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47 m Woe unto you! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets, and your fathers killed them.
48 Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fathers : for they indeed killed them, and ye build their sepulchres.
49 Therefore also said the wisdom of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute.
50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this genera
51 - From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you,
It shall be required of this generation. 52 • Woe unto you, lawyers ! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye enter not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye 'hindered. 53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and
• Or, forlad.
m Matt. xxiii. 29.
n Gen. iv. 8.
o Matt. xxiii. 13.
nounced his woes against the Pharisees, prophets. Had they done that faithfully, but in verse 44, he joins the scribes with they would have prepared men to rethem ; which led the lawyer to say, Mas- ceive Christ and his doctrine ; but by ter, thus saying, thou reproachest us also. their corrupt and carnal interpretation
Verse 4—6. Lade men with burdens.- they wholly took away the key of knowSee note on Matt. xxiii. 4.
ledge, kept shut, instead of opening, the Verse 47. Sepulchres of the prophets, sacred volume, of which they professed &c.—See notes on Matt. xxiii. 29–31. to be the expounders, and thus entered
Verse 49. Said the wisdom of God, fc. not into the kingdom of heaven them- In the parallel place in St. Matthew, selves, and hindered those that were the our Lord speaks in his own person, “Be- tering, by their false expositions of those hold, I sent unto you,” &c. He must scriptures especially which related to the here therefore style himself the wisdom of Messiah. This is the crime of the Jew. God; or, if this phrase is a periphrasis ish Rabbins, or expositors of the law, to for the wise God, we have a direct as
this day. sumption of divinity. See the note on Verse 53. To provoke him to speak.Matt. xxiii. 34.
By captious questions, by vebement obVerses 50, 51. That the blood, 8:0.- jections, by perverting what he had said See the notes on Matt. xxiii. 35, 36. already, and, no doubt, by railing lan
Verse 52. The key of knowledge. Those guage. Their object was to throw him off who were made doctors of the law had his guard, to incite him a OCTOMATIZE), to a key given to them at their ordination or speak without premeditation or caution; appointment, which they always after- lying in wait like beasts of prey, and seetwards wore as a badge of their office. ing to catch something out of his mostk, Thus emblematically did they profess to being ready to spring upon any unguardopen the true meaning of the law and the ed word, and seize it, that they might
the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things :
54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.
CHAPTER XII. 1 Christ preacheth to his disciples to avoid hypocrisy, and fearfulness in publishing his
doctrine : 13 warneth the people to beware of covetousness, by the parable of the rich man who set up greater barns. 22 We must not be over careful of earthly things, 31 but seek the kingdom of God, 33 give alms, 36 be ready at a knock to open to our Lord whensoever he cometh. 41 Christ's ministers are to see to their charge, 49 and look for persecution. 54 The people must take this time of grace, 58 because it is a fearful thing to die without reconciliation.
1 Ina the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware
a Matt. xvi. 6.
have to accuse him, and put him to death. manner frequently was, to his disciples. But our Lord had a perfect self-command; So he delivered the sermon on the mount, and as his wisdom confounded, so his and other discourses; which explains why prudence baffled, all his enemies, and that there should be passages in them of gewithout
sacrifice of ministerial fideli. neral application, and others applicable ty. The style of St. Luke, in these last to disciples only. verses, is greatly to be admired. Vigour, Which is hypocrisy.-On other occafitness of metaphor, and graphic power, sions our Lord had cautioned his disciare here all united. The scene is brought ples against the leaven of the Pharisees before us in the most lively manner, and and Sadducees generally; here against a painter might find a noble subject in the leaven of the Pharisees in particular, the calm reproving attitude of our Lord, which he declares to be hypocrisy. They and in the cunning malignity of the covered themselves as with a mask; they group of Pharisees, who vehemently urged personated, as the word imports, charachim, to provoke him to speak unadvisedly, ters which they were not; they affected lying in wait, eagerly watching the suc- devotion, but were without its spirit; recess of every manœuvre.
