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Leper, [mark XIV. 3.—] Jo H N XII. 2. There they made him a Supper, and Martha served: but Lazirus was one of them that fat at the Table with him.

284 Mary anoints him with a tnoft coftly Ointment.

Sect. 145. joiced to fee him j as he was in the House of in the House of Simon the

1 K~yit~ } Simon the Leper (b), In Testimony of their
JohnXII.2.high Respect and great Affection for him, they

made a handsome Supper for him there, and treated
him in the Evening j which was the usual Time
for Entertainments with the Jews, especially on
the Evening of their Sabbath-Days, which was
the Season when this Feast was made (c): And
Martha, who had formerly distinguished her Care
on a like Occasion, (Luke x. 40. pag. 91.) having
seen that. all Things mould be rightly ordered,
waited on Christ at Supper j but Lazarus was one
of them that fate at the Table with him.
3 Then Mary, the other Sister of Lazarus, being
deeply affected with the many Instances that Christ
had given her of his Love, and especially with his
late Mercy to her Family, in recovering so dear
a Brother from the Grave, was solicitous to give
some uncommon Token of her Gratitude and
Respect to so excellent a Guest: She therefore
took an elegant Alabajler Tot, or Vase, [containing]
about a Pound Weight of unadulterated Ointment
of Spikenard (d), [which was] exceeding valuable j
and having broke the Top of the Vessel, or shook
the perfumed Balsam which was in it, that it
might be the better liquified, and flow forth the
easier (e), Jhe came behind him, and poured out

the

3 Then took Mary [an Alabaster Box containing] a» Pound of Ointment of Spikenard, very costly; [mar. and she brake the Box, and poured it on his Head,]' [as be

(f) Simon the Leper."] It is not to be thought, that lie was now a Leper; for in this Cafe he would not have been suffered to live in a Town, nor would the 'Jews have come to an Entertainment at his House: But either he was once a Leper, and had been cured by Jesus, or else the Name was given to the Family, as some considerable Person in it had been formerly a Leper:

(c). When this Feast was made.] Tho' Matthew aud Mark relate this Story, where they are speaking of what happened but Two Days before the Pajsover, it is more probable, (as we have just now shewn, that it is placed by John in its due Order; and as the following Days appear to be sufficiently distinguished, and Christ's triumphant Entrance into Jerujalem, which John has fixed to the next Day, (John xii. 12. Seel. 146.) must have been on the First Day of the Week, this Entertainment therefore was on the Evening of the Day before, when the Jewi/h Sabbath was over.

(d) Unadulterated Ointment of Spikenard.] I cannot take upon me absolutely to determine, whether the Word <BiriKHf signifies, that the Ointment was quite genuine and pure, (as Casaubon and L. Cappellus aflert;) or whether (as Grotius and Erasmus think,) it be put for ffTiiuLlm, and refers to the particular Part of the fragrant Shrub Nardus, of which the

Ointment was made. (See Plin. Nat. Hist. lib. xii. cap. 12.) If the latter be the

Meaning of it, what is said of its great Value must justify our calling it unadulterated.

(e) Having broke the Top of the Vejfel, or shook the perfumed Balsam, &c] Sir Nirtou Kpatchbutl and Dr. Hammond maintain, that jW/fJ^tr*. does not signify, that she brake the

Vessel,

Judas condemns it as an unreasonable Wafte. 285

he sat at Meat,]and anoint- the greater Part of /'/ on his Head, as he fate at Sect. 145,

Meat, and anointed the Feet of Jesus with the i^~*£-*~>
Remainder; and when {he had done this, she, JohnXIL 3'
like the humble Penitent mentioned above, (Luke
vii. 38. Vol. i. pag. 364.) wiped his Feet with her
flowing Tresses of long Hair : And the whole House
was- filled with the fragrant and delicious Odour of
the Ointment.

But when his Disciples observed [it,] there were Mat. XXVI.
some that were% moved with inward Displeasure at *
what appeared to them so great an Extravagance,
and said with a low Voice to each other, Why was
this Wafte of the Ointment made, and such a Quan-
tity of this rich Balsam poured out to. so little Pur-
pose? And they secretly murmured againfl her (f),
and coftld hardly refrain from rebuking her for it. •
One of his Disciples therefore, [even] Judas Ifca- JohnXIL4.
riot, the Son of Simon, that wretched Person who
was about to betray him, as if he knew not how-
to bear such Waste, expressed a peculiar Emotion;,
and said aloud, Why was not this fine Ointment

ed the Feet of Jesus, and wiped his Feet with her Hair: and the House was filled with the Odour of the Ointment. [mat. XXVI. 7. Mark. XIV.—3.]

Mat. XXVI. 8. But when his Disciples saw it,

S there were some that had ndignation within themselves, and said, Why was this Waste of the Ointment nude ?—And they murmured against her.] [mark XIV. 4,-5.]

