By DAVID DICKSON, Preacher of the Go­spel of Jesus Christ, and Professor of Divinity in the University of GLASGOW.

PHIL. 2. VER. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Iesus: Who be­ing in the form of God, though it not robbery to be equal with God, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the crosse. Wherfore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Iesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. And that every tongue should confesse, that Iesus Christ is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

The Third Edition.

LONDON, Printed for Ralph Smith, at the sign of the Bible in Cornhill, neer the Royall Exchange. 1651.

TO THE Right Honorable and truly Noble, MY LORD, EARL OF LOUDOUN, LORD OF MAUCHLIN and TARINZAN, &c. High Chancellor of SCOTLAND, &c. And to His Honorable and Hopeful Eldest Son, my Lord MAUCHLIN, Grace, and Peace.

Right Honourable.

IT is a sweet and remarkable Providence, that within these not many yeers, such a multitude of Impressions of the holy Scriptures are vented among these three united Kingdoms, and so many thou­sands are of Scots and English, who delight not only to have the holy Bible in their possession and houses; but also to carry it in their pockets, for reading of it upon all occasions: This, as it speaketh much of the desire after divine Knowledge, raised up by God in peoples hearts; and as it promiseth much of the spreading of the light of the Gospel in these Dominions, (especially the Lord having now seconded his own Work, by drawing, from the fountain of his own free grace, the [Page] body of these Kingdoms into a solemn Covenant, for purging of all his holy Ordinances, and promoving of sound Religion) so doth it call aloud to all the Pastors of his Flock, and to all the godly learned, by all means to lead the Lords people in upon the right understand­ing of the Scriptures, left the plain and marvellously consonant word of God be mistaken and wrested, by the instability and unskilfulnesse of such as have not their senses exercised to discern the single meaning of the Lords Voyce, and the admirable harmony of his heavenly Speeches. Many worthy men of God (it is true) have profitably taken pains to this purpose, and some have written large Commentaries upon sundry Books, and parcels of Scripture; others have transla­ted out of Latine the Commentaries of others: But of those worthy mens Labours, only such as have much leasure, and patience to read, can make use: Others have written short Paraphrases of harder places; o­thers, Expositions of hard words; others have mind­ed herewith some sweet notes and observations, all of them contributing one with another to the common good, so much as each sort of Writing could carry: Yet besides all these laudable wayes of explication of Scripture, it seemeth that these dangerous Times, (wherein so many diverse errours are privily crept in, and begun openly also to avow themselves) do call for such an Explanation of the whole Bible, as might not only shew the scope of each Book and Chapter, with the cohesion of the Verses, and the meaning of the Words; but also propone the speciall heads of Do­ctrine in each place, whereby people might see the whole grounds of Religion in the Text, and be guar­ded against all damnable errours (in which those per­sons are easily ensnared, who know not the Scriptures, [Page] nor the power of God) and all this to be in such brevi­ty and cleerness, That men in their daily set-reading of the Lords word, might in the space of half an hour per­use a competent portion of Scripture, thus explained.

I say, Set-time for their private reading, because, al­beit every man is not set apart for the Word and Do­ctrine, but most part have, by Gods appointment, ci­vil callings and necessary imployments about the mat­ters of this life, each calling and imployment having its own work, and each work requiring his own time, so that there remaineth little time beside unto many; yet that man is too much busied in temporall affairs, and more involved in the World then he can answer for, who doth not daily redeem so much time, as the necessary exercise of Religion in the Word and Prayer doth require; beside secret ejaculations of Prayer unto God, mixed with his affairs, and the Mason-like-looks of his Conscience, levelling its eye to each action, to see if it be conform to the Rule: for presuppose a man were imployed as much as a King, and had so many Realms to govern as were under David K. of Israel, yet could he not be excused for this, to neglect Gods word & prayer; for Dav. oftner then once a day, yea, & in the night al­so found time to call on God, & praise his name, & verse himself in his Word, Ps. 119.55, 62, 164. Let the men of this world, who have their portion in this life, & have set up in their hearts the filthy idols of worldly profit, pleasure & preferment, for gaining & keeping wherof, they make use not only of all men, but also of God and Religion, so far only as they may be suitable & service­able to their base ends; Let such men (I say) neglect reading the Scriptures, and all serious following of re­ligious exercises: But let not the children of God do so, who hold their standing here, and the hopes of eternal [Page] life hereafter by faith in Christ, for promoving of whose cause and Kingdom, they are resolved to bear his Crosse, were it even to the doors of Heaven, if so GOD please, and to lay it down on the threshold with thanks and praise, that ever they were counted worthy to suffer for his Name; let not these blessed Soules walk in the way of the ungodly, but rather de­light themselves in the Law of GOD, and meditate therein night and day, Psal. 1.2, 3. For the service of such saints, and facilitating of their reading of ho­ly Scripture, I come forth (as before in the brief Ex­planation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, so now in the brief explanation of the Evangel according to Matthew) to call yet again unto the Godly Learned, to stir up themselves for contributing one with ano­ther, unto some such brief explanation of the whole Bible, as their Godly wisdome shall agr [...]e upon a mould, this or any other: because apparently, it is but little, and not considerable; which any one man alone can overtake in this Work.

As for this Piece, such a one as it is, There is great reason why it should bear your Honourable Name in the title of it, it being a part of the fruit of your Lordships labour, who as One eminently carefull of the purity of Gods ordinances, hath with others of our Renowned Nobility, faithfull Gentrie and Bur­rows, run the hazard of all things in this life, and of life it self, to purge the land from superstition, and Heresie, and to give freedome, not only to the prea­ching of the Truth of the Gospel, but also unto Pens and Presses for propagation of it. What singular Proofes of Integrity, and inflexible Constancy your Honour hath given in this great work of uniting [Page] these three kingdomes more nearly unto God, and a­mong themselves in the matters of Religion, it is so well known, that I need say nothing, but bless God for the raising up of so many precious Sons of Sion to take their Mother by the Hand, in the day of her ca­lamity, and give thanks to his Majesty for your Lord­ships in particular.

ANd as for Your Honour, My Lord Mauchlin, I could not but joyn your Lordships Name with Your Noble Father in this Dedication; partly, because you follow up so hard after his foot-steps, that your gracious and prudent Behaviour, observed by all Be­holders, hath drawn from your Condesciples in Philo­sophy a more ample elogy, then either your Lord­ships Modesty, or my measure of Commendation of men will suffer me to repeat; partly, that your Lord­ship may be thus yet more ingaged to drink in, and maintain that Doctrine of Salvation by Christ, which giveth the text of his Testament for a Pawn and Pledg of its verity; The love and fruitfull Profession where­of, that it may b [...] the constant Glory of the House of Lo [...]doun, is the hearty prayer of

Both your Honours affectionate Servant, in the LORD, DAVID DICKSON

To the honest-hearted Reader.

BEside what I have said in the E­pistle Dedicatory, I must ac­quaint thee (worthy Reader) yet further with my purpose and way in this Piece: The speciall intent of the putting forth of it, is not onely that measure of edi­fication which thou maist reap by this small Work; but also, that in satisfying the desire of sundry worthy men of GOD, who have [...]bt [...]st [...]d me to make proof, how some other place of Scripture may be fitted for the Churches edification after the mould of the Short Explanation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, I may engage them all (if it be possible) and others also with them, who are more able then I am, to quicken and prosecute, as partners, the motion made by me heretofore, and now renewed, to wit, That by the consent of a number of able Workmen, divi­ding the task among them, some such brief Explanation of the whole Text of Scripture, containing the chief Do­ctrines, in a way accommodate unto the capacity of com­mon people, may see the light, for the setling of saving Truth in their hearts, by the force of divine Faith, clo­sing [Page] immediatly with the Text of Scripture. Then which Work, I conceive there can be no one mean, after powerful Preaching, more forcible for rooting out of Errours, and manifesting unto all men the true Religion which wee profess in Brittain, and by Covenant are obliged to main­tain and propagate according to our power.

In this Explanation of the Gospel according to Matthew, I have laboured to fit the mould so, that the de­duction of the Doctrines from the Text, may be more ob­vious to the Readers up-taking, then it is in the Short Explanation of the Epistle to the Hebrews.

I have contented my self with some few observations upon each Text, which might serve most for the cleering of the place; leaving to every Reader, as he hath time for Meditation, and ability of Gifts, to observe what fur­ther the Text may afford, it being sufficient for my de­signe, that thou find so much clearnesse and sweetnesse in the Lords Word by what I offer to thy taste, as may make thee more in love with the daily reading of the Scripture, and the Learned and Able may be stirred up to help thee with more Stuffe of this kinde.

I point ordinarily at some words in the Text, for a Ground of the Doctrine proponed: from which words, if the Doctrines do not immediately arise, and formally follow; yet from these words such Doctrines may be in­ferred, after some little larger Explication of them, as these illate Particles, FOR and THEREFORE, do at least import.

The History being all along most part plain, I have forborn to trouble thee with large Contents or Analysis, or Exposition of words, and have insisted onely where some difficulty is, and that so long onely as was necessary to give some light; hasting in all other places unto the [Page] Doctrine, and couching in them frequently so much Ex­position of the words as I could with clearnesse and bre­vity, of which I have had a speciall care, resolving with my self, that as larger Commentaries serve onely for them who have Leasure and love to read much, so this sort of Writing must be for those onely, who (for one rea­son or other) must either have something in short, or no­thing at all. If this Mould seem unto thee fit for opening of the sealed Book, pray with me, that the Lord would fit, and stir up a sufficient number of Instruments for hastening forth this wished-for Work, unto thy Edificati­on; and I will remain.

Thine, to serve thee, for CARIST'S cause, D. D.

Before the Evangel written by MATTHEW, a Title is prefixed, common to it, and all the rest of the Writings of the Apostles and Evangelists, which is this: THE NEW TESTAMENT (Or COVENANT) OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST.

THe whole Bible is commonly called by the name of Old and New Testa­ment, or Covenant: one word sig­nifying both Covenant and Testament, as it were, A Testamentary Covenant. The reason why the holy Scriptures written before and since Christ came, are called by the name of Covenant, is, because the Covenant of Redem­ption between the Father and the Son for purchasing of salvation, and saving graces to the Elect; and the Covenant of Grace made with the Church through Christ, for application of all purchased graces leading unto salvation, are the sum and subst [...]nce of the [...] Bible. The reason why the Scrip­tures are called also by the name of Testament, is, because the Son of Go [...] having undertaken to lay down his life (which now he hath pe [...]fo [...]m [...]) as the P [...]ce of Redemption, and so having made all things belonging to life to be his own by paction, he doth [Page 2] by way of Legacy, dispone and bequeath unto the children of promise in the holy Scriptures, as in a written and sealed Testa­ment, whatsoever by his death hee hath purchased unto them, that whosoever in the sense of sin, and fear of wrath doe flee un­to Christ, may lay claim unto righteousnesse and eternall life, as Heirs of Christ, and may seek with confidence, not onely to have the first fruits of his conquest in this life, but also to have the full possession thereof in the life to come; and that as a Legacy left unto them by Christ. But because these heavenly Mysteries are not so cleerly and fully set down in the Writings of Moses and the Prophets, as they are now revealed in the Writings of the Evangelists and Apostles: Therfore the Books of Scripture written before Christ came in the flesh, are called the Old Covenant, or the Old Testament; and these which are writ­ten since he came, are called the New Covenant, or the New Te­stament of our Lord Jesus.

The speciall Title prefixed to this Evangel, is, THE GOSPEL By, or According to MATTHEW.

THis Book is called the Gospel or glad Tidings, because the doctrine contained in it concerning our redemption from sin and misery, by Christ the Son of God, is the most joy­full news that ever the world did hear; especially, after that the Law and Covenant of works have discovered unto us the vile­nesse of sin, and the unsupportable burden of Gods wrath due to our sin: It is called The GOSPEL by, or, according to Matthew, (who also was called Levi) because God in a speciall providence did make choice of him to write this Evangel to the world, as of one who had found in a speciall manner by experi­ence in his own person, the power of life, and riches of grace is Christ, making him not onely of a sinner a Saint, but also of [...] Publican an Apostle.


In this Chapter is contained the Genealogy of JESUS CHRIST, as he is Man, unto vers. 18. And five evidences of his ho­ly and wonderfull incarnation, from vers. 18. to the end.

‘Vers. 1. THe Book of the generation of JESUS CHRIST, the son of David, the son of Abraham.’