ligious zeal, but it was for their own pe
culiarities, not for God's honour; ostenCHAPTER XII. Verse 1. Unto his tatious almsgiving, without pity for the disciples first of all.-Whether the Phari. poor; and sanctity, without moral hones. sees mentioned in the preceding chapter ty. This corrupting leaven of hypocrisy, were present on this occasion, or being the disciples of Christ are cautioned disappointed had retired, does not appear against. It is therefore enjoined upon The multitude, however, had increased ; us to be perfectly Honest in matters of and having witnessed his triumph over his religion, to turn with all our hearts to opponents, they so crowd around him to God, and to follow our Saviour in all inget near to catch his words, that they TEGRITY of purpose and practice; not trod upon each other. To them, however, indeed, as some would say, to avoid all he did not address himself, but, as his professions of entire devotedness to him,
2 • For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known.
3 Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops.
4 ° And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.
5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.
6 Are not five sparrows sold for two' farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?
7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered
b Matt. x. 26.
c Matt. x. 28.
See Matt, x. 29.
lest we should fall into hypocrisy, but “every secret thing ” shall be brought keeping up the heart to that profession, into light and manifestation. The hypowhich as Christians we are bound to crisy of religious persecutors of all ages make, that we may be always before God shall be then especially exposed and puwhat we appear before men.
nished. See the note on Matt. x. 27. sumption of any particular virtue to carry Verse 4. Be not afraid of them that kill a point of selfishness either of opinion, the body.—See the note on Matt. x. 25. honour, or interest, is a violation of truth Verse 6. Two farthings.—The avraptor, which falls under this condemnation of or farthing, was a brass coin of the value hypocrisy. All approaches to this worst of one-tenth of a denarius or Roman of vices ought to be guarded against, be- penny, consequently equal to about three cause, as learen, its inevitable tendency is farthings of our money. In the parallel pasto spread over and infect the whole sage in Matthew it is, “And one of them character. This caution is enforced by shall not fall on the ground without your the most solemn considerations. What Father.” Here the same words in subis covered shall be revealed, every hy- stance are spoken on a different occasion, pocrite shall be unmasked; what is and the expression is beautifuly varied,spoken in darkness by hypocrites, banded and not one of them is forgotten before God. together to accomplish their designs, shall The wants, dangers, and true relations of be heard in the light ; and what is whis- every creature, however small, are always pered in the ear, even in closets, for greater remembered by God, who regulates his secrecy, shall be proclaimed upon the government of all things accordingly ;house tops ; the tops of buildings being nothing is forgotten as to time, place, used for declaring public tidings or pro- or order. Could the perfection of goclaiming laws. This revelation of hypo- vernment be more strongly expressed? critical characters, and insidious designs, Could a stronger ground of confidence in often takes place on earth, to the shame God be laid, to encourage the trust of and confusion of the guilty; but the ul- those who are of more value than many tiinate reference of the words is to the sparrows? day of judgment. Then God shall judge Verse 7. But even the very hairs of your "the secrets of men's hearts ;” and head. -See the note on Matt. x. 30.
value than many Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than sparrows.
8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God :
d Matt. x. 32; 2 Tim. ii. 12.
Verse 8. Confess me before men.-See the more than we can conceive to their innote on Matt. x. 32. To which may be struction, and perhaps future safety ; added, that to confess Christ includes the since the wonderful discoveries of good following particulars :-1. Public union and evil which that day will make, and with his church, so that we bear his the rewards and punishments of infinite
2. Regular participation of the variety which will be assigned, will form Lord's supper, by which “we show forth such a manifestation of God, in his gohis death until he come ;” that is, not vernment of creatures, as has never beonly declare the historical fact, but con- fore taken place, and must be rememberfess our trust in it as the grand sacrificeed with awe and joy to all eternity. But for sin.
