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well said.

Reflections on the certainty of the resurrection. 203

he must be an everlasting patron and friend to sect.
them, even to their whole persons, so as to re-
cover their mortal part from the ruin and deso- Luke
lation of the grave. And therefore, on the whole, XX. 98.
you greatly err, in denying this doctrine; and
your error tends to bring a disgrace on the whole
series of Divine revelation, and to weaken one
of the strongest motives to a life of holiness and

obedience.
39 Then certain of Then some of the scribes who were present, be- 39
the seribes answering, in

i ing of the sect of the Pharisees, were pleased to

of the sort of the pi said, Master, thou hast

hear a doctrine of their own so judiciously de-
fended, and said in reply, Master, thou hast spoken

so well upon this subject, that nothing solid can MAT. XXII. 33. – be objected to thy discourse. And indeed Mat.

when all the multitude that was present in the
tude beard this they
were astonished at his temple at that time heard [this] unthought of,

yet convincing, argument, together with so clear
an answer to a cavil in which the Sadducees used
to triumph as invincible, they were greatly asto-
nished at his doctrine, and plainly testified the

admiration and delight with which they had LUKE XX. 40. And attended his discourse. And as the Sadducees Luke after that, they durst had nothing to reply, they were ashamed and not ask him any question at all.

disappointed ; and after that they durst not any
more presume to ask him any thing at all", but
retired in silence and confusion.

And when the mult

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doctrine.

re ashamed and XX. 40

IMPROVEMENT.

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WITH what satisfaction should we read this vindication of soimportant an article of our faith and hope! Easily was this boasted argument of the Sadducees unravelled and exposed, and all the Mat: pride of those bold wits, who valued themselves so much on that 23--28 imaginary penetration which laid men almost on a lerel with brutes, covered with just confusion. Indeed objections against the resurrection, much more plausible than this of theirs, may be answered in that one saying of our Lord's: Ye know not the scriptures, nor the power of God, Were the scripture doctrine of the resurrection 29 considered on the one hand, and the omnipotence of the Creator on the other, it could not seem incredible to any that God should raise the dead. (Acts xxvi. 8.)

How sublime an idea does our Lord give us of the happiness of Luke those who shall be thought worthy to attain it! They shall be equal a

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h After that, they durst not ask him any derstood as limited to them; because in lking at all.] It is evident that this is the very next section we read of a question meant of the Sadducees, and must be un- which one of the scribes put to him,

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210

Reflections on the certainty of the resurrection. Sect. to the angels! Adored be the riches of that grace which redeems

_ us from this degenerate and miserable state, in which we had made Ver, ourselves so much like the beasts that perish (Psal. xlix. 12 ) to 35, 36 raise us to so high a dignity, and marshal us with the armies of

heaven! 34 Let us esteem so glorious a hope-aright, and with the greatest

intenseness of soul pursue and insure it. And as for those enjoyments of this present world, which are suited only to the mortality and imperfection of it, let us moderate our regards to them, and cultivate those higher entertainments with the most solicitous care, which will be transplanted into the paradise of God, and ever

flourish for the delight of his immortal children. 37 Christ, we see, argues a very important point of doctrine from

premises, in which, perbaps, we might not have been able to have discovered it without such a bint. Let us learn to judge of scripture arguments, not merely by the sound, but by the sense of the words. And as our Lord chose a passage from the Pentateuch, rather than from the prophets, for the conviction of the Sadducees, let us be engaged to study the tempers, and even the prejudices, of those with whom we converse; that we may, if possible, let in the light of Divine truth on their hearts on that side by which they

seem most capable of receiving it. Mark In a word, let us with pleasure think of the blessed God under xil. 26 that gracious title by which he manifested himself to Moses at the

bush. Still he is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the

God of Jacob; the God of our pious ancestors, the God of all our Luke departed friends who are now sleeping in Jesus: for all their souls XX. 38 now live unto him, and their bodies shall ere long be awakened by

him. In like manner, if we are followers of them who through faith and patience are now inheriting the promises, when we are gathered to our fathers, and our names, perbaps, forgotten among succeeding generations, he will still be our God. He will shew us, by the blessed experience of eternity, that when he treated with us by that title, and admitted us into the covenant by which he bears it, he intended for us something far nobler and better than the transient scenes of earth and of time could admit.

SECT.

The first and great commandment is to love God.

211

SECT. CLVI.