IN this Title of the Genealogie, Or Roll of the Pedigree of Christ, the Evangelist holdeth forth unto us these things: The person of whom we have to take notice here, is not a meer man, but the Saviour of men; for the inscription calleth this Ro [...]l, The book of the generation of IESUS CHRIST, such a man as is true God also, and worthy to be called, in the most proper ond strict sense, IESUS the true SALVATOR and DELIVERER of men from sin and wrath; which still properly taken, belongeth only to him who is almighty God, and IESUS in effect. 2. This person IESUS is throughly able and fully furnished for accomplishing the work of mans sal­vation, and one who is anointed unto the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King, to bring about, and perfect the salvation of his own: for this IESUS, is that CHRIST, the eminent­ly anointed SAVIOUR. 3. He is the Saviour of Jew and Gentile, who in his Hebrew name IESUS, and his Greek name CHRIST, doth lift up a Banner of love unto both, That the Hebrews and Grecians, the Jews and Gentiles may come to him for salvation, the one no lesse then the other. 4. As the Lord did promise in Paradise in the assumed seed of the woman, to tread down the head of the serpent, and did renew his promise in Abrahams seed, to blesse all the nations of the earth, and in Da­vids seed to reign and rule over the true Israel of God for ever, so hath he performed; yea he hath carefully provided, not only to make his promise good, but also that the degrees of his lineall descent according to his human [...] nature should be marked; part­ly [Page 4] in the holy Scripture from Abraham unto the Jews captivity in Babylon; and partly in the publick registers of the family and posterity of David, from the captivity unto his birth; Th [...]rfore he is called the Son of Abraham, [...]he Son of David: and mention is made of a Book or Roll, drawn forth of the records. This Regi­ster was from age to age so punctually filled up in every family, and made notour to all men, Ezra 2.62. that not only Davids posterity was known thereby, and according to it was taxed by Caesar in Beth-lehem; but also all the rest of the families of the Hebrews then in Judea, could reckon their genealogie by the pub­lick records, and were taxed in their severall places accordingly. Luke 2.3, 4, 5.

Verse 2 Abraham begat Isaac, and Isaac begat Iacob, and Iacob begat Iudas, and his brethren.

3 And Iudas begat Phares and Zara of Thamar, and Phares be­gat Esrom, and Esrom begat Aram.

4 And Aram begat Aminadab, and Aminadab begat Naasson, and Naasson begat Salmon.

5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab, and Booz begat Obed of Ruth, and Obed begat Iesse.

6 And Iesse begat David the king, and David the king begat Solo­mon of her that had been the wife of Urias.

7 And Solomon begat Roboam, an [...] Roboam begat Abi [...], and Abi [...] begat Asa.

8 And Asa begat Iosaphat, and Iosaphat begat Ioram, and Ioram begat Ozias.

9 And Ozias begat Ioatham, and Ioatham begat Achaz, and A­chaz beg [...] Ezekias.

10 A Ezekias begat Manasses, and Manasses begat Amon, and Amon begat Iosias.

11. And Iosias begat Iechonias and his brethren, about the time they were carried away to Babylon.

12 And after they were brought to Babylon, Iechonias begat Sa­lathiel, and Salathiel begat Zorobabel.

13 And Zorobabel begat Abiud, and Abiud begat Elia [...]im, and Eliakim begat Azor.

14. And Azor begat Sadoc, and Sadoc begat Achim, and Achim begat Eliud.

15. And Eliud begat Eleazear, and Eleazear begat Matthan, and Matthan begat Iacob.

16 And Iacob begat Ioseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Iesus, who is called Christ.

[Page 5]17 So all the generations from Abraham to David, are fourteen generations: and from David untill the carrying away into Babylon, are fourteen generations: and from the carrying away into Babylon un­to Christ, are fourteen generations.

This Catalogue of the posterity of David being so notourly known from the publick Registers and records of the families of David, that no doubt nor question was made of Christs descent from David, no not by his enemies, Therefore the Evangelist doth not scrupulously name here every one of his Ancestors, but only draweth the line along so far, as it might suffice for the churches edification: and by so much as is here set down he doth teach us these things: 1. Jesus Christ is the very true Messias promised to the fathers, who now in the fulness of time, hath as­sumed humane nature of the seed of Abraham, and David, whose Son he is called, according to the flesh: and this he pointeth at, when he saith, Abraham begat Isaac, &c. 2. For our confirma­tion in the faith of Jesus Christ, we should acquaint our selves with the prophesies which went before of him, and with the hi­story of his Ancestors, here recorded from the Scripture of the Old Testament, and in speciall from Abraham to the captivity of Babylon. 3. Seeing it is a hard matter to beleeve, that God should so empty himselfe for us, and become a man like unto us, we should receive so many impressions of the verity of his hu­mane nature, as there are severall names of his Ancestors accor­ding to the flesh, named in this Catalogue: for to this end we are led from one to another, by he begat, and he begat. 4. No man should be astrayed to offer himselfe to be ingrafted as a branch in Christ, because Christ hath been pleased to be a branch of poor Ruth, a Gentile, as well as of rich Booz: of un­learned persons as well as learned, of ignoble and mean persons as wel as Kings: yea and of persons blotted with notorious faults, as Rachab and Tamar, no lesse then of holy Patriarchs and Pro­phets, such as Abraham and Isaac. 5. As he hath separated our nature in his own person, from all the pollution of his Ancestors here recorded, so he can sanctifie our persons and nature, how polluted soever our persons have been. 6. By summing up the generations from Abraham unto Christ in thrice fourteen, he teacheth us, that notwithstanding so many notable changes were made in that people, especially about the period of each fourteen Generations; yet was the promise of the Messias coming, and the lineall descent of the blessed seed still keeped on foot, till our Lord was born, and by this same means, he giveth us to understand, that [Page 6] in the greatest commotions of kingdomes or commonwealths, no promise made to the Church shall be shaken.

Verse 18. Now the birth of Iesus Christ was on this wise: when as his Mother Mary was espoused to Ioseph (before they came together) she was found with child of the holy Ghost.

In the second part of the chapter we have five evidences of Christs wonderfull incarnation. The first is, the Virgin Ma­ry is found with child of the HOLY GHOST; wherein these truths offer themselves. 1. Albeit Christ as God be eternall, and hath no mother, yet as he is a man he hath Mary his Mother in her virginity, For before they came together she was found with child of the HOLY GHOST. 2. This wonderfull conception was no lesse true and reall then any ordinary concep [...]ion could be: for by ordinary evidence She is found with childe, which was ob­served by those that did not know that it was of the holy Ghost, till afterward. 3. We should neither speak nor think of this ho­ly conception, without the remembrance of the wonderfull ope­ration of the Holy Spirit: for to preveen all unworthy and un­beseeming, thoughts of this transcendent mystery, no sooner doth the Evangelist make mention of the Virgins being with Child, but immediately he subjoyneth, of the Holy Ghost, To teach us, to beware to think any thoughts of this great mystery of Godlinesse, the incarnation of the Son of God, except by the conduct of the Holy Ghost, who must form right thoughts of Christ in our hearts, and lead us along through this following history in all saving truth. 4. The LORD hath a care of the same and estimation of those in whom he mindes to honour him­self; for it is provided by God so, that the Virgin Mary, being with child of the promised Messia, shal be espoused to her husband Jo­seph, that no exception could be taken against her, by such as did not beleeve the mystery.

Vers. 19. Then Ioseph her husband being a just man, and not wil­ling to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

The second evidence, is Josephs perplexity, who being cer­tain of the reall conception of the Virgin, and uncertain of the holy Manner of it, either because he was not informed by the Virgin how the matter was, or because, if he was informed, he did not fully beleeve; he is put to a perplexed deliberation what to do; There was on the one hand such evidence of purity and ho­linesse in the carriage of the blessed Virgin, that Joseph could not [Page 7] find a reason in Justice to make her a publick Example, and for this part of his resolution he is commended as a just Man: On the other hand there was such certainty of her being with child, and that the child was not his, that he minded to put her away privily. Doct. 1. GOD by perplexities can prepare the hearts of his own for a clearer satisfaction in matters of highest concernment; for this exercise of Joseph is made a Harbinger to the revelation, and satisfaction which afterward he received: 2. Our LORDS sufferings began very early, even ere he was born, when the Virgin Mother cometh under suspicion for his incarnation, and cometh under this hazard, to be put away privily for his cause. 3. No wonder CHRIST have hard entertainment in the world before he be known, when even his own, according to election, do refuse him, till he manifest him­self to them; For Joseph is about to reject the Mother and the child, before he knew the mystery.

Ver. 20. But while he thought on these things, behold, the An­gel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Ioseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her, is of the holy Ghost.

The third evidence, is the Testimony of the Angel, revealing the truth to Joseph. Doct. 1. No lesse then divine revelation can satisfie a soul in matters concerning Christ: Joseph must be taught from Heaven, before he be clear about the incarna­tion of the Son of GOD: 2. The Lord can turn the doubts, and fears and perplexities of his own, into an advantage unto themselves and others also, and into a clearer manifestation of his own glory: for now the incarnation of the Son of God is more clear to Joseph, and to the church, that the Lord did reserve the revelation thereof to himselfe, then if Joseph had never made question about it: 3. The Lord useth to shew him­selfe in a necessary nick of time, while the Virgin is in hazard to suffer, and Joseph about to put her away, mean while the Lord interposeth himself [...]; for while he thought of these things, the Angel appeared: The Angel calling Joseph, Son of Da­vid, doth oblige Joseph to serve the chiefe of all the sons of David, the renowned branch, and true root also of the house of Da­vid, for whose cause the posterity of David was kept undestroyed, when other families were confounded. Then he dischargeth Jo­sephs suspicion which he had of Mary, assuring him, that that which is conceived of her, is of the holy Ghost, and this he sayeth not to seclude the operation of the Father and the son, whose work [Page 8] is alwayes one with the work of the Holy-Spirit, by whom the Father and the Son do work, whatsoever they work among the creatures, being all three one God, as undivided in essence, so inseparable in operation: But this work is at­tributed to the holy Ghost, to seclude the ordinary way of genera­tion of man, and to assure us of the sanctification of the substance of the Virgin, assumed by Christ, and of the freedom of Christ; humane n [...]ure both from originall sin, and also from all pos­sibility o [...]sinning, by reason of the personall union of the hu­mane nature with the Divine, made by the Holy Ghost. 4. As Christ is the Son of David by lineall descent, through Mary his Mother, so also by law, through Joseph his supposed father, and father in law, who was descended from David; for the Angel calleth Joseph, Thou Son of David. 5. The Lord in due time cleareth the righteousness of such as suffer in their name and esti­mation for Christ, for Maries chastity is now made manifest from Heaven, Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wise; for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost.

Verse 21. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name IESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

For the further confirmation of J [...]seph, the Angel sheweth to him, how that the conception is of a man child, and giveth or­der to call him, after he is born, with the reason thereof: hereby teaching us these Truths: 1. As Christ was really part [...]ker of our flesh and bloud in his conception, so Mary his Mother did bring him forth as really and kindly, as ever woman bare a child, for it is said, She shall bring forth a Son, The word in the Originall speaketh this plainly. 2. The Son of the Vir­gin Mary is the only true Jesus, recommended unto us from heaven, to be taken notice of as the true Saviour: All who had this name before him, were but shadows and types of him, at the best, for of Christ it is said, Thou shalt call His name Iesus, for he shall save: 3. Natural and civil relations of men and women unto Christ, did not take away their obligati­on, and necessity to beleeve in him, and to confess him unto salvation, as other sinners must do, but rather augmented the same; for to Joseph it is said, Thou shalt call his name Iesus, to wit, not only as Foster-father, giving this name to him, but as a Beleever in him, and confessor of him, avowing him to be the true Saviour, because He shall save his people from their sins. 4. The Son of Mary, Jesus Christ, God incarnate, purchaseth and [Page 9] giveth salvation by his own proper worth and power▪ for of him it is said absolutely in the strictest sense, He himself shall save his people. 5. Jesus is not to save every man, but only his own people, for whose ransome he made paction with the Father, in the covenant of redemption: for it is said, he shall save his own people. 6. The Redeemed are no lesse sinners, and lost in them­selves then others are, for it is said, He shall save his own people from their sins. 7. These things are spoken to Joseph to move him to consecrate himselfe to the service of Jesus, whereby we learne, that except Christ be known as the Saviour, a man cannot heartily do him service, nor indure trouble for him? Therefore is Joseph instructed to expect salvation from him, in saying, Thou shalt call his name Iesus, for he shall save his people.

Vers. 22. (Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23. Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name, Immanuel, which being interpreted, is God with us.)

