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204

Reflections on the duties we owe to God and the king.

IMPROVEMENT.

Mat.

$ECT. AGAiN does our Lord renew the repeated lesson he had before cliv. given us, both by precept and example, of uniting wisdom and Luke innocence. How admirable was this mixture of prudence and xx.25,26 integrity with which he confounded these Pharisees and Herodi

ans, who, contrary as their principles and interests were, conspired 20 against bim! For of a truth, () Lord, against thine holy Child

Jesus, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, and the people of Israel, were gathered together (Acts iv. 27); and their words were softer than

oil, when war and murder was in their hearts. (Psal. lv. 21.) 21. Let us not, with the simple, believe every flattering word (Prov.

xiv. 15), since sometimes the highest encomiums may be designed as the instruments of mischief: and too often they prove so, when they are not treacherously intended.

Our Lord was indeed the Person whom these artful hypocrites xxii. 16. j.

o described ; and was in that respect an excellent Pattern to all his

followers, and especially to his ministers. He knew no man in the discharge of his office; but, without regarding the persons of any, neither seeking their favour nor fearing their resentment, he taught the way of God in truth, and declared the whole of

his counsel. 21. Let us particularly attend to his decision in the present case,

and learn with the utmost readiness to render unto Cesar the things which are Cæsar's, and unto God the things which are God's. Our civil magistrates, by virtue of their office, justly claim our reve. rent regard; and tribute is most reasonably due to those who attend continually to the service of the public, and are, under God, the pillars of our common tranquility and happiness. (Rom. xiii. 6, 7.) Let that tribute therefore be justly and freely rendered with honour, and with cheerfulness; as he is surely unworthy to share in the benefits of government who will not contribute his part towards its necessary expence. But let it also be remembered that the rights of God are sacred and inviolable : he, and he alone, is the Lord of conscience; and when that is invaded, it is easy to judge whether man or God is to be obeyed ; (Acts iv. 19.) Let us be daily thankful that in our own age and country these rights are so happily united. May a guardian Providence continue to watch over both! and may we seriously consider how impossible it is, under such a government, to be good Christians, without being obedient subjects, or to fear God, if we do not honour the king! (1 Pet. ii. 17.)

SECT.

The Pharisees urge a difficulty against the resurrection.

205

SECT. CLV.

Our Lord proves the resurrection to the Sadduccees, and answers

their foolish objection against it. Mat. XXII. 23——33 ; Mark XII. 18—27; Luke XX. 27–10.

LUKE XX. 27.

Luke XX. 27. THEN (the same day]

day) THEN on that day in which our Lord had SECT,

FN on that day in which our came to him ccr. tain of the Sadducees, - thus confounded the Pharisees and the He. Clv which deny that there rodians, some of the Sadducees came to him, who (as Luke is any resurrection; it was before hervedl were , set

zoni it was before observed) were a set of pretended XX. 27, and they asked him,

MAT. XXII. 23. free-thinkers among the Jews, that deny there is
MARK XII. 18.) any resurrection of the dead, or any future

state in which the soul exists after death o to re-
ceive the reward of its actions. And they ap-
plied themselves to Jesus, and asked him a ques-
tion, in which they put a case which they used
often to urge against those who were of a differ-

ent opinion from themselves, and with which
28 Saying, Master, they also hoped to puzzle him : Saying, Master, 28
Moses ( said and wrote if there be, as we know thou teachest, a resur-
vato us, lf any man's
brother die. À MARK, rection of the dead, how can this difficulty
and leave his wife be which we are going to propose be adjusted ?
hind him, and leave Moses, as thou well knowest, said, [and] wrote
bo children), that his
brother should take his to us this precept (Deut. xxv. 5), That if a man's
wife, and raise up seed brother die, and leave a wife and no children be-
unto his brother. hind him, his surviving brother should take his
[MAT. XXIJ. 24.
MARK XII. 19.) ** wife, and raise up seed to his brother, the first

