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XII. 43, 44, 45. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there : and the last state of that man is worse than the first.
Certainly, it must needs be, that the Jews are in worse case, than if they had never received the knowledge of God and of his law : for the Devil hath more advantage over them, that have once known the will of God, and have for the time been freed from his tyranny, if they do again give way to the entertainment of his wicked motions ; for then the Evil Spirit, finding, by consent, a second harbour there, seizeth on their hearts with more power and freedom than ever, and tyrannizeth over them without all controlment.
XII. 46. Behold, his mother and his brethren stood fc.
XII. 49, 50. And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoerer shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said to the messenger, Behold, you tell me of my mother and near kinsfolk: I do not deny due respects to my parent according to the flesh, and to those which are of my natural and bodily kindred; but I would have you know, that it is the spiritual kindred, that I do most affect and stand upon: these, therefore, that by a true and lively faith are spiritually incorporated into me, these, that do carefully and conscionably give up themselves to the obedience of God my Heavenly Father, these are they, that may justly challenge a holy consanguinity with me; and this conjunction of grace in the soul doth more endear my mother and kinsmen unto me, than all earthly and bodily regards whatsoever.
XIII. 3. Behold, a sower went forth to sow.
Behold, the word of God is as the seed; the preacher is the sower or seedsman; men are the soil; God's messengers, by his appointment, go forth to preach his word and Gospel to men.
XIII. 4. By the way side. See our Saviour's exposition, verse 19.
XIII. 5. Some fell upon stony places. See verses 20, 21. XIII. 7. Among thorns. See verse 22.
XIII. 11. He answered, and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
Although I do speak in these riddles or parables, yet the illumination of that Spirit, which is given to you, will sufficiently clear these things unto you, who are acquainted with these Divine Mysteries: but as for those, that have not this light from above, they understand them not; their infidelity is justly punished, with ignorance of all saving doctrine.
XIII. 12. For whosoerer hath, to him shall be giren, and he shall have more abundance : but whosoerer hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
For, whosoever, through my goodness and mercy, hath any measure of grace wrought in him, that man, in the effectual use of those means which I afford unto him, shall have yet more; but, whosoever hardeneth his heart to refuse those gracious offers which are made unto him, it is and shall be just with God, to take away from him those helps and tenders of means and previous dispositions, which are made unto him.
XIII. 13. Therefore speak I to them in parables : because they seeing see not ; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
Therefore speak I unto them in parables, because they have brought this willing blindness upon themselves, that in seeing they see not; and this wilful deafness, that in hearing they hear not &c.
XIII. 14. By hearing ye shall hear, and shall fc. See Isaiah vi. verse 9.
XIII. 15. This people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, fc. and should be converted, and I should save them. See Isaiah vi. verse 10.
XIII. 25. But while he slept, his enemy came and sowed tares. See our Saviour's exposition of this parable, verses 37, 38, 39, 40, of this chapter.
XIII. 31, 32. The kingdom of hearen is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds : but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.
The Gospel of my Kingdom, in regard of the happy growth and success thereof, may well be resembled to a grain of mustard seed: Which, being one of the least of all seeds, at length grows up to a strong and branched plant; and, exceeding the quantity of a herb, becomes, as it were, a little tree, able to yield sufficient perches for the birds that resort unto it: even so my Gospel, from weak and contemptible beginnings, shall spread forth to that largeness of extent, as that it shall reach unto all the nations upon earth. .
XIII. 33. Another parable spake he unto them; The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened.
Or, upon the same reason, this Gospel of mine is like unto leaven, which, though in a very small quantity it be hid amongst much dough, yet seasoneth the whole batch : so shall this Gospel of mine diffuse the power and virtue thereof, to all the whole mass of the habitable world.
XIII. 47, 48, 49. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind : Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into the vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.
As the Church, or Spiritual Kingdom of God here upon earth, is thus largely diffused through efficacy of his Gospel; so it may not be conceived to be pure and free from all sinful mixtures, while it is here below : rather, it is like unto a dragnet, which is cast into the sea, and fetches up much variety, not of great and little fishes only, but of stones and sea-weed and shells and mud, altogether: Which, when it is drawn to the shore, is disburdened of all the unprofitable load thereof; and yieldeth the good provision of fish unto the vessels of the owner. So doth the Church of God: here, for the outward and visible composition of it, it containeth not only sound and holy and faithful men, but even the secretly vicious, sly hypocrites, hollow and faithless professors : But, at the end of the world, when this great net is drawn up to the shore, the angels shall come forth, and make a due separation of the wicked from among the just.
