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104 The Blood of all the Prophets Mall be required of them. Sect. 110. Martyrs, which has been cruelly fed from the from the Foundation of the Foundation of the World, may seem to be required
is World, may be required of
this Generation; Luke XI. of this Generation; Even from the Blood of “5 From the Blood of 51.
Abel, who in those early Ages for his distinguished Abel unto the Blood of Za
tween the Altar and the
And I will add, that the Di s thrown on 52 Wo unto you LawScripture, and the Methods used to conceal it yers: for ye have taken away
the Key of Knowledge: ye from the People, have done a great deal to bring entred not in yourselves, on this terrible Sentence : Woe therefore unto you and then that were entring Interpreters of the Law, on this Account; for by in, ye hindered. these unrighteous Practices you have, as it were, taken away the Key of Divine Knowledge (l); and instead of tracing out a Spiritual Messiah in Scripture, and illustrating the Testimony which the Sacred Oracles bear to him, you have rather abetted the popular Prejudices against him ; and have been so perverse and obstinate in your Opposition to the Gospel, as that you have not entered in to the Kingdom of Heaven yourselves, and even those that otherwise were disposed to do it, and
would have entered in, you have hindered. 53. But while he spake these severe and awful Things 53 And as he said thele to them, the Scribes and Pharisees were exceed- Things unto them, the
(k) The Blood of Zechariah. What Reason there is to conclude, the Zechariah here spoken of is that Prophet, of whose Death we have an Account in 2 Chron. xxiv, 20, & feq. we shall shew in a Note on Mat. xxiii. 35. Sect. 158.
(1) The Key of Knowledge.) Vitringa understands this of one Fundamental Truth, which would have led them into the Knowledge of the rest : (Obferv. Sacr. lib. i. pag. 125.) But all their Endeavours to embarrass, and biass the Minds of Men, in their Enquiries after Truth, might be intended here; as well as more especially their disguising the Prophecies, which related to the Messiah. If a Key was delivered to them, as the Badge of their Office, (see Vol. i. pag. 546. Note (), and Camero on this Place,) there may be a beautiful Allusion to that Circumstance; as if he should have said, You take that Key, not to use, but to secrete it. (See Archbishop Tillotson, Vol. i. pag. 208.)-Elsner has well fhewn on this Text, that the Heathen Priests were called xando 201, Key-bearers. Observ. Vol. i. pag. 228, 229.
Reflections on the Guilt and Danger of Hypocrisy. 105 Scribes and the Pharisees be- ingly provoked, and began fiercely to fasten upon Sect. no. gan to urge him vehemently, him (m), and rudely endeavoured to urge him to and to provoke him to speak of many Things: Speak of many Things, that were the most excep-
2- 53, 54. 54 Laying wait for him, tionable Topicks ; Thereby laying Snares for and seeking to catch some him, and attempting, if possible, to start some unching out of his Mouth, that they might accufe him.
guarded Word (n), [which] they hoped [might fall]
IMPROVE ME N T. CAITHFUL are the Wounds of a Friend ; and such were the Re- Luke xi. 39,
proofs of Christ on this Occasion. How well had all the Entertain- jeg. ments of the Pharisee's Table been repaid, had he and his Brethren heard them with Candor, Humility, and Obedience! These Men despised them Ver. 51. to their Ruin : Let us often review them for our Instruction, that none of these dreadful Woes may come upon us. - .
This Discourse of our Lord is a moft just and severe Rebuke to every Ver. 39, 42. bypocritical Professor, who is scrupulous and exact in Matters of Ceremony, while he neglects Morality ; and is studious to shine in the Sight of Men, while he forgets the all-penetrating Eye of God. It exposes the Oftentation of those, who pride themselves in empty Titles of Honour, Ver.
Honour, Ver. 43 and eagerly affect Precedence and Superiority. And it evidently chastises those, who press on others the Duties they negle&t themselves, and so are Ver. 46. most righteously judged out of their own Mouth.
