful things shall happen ? and things be? and what what (shall be the sign of thy second coming coming, and the end when thou wilt execute thy vengeance on these of the world, (when thine enemies : and of the end of the present age all these things shall and dispensation “, when all these things shall be be fulfilled ? (MARK

accomplished,

3 And as

he sat

avd

XIII.

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mon in most of the ancient temples. To with the Romans, and the strength of their
citus speaks of the immense opulence of the citadel, which forced Titus himself to
temple at Jerusalem; (Histor. lib. v. $ 8.) acknowledge that it was the singular hand
Ainongst others of its treasures there iras of God which compelled them to relinquish
a golden table given by Pompey; and se tortifications which human power
veral goller vines, of exquisite workman- could have conquered. (Joseph. Bell. Jud.
ship, as well as immense size (for Josephus lib. vi. cap. 9. al. vii. 16,) $1.) (Com.
tells us, in the chapter cited above, 4, pare noteb, on Luke xix. 43. p. 162.) –
that they had clusters are operxen;] as rail Bishop Chandier justly observes that no im-
as a man; which some have thought re- postoriould have foretold an event so un-
ferred to God's representing the Jewish likely, and so disagreeable. Defence of Chris.
nation under the emblem of a vine; Isa. tianity, p. 472, 473.
v. 1, 7. Psal. Ixxs. 8. Ezek. XV, 2, 6 d Tre eni of the present age. So 9:31:-
And osmna is likewise assures (ibat 6.) als to com; may well be rend red.
that the marble of the temple was so thise Compare Matth. xii. 32. Rom. xii. 2.
that it appeared to one at a distance line a 1 Cor. x. 11. Eph. ii. 2, 7. Heb. vi. 5. ix.
TRONnburn of saut; and the póding of se 26. in all which places dit may be ren-
veral of its external parts, which he there dered aze.- Archbishep Tillotson, and
mentions, must especially when the sun many other excllent writers, would re-
shove upon it, render it a most splendid and tain or ire-sziien, and suppose here are
beatitul spectacle.

tad distinctaesttuns : Whui sievid be the « Trere svest it not be left one store mbon ato sign of Ais coming to punish the ungrateful ther, here, &c.] It seemed exceedingly im- inhabitants of Jerusalem: and Jihat the probable that this should happen in tbat sign af his fiuta Searance to the universal ase, considering the peace of the Jews judgment. And that Christ answers the

trs!

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His disciples asking when these things shall be.

231 XIII. 3, 4. LUKE accomplished, to make way for the brighter glo- sect. XXI. 7]

ries of that kingdom which thou wilt establish,
when all thy sufferings are over, and everything Mat.
which opposes thy triumph subdued ?

XXIV.3. 4 And Jesus {an And Jesus answering them, began to say, with

4
swering them, began
to say, Take heed, an air of solemnity agreeable to the importance
that nó man deceive of the subject on which he was going to discourse;
you. [MARK XIII. 5. As to the event concerning which you now in-
LUKE XXI. 8.-)

quire, let me in the first place caution you, that
you see [to it] in the most solicitous manner,

that no man deceive you with false pretences to
5 For many shall a Divine revelation and commission. For many 5
come in my name, shall come in my name, and with a titie peculiar
(Lube, and the time to me, saying, I am the Messiuhe; and the time
draweth near :) and, of deliverance, so long promised, and so long
shall deceive many :

[Luks,
expected by the Jewish people, is now come',

when

stance.

first question in the former, and the second Joseph. Bell. Jul. lib. ii. cap. 13 (al. 12), in the latter part of the chapter: though I 4, 5.-Christian writers have always where the transition is made, has been, with great reason represented Josephus's among those that embrace this interpreta- History of the Jeroish War as the best comtion, matter of much debate.-Others mentary on this chapter ; and many have supposed the apostles took it for granted justly remarked it as a wonderful instance that the world was to be at an end when of the care of Providence for the Christian Jerusalem was destroyed; and that Christ church, that he, an eye-witness, and in was not solicitous to undeceive them, as these things of so greatcredit, should (espetheir error might make them so much the cially in such an extraordinary manner) be more watchful; and therefore answers preserved, to transmit to us a collection of in ambiguous terms, which might suit important facts, which so exactly illustrate either of thescevents,--But it seems much this noble prophecyin almost every circummore natural to conclude that they ex

