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The Apostles shall judge the Twelve Tribes of Israel. : 239 ration, when the Son of Man as it were, be born anew from their Graves; when Sect. 137. Thall fit in the Throne of his
created Nature shall put on its faireft Forms to Glory, ye also Ihall sit upon Twelve' Thrones, judging receive them, and the Son of Man presiding over wat. At the Twelve Tribes of Israel. that august Assembly, shall sit on the Throne of his (MARK X. 29.- LUKE Glory, exalted above the highest Angels of God, XVIII. 29.-)
* you also, my faithful Apostles, shall fit around me
Tribes of Israel; concurring joyfully with me, in
their exalted Sovereign, shall have given them. MARK X. - 29. And And tho' fome
peculiar Rewards are reserved Mark X. 22x there is no Man, that hath
th for you, with Regard to your Apostolic Characleft House, or Brethren, or Sisters, or Father, or Mo- ter ; yet there is no Man in any State of Life, or ther, or Wife, or Children, in any future Age of the World, who hath left, or Lands, (Luk. for the or Thall hereafter leave, his House, or Brethren. Kingdom of God's sake, that is,] for my (Name’ss or Sisters, or Father, or Mother, or Wife, or Chilfake and the Gospel's, dren, or Lands; in one Word, none who shall 30 But he hall receive undergo the Loss of any Temporal Advantages, FLUK. manifold more, yea] an hundred - fold now
yerin for the sake of the Kingdom of GOD; Ethat is, 1
shall receive manifold more for it, in the inward
Verse thus, « As for you, my Apostles, who have followed me in this new State of the
Church, which is to be brought to the Birth, when I am to ascend to Heaven, that I “ may govern the World from thence by my Word and Spirit, ye shall be to the whole “ Christian Church, what the Twelve Heads of the Tribes were of old to the Jewish Nation : “ My Followers Thall appeal to your Decisions, as the Rule of their Faith and Practice.” (Fleming's Christology, Vol. i. pag. 28.) But it seems plain to me, that our Lord refers to the Time of final Retribution, ver. 29. which he elsewhere mentions as that, in which he should sit on the Throne of his Glory. Mat. xxv. 31, 32. Mr. Pierce (on Heb. i. 5.) follows Brennius, in expounding the Regeneration, of the Time, when Christ should be (as it were) begotten again by his Resurrection from the Dead; but the Criticism seems very unnatural, and the Objection mentioned above lies against it in its full Force. The laboured Argument, which Dr. Thomas. Burnet deduces from hence, to prove the Renovation of the Earth at the Millennium, is very precarious ; fince the Words will fo fairly admit of another Sense, referring them to the general Resurrection. See Burnet's Theory, Vol. ii.. pag. 229, 230.
(k) Upon Twelve Thrones.] Our Lord well knew, that Yudas would fall from his Office and Dignity ; but as Matthias filled his Place, and so stood intitled to the Promise, he did, not think it fit to enter into any particular Distinction ; but speaks to the whole Body of the Apostles, in Words which he knew would be accomplished, to the far greater Part of those to whom they were addrefied,
240 They that leave all for CHRIST, Mall be great Gainers. Sect. 137. present Time, more than all the Comfort he could this (Luk. present) Time, naturally have found in Houses, and Brethren,
Houses, and Brethren, and
Sisters, and Mothers, and 30. and Sisters, and Mothers, and Children, and Lands;
Children, and Lands, with such shall be the Delights of a good Conscience, Persecutions, and in the and the secret Manifestations of Divine Acceptance World to come [lhall inhe
rit] Eternal Life. [M AT. and Favour, which shall mingle themselves with
xix. 29. LUKE XVIII. all the persecutions he shall here endure (1); and 29, 36.] when they are over, as they will quickly be, in the World to come he shall inherit Everlasting Life, and be for ever enjoying that Happiness, which God has prepared for all his Children, especially for such heroic Souls as these, when all Earthly Relations are ceased, and the World itself is dissolved.
But such will be the issue and Event of Things 31 But many that are under the Gospel, that many [who arel Firft in First, thall be Lalt; and the
Last, [shall be] First. [MAT. the Advantages and Privileges they enjoy, shall XIX. 30.] notwithstanding this fall short of others, and be Last in the Great Day of Accounts; and those who are the Last, mall prove in this Respect to be the First : For some, from whom it might be least expected, shall embrace the Gospel, and couragiously endure the greatest Hardships for it ; while others, with far greater Advantages, shall reject it, and under much stronger Engagements Thall desert it.