How melancholy is it, to observe, in Instances like these, the Deceit- Ver. 44. ? fulness of the Human Heart, and its desperate and unfathomable Wick
edness! (m) Fiercely to faften upon him.] So Sews EvEXHV properly signifies. See Note (g) on Mark vi. 19. Vol. i. pag. 167,- Several more of the Words here used, are Metaphors taken from Hunting. Aposoucliyev might be rendered to mouth, or bear down with the Violence of their Words, as Theophyla&t excellently explains it; but the Addition of wepe a Xcovwv engaged me rather to translate it as I have done. Grotius and Casaubon have thewn, that it sometimes signifies to examine in a Magisterial Way; but Erasmus's Note is, on the whole, the best I have seen upon this Word.
(n) To start fome unguarded Word.) Onpeurd in this Connection has a most beautiful Propriety, and signifies the Eagerness, with which Sportsmen beat about for their Game, to start it from its Covert. It is very probable, as Mr. Cradock conjectures, that the Pharisee, who was Master of the House, had invited a great many of his Brethren, and learned Friends, on purpose to make a more formidable Attack upon Christ, and by their concurrent Testimony to charge upon him any Thing which might render him obnoxious : And the Prelence of so many of them made the Discourse more proper, and the Courage and Zeal which it expressed more remarkable. See Cradock's Harmony, Part ii. pag. 6.
vi. 19. Vol.ii. post people like a mig cellently explains Grotius and Geral
Note is, on
106 CHRIST cautions his Disciples against Hypocrisy; Sect. 110. edness! and to see how Men impose upon themselves with empty Appear
a nces, like these Pharisees; who built the Sepulchres of the former Prophets, Vet: 47, 49. while they were perfecuting those of their own Day; and in Contempt of Ver. 50, 51. all that was said by the Messengers of God, were filling up the Measure of
their Iniquities, till the Cloud which had been so long gathering burst on their Heads, and poured forth a Storm of aggravated Wrath and Ruin.
May that God who has an immediate Access to the Hearts of Men,
deliver all Christian Countries, and especially all Protestant Churches, from Ver. 52. such Teachers as are here described; who take away and secrete the Key of
Knowledge, instead of using it; and obstruct, rather than promote, Men's Entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven! How loud will the Blood of the Souls they have betrayed, cry against them in the awful Day of Accounts ! and how little will the Wages of Unrighteousness, and the Rewards of Worldly Policy, be able to arm them against Destruction, or to support them under it !
mates them against the Fear of Men by the Promise of
Luke XII. 1.
LUKE XII. 1. Sect. un. JN the mean Time, while Christ was thus dif- In the mean time, when l coursing at the Pharisee's House, many Thou- then
,, I there were gathered toge
ther an innumerable MultiLuke X11.1. sands of People were gathered together (a), and tude of People, infomuch
pressed with so much Žagerness to hear him, that that they trode one upon they even trampled on each other; and [Jesus] going into his Disciples first of alí,
another, he began to say forth among them, began to say to bis Disciples in Beware ye of the Leaven of the Presence of them all, See that you more espe- the Pharisees, which is Hycially beware, and above all Thing's take heed, of pocrify. being corrupted by the Leaven of the Pharisees, which is Hypocrisy; a Vice, which secretly puffs
reple were Reader thoury to take apprehenfione wou evands ; nor isoiht be owing Enemies, otev. 17, 19.
(a) Many Thousands of people were gathered together.] It would be more exactly rendered, many Myriads ; but least every English Reader should not know, that a Myriad is Ten thousand, I render it many Thousands ; nor is it necessary to take the Word in its stricteft Sense. Perhaps this vast Asemblage of People might be owing to an Apprehension, either that Christ might meet with some ill Usage among so many of his Enemies, or that he would say, or do something peculiarly remarkable on the Occasion. Compare Luke v. 17, 19. Sect. 45..