Christ discourses of the first and great command of the law, and confounds the Pharisees with a question relating to David's calling the Messiah his Lord. Mat. XXII. 34, to the end. Mark XI. 28–37. Luke XX. 41--44.

MAT. XXII. 34.

MAT. XXII. 34. BUT when the Phari

THUS Jesus defended the great doctrine of the SECT.

hug Leone dofonde sees had heard that he had put the Saddu- & resurrection from the vain cavils which cvi. cecs to silence, they were brought against it. But the debates of Mat. Fere gathered together, the day ended not here ; for when the Pharisees XXII.34

heard that he had thus silenced and confounded
the Sadducees, they were soon gathered together
again, with a malicious view of carrying on the
same design, to try if they could any way expose
him to the people, and to make their remarks

upon what he might say. 35 Then one [of

And one of the learned scribes (who was also 35 . thu scribes, which toas a lawyer, (came and a doctor of the law, came with the rest ; and have hasing heard them ing attended to the discourse between Jesus and Teasoning together, and the sodduces and bounde

the Sadducees, and heard them reasoning togeperceiving that he had answered them well,j ther, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked [him) aquestion asked him a farther question ; intending to make tempting him, and another trial of him as to his understanding in saying, (MARK XII. 28.-1

the sacred books; and said to him, Master, I 36 36 Master, which desire thou wouldst inform me which is the first [is], the (first, and ] [and] great commandment of all that are congreat commandment ! Fof all in the law ? tained in the whole law a? Is it a ceremonial, or Mark X11.–38.] a moral precept, that is the most important, and

deserves the preference ? MARK XII. 29. And And Jesus answered him, The question thou Mark Jesus answered him, h The first of all the hast put may easily be resolved ; for surely the X11. 29. commandments is, first, that is, the most comprehensive and imHear, O Isracl, the portant of all the commandments of the law, sis] Lord; (MAT. XXII.

e that which is contained in Deut. vi. 1, 5. X. 12. 37.-) Hear, O Israel, Jehovah our God is the one

great

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a Which is the first and great command- they were inclined to give the preference ment, &c.] This was a point that often to the ceremonial part.- Dr. Lightfoot rewas disputed by the Jewish dociors ; some marks in his Hor. Hebr. on Mark xii. contepding for the law of circumcision, 29,) that Christ answers the scribe out of others for that of sacrifices, and others for a sentence which was written in the phythat of the phylacteries. And though it lacteries ; in which he avoided all occasion was a rule among them, that the law of of offence, and plainly shewed (as the the sabbath, was to give place to that of scribe afterwards obscrves, Mark xii. 33. circumrision, yet they were not agreed as that the observance of the moral law was to the rest, which was the principal and more acceptable to God than all the sacri. most important precept, only in general fices they could offer to him. VOL. VII.

Dd

The

greater

than

these.

212

The next is the love of our neighbour. SECT. great and only Lord; And upon all occ. 30 And thou shalt

love the Lord thy God lvi. casions thou shalt regard and honour bim as

1.as with all thy heart, and rk such, and love the Lord thy God with all thine with all thy soul, and Mark XII. 30. heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy with all thy mind, and

with all thy strength: mind, and with all

thy strength ;
thy strength ;” that is,

that is, this is the first (and
thou shalt consecrate to him all the united pow- great commandment.
ers and faculties of thy nature ; and thy under- (Mat. XXII. — 37,
standing and will, thine affections and executive
powers, shall be all in the most vigorous man-
ner employed in his service. (See note con
Luke x. 27. sect. cvii.) This is the first and great
commandment, the principal and fundamental
precept of the law, and there is no other which

may not be considered in its degree as subordi.
31 nate to this, and reducible to it. And the 31 And the second

second, in its sublime and comprehensive nature, is likc (unto it), name-
[is] much like unto it, as well as given by the
be well as given by thé ly this, Thou shalt love

thy neighbour as thysame authority b, seven] this contained in Lev. self: there is none xix. 18. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy- other commandment self :" For all the duties you owe to your

(MAT. XXII. 39.] fellow-creatures may be reduced to this; and where this undissembled and generous principle of love is, the rest will easily and naturally fol.

