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(dumb healed. said, This fellow doth not cast denis, but by Beelzebub the prince

e devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, e said unto them, Erery kingdom

ed against itself is brought to desation; and every city or house died against itself shall not stand:

And if Satan cast out Satan, he XI. Continued. agus place to place, which would be otherw inconsistent with the morality of the fourth commandment. But this will no farsher justify such travelling than as it may be uecessary to the performance of these ministerial duties, in preaching the uspel, in visiting the sick, or in teaching the poor. The Son of man, who is Lord of the sabbath, sanctions every work necessary to the fulfilment of our Christian duties, but nothing inconsistent with them.

Nany of these observations will equally apply the case of those very useful and benevoleut classes of Christians, Sundayschool teachers, and visitors of the sick poon who seem to bear the same relation

isters of the gospel, as did the Lehe sites to the Jewish priests. The duties O of the former are, indeed, commonly con

mok to this day, and, in great measure, w the latter s since their labours are gra

tuitous, and they are generally engaged in sveular ceeupations throughout the week.

Prolix as this section of our Exposition al wey be thought, we cannot conclude it where without an observation on the fine passage

quoted by St. Matthew from Esaias (or Bah), chap. xlii. 1-4. The judgment A Messiah was to " send forth” to the na

ons (or Gentiles), is very properly exde plained by Bp: Lowth of "the institution CON the gospel;" but we would particularly

le notice the lutimations of Messiah's tenderwel wees and gentleness, in not breaking "the We brised reed," the frailest of all objects the norextinguishing "the smoking flax,

when the wady to expire: that is, he will cherish the Jewish smallest spark of piety: he will preserve the the humblest confidence in his name un

broken.

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the word is never used in Ai sense in the New Testament; but only for the nyols or agents of Satan; hence for Satan to cast ou demons, would be, as our Lord argues, to fight aamist himself.

We have stated, in page 20 of this volume, our All persuasion that the same agency of demoas still

Ak place in many cases of lunacy, and other dis.

ses since writing which, the Editor has had the lave stato ste

saistotion to find, that the same opinion was adopted persuasion thift soiegotin by the very learned Jos, Mede, as appears by the

place in materi only Ares since writnw sonie tisthotion to finooi of goitom by the very learnricol roro

The blasphemy against]

CHAP. XII.

[the Holy Ghost. is divided against himself; how shall against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be then his kingdom stand?

forgiven him, neither in this world, 27 And if I by Beelzebub east out neither in the world to come. devils, by whom do your children cast 33 Either make the tree good, and them out? therefore they shall be your bis fruit good; or else make the tree judges.

corrupt, and his fruit corrupt : for the 28 But if I cast out devils by the tree is known by his fruit. Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God 34 O generation of vipers, how can is come unto you.

ye, being evil, speak good things? for 29 Or else how can one enter into out of the abundance of the heart the a strong man's house, and spoil his mouth speaketh. goods, except he first bind the strong 35 A good man out of the good man? and then he will spoil his house. treasure of the heart bringeth forth

30 He that is not with me is against good things: and an evil man out of ne; and he that gathereth not with the evil treasure bringeth forth evil me scattereth abroad.

things. 31 Wherefore I say unto you, All 36 But I say unto you, That every manner of sin and blasphemy shall be idle word that men shall speak, they forgiven unto men : but the blasphemy shall give account thereof in the day of agarast the Holy Ghost shall not be judgment. forgirea unto men.

37 For by thy words thou shalt be 32 And whosoever speaketh a word justified, and by thy words thou shalt against the Son of man, it shall be for- be condemned. (2) given him ; but whosoever speaketh 38 ? Then certain of the scribes and

EXPOSITION. (Z) Ver. 22–37. Jesus justifies himself Son of David; that is, the Messiah. The free the accusation of the Pharisees, and Scribes and Pharisees, however, being precherges them with blasphemy:- It is well determined to receive none but a temporal known that the Jews expected their Mes- Messiah, would neither listen to his docsah to work miracles, as had been pre trine, nor regard his miracles. As to his dicted by the proplets; when, therefore, casting out demons, they could not, indeed, they saw the miracles of Jesus, they very deny the facts ; but they were so perverse saturally concluded that he must be the as to attribute them to a diabolical power,

NOTES. fästing extract from the late Mr. Granville Sharp.

and Mr. Toplady! The latter, at least, adopted the his plain (says Mr. S.) that Mr. Mede did not be

same hypothesis lieve the demoniacs to be mere madmen, according Ver. 27. By whom do your children cast them out? te zesdera ideas of madness; and his discourse - That some Jews practised exorcism, and pretended Haish tends to a very different purpose; viz. to (at least) to cast oat demons, appears from Mark ix. ber that szae madmer, even at this day, are really 38; Luke ix. 49; Acts xix. 13. "See our Note on the incaiets, actuated by evil spirits, as much as those last cited text. read in Scriptore! How far this opinion may