The fourth Evidence of the incarnation, is, the manifested accomplishment of the prophesie of Esay 7.14. Wherein the Prophet, for the comfort of the church, giveth assurance, that not only God should save Israel from their enemies, whom misbeleeving Ahaz did too much fear, but also that the Re­deemer of Israel should verily be incarnate, and assume hu­mane nature in a wonderfull manner. Doct. 1. The mystery of Christs wonderfull conception was not altogether hid from the church under the old Testament, for it is here foretold by Esay, that, a Virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son. 2. It was foretold that the child born, should be God and Man in one person, Immanuel, that is, God with us, God ma­nifested in the flesh, God in our nature, God reconciling us to himself. 3. It was foretold that he should be beleeved on, and acknowledged to be God incarnate; for it is said, They shall call his name Immanuel, which is fully seen to be accomplished, when this child Jesus is born, who is the Saviour of his people from their sins; For who except God can redeem and save men, who can make the redeemed his own proper and peculiar peo­ple, except God? Who can by his own merit, and effectuall pow­er save from sin, except God? only such a Jesus, as is verily God, really Immanuel, God incarnate, the true reconciler of God and Man.

[Page 10]

Ver. 24 Then Ioseph being raised from sleep, did as the Angel of the L [...]d had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25. [...] knew her not till she had brought forth her first-borne son, [...]na [...]led his name Iesus.

T [...]e [...] evidence of Christs holy and wonderfull incar­nation [...] the quiet faith, and ready obedience of Joseph, af­ter tha [...] is now taught of God. Doct. 1. From time that a m [...]b [...] sure of Gods Word and Warrant, he should dispute no m [...]re, but stop his ear to all carnall reasoning; for God ha­ving solved Joseph of his doubts, and given him assurance that Christ is the promised Saviour, he did as the Angel had bid­den him. 2. A soul that knoweth the worth of Christ, will be glad, according to its power, to do service to him, or to any of these who belong unto him; for now Joseph as a foster-father taketh home, under the shadow of matrimony, both Mother and Child. 3. When saith beholdeth the Majesty of Jesus, it breedeth fear and respect in the Beleever toward him, and bringeth all his affections in subjection to him; for Joseph un­derstanding that the Virgin is with child, that the promised seed is now come to destroy the works of the divell, and that the holy one of Israel is now incarnate in the Virgins womb; he beareth our LORD at such reverence, and so sanctifieth him in his heart, that he suffereth the Virgin to remain a Virgin; for it is said, He knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born Son, which is sufficient for evidencing the accomplishment of the prophesie, Isaiah 14.


Christ being born in Beth-lehem, is honoured from heaven, and earth, by the wise mens coming to worship him, to vers. 12. And by the wonderful disappointing of Herods bloudy plot against him.

Verse 1. NOw when IESUS was born in Beth-lehem of Iudea, in the dayes of Herod the king, be­hold, [Page 11] there came wise men from the east to Ierusalem.’

WE hear no more of these wise men but what we collect from Matthew, That they were of the Gentiles, men of learning and wisdome, men of wealth and reputation; the cir­cumstances of their coming are set down here, They came from the east to Ierusalem, when Christ is born in the daies of Herod the king, wherein we have these things observable. 1. The place of the nativity of Christ well agreeth to the prophesie of Micah 5.2. Jesus is born in Beth-lehem the city of David, which is in Judea, so called to distinguish it from Beth-lehem in Gali­lee: 2. The time when he should be born agreeth also to the Prophets, Gen. 49.10. to wit, before or about the time of the Scepters taking altogether from Juda: That is, before the tribe of Juda did cease to be a tribe, before this tribe was dissipate, and so destitute of all sort of government, which came not to passe till after our Lords death: For now Herod is king in Judea, who had slain the Elders of the house of David, to con­firm the kingdome in his own hand; yet the tribe remained, and had the own order within it self, for the regulating of the common things pertaining unto the severall families thereof, as appeareth in the taxing of the family of David in Beth-le­hem: But after Christs coming, and ending of the worke of redemption, for which he came, the tribe of Juda was so cut off and confounded, that it never had a face of a tribe again unto this day, therefore the Messia is now come. 3. When such as should glorifie God do it not, but do misken Christ, He can raise up others in their room, by whom he will honour himselfe; for though the wise men of the Jewish Church do not observe the time of Christs coming, yet God prepareth witnesses for himselfe from among the Gentiles, Behold a number of wise men come from the east to honour him, whe­ther from Chaldea, or Persia, or how many they were, or what were their names, it is not materiall to us, It is sufficient that Christ is honoured by them, and that they are the first fruits of the Gentiles their conversion unto Christ. 4. The Lord faileth not to make the best of all means for his own glory; to make these mens testimony famous, and most fit to check the security of the Jews, they are led in a providence to Jerusalem to ask for Christ.

Ver. 2. Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Iews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

[Page 12]When these men are come to Jerusalem, they ask where Christ is, and posesse their faith in him, and their purpose to worship him. Doct. 1. Though Christs kingdome be not of this world, yet is he King of Saints, the true King of Israel, to whom the throne of David was promised, that he should fit ther­on, and raign over souls for ever, for he is that born King of the Jews. 2. Saving faith looketh through all clouds of humane infirmities in Christ, and pitcheth upon some point of excel­lency in him; For these men by faith in a babe new born, behold the promised Messiah, and the King of Israel: They ask for the King of the Iews, giving to him the ordinary stile of the Messi­ah▪ 3. The least spunk of saving knowledg doth set a man on work to seek after Christ, for where is he? say they. 4. Faith, ere it want Christ, will hazard all to come by him; for these men confess him with the danger of their life, to be the born King of the Iews, and do ask for him in Jerusalem, even when, and where Herod a stranger is reigning as King. 5. Though Christ came in the shape of a servant, and humbled himself to be born of a mean Damsel, yet is his honour to be seen in heaven and earth, for a star is created to give warning to the world, that the bright morning Star is arisen: and from the east, wise men do come to confesse him. 6. Though God give signes and evidences of Christs coming, yet every man doth not see or observe them, but such only as God doth reveal them unto; for only these wise men are they who get a right sight of this star, we (say they) have seen his star in the cast. 7. Faith in Christ and love to him, will spare no pains nor travell to come at him; for these men are come from a far, from the east to s [...]e him. 8. Faith seeth Christ to be God, and that maketh men to overcome a world of difficulties, in seeking to have communion with him; for we are come to worship him, say they: to wit, with religious worship, due to the promised M [...]ssiah, the Redeemer of souls.

Ver. 3. When Herod the King had heard these things; he was troubled, and all Ierusalem with him.

At the hearing of these news Herod is troubled, and all Jeru­salem with him, he for fear to lose his kingdome, and they for fear of wars betwixt two Kings. Doct. 1. It is no new thing, that Kings are jealous of Christ, when they hear he is a King: They can hardly conceive how his Kingdome shall not pre-judg their reign, albeit indeed their Kingdome hath no such friend as he is, therefore Herod when he heard, was troubled. 2. Worldly [Page 13] men, setled in their honours, ease, and wealth, are feared to be troubled about Christ, and could be contented to sit quiet without him; for all Ierusalem here is troubled also, more fea­ring temporall inconveniences, by occasion of Christs nativity, then rejoycing in the hope of salvation through him.

Vers. 4. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and Sribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

Herod dissembleth his fear, and pretendeth zeal to bring the knowledge of Christ to light, and to this [...]nd he calleth an assem­bly of the church, to enquire what the Scripture spake of the place of his nativity; Then which there could not be any act more plausible to the people, more acceptable unto these stran­gers, or a more specious show of religious respect unto Christ. In Herod we have the portrait of Christs enemies, he dis­sembleth like a crafty fox, waiting for the prey, so do they; He befriendeth the wise men who are seeking Christ, so far as it may serve for his own ends, so do they. He abuseth the church-men and their assembly, calleth for a meeting of the chief priests and Scribes, proponeth questions to be solved, as if he minded to make good use thereof: In speciall, asking of them where Chr [...]st should be born, as if none were readier to serve him then he, mean time he was seeking to find him out to kill him: so do they.

Ver. 5. And they said unto him, In Beth-lehem of Iudea: for thus it is written by the Prophet;

6. And thou Beth-lehem in the land of Iuda, art not the least among the princes of Iuda: for out of thee shall come a Governour that shall rule my people Israel.

The Priests and Scribes of the people assembled, an­swer the question from Scripture. [...]oct. 1. As it is the duty of the church-men to assemble readily, when mat­ters of Religion, and questions concerning Christ are moved in the church; so they ought to determine que­stions, according to the Scripture, without seed or favour: for being conveened, they answer, It is written, in the text cited by the assembly. Matthew and Micah do agree in substance, That albeit Beth-lehem was a small city, of no great wealth nor estimation among the cities of Israel, yet it was not little in effect, but a city of renown; Because in it was born the Governor of Israel, the King and Captain of the Lords people, Christ Jesus. Doct. 1. Scripture con­sisteth [Page 14] not in letters, or syllables, but in sense and meaning for in citations of Scripture here and else-where, the Evange­lists stand not for words, but rest upon the sense. 2. The meanness and baseness of any thing whereof Christ maketh use, should of­fend no man; for He can make a little Beth-lehem the place of his nativity. 3. His presence dignifieth the place, wheresoever he is, for Beth-lehem, how small soever, is not the least city, because Christ is born in it. 4. Christs speciall subjects are the Israel of God, and Christs office is to be a Governour, a Chieftain, and a Guide to the Elect, governing and feeding them; for he shall rule my people Israel, for he shall rule them as a pastor, or shep­herd, doth the word import. 5. God can make use of his foes for the furtherance of his own purpose, whatsoever be their in­tentions; for by the means of Herod, and the Scribes, who were small friends to Christ, Gods purpose for clearing of the fulfil­ling of the prophesie, about the place of Christs nativity is brought about. 6. The Lord can so dispose of means for the benefit of such as are seeking Christ, that if one mean be withholden, another more profitable shall be furnished; For the wise men, though they want the sight of a star for a while, which they saw in the East, verse 2. yet first they are led to Ierusalem, verse 1. and then to the light of the Scripture, in the answer of the Priests, verse 5, 6. that their faith might be builded on Christ, in the or­dinary and surest way: In particular, God doth offer unto them a notable point of light, in the answer of the Priests and Scribes concerning Christs God-head and Eternity. For in the text ci­ted here by the assembly, Micah 5.2. it is written, that Christ his going forth is from of old, from everlasting, which served to teach them, that the Eternalll generation of the Son must al­wayes be remembred, when his being born as a child is spoken of; which could not but be usefull, and comfortable unto them at that time.

Verse 7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star ap­peared.

8 And he sent them to Beth-lehem, and said, Go, and search di­ligently for the young child, and when ye have found him, bring me word againe, that I may come and worship him also.

Herod goeth on to follow his bloudy plot against Christ, and under pretence of a purpose to honour and worship him, he in­tendeth to murther him. Doct. In Herod we see yet more of [Page 15] the wayes of the Enemies of Christ. 1. He carryeth on his de­sign closely, lest any man should smell his intention, so do they. He calleth the wise men privily, so do they. 2. Though he hath learned more of Christ then before, yet because his knowledg is not sanctified, his malice is not abated; therefore the love of earthly things setteth him on to follow his design against Christ so much the more eagerly, and so is it with the crafty politicians of this world. 3. When he hath gained one point about the place of Christs birth, he goeth about to gain another concerning the time of his birth also, that he may draw so much nearer, for the surprizing of Christ: so do they, haling in the cords of their net by parts. 4. He covereth his purpose of mur­ther, under pretence of a purpose to worship Christ; he professeth to have faith in Christ, and to be of the same mind that the wise men are of, and that his resolution is out of the same affection with them to worship him; so do they, draw­ing near in profession of Religion, that they may more easily be­tray. 5. To make all fast, he abuseth the simplicity of Christs friends, and thinketh to make them ignorantly to betray Christ into his hands; So do they, Go search for the child, saith he, and bring me word. 6. Mean time as God blind-folded him in his deepest policy, and suffered not his wicked wit to direct some of his servants, under pretence of convoying the wise men, to go a­long with them, to murther Christ, so doth God disappoint Christs enemies in their deep plots; for it is easie to God to make fools of his foes, when he pleaseth. Herod sent the wise men to search out Christ, but we read of none sent along with them.

Vers. 9. When they had heard the king, they departed, and [...]o, the star which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

Ver. 10. When they saw the star, they rejoyced with exceeding great joy.

The wise men do follow the direction of the Scripture, and go toward Beth-lehem, having (so far as we read) neither convoy, or incouragement of any company. Doct. 1. If we love to find Christ, we must resolve to go after him alone, or in company, either with, or without incouragements from men, as God shall dispose, 2. God is not inlacking to such as are on the way to seek Christ; but will renew directions, and incouragements un­to them, as they stand in need; for the star which for a time disap­peared, now appeareth again to them, for their comfort. 3. What one mean doth not reach, God supplieth by another mean; [Page 16] for the Scripture had told them of Beth-lehem, but had not de­scended so low as the particular house; but God supplieth the rest by the direction of the star, which now goes before them in the way, and stands above the house where our Lord lay. That this star was none of the ordinary, but made of purpose for this particular service, appeareth by the motion of it. 4. These means which do lead a man most certainly unto Christ, should be the matter of his speciall joy: The joy which ariseth from finding of Christ cannot be expressed, for it is said, They rejoyced with ex­ceeding great joy.

