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day; and these learned casuists decided that it was a work, and illegal !—and his Grace agrees with them ! Our Lord's action was designedly levelled against this opinion, which he condemns as contrary to the genuine spirit of the law. It may not be amiss here to remark that our Lord very seldom used any means in working his miracles, except speaking the word: he did on this occasion, because the blind man could not see him; and on curing a deaf man, he put his fingers in his ears, because he could not hear him.
(c) OBJECTION.—Mark ii. 23.-DISCIPLES PLUCKING EARS OF
The Archbishop founds a long argument on the disciples rubbing out the ears of corn. I should have thought the case very simple, and in perfect keeping with our Lord's restoration of the spiritual meaning and intention of the law. I have already considered this case; but must give it a further consideration in connexion with his Grace's argument. His Grace maintains, that the only defence our Lord makes rests upon his own special authority. This I cannot assent to; his defence shows that their conduct was justifiable by their own law, as I shall show presently. He alludes to our Lord's argument from David's case, who ate the shewbread, which it was not lawful for him to eat; and says that this was tacitly acknowledging that the act of the disciples was in itself as unlawful as the eating of the shewbread by any but the priest.' I cannot agree to this. He uses the case of David as much stronger than the case of the disciples, and yet as a case, which the Jews would not be apt to question. His Grace says, that our Lord acknowledged that the act of the disciples was unlawful : whereas our Lord asserts the very reverse. He tells the Jews, that if they had understood their own law “they would not have condemned the guiltless,” that is, the disciples. His Grace says they acted unlawfully, and were guilty, and required the especial authority of our Lord to shield them. But our Lord, on the contrary, says that they did not act unlawfully, and that they were not guilty.
His Grace goes on to say that our Lord declares, that the Son of Man is Lord of the sabbath, inasmuch as the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath. On this passage, which has often been but indistinctly understood, it may be remarked, 1st, that it implies an actual violation of the sabbath, else it would have been needless to plead a supreme power over that ordinance;—2ndly, that it not only cannot imply that any other man had a similar dispensing power, but implies the very reverse, else it would have been nugatory to claim for the “Son of Man" (the title by which Jesus distinguished himself) a power which others might equally claim ;- 3rdly, that these are not (as some have represented) two distinct remarks, but stand in the relation of premises and conclusion—“ The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath; therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
This and much more, which he adds in page 19, all goes to prove that the disciples were guilty of an actual violation of the sabbath. Although our Lord had said that the Jews, even by their own laws, without any reference to his authority, ought to have pronounced them guiltless. Supposing that his Grace's interpretation of the passage be correct, which I very much question, does it follow that because our Lord claimed authority over the sabbath, that he exercised
it? Did he not say that, if he were to pray to his Father, he would give him more than ten legions of angels, and yet he submitted to the few officers of the high priest? Did he not say, “ All power is given to me both in heaven and in earth,” and yet he allowed himself to be led before an earthly tribunal ? A sudden and momentary irradiation of his glory burst forth on his simple enunciation of his divine Majesty, I AM he,* and struck the officers and guards to the ground; yet he immediately veiled his glory, and was led as a lamb to the slaughter.
I have so far supposed his Grace's interpretation of the sentence, “the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath,” to be right, that I might show that even on that admission his argument was wrong. I now proceed to consider whether his Grace's interpretation be right, and I rather suspect that it will turn out to be wrong. He concludes that “ the Son of Man,” in this text, applies to our Lord-and certainly his argument is very curious-indeed he thinks that it follows directly from the words of the text, “ the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath, therefore the Son of Man is Lord also of the sabbath;"_and his Grace supposes the conclusion to follow from the premises. What has this to say to the question, as to who is meant by the Son of Man? And supposing “the Son of Man” to mean our Lord, how could the conclusion follow? His Grace supposes the argument to be this, that because the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath, therefore our Saviour was Lord of the sabbath. How the conclusion follows I cannot conceive; but suppose it true, the converse of the conclusion must also follow, that if man had been made for the sabbath, and not the sabbath for man, then our blessed Saviour, the Creator of the world, and of man, and of the sabbath, would not be Lord of the sabbath;'
* “he ” is inserted by the translators.
this conclusion is absurd, and yet it must follow if his Grace's interpretation and argument be allowed to stand.
I beg now to give an interpretation, which will allow the conclusion to follow naturally from the premiss without any absurdity. The “Son of Man” means “man” in general, and the meaning is this :-“ The sabbath is made for man, and not man for the sabbath;" therefore man is the superior of the sabbath, and the sabbath must be accommodated to the benefit of him for whom it is made. This makes common sense ;—but I must give some reasons for preferring this interpretation.
St. Matthew and St. Luke omit the sentence, “the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath,” and only give the other sentence,-a pretty strong proof that they considered it synonymous, and included in that other. The two sentences are in St. Mark—and by-the-bye it seems irreconcilable with his Grace's opinions, that St. Mark, who wrote for the Gentiles, should communicate to them our Saviour's claim of being Lord over the sabbath, which they never were to observe. The expression, “the Son of man,” is used very frequently in scripture without being applied to the Messiah. Ezekiel, passim. His Grace will not accuse me of using the word “passim” too widely here, for the expression, as applied to Ezekiel, occurs upwards of eighty times—much oftener than it is applied to our Lord in all the gospels put together. It is also frequently used in the Psalms. And it is very remarkable, that in the very quotation of Isaiah which I have adduced as an argument in favour of the perinanency of the sabbath, the same phrase is used: (Isa. lvi. 2):-“ Blessed is the man that doeth this, and the son of man that taketh hold of it; that keepeth the sabbath.”— See also Numb. xxiii. 19; Job xxv. 6; xxxv. 8; Ps. viii. 4; lxxx. 17; cxliv. 3; cxlvi. 3; Isa. li. 12; Jer. xlix. 18; li. 43.
I PROCEED now to consider some more of his Grace's
Thoughts,' on the sabbath, and to place them beside the scripture account. His Grace acknowledges, page 16, that • the rule, laid down by most persons of piety and good sense, is to abstain from anything that may interfere (in respect of ourselves and of others) with the primary object of the Christian sabbath, viz. public worship and religious studies and exercises. This, in the Jewish sabbath, he adds, • seems to be the secondary, and rest the primary circumstance.' And has his Grace so read the Holy Scriptures ? I think I have shown, that religious worship was the primary object. In the commandment, given immediately after the creation, (which I must beg pardon for persisting to call a commandment) worship was the whole of the commandment, and rest none. For I have proved that the only way in which we can conceive it to have been 6 blessed and sanctified,” is by a command to keep it holy; and the only way man could keep it holy, was by prayer and praise.
And yet his Grace says, ' The fourth commandment, accordingly, does not even contain any injunction respecting public worship or religious duty. Indeed !
But I hope that most of my readers will agree with me, that, in the fourth commandment also, worship and religious duty were the primary object. The Israelites were commanded to “ Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy." This was the way
in which it was to be remembered and comme