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Lake vi. 13. And when it was day he called unto him his disciples, Galilee.
them forth to preach,
And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out
devils. Lake vi. 14. Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew, his
brother, Mark iii. 17. And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother
of James : and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is,
The sons of thunder :
mas, and James, the son of Alphæus,
and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude
And they that were vexed with unclean spirits : and
MARK iii. part of ver. 13. ver. 16. and part of ver. 18.
took any important work without dedicating himself to God in
Matthew (v. 1.) observes, Jesus sate down after he had
The various cures and miracles wrougbt by our Lord, wo may well suppose would have much increased the number of his fola lowers.
LUKE vi. part of ver. 14, 15, 16.
The Sermon on the Mount 42.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain;
42 A brief statement of the reasons which induce me to follow the opinion of Archbishop Newcome, Lightfoot, Pilkington, Michaelis, Bishop Richardson, and others, contrary to the authority of Doddridge and Bedford, may be found in Archbishop Newcome's notes to his Harmony. Michaelis (a) observes, " that the Sermon on the Mount recorded by St. Luke, is no other than that recorded by St. Matthew, appears from the events which immediately follow it. Both evangelists relate that Jesus after the sermon was ended went into Capernaum, and healed the servant of a centurion ; a cure attended with sucb remarkable circumstances, that I can hardly suppose it happened twice, and that too in the same city.”
It is objected by Bedford and others, that the discourse in Matthew is different from that in St. Luke, as the former is delivered by our Lord while sitting on a mountain, but the latter standing on a plain, Matt. v. 1. compare with Luke vi. 17. But Dr. Clarke, on this latter place, has suggested “ that Jesus might retire from them again to the top of the hill.” And Dr. Priestley observes, “Matthew's saying that Jesus sate down after he had gone up the mountain, and Luke's saying that he stood on the plain when he bealed the sick before the discourse, are no inconsistencies (b).”
St. Luke principally relates those parts of this discourse which were more peculiarly addressed to the disciples. It is remarkable that he has mentioned only two of the beatiludes. Markland (c) supposes that the discourses were the same, and delivered at the same time; but one evangelist chose to mention one part, and one, the other, as is done in various other places. These two beatitudes mentioned by St. Luke, were delivered to the disciples as such ; in wbicb view, though we cannot certainly tell how the parts were connected by our Saviour when he spoke it, yet it may be supposed to have been something like this. Happy are ye, though ye be very poor, (Luke,) especially those who are poor in spirit, (Matthew.) Happy are ye, though ye be hungry now, (Luke,) especially those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, (Matthew.)
The general interpretation of the word poor in St. Luke, is usually considered to be given by St. Matthew. It seems more probable that our Lord used the words οι πτωχοι, and oι πειVWVTES, kai OfŪVTES, and that St. Matthew wrote the expres. sions in their metaphorical, and St. Luke in their literal sense. Markland, however, supposes that our Lord used the words mentioned by St. Matthew, tŷ a vévuari, and sai OlkalorùVN, and I have united on his suggestion the words of both Evangelists.
Luke vi. 20.