XXÚ. 05. child of this second marriage being esteemed Now there were with the child of the deceased, so as to inherit bis us Seven brethren ; whole estate and beir up his name. Now it Mat. and the first, when he honnened that there were with us. ir had marries wife so happened, that there were with us, in a certain XX11.25 deceased, and baving family in our neighbourhood, seven brethren; no (LUKE, children], and the first of these brethren when he had marleft his wife unto his m brother. [MARK XII.

anton. ried a wife, died quickly after, and having had 20. LUKE XX. 29.]

no

. Who deny there is any resurrection.] It jection, as we meet with it in the old is generally known that their master Sa- Jewish writers. See Lightfoot Hor. Heb. doc, from whom the Sadducees took their în loc. Dame, taught that God was not to be servedb Or any future state, &c.] As it is from mercenary principles, that is (as he expressly said, Acts xxni. 8, that they decrudely explained it), from hope of re- nied any spirit, and consequently the existward, or fear of punishment. His fol. ence of the soul in a separate state; so lowers joterpreted this as an implicit de our Lord's answer here, and much of St. pial of a future state, and so imbibed that Paul's reasoning in 1 Cor. xv. goes on the pernicious notion of the utter destruction supposition of such a denial on their part of the soul at death, equally uncomfort See 2 Mac. xii. 42-44, where the auable and absurd. See Drusius, in loc.- thor proves that Judas believed a resurThe story which they mention here seems rection, from his offering sacrifices for the to have been a kind of common-place ob- souls of the slain,

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Sentto his bret direction ise, after her

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d said unto them,

206 Jesus shews their mistaken notion of the resurrection. sect. no children, left his wife of course to be married Civ. to his brother. And upon this the second fol. LUKE XX. 30. And ve lowed the direction of the law, and took her to

to the second took her to

wife, and he likewise] XX. 30. wife; and he likewise, after he had been some died childless. [Mai. time married, died childless, as his elder brotber XXII. 26.-Mark

XII. 21.31 did. And then the third took her, and he also

also. 31 And the third died as the others had done, without issue : and took her: and in like in like manner also all the rest went on, till every manner the seven also one of the seven brothers had married her; and 4

[MARK, had her:

" And they left no chi. they all died, and left no children behind them. dren, and died [Mat. 32 And last of all the woman herself also died with. XXII.-26. MARK out any issue, not having married into any other *

thor X11.-21. 22.-]

32. [And] last of all 33 family but this. The question therefore is, the woman died also. When they shall rise, as you say they all will, in (MAT. XXII. 27.

MARK XII. the general resurrection, whose wife shall she be of

33 Therefore in the the seven? for all the seven had her to wife : and resurrection (MARK, as they stood in an equal relation to her in this when they shall rise), world, they all seem to have exactly an equal

have exactly an equal whose wife [shall she

be of the seven)? for claim to her in the next.

(all] (MARK, the) seThus they attempted in a sneering manner to ven had her to wife. - overthrow all the arguments for a future state,

", MARK XII. 23.) which might be advanced either from reason, or “Mat. xxii. 29. from scripture. And Jesus therefore answered [And) Jesus answered and said to them, It plainly' appears from your manner of stating the question, that you are ing the scriptures, por

. Ye do err, not knowgreatly mistaken, and go entirely on a wrong sup- the power of God. position ; not knowing, on the one hand, what is [MARK. XI., 24.

LUKE XX. 34.-) so plainly intimated in the scriptures of a resurrection, which, if well understood, implies no contradiction at all; nor attending on the other hand, to the power of God, which is able with infinite ease to effect what to man seems most

difficult and improbable. Luke And as to this particular difficulty which you Luke. XX. -S4. A. 0+. now object, it ought to be considered, that the world marry. and are

The children of this children of this world do indeed marry, and are given in marriage : given in marriage, according to the wise provi. sion which God has made by that institution,

for repairing the wastes of mortality by the pro35 duction of new generations. But they who . 35. But they which shall be counted worthu to obtain that blessed woonld shall be accounted wor

onucu Worthy ooolaire that blessed world thy to obtain that which God has prepared for his people above, world, and the resur. and to be admitted to the never-fading honours rection from the dead that will succeed the resurrection of good men han

(MARK, when they from the dead, will be in very different circum- ry, nor are given in mar.

stances when they shall rise, and neither marry, riage. (MAT. XXII.30. 36 nor are given in marriage:

n marriage : For they can are
For they can die WARK":25.

