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J.P. 1740. 19 And when he had gone a little farther thence, he saw V. Æ. 27. James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also
were in the ship mending their nets.
Sea of Galilee,
Lampe (a), in his work on St. John's Gospel, has indulged his imagination very fully on this subject. He certainly demonstrates that the several objects, means, and terms, which are used by fishermen, and concerning fishing, were interpreted by the ancients in an emblematical sense, and similar interpretations may be found in the talmudical writers. I am always anxious to avoid any fanciful meanings of Scripture, as inconsistent with sobriety and sound judgment. The imagination is the worst and blindest guide in these things. But as the subject is curious, and may probably engage the attention of theological students, I have collected some instances, which may prove the reasonableness of the supposition in question.
Lampe first refers to the Old Testament, to shew the propriety of considering the act of fishing, &c. to be emblematical. We read in Ezek. xlvii. 10. “And it shall be that the fishers shall stand upon the river, from Engedi, even to Eneglaim : they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea,” &c. The prophet, in the whole passage, is comparing the future progress of the Gospel to that of rivers, giving life wherever they flow : and this same emblem is adopted in many other passages of the Old Testament, Prov. xi. 30. Isa. xix. 9, 10, &c.
Engedi and Eneglaim were situated at the north and south points of the Dead Sea. This sea then, as having covered the cities of the plain, which were consumed for their wickedness, may be considered as a most appropriate emblem of the state of the Heathen or Gentile world, and gives additional force to the passage : even that sea should be so changed by the waters of the river of life, that there, even there, should be the spreading forth of nets, and abundant success to the labour of the fishermen.
Archbishop Newcome translates the text more intelligibly than in our own version, which is rendered obscurely.
The instruments of fishing, Lampe observes further, are the hook and the net. Men are said to be drawn as with the bands of a man: and it is the hook of judgment and restraint with which Isaiah represents Jehovah as restraining the madness of Sennacherib.
In the mode of fishing also, two things particularly resemble the ministry of the Gospel. The persevering labour required, night and day constantly at work, and although frequently disappointed, still urging, persevering, and labouring, with the hope of success. The cunning and skill requisite in this pursuit, as pertaining to the Christian teacher, is well described in Matt. x. 16. and 2 Cor. xii. 16.
Ambrose remarks on this subject--" the apostolical implements are appropriately compared to nets, which do not kill their prey, but keep them, and bring them from the darkness of the deep into the light of day."
The Talmudists also have used the same metaphor. The teachers of the law are called by Maimonides, Talm. Torah. p. 7. o7in 77.
(a) Prolegomena ad Evang. Johan. p. 12, 13. and notes.
20 And straightway he called them : and they left their J. P. 4740. father Zebedee in the ship with the hired servants, and V. E. 27. went after him. .
Sea of Galilea
Petronius Satyr. cap. 3. gives the same emblem. The arbiter elegantiarum would be surprised to find himself in this company.
Lampe quotes also from a hymnn, preserved by Clemens Alexandrinus (6), in
Qui salvi fiunt
Undå ex infestà
Dulci vitâ inescans,
"Εν Ζάι γούν εν τω προπόλω του ιερού τάς Αθηνάς ήν γεγλυμμένον βρέφος, γέρων, και μετά τούτο ίεραξ, εφεξής δέ ιχθύς, επί πάσι δέ ίππος ποταuros. In the vestibule of the temple at Zai, an infant, an old man, a hawk, a fish, and a hippopotame were sculptured. Each emblem had its appropriate meaning, and the fish represented hatred, ιχθύς δε μίσος, ώσπερ έκρηται διά την θάλατταν.
It was possibly in allusion to the same well known emblem, that the ancient Christians called themselves ixous (c).
Pythagoras also, who obtained much of his knowledge from pure sources (d), prohibited the eating of fish.
In the epistle of Barnabas, ch. x. the wicked man is compared to fish. Μακάριος ανήρ, ός ουκ επορεύθη εν βουλή ασεβών, καθώς οι ιχθύες πορεύονται εν σκότει εις τα βάθη.