Ver. 29. Spoil-Hamm. and Doddr.“ Plunder.” be true, with respect to some modern madmen (add's

Ver. 30. He that gathereth not with me, in the 1.5.). I am not able to determine : but that the

Gospel harvest, may be considered as an enemy, who deiza acs mentioned in Scriptore were really pos- scatters abroad the grain; or, without metaphor, sed by stal spirits, .... I cannot possibly doubt, be that is not my friend, is my enemy. Potritestanding the Gentile opinion of demons may Ver. 31. Shall be forgiven-that is, are pardonable. laze been very different." Gran. Sharpe's case of

Ver. 32. Neither in this world, neither (nor) in the Saal, ee. Note. p. 75, 76.

The late Mr. Andrew world to come -- that is, shall never be forgiven. Berta, in his Essay on Dreaming, (vol. ii. of his Mark iji. 29. Dr. Whitby remarks, that there are quiry into the Mature of the Human Soul"), several passages in the Rabbins which show this to evidently adopted the same hypothesis; for, speaks have been a proverbial expression, implying no for23 d impressions made upon the brain in sleep, giveness. There is, therefore, no ground to infer buds ( Exxis.), " If the same vibrations are more

from hence the purgatory of the church of Rome. aríaily escited in the optic nerves, while the

See Lect. on the Rom. Cath. Rel., by the Rev. Jos. es are open, than those excited by external objects Fletcher, M, A. (8vo. 1817), p. 244. las acting, the man pursuing with the drawn sa ord

Ver. 33. Either make the tree good, &c.-Grotius sia a supposed dream) will appear, even though

understands this, as if our Lord had said, " Since lletres be open. And thus .... we see that dream

you cannot but allow that my life, and the tendency la natore of both are the same, differing only e degenerate into possession, and that the

sistent as to suppose I am a confederate with Beel. in egin." This writer (who must be distinguished zebub!” So Boothroyd. carefull, from the pious paritan, R. Baxter) was Ver. 37. And by-Dodar trally hdmired and eulogized' by Bp. Warburton words, &c.

E 2

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51

The sign of ]

S. MATTHEW.

[the prophet Jonas. of the Pharisees answered, saying, tion seeketh after a sign; and there Master, we would see a sign from thee. shall no sign be given to it, but the

39 But he answered and said unto sign of the prophet Jonas : them, An evil and adulterous genera- 40 For as Jonas was three days and

EXPOSITION-Chap. XII. Continued. and to pretend that he cast ont demons by of aggrandizement and worldly power, being himself in league with Beelzebub, 2. To prevent any serious and distressed the prince of demons.

mind from applying this terrible sentence In reply to this, Jesus appeals to them- against themselves, we remark, it is eviselves on two points. 1. “Every kingdom dent that this dreadful sin could never be divided against itself, cannot stand.” Now committed by any person alarmed for fear if I (said he) by Beelzebub cast out de- of having once committed it. Great and mons, who are the subjects of Satan, then awful was the sin of crucifying the Son of is Satan (or Beelzebub) divided against God; but the multitude were ignorant, and himself, and labouring to overthrow his actuated by these blaspheming Pharisees. own power : a conduct highly inconsistent Jesus therefore prayed for them, and many, with the allowed cunning of the old serpent. doubtless, were forgiven on the day of Pen. 2. Our Lord justifies himself by an ap- tecost, and enrolled among the first conpeal to the Pharisees on the conduct of their verts of the Jewish church. Terrible was own children, who frequently pretended the crime of persecuting Stephen, and the to cast out devils. We need not here in other disciples of Jesus; but one of the quire into the truth of their pretensions, bitterest of their persecutors, the chief of to which we may advert hereafter : it is these sinners, was not only converted and certain that they made such pretensions, forgiven, but became himself equal to the and it became them, in this instance, to chiefest of the Apostles.” (See 2 Cor. xi. 5.) prove that they acted by a superior power, No man's sins are unpardonable, who rebefore they brought this charge against pents and is penitent on their account. him; but they discovered, in both these re- Another passage, which has much disspects, the grossest inconsistency.

tressed many persons, occurs in the close But this was the smallest part of their of this section : “For every idle word crime: they are also charged with “blas- that men shall speak, they shall give acphemy against the Holy Ghost," in at- couut thereof in the day of judgment.” We tributing to Satan works so evidently are far from wishing to lower the standard wrought by that Holy Spirit, as were the of Christian morals; we have, however, no benevolent miracles of our Saviour: and hesitation in saying, that “ he plainly tells them, that although all word,” does not here mean every unnecestheir abuse and blasphemy against himself sary word ; for it requires a high degree of was pardonable upon their repentance; yet literary skill and practice to avoid these, could he give them no encouragement to even in writing: nor, secondly, every ebul. expect forgiveness for an offence so gross lition of cheerfulness or pleasantry; for at this, arising from the malignity of their “ pleasant words are as the honeycomb, hearts, and committed against the evidence sweet to the soul, and health to the boues." both of their reason and their senses. (Proverbs xvi. 24.) But it does include,