36 Neither can no more, and therefore the rise of new genera- they die any more: tions is no longer necessary ; since in this respect for they are equal

they
be unto the angels (of

God

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He proves the resurrection from the law of Moses. 207 God in heaven), and they are equal to the angels of God in heaven, sect. are the children of God,

d; and are the children of God, and heirs of immor. being the children of an arc mc chuurch ou, and her the resurrection. (Mat. tality and glory, being the children of the resur XXII.-30. MARK rection", which shall instale them in a complete xx 36. XII.-25.)

felicity, answerable to so near a relation to the
Divine Being : and consequently all such diffi.
culties as you bave now been urging are entire.
ly superseded by the happiness and perfection

of so exalted a state.
37 (But as touching But as for the evidence of the resurrection in 37
the resurrection), that general, not to insist on many plainer passages
the dead are raised,
even Moses shewed at in the other books of scripture, for which you
the bush, when he do not profess so great a regard", I may say,
calleth the Lord. the he

e Lord, the that even Moses in effect shewed that the dead are God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and to be raised, when speaking of what happened at the God of Jacob: the burning bush (Exod. iii. 6), he calls the Lord, [MARK, bave ye not from whom he there received his commission, tead in the book of a Moses, how in the bush

h " the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, God

and

c Are equal to the angels of God in hea. the other parts of holy scripture but the five sea.] Matthew and Mark say only that books of Moses; which is particularly con. they are as the angels (aytinos), and tended for by Serrarius. (Trihrpres, lib. ii, though Luke expresses it by a stronger word cap. 21, and Minerval. lib. iv, cap. 14.) (isaylinn), that they are equal to the an. But this is questioned by Drusius (de tribus gels, yet all arguments drawn from hence, sectis, lib. iii. cap. 9), and Reland ( Antiq. as proving an entire equality of glorified Heb. part ii. cap. 11.) and Scaliger mainsaints with angels in all respects, must be tains the contrary, and shews that the apparently weak and inconclusive. It is passage from Josephus Antig. lib. xii. cap. indeed the glorious scheme of redeeming 10 (al. 18), § 6), which is commonly love to incorporate angels and saints into alledged in defence of that opinion, only re. one happy society under Christ as their lates to their rejecting all traditions. (Elench. common Head, (Eph. i. 10.) but there Trihæres, cap. 16.) And indeed, as it apare subordinations in united societies. And pears from the Talmud that other parts of if the fall of the apostate spirits occasioned the Old Testament were often quoted by any thing like a vacancy in the celestial the Sadducees, and arguments were brought hierarchy, it would seem most probable it from thence against them by the Pharisees might be filled up from heavenly spirits to prove the resurrection, which they enof an inferior order, who might be prefer- deavoured only to evade, without disputred to the rank their degenerate brethren ing the authority of texts, though they lost, as a reward for their approved fidelity were not taken from the law of Moses ; it to God. But it becomes us to be ex. is more reasonable to believe with Dr. ceeding modest in our conjectures on such Lightfoot (in his Hor. Hebr. on Jobp iv. subjects as these, lest we incur thc censure 25), that they did not reject the other books of intruding into things which are have not of the Old Testament, but only gave a seen. Col. ii. 18.

great preference to the five books of Moses ; d And are the children of God, being the and, laying it down as a principle, to rechildren of the resurrection.] This plainly ceive nothing as an article of faith, which intimates that good men are called God's could not be proved from the late, if any children, with a view to the inheritance to thing was urged from other parts of scripwhich they are adopted, on the final pose ture that could not be d duced from Moses, session of which they enter at the resur- they would explain it in some other way, rection, Compare Rom. viii. 17. Gal. iv. And this might be sufficient to induce our 7. 1 John iji. 2, and Rom. viii. 29. See Lord to bring his argument to prove the the Essay on Divine Dispensations, p. 8, 9. resurrection from wbat Moses had said,

e Other books of scripture, for which and to confirm it by that part of scripture you do not profess so great a regard. The which was most regarded by the Saddu. Sadducees are thought by many to have cees, and upon which they now had agreed with the Samaritans in rejecting all grounded their objection to it.

( I ani

Ye therefore

208 God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. sect. and the God of Jacob.And he had the highest God spake unto him for the expression for home we not (that wbich was spoken

unto you by God), read in the book of Moses how God spake to him in saying, I am the God Luke xx. 37. the bush by this title? and have ye not observed of Abraham, and the what was ihen in effect spoken to you by God,

spelen in bucod God of Isaac, and the

, God of Jacob?](MAT. saying in express terms, “ I am the God of Abra- XXI. 31, 39. MARK

ham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Ja- XII. 20." 38 cob?" Now certainly God is not to be called 38 For [God is not the God of them who are entirely destroved, a God of the dead, but

u, (MARK, the God) of and left to continue in the state of the dead, but the living; for all live the God of those who may be yet considered as unto him: [Mark, the living : nor would he ever own the high re- y Jation of a God to those whom he finally aban- 32. MARK XII.-27.1

err.] (MAT. XXII. dons, and suffers to sink into nothing; much less would what he did for the holy patriarchs, whose names he commemorated with so much honour, answer such a title, since he left them exposed to so many trials and calamities, which multitudes escape of whom he has never spoken in such language: so that those good men must be considered as still in existence; and therefore it may be concluded, by a strong train of consequences that all the faithful live unto hims; for he, on the foot of Abraham's covenant, owns himself the God of all such: and consequently

he

I am the God of Abraham, &c.] It is some modern writers of note do, fall in şurprising to me to find learned inen so with Mr. Mede's notion, in his works, much divided in their sentiments on this p. 801, 802), that our Lord refers to the easy text. The force of the argument necessity of Abraham's being raised from Cannot surely rest on the word [am]; be. the dead to inherit Canaan, in order to the cause though it he in the Greek, it is not in accomplishment of God's promise to give the Hebrer', where the words may pos. it to him; both because I can see no such sibly signify, I [have been] the God of necessity, and because then I think it would Abraham, &c. and the possibility of such bave been much more to our Lord's pura version would affect the conclusion on pose to have quoted the promise of the land that supposition. But our Lord's argu- of Canaan, than these general wards. ment is equally furcihle either way; for & So that all the faithful live unto him.) it is evident, that it cannot properly be It is evident that yap must here have the said, that God either actually is, or hath force of an illative particle, and may be been, the God of any whom he has suffer- rendered [therefore), or (so that); for ed finally to perish : and (as the apostle what it introduces is plainly the main pro. strongly intimates) he would, humanly position to be proved, and pot an argu speaking, be ashamed, or think it infinitely ment for what immediately went before. beneath him, to own that relation to any In this connection the consequence is apg for whom he bad not provided a city, or a parently just; for as all the faithful are state of more permanent happiness than the children of Abraham, and the Divine any whish could be enjoyed in this mor- promise of being a God to him and his seed tal lise, (See Hcb. xi. 16.) So that the ar- is entailed upon them, it will proye their gument by no means turns (as Archbishop continued existence and happiness in a Tillotson and Grotius suppose) on the future state, as much as Abraham's. And, calamitous circumstances in which these as the body, as well as the soul, makes an patriarchs often were; but would have essential part of man, it will prove both held good, had all their lives been as pros. his resurrection and theirs, and entirely perous and glorious as that of Abraham overthrow the whole Sadducean doctrine seems generally, notwithstanding his pere- go this bçad, sriuations, to have been. -1 cannot, as

After

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