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Mary anoints him with a most coftly Ointment. Sect. 145.joiced to see him ; as he was in the House of in the House of Simon the
Simon the Leper ), In Testimony of their Leper, [MARK XIV. 3.--} · John XII. 2. :
John XII. 2. There they high Respect and great Affection for him, they made him a Supper, and made a handsome Supper for him there, and treated Martha served: but Lazahim in the Evening ; which was the usual Time rus was one of them that fat
at the Table with him. 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 should be rightly ordered, waited on Christ at Supper ; but Lazarus was one of them that fate at the Table with him. .
Then Mary, the other Sister of Lazarus, being 3 Then took Mary [an deeply affected with the many Instances that Christ Alabaster Box containing)
Pound of Ointment of Spikehad given her of his Love, and especially with his nard, very coftly; (MAR. late Mercy to her Family, in recovering so dear and the brake the Box, and a Brother from the Grave, was solicitous to give poured it on his Head, ] [as some uncommon Token of her Gratitude and Respect to so excellent a Guest : She therefore took an elegant Alabaster Pot, or Vase, [containing) about a Pound Weight of unadulterated Ointment of Spikenard (d), (which was] exceeding valuable ; and having broke the Top of the Vessel, or Thook the perfumed Balsam which was in it, that it might be the better liquified, and flow forth the easier (e), she came behind him, and poured out
(6) Simon the Leper.] It is not to be thought, that he was now a Leper ; for in this Care 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 Jefus, 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 Palover, 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 Chris's triumphant Entrance into Jeruja. lem, which yohn has fixed to the next Day, (ohn xii. 12. Scel. 146.), must have been on the First Day of the Week, this Entertainment therefore was on the Evening of the Day. before, when the Jewis Sabbath was over.
(d) Unadulterated Ointment of Spikenard.] I cannot take upon me absolutely to determine, whether the Word oisinnis signifies, that the Ointment was quite genuine and pure, (as Casaubon and L. Cappellus assert ;) or whether (as Grotius and Erasmus think,) it be put for ominalns, and refers to the particular Part of the fragrant Shrub Nardus, of which the Ointment was made. (See Plin. Nat. Hift. lib. xii. cap. 12.) If the latter be the Meaning of it, what is said of its great Value muft juftify our calling it unadulterated.
(e) Having broke the Top of the Vessel, or shook the perfumed Ballam, &c.] Sir Nertom Knatchbull and Dr. Hammond maintain, that our leantara does not signify, that the brake the
Judas condemns it as an unreasonable Waste. 285 he sat at Meat,] and anoint- the greater Part of it on his Head, as he fate at Sect. 145. ed the Feet of Jesus, and Meat, and anointed the Feet of fesus with them wiped his Feet with her
Remainder; and when she had done this, n Hair : and the House was Remainder ; and when the i
e John XII. 3. filled with the Odour of the like the humble Penitent mentioned above, (Luke Ointment. (Mat. XXVI. vii. 28. Vol. i. pag. 264.) wiped his Feet with her 7. MARK XIV.-3. Alowing Trelles of long Hair : And the whole House
was filled with the fragrant and delicious Odour of
the Ointment. Mat. XXVI. 8. But But when his Disciples observed [it,) there were Mat. XXVI. when his Disciples law it, fome that were moved with inward Displeasure at °. [there were some that had • Indignation within them- what appeared to them so great an Extravagance, felves, and said, Why was and said with a low Voice to each other, Why was this Waste of the Ointment this waste of the Ointment made, and such a Quanmade ?-And they murmur- tity of this rich Balsam poured out to so little Pured against her.) [MARK XIV. 4;--5.]
pose? And they secretly murmured against her (f),
and coald hardly refrain from rebuking her for it.. JOHN XII. 4. Then one of his Disciples therefore, seven) Yudas Isca. John XII. 4. faith one of his Disciples, riot. the Son of. Simon: that wretched Person who Judas Iscariot, Simon's Son, which should betray him, was about to betray him, as if he knew not how.
to bear such Walte, expressed a peculiar Emotion;
to the Poor ? This would surely have been ap-
it away on the luxurious Entertainment of a few
all regarded the Poor; but because he was, not***. withstanding all his pretended Piety. and Zeal, a
Vessel, which they think an improbable Circumstance; but only that she took 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 ; fince it is well known, that the Plural Number is sometimes put for the Singular. See Gen. viii. 4. xix. 29. 'Yuug. xii. 7. and Mat. xxvii. 44. Some have: thought, Judas Iscariot was the Son of that Simon, in whose House the Feast was made ;; 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 only intimates 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 say on a like Occa-. hon, It must have been worth above Ten Pounds.