John XII. 4. Then faith one of his Disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's Son, which should betray him-,

5 Why was not this Oint

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been worth [even] more than Three hundred
Fence (g) ;. and thus it might have served for the
Relief of many, if the Price of it had been given
to the Poor? This would surely have been ap-
proved of by our Master, as a much wiser and
better Way of disposing of it, than thus to lavistii
it away on the luxurious Entertainment of a few
Minutes. Now this be said, not because he at
ail regarded the Poor; but because he was, not—
withstanding all his pretended Piety, and Zeal,. a>

subtil.

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Vessel, which they think an improbable Circumstance; but only that she Jhook it, so as to > break the coagulated Parts of the rich Balsam, and bring it to such a Liquidity that it might, be fit to pour out. Yet I must own, that the Original does not so naturally express this.

(f) And they murmured against her.\ Whether this relates to more than "Judas, cannot' certainly be said; since it is well known, that the Plural Number is sometimes put for the ■

Singular. See Gen. viii. 4. xix. 29. Judg. xii. 7; and Mat. xxvii. 44. Some have •

thought, Judas Iscariot was the Son of that Simon, in whose House the Feast was made j, but the Name was so common, that it cannot be concluded with any Certainty.

(g) "Three hundred Pence.] It- is to be remembered, that these were Roman Pence, and consequently amounted to Nine Pounds Seven Shillings and Six-pence: The Expression onlyintimates a general Guess at the Value, by a Round Sum; (for such Three hundred Denarii were, tho' the correspondent Value with us is not so ;) as if we should fay on a like Occasion, It must have been worth above Ten Pounds.

{h) Carried

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But Jesus juflifi.es and commends

subtil Thief; and as he kept the Bag which con-
tained their little Stock, and carried what was
put into it (h), he thought if so large a Sum had
come in, just before he went off with it, (which
he was now preparing to do,) he should have had
a fine Opportunity of enriching himself.

But Jesus knowing the Design of Judas, and
perceiving that others were secretly joining with
him in this severe and uncharitable Censure, with'
out taking any Notice of that vile Principle from
which he knew [it] proceeded in him, directed
his Discourse to his Disciples, and said to them,
Why do you give such Trouble and Uneasiness to
the good Woman, of whose Piety and Friendship
we have had so long an Experience? Let her alone
in what (he is about; for what she has now per-
formed is a good Work, and (he deserves to be
commended for the great Respect she has been
shewing towards me. For as to what has been
suggested now in Favour of the Poor, you have
them always with you; and Providence will con-
tinually so order it, that some compassionable Ob-
jects (hall be still among you, that whenever you
please you may have an Opportunity to do them
Good: But me you have not always with you; for
I am soon to leave you, and to be placed beyond
• the Reach of your Kindness. And indeed my
Departure out of the World is so near, that with
respect to this Action of our Friend Mary, which
you are ready to condemn, I may fay, that she
has reserved this Ointment for the Day of my Bu-
rial {i): And not knowing whether she may

have

her ConduSl.

because he was a Thief, and had the Bag, and bare what was put therein.

Mat. XXVLro. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the Woman? [let her alone;] for (he hath wrought a good Work upon me. [mark XIV. 6. John XII. 7.-]

Ii For ye have the Poor always with you, [and whensoever ye will, ye may do them Good:]butmeyehave not always. [mark XIV. 7. John XII. 8.]

John XII.—7. Against the Day of my Burying hath (he kept this.

Mark XIV. 8. She hath done

(h) Carried what was put into /'/.] The learned Eisner (I suppose, to avoid the seeming Tautology, would render tCasaliv, he took away, or carried off, i. e. for his own Use, what was put into the Purse or Bag. He refers to John xx. 15. and Mat. iii. II. viii. 17. as Instances of such a Use of it; to which he adds others from Polybius, Athinaus, and other good Authors. (Elsn. Obferv. Vol. i. fag. 333.) But the Meaning here may be, that he had not only the keeping of the Bag at that Time, but that it was his stated Office to take Care of it, and manage its Stock; and therefore I chuse not to follow Eisner's Version, stnce-sCara^t never signifies to carry off a Part privately, which would have been expressed by iroo-yio-tilo, as it is Acts v. 2.

(ij She has reserved this for the Day of my Bmial.] Mr. IVhiston (in his View of the Harmony, pag. I2g.) thinks this is, as if our Lord had said, " She has spent but a little of "this Ointment now; but has reserved the main Part of it, to pour upon my Head some *<■ Days hence, which (hall be so near my Death, that it may be considered as a Kind of

«« Embalmin that she hath poured this Ointment on my Body,] (he is come aforehand to anoint my Body to the burying. [mat. XXVI. 12. J

9 Verily I fay unto you, Wheresoever this Gospel {hall be preached throughout the whole World, this also that [ this Woman ] hath done, (hall be spoken of for a Memorial of her. [mat. XXVI. 13.]