Verse 11. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his Mother, and fell downe, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their tres­sures, they presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and mirrhe.

The wise men at length do find Christ, and do not stumble at his outward infirmities, base lodging, or any other thing; but do worship him as their God and Saviour, consecrating them­selves, and all they have to his service. Doct. 1. Such as seek Christ in truth, shall find him at length. 2. Such as beleeve what the Scripture speaks of Christ, will see Christ his God-head in his deepest humiliation, and by faith will pierce through all impediments; therefore was it that they fell down and worshipped the child. 3. Riches, and wisdom, and honour, and all that we have, ought to be laid down at Christs feet, and offered to the service of Christ, as the fountain and owner thereof; for They opened their treasures, and presented unto him gifts, gold, and frankincense, and mirrhe.

Vers. 12. And being warned of God in a dream, that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Now the Lord discovereth Herods plot and disappointeth him. Doct. 1. Wicked men may keep their design against Christ close from the knowledg of men, but cannot hide their counsell from God, he perceiveth Herods mind perfectly. 2. The Lord is watching over the just, and will not suffer their honest simplicity to be so far abused by the enemy, as ignorantly to betray Christ into his enemies hands, therefore he forewarnes these wise men that they should not trust Herod, nor to go toward him any more, but return home another way. 3. Such as beleeve in Christ, the longer they follow him, the more confirmations of faith they find; as here, beside all the former, God giveth this revelation also unto [Page 17] these wise men, and their life also for a prey from the rage of Herod.

Vers. 13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareath to Ioseph in a dream, saying, Arise and take the yong child, and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there, untill I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

The wise men are gone, now Christ is sent away also. Doct. 1. Our Lord was persecuted so soon as he was known in the world, he is sought to be slain, who came to save men; for Herod doth seek to destroy him. 2. He who is the ancient of dayes, the e­verlasting Father, according to his God-head, is called a young child, according to his man-head, as Isai. 9.6. did foretell, for He­rod shall seek the young child. 3. The Lord will have ordinary means used when they may be had: He will save Christ by flight, and will do no miracle needlessely; therfore Go flee into Egypt, saith the Angel. 4. It is safe to wait for the Lord in all things, and to attend his providence; Be thou there till I bring thee word, saith the Angel to Joseph.

Vers. 14. When he arose, he took the young child and his Mother by night, and departed into Egypt.

Joseph obeyeth speedily. Doct. 1. When our direction is clear, our obedience should be speedy, and without delay, as Jo­seph being warned, ariseth by night, and makes for his journey. 2. When Christ is known, he will be more dear then any thing else, for as the child is first in Josephs commission, verse 12. to take care for him, so in his obedience here the child is before the Mother; for it is said, He took the child, and his mother. 3. Any place, if God send us there, if Christ be in our company, is good, even Egypt, for Ioseph departed into Egypt, being sent thither.

Vers. 15. And was there untill the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

That we may see how the prophesie is fulfilled, the meaning of the words of Hosea, is in effect, as if it had been said, O church of Israel, when thou was in thy infancy, I so loved thee, that I brought thee out of Egypt, as my adopted Son, and in thee I called out of Egypt my only begotten Son, who as the promised seed of Abraham, was in thy loynes; and as in thy bondage in Egypt, I intended to fore-shadow and signifie the sufferings of my Son, and his fleeing out of Canaan into [Page 18] Egypt, so also in the calling of thee, my adopted Son out of E­gypt, I intended to fore-shadow and signifie the calling of my only begotten Son out of Egypt, that he should perfect the work of redemption in the midst of the land promised unto thee; yet notwithstanding of all this, thou hast been unthankfull un­to me. Thus Christs going down to Egypt, and bringing back out of it, is a fulfilling of the Prophesie; and withall, this sheweth unto us, that in all the Lords work about Israel, be had a speciall eye upon the promised seed, upon the Messiah, who was to come out of that people, fore-shadowing somthing of him, or accomplishing somthing foresignified of him: There­fore it should not seem strange unto us, that the Evangelists do apply sundry such speeches of the old Prophets unto Christ, who was mainly aimed at, and born witnesse unto in the Law and Prophets.

Ver. 16. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wrath, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Beth-lehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

Now Herod finding himself disappointed, bewrayeth his cru­ell design against Christ. Doct. 1. God turneth the wisdome of his enemies into folly, Now Herod did find himself mocked. 2. Wicked heads do take it hardly, if every instrument whom they imploy, and abuse, do not serve their base designes; for Herod is wroth with the wise men, as if they had mocked him. 3. Ene­mies of Christ when fraud doth fail them, do fall to open rage; now Herod sends forth to slay Christ, if he can find him. 4. Sa­tan and his instruments do labour to overthrow such as are likest unto Christ, if they cannot overtake himself; Therefore Herod causeth to slay all the young children in Beth-lehem, who were nearest in age unto Christ. 5. Wicked men do not reverence Gods providence in disappointing their wicked purposes, but are incensed the more to do mischiefe, as Herods course doth shew here.

Vers. 17. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Ieremiah the Prophet, saying.

18. In Rama was there a voyce heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

The Evangelist applieth to this passage of Gods provi­dence, the words of the Prophet, Ier. 31.15. Who doth fore­tell, [Page 19] that as the captivity of the ten tribes had once made the state of Israel, as it were their mo [...]her, to morne; so should the cala­mity of Israel, make that st [...]e to mourn again, for the mur­ther of so many children in and about Beth-lehem; and yet this comfortlesse sorrow should be swallowed up by the consolations of Christ come into the world, as may be seen Ier. 31. com­paring vers. 15, 16. with 10, 11, 18, 22. in the last of these verses, the incarnation of the Messiah is pointed at expressly. Now this prophesie is here accomplished, Rachel indeed here mourneth, and no consolation can be sufficient to asswage this sorrow, ex­cept that consolation only which cometh by the Gospel, and by the incarnation of the Son of God. Doct. 1. It is a good way for making use of Gods providence, to compare events with the predictions of Gods word, and to mark where we see accom­plishment answerable, that we may say with the Evangelist, Thus is it fulfilled what the Lord hath spoken. 2. The troubles of the Lords people are foreseen, and weighed in a ballance, and comfort is prapared for them; for the weeping of Rachel is foretold of the Lord before it come, and consolation is pre­pared for it in Christ, as the place in Ieremiah cited giveth evi­dence.

Vers. 19. But when Herod was dead, behold, an Angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Ioseph in Egypt.

20. Saying, Arise and take the young child, and his mother, and go into the land of Israel, for they are dead which sought the yong childes life.

Now Joseph is called back from Egypt. Doct. 1. The Lord doth remember his owne in trouble, to comfort them in due season; for so soon as Herod dieth, the Angel carrieth news. 2. The death of Persecutors is the delivery of the persecuted, therefore saith the Angel, Arise, for he is dead that sought the Childes life.

Vers. 21. And he arose, and took the the young child, and his mo­ther, and came into the land of Israel.

22. But when he heard that Archelaus did reign in Iudea, in the room of his father Herod, he was affraid to go thither: notwith­standing, being warned of God in a dream, he turned aside into the parts of Galilee.

Joseph is affraid of Archelaus, and is delivered of his fear. Doct. 1. No wonder the Children of wicked parents be suspe­cted, till their regeneration appear; therefore Joseph is af­fraid of Archelaus Herods Son, that he shall be father-like, or [Page 20] father-worse. 2. When God will comfort a man, he removeth one doubt as well as another, as this fear is removed by another revelation from heaven. 3. The Lords warrant and clear dire­ction doth quiet the mind; Therefore Ioseph being warned by the Angel, turned aside into Galilee.

Vers. 23. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shal be cal­led a Nazarene.

In Christs abode at Nazareth, The Evangelist observeth Gods providence, intending therby that he should be called a Nazarite, that is, one separate from sinners. Sundry types of Christ did foresignifie and promise that he should be called in­deed a Nazarite, or one separate, for Joseph is called the Na­zarite of his brethren, or one separate from his brethren, Gen. 29.26. first in regard of the measure of love which his Father bare unto him; next, he is separate from his brethren, in regard they sold him unto the Gentiles; and thirdly, he is separate in Gods providence from his brethren, that he might prepare a place for them, and preserve the life of his owne people: in Jo­seph was Christ sore-shadowed, and promised to be such a Na­zarite, separate in all these respects. Again in the typicall law of the Nazarite, Numb. 6. it is foresignified that Christ should be separate from sinners, and dedicate unto holinesse, dead unto the pomp and pleasure of this world: that he should be the or­nament and flower of Religion, and the true pattern of piety to all the Israel of God. Moreover in the type of Samson it is foresignified, Iudg. 13.15. That Christ should from his birth be a Nazarite unto God; who by his power and sufferings, should overcome his enemies, and bring delivery to Israel: Now Christ his dwelling at Nazareth, and his being called a Naza­rene from his dwelling, was a fit mean to call to mens minde the perfections of the Nazarite in him, and to make them see the accomplishment of the foresaid prophesies in him: And therefore doth the Evangelist mark the providence of God, in directing his dwelling to be in this little town Naza­reth, whereby occasion might be given to all men, to observe and perceive in Christ, the fulfilling of the prophecies, which foretold, that he should be really a Nazarite. Doct. Whensoever we hear him called Iesus of Nazareth, let us re­member that he is that true Nazarite, that promised pleasant Plant, that Holy One of Israel, separate from sinners; the true Deliverer of Israel from their enemies, who hath broken the [Page 21] bars of death, and hell, and by his death hath overcome the di­vell, and accomplished everything, which in the types were fore­shadowed of him.


The Evangelist passeth over our Saviours life in private, and i [...]ts down how John the Baptist, by his Ministry, as the forerunner of our Lord, doth prepare the way for the receiving of him, to vers. 13. How Christ by him is baptized, and how Christ is magnified from heaven, in his entry into his publike office.

Vers. 1. IN those dayes came Iohn the Baptist, preaching in the wildernesse of Iudea.’

WHile Christ is dwelling at Nazareth in Galilee, at the time appointed of God, John Baptist is sent forth to preach in the wildernesse of Judea, that is, in the Mure lands, and Hilly countrey of Judea: John is called the Baptist, because he was the first that did baptize; her [...]by distinguishing him from John the Apostle. Doct. 1. God hath set times wherein he will have every thing which was foretold to come to passe, therefore it is said, In those dayes; to wit, of which Isaiah did speak, chap. 40 3. while Christ is dwelling at Nazareth, this appointed work is done. 2. How basely soever the world count of preaching, yet is it the onely ordinary way to prepare souls for receiving of Christ; Therefore it is said, Iohn came preaching. 3. It is in Gods choice to send the preachers of the Gospel, to what place he will, for John is sent to preach in the wildernesse of Judea, and not in Jerusalem.

Vers. 2. And saying, Repent ye, for the kingdome of heaven is at hand.

The summe of Johns preaching was to move men to repent, because the kingdome of Gods grace offered in the Gospel, was now ready to receive the penitent. Doct. 1. The Gospel finds men mad, and out of their wits, in an evill way; when it is sent [Page 22] unto them, they are men who must return to their wits, as the o­riginall of the word repent importeth. 2. The end of the preach­ing of the gospel is to perswade men unto repentance, for repent is Johns main scope. 3. The grace of God offered in the gospel is in effect the Kingdome of heaven, for it opens the way unto it, and entreth the man not only in the right, but also in the be­gun possession of the Kingdome of heaven. 4. There can be no greater allurement to move a man to change his evill course, and turn unto God, then the offer made unto the penitent, of the Kingdome of grace and glory through Christ: for this is the motive which John useth, saying, Repent, for the Kingdome of hea­ven is near. 5. Both ability and exercise of repenting, is brought about by the preaching and power of the gospel; for to beget both, John is sent to preach this doctrine, saying, Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

Vers. 3. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voyce of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

Johns calling and authority to preach, is described to be from heaven, according to the prophesie past of him, Isay 40.3. Doct. 1. The calling and authority of a preacher is chiefly to be looked unto, that he take not this honour to himselfe, but be called ther­to warrantably, for Matthew here sheweth the warrant of John his calling out of Isaiah. 2. A called preacher should labour that the heart of the hearers be prepared for more and more lively re­ceiving of Christ; for this is Johns scope, to prepare the way of the Lord. 3. He should not keep silence, but in open audience dis­charge his commission plainly, not in obscure or high termes: fully, keeping back nothing of the Lords revealed counsell, and boldly, not fearing what flesh can do unto him; for this much is imported in Johns crying voyce. 4. He should labour to bring down the pride of impenitent hearers, and to lift up the dejected soul of such as in the sense of their sin and unworthines dare not beleeve; for this is to make the Lord his pathes straight, injoyned by John.