low. On the whole, therefore, there is no other Mat. commandment greater than these. And in- Mar. xxu. 40. XX11.40 deed I may say, that all the law and the prophets on these two com

depend upon these two commandments; that is, it mandments hang all
is the design of the whole revelation, in its dif-
Sole revelation in ite dif the law and the pro-

phets.
ferent periods and circumstances, to promote
that virtuous and holy temper which may be
expressed by the love of God and our neigh-

bour. Mark And the sçribe who had proposed the question MARK XII. 32. XII. 32. with a design to try him, was struck with the And

vim was struck Luith the And the scribe said solidity and spirit of his answer, and said to him, ter, thou hast said the

unto him, Well, Mas. Truly thou deservest to be owned as a Master in truth : for there is one Israel ; for thou hast spoken to this important God

other but he :
question excellently well :< for there is indeed
33 one God, and there is no other beside him : And 33 And to love him

to love him, as thou hast said, with all the heart, with all the heart, and
and with all the understanding, and with all the wi
standing and with all the with all the under-

standing, and with all soul, and with all the strength, to consecrate all

and there is nowe

tue

the

1 The second is like unto it.] By quot- to the neglect of those of the second ; on ing this with the former he sufficiently which account it was exceedingly proper guarded against a foolish notion, which to use such language as this. some say the Pharisees had, that the obser- c Excellently well.] It is in the orivation of one excellent precept of the law ginal schws, beautifully, or finely, which would excuse the transgression of many expresses his high satisfaction in the reothers. It is rertain the Pharisees were ply much more strongly than the word ready to magnify duties of the first table, well.

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Jesus asks how the Messiah is the Son and the Lord of David. 213 the soul, and with all the intellectual and active powers of our whole sect. the strength, and to lore his neighbour as

and to nature to him ; and for a man to love [his) neigh. clv himself, is nuore than bour as himself, from a sense of piety in God, as Mat. all whole burnt-offer. well as benevolence to man, is far more impor-XX11.33 ings and sacrifices.

tant than all the burnt-offerings and sacrifices
which the greatest prince could present at his
altar ; nor could the most exact and pompous
ritual observances be acceptable without such

virtues and graces as these.
34 — And when And Jesus, seeing that he answered thus wisely, 34
Jesus saw that he an-
swered discreetly, he said unto him, It appars from these just senti-
said unto him, Thou ments of thine on this important head, that thou
art not far from the art not far from the kingdom of God ; and such
kingdom of God.

views of religion as these, may be the happy
means of preparing thee to receive the gospel
in that fuller manifestation of it which is now

approaching
M 4 T. XXII. 41.
(And) while the Pha-

11. And while the Pharisees were gathered together Mat. risees were gathered during this conference, expecting to have found XX11.41 together (while he an opportunity to ensnare him, as he was still Jesus asked them, say

temple,] teaching the people in the temple, Jesus turned ing, How say the to the scribes and doctors of the law who were scribes, that Christ is present, and asked them, saying, How say the the Son of David ;) scribes so commonly as they do, that the Messiah (MARK XII. 35. LUKE XX. 41.

j is the Son of David ? Let me ask you of 42 What think ye that profession who are now here, What think 42

whose Son ye concerning the Messiah in this respect? IVhose is he? They say unto • him, The Son of Da- Son is he? They say unto him, Nothing can be vid.

plainer than what thou representest as the gene

ral opinion; he is undoubtedly to be [the Son of 43 He saith unto David. He saith unto them, How then does 43 them, How then duth David [himself) in Davia nimsey, speaking

Moin David himself, speaking by the inspiration of the spirit (or by the Holy Holy Spirit, in the book of Psalms, acknowledge Ghost] (Luke, in the him to be superior to himself, and call him book of Psalms call Led himn Lord. saving, Lord "? for you cannot but know that there is (MARK XII. 36.- a passage expressly to this purpose, (Psal. cx. 1.) LUKK XX. 42.- which you readily allow to refer to the Messiah,

44 The Lords unto my Lord, Sit in which you find David sanno alou on my right-hand said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand till I make thine ene. in exalted power and glory, with ali the mam'es thy footstool ? : MARK XII.-36.1 Jerry and honour Old Ag, Tu Iman

i jesty and honour of a King, till I make all thine LUKE XX, 42, 43. enemies thy footstool, and cause thee to trample

upon

of Christ whose

d Note then does David himself by the sect. cxxxiv.) And I look on this as no Holy Spirit, &c.) Our Lord, we sce, al- contemptible argument for the inspirntion ways takes it for granted, in his arguments of the New Testament ; for we can never with the Jews, that the writers of the Old think the apostles of Christ to have been Testament were under such an extraordinary less assisted by the Divine Spirit in their guidance of the Holy Spirit as to express writings, when they were in other rethemselves with the strictest propriety on spects so much more powerfully endowed ail occasions. (Compare John X. 35. with it.

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