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39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
The day of]
32 And before him shall be gathered all nations and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared h for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited
44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
46 And these shall go away into
EXPOSITION-Chap. XXV. Continued.
so, but they think him a hard master if he do not acknowledge himself their debtor, though, in fact, they bury in the earth the talent they ought to have improved.
Instead, however, of making a merit of our demerits, and openly boasting, as this mau did, of our neglect, let us enquire into our improvement of the various talents with which we have severally been intrusted. Do we possess natural talents, or the means of improving them; genius, learning, or ministerial gifts; how have we employed them to promote the glory of God, or the instruction of our fellow creatures? Are we favoured with rank, and property, and influence; how do we lay out these to promote the cause of God, and the happiness of our fellow-creatures? What do we give to him who gave himself for us?
The degree of present and future blessedness, resulting from the proper improve. ment of the talents with which we are intrusted, is altogether incalculable. We feed the hungry, or give to the thirsty drink; and we thereby save the life of an individual; that individual, in the course of time, may be the instrument of giving life to many; and some of these, probably, may be eminent for usefuluess to the bodies and souls of others. We clothe the naked, and visit the prisoner; possibly both may become useful and valuable members of society, and all the good done by them and their posterity results from a single act of kindness. When God blesses men, he makes them blessings to others; and thus is happiness propagated, like the fame from torch to torch.
(H) Ver. 31--46. A solemn description of the last judgment. This awful subject, which had been repeatedly alluded to in the preceding chapters, is here solemnly described, with the particular view to encourage Christian benevolence, and to warn mere professors against hypocrisy and self deceit. The Son of man now comes, not to take possession of his kingdom, but to administer final judgment. The office of a judge is compared to that of a shepherd, which is also sustained by our Re deemer and though his sincere followers may in this world be mixed with hypocrites and false professors, as tares with the wheat, in a former parable (chap. xiii. 36), yet such is the omniscience of the judge, that he can separate them from each other with the same ease and certainty that a shepherd distinguishes sheep from goats: but the description here given is founded on the difference of their qualities and conduct; the meek and simple sheep, and the filthy goat. Both classess evince their true character, by their conduct and the award is given accordingly. To the former class the Judge seems to lay himself under obligations of which they have no conception; the latter, indeed, like the worthless steward in the preceding parable, appear to be sensible of no neglect or want of duty, though rejected by their judge on that account.
But let us attend carefully to the respective and widely different sentences of the two classes brought before us. To the righteous, who are called his sheep, the King, their Shepherd and their Judge, will thus address himself, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom pre
pared for you from the foundation of the world." On this we may remark, 1. That their reward is great-it is a "kingdom." 2. That their kingdom is "prepared" for them. And, 3. That it was so prepared "from the foundation of the world." The munificence of the king of heaven will not be disputed by any of his children; but how can this kingdom have been thus early prepared for them, even from the foundation of the world?" To this we answer
(and presume it will not be denied), that the Almighty formed the heavens in which himself resides, and where he intends his people to reside with him, even long before the foundation of these lower worlds, our planetary system. 2. That all the plans and designs of God are, like himself, eternal; without, therefore, here entering at all into the doctrine of decrees, we must admit, that all the happiness which God designs his people, he designed them from eternity.
But truly awful is the reverse of this scene; no less than the curse of God, and everlasting fire! Not, indeed, prepared for them, but for the devil and his angels, in whose misery they became involved, by listening to his temptations, and uniting in his rebellion. But is the future punishment of sin eternal? Alas! must we demonstrate this? Is not the very possibility of such punishment enough to deter from sin? Ah, no! Men will speculate upon the mere possibility of escaping it; the mere hope of this will encourage them in crime. But surely our gracious Saviour never designed to set a hope before us, that should lead us into sin: and God forbid that we should be self-deceived!
CHAP. XXVI. Ver. 2. Is betrayed-that is, he is about to be betrayed: the treason is already begun. Ver. 5. Not on the feast day-as the word" day is supplementary, Doddr. and Camp. render it, "not at the feast." The plan proposed seems to have been assassination: some objected, however, not to the murder, but to transacting it at a public festival,
lest the people should raise a tumult, and fall upon themselves.
Ver. 6. Simon the leper-probably one of those whom Jesus cured, and a friend of Lazarus. See John xii. 2-7.-They had indignation-chiefly Judas; but at first, probably, others joined with him.
cious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.
8 But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?
9 For this ointment might have been、 sold for much, and given to the poor.
10 When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman for she hath wrought a good work upon me.
11 For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.
12 For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial.
13 Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this,
[his Master. that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the Chief Priests,
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him. (1)
17 Now the first day of the feast of unleavened bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover?
18 And he said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I
(I) Ver. 1-16. The rulers conspire against the life of Jesus, and Judas betrays him. Mr. Preb. Townsend unites the two first verses of this with the preceding chapter, and we think with considerable propriety. But the connective particle “then," which begins ver. 3., probably implies that the chief priests, &c. assembled on the same evening to plot the death of our Saviour. So Doddridge and other harmonists. It is not unlikely that the supper at Bethany, and the anointing of our Saviour, might also take place on the same even ing; and the reproof that Judas met with, for his censure upon Mary, the woman here named, might prepare him for Satan's temptation to betray his Master on a principle of revenge, and induce him to go directly to the council at the high priest's palace, and make the offer.