3. Regular attendance, when previous to the final act of acknowledgable, upon public worship, especially ment before the throne, there will be a upon the Christian sabbath, which is distinguishing recognition. The angels " the Lord's day,” the day on which his of God will be the instruments of gatherpraises are celebrated by the church uni- ing together the elect from the four winds versal, and his gospel proclaimed in their of heaven ; they rise first, so that they assemblies. 4. Submitting to reproach, are thus acknowledged to be the “dead loss, and suffering, when we might avoid in Christ,” them that “sleep in Jesus,” them by complying with something con- before the angels on that occasion betrary to the will of Christ, or ceasing to come their willing and joyful ministers. do what he has enjoined. This is to con- On the other hand, to deny Christ, as it sess Christ before ren, because it is a is spoken of those who profess to be his most unequivocal declaration that we disciples, must include, 1. Open apostasy prefer obeying him with cheerful affection from his religion ; or, 2. The neglect of to any immediate interest of our all those things by which Christ is con5. To confess Christ is to show, without fessed, as public worship and receiving affectation or constraint, by the spin the sacrament of the Lord's supper; or, rit and character of our social conversa- 3. A denying him “in works,” that is, tion, and habitual conduct, that we have throwing off his authority in our conversaa constant respect to his glory and the tion and conduct, so as not to be halaws of his religion, that we delight in bitually controlled by it; or, 4. A cowthem, that we have given up ourselves ardly desertion of duty to avoid reproach, to their influence, and that we walk as in loss, or suffering; for then we deny Christ the presence of our Master. To all such by acting as though we belonged to persons Christ promises a public acknown another master-; or, 5. Hearing his truth ledgment before the angels of God, refer- and religion assaulted, and defamed, in ring, no doubt, to his second coming. guilty silence. All such persons would This acknowledgment will, doubtless, be give worlds, indeed, to be acknowledged a solemn act in the presence of the as- to be Christ's disciples, in that great day sembled angels, that all orders of intelli- of final decision to which he refers; but gent holy beings may know the grounds they shall be denied and rejected. Let of the divine procedure at that great the undecided meditate on this solemn day,-a circumstance which will minister subject.
9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.
10 And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but unto him that blasphemeth against the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.
11 . And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what
say: 12 For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
13 [ And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? 15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of
e Matt. x. 19.
Verse 11. Magistrates and powers.
shows that our Lord's kingdom was not Rulers of every rank, and covolas, per- to be of this world. Had he been an sons having authority over others. See earthly king, there was no reason why he the note on Matt. x. 19.
might not have filled the office of judge Verses 13, 14. Master, speak to my bro- in civil matters. But he declines; not ther, &c.—Here Christ was applied to as indeed from mere prudence, lest he should an arbitrator in a civil cause, or, in other offend, or lest he should be too precipitate words, to assume the judicial function. in setting up his claims, but from want of This he promptly declines. He had authority. He had no commission from neither been appointed to it by human man or God for these earthly offices; and authority, to which, in such cases, he it followed, therefore, that only in a spirit. paid all respect, nor was it any part of ual sense and for spiritual ends was he inthe office assigned him by immediate ap- vested with the authority which he possesspointment from God. Who made me a ed. From this instance we are not to infer judge and divider over you? The division that Christians are to decline to be umpires of inheritances, of which the first-born or arbitrators, to prevent suits at law by a had a right to a double share, but no more amicable and less expensive settlemore, when it could not be satisfactorily ment of affairs ; for had it been in that settled among brethren and relatives, was character only that our Lord had been referred to the council of three judges, applied to, he might probably have interwho either decided themselves, or ap- posed. But he was asked to do, by virtue of pointed an arbitrator and divider ; hence his being a prophet, what belonged to the our Lord uses two terms, judge, dikaOts, regular judicial office, and so implied an and yegiorns, divider; the one meaning assumption of that civil authority which a publicly appointed judge, as one of the he uniformly disclaimed. council of three; the other, the person Verse 15. Take heed, and bevare of appointed by them with full powers to covetousness, &c.-Our Lord took occamake the partition. The latter is, how- sion, from the request which had been ever, understood by many as exegetical of just made, to guard against covetousness, the former. Nothing more strikingly and especially because of its tendency to