Many come to fee Lazarus, but the Priejls conspire to kill htm. 287 done what (he could : [for have an Opportunity of assisting in those last Of- Sect. 145.

fices, foe has now done what Jhe could; for in that j^fOO^
she has poured out this Ointment on my Body, Jhe g'

has in a Manner come before the Time thus to
anoint and to embalm my Body for the Burialj so
that you may almost look upon it as a Work of
Piety and Love to a dead Friend, where a gene-
rous Heart will not be sparing. And on the 9
whole, tho* you have such hard Thoughts of
what (he has been doing, it mail not finally turn
to her Reproach or Damage ; but as I graciously
accept it, so I assuredly fay unto you, that where-
soever this Gospel of mine is preached, and it in
Time (hall have its Triumph over the whole World,
this very Action also which this pious and affectio-
nate Woman has now performed, jhall be inserted
in the History of my Life, and be spoken of with
Honour for a Memorial of her Friendship and
Affection to me; so that her Name {hall be em-
balmed in such a Manner, as to be far more fra-
grant than the Perfume which (he has poured:
forth on my Head and my Feet. (Compare Ec-
cles. vii. 1.)

Now these Things passed at a publick Enter- John Xll. g* tainment: A great Multitude of the sews thereand they"camT, no^or Jesus fore, who had been dubious whether Jesus would fake only, but that they come up to the Passover, or not, (compare John

xi. 56. Sect. 141.) quickly got Intelligence of it,.
and knew that he was there in Bethany; and they
came thither in Crouds from Jerusalem, and that
indeed not only on Account of yefus, who had been'
retired for some Time, but also out of Curiosity,
that they might fee Lazarus, whom he had lately
raised from the Dead, who now appeared pub-
licity with him (k).

But

Jo H V XII 9. Much People of the Jews therefore knew that he was there

might fee Lazarus whom he had raised the Dead.

also,
from

." Embalming." But besides the general Reasons against believing the Action repeated, which have been mentioned in Note (a), it is unnatural to suppose, that in the Transport of her Love and Gratitude she would use this little Management of keeping back most that was in the Vessel; or that if (he had, 'John would have mentioned the Quantity Jhe took, which was no way to his Purpose, or have taken Notice of the Rcom's being piled with the Odour of it: Not to say, that the Predifiion, which Mr. IVhiflcn supposes our Lord to utter,, is quite trifling, and would seem to bespeak its own Accomplishment, in a Manner which he never would have stooped to.

(t) Who now appeared publickly with him.] Perhaps after so extraordinary a Series of Providences, as Lazarus had passed thro', he might chuse to spend some Time in Retirement

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Refle&iom on MaryV anointing the Feet of Christ.

, But the Chief Priests, and other Members of »o But the Chief Priestj

li:,,\jr «!* Sanhedrim as they had already resolved on -gfiSJ*1 jonn Au. tJie Death 0f jcsuSj ^Jilted a/j0 how tfay mtght

find some Method to kill Lazarus, cither by
publick Prosecution, or private Assassination.
H For they well knew, that many of the Jews de- n Because that by reason
serted them, and went away to Bethany on his of him many of the Jews
Account, and were so powerfully struck with the Sawsand bellcvedoa
convincing Evidence of so astonishing a Miracle,
that they believed on Jesus; and while such a ""' /

Monument of his Power and Goodness conti-
nued, they were afraid lest more should revolt

to him.

IMPROVEMENT.

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E see how happily Mary improved by fitting at the Feet of Jesus, and what Evidence she gave of her having chosen the better Part. (Compare Luke x. 39, 42.) Like her, let us with humble Thankfulness bestow our very best on him, who has given us that, and every Thing

Jebn xii. 3. else. She gladly poured out her choicest Ointment on him, whose Name is to every true Believer far more fragrant than Ointment poured forth. (Cant. i. 2-J How does her generous Love shame those, who grudge every Expence in the Cause of Christ f

When we are relieving the pious Poor, we are, as it were, anointing the Feet of Jesus: We are indeed performing a Service far more acceptable, than any Thing of this Kind could in itself be. Let us remember,

Ver. 8. that we have the Poor always with us; and that they are permitted to continue among us, that we may do them Good whenever we please. Far

Ver. 4,-6. be it from us to imagine, that what we so spend is Waste. Let all, who would not share in the Guilt and Punishment of Judas, abhor the vile Hypocrisy of making a pretended Concern for the Poor, a Cloak for an Opportunity of enriching themselves wkh their Spoils; than which nothing can be more infamous, or can have a directer Tendency to mingle the consuming Curse of a Righteous and Almighty God with all that a Man possesses.

V.er. 10. The Pharisees conspired to kill Lazarus. What a Mixture was this

of Cruelty and Folly? What was his Crime ? or what could their Hope be? From what Death could not Christ have delivered him? or from

what

xnent and extraordinary Devotion; and it is natural to suppose, he would endeavour to avoid the Importunity of Crouds, who out of Curiosity would be pressing in upon him, perhaps with some impertinent Enquiries.

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