Vers. 4. And the same Iohn had his raiment of camels haire, and a leathern girdle about his loyns, and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

He sheweth the austerity of Johns way and manner of living, fitted for his extraordinary commission. Doct. 1. Such as the Lord doth call to the Ministry, he fitteth them unto the work, and unto the times wherein he doth imploy them: such austerity was [Page 23] fit, in a Nazarite, sent forth to waken a world besotted in secu­rity. 2. Ministers in their outward manner of living, should so behave themselves, as loast exception may be taken against them, and as their work in their hand may be most advanced; for so did John Baptist.

Vers. 5. Then went out to him Ierusalem and all Iudea, and all the region round about Iordan,

6. And were baptized of him in Iordan, confessing their sins.

As for the successe of Johns Ministry, there is no small con­fluence of the people unto him. Doct. 1. When the Lord min­deth to fish soules, he can make them swim thick about the net of the gospel; for all Judea went out to Johns Baptism. 2. It is not unusuall to the Scripture, to take All, for all sorts and ranks of people, all Iudea, and all the Region, for all sorts of people, out of Judea and the Region about Jordan. 3. Mini­sters in receiving in of members of the church, must be content with the profession of repentance and faith, joyned with submission to the ordinances, and not pry in narrowly on their hearts and consciences, for John did not take auricular or parti­cular confession of sins, it was impossible, the multitudes coming to baptism being so great, but such as confessed their sins in gene­rall, and desired Baptism, were admitted by him, and baptized in the river, whether by sprinkling water on them, or dipping them, the word doth not determine, for it is so large as to give room to either; but that it was sprinkling, is most likely, for thus most con­veniently so great multitudes could be baptized of John confessing their sins.

Vers. 7. But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadduces come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

This is a speciall Sermon in the peoples audience, directed by John to the Pharisees, (the most precise sect among the Jews, who sought to be justified by their works) and to the Saddu­ces, (the most licencious sect of the whole, who beleeved nei­ther resurrection of the body, nor immortality of the soul) wherein John exhorteth them to uprightness, and bringing forth of good fruits by five reasons: The first is, Ye have been hitherto wicked vipers, and it is a wonder that ye are fled from wrath, therefore now bring forth good fruits, verse 7, 8. Doct. 1. How powerfull is the preaching of truth, when the Lord is pleased to blesse the same, for here many even of the Pharisees [Page 24] and Sadduces came to Johns Baptism. 2. Such as professe to beleeve the word, and to repent of their sins, to submit to Gods or­dinances, cannot be excluded from entring into the society of the church, for John doth not exclude these Pharisees and Saddu­ces, the worst of men, from entring into the christian church by Baptisme, of whom he could have no more but profession of faith and repentance. 3. Notorious sinners may and should, in their receiving into the church, after any pollution by scandal, be put in mind of their former evill life, that they may be humbled the more, and be more holy for time to come: for John doth not stand to call these Pharisees Generation of Vipers, which is the name of the worst sort of serpents. 4. It is a rare thing to see sectaries converted; for John wondereth at their coming, and saith, Who hath forewarned you to flee? 5. Wrath doth fol­low on all the wicked, who either live Belly-gods and Epicures, as the Sadduces; or do seek to be justified by their own works, as the Pharisees; for who hath forewarned you, saith he, to flee from the wrath to come; 6. Coming to Christ and subjection to his ordinances is the way to eschew wrath: for that here is cal­led Flying from wrath. 7. When Gods glory, peoples edifi­cation, and salvation do require that publick faults should be publickly rebuked, then the credit of the party to be repro­ved, is not to be stood upon; for John doth not stand in this case, to brand these too much esteemed sectaries, with the stile of Generation of Vipers, to the end they may be humbled, and the people drawn off the following of their former erroneous courses.

Ver. 8. Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance.

John having admitted these Pharisees and Sadduces into the church by Baptism, now he instructeth them as disciples. Doct. 1. The severity of the faithfull pastor should be mixed with love and care, to have men saved; for John so reproveth what is by­past, as he giveth them direction for time to come, saying, Bring forth fruits. 2. Men must not be secluded or suspended too long from the society of the visible church, but upon their profession of repentance, and faith in Christ, and subjection unto his ordi­nances, must be admitted, and then commanded to prove them­selves sincere, by such fruits as may evidence the truth of their re­pentance: for so doth John, saying, Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.

Verse. 9. And think not to say within your selves; We have Abraham to our father, for I say unto you, [Page 25] that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abra­ham.

The second reason: I assure you, least you deceive your selfe, that the prerogative of being Abrahams children, will not avail you, except you be sincere children, carefull to do good works, therefore Bring forth fruits. Doct. 1. Carnall confiden­ces are great impediments unto true repentance, and must be renounced by such as would be found sincere: Therefore saith John, Thinke not to say within your selves, we have A­braham to our Father. 2. Gods promises unto the children of Abraham may be fulfilled, and yet all such of the children of his flesh, as are profane, may be cut off: for John saith, Think not to say, Abraham is our father. 3. Rather then God should not perform his promise, he will work miracles, he will convert such as there is no more hope of, then of stones; for John saith, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto A­braham.

Verse. 10. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therfore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewen down and cast into the fire.

A third reason: If you be barren, or bear ill fruits, you shall be cut down and perish; Therefore bring forth good fruits. Doct. 1. When the Gospel is preached, as mercy is of­fered, so destruction should be most severely threatned, if use be not made of the Gospel; this is Johns way, saying, Now also is the ax laid to the root of the trees. 2. The preach­ing of the Gospel of Gods mercy, requireth, of such as imbrace the faith, necessarily a holy life and good fruits. 3. Such as professe to receive the Gospel, and do not study to bring forth good fruits, shall perish; for it is written, Every tree that bringetth not forth good fruit, is hewen down and cast into the fire.

Verse 11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he that cometh after me, is mightier then I, whose shoes I am not wor­thy to bear: he shall baptize you with the holy-Ghost, and with fire.

A fourth reason: Beside this outward Baptisme of water by me, you must have another Baptism of the Spirit by Christ: There­fore seek after it, that you may bring forth good fruits; wher­in John abaseth himself, and cryeth up Christ. Doct. 1. Out­ward Baptism is indeed Gods ordinance, yet it is not to be re­sted on, but a further baptism is to be sought after; therefore [Page 26] saith John, I baptize indeed with water, but, &c. 2. The more a man be in estimation for his office or gifts, the more need had he to keep him within his own bounds, in a due distance from Christ, and not to incroach upon his Masters glory: for so doth John here, understanding that some of the people had too high estimation of him, I baptize you with water, saith he, but he that cometh after me is mightier then I. 3. The proper ele­ment of Baptisme, is not oyl, salt, or spittle, but onely water, and no other thing, therefore John saith, I baptize with water. 4. One of the ends of baptism, is to seal up the covenant of repentance; whereby the party baptized may be obliged to fol­low the course of repentance, and may also have the promise of God, for furnishing grace to repent, sealed unto them also, therefore saith John, I baptize you UNTO REPEN­TANCE. 5. The more knowledge a man hath of CHRIST, the lower will he abase himself before him, and exalt Christ the higher, this moveth John to say, He that cometh after me, is mightier then I, &c. 6. The most excellent of men are not worthy of the meanest imployment of service to Christ, that is it which John saith, Whose shooes I am not worthy to bear. 7. There is a two fold baptism, one of water poured upon the body by the Minister, another of the Spirit, poured forth upon a mans soul by Christ, and these two may be in time distingui­shed; for John saith, I baptize with water, but he shall bap­tize with the holy Ghost. 8. Whosoever are baptized inwardly by the Holy Spirit, are also baptized with fire, that is, by a more penetrative power and vertue, then what water at first doth show; which vertue must go through the whole man, unto through mortification of sin; that is it which by way of explanation is imported, when he saith, with the holy Ghost and with fire, taking baptism by fire here, not for any extraordinary gift of mi­racles, but for that which is common to the Regenerate.

Vers. 12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner: but he wil burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

A fifth reason: Though now the fruitfull, and unfruitfull be joyned one with another in the visible church, as chaff and corn are mixed on the floor, yet Christ will sever the one from the other, and will take the Fruitfull to Heaven, and will cast the unfruitfull in hell. Therefore Bring forth good fruits. Doct. 1. The visible church is like a corn floor, wherein good and bad, as chaff and corn are mixed together, for so doth the compa­rison [Page 27] import. 2. Christ as the perfect Husband man will so se­ver the one from the other, that not one of the wicked shall be in company of the Godly; for, He will throughly purge his floor. 3. Christ hath means at hand to make the separation: he hath his word, and church-censures, and afflictions, and trials, by persecution, and death, and the day of judgment, when he shall fully perfect the separation; for his Fan in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor. 4. The upright and Fruit­full shall be gathered unto heaven, the unfruitfull as chaff e cast in hell, not one of the Godly shall perish, not one of the wick­ed shall escape perdition, for he will gather his wheat, and burn the chaff.

Ver. 13. Then cometh Iesus from Galilee to Iordan unto Iohn to be baptized of him.

The second part of the chapter concerning Christs baptisme, wherein first we mark a providence of Christs education, in an­other part of the country then John Baptist lived in; where Johns commission to baptize in the name of Jesus appeareth to be divine so much the more, that our Lord and he had never seen one ano­ther in the face before now, not till now Christ cometh from Galilee to Jordan. 2. Our Lord was pleased to be baptized for his own reasons; namely, that he might countenance and blesse his ordinance unto us, as he did circumcision unto the Jews, and that he might present himself among sinners as our surety, and offer himself to the father to be baptized with the baptism of affli­ction for our ransome.

Ver. 14. But Iohn forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

This offer of Christ to be baptized astonied John so far, as he forbade Christ to be baptized, in regard he knew Christ needed not baptisme. Doct. 1. The clearest sighted of Gods Servants do not see the deep of the Lords work, till he reveal it; therefore was it that at first John refused to baptize Christ. 2. Albeit it be sufficient to be once baptized out­wardly, yet baptism of the spirit must be renewed frequently: for John already indued with the holy spirit in an eminent mea­sure, saith; I have need to be baptized, that is, yet again to re­ceive a larger measure of this baptism: yea the more of this grace is bestowed upon any man, the more is he sensible of his need, and desirous of a further measure of it, for none more holy then John, and none more desirous to be more holy then John, I have need to be baptized, saith he. 3. Christ is the despenser of the [Page 28] Inward baptism of the spirit, I have need, (saith John) to be baptized of thee. 4. When Christs excellency, and his low dis­mission of himselfe are compared, it is a wonderfull thing to the beholder; therefore saieth John by way of wondring, Comest thou to me?

Vers. 15. And Iesus answering, said unto him, suffer it to be so now, for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness. Then he suffe­red him.

Christ will have John to consider the time of his Lords humi­liation, and what belonged to them both in regard of their office. Doct. 1. Some things were necessary to be done by Christ in the time of his humiliation, which otherwise was unbeseeming the dignity of his person; Therefore, saith Christ, suffer it be so now. 2. It is a thing both right and comely for each man to do what his calling requireth; for, It becometh us to fulfill all righteousness, saith Christ. 3. When the Lord maketh his will clear unto us, we should renounce our wil, and follow his, whatsoever blind zeal, or carnal humility shall speak to the contra­ry; for when John was informed of Christs mind, then he suffe­red him.

Verse 16. And Iesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him.

As Baptism was the figure of death unto Christ, so his speedy coming upon dry land, did fitly foreshadow, that he could not be holden long of death, Therefore it is marked, That straight way he went up out of the water. Now after his Baptism, three wonders do appear: The first, a vision of the opening of the Heavens towards Christ, and to him, to shew, that as he came down from Heaven, so he should return unto it, and that Hea­ven closed against us is made open through him unto these for whom he presented himself upon Baptism: The next wonder is, The Spirit of God descended like a dove, and lighted unto him, by this visible sign of his presence, shewing, that Christ is that meek and gentle One, that innocent and harmlesse One, that most loving and lovely dove, in whom the Holy Spirit hath his con­stant residence; in and through whom alone, we are to receive of the gifts of the Spirit, and out of his fulness grace for grace: of this wonder it is said, that he, meaning John Baptist, saw this, to wit, in a more speciall manner, then the rest of the multitude: for this was the sign promised unto John, Iohn 1, 31, 32, 33. [Page 29] whereby he should be certified of the person of the true Mes­siah.

