of 16 And ocharged them that

same concerning works of mercy or

§ XLI. charity. Let it be observed that our Lord's care in expounding the fourth CHAP. XII. 14–21. commandment is one proof, among many, of the perpetuity of its obli- A prophecy of Esaias fulfilled. gation upon Christians.

14 | Then 'the Pharisees Stretch forth thine hand. And he

went out, and || held a council stretched it forth, and it was restored whole like as the other.—The com

against him, how they might mand of Jesus was accompanied by a destroy him. power to perform it. So it is when 15 But when Jesus knew he speaks to us in his holy word. it," he withdrew himself from He says Repent, believe, obey; and thence: "and great multitudes he gives us power, time, and oppor- followed him, and he healed tunity, to do as he bids us. Shall

them all; we not hearken to his word ? Shall we plead the false and vain excuse of a want of ability on our part? By

they should not make him the corruption of nature our hand is known : withered; but in Christ there is

17 That it might be fulfilled power to subdue that corruption, and which was spoken by Esaias the to give life and energy to our dead

prophet, saying, faculties. Let us honestly endea

18 ? Behold my servant, whom vour to employ the strength which we have or think we have, and God

I have chosen; my beloved, ' in will confirm it and give us more.

whom my soul is well pleased : Let us stretch forth our withered I will put my Spirit upon him, hands in the way of prayer—and and he shall shew judgment to faith—and prompt, vigorous, perse- the Gentiles. vering effort, and we shall be

19 He shall not strive, nor blessed in our deed.

cry; neither shall any man hear HYMN.

his voice in the streets. Father of all, in whom alone

20 A bruised reed shall he We live, and move, and breathe; One bright celestial ray dart down,

not break, and smoking flax And cheer thy sons beneath.

shall he not quench, till he While in thy word we search for Thee send forth judgment unto vic

(We search with trembling awe), Open our eyes, and let us see

tory. The wonders of thy law.

21 And in his name shall the Now let our darkness comprehend

Gentiles trust.
The light that shines so clear ;
Now the revealing Spirit send

& x. 39; & xi. 53. || Or, took counsel. See ch. x. 23. And give us ears to hear.

n ch. xix. 2.- ch. ix. 30.-p Is. xlii. 1.

I ch. xxvii, 1.

Mark iii. 6. Luke vi. 11. John v. 18;

Mark iii. 7.
q ch. iii. 17; & xvii. 5.

READER. The Pharisees went | ready wilfully blind, the light of farout, ge. Having been defeated in ther evidence. argument, they resolved to proceed, Behold my servant.—Most worthy if possible, to acts of unjust violence.object of devout and attentive conThus evil men sometimes wax worse templation !— The Son of God took and worse; they proceed from one upon him our nature in order that degree of wickedness to another. he might perfectly fulfil the reason

He withdrew himself from them.- able service of a creature, and thus His hour was not yet come, and he become qualified to atone for our retired from threatened persecution; transgressions, and to act as Medisee ch. x. 23.-Here we behold our ator between God and man. Through Lord withdrawing from the presence him man renders complete obedience of impenitent and obstinate sinners, to God; through him God gives and even from their neighbourhood. grace, and every needful blessing, to Their malicious and determined op- man. See Phil. ii. 5—11; Heb. v. 8. position, in the face of even the most I will put my Spirit upon him.convincing evidence by miracle, was See ch. iii. 16, 17; John iii. 34; sin against the Holy Ghost.—Cases Heb. i. 9. occur, in which the ministers and He shall shew judgment to the Genfriends of religion must cease to tiles, i.e., he shall reveal or publish plead with ungodly men. For in- true doctrine concerning the will and stance, they must retire rather than ways of God,-in other words, the provoke malice and enmity.

Gospel,—to all people ;—he shall Great multitudes followed him.- teach all nations the way of salvaBlessed are they who follow Christ tion, righteousness, and peace.-As even when the world reviles him!— Prophet or Teacher of his church, Here again we see that when one Christ proclaims and expounds the place lost the benefit of Christ's pre- work which he wrought as our High sence, another was blessed by enter- Priest, and the duties and privileges taining it. So it is with the Gospel which ensue as a consequence of in the world. While some reject it, his great undertaking on to their ruin, others accept it, to

half. their eternal welfare.

