图书图片
PDF
ePub

Mark, ch. xii. v. 36. Luke, ch. iii v. 26. 2d epistle Peter, ch. i. v. 21. and in John, ch. xiv. V. 25, 26. Jesus says to his difciplés-or These

things have I spoken unto you, being yet pre* sent with you ; but the Comforter, which is the

Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you.' In the 15th, 16th, and 17th verses of the same chapter, Jesus fays— If ' ye love me, keep my commandments, and I

will pray the Father; and he shall give you • another Comforter, that he may abide with you • for ever, even the spirit of truth. In the Acts of the Apostles, we find this promise repeated to them after his death and previous to his ascen. fion, ch. i. v. 4. with directions where they were to wait for it. And in the 2d chapter we are told, they actually did receive the Holy Ghost with power which immediately enabled them (if there is no mistake in the matter) to speak the language of every nation under Heaven. And of this extraordinary faculty they made so good a use, that upon the same day, it is said, they converted about three th01fund souls. These, I be. lieve, are the chief informations given us concerning the Holy Ghost; and though by these I am confirmed in the opinion aforefaid ; yet I am at a loss to apply it as a fact in the present case; for if the Pharisees really believed Jesus to be an

impostor,

impostor, they had not received the Holy Ghost, Chapter Verso
and in course could not sin against it : if, on
the contrary, they had received the Holy Ghost,
they niust have believed that Jesus is the Christ,
and in course have treated him accordingly. It
does not plainly appear that they were averse to
conviction : in the 38th verse they say— Maf-
'ter, we would see a sign from thee.' This re-
quest was made by the Scribes and Pharisees ;
here we are not told what kind of sign they re-
quired, but in the ist verse of the 16th chapter,
we are told that at another time, the Pharisees
and Sadducees desired he would shew them a
sign from Heaven. In reply each time, he calls
them a wicked and adulterous generation, seek-
ing after a fign, but to whom no sign should be
given, save that of the prophet Jonas. In the
latter instance he leaves them abruptly upon mak-
ing this simple declaration ; but in the former,
he explained what he meant by the sign of the
prophet Jonas– For as Jonas was three days xii. 40
' and three nights in the whale's belly : so shall

the Son of Man be three days and three nights
' in the heart of the earth. It is difficult to
conceive, how, or when this sign, as it is called,
could possibly be understood, or be in the least fer-
viceable to the unbelieving but enquiring Scribes,
Pharisees, or Sadducees. He likewise told them
—The men of Nineveh, who repented upon the
preaching of Jonas, should rise in judgment
against that generation, who repented not, though

F 2

a greater

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

a greater than Jonas preached to them. That he was greater than Jonas, they at that time did not believe, ånd therefore requested a proof : this being denied, the sign of the prophet Jonas couli, at that time, be of no service to them : if it was meant to be so at a future period; it must be after his death and resurrection, con. cerning which, this declaration must be remembered, and acknowledged as a true prophecy. But here, unfortunately, we have some unaccountabie error : this type does not correspond : in the exetnplification, truth doth not appear. The four evangelists agree that Jesus did not expire 'till the ninth hour (fix o'clock) upon Friday evening: and that he had risen from the dead and left the sepulchre, very early upon the Sunday morning. This being the case ; he could be in the heart of the earth (if a sepulchre hewn our of a rock can be so called) two nights only, and little more than one day. This unfavourable circumstance, added to what we find in the 43d, 44th, and 45th verses, naturally produces an idea, that some of his auditors might begin to entertain a more favourable opinion of him, wished to be convinced that he was greater than fonas, and waited in hope that time would reveal him honourably. In this situation the unclean spirit may be said to have gone out of them. But the conclusion of the affair not appearing to an. swer these hopes, they not only relapsed into their unbelief, but became enemics to his name

and

and cause. In this case, it inay be said (as it is Chapter Verse
in the 45th verse) that they were poffefsed, not
only by the old unclean spirit, but by seven others
still more wicked. While Jesus was thus em-
ployed, he was told, that his mother and his bre,
thren stood without, desiring to speak with him ;
to which he answered Who is my mother ? and
who are my brethren ? and pointing to his disci-
ples added-Behold my mother and my bre,
thren, telling them, that all were so who did the
will of his heavenly Father. This is an example
of what he had taught before. In the 13th
chapter we are informed that Jesus was followed
by great multitudes to the sea fhore; where, out
of a ship, he fpakę many things unto them in xiii. 3
parables. Being asked by his disciples, why he 19
spoke to the people in parables, he makes a rę-
ply, which to those who are not deep in the mys-
tery of mystery, must appear very enigmatical-
" Because it is given unto you to know the myf-
? teries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them
"" it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall
I be given, and he shall have more abundance :
! byt whosoever hath not, from him shall be

taken away, evçn that he hath. (This would
leave him less than nothing; therefore it should
have been rendered --Whosoever hath little, from
him, &c.) Therefore {peak I to them in
' parables : because they seeing see not, and
hearing they hear not, neither do they under-

3

stand,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Chapter. Verse stand. (If this was the case, why address them

to the multitude ? his disciples might have • been instructed privately, as they frequently ' were, when they understood not the parables)

And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of 1' Efaias, which faith-By hearing ye shall hear

and shall not understand : and seeing ye shall 15 ' fee and shall not perceive. For this peoples

's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of • hearing, and their eyes they have closed ; left ? at any time they should see with their eyes,

and hear with their ears, and should under• stand with their heart, and should be converted,

and I should heal them. It requires more ingenuity than I am master of, to reconcile the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th verses with the 15th. The former say plainly of the multitude that • it was not given to them to understand the 'mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven.' If this was the case, how were they in fault? How were they to be converted ? and more especially by parables? The 15th verse, on the contrary, implies that they wilfully and obstinately shut their eyes, their ears, and their understanding, to prevent their being converted and healed by him. But if this was the case, (and it is to be wished that it could, by other corroborating circum. stances, be proved so) it would follow, in course, that the fault was in themselves, and that they still were a perverse and stiff-necked generation

who

« 上一页继续 »