Ver. 17. And lo, a voyce from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.

Now followeth the third wonder, unto the observation wher­of we are stirred up by a new Lo, or Behold; for we are dull to conceive heavenly things. 2. Beause we cannot conceive what the Lord doth, except he declare his mind by his word, A voyce speaketh from Heaven. 3. Of this man, now bapti­zed, and demonstrated by the glory of the opened Heaven shi­ning on him, and by the residence of the holy Ghost upon him, in the similitude of a dove, the Father saith, This is my Son, to wit, my Son, properly so called, my native and only begotten Son by eternall Generation: This is he who from all eternity was with God the Father, and was God, John. 1. 1. and who, Heb. 1, 2, 3. is called, The brightness of the Fathers glory, and the expresse image of his person. 4. The Father testifieth of this person, that he is his beloved Son, beloved in a singular way, as his Native Son; Beloved for himselfe and for his pro­per worth, being God and Man in one person. 5. God lo­veth Christ, and is well pleased with him, as he standeth in our room; for as he stood now in his office of the Mediator and surety for us, offering himself for us unto death in Baptism, the Father was well pleased and satisfied with him, as with a per­fect ransome for our redemption; beside or above which he cra­ved no more, but rested so fully contented with the Son, and with all these in whose name he did offer himself, that he made open proclamation of it from Heaven, saying, This is my belo­ved Son in whom I am well pleased: The demonstrative particle in the originall twice repeated, importeth as much, as he is that Son, that beloved One by way of Excellency, to wit, that Son spoken of in Paradise, shadowed forth in the sacrifices and o­ther figures of the Law, prophesied of by the Prophets, and de­clared by them to be Iehovah our righteousness, and waited for by all the Faithfull before his coming, as the consolation of Israel, namely the consolation of such as were baptized by John for salvation in him: and thus we have the glorious mystery of the Trinity most clearly revealed: for the eter­nall Father, the first Person, by a voyce from heaven speaketh of his eternall Son now incarnate, the second Person; and the Spi­rit of God the third Person, proceeding from the Father and the, Son, descendeth in the similitude of a Dove, [Page 30] all three thus distinguished, remaining One infinite and undi­vided, God blessed for ever, Amen. By this also we have the covenant of Redemption laid open to us, for The Son incarnate offereth here himself Redeemer, and suerty for the Elect, to be baptized unto death, The Father accepteth the offer, and decla­reth himself well pleased in him; and so it resteth, that wee (be­ing unable to pay our debts by our selves, or to do any thing of ourselves, which may please God, or profit our souls) betake our selves unto Christ, who is surety for all those who come unto him.


Our Lord prepares himself for his publick Ministry by a conflict with Satan: to vers. 12. Then re­turning unto Galilee, he taketh up his dwel­ling at Capernaum, and preacheth the Gospel vers. 17. calleth four Apostles, vers. 23. and manifesteth his power in the miracu­lous manner of relieving all sort of miserable persons.

Vers. 1. THen was Iesus led up of the spirit into the wildernesse to be tempted of the divel.’

AFter that our Lord is baptized, and publickly installed in his office, he is moved by the spirit, to enter the lifts with Sa­tan and his temptations. Doct 1. The experience of temp­tations is a fit preparation for a profitable discharge of the holy Ministry, for this exercise was a sitting of Christ unto his of­fice. 2. All men are subject to temptations, and no man nee­deth to be discouraged for them: for even Christ our Lord was tempted, and that to the end he might conquer Satan, who had overcome us, and might give us also the victory over him, and comfort in all our temptations, while wee behold the pow­er of holinesse in him, who neither had sin in him, nor could be drawn by temptation unto sin. 3. Whatsoever exercise we go about, especially where hazard and danger appeareth, we [Page 31] should be sure to have warrant for our ingaging: for even Christ went not into the wildernesse to be tempted, but as he was led of the holy spirit, dy [...]ing unto him what belonged unto his calling.

Ver. 2. And when he had fasted forty dayes and forty nights, he was afterwards an hungred.

In every part of our Lords humiliation, he lets out some spark of his God-head, that when he is seen to be Man, he may be known to be God also, he will fast, and uphold himself with­out meat or drink forty dayes and forty nights, not only to ful­fill what the type of Moses, and Elias their fasting did foresha­dow of him, but also as the Son of God, to shew forth his divine power, able to sustain the humane nature under every burthen which the Father should lay upon it. 2. Whatsoever power it plea­sed our Lord to put forth in his humane nature, yet did he not abolish the verity thereof, but did keep unto it all the naturall pro­perties; and in the time of his humiliation did subject it also to all common, and sinlesse humane infirmities: Therefore having so miraculously sustained himself so long a time, He afterwards, was an hungred.

Vers. 3. And when the tempter came to him, be said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.

The temptations and assaults of Satan are three; The first to provide for his bodily wants by an unlawfull mean, for to work a miracle at Satans direction, was not a lawfull mean of provi­ding food to himself. Doct. 1. No wonder men find them­selves daily solicited by Satan unto sin; For Satans stile, from his continuall practice, is the Tempter, and it is his trade to tempt. 2. It is possible that such as God doth love dearly may be troubled with bodily apparitions of Satan; for the Tempter is permitted to appear to Christ himself, and to speak to him. 3. It is no wonder to find Satan calling in question the Adopti­on or Regeneration of any of Gods children, for he dare call in question the Son-ship of the Son of God, notwithstanding that within few dayes before this, the Father and the Holy Spirit from heaven had born witnesse in open sight and audience unto it, If thou be the Son of GOD, saith he. 4. Satan sits his temptations unto mens present case and condition; for, Christ being hungry is tempted to provide bread, in a way which the tempter doth prescribe. 5. In tempting, Satan pretends to be careful of helping the tempted party to a better condition; for here [Page 32] he will seem desirous both to have bread provided for Christ in his need, and also to see him made manifest to be the Son of God by such a miracle; for he saith, If thou be the Son of God, com­mand these stones to be made bread. 6. Satans temptations are moe then once, a number linked together, for here he tempts first to misbeleeve the word of God lately spoken of him: then to sus­pect and doubt of his Fathers provident care over him; Thirdly to provide for himself by indirect means; Fourthly, to abuse his, power of working miracles, in taking directions from Satan, and committing such like other sins.

Ver. 4. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Our Lord answereth this temptation by Scripture. Doct. 1. Satans temptations must not be neglected, but carefully answered, and that by Scripture, as the only mean to over­come him; for, It is written, saith Christ. 2. Howsoe­ver God hath appointed means of entertaining mens life, yet the power of sustaining life is not in the means, but in Gods pow­erfull word, or commanded blessing, conveyed by means, or without means, as he pleaseth; for, Man lives not by bread only, but by every word that cometh out of his mouth. 3. Seeing means of life, albeit we had them, cannot avail us, except God give his blessing, we should attempt nothing about them without Gods warrant; for else we do offend God, and provoke him to withdraw his blessing; this is the reason why Christ rejecteth the temptation, by this Scripture, saying, Man liveth not by bread, &c.

Ver. 5. Then the divel taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinacle of the temple,

6. And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thy selfe down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee, and in their hands they shall bear thee up, least at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

The first temptation being rejected by Scripture, Satan ma­keth a new assault, and pretendeth Scripture in his second temp­tation. Doct. 1. Albeit Satan get the foil, yet he will set on a­gain. 2. God may give Satan so far power over the body of one whom he loveth dearly, as to carry it out of one place to another, for Satan is permitted to transport Christs body from the wil­derness to the city, and to lift it up, upon a pinacle of the Temple. 3. Satans power in this kind is limited, so as he cannot hurt, [Page 33] nor molest further, then he is limited: He may lift up Christs body on a pinacle of the Temple, but he hath no power to cast him down. 4. Where the ordinances of God are, and where he promiseth his Presence, that Place and that Society, is to be accounted holy, albeit many of the People in that Place and So­ciety be defiled. Jerusalem, though defiled now exceedingly, yet retaineth the name of the holy city. 5. Satan will readily presse the same point by sundry means, and crave unreasonable proofs of a mans adoption one after another: for the second time he saith, If thou be the Son of God. 6. As Satan tempteth at one time to use unlawfull means to preserve life, so at another time he will tempt a man to neglect means of preserving life: at one time he will tempt us to distrust Gods care of our preservation, at another time to presume upon Gods care, without a warrant; yea sometime he will tempt a man to put hand in his own life, and will colour it with some pretence; for, Cast thy selfe down, &c saith he. 7. Satan can transforme himselfe into an Angel of light, and pretend Scripture for his temptation, It is written, saith he. 8. When Satan citeth Scriptures, he wrests the mea­ning, or hides the word which might shew the meaning; for Psalm 92.11, 12. It is said, The Lord shall keep thee in all thy wayes, that is, in thy warrantable walking: Satan keeps up these words.

Ver. 7. Iesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Christ answereth the second temptation by Scripture also. Doct. 1. We must not esteem the lesse of Scripture, albeit Sa­tan, and his instruments do abuse it; but with the same wea­pons must we fight against Satan still, and oppose a clear place of Scripture unto such places as the Tempter blowes mist upon; for, It is written again, saith our Lord. 2. We should not de­sire God to give any extraordinary proofs of his care towards us, when he hath after an ordinary manner provided means for our safety; neither should we limit the Lord in any thing: for this is the meaning of Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 3. What the Scripture speaks indifferently to all, it is to be estee­med as spoken to every singular person, and the singular per­sons are to be accounted as written in the writing of the generall [...] for upon this ground, Christ saith, It is written, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God, Because Deut. 6.16. it is written, Ye shall not tempt your God. 4. Christ as our surety did subject himselfe unto the law, and therefore he doth apply the prcepts [Page 34] to himself no less then to us; for he saith of himself, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord.

Ver. 8. Again, the Divel taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the Kingdomes of the world, and the glory of them.

9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, If thou wilt fall down and worship me.

This is the third temptation whereunto Satan doth make way, by shewing the glory of the Kingdomes of the World, from a high mountain, whence many Towns, Castles, and fruitfull Fields might be seen, as the compend and example of all the kingdomes of the world, which have nothing in them, but a greater quantity of what may be seen in one place of one King­dom. Doct. 1. Satan will not give over the conflict, till he have made triall of all sorts of temptations; after the former essayes, Satan wil now tempt Christ with the offer of gain and glory, All these, saith he, will I give thee. 2. Satan labours to have a man in love with the bait of Riches and Honour, ere he utter a tem­ptation, and to have the bait speaking ere the temptation speak: for before he speaks to Christ, He sheweth him all the Kingdomes of the world. 3. Satan will make fair offers of what he cannot perform; for the saith, All these things will I give to thee. 4. The children of God may be tempted with the vilest and most blasphemous suggestions that Satan can devise: for this un­cleane Spirit dare tempt the Son of God to the vilest idolatry, and dare say to Christ, fall down and worship me. 5. When Satan mindes to make a man a slave to sin, and to ruine him for ever, he will crave but one act of sin as a very small thing, and that un­der hope of great advantage: therefore he saith, All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me, or kneel to me.

Verse 10. Then saith Iesus unto him, Get thee hence Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

The Lord abhorring the blasphemy of the proud and unclean Spirit, rebuketh him, and answereth the temptation by Scripture. Doct. 1. A bold temptation should have a peremptory answer, and that confirmed by Scripture, as here, Get thee hence, &c. saith Christ. 2. As well religious service, as religious worship is due to God only: God will not permit either of them to be gi­ven to Saint or Angel, or any creature; for him only shalt thou serve 3. Whatsoever is the true sense and intent of any passage of [Page 35] Scripture, it is to be accounted of, as if it were expressly written; for, because Deut. 6.13. it is said, Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him: Christ saith, it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and serve him only.

Ver. 11. Then the divel leaveth him, and behold, angels came and ministred unto him.

Thus our Lord hath overcome Satan in our name, and shown to us the way how to fight against, and overcome the Adversary. Doct. 1. Satan being resisted doth flee; for it is written here, Then the divel leaveth him. 2. The grief and vexation which cometh by temptation, shall be recompensed with consolation, after the con­flict and victory; for, Angels do come and minister unto Christ, after his combate

Ver. 12. Now when Iesus had heard that Iohn was cast into pri­son, he departed into Galilee.

Upon the hearing of John Baptists imprisonment, Christ go­eth unto Galilee. Doct. 1. Faithfull Ministers must resolve for persecution; for, Iohn Baptist is cast in prison. 2. All Prea­chers of the Gospel are not imprisoned at once; for when John is in prison, Christ is free. 3. Persecution of the Ministers of the Gospel, is a forerunner of Christs departing from a land; for when word came of Johns imprisonment, Christ de­parted from Judea, and went into Galilee.