He shall not strive, nor cry.-ConHe healed them all ; – all who sider the meekness and gentleness needed healing, and felt their need, of Christ.-Herein we find at once and followed Christ, seeking that be- a subject of thankfulness,—a ground nefit in faith.

of confidence,-and a pattern for And charged them that they should imitation. rot make him known.-See here the A bruised reed shall he not break.humility of Jesus,-his prudent cau- How tender and compassionate is the tion,—and perhaps also his righteous blessed Jesus towards even the weakpunishment of the Pharisees, in re- est and most ignorant of his sincere fusing to present to their minds, al- and humble followers! How ready

our be

to encourage even the faintest and tion and all things necessary from most imperfect of their good desires! him,—to despise comparatively all How willing to assist even the most earthly promises,-to esteem, love, feeble and faltering steps in the way and desire heavenly things only,that leadeth unto life! He “deals and to bear with patience and tranvery tenderly with those who have quillity all the losses and evils of true grace, though they be weak in this life, in prospect of that felicity. it; Isa. xl. 11; Heb. iv. 15. And, in which he has purchased for us," and general, the design of his Gospel is which he provides. to establish such a method of salva

HYMN. tion as encourages sincerity, though there be much infirmity; it does not

(From Isa. xlii.) insist upon a sinless obedience, but Sing to the Lord in joyful strains,

Let earth his praise resound, accepts an upright, willing mind."

Ye who upon the ocean dwell Until he send forth judgment, i.e.

And fill the isles around. his doctrine, the Gospel, unto victory,

O city of the Lord, begin i.e. with full effect, triumphing over The universal song; all opposition.—May the conversion And let the scatter'd villages of the world to the faith and obe

The cheerful notes prolong. dience of Christ soon give fulfilment Let Kedar's wilderness afar to this glorious prophecy!

Lift up its lonely voice;

And let the tenants of the rock Or we may understand the whole

With accents rude rejoice; of this verse and the foregoing, as meaning “ He shall not subdue men

Till midst the streams of distant lands

The islands sound his praise ; by tumults, violence, or wars; but

And all combin'd, with one accord, as the Prince of peace and grace, he Jehovah's glories raise. shall deal gently with the weak, and cherish the least degree of goodness, and pardon the faults of the peni

$ XLII. tent, and not use severity of justice, until he have gathered his church CHAP. XII. 22–37. out of the world, and overcome and judged his final enemies."

Christ healeth the man possessed that And in his name shall the Gentiles

was blind and dumb. Blaspherry trust,-or, as in our version of the against the Holy Ghost shall never be

forgiven. prophet, The isles shall wait for his law. We must wait for Christ's law,

22 Then was brought unto and be willing to be ruled by it, if him one possessed with a devil, we would rightly trust or hope in

blind and dumb: and he healed him. We must consent to be

governed by his word, as well as saved him, insomuch that the blind by his work. To trust and hope and dumb both spake and saw. in his name Jesus, is to expect salva- 23 And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this men: *but the blasphemy against the son of David ?

the Holy Ghost shall not be for24 'But when the Pharisees given unto men. heard it, they said, This fellow 32 And whosoever speaketh doth not cast out devils but by a word against the Son of man, + Beelzebub the prince of the 'it shall be forgiven him : but devils.

whosoever speaketh against the 25 And Jesus 'knew their Holy Ghost, it shall not be forthoughts, and said unto them, given him, neither in this world, Every kingdom divided against neither in the world to come. itself is brought to desolation ; 33 Either make the tree good, and

every city or house divided and his fruit good; or else make against itself shall not stand : the tree corrupt, and his fruit

26 And if Satan cast out Sa- corrupt: for the tree is known tan, he is divided against him by his fruit. self; how shall then his king- 34 O generation of vipers, dom stand ?

how can ye, being evil, speak 27 And if I by Beelzebub good things ? · for out of the cast out devils, by whom do abundance of the heart the your children cast them out ? mouth speaketh. therefore they shall be your

35 A good man out of the judges.

good treasure of the heart bring28 But if I cast out devils by eth forth good things : and an the Spirit of God, then the evil man out of the evil treasure kingdom of God is come unto bringeth forth evil things. you.