I M P R O V E M E N T.
V this lovely Youth perishing in Sin? What could have appeared Mark x. 17. more promising, than this solicitous Concern about Eternal Life, in a
Young Man, rich in the Possessions, and high in the Honours of the present World! To see him running with such Eagerness to the Feet of a Redeemer, kneeling down with such Humility before him, calling upon
(1) Shall receive an hundred-fold now in this present Time, with Persecutions. ] Dr. Malley in his Vernacula Sacra, pag. 18. proposes a very different Version of this period, viz. “ Tho' he may not receive [edy un aden,] an hundred-fold (or a sufficient Recom pence,) “ now in this Time, Houses, and Brethren, and Sisters, and Mothers, and Children, and “ Lands; yet after Perfecution, (hele diwy pov,) and in the World to come, he Thall receive « Eternal Life." But I neither think the Authority of Theophyla&t sufficient, to warrant our substituting down pov for drag uwv; nor can I find any satisfactory Example of such an Ellipfis, as this Version supposes in the Original, if that Variation were allowed ; to which we may add, that the parallel Pallages, both in Matthew, and Luke, lie Itrongly against the Version proposed.
Reflections on the hopeful Youth forsaking CHRIST. 241 him by so honourable a Title, and professing so sincere a Desire of In-Sect. 137. struction, could not but lead us to conclude, Surely this Man was not får from the Kingdom of GOD; nor do we wonder, that Jesus beholding Ver. 21. . bim loved bim. Who would not have looked on such an Object with Complacency! Who would not have expected, that this pleasant Plant should have brought forth Grapes ; but behold, it brought forth wild Grapes! (Isa. v. 2.) So have we seen, in the Compass, perhaps, of our small Observation and Experience, many a fair Blossom fall withering to the Ground. So have the Hopes of Ministers, and Parents, and other religious Friends, been disappointed, with respect to many young Persons, adorned with a variety of amiable Qualifications, yet lacking one Thing, and parting with Christ when put to the Trial, after all the Regard they have fewn to his Name, and all the pleasing Expectations they have given of a Willingness to serve him. Oh my Young Reader, whoever thou art, I earnefly pray, that thou mayest not be added to that Number ! . This unhappy Youth imagined himself in the certain Way of Salva- Ver. 19, 20. tion, because he was free from the Stains of Fraud and Injustice, of Adultery and Theft, of Perjury and Murther, or any other gross and infamous Sin. But behold, how awful a Method Christ takes, to open to him that Infincerity of Heart, which he seems himself not to have known. Observe, how strange a Command he gives him, to sell all, and Ver. 21. distribute to the Poor. We cannot say, that the very fame is directly required of us; yet by this Order that was given to him, we are obliged to part with our All, when it cannot be preserved with a good Conscience ; and by the general Rules of Christianity, and by its fundamental Precepts, we are in Duty bound, conscientiously to use, not only a little Part of our Substance, but even the whole of it for God, as Stewards who are another Day to give up a strict Account for all. And if we like not Christ and Glory on these Terms, our End will be no better than bis. Of him we read, that after all his Morality, and all his Zeal, be went away from Chrift, (tho' sorrowful,) because he had great Possessions. Ver. 22. Oh dear-bought Wealth, which was the Price of his Soul ?
Let us look upon him, and receive Instruction ; let us learn to be upon our Guard against this vain World, that specious Harlot, who hath cast down many wounded; yea, many strong Men have been sain by her. (Prov. vii, 26.) How universally are Riches desired, how eagerly are they pursued, by Persons in all Stations, and of all Professions of Life! Yet what do they' generally prove, but shining Mischief, and gilded Ruin ! If we believe the Incarnate Wisdom of GOD, They make our Salvation exceed- Ver. 23,-25." ing hazardous. Yet who does not wish for them? Who does not think, that he has Wisdom and Grace enough to stand the Danger ? But GOD knows otherwise, and therefore he keeps, or makes, fo many of his Children poor.-Let them be contented with their safer State ; and let those Vol. II. Hh
*The Parable of the Labourers in the Vineyard. Sect. 137. who are Rich be importunate with God, for those Influences of his
Grace, which can effect those Things which are impossible with Men. Ver. 27. On the whole, let us not think much of any Thing which Chrif Ver. 29. demands, knowing that whatever we may lose, or whatever we may ree
fign, we shall gain far more by his Favour. The Testimony of a good Conscience before him, a Life of Friendship with God, the Consolations
of his Spirit, and the Hopes of his Glory, will yield, even for the preVer. 30.
sent, an hundred-fold more Satisfaction, than the Possession of the greatest Riches, or the Enjoyment of the most tender and beloved Relatives. How much more abundantly then, will all be repaid in the Heavenly State ! And if we cannot trust the Promise of our Lord for it, we are no more real Christians, than if we were publickly to worship Mammon, or Plutus, with all the idolatrous Rites of the antient Heathens.
