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354 They are unable to repfy, and dare not ask him any more Questions*

Sect. 156. Spirity in the Book of PfaJmst call him Lord (d)?
ijs^CSf. for you cannot but know, that there is a Pasiage
Mat'XXli' expressly to this Purpose, (Psal. ex. 1.) which
you readily allow to refer to the Messiah, in

44 which you find David faying, "The LORD
"said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my Right Hand
"in exalted Power and Glory, and exercise Do-
"minion there, //// / make all thine Enemies thy
"Footstool, and cause thee to trample upon them

45 "at Pleasure." If David himself therefore
call him Lord, and speak of him as his Superior,
as you fee he doth, how is he then his Son (e)?

And as the Scribes and Pharisees were ignorant
of the great Doctrine of the Divine Nature of the
Meffiah, with respect to which, even before hia.
Incarnation, he was the Lord of David, and of
the whole Church; they were quite confounded
with the Question. And a vast Croud of the
common People that was about him heard him with

46 great Pleasure. And no Man could answer him
so much as a Word j neither did any one presume,

from that Day forward, to ask him any more such
insnaring Questions (f) as those by which they had
now contrived to aflault, and, if possible, to con-
found him. '..

45 If

then call him Lord, how is he [luk. then] his Son? [And the common People heard him gladly.] [mark. XII. 37. Luke XX. 44.]

46 And no Man was able to answer him a Word; neither durst any Man (from that Day forth) asle him any more Questions. [marit XII.-34]

(et) How then does David himself by the Holy Spirit, tic A Our Lord, we fee, always takes it for granted in his Arguments with the Jews, that the Writers of the Old TeJlament weic under such an extraordinary Guidance of the Holy Spirit, as to express themselves with the strictest Propriety on all Occasions. (Compare John x. 35. Sett. 134.) And I look on this as no contemptible Argument for the Inspiration of the New Tejlament; for we can never think the Aposlles of Christ to have been less assisted by the Divine Spirit in their Writings, when they were in other Respects so much more powerfully endowed with it.

(e) If David himself therefore call him Lord, how is he then his Son P] This implies both the Existence of David in a future State, and the Authority of the Messiah over that invisible World, into which that Prince was removed by Death. Else, how great a Monarch soever the Messiah might»have been, he could not have been properly called David's Lerd\ any more than Julius Cæsar could have been called the Lord of Romulus, because he reigned in Rome 700 Years after his Death, and vastly extended the Bounds of that Empire which

Romulus founded. Munjler's Note on this Text shews in a very forcible Manner, the

wretched Expedients of some modern Jews, to evade the Force of that Interpretation of the exth Psalm, which refers it to the Messiah. , ■

(f) Presume from that Day forward to ask him any more QueJlions.~\ The plain Meaning is, they asked him no more such captious Questions; for the Memory of this Confusion impressed their Minds during the short Remainder of Christ's Continuance among them; and he was soon removed from them, so that they had no farther Opportunities of doing it, when that Impression wore off.


Reflections on the Command'to love GOD and our Neighbour. 3^5 1 :1 M P R 0 V E M E NT.:

WHATEVER might be the Design of the Scribe, in putting this Sect. 156. Question to Christ again, (which was in effect the fame with t^^v-v^J *what another had proposed before, Lukcx. Tj.-pag. 86.) weilaveReason ^ark *"• to rejoice in the Repetition of so important an Answer. Oh that it might be inscribed on our Hearts, as with the Point of a Diamond!

The First and great Commandment requires us, to love the Lord our GOD Ver. 19. •with all our Heart, and Soul, and Mind, and Strength -, and the Second, to love our Neighbour as ourselves. But alas, what Reason have we to com- •

plain of our own Deficiency on both these Head*! and how much Need of being taught again even thzkjirfl Principles of %be Oracles of GOD! (Heb. v. J2.J

Can we say, that the Blessed God has the whole of our Hearts? Is Ver. 30. the utmost Vigour of our Faculties exerted in his Service? Do we make Him the End of all our Actions, of all our Wishes, of all our Pursuits? — Are we indeed such equitable Judges between ourselves and others, as the Second of these great Commandments would require; so as to seek Ver. 31. our own particular Interests no farther, than they may be subservient to, or at least consistent with, the Good of the whole? Do we make all those Allowances for others, which we expect, or desire, they should make for us?—Surely we must own, we are far from havings attained, or from being already perfeSi. (Phil. iu. \2.)—But if this be nor, in the main, the prevailing and governing Temper of our Minds, in vain are our Burnt-Offerings and our Sacrifices; in vain are all the Solemnities of Ver. 33. Publick Worship, or the Forms of Domestic and Secret Devotion; and by all our most pathetic Expressions, of Duty to God, and Friendship to Men, we do but add one Degree of Guilt to another. Let us then most earnestly intreat, that God would have Mercy upon us, and by his Holy Spirit write these haws in our Hearts.