286 But Jesus justifies and commends her Condułt. Sect. 145. subtil Thief ; and as he kept the Bag which con-' because he was a Thief, and
t ained their little Stock, and carried what was had the Bag, and bare what John XII. 6.
was put therein.
come in, just before he went off with it, (which
a fine Opportunity of enriching himself. Mat. XXVI. But Jesus knowing the Design of Judas, and Mat. XXVI. 10. When 10.
perceiving that others were secretly joining with Jesus understood it, he said him in this severe and uncharitable Censure, with
unto them, Why trouble
ye the Woman? [let her out taking any Notice of that vile Principle from alone;] for she hath wrought which he knew [it] proceeded in him, directed a good Work upon me. his Discourse to his Disciples, and said to them,
[MARK XIV, 6. JOHN 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 she is about ; for what me has now performed is a good Work, and the deserves to be
commended for the great Respect she has been Of Thewing towards me. For as to what has been 11 For ye have the Poor.
suggested now in Favour of the Poor, you have always with you, Land whenthem always with you ; and Providence will con- them Good: 1 but meve have
soever ye will, ye may do tinually so order it, that some compassionable Ob- not always. [MARK XIV. jects shall be still among you, that whenever you 7. JOHN X11. 8.] 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 John XII. 7. the Reach of your Kindness. And indeed my John XII.—7. Against
Departure out of the World is so near, that with the Day of my Burying bath respect to this Action of our Friend Mary, which"
The kept this." you are ready to condemn, I may say, that me
has reserved this Ointment for the Day of my BuMark XIV. rial (i): And not knowing whether she may · MARK XIV.8. She hath
(b) Carried what was put into it.] The learned Elsner (I suppose, to avoid the seeming Tautology, would render basal ev, 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. 11. viii, 17. as Instances of such a Use of it ; to which he adds others from Polybius, Athenæus, and other good Authors. (Elsn. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 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 chule not to follow Elsner's Versioni, since-scasale never fignifies to carry off a Part privately, which would have been expresfed by Evospitało, as it is Aets v, 2.
(i) She has reserved this for the Day of my Bui ial.] Mr. Whiston (in his View of the Harmony, pag. 129.) 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 6 Days hence, which shall be so near my Death, that it may be considered as a kind of
Many come to see Lazarus, but the Priests conspire to kill him. 287
anoint and to embalm my Body for the Burial ; so
Piety and Love to a dead Friend, where a gene-
what she has been doing, it shall not finally turn
foever this Gospel of mine is preached, and it in
clef. vii. 1.) JOHN XII. 9. Much Now these Things paffed at a publick Enter- John XII. 96 People of the Jews therefore,
tainment : A great Multitude of the Yews there-
and knew that he was there in Bethany; and they
“ Embalming." But besides the general Reasons against believing the Action repeated, which have been mentioned in Note (a), it is unnatural to suppole, 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 she had, Yohn would have mentioned the Quantity me took, which was no way to his purpose, or have taken Notice of the Room's being filled with the Odour of it : Not to say, that the Prediction, which Mr. Whilton supposes our Lord to utter, is quite triling, and would seem to be peak its own Accomplifliment, in a Manner which he never would have stooped to.
(k) Who now appeared publickly with him.] Perhaps after so extraordinary a Series of Providences, as Lazarus had passed thro', he might chufe to spend some Time in Retire.
288 Refle&tions on Mary's anointing the Feet of CHRIST. Sect. 145. But the Chief Priests, and other Members of 10 But the Chief Priests w the Sanhedrim, as they had already resolved on conlulted, that they might John XII.
put Lazarus also to Death;
W E see how happily Mary improved by sitting at the Feet of Jesus,
W and what Evidence the 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 Fohn 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. 3.) How does her generous Love shame those, who grudge every Expence in the Cause of Christ !
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 accept
able, than any Thing of this kind could in itself be. Let us remember, Ver, 8.
that we bave 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 with 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' pofseffes. . Ver, 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? Froin what Death could not Christ have delivered him ? or from
ment 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.