XIII. 52. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.
These parables I have delivered and expounded unto you, not only for your own information, but also for the instruction of others; for know, that it is not only required of you to understand the mysteries of my kingdom yourselves, but to be able to teach them unto others also : so as if ye will be meet doctors of my Evangelical Church, ye ought to be furnished with all variety of divine knowledge; that, as a good householder lays up and fetcheth forth store and change of good provision for his guests and family, so may ye, that are my ministers and messengers to the world, be stored with plenty of saving knowledge and heavenly doctrine.
XIII. 54. And when he was come into his own country.
And when he was come to Nazareth, where he was brought up
XIII. 54, 55, 56. Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works? Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses,
and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with
Whence then hath this man all these things? Do not we know the birth and breeding of this man? Is he not the son of Joseph, the carpenter? Is not his mother called Mary? Are not his cousins and near kinsmen, James and Joses, men well known of us? Are not his kinswomen here amongst us? Whence is it, that, having not been trained up in the Schools, he should come by this marvellous wisdom and knowledge ; and whence are these his miraculous works?
XIV. 22. And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.
Jesus laid a vehement charge and command upon his disciples, who were otherwise unwilling to have left him, that they should take ship, and go before him to the other side of the lake.
XIV. 25. And in the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
In the last quarter of the night, which was the morning watch, when they had been long tossed in the sea with contrary winds, Jesus came unto them, walking on the sea.
XIV. 29. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
Lord, since it is thou, I am so confident of thy power, that if thou shalt but bid me, I dare venture to set my foot upon the waves, and walk to thee.
XIV. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
But when he found that the wind was strong and boisterous, and the billows rough, he was afraid ; and now, as his faith bore him up before, so his fear made him begin to sink, &c.
XV. 2. Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders ? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
Thou knowest that we have a tradition from our late elders, though no law of God for it, that, for the fear of many incident pollutions, we should, both before and in our meals, wash often: why do thy disciples violate and neglect this good order, set by our wise elders in their repast?
XV. 3. But he answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
? But he answered and said unto them; Ye are apt to take exceptions at my disciples for transgressing the traditions of men, but, in the mean time, ye yourselves make no conscience of transgressing the commandments of God, by these your vain and ill grounded traditions.
XV. 5, 6. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free.
But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or mother, Content yourselves, my parents: I have vowed and consecrated unto God that part of my substance, which might have been beneficial and helpful unto you; and now I may not alienate or revoke it: And, thereupon, give no aid or assistance to his father or mother, he is free from this bond, wherein he is tied by the law, both of God and nature.
XV. 9. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
In vain do they worship me, while, instead of my holy laws, which only are able to bind the conscience, they obtrude upon men the devices of their own brains; and require the strict observation thereof, with the neglect of God's precepts.
XV. 11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. The Scribes and Pharisees have found fault with
disciples, for eating with unwashen hands; but know ye, that the soul of a man is not polluted with that, which he puts into his mouth : the creatures of God are in their nature good, and these outward foulnesses of the hand have no moral guilt in them ; but those things, which defile a man, are the wickednesses that come forth from an unclean heart, and so break forth into the expressions of the mouth and hand. See verses 17, 18, 19.
XV. 23. Send her away; for she crieth after us.
Master, thou art not wont to repel importunate suitors: be pleased to grant her request; for she crieth after us.
XV. 24. But to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. See chapter x. verse 6.
XV. 26. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
The Jews are the select family of God, and the children of the house; the Gentiles are but as dogs, despised and hated, as those that are without God in the world : it is not meet, to communicate those favours and blessings, which I have intended to the children of my Church, to these contemptible aliens from the commonwealth of Israel.
XV. 27. Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
O Saviour, I do not expostulate with thee for this so hard appellation: I do meekly yield myself such as thou hast termed me; but, if I be a dog, give me at least the common privilege of this despised creature. I require not a whole morsel; I desire but a crumb of thy favour: the dogs are