On these Subjects let Scribes instructed to the Kingdom of Heaven insist, Ver. 32. lest they be condemned by this Expositor of the Jewijh Law. And let those, whose Notions are thus wifely regulated, take heed lest while Ver. 34. they seem near to the Kingdom of GOD, by resting in mere Notions they come short of it, and sink into a Ruin aggravated by their near Approach to the Confines of Salvation and Glory.

As for that Question of Christ, with which the Pharisees were per- Mat. xxii. plexed, the Gospel has given us a Key to it. Well might David /«4i»--43Spirit call him LORD, who according to the Flestj was to descend from his Loins :. For before David, or Abraham was, he is. (John viii. 58.) Let us adore this mysterious Union of the Divine and Human Natures in the Person of our glorious Emmanuel; and be very careful that we

Yy 2 do

356 Christ warns them against the Scribes and Pharisees,

Sect. 156. do not oppose him, if we would not be found Fighters against GOD.

y^P^^ Already is he exalted at the Right Hand of the Father : Let his Friends "' 44' rejoice in his Dignity and Glory, and with Pleasure wait the Day of his compleat Triumph, when all his Enemies Jhall be put under bis Feet, and even the last of them be swallowed up in FicJory. (1 Cor. xv. 25, 54.)


Christ discourses with the Pharisees in the Temple^ repeating the Charges and Cautions , which he had formerly ad

vanced at the House of one os that Seel. Mat. XXIII. 1,—22. Mark XII. 38,-^-40. Luke XX. 45, to the End.


Mat. XXIII. I.? Mat. XXIII. 1.

Sect. jitf.THEN Jesus, in the Progress of his DoSlrine THEN spake Jesus [in

i^^~^J 1 and Discourse, shake to his Disciples, in the Au- r vhis P°«TM*>] [lwk. Mat XXIII J- r 11 *l B' \.i I_ r\ J * i" in tne Audience of all the

V. atence of all the People who were present, and took People> unt0 his DjscipkS|]

Occasion (as he had done formerly, Luke xi. 39, [markXII. 38.— Luke

& seq. Sect, no.) to expose, and caution them XX. 45.J

against, the Pride and Hypocrisy of the Scribes,

2 and Pharisees, Saying openly and freely to 2 Say ing, The Scribes and them, The Scribes and the Pharisees ft in the ^Pharisecs sit in Moses Chair of Moses (a), and are the publick Teachers

3 and Expounders of his Law: All therefore 3 All therefore whatso

whatfoever they shall charge you to observe in evLer **! bidu <***** It- J c »u i T sL\ u • nr that observe and do; but do

Virtue of that Law (0), pay a becoming Dere- ^

rence and Regard to, and be ready to observe


(a) Sit in the Chair of Moses."] Some think here is an Allusion to those Pulpits, which Ezra made for the Expounders of the Law; (Neh. viii. 4.) and which were afterwards continued in the Synagogue, from whence the Rabbi's delivered their Discourses Jilting. It is probably called Moses's Chair, because it was that, from whence the Books of Moles wet* read and explained j so that he seemed to dictate from thence. It is strange, that Lightfott (Hor. Heb. in lot.) and Gujsatus, should explain this of a Legislative Authority; since the Scribes and Pharisees, as such, had no peculiar Authority of that Kind.

(b) In Virtue of that Law.] If this Limitation be not supposed, this Passage will be inconsistent with all those, in which he condemns the Doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees. Had he meant, (as Orobio, and some Popi/h Writers have unaccountably pretended,) to assert their Infallibility, and to require an absolute Submission to their Dictates, he must fcave condemned himself, as being rejected by them. See Limbcrch. Collat. Amk. p. 58, 114. not ye after their Works: for they fay, and do not.

Mark XII. — 38. — Beware of the Scribes. — [luke XX. 46.—]

Mat. XXIII. 4- For they bind heavy Burdens, and grievous to be born, and lay them on Men's Shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their Fingers.

who minded the Shew, more than the Substance os Religion. 357

and do accordingly j but practise not by any means Sect. 157;
according to their Works: For they fay well in ^f^^xl
many Instances, but do not themselves practise ac- T*
cording to what they teach.

I therefore repeat it again, Beware of imitat- Mark XII.
ing the Hypocrisy, and following the Example of "3
the Scribes (c); For by Virtue of the Tradi- Mat.XXIlI.
tions which they have added to the Law, they*'
bind together grievous and insupportable Burthens,
and without the least Remorse lay them on Men's
Shoulders, urging them by the heaviest Penalties
to conform to all their Injunctions; but they dis-
pense with [themselves] in the Neglect of many of
them, and are not willing even so much as to move
them with a Finger of theirs. (Compare Luke xi. 46.
pag. no.)