Arnold proves in his notes to the Sota of the deeply learned Wagenseil, that
Ιχθύσι δ' ούτε δίκη μεταρίθμιος, ούτε τις αιδώς
Πότυον άγων· έτερος δ' ετέρω πορσύνεν έδωδήν.
(6) Pæd. lib. 3. in fin. (c) Vide Bingham Eccles. Antiq. The reason he assigns is, that the word was compounded of the initial letters Ιησούς, Χριστός, θεού Υιος, Σωτήρ, on the authority of Optatus, vol. 1. p. 3. 8νο. edit. (d) Vide arrangement of the Old Testament, vol. ii. p. 642. (e) See on this subject also, Jones on the figurative language of Scripture. VOL. I.
Sea of Galilee.
J. P. 4740.
LUKE v. 1-12. 1 And 'it came to pass, that, as the people pressed upon * Matt. iv. 18. him to hear the word of God, he stood by the lake of Gen
2 And saw two ships standing by the lake: but the fishermen were gone out of them, and were washing their nets.
3 And he entered into one of the ships, which was Simon's, and prayed him that he would thrust out a little from the land.' And he sat down, and taught the people out of the ship.
4 Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught.
5 And Simon answering said unto him, Master, we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net.
6 And when they had this done, they inclosed a great multitude of fishes: and their net brake.
7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.
8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.
9 For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:
10 And so was also James, and John, the sons of Zebedee, which were partners with Simon. And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men.
11 And when they had brought their ships to land, they forsook all, and followed him.
MARK i. 16. Matt. iv. 1923. & Matt, iv. 18. 16 Now as he walked by the sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea : for they were fishers.
MATT. iv. 19-23. 19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. 20 And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.
21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.
22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
The Demoniac healed at Capernaum *.
* And they went into Capernaum ; and straight- Capernaum,
Mark i. 21.
23 "This event is placed after the miraculous draught of fishes, on the united authorities of Lightfoot, Newcome, Doddridge, and Pilkington. Michaelis places it after the rejection of Christ by his countrymen, at Nazareth. He supposes that this event, the choosing of the twelve apostles, the sermon on the mount, the cleansing of the leper, the healing of the centurion's servant, the restoration of the mother-in-law of Peter, and of many other sick persons, took place on one day, which he therefore calls the day of the sermon on the mount; to distinguish it from the day in which various parables were delivered, which he denominates the day of parables. His reasons for this order, with the remarks of his learned editor, will be considered hereafter. It is here sufficient to observe he confirms the order proposed by the other Harmonists, excepting that he places elsewhere the miracle which was given in the last section.
The scriptural authority for this arrangement is founded on Mark i. 21. After the calling of the four disciples, they immediately went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, which Doddridge (Fam. Exp. vol. i. p. 184.) supposes to have been the next day-ευθέως τοις σάββασιν εισελθών εις την συναγωγήν.
ON THE DEMONIACS. The event related in this section, since the time of the learned Jos. Mede, has given rise to much discussion. One class of authorities have supposed that the Demoniacs were merely madmen, others that the bodies of human beings were actually possessed, and controlled, and governed, and inhabited by wicked and impure spirits. Among the supporters of the first opinion we find Heinsius Exercitiones Sacræ, on Matt. iv. 24. Jos. Mede (a) (Works, 4th edit. fol. London, p. 28, &c. sermon on John X. 20. and b. iii. ch. v. on the dæmons of the ancients,) Dr. Sykes (6), Dr. Mead (c), Dr. Farmer (d), Dr. Lardner (e), Kuinoel, and Rosenmüller (f), on Matt. iv. 24 : and in general all those writers of every sect who would believe that origin of the Scriptures, which appears to them rational. On the other side of the question may be placed the uniform interpretation of the passage in its literal sense by the ancient Church, the best commentators, and all who are generally called orthodox, as desirous to believe the literal interpretation of Scripture, and the opinions of the early ages, in all points of doctrine, whether it can be brought to a level with their reason or not, It is quite unnecessary to attempt to refer to all these writers: of those, however, of a later period, who have written on this subject, may be mentioned Mac
(a) Works, 4th edit. fol. London, p. 28, &c. sermon on John X. 20. and b. iii. ch. v. on the demons of the New Testament. (6) Inquiry into the Demoviacs of the New Testament. (c) Inquiry into the diseases of Scripture. (d) Essay on the Demoniacs of the New Testament. (e) Remarks on Dr. Ward's Dissertations, Works, 4to. edit. Hamilton, vol. v. p. 475. and vol. i. p. 236. Discourses on the Demoniacs. (f) In Matt.