Ver. 13. And leaving Nazareth, he came and dwelt in Caperna­um, which is upon the seacoast, in the borders of Zabulon and Naph­thali:

14. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the Prophet, saying,

15. The land of Zabulon, and the land of Naphthali, by the way of the sea, beyond Iordan, Gal [...]lee of the Gentiles.

16. The people which sate in darkness, saw great light, and to them which sate in the region and shadow if death, light is sprung up.

Christ being now come into Galilee, fleeth from Nazareth to Capernaum. Doct. 1. Christ will not be tyed unto any place, though he be brought up at Nazareth, he will leave it for his own reasons, and come, and dwell at Capernaum. 2. Our Lord in all things had respect to Scripture, to fulfill what was foretold in it: Even this change of place was made, that the Prophesie of Esaiah might be fulfilled by this means: In which prophesie, to comfort the church against the desolation to be made in the land by the enemy, Isaiah doth foretell that [Page 36] in that part of the countrey where the desolation began, that is, in the land of Zabulon and Nephthali, there Christ should begin the consolation of the church, in preaching of the gospel; and now our Lord performeth this. 3. The people that lie in their sins, without the saving knowledg of the gospel, are indeed in great darkness, and under the power of death. 4. Whatsoe­ver sin or misery people be under, the preaching of the gospel is able to relieve them; therefore it is called, A great light, A light sprung up to them, when Christ preacheth the gospel among them.

Vers. 17. From that time Iesus began to preach, and to say, Re­pent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Christ had preached before in the time of Johns freedome, and made mo [...] disciples then he, Iohn 3.26. but now he begins in this country side, and shews himself more powerfull then be­fore. Doctr. 1. When his gospel is opposed, and his servants persecuted, he can let forth his light and power so much the more, and can supply the inlack of instruments; therefore it is said, From that time he began to preach. 2. Christs doctrine, and the doctrine of his faithfull servants, is all one in substance; the sum of John Baptists preaching and Christs is all one, for both preach­ed in substance, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. 3. When the gospel cometh, it findeth men under the tyranny of Sa­tan; for the offer to bring them in into the kingdom of God, im­porteth this.

Vers. 18. And Iesus walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, (for they were fishers)

19. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fish­ers of men.

20. And they straight way left their nets, and followed him.

21. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, Iames the son of Zebedee, and Iohn his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets, and he called them;

22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and fol­lowed him.

Christ calleth Apostles, first two, then other two Brethren. Doct. 1. In the calling of these Apostles may be seen the care which our Lord hath to provide Ministers for his church. 2. None should intrude himself into the Office, but should expect Christs calling, as these Disciples did. 3. Such as Christ doth [Page 37] call, he doth furnish them with all furniture for the calling and promiseth unto them good successe; for, I will make you fishers of men, saith he. 4. Such as are called to the Ministry, must neither refuse pains nor perill to save souls, but must go about their work with as great desire to convert men, and as great pru­dence to bring them in, as fishers go about their work; for, I will make you fishers of men. 5. When Christ doth call his cho­sen instruments, he calls them with power of perswasion, and overpowers all opposition and impediments; for, Straightway they leave their nets, and follow him. 6. His calling of them by Couples, and those also Bretheren, giveth us to understand, that the worke of the Ministry requireth the concurrence of more hands, and no lesse affection among them, then among Brethren. 7. His calling of so mean men as fishers, sheweth the freedome of his grace in choosing of instruments; manifesteth the power of his kingdom, who by such weak means can subdue the world; and declareth the depth of his wisdom, who provides so for his own honour, that the instrument shall not carry away the glory of the work.

Vers. 23. And Iesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease among the people.

24. And his fame went thoughout all Syria: and tey brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases, and tor­ments, and those which were possessed with divets, and those which were lunatick, and those that had a palsie, and he healed them.

25. And there followed him great multitudes of people from Ga­lilee, and from Decapolis, and from Ierusalem, and from Iude [...], and from beyond Iordan.

Here is the diligence of our Lord in his office, with the great power of his God-head manifesting it selfe. Doct. 1. How painfull should Ministers be, in seeking out lost sheep within their bounds, when they hear that Christ went about all Gali­lee▪ 2. The means of conversion of souls is the preaching of the Gospel, however men esteem of it; for, He went about teaching and preaching. 3. The speciall opportunity of preach­ing is, when people are conveened in the ordinary place appoin­ted for religious exercises; for, Christ preached in their Syna­gogues, 4. The Gospel is a matter of highest concernment, It is the Gospel of the kingdome, of that incomparable kingdom of [Page 38] heaven, which by the gospel is revealed to men, and offered unto men, by which gospel men get right and title unto the kingdome, yea heirs of the Kingdome, and whereby men are governed and led on unto the full possession of the Kingdome. 5. Albeit our LORDS doctrine needed no confirmation, because it is the Truth of the everliving GOD, yet our weak faith needeth confirmation, therfore Christ strengtheneth the weak faith of such, as at first did not perceive Christ to be the Son of GOD, he was graciously pleased to let forth the evidence of his God-head, soveraign power and goodnesse, in working miracles, and those all profitable miracles; such as might lead men to seek the reliefe of the maladies of the soul, from him, who was healing all manner of sicknesse, and all manner of diseases among the people. 6. The first report of Christs grace is very ta­king: the savour of his grace, as of precious ointment, did in the beginning of his preaching of the gospel affect the gentiles, and drew them to seek after him; for, his fame went through all Syria. 7. Such as find need of Christs help, and do beleeve to be relieved by him, will spare no pains, but seek him where they may find him; for, there followed him great multitudes. 8. When it pleaseth our Lord to let forth his power, he can gather multitudes after him, and make up his church out of all sorts of people, from all places, as he pleaseth; for, They follow him from Galilee, from Decapolis, &c.


Christ his Sermon on the mount is set down in this, and the two chapters following: In this our Lord giveth evident marks of the blessednesse of faithfull disciples, to vers. 12. he instructeth the Apostles in their duty, to 17. and exponeth the law otherwise then the Pharisees did.

Vers. 1. ANd seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountains and when he was set, his disciples came unto him.

2. And he opened his mouth and saught them, saying.

[Page 39]IN these two verses is set down, how Christ fitted himself, and the auditors for the Sermon. Doct. 1. The Lord hath respect to the multitudes, and p [...]ieth their misery: This is the seeing of the multitude with the eye of compassion, here spoken of. 2. He judgeth their soules to stand in more need of healing then their bodies, Therefore he openeth his mouth and teacheth them. 3. There are great ods between the firie promulgation of the law on mount Sinai, unto which none might approach, and Christs preaching of the Gospel; for, Christ went up into a mountain, in a homely man­ner, and sate down, and gathered his disciples about him, and when he was set, he taught.

Ver. 3. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdome of Heaven.

These speeches following, do not declare wherein blessedness doth consist, but do shew the marks of the Man, who albeit by faith in Jesus, he indeed is blessed, yet possibly for some mist or cloud of temptation, he cannot perceive himselfe to be blessed for the present. The marks are made in number eight: The first mark of a true Disciple of Christ, is Poverty of Spirit, wher­by a poor beggarly soul in his own estimation, sensible both of his own sinfulness, and inlack of Knowledge, Faith, Love, and other saving Graces, doth in the sense of his wants follow after Christ to be helped. Doct. 1. Every man who in the sense of his own wants and poverty, is made to begge at the throne of Grace, verily is blessed, whatsoever be the sense he hath of his own unworthiness and misery; for Christ of such doth pro­nounce, Blessed are the poor in Spirit. 2. Whosoever are poor in spirit, seeking after Christ in the sense of their own indigence, have right and title unto the riches of grace and glory; albeit they be poor and beggerly in their own feeling, yet are they rich in Christs estimatoin; for of such Christ saith, Theirs is the Kingdome of Heaven, that is, unto them belongeth eternall life.

Verse 4. Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be com­forted.

The next mark of true Disciples, is godly sorrow, which ma­keth a man in all sort of grief to powre out himself unto God in Christ, and to seek relief from him. Doct. 1. Whosoever do fol­low after Christ, mourning in the sense of sin, or fear of wrath, howsoever they may seem miserable in their own, or the worlds eyes, yet are they verily blessed; for of such Christ saith, Bles­sed are they that mourn. 2. Such mourners may be destitute for [Page 40] a time of comfort, but at no time can they be destitute of blessed­nesse; for even in the time when they are mourning, and do want comfort, it is said of them, They are blessed. 3. Albeit their comfort be delayed for a time, yet it shall not alwayes be with holden; for the word of consolation is he [...]e spoken unto them, which they in due time shall find applyed, and verified unto them by Gods Spirit; for it is said, They shall be comfor­ted; and this shall be partly by being made to see satisfactory reasons of Gods delaying to comfort them; partly by receiving now and then, reall deliveries, and sensible outgates of their mournfull condition; and partly by being supported with strength in the inner man, at all times, that they succumb not, till at last they be fully delivered for ever; for, They shall be comforted, saith the Lord.

Verse. 5. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

The third marke of true Disciples of Christ, is Meeknesse, which is a grace of God, whereby Christs followers are so nur­tured, and tamed by the Spirit of God, in the sense of their own sins, and wrongs done to God, that they do without fretting, sub­mit themselves to Gods corrections, wh [...]ther mediately by the wickednesse of men, or immediately in his providence falling on them. Doct. 1. Whosoever do put a right construction upon Gods dealing with them, how hard soever their case be, certainly are blessed; for of such Christ saith, Blessed are the meek. 2. A man indued with Christian meeknesse is master of as much in the world, as he stande [...]h in need of; that is to say, How little portion soever he may seem to have of the earth, and so much the lesse possibly, because of his meek disposition and aversenesse from ungodly strife; yet hath he right to all that he hath need of in this earth, through Christ, yea he shall have the use of all he hath need of in this earth, so as he shall be content with his lot, and that which he possesseth shall be joyned with the rich bles­sing of God, poured out upon it; and last of all, he shall inherit that new Heaven, and that new earth wherein dwelleth righteous­nesse, 1 Cor. 3.21, 22.2 Pet. 3.13. For so much doth the promise import, They shall inherit the Earth.

Ver. 6. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteous­ness, for they shall be filled.

The fourth mark of true Disciples, is hunger and thirst for righteousnesse, such hungry souls are they, who in the sense of their sinfulness, and want of all inherent righteousnesse, do [Page 41] heartily hunger to be more and more certified of the imputation of Christs righteousness, and do thirst to draw sap and life from him: for the changing their sinfull nature, and making them more holy and righteous by his Spirit. Doct. 1. Such as are hear­tily desirous to be justified and sanctified through Christ, they are blessed; for of such Christ prononnceth, Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness. 2. Kindly hunger after the righteousnesse of God in Christ shall be satisfied: albeit for the present such soules as do feel this hunger, be pained, yet they shall have all that they desire in Gods own time, the word of the Lord shall be made milk, honey, bread and marrow unto them, a Well of living Water shall spring up from the Holy Spirit unto them: now and then they shall have so large a meal, and so full satisfacti­on, as they shall be forced to say, Enough, O LORD: and at length shall be put in full, and sensible possession of all; for it is writ­ten, They shall be satisfied.

Verse 7. Blessed are the mer [...]ifull, for they shall obtain mercy.

The fifth mark of true Disciples, is mercifulness, whereby Christians have such a holy compassion of the miseries of other mens bodies and soules, as doth make them actually to do them good, as they are called unto their relief. Doct. 1. The outletting of bowels of compassion to others, who are lying under the bur­den of sin and misery, is the sure evidence of a blessed man; for Christ of such doth say, Blessed are the mercifull. 2. The Christian his shewing of mercy un [...]o others, is a fo [...]erunner of the renewed, and fresh sense of Gods mercy to himself, for this is imported in the proof of such mens blessedness; for, they shall find mercy: now certain it is, that such men have already obtained mercy, else they could not be mercifull, else they could not be blessed; but it is possible that they do not feel mercy, but rather for the present feel sad w [...]ath to their estimation, yet the promise is, They shall find mercy to their own discerning sensibly. 3. When God ma­keth his children find the fruits of their mercifulness, it doth not puff them up, as if they merited or deserved it, for it is not said here, they shall merit, but They shall find mercy.