SE C.T. CXXXVIII.
warns the Jews against envying the Gentiles those equal
• MAT. XX. 1. Sect. 128. I N order to illustrate the Observation our Lord FOR the Kingdom of I had just been making, " that many who were . Heaven is like unto a
Man that is an Housholder, Mat. XX. 1. * First, Thould be Last; and many Laft should which went out early in the
“ be First,” he added the following Parable, and Morning to hire Labourers
Time when the Vintage was to be gathered in,
for a Penny a Day, he sent Day (6), be sent them into bis Vineyard.
them into his Vineyard.
And (a) May be fitly represented by the Similitude of a Man.] See Note (ö) on Luke vii. 32. Vol. i. pag. 355.— Those who are acquainted with the Eastern Manners know, that this Parable is exactly suited to them in a Variety of Circumstances, which many learned Commentators have observed, but which it does not seem necessary to enumerate here. See Petav. Dogmat. Theolog. Vol. i. pag. 305, & feq.
(6) A Denarius, or Roman Penny, a Day.) It seems from hence, that this (which was in Value about Seven Pence Halfpenny of our Money,) was the usual Price of a Day's Service
mentators have to suited to them are acquainted with a
The Labourers are hired at different Hours. 3 And he went out about And going out again about the Third Hour (c), Sect. 138. the third Hour, and saw
" (or at Nine in the Morning,) he faw others stand- A others standing idle in the Market-place,
ing unemployed in the Market, where it was usual Mat. XX. 3.
for Servants to stand, in order to their being hired. 4 And said unto them, And be said to them, Go ye also into the Vineyard, Go ye also into the Vine and whatsoever is the reasonable Value of your yard, and whatsoever is fight, I will give you. And Labour (d), I will be sure to give you. And they they went their way. went away to their Work, without any more par
noon,) be did the same, and sent others to work
much as they could reasonably expect.
stand bere the whole Day unemployed? Do you 7 They say unto him, chuse thus to trile away your Time? They 7 Because no Man hath hired lav unto him. No: but we continue here, because us. He saith unto them, Go ye also into the Vineyard, no one has bired us to any kind of Labour. Then and whatsoever is right, that he says to them, Go ye also into the Vineyard, and Ihall ye receive,
whatsoever is reasonal you all receive. 8 So when Even was Now when Evening was come, (or at Six o'clock, 8 come, the Lord of the Vine- the Time when Workmen were paid off, and yard faith unto his Steward, Cali fent Home,) the Lord of the Vineyard says to bis
among the Jews; as Tacitus tells us, it was among the Romans. (Annal. i. 17.) It is therefore justly mentioned, Rev. vi. 6. as a Proof of the great Scarcity of Provisions, when a Measure or Chanix of Wheat, which was the usual Allowance to one Man for a Day, and was about an English Quart, was sold at that Price.
(c) About the Third Hour.] Dr. Whitby in his Paraphrase explains the first Call in the Morning, of the earliest Days of Christ's Preaching ; that of the Third Hour, as referring to the Mission of the Apostles, when they were firft sent forth to preach among the Jews ; those of the Sixth and Ninth Hours, of their preaching the Gospel, after the Descent of the Holy Ghost, to the Jews in Yudea, and then to the Dispersed in other Parts ; and that of the Eleventh Hour, of the Calling of the Gentiles : But this seems an exceffive Nicety of Distinction. The Jews were ready to look upon themselves with Complacency, as a People, who had for many Ages adhered to the Worship of the true God, and in some Periods had endured great Extremities out of a Regard to it; and it seems natural to interpret what is said (ver. 12.) of bearing the Burthen and Heat of the Day, with a Reference to this, rather than to any peculiar Hardship, which the earlier Converts among the Jews might have endured, more than the believing Gentiles, many of whom met with much the same Treatment on their embracing Christianity. See i Thel. ii. 14.
(d) Whatsoever is reasonable.) So I think the Word doratov may be rendered, Phil. i. 7. Col. iv. 1, and 2 Pet. i. 13. and that it fignifies, not only what a Person may legally claim, but what he might equitably expect from a Person of Honour and Humanity.
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