The brevity we are obliged to study, will 1. False, or lying words, which, in confornot allow us to go fully into the several mity to the Hebrew idiom, may be called passages where this siu is treated of: more idle, or vain, as baving no foundatiou in may be added hereafter; at present we shall truth. 2. Profane, abusive, and injurions only remark, 1. That this sin is charged words, though idly, thoughtlessly, or even only upon the Scribes and Pharisees, the sportively applied. 3. Foolish and indemost enlightened classes of the Jews, many corous jesting ; and, in fact, all sinful of whom, we have reason to believe, were words are liable to be called in to judgment; in their own minds satisfied of the truth but it should be remembered, that of these of Christ's miracles, and of the purity of words it is not said, that they never shall his moral character ; but their pride and be forgiven ; for though blasphemous, and malice would not allow them to acknow. spoken even against Christ bimself, when ledge a Saviour in form and appearance so not marked with the black character of huinble and unpretending; and wlio, in- the sin against the Holy Ghost, they are deed, was firmly opposed to all their plans not excluded from the divine mercy,

every idle

NOTES-Chap. XII. Con. Ver. 38. A sign from thee - that is, a miracle, or a day of 24 hours. “It is of great importance Exod. iv. 8.

to observe (says Doddr.) that the Easterns reckoned Ver

. 40. Three days and three nights-answering any part of a day of 24 hours for a whole day, and to the Greek term nuchthemeron, a night and day, say a thing was done after three or seven days, &c

The return of an]
CHAP. XII.

(unclean spirit three nights in the whale's belly: so than himself, and they enter in and shall the Son of man be three days and dwell there : and the last state of that three nights in the heart of the earth. man is worse than the first. Even so

41 The men of Nineveh shall rise shall it be also unto this wicked genein judgment with this generation, and ration. shall condemn it: because they re- 46 While he yet talked to the peopented at the preaching of Jonas; and, ple, behold, his mother and his brebehold, a greater than Jonas is here. thren stood without, desiring to speak

42 The queen of the south shall with him. rise up in the judgment with this gene- 47 Then one said unto him, Beration, and shall condemn it: for she hold, thy mother and thy brethren came from the uttermost parts of the stand without, desiring to speak with earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; thee. and, behold, a greater than Solomon 48 But he answered and said unto is here.

him that told him, Who is my mother? 43 When the unclean spirit is gone and who are my brethren? out of a man, he walketh through dry 49 And he stretched forth his hand places, seeking rest, and findeth none. toward his disciples, and said, Behold

44 Then he saith, I will return into my mother and my brethren! my house from whence I came out; 50 For whosoever shall do the will and when he is come, he findeth it of my Father wbich is in heaven, the empty, swept, and garnished.

same is my brother, and sister, and 45 Then goeth he, and taketh with mother. (A) himself seven other spirits more wicked

EXPOSITION. (A) Ver. 38–50. The Scribes and Pha- "a generation (or brood) of vipers," as risees demand a sign from heaven, but are in ver. 34. refused and reproved.-In-demanding "a A sign, however, they shall have, ana. sigu," or miracle, wbich in another evan- logous to that of the prophet Jonas ; for, as gelist is called “ a sign from heaven," these he was in the whale's belly three days, or men had probably in their recollection the rather part of “ three days and nights," sigo given to John Baptist on the bank of which was a phrase used by the Hebrews, Jordan, to which he bare witness on a for- as analogous to our day of 24 hours (see mer occasion, (John i. 31 – 34), and of Expos. Jonah ch. i.), so should the Son of which they now seem to require a repeti- man remain for the like period in the tion. Considering that, previously to this, bowels of the earth ; bis resurrection from they had witnessed many miracles wrought which would be a sign more decisive in by Jesus, on the sick, the lame, the blind, its nature, and more influential in its conand those possessed by demons, this ap- sequences, than any sign which heaven pears a most unreasonable request, and had hitherto displayed. is, therefore, very properly refused; and What follows, relative to unclean spirits, they are called, in the language of Isaiah connects immediately with our Lord's pre(ch. lvii. 3.), '“ an evil and adulterous ceding discourse, in answer to the charge generation;" that is, as Doddridge explains of bis casting out demons by a diabolical it," a spurious brood," grossly“ degene- power; and it appears to us to relate parrated from the piety of their ancestors;" ticularly to the exorcisms of the Jews themand from “a chosen generation," become selves, in which the unclean spirit might

