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his former miracles had produced in Philip : " for he himself knew what he would do."
When our Lord walked on the sea of Galilee, and seemed P willing to pass the ship in which the disciples were tossed by the waves, he designed to evidence his power by shewing himself distinctly to all. When he said, “It is I, be not afraid ;" still Peter answered, “Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water." Our Lord also convinced them that he could have passed to the other side of the lake without their assistance : a circumstance which must have added to the exceeding great wonder and astonishment which this miracle was designed to impress on their insensible minds. And Grotius remarks that it might have been his actual intention to cross the lake in this manner, unless he had been earnestly desired to enter the ship.
There is a circumstance in our Lord's conduct somewhat similar to this, when the two disciples, to whom he joined himself on the way to Emmaus, came near to the village, and Jesus “s made as though he would have gone further.” He might do this partly to try their benevolence and hospitality, and to promote the exercise of these virtues : and, as a Grotius says, he might have previously determined to proceed, if he had not been detained by strong persuasion. It may be added, that this mark of respect was due from them to one whose discourse shewed him to be an extraordinary person; and had
P Mark vi. 48. • Luke xxiv. 28. Gen. xis. 2, 3.
9 v. 50.
II. iij. c. 1. 8 viii, 3. 'Heb. xiii. 2. See a parallel instance u On Luke xxiv. 28, and de jure, &c. iii. 1. viii. 3.
so much truth and energy in it, that their hearts
burned within them while they heard it. The action of passing onwards derived its quality simply from the intention of the agent, which was here a good and upright * one.
When the feast of tabernacles approached, Jesus's relations said to him, Go into Judea. He answered, "I go not up y yet to this feast, because my time is not yet fulfilled.” “ I am not yet to die at Jerusalem ; and therefore I shall not go thither in company with you, and with multitudes whom the fame of my miracles may draw together. I shall absent myself during the beginning of the feast, that I may not too much attract the notice of my enemies or of my friends.” And though our Lord exercised his prophetical office during the feast, Loth by teaching in the temple and by working a signal miracle ; yet, from circumstances unknown to us, there might be much wisdom in his going up to it later than his brethren, and“ not openly, but as it were in secret.'
My present reason for mentioning this transaction is on account of the various reading, “ I go » NOT up to this feast":” which seems to set our Lord's words and conduct at variance. It is observable, however, that Porphyry does not found on this passage a charge of falsehood, but of a inconstancy and
w Luke xxiv. 32. * Puffendorf says, Circa exemplum Lucæ xxiv. 28. res plana est. Nam talem gestum præ se ferre cujusvis in arbitrio est : & nibil frequentius in vita communi quam discessum simulare, ut constet, gratine simus futuri hospites. Nam, ni enixe rogemur, serio nobis est propositum abire. 4to. iv. 1. 12. y John vii. 8.
2 x'x cych Bairw. • Inconstantiæ ac mutationis accusat. Hieron. adv. Pelag. ii. 103. See the whole passage in Wetstein.
change of purpose:
purpose : and Whitby, who suggests this observation, thinks that we should retain the reading in our version, which is supported by the greatest weight of authority. It is reasonable to suppose that our Lord's uniform intention was to attend the feast privately, and at a certain time ; which removes the charge of levity and mutability : and even if we read, “I go not up to this feast,” the sense may be, I go not up now; which invalidates the accusation of d falschood.
When the Jews insidiously asked Jesus by what * authority he acted, and who gave him that authority, they were pursuing their intention of destroying him. But he, being determined to fulfil the law by suffering on the day of the paschal solemnity, baffled their immediate design with admirable wisdom, by asking them a question relative to the baptism of John, which they durst not answer. Upon which Jesus said to them, “ Neither do I tell you by whạt authority I do these things.” He had repeatedly assured them of his divine commission; that he & spaķe as his Father taught him ; that he proceeded forth and came from God; that the Father had i sanctified him, and sent him into the world. But for weighty reasons he suppressed a like declaration at that time. And an occasional k concealment of the truth, justified by prudence, is very different from a transgression of it.
binnw a'vo Baivce. See his note in loc. and examen Millii. The original eastern verb might have been used in the participial form ; non as. cendens sum : which is very different from the future, non ascendam. Sce Lardner's Test. iji. 172.
e Mark xi. 28. fib. c. 18. John viii. 28.
hib. v. 42. iib. x. 36. k See Puffendorf de officio hominis et civis Pro. 1, 10.4. Palet-recie tacendo dissimulare
Upon the whole there was no guile in our Lord's words or actions. There is no vice more frequently condemned by him than hypocrisy, by which the outward appearance of men belies their inward sentiments; and he observed of the evil spirit that, when he spake a "lie, he spake of his own; for he was a liar, and the father, or first forger, of this abject and hateful crime; the introducer of evil and falsehood into God's creation, which before was all goodness and truth.
OF OUR LORD'S NATURAL AFFECTION.
THE ends of society and the good of mankind require that, in the nearest human relations, nature should strongly incite to the performance of beneficent offices. St. Paul condemns the heathens for being a without natural affection ; which particularly appeared in the cruel practice of exposing their children : and, in prophetically describing the corrupt ages of Christianity, he represents men as disobedient to parents, and without natural affection. On each of these occasions it is observable that he enumerates the blackest crimes which disgrace human nature.
me posse, utut maxime interroger, quæ ut ex me sciat alter jus non habet, neque ad id aliqua obligatione ego teneor. "1 Pet. ij. 22. m John viii. 44. a Rom.i. 31. 62 Tim. iii. 2, 3,
The amiable and useful principle of natural affection is supposed in many parts of our Lord's discourses : “ If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone ?” To “ leave d brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, for his sake and the gospel's," Christ pronounced to be greatly rewardable in this life and the next; though we see, by the restraining clause, that he required this desertion of them only when higher duties would else be violated. He also foretold, as a wonderful and horrid effect of religious hatred, that in times of persecution “ the e brother should deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child; and that the children should rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death."
The Jews made void many of God's commandments by their traditions. The instance which our Lord selected was this : “God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother : and, He that curseth father or mother, let him surely die. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, That wherein thou mightest be profited by me is a gift; [actually or intentionally devoted to the service of God ;] and shall not honour his father or his mother, well.” The selection of the example shews the stress which he laid on the precept.
Let us now observe our Lord's own conduct. The gospels record only one circumstance in his behaviour during his childhood: which some of the
Mark x. 29.
e Matt. x. 21, 22. and p.p.
€ Luke xi. 11, &c. Matt. xv. 4, 5, 6.