And even when they do conform to their own $ Rules, it is generally from a bad Principle; for there is none of all their Works, but what they chiefly do with a Design to be viewed and taken Notice of by Men, as Examples of extraordinary Piety. For this Purpose, in particular, they make their Phylacteries remarkably broad (d), that it may be thought they write more of the Law on those Scrolls of Parchment than others do, or desire to be more frequently reminded of Divine


5 But all their Works the)1 do for to be seen of Men: they make broad their Phylacteries, and enlarge

(cj Beware of the Scribes.] The Word Scribe in general signifies any one conversant about Books and Writings; and is sometimes put for a Civil Officer, whose Business probably resembled that of a Secretary of State; (2 Sam. viii. 17. I Kings iv. 3. 2 Kings xix. 2.) at other Times it is used at large fpr a Man of Learning and Ability: (1 Chron. xxvii. 32. fer. xxxvi. 26. Ezra vii. 6. Mat. xxiii. 34. 1 Cor. i. 20.) But as Biblical Learning was most esteemed among the Jews, the Word in the New Testament seems to be chiefly appropriated to those that applied themselves to the Study of the Law; (perhaps including those, whose Business it was to transcribe it.) Of these the publick Professors, who read Lectures upon it, were called Doctors, or Lawyers; and probably, they, who were invested with some

publick Offices in the Sanhedrim, or other Courts, Scribes of the People. (Mat. ii. 4.)

But that the Scribes, as Trigland labours to prove, {de Setla Karteor. pag. 68.) were Karaites, or Textuaries, who rejected those Traditions, which the Pharisees inculcated, seems, from this Text especially, utterly improbable. Our Lord commonly joins them with the Pharisees, and probably most of them were of that Sect.

(d) They make their Phylacteries remarkably broad.} I doubt not, but most of my Readers very well know, that the Jews, (understanding Exod. xiii. 9, 16. and Deut. vi. 8. xi. 18. which commanded them to bind the Law en their Heads, and to let it be as Frontlets between their Eyes, in a literal Sense,) used to wear little Scrolls of Parchment, on which those Passages were written, bound to their Foreheads and Wrists. It is generally supposed, they were called Phylacteries in Greek, as being looked upon as a Kind of Amulet to keep themi from. Danger. SeeSerrar. Trihar, pag. 38. and Drus. dt tribus Stit is, pag. 263, 266.

Sect. 157.

Mat. XXIII. 5


Luke XX. 46.

Mat.XXIII, 6.

358 Me openly reproves them for their Pride;

Things by the Size of them. And for the fame large the Border; of ti-
Reason likewise, they make the Fringes and Tassels,
which the Law requires them to wear on the
Borders of their Garments, as large as may be,
that they may seem peculiarly desirous to remem-
ber the Divine Commandments whenever they
look upon them. (Compare Numb. xv. 38,—40.)
These are the self-conceited and vain-glorious
Men, who affect to walk in long Garments, that
they may appear with an Air of distinguished
Gravity and Stateliness; And love the upper-
most Places at Feasts, where Guests of the first Qua-
lity are used to sit; and are concerned to secure
the highest Seats even in the very Synagogues {e),
where they should meet to prostrate themselves
in the Divine Presence with the lowest Abase-

7 ment of Soul: And on the same Principle
of Vain-glory and Ostentation, they desire to
receive Salutations in the Markets, and other Places
of common Concourse, (compare Luke xi. 43.
pag. 101.) and to be called by Men, Rabbi,
Rabbi (f) -, a Title of Honour, which they are
fond of having repeated in every Sentence, and
almost at every Word.

8 But as for you my Disciples, be not you called
Rabbi, nor value yourselves on the Name, if it
should ever happen to be given you ; for one is


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8 But be not ye ailed

Rabbi: for one is your


(e) The highest Seats in the Synagogues.] The Doclors had Seats by themselves, with their Backs towards the Pulpit in which the Law was read, and their Faces towards the People. These were accounted the most honourable; and therefore these ambitious Pharisees contended for them. See Rcland, Antiq. Heb. pag. 61. Vitring. de Synag. Vet. fag, 191, W/'?• and Wolf, in loc.

(f) To be called by Men, Rabbi, Rabbi.] Many learned Men have observed, that an extravagant Notion of Respect went along with this Title, which was derived from mi, a Word which signifies both Magnitude and Multitude, and seems intended very emphatically to express, both the Greatness, and the Variety of that Learning, which they who bore it

were supposed to be possessed of. (L'Enfant's Introd. pag. 98.) Dr. Lightfoot tells us,

{Hor. Heb. in loc.) that the Words of the Scribes are declared to be more amiable and weighty :h»n those of the Prophets, and equal to those os the Law: So that Gamaliel advised to get a Rabbi, that one might no longer doubt of any Thing. More Passages to this Purpose may be seen in Dr. Gale's Sermons, Vol. i. pag. 80. and in IVhitby and Eisner, in loc. They fully shew the Necessity there was for such repeated Cautions, as our Lord gives, and are an abundant Answer to what Orobio objects to our Lord's Conduct in this Respect; (see Limborch. Collat. pag. 119.) for considering their inveterate Prejudices against Christ, it coukl never be supposed, that the common People would receive the Gospel, till such corrupt Teachers as these were brought into a just Disgrace. .

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