NOTES. if it was done on the third or seventh day from that tain that the Jews used the term brethren with great last mentioned. (Comp. 1 Kings xx. 29 : 2 Chron, latitude, to include all their relatives; see Levit. 1. 5, 12; and Luke ii. 21.) .... So that, to say a X. 4. There is, however, an ancient tradition, that nog bappened after three days and three nights, Joseph, the reputed father of Jesus, had four sons was the same as to say, it happened “after three and two daughters by a former wife, which may be ways," or on the third day. (Comp. Esth. iv. 16 with intended here, and in chap. xiii. 55, 56; or probably V.1; Gen. vii, 12; Exod. xxiv. 18, and xxxiv. 28.) his cousins, the sons of Mary the wife of Cleophas (or - the whale's belly. See Note on Jonab i. 17. Alpbeus), and sister to the blessed virgin. See ET. 42 The queen of the south-that is, of Sheba. Stackhouse's Hist. of the Bible, vol. v. p. 417, Note.

Ver. 50. My brother, and sister, and mother.-So Ver. 44. Empty that is. aninhabited.- Swept in Homer, Audromache says to Hector, Thou art my and garnished-or adorned,” as Doddridge,

father, my mother, and my brother. Iliad, lib. vi. 429, TET, 40. His mother and his brethren,-It is cer.

See 1 Kings x 1, &c.

The sign of ]

S. MATTHEW.

[the prophet J of the Pharisees answered, saying, tion seeketh after a sign; and Master, we would see a sign from thee. shall no sign be given to it, bu

39 But he answered and said unto sign of the prophet Jonas : them, An evil and adulterous genera- 40 For as Jonas was three day

EXPOSITION-Chap. XII. Continued. and to pretend that he cast out demons by of aggrandizement and worldly being himself in league with Beelzebub, 2. To prevent any serious and di the prince of demons.

inind from applying this terrible s In reply to this, Jesus appeals to them- against themselves, we remark, selves on two points. 1. “Every kingdom dent that this dreadful sin could divided against itself, cannot stand.” Now committed by any person alarmed if I (said he) by Beelzebub cast out de- of having once committed it. G mons, who are the subjects of Satan, then awful was the sin of crucifying th is Satan (or Beelzebub) divided against God; but the multitude were igno himself, and labouring to overthrow his actuated by these blaspheming F own power : a conduct highly inconsistent Jesus therefore prayed for them, a with the allowed cunning of the old serpent. doubtless, were forgiven on the di 2. Our Lord justifies himself by an ap- tecost, and enrolled among the peal to the Pharisees on the conduct of their verts of the Jewish church. Te own children, who frequently pretended the crime of persecuting Stephen to cast out devils. We need not here in other disciples of Jesus; but quire into the truth of their pretensions, bitterest of their persecutors, to to which we may advert hereafter : it is these sinners, was not only con certain that they made such pretensions, forgiven, but became himself eq and it became them, in this instance, to chiefest of the Apostles.” (See 2 prove that they acted by a superior power,

No man's sins are unpardonab before they brought this charge against pents and is penitent on their a him; but they discovered, in bolh these re- Another passage, wbicb has spects, the grossest inconsistency.

tressed many persons, occurs But this was the smallest part of their of this section : “ For every crime: they are also charged with “ blas- that men shall speak, they si phemy against the Holy Ghost," in at- count thereof in the day of jud tributing to Satan works so evidently are far from wishing to lower wrought by that Holy Spirit, as were the of Christian morals; we bave, benevolent miracles of our Saviour: and hesitation in saying, that he plainly tells them, that although all word," does not here mean e their abuse and blasphemy against himself sary word; for it requires a h was pardonable upon their repentance; yet literary skill and practice to could be give them no encouragement to even in writing: nor, secondl expect forgiveness for an offence so gross lition of cheerfulness or ple at this, arising from the malignity of their “pleasant words are as the hearts, and committed against the evidence sweet to the soul, and health both of their reason and their senses. (Proverbs xvi. 24.) But it

The brevity we are obliged to study, will 1. False, or lying words, wh not allow us to go fully into the several mity to the Hebrew idiom, passages where this sin is treated of: more idle, or vain, as having no may be added hereafter; at present we shall truth. 2. Profane, abusive, only remark, 1. That this sin is charged words, though idly, though only upon the Scribes and Pharisees, the sportively applied. 3. Foc most enlightened classes of the Jews, many corous jesting; and, in of whom, we have reason to believe, were words are liable to be called in their own minds satisfied of the truth but it be remember of Christ's miracles, and of the purity of word

said, that his moral character ; but their pride and 1

though b malice would not allow them to acknow

ainst Chris ledge a Saviour in form and appearance sc

ith the ble humble and unpretending; and who

ast the Holy deed, was firmly opposed to all their

ed fro

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