Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


the wise. He then cautions them to beware of Chapter Verre false prophets : and gives them an excellent rule to discover good men from bad. By their vii. 15

fruits, ye shall know them.' Adding— Not • every one that faith unto me, Lord, Lord, • shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven : but • he that doth the will of my Father which is . in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, (of judgment) Lord, Lord, have we not pro• phesied in thy name ? And in thy name have o cast out devils ? And in thy name have done • many wonderful works? And then will I pro• fess unto them, I never knew you : depart • from me ye that work iniquity. Surely they cannot have the impudence to make this address without some truth: and if they have, in his name, done such wonderful works, it must have been by faith. It is plain then, notwithstanding St. Paul's affertions to the contrary, that faith alone will not insure salvation. Jesus winds up this long oration with two beautiful fimilies, clasfing his auditors in different points of view. Matthew concludes the affair with— The people s were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught ' them as one having authority, and not as the • scribes. When he came down from the mounStain, great multitudes followed him. He viii. cleansed a man from the leprosy, ordered him to tell no man, but shew himself to the priest, and offer a gift, as Moses had commanded,



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Chapter Verre When Jesus entered Capernaum, he was met by

a centurion, who requested him to heal his fervant, fick of the palsy. Jesus readily offered to go to his house for that purpose ; but the centurion replied ; that though he was a man of some consequence, he was unworthy the honour of havo ing Jesus under his roof; and therefore requested

him to speak the word only, and his servant would vlii. 8 be healed.' When Jesus heard it, he marvelled,

' and said to them that followed: Verily I say . . unto you, I have not found fo great faith, no

o not in Israel.' I do not see wherein this con

sequential man's faith exceeded that of the poor 1 leper who had just before said to him-_' Lord,

• if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. It
may be faid-It is plain the former believed the
word of Jesus was sufficient to effect a cure-but
it cannot be proved that the latter had not the
same faith, or that he expected any interior or
exterior application. Jesus seems, throughout
his ministry, to effect his cures by a touch, or by
a command, indiscriminately. This story of the
centurion, is told by St. Luke in a very different
manner. By his account the centurion neither
conversed with, or saw Jesus; but sent his request
by the Jewish elders; who, to obtain it, informed
Jesus that he was a friend to their nation, and
had built them a fynagogue. When Jesus was
on his way to the centurion's house, he sent
friends desiring he would not trouble himself,


that he was unworthy to receive him there, or to Chapter Verse wait upon him elsewhere. What an equivocal politeness! Jesus (according to St. Matthew) proceeds- And I say unto you, that many shall viii. 11 come from the east, and from the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and

Jacob, in the kingdom of Heaven. But the o children of the kingdom Thall be cast out into "outer darkness: there shall be weeping and 'gnashing of teeth. This prediction might mortify and discourage the Jews; but it doth not here appear that it encouraged the Gentiles. The centurion might surmise that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were three Jews : but unacquainted with their being men of consequence, was not desirous of being their companion. We read not of his conversion, though Jesus said to him 'Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be ' it done unto thee. And Matthew tells us

his servant was healed in the self-fame hour.' This story of the centurion is not recorded by Mark or John: but the latter gives us one of a nobleman, which, in point of time, according to John's account, was previous to that of the centurion; and which, in point of faith, was equal to it : (vide ch. iv.) but neither do we read of his conversion. And when we are told that the wife and prudent were kept in darkness, and the ignorant only enlightened, we could not expect it. (vide ch. xi. v. 25.) Matthew proceeds to




Chapter Verse inform us, that after the centurion's affair Jesus

enters Peter's house, and by touching his wife's

mother, raised and released her from a fever. viii. 16 . And when the even was come, they brought

' unto him many that were poffeffed with de

óvils : and he cast out the spirits with his word, 17.6 and healed all that were fick. That it might

be fulfilled which was spoken by Efaias the • prophet, saying-Himself took our infirmities, s and bare our ficknesses.' How, or in what manner this was fulfilling the prophecy, requires more penetration than I am master of, to discover. St. Matthew throughout his gospel seems fond of introducing, or rather producing prophecy, but is seldom lucky in his quotations. He proceeds to inform us--that a certain fcribe telling Jesus he would follow him wherever he went, had this reply- The foxes have holes, and the birds

of the air have nests; but the son of man hath

not where to lay his head.' Had he forsaken, or was he drove from his father's house? It appears that his next sleep was on board a ship, or boat, upon the sea, or lake. In facred history we find every thing upon a much larger scale than we do in prophane. The devil, from an high mountain, shewed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. Matt. ch. xii. v. 42. And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, ch. xxi. v. 10. The queen of the south came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, ch. xii. v. Chapter Verse 42. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, ch. xxiv. v. 14. (This, if we may believe St. Paul, was verified within the space of thirty years. In ch. ii, writing to the Colossians, he says— The gospel which ye have heard, and


which was preached to every creature which is ' under heaven.) And there went out unto him

(John) all the land of Judea, and all they of • Jerusalem,' and were baptized, Mark, ch. i. v. 5. Jesus, after his resurrection, said to his disciples Ye shall be witnesses unto me, both viii. 35 ' in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Sa

maria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth;'. with other passages of this kind : but to crown all, take the conclusion of St. John's gospel. Matthew informs us--that a storm arose which covered the ship with waves. The disciples alarmed, awoke their master, saying- Lord

save us : we perish.' He replied—Why are · ' ye fearful, 0, ye of little faith.' Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and a calm ensued. The astonished spectators exclaimed—What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! (Mark and Luke relate this story with some little variations ; but John says nothing about it.) ' And when he was ' come to the other side, into the country of the Gergesenes, (Mark and Luke call it GadaD 2


« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »