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Jalian Pe 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, In a proriod, 4740, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also stess.
, 27. that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all
perfectly understood, contain an assertion of his high office, in
as plain terms as the plan of his ministry permitted. And none
but a being who was invested with the offices and character of
the Messiah, could have adopted such language without blas.
phemy. As my Father on the sabbath day still continues the
mighty works which are visible in the kingdom of his great
creation, so do I likewise work in the spiritual kingdom which
I am now establishing in the world. Since the day when the
world was made, the sublime scheme of Providence has been
maturing. God, the Creator, has been preserving the world,
that his Church might be completed, and the spirits of mankiud
be admitted the companions of angels. God the Son has go-
verned and directed the generations of Adam; imparting to
them gradual revelations of his will, and appointing them in-
stitutions to preserve his mercy in their remembrance. Whether
he spake by the prophets, himself, or his apostles, he, like the God
of the creation, never ceases to benefit mankind. God the
Holy Spirit, from the moment when the Angel Jehovah or-
dained the institution of sacrifice after the fall, has ever conti-
nued to make his appeal to the heart of man, persuading and
entreating them to accept the mercy provided for them by the
mysterious atonement of the divine Incarnate. The world was
created and the plan of revelation was formed at the same time
—they have their origin from the same God. His glory, and
the happiness of man, are the objects with both; they began to-
gether, they continue togetber, but they will not end together.
For as the soul is superior to the body, as God is superior to
the universe, he has ordained that the body shall die, and the
earth itself shall perish. The heavens shall pass away, but the
spirit shall triumph in the ruins of the universe. The world
continues till tbe Church is completed. The scaffolding
shall be destroyed when the temple of God is built. With
this system of truth the Jews were well acquainted. Tbey
knew that from the time the visible world was made, the Angel
Jehovah bad constantly guided the Church of God; and Christ,
by the assertion in this verse, declared bimself that great being
who began to plan the happiness of mankind at the time when
the Father created the world, and who continued equally with
the Father to work for their benefit. I use this term, “ to
work,” because it is warranted by our Lord ; and shall not
stop to discuss the questions which have been proposed by me-
taphysicians, on the causes of the actions of the Deity. It may,
however, be added, that we cannot entertain a more lofty notion
of the Deity, than that He is eternally blessing myriads of ani-
mated worlds. Πάυεται εδέποτε ποιών ο θεός ; αλλ' ώσπερ ίδίον
το καίειν πυρός, και χίονος το ψύχειν έτω και θες το ποιείν. God
never ceases from action; but as it is the property of fire to
burn, and of the snow to chill, so is it the property of the Deity
to act and do.-Philo de alleg. lib. ii. apud Schoetgen, Hor.
Hebr. vol. 1. p. 354.
Jalian Pe- things that himself doeth : and he will shew him greater Jerusalem. riod, 4740. works than these, that ye may marvel. Valgar&ra,
21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22 For the Father "judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming, in the
which all that are in the graves
shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth ; they that have done good,
unto the resurrection of life ; and they that have done
evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I
judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not
mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath
31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
34 But I receive not testimony from man : but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
35 He was a burning and a shining light : and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.
39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Julian Pe 41 I receive not honour from men.
Jerusalem. riod, 4740. Vulgar Æra,
42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God 27.
43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
44 How can ye believe, which receive honour 'one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only ?
45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.
46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me : for he wrote of me.
47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words 28 ?
Christ defends his Disciples for plucking the Ears of Corn
on the Sabbath-day *
MATT. xi. 1-8. MARK ii. 23—28. LUKE vi, 1–5.
And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the In a profirst 7, that he went through the corn fields :
35 Mr. Mann, in his Dissertation on the true Year of Christ's Death, has asserted that the sixth chapter of St. John onght to be placed before the fifth. He imagines a connection between John iv. 54. where we read, “ This is the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judea into Galilee;" and ch. vi. 1. “ After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias." This alteration is very suspicious, as it is proposed to defend the hypothesis maintained in his work, that the ministry of Christ lasted only sixteen months, and in it two passovers only were observed. Neither is the supposition at all warranted by the argument. For our Lord, as Doddridge (vol. i. p. 411.) has well remarked, fre. quently chan his place, and came back again to that which he had formerly visited. It is inconsistent too with his own hypothesis, because, according to that which he has adopted in the harmony, “ Christ had crossed the sea to Gergesa, and dispossessed the legion, after the curc of the nobleman's son, and long before the passing over the sea, that is here referred to, (which was plainly not to Gergesa, but to the desert of Bethsaida :) so that there is no shadow of a reason for such an unexampled transposition, which has no copy or version to support it.” So far Dodáridge, who refers to the subject in other notes in his Expositor, to which it is not necessary now to refer.
36 The plucking of the ears of corn is mentioned by St. Mat. thew as an isolated circumstance. He has placed it in the midst of a tour through Galilee, without asserting that it took place there. The phrase, on the contrary, with which the narration is introduced, will remarkably harmonize with the order as
Matt, sii. 1. and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the In a proears of corn
signed to it by the other evangelists. St. Matthew does not say,
εν τη ήμερα, but εν τω καιρώ, επορέυθη ο Ιησους τοίς σάββασι διά
των σπορίμων. A phrase which by no means connects the
plucking of the ears of corn with the event related, either be-
fore or after that circumstance. It is related by St. Mark after
the feast in the house of St. Matthew, and St. Luke follows the
same arrangement, adding, that the ears of corn were plucked
after some great festival. As there is no other festival mentioned
in the New Testament to which this allusion could be made, but
that which is given in its chronological order in John v. I have
followed the general antbority of the harmonizers, and placed
this event in the present section.
It is evident that the disciples did not pluck the ears before
the passover. It was particularly forbidden to gather any
corn before the sheaf of the first fruits had been waved in the
temple; the Jews would undoubtedly have reproached them,
had they cause for so doing, with this twofold violation of the
law, the plucking the corn before the time allowed, and the
doing so also on the sabbath; whereas they confined themselves
only to the latter charge. According to their canons (a), be
that reapeth corn on the sabbath, to the quantity of a fig, is
guilty. “And plucking corn is as reaping: and whosoever
plucketh up any thing from it while growing, is guilty
The Jews, in the days of our Lord, had, for the most part,
lost sight of the spirit of their law, and burtbened the people
with a number of severe and superstitious observances. Their
traditional laws rospecting the sabbath were intolerably minute
and wearisome. The greater part of them are collected by Dr.
Wotton, in his work on the Misna, among which is the
following prohibition, which our Lord and his disciples were
accused of violating. It is to be found in the Shabbath (b).
that doth several works under one principal head is guilty only
of one sin. The Jewish masters divided works, as they relate
to the sabbath, into principal and secondary, or, as they called
them, fathers and children of works. If a man does one prin-
cipal work, and twenty secondary ones, it is, according to them,
but one sin, and consequently deserves one punishment: tbus
to grind is a principal work. All dividing of things before united
in their nature, come under this head. The second section goes
on to enumerate thirty-nine principal works forbidden on the
sabbatb : the first six of which are sowing, ploughing, reaping,
binding, threshing, winnowing, cleaning, grinding; under
which last term they included the action of our Lord and his
disciples. But not only was this action forbidden in the tra-
ditionary law, it was probibited likewise in that of Moses,
Exod. xxxiv. 21. Our Lord, therefore, in his reply to the
Jews, asserted his superiority over the traditions of the elders,
and his power of dispensing with the Mosaic law. He de-
clares to them that he was Lord of the sabbath. He it was,
who had enacted this very law of Moses, in one of those ap-
pearances which are justly called the preludes to his incar.
nation (c), and he now claims dominion over the law which he
had made. By the same power which enacted, he abrogated, or
dispensed with that law as it was interpreted by the rigid super-
stitions of the elders. He restored it to its true use, allowing
Mark ü. 23. as they went,
Matt, xü. 1. and to eat,
works of necessity and mercy to be wrought on that day, and
declaring that the sabbath was made for man, not man for the
sabbath. To prove to them that such was the spirit, though not
the letter of the law, ho refers them to their own customs for
the justice of his assertion, to the example of David, the prac-
tice of the priests, and their own legal violations of that day,
when it suited either their convenience or their interest (d).
The plan of this work prevents me from directing the attention
of the reader to the devotional reflections, so evidently arising
from the magnificent and interesting narrative of the conduct of
our Lord during his more permanent incarnation; or it would be
easy to fill many pages to an indefinite extent. Yet I would ear.
nestly desire to remind every clerical reader of the admirable
sentiments quoted by Lightfoot on this passage--the priests in
the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless—*70 71
things is not servile; and 550 vypoa maw fox, there is no
rest at all in the service of the temple. The meanest office in
the temple of God, the most laborious drudgery that aims in its
result to be useful to man, is the most honourable and elevated
happiness to which a human being can aspire. The clergy are
especially called upon, in an age of religious indifference, to the
active performance of their arduous duties. Their sacred call-
ing dignifies the men. They are separated from among their
brethren: they are admitted into the holy of holies, in commu-
nion with God himself. The service of God is the highest
honour, and it is a service which will continue for ever: The
remembrance of the manner in which it is performed, will remain
with the consciousness that defies the grave. Tbe happiness
that arises from the recollection of a life devoted to these duties,
will increase with the enlargement of our faculties, and the
gradual perfection of our nature, in that immortal state of our
existence, which has been provided for mankind, by the mercy
of the Son of God.
(a) Talm. in schab. per 7. and Maimon. schab. per 7 and 8. (6)
Chap. vii. sect. 1. last sentence and sect. 2. This work is now very
rare and valuable; its title is Miscellaneous Discourses relating to the
traditions and usages of the Soribes and Pharisees in our blessed Sa-
viour's time, 2 vols. 8vo. 1718. The second volume contains a transla-
tion of the Shabbath and Eravin. (c) Preludia incarnationis-vide Bi-
shop Ball's Defensio fidei Nicenæ, p. 7. Grabe's edit. fol. 170. See
also Nares' review of the improved version. (d) Lightfoot, vol. ii.
p. 185-6. on this chapter, fol. edit.
37 There are three explanations of this phrase, ev saflátw devtepor púrw. That of Epiphanius and Beza, that the day hero meant was the last day of the feast of the
passover. The second that of Scaliger, Lightfoot, Casaubon, Whitby, that it was the first sabbath after the second day of unleavened bread. The third of Grotius and Hammond, that it was the day of Pentecost falling on a sabbath. The latter opinion is adopted in the present arrangement. To this opinion the greatest objection is, ihat the harvest would probably be over before the Pentecost : but Grotius remarks, that the wheat harvest was going on at the Pentecost, which on this account was called “ the feast of barvest," Exod. xxiii. 16. Though loaves made of new bread were presented at Pentecost, this will not prove that the harvest was entirely gathered in. The wheat plucked by the disciples might have been among the last ripe cora of that season (a).
() For other opinions, see Wotton's Misna, vol. i. p. 268-9. Pil