(Compare Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. pected the wirked persecutors of Christ iii. cap. 8, al. 14.) But as it would swell (in wbich number most of the magistrales my notes too much to enter into a particular and priests were) would by some signal detail of those circumstances, I must conjudyment be destroyed; and that here tent myself with referring to Dr. Wbitby's upon he would ereit a most illustrious excellent notes on the xxivth of Matthew, kingdom, and probably a more magnificent and to Archbishop Tilloison's large and actemale, which they might think described curate discourse on the same subject, in the in Ezekiel : an expectation which they second o lume of his Posthumous Works, Ser. did not entirely quit even to the day of bis 183–187, p. 547, & seq. ascension. (See Acts i. 6.) Our Loril, i The time is come.] The word nyloxe with perfect integrity and consummate may signify either the approach or arrival wisdom, gives them an account of the of the time, ard may with great propriety proznosticuting and concomitant sizes of the express the first opening of a scene to be destruction of Jerusalene ; and then with gradually disclosert; in which sense it is out saying one word of any temporal kings applied to Christ's kingdom, as preached by dom to be erected, raises their thoughts to himself and bis apostles, during the time of the final judgment to which the figures nsed in his personal ministry.-Such pretended the former description might many of them Messiahs olid indeed arise towards the close be literally applied)and sets before them an of the Jewislı state. (See 1 John iv, 1; Acts heavenly kingdom, and eternal life, as the v. 36, 37; and Joseph. Antiq. lib. xx. cap. great object of their pursuit, Mat. xxv. 8, (al. 6, 7), $ 6, 10.– The Rhemish 34, 46. This I take to be the key to this Jesuits, as much as they triumph in their whole discourse ; the particular parts of infallible guide to the interpretation of scripwhich have been admirably illustrated ture, ridiculously explain this as a propheby many learned commentutors ; but the cy of Luther and Calvin ; which I menwhole scope and connection of it, so far tion only as one instance, among many as I can recolect, fully explained by none. more, of their contemptible iguorance or Many shuti come in my name., &c.] See wicked prevarication.

g Nation

clx.

6.

Mat.

322 He mentions the calamities that would fore-run them. sect. when the yoke is to be broken off from their (Luke, 50 ye not neck, and their enemies are to be subdued un

therefore after them.]

[MARK XIII. der them; and by these plausible pretences they LUKE XXI.-8.) XXIV.5 shall deceive many : but do not ye therefore go

after them; for all their promises and hopes will
be in vain, and sudden destruction will overtake
them and their followers.
6

But when ye shall hear of wars, and rumours 6[LUKE, But when] of wars, among the Jews, and seditions raised by ye shall hear of wars, them in several places against the Romans, see (LUKE, and commotithat

you be not troubled [and] terrified, as if the ons,] see that ye be great event that I have now foretold would im- not troubled, [LUKE,

and terrified]: for all mediately happen ; for all these things must first [LUKE, these things] come to pass, and be the gradual openings of it; must (Luke, first 1 but the end of them, in the utter destruction of come to pass; but the

end is not yet. (MARK the Jewish state, is not yet: nay, some of you, XII. 7. Luxe XXI, my disciples, will have several important services 9.] to perform here after these alarms are begun ; services which even by means of these alarms

you may pursue with some peculiar advantages. 7 And then he further added, and said to them, he Unto them,) Na

7 [Luke, Then said Judea shall not be the only seat of war at that tion shall rise against time ; for in the neighbouring countries nation nation, and kingdom shall rise up against nation, and kingdom against against kingdom: and kingdoms : and partly as the consequence of and pestilences, and these ravages and slaughters, and partly by the [Luke, great! cartbimmediate hand of Providence on sinful men quakes in divers places,

[and troubles :) LUKE who have rejected the gospel, as also to exercise and fearful sights, and the faith and charity of its professors, there shall great signs shall there be severe famines, and mortal pestilences; and he from heaven.). there shall also happen great and terrible earth- Luke XXI. 10. 11.) quakes in various places, and troubles and anguish of mind in the apprehension of vet greater calamities. Here at home there shall also be dreadful sights, and great signs from heaven, particularly a comet like a fiaming sword waving over Jerusalem, and the appearance of con

8 All these are the 8 tending armies in the air h. But all these things

[be. [are]

Nation shall rise up against nation, &c.] and Euseb. Hist. Eccl. lib. ii. cap. 8); and Grotius gives us a particular account of many perished by it in Judea. See Joseph. several -vars of the Jewsamong themselves, Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 2, § 6. and of the Roman with the Syrians, Sa h Dreadful sights, and great signs from mwitans and other neighbouring nations, heaven, &c ] Of these appearances, see before Jerusalem was destroyed.—There Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. vi. cap. 5, (al. vii. were also earthquakes at this time in Ape- 12), $ %, and Tacit. listor. lib. v. 5 13.mca, Laodicea and Campania: (sve Tacit. I cannot here but add an excellent obser, Annal. lib. xii. § 43, 58; lib. xiv. § 27; vation of Mr. Frest relating to the authors lib. xv. $ 22; Sueton. Nero, cap. 48 ; Gulb. by whom this prophecy, which is express. cap. 18.) - The famine in the days of Clau- ed in terms so very plain and circumstandius is mentioned Acts xi. 28, as well as tial, is recorded; that Matthew and Mark recorded in history Sueton. Claud. cap. 18, were incontestibly dead before the event, as

Luke

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