But and spoil m
revealed; neither hid.t be reflect upopeit of their Duties.
and encourages them against the Fear of Men. 107
up their Minds, and strangely spreads itself thro' Sect. ur their Hearts and Lives, so as to taint and spoil
m y 2 For there is nothing the very best of their Duties. But seriously Luke XH.2. covered, that shall not be reflect upon the Folly of it ; for you may assure if shall not be known.
yourselves, as I have told you formerly, (Mat. x. .
Day; nor any Thing so artfully disguised or bid,
Artifices, which he now discerns and abhors.
published and beard in the clearest Effulgence of and that which ye have pu spoken in the Ear in Closets, Light ; and what you have whispered in the most ihall be proclaimed upon the retired Chambers and Closets, shall then be proHouse-tops.
claimed aloud as from the House-Tops in the Au
dience of all. 4 And I say unto you, my And therefore let it be your Care, not merely 4 Friends, Be not afraid of to save Appearances, but to maintain a good Conthem that kill the Body, and after that, have no more that
science, tho' at the greatest Expence : For I say they can do.
unto you, my dear Friends, with all possible Seri-
entirely out of their Reach, as soon as it has quit-
has Power to cast both that and the Soul into Hell;
x. 28. Vol. i. pag. 466.)
mies cannot hurt even your Bodies, without his Knowledge and Permission ; for his Providence extends itself even to the meanest Works of his Hands: For Instance, Are not Five SparO 2
108 He will at laß confefs, those that shall now confess him. Sect. 111. rows fold for fo inconfiderable a Sum as Two Far- sold for two Farthings, and w things (6) ? and yet not one of them, minute and not one of them is forgotten
but he attends to all the circumstances of their
"s bered. Fear not therefore ;
rows, and will be inore remarkably his Care than 8 they. But howsoever he may now permit you 8 Allo 1 say unto you,
Whosoever shall confess me to be perfecuted by your Enemies for your Fide- before Men, him shall the lity to me, tho' he should even suffer you to fa- Son of Man also confess becrifice your Lives in so honourable a Cause, you fore the Angels of God. will be far from being Losers by it in the End : For I say unto you, that if any one shall freely acknowledge his Faith in me before Men (c), the Son of Man himself shall also acknowledge his Complacency in such a Person, and his Relation to him,
even before the Angels of GOD, when they come 9 to attend on his final Triumph. But as for 9 But he that denieth me him that basely and perfidiously renounces me before h
before Men, shall be denied
Ć before the Angels of God. Men, and is alhamed or afraid of maintaining for good a Cause, him will I also renounce before the holy Angels of GOD (d), when they appear in a radiant Circle around me, and wait, with solemn and observant Silence, the important Event of that awful Day. (Compare Mat. X. 29,-33. Vol. i. pag. 468.)
(b) For Two Farthings, daiaplay duo. 1 This was a Roman Coin, that was then current in Yudea, called As, or antiently Afarius, which was the Tenth Part of the Denarius, or Roman Penny, in Value about Three Farthings of our Money. Two Sparrows might be bought for one, and Five for two of these. Compare Mat. x. 29. Sect. 76.
(c) If any one mall acknowledge me, &c.] The Idioms of Languages differ so much, that what is very elegant and proper in one, may, if verbally translated, be contrary to Grammar in another. This Verse, and the following, are Instances of it. It seems to me a Kind of Superstition, to scruple fuch little Changes, as I have here made.
(d) Him will I also renounce, &c.] Nothing can be more majestick, than this View which Chrift gives of himself. To be renounced by him is spoken of as a Circumstance, which would expose a Man to the Contempt of the whole Angelic World, and leave him no remaining Shelter or Hope. Compare Mat. vii. 23. and Note (d), Vol.i. pag. 268. and John v. 22, & seq. and Note (8), pag. 294. .