And they were astonished at his doctrine ; for
Mark 1. 22.
knight (g), Bishop Newton (h), Jortin (i), (who would hardly have been expected among this number); Campbell (k), Dr. Adam Clarke, in his Commen. tary, and many others. The sum of their argument is stated by Horne (1), Macknight (m), and Dr. Hales (n), with great fairness and impartiality. I have endeavoured to follow so good an example in the following brief summary of the respective arguments on both sides, beginning with those which are considered conclusive against the doctrine of demoniacal possessions.
1. The word dæmon, properly signifies the soul of a dead person. It cannot be supposed that the speeches and actions recorded of the imagined demoniacs could be imputed to these.
In reply to this, it is justly said, that the word does not uniformly denote the spirits of the departed.
2. Amongst the Heathens, lunacy and epilepsy were ascribed to the operation of some dæmons: demoniacs were therefore called larvati, and cerriti.
Several answers may be given to this objection.-One, that it is not quite impossible, but that the Heathens were right.-Another, that the opinion of the Heathens, whether right or wrong, is no proof that the Jews were in error; for the demoniacs of Scripture are represented as differing from insane and epileptic persons. Compare Matt. ii. 24. where the daiuoviSojévovs are opposed to the σεληνιαζομένους, the παραλυτικούς, and the ποικίλαις νόσοις, και βασάvous, ovvexouévous, and in Matt. x. 1. The power to cast out devils, or dæmons, by whatever name the evil spirits might be called, is expressly opposed to the power of healing all other diseases whatever. See Luke iv. 33–36; compare also v. 41. with v. 40. where the same contrast is observable.
3. It is argued that the Jews had the same idea of these diseases as the Heathen, and the instance of the madness of Saul, and Matt. xvii. 14, 15. John vii. 20. viii. 48. 52. x. 20. are adduced to prove the assertion. These passages certainly prove that lunatics, epileptics, and demoniacs, are sometimes synonymous terms; but this admission, however, will only shew that they were occasionally identified: the argument deduced from the contrast between lunatics and demoniacs, in the passages quoted above, will not be destroyed. The literal interpretation is confirmed by the recollection of the source from whence the Heathens derived their ideas of dæmons, and their philosophy in general.
Pythagoras, as I have endeavoured elsewhere to prove, probably derived much of his philosophy, and many opinions and institutions, from the Jews in their dispersion, at the time of the Babylonish captivity (0). He was of opinion that the world was full of dæmons (P). Thales too, the contemporary of Pytha
(8) Essay prefixed to his Harmony, 4to. edit. p. 172. (h) Dissertation on the Demoniacs. (i) Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, Works, 8vo. edit. vol. i. p. 199. (%) Essay on the words Διάβολος, Δαίμων, and Δαιμόvlov-Prelim. Dissert. vol. i. p. 182. 4to. edit. of the work on the Gospels. (1) Critical Introduction, 2nd edit. vol. iii. p. 483. (m) Essay prefixed to the Harmony. (n) Analysis of Chronology, vol.ii. p. 764. See also Bishop Gleig's edition of Stackhouse, vol. iii. p. 57. and Doddridge's Lectures, vol. ii. p. 431. Kippis' edition. (0) Arrangement of the Old Testament, vol. ii. p. 723, &c. &c. (p) Ειναι πάντα τον αέρα ψυχών έμπλεων και τούτους õaipovás te kai Howaç vopiseodai. Diog Laert lib. viii. $ 32. ap. Biscoe,