And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples,
As the High Priest, passing through the holy place when he went up into the holy of holies to consult the oracle, heard the voice as of a man speaking from the mercy-seat, so in contemplating this portion of the New Testament, we seem to have passed on to the most spiritual communication of God to man. Freed from the types and shadows of the Mosaic law, and rescued from the cloudy traditions and perversions of the Pbarisees, the light of the sun of truth breaks forth in all its splendour. We hear, from an infallible oracle, the utter overthrow and refutation of all the false glosses and rabbinical corruptions, which had so long perverted the spirit of the divine law. To enter into a long and laboured examination of the various precepts contained in this address, would be merely to transcribe the commentaries of Whitby, Lightfoot, Grotius, and others. The plan of this work precludes mo from entering at length into the interpretations of a more general nature. It may, however, be useful to remark a cir. cumstance which has not been much discussed by these commentators; and that is the thorough contrast between the Messiah and the worldly teachers of the Jewish people. The Rabbis were accustomed to prefer as their pupils and disciples, the talented, the learned, the refined, and the wealthy: Christ selected the rude and unlearned, the unpolished and the poor. The rabbis scorned to associate with the despised and hated publican; Christ enrolled the neglected and hated publican among his chosen disciples. The wickedness of the nation in. creased, in spite of the learning of their teachers, because those teachers were corrupt, and proud, and worldly; the Church of Christ was established in boliness, because its first teachers, though ignorant and rude, were disinterested, humble, and spiritual. Rites and ceremonies had usurped the place of the prayer of the heart, and the homage of a holy life; Christ enforced the meaning of the law, and exalted devotion and virtue above vows and sacrifices, and all the observances of superstition. The priests were endeavouring to make the law worldly, the Messiah made it spiritual. They would have changed the law of God into an encouragement of the propensities of the animal or inferior nature of man; Christ taught them that the entire conquest of this nature was required hy their Father in heaven. The priests encouraged, under the appearance of strict obedience to the law, ingratitude to parents, revenge, facility of divorce, and other evils; Christ commanded them to honour their parents, though they had vowed the dedication of their substance to God, Matt. xv. 5. he commanded love to their enemies, and self dominion over the most powerful passions. He offended at the same time no prejudices-he taught them to pray in a selection from their own liturgical services : he exhorts them to the fulfilment, even to the very letter, of their ritual law. He taught in plain and simple language, such as his hearers instantly understood, and the most ignorant and unlearned in this age (with but little exception arising from the passages particularly referring
to the Jewish customs,) can still thoroughly comprehend. Our Lord has here given a code of laws to the world, obedience to which will for ever annihilate all superstitious dependance upon every other mode of aspiring to the favour of the Almighty, than by aiming at spirituality of motive, and holiness of life. Not even tho blood of the atonement will save that man from the effects of
Luke vi.20. Blessed be ye poor :
who are Matt, v. . Blessed are the
poor in spirit : for theirs is the king- blessed. dom of heaven. 4.
Blessed are they that mourn : for they shall be comforted.
5. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Lake vi. 21.
Blessed are ye that hunger now :
teousness : for they shall be filled.
8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
called the children of God.
sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. Blessed are ye, when men Lake vi. 22. shall hate you, and when they separate you from their
company, and shall reproach you, Matt. v.ll. and revile you, and persecute you, and shall
Rejoice ye in that day,
ward in heaven:
prophets. Matt. v. 12. so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Lake vi. 24.
Woes deBut, wo unto you that are rich : for have received
nounced. your consolation. 25. Wo unto you that are full: for ye shall hunger. Wo unto you that laugh now : for ye
shall mourn and
weep. 26. Wo unto you when men shall speak well of
for so did their fathers to the false prophets. Matt. v, 13. Ye are the salt of the earth": but if the salt have lost
Privileges and duties
of Christ's evil, who professes to believe and hope, without repentance, and disciples. anxious exertion.
(a) Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part i. p. 85. (6) Harm. p. 83. Newcome's notes to Harmony, fol. edit. p. 19. (c) Àp. Bowyer's Critical Conjectures, p. 204.
43 The meaning of the word łupNvotoloi in this passage, seems to be-preachers of the new covenant, who reconciled the two dispensations; who were not to enter upon the obscure and useless discussions of points of the ceremonial law, but to preach the sublimer doctrines of the Gospel. In Ephes. vi. 15. and ii. 14. an allusion seems to be made to this idea.-Vide Schoetgen, vol. i. p. 18.
4 Schoetgen has favoured the world with a laborious and learned treatise on this difficult passage. It was the peculiar characteristic of our Lord's teaching, that he drew his illustrations from common objects, which were either in all probability
Matt. v. 13. its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? It is thenceforth
good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden
under foot of men.
hill cannot be hid.
bushel, but on a candlestick: and it giveth light unto all
that are in the house. 16.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven. 17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the The design
prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. of Christ's 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass
coming. away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
in the presence of his hearers when he addressed them, or were
45 Our Lord bere confers on bis apostles the same epithet as