36 But I say unto you, That 29 - Or else how can one en

every idle word that men shall ter into a strong man's house, speak, they shall give account and spoil his goods, except he thereof in the day of judgment. first bind the strong man ? and 37 For by thy words thou then he will spoil his house.

shalt be justified, and by thy 30 He that is not with me is words thou shalt be condemned. against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth


r See ch. ix. 32. Mark iii. 11. Luke xi. 14.- ch. ix. 34. Mark iii. 22. Luke xi. 15. + Gr. Beelzebul; and so ver. 27.-tch, ix. 4. John ii. 25. Rev. ii. 23.-u Dan. ii. 44; & vii. 14. Luke i. 33; & xi. 20; & xvii. 20, 21, - Is. xlix. 24. Luke xi. 21. 22. 23.--Mark iii. 28. Luke xii. 10. Heb. vi. 4, &c. ; & x. 26, 29. 1 John v. 16. % Acts vii. 51.-ach. xi. 19; & xiii. 55. John vii. 12, 52.

b1 Tim. i. 13.-c ch. vii, 17. Luke vi. 43, 44. - ch. iii, 7; & xxiii. 33. e Luke vi. 45.

31 Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto

READER. One possessed with a sin, become the very house and dwelldevil, blind and dumb.-In like man- ing-place of Satan, having, of their ner, “Satan blinds the eye of faith, own accord, surrendered themselves and seals up the lips of prayer.” to this unjust possessor; for whoever

But when the Pharisees heard it, gives up his soul to sin, gives it up they said.The more our Lord was to the devil. It is Jesus, and Jesus admired by the people, the more vi- alone, who can deliver from the rulent were the Pharisees in their power of this bondage." attacks. The malice of the wicked He that is not with me is against is often irritated by the growing re- me. There is no neutral ground in putation of the godly and sincere.- the spiritual warfare. We are either See ch. x. 25, and note.

Christ's friends, or his enemies. And Every kingdom divided against it- the Lord Jesus clearly distinguishes self is brought to desolation.— How between those who are his and those ruinous the effects of jealousy and wh

who are not. “ Who is on the Lord's dissension! How absurd, as well as side, who?” “Choose ye this day impious, the blasphemy of the Pha- whom ye will serve.” “Let a man risees, as it is made to appear by our

examine himself." Saviour's reply!

The blasphemy against the Holy How shall then his kingdom stand? Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. -Satan is too crafty to oppose his - The impious speech which gave own interests; but yet God is able occasion to this solemn declaration to overrule and defeat his subtilty. of our Lord, was that in which the

By whom do your children cast them Pharisees attributed his miracles to out ?—Envious and malicious people the agency of evil spirits; which are ready to condemn those very ac- plainly appears from Mark iii. 30, tions, done by persons whom they and even from the connection in hate, which they are ready to ap

which the words occur. - A man plaud, if performed by their own who obstinately resists the highest friends. Such are the inconsisten- and strongest evidence which can be cies of ungodly men, who “do not given, opposes the best means for his the truth."

conversion, and resolutely quenches Then the kingdom of God is come the influence of the Holy Spirit withunto you.—May we have the comfort in his soul. One who refuses to reof being assured that the kingdom of pent so long, and under such circumGod is set up within our own hearts, stances, as to provoke God to abanby knowing that the love of sin, and don him to his own evil heart and evil passions, and all the works of ways, incurs a punishment such as the devil, have been driven out, and that to which our Saviour here remade to stand aloof.--See Acts xxvi. fers.—Still it is a certain and unal18.

terable truth that mercy is extended How can one enter into a strong to every sinner who repents; and man's house, 8c. — “Men, through any man who feels the reproofs and

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