We consider the anointing here mentioned, from the great similarity of circumstances, to be the same more particularly related by the Apostle John, and shall therefore defer our observations thereon till we come to that evangelist's 12th chapter, and confine our remarks on this section to the murderous designs of the Jews, and the treachery of Judas.
The object of the council of priests, we know was, how they might take Jesus by subtlety, or stratagein, on which there ap
pears to have been some debate; not as to the object itself, but the time, and the means to be employed. It probably never entered into their heads to think of bribing his disciples, nor that there was one amongst them base enough to betray him: when, however, Judas made the offer, it was readily embraced, though with the utmost contempt for the wretch himself; for a traitor can never be respected.
The character of this man (who should be carefully distinguished from Jude, the author of the Catholic Epistle) is an inte resting subject of inquiry." The treachery of Judas Iscariot, his remorse and suicide (says Dr. Hales) are occurrences altoge ther so strange and extraordinary, that the motives by which he was actuated require to be developed (as far as may be done) where the evangelists are in a great measure silent concerning them, from the circumstances of the history itself, and from the feelings of human nature. Judas, the leading trait in whose character was covet ousness, was probably induced to follo Jesus at first, with a view to the riches honours, and other temporal advantages which he, in common with the rest, e pected the Messiah's friends would enjo The astonishing miracles he saw him pe form, left him no room to doubt of t reality of his Master's pretensious, wh had indeed himself, in private, actually a
Ver. 18. My time is at hand-that is, the time of his death. This message, by the terms of it, was doubtless addressed to a disciple. Several questions as to the time and circumstances of this pass
over, have been raised among commentators, and bave slightly noticed one of them; but those have leisure and ability for such discussions, find a copious statement and examination of t in Mr. Prebend. Townsend's elaborate and lear notes to this chapter, in his N. Test. Arr. (vo p. 436-448); also a full account of the manne keeping the passover, from the Jewish Rabl
will keep the Passover at thy house with my disciples.
19 And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover.
20 Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
21 And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22 And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?
23 And he answered and said, He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me.
24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him: but woe unto that. man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.
25 Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake EXPOSITION.
cepted the title from his apostles; and Judas must have been much disappointed, when Jesus repeatedly refused the proffered royalty from the people in Galilee, after the miracle of feeding the 5000, and again after his public procession to Jerusalem." So far we agree with this learned writer, in his New Analysis of Chronology (vol. ii. p. 877) but when he goes on to suppose that Judas meant to deliver his Master up to the Sanhedrim," in order to compel him to avow himself openly as the Messiah before them, and to work such miracles as would convince, and induce them to elect him in due form, and enable him to reward his followers,"-we must withhold our credence, since we see no ground for such a surmise; nor, indeed, can we admit any of the poor apologies that some benevolent writers have attempt. ed to form in his behalf.
Judas was certainly covetous; and for a covetous man to be honest and faithful to his trust, seems impossible: yet the paltry sum for which he betrayed his Lord, being only thirty shekels (or, as we reckon it, within 37. 9s.), could hardly operate as a temptation to take the life of an ordinary man. It is possible the traitor may have expected more; but the wretches with whom he had to treat, seeing him eager to make the bargain, were not likely to treat kim with generosity: neither of the parties, we may safely conclude, knew that they were acting under the control of the su
preme Power, and actually contributing to fulfil prophecy, as was certainly the case. (See Żech. xi. 12, and Note.)
But another motive probably rankled in his heart his Master had openly reproved him before his fellow apostles, and not only justified, but applauded the woman whom he severely censured. Satan, always ready to encourage the evil passions of mankind, might now suggest how happily an opportunity was before him to revenge the supposed insult he had so recently received. Revenge is one of the master passions of a rebellious heart, and forms part of Milton's admirable portrait of the
fallen fiend himself:
..................................... Th' unconquerable will, And study of revenge, immortal bate, And courage never to submit or yield." (Par. Lost, bk. i. p. 106.)
Satan thus feeling himself, we cannot doubt but that on taking possession of the traitor's heart, it would be his first object to make it the image of his owu. From this awful fact may we be taught to check, and if possible to pray down, the first risings of this diabolical passion, against which our Lord himself has so strongly guarded us in his sermon on the mount. (Matt. v. 45.)
When Judas had received the wages of iniquity, he sought an opportunity to effect the crime, and he soon found it." Watch harm, catch harm," is an old and true
Ver. 20. He sat down-or lay down, as the word signifies; for the posture of the Jews, at the passOver table especially, was not properly sitting, but reclining, or lying along on couches, on their left side. This posture was reckoned so necessary, that it is said the poorest man in Israel might not eat till he lies along." One of the Jewish writers says, "We are bound to eat lying along, as kings and great men eat," because it is a token of liberty." Gill in loc.
Ver. 23. He answered and said—i. e. privately. See Jn. xiii. 23-26-He that dippeth his hand with me in the disk. To this day, the Moors in Barbary, the Arabs, and the Mahometans of India, in eating, make use neither of knives, forks, nor often of spoons; but
only of their fingers and hands, even in eating pottage, or what we call spoonmeat; when their food is of the latter kind, they break their bread or cakes into little bits, and dip their hands and their morsels together therein." Shaw's Travels, p. 232.
Ver. 24. It had been good, &c.-M. Saurin observes, there is but one individual whose damnation is mentioned in the Scriptures as certain, namely, Judas; that sin which carried him to his own place, was avarice. Claude, vol. ii. p. 71.
Ver. 25. Thou hast said. This was the most solemn way of expressing an affirmative. Townsend's New Test. Arr., vol. i. p 451, N.
Ver. 26. As they were eating, Jesus took breadas none but unleavened loaves, or rather cakes,
EXPOSITION-Chap. proverb: for when people are seeking opportunities for mischief, the tempter will always be ready to assist them. It is a singular proof of the depravity of the human heart, that those who regard neither the engagements of honour nor of duty, can yet be faithful to their engagements to commit assassination or murder, even with the terrors of the law before their eyes.
(K) Ver. 17-30. Jesus keeps the passover, and institutes his supper.-Before we enter on this very interesting subject, it may be proper to confess that there are several difficulties in the way of a critical arrangement of the time and circumstan
Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Ferguson agree to fix the passover full moon, and the day of our Lord's crucifixion, on the 3d of April, A. D. 33. But it is obvious that if our Lord, as the antitype of the paschal lamb, suffered at the precise time that lamb should be offered, he must have taken his passover on the preceding evening; and yet, as the Jews began their days in the evening, still it may be admitted that (according to that reckoning) he suffered on the same Jewish day (Friday), though according to the Roman method (which was the same as ours), he kept the passover on the Thursday evening previous to his death; whereas it appears the Jews did not keep theirs till after the crucifixion. (John xviii. 28.) On the passover itself we offered a few remarks at the time of its ap
29 But I say unto you, I will not > drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
30 And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. (K)
31 ¶ Then saith Jesus unto them, All
pointment, Exod. xii. 1-28. We shall here confine our attention to the Christian institution founded on it; and as that celebrated the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, so was it considered by the pious Hebrews as an anticipation of their future deliverance by Messiah.
The Christian institution pressed so closely upon the Jewish, as to appear its sequel or conclusion; being (as is remarked by Dr. David Hunter) “solemnized, not only in the evening of the same day, in the same chamber, and at the same table, but with the same bread and wine, with which it was usual to conclude the ceremony of the passover. The relation between the two, in these respects, served as a line of direction in tracing other points of resemblance. For instance, the passover was the memorial of a deliverance. By the present institution, the disciples were directed to regard in the same light the death of their Master. Their notions of deliverance by his death were erroneous and indigested. For this reason, in the body of the institution, he corrects them. Yet the fixing the general idea of a deliverance by the death of their Master, was doing not a little for the composing their minds, and inspiring them with comfort.
"The attention of Jesus to the comfort of his disciples in the prospect of his death is strongly expressed by the solemn action itself. In all ages of the world, and i every nation, eating and drinking togethe
could now be eaten, it is most certain that no other could be used in this ordinance; yet few or no protestant churches consider this a circumstance of importance, though some are very particular in breaking instead of cutting it; a circumstance more natural and easy in cakes, or biscuits (such as the Jews still use), than in loaves like ours.
Ver. 26. He blessed it.-The pronoun (it) is here supplied thrice (as in many other places, Matt. xiv. 19; Mark vi. 41, &c. &c.), but whether it be understood that Christ blessed the food, or blessed his Father for it, the sense will be the same. Our food can only be blessed to us by God's blessing attending it. The margin of our English Bibles says, "Many Greek copies read, 'Gave thanks.'" So Campbell. Ibid. This is my body. For the doctrine of the church of Rome on this subject, and for a most masterly refutation of it, we beg leave to refer to the 4th of Mr. Fletcher's "Lectures on the Rom. Cath. Religion," before cited.
Ver. 28. Of the New Testament - Doddr. at Camp.Covenant." See Introd. to this volum p. i. Also Mark xiv. 24. Expos.
Ver. 29. I will not henceforth drink, &c.-that I will celebrate with you no more passovers, &c. we meet in heaven. See Rev. xix. 9. On t fruit (Doddr. and Camp. " produce") of the r it is not (karpos) the usual term for fruit, whic here used: grapes are the fruit-wine the produc Ver. 30. They sung an hymn-Marg. "A psal The Greek is literally," they hymned." reads, Camp And after the psalin they went out," The Jewish way of reciting their psalms hymns, was in a kind of chaunt. See Introd, to Book of Psalms, p. 3. The hymn here intended, most probably what the Jews call the great Ha as mentioned in the Exposition.
Ver. 31. All ye shall be offended-literally, s dalized. Peter, for instance, was both ashamed afraid to be thought a disciple of Jesus, thoug