Verse 8. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

The sixth mark of true Disciples, is purity of heart, whereby Christians study not only to eschew sin, and to have a blameless conversation before men; but also to be holy in their mind, in their designes, and affections, before God. Doct. 1. Albeit [Page 42] beleevers in Christ do find sensibly much pollution in themselves, yet if their heart love it not; if when they come short in duties, their heart is grieved for it; if the honest indeavour, and study of their heart be, that they may be pure and holy, they are not­withstanding of this felt sinfulnesse, truely blessed; for, Blessed, saith our Lord, are the clean or pure in heart. 2. Holinesse and pu­rity of heart is a preparative for sensible communion with God; for it is promised they shall see God; that is, their eyes shall be opened to behold by faith the invisible God; the Lord shall make them to discerne the mysteries of salvation hid from the world; he shall make them to observe the work of his providence in justice, mercy, goodness, and power in the world about them; and withail to perceive loving kindness toward themselves, and at length they shall see God face to face perfectly, in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ver. 9. Blessed are the Peace-makers: for they shall be called the children of God.

The seventh mark of true Disciples, is peaceableness, where­by Christians study not only to live peacebly with all men, but also to procure peace among Men, where they live, so farr as in them lies. Doct. 1. Whosoever do without wronging of truth, in love to other mens welfare, study to make solid peace, wheresoe­ver they have power, are truly blessed; for, Blessed are the Peace­makers. 2. They who give evidence of their christian disposi­tion both to maintain, and to procure true peace among those with whom they live, should be esteemed true christians, begotten of God; for, they shall be called Gods children; That is, by this mark they are declared of God, and should be by men acknowledged for truly regenerate persons, in whom the image of God is to be seen shining in their works.

Ver. 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness sake: for theirs is the kingdome of heaven.

The eighth mark of a true Disciple, is suffering persecution for righteousness sake. Doct. 1. Whosoever in following of Christ are troubled and persecuted by men, for doing that which God al­loweth, and do chuse rather to suffer affliction, then to commit sin, are indeed blessed: for, Blessed are they that suffer perse­cution for righteousness sake. 2. Let persecuters do their utmost to rob the godly of all that they have, yet they cannot rob them of Heaven, for it is said, the Kingdom of heaven is theirs: that is, albeit they were banished out of their native country, and utterly spoy­led, yea killed, yet Heaven belongs unto them by Christs con­quest, [Page 43] and by Gods promise, and it shall certainly be given to them, for making up all their losses.

Verse 11. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and perse­cute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsly for my sake.

This last Doctrine our Lord applyeth [...]nto his new chosen Apostles, intimating unto them, that they were to be hunted af­ter, and persecuted by men, as a prey is hunted by dogs unto death. Doct. 1. Reviling or speaking any manner of evill a­gainst Christs servants, is in our Lords estimation, persecuti­on, for so doth he expound it, saying, When men revile you, and persecute you. 2. Christians must beware to give just ground for troubling of themselves, for that is not persecution, when ill is spoken against men truly & justly, but when ill is spoken against them fasly, and for Christs cause; Therefore Christ saith, Bles­sed are ye, when they speak ill of you falsly for my sake. 3. Notwith­standing of whatsoever persecution, the troubled and persecuted servant of Christ doth still remain blessed; for, Blessed are ye when men persecute you.

Ver. 12. Rejoyce, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.

This commandment is added for a further consolation. Doct. 1. Our Lord will not be content that his servants in persecution, do carry themselves heavily, thus and so as may be, but will have them to beare the crosse joyfully; he will not have the courage or comfort, or countenance of his children beaten down, while they bear his glorious crosse, but he will have them chear­full; for, Rejoyce and be exceeding glad, saith he. 2. Albeit this their suffering cannot merit any thing, yet shall it be re­warded graciously; Great is your reward, saith our Lord. 3. Whatsoever consolation God doth give to his suffering Ser­vants here in this world, which indeed is not small (for they have more peace and joy in themselves from God, and more estimation among the Saints, then all their trouble is wor­thy) yet he will not reckon this for a reward, till he have them up in heaven; for he hath said, for, Great is your reward in Heaven. 4. The light affliction of this life cannot be compa­red with that which shall be given in heaven; therefore he saith, Great is your reward. 5. Whosoever indureth any trouble, were it but so much as evill words for Christs cause, he shall be inrolled among the Martyrs and holy Prophets, who from the [Page 44] beginning of the world have suffered for righteousnesse; this is our Lords reckoning, saying, For so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you.

Vers. 13. Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Our Lord having armed his Apostles against persecution, now he teacheth them their duty, and that under divers simili­tudes: and first of Salt. Doct. 1. Ministers have need to have their duties told them, no lesse then other people; therefore Christ speaketh to them, saying, YE, that is, Ye my Apo­stles and Ministers are the Salt of the earth. 2. As Salt seaso­neth, maketh savoury, and doth preserve from putrifaction that which otherwise would be unsavoury and ready to rot, except it were salted; so Ministers should not onely be filled with Grace and Wisedome for their own preservation, but also labour by the word preached, by admonition, by discipline, by a holy manner of conversing among the people, and by all other means to season earthly men, and make them become savoury to God, and one to another; therefore it is said, Ye are the salt of the earth. 3. If a Minister either labour not to have graces and induements for his imployment, or having them, studieth not to be faithfull in his Ministry, that he may season his Heare [...]s by the power of the Gospel, or if having for a time given a show of something, do he cease and fall from the faithfull employ­ment of his Gifts, then is he of all men the most us [...]lesse and u [...] ­profitable, both to others and to himself, of all men the most loathsome, and intolerable burden of the people of God; most worthy to be despised of God and men, and least of all men to be suffered to bear office and charge in the church of God: for so much impo [...]teth our Lords speech, comparing him to unsavour [...] salt, which hath lost his savour, and cannot recover it again, and which is good for nothing, but to be cast out, and trodden under fo [...] of men.

Ver. 14. Ye are the light of the world, a city that is set on a hill, cannot be hid.

He sheweth the Ministers duty in another similitude of light. Doct. 1. It is true the originall light and fountain of all Light, who illuminateth every one that cometh into the world, is Christ our Lord himself, yet the Ministers are called, The light of the world also, as instruments to hold out the light, [Page 45] because their office is to preach Jesus Christ, who is the true light, through whom alone delivery from the dark condition of sin and misery, that is, true righteousnesse and salvation is to be gotten: and because their manner of preaching, and holy conversation should direct men how to exercise their faith on Jesus Christ, and how to draw vertue from him, for their consolation, and san­ctification; therefore it is said, Ye are the light of the world. 2. Except God erect a ministry among men, and indue his servants with gifts and graces, and make them faithfull to doe their duty, the world shall lie in the darknesse of ignorance and error of sin and misery, going on to perdition; and except Ministers endea­vour to have the World illuminate, by holding forth the true knowledg of Christ, they cannot be free of the worlds perishing, nor answerable to this their duty, for to them it is said, Ye are the light of the world. 3. He tels them of the dignity of their calling, and duty therein, by another similitude, teaching us, that as a city set on a hill cannot be hid, being set there, to the intent it might be seen afar off; so Ministers of the Gospel, for the emi­nency of their calling, and the necessity of their duty cannot be, nor may be hid, but must shew forth that light to the world; and they cannot choose, but have their doctrine and diligence in their calling, their manner of life and conversation, and whole carriage better and worse, laid open to the view and observation of all men, for they are compared here to a city set on a hill, which cannot be hid.

Vers. 15. Neither do men light a candle; and put it under a bu­shel: but on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

By another similitude he presseth the Apostles, and in them all his Ministers to propagate the Gospel. Doct. 1. As men do not light a candle, that they may make it uselesse, by hiding it under a covert, but use to hold it forth, that all the house may see it, and have the benefit of the light thereof; So God doth not give unto any man a gift to understand the mysteries of the gos­pel, and to utter the same, with a calling so high and honourable, as to preach his name, that they should keep close their gift with­in their brest, or within their own doores, but that they should communicate their gifts in an orderly way to all the church, or House of God; and therefore, as they would be answerable to Gods designe, they must study to illuminate the World, and the church, by holding forth of the Doct [...]ine of Christ: for, if Men do not light a candle, but that it may give light to the whole [Page 46] house; far lesse must they think that God doth light a candle, but for the use of his House.

Vers. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven.

From the former Doctrine of the duties of the Apostles, our LORD draweth an exhortation to them, and all Ministers of the Gospel (according to the rule, Mark 13.37. What I say unto you, I say unto all, whom you represent,) teaching that what light of Knowledge, or Faith in God, or Love to God, or to men they have, they should bring it forth for the benefit of men, in their Doctrine and life, by the faithfull discharge of their Mi­nistry, and holy conversation; therefore, saith he, Let your light shine, &c. 2. They should so wisely and sincerely behave them­selves in all things, that they may be approven to the conscien­ces of all men: for it is said, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works; that is, may perceive, may be convinced, and forced to acknowledge that ye so teach, and so do, as the Lords faithfull servants and children should do. 3. By the holy conversation of Christians, God shall be glorified, known, beleeved in, loved and praised; Therefore it is said, that men may glorifie your heavenly Father. 4. Christians by their holy life shall be justified of men as the true children of God; for, saith Christ, So do, that men may glorifie your Fa­ther which is in Heaven. 5. A good work is onely that which is done, 1. By a child of God: 2. In obedience to God his Fa­thers command: 3. For the good of men; and 4. For the glo­ry of God: For it is said, Let your light shine, that your Father may be glorified by men, who see your good works, or profitable and commendable works.

Vers. 17. Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

Here our Lord vindicateth himself from the calumny of An­tinomianism, or opposing the Law and the Prophets. Doct. 1. No wonder the sincere Preachers of the gospel be slandered, as if they were adversaries to the Law, for even Christ himself was traduced in his time, as guilty of this fault, as he sheweth in his Apologie, saying, Think not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets: The ground of the mistake was, because our Lord set at nought the glosses which the corrupt Doctors of the time did put upon the Scripture, and taught men the way of justification by grace, without the works of the Law, therefore men traduced him as an enemy to the Law, and to the Prophets: for clearing him­self, [Page 47] he bringeth five reasons: The first is, I am so far from in­tention to destroy the Law and Prophets, that by the contrary, I intend to fulfill them, saith he; therefore the calumny uttered or conceived of me, as if I intended the contrary, is false. Doct. 2 Christ is a true friend to the Law; his doctrine, and the course prescribed by him to his Church, by all means doth procure the obedience of the Law, and the fulfilling of the prophesies; for he saith, I am not come to destroy them, but to fulfill them. Now Christ is said to be come to fulfill the Law and Prophets, because what they prophesied of him, he doth accomplish; what they ai­med at, he hath brought, and is in bringing to passe; what way of righteousness and salvation they set down, he doth make good; for what is in the Law and Prophets to be fulfilled, by predictions of what Christ should do, and suffer, (set down partly in plain, partly in figurative types and ceremonies,) or commands of holy Duties, backed by Promises to the Obedient, and Threatnings a­gainst the disobedient, with their examples? all these Christ came to fulfill most exactly; first by accomplishing in his own person, all predictions of his perfect obedience, even unto the death, whether set down in plain termes, or foresignified of him under types and figures of the ceremonial Law; next, by using all means that men should give obedience to the morall Law, and by blessing effectually these means, and making men really to give obedience to the Law: And thirdly, by making good all the pro­mises to his subjects, and executing all his threatnings against his enemies, and so he saith justly, I came not to destroy, but to fulfil the Law and Prophets.

Ver. 18. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth passe, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise passe from the law, till all be fulfilled.

The second reason of Christs intention not to destroy the Law and the Prophets, or the truth of the Old Testament, is, be­cause the truth of the Doctrine of the Law and the Prophets is more firm and stable then the frame of Heaven and Earth is. Doct. Heaven and Earth shall be dissolved, rather then the least point of truth (compared here to the least letter in the Alphabet, to the smallest point, serving to the reading of the letters) should not be fulfilled: for Heaven and earth do continue, only till the time that all that which is prophesied in the Scripture, to be done before the worlds ending, shall be fulfilled; therefore saith our Lord, Verily I say unto you, till Heaven passe, one jot of the Law shall in no wise passe, &c.

[Page 48] Vers. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, hee shall be called the least in the Kingdome of Heaven: But whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdome of Hea­ven.

A third reason proving that Christs intention is not to a­bolish the directing and commanding power of the Law, or to suffer the morall Law to be laid aside, as not obligatory unto o­bedience under the gospel, is this, because his minde is, That whosoever he be, that shall in his practice reject the yoake of a­ny one of these commandments of the morall Law, which men account least of, and shall defend his practice, teaching that men may without guiltinesse break the same, shall be called and ac­counted of by God as the least (that is, a man of no place or room) in the Kingdome of grace and glory; or he shall in no case en­ter into the Kingdom of Heaven, as it is said, verse 20. And on the contrary, whosoever shall maintain in their practice and doctrine, the authority of all the precepts of the morall Law, as the rule of mans conversation, shall be found true members of the Kingdom of grace and glory; and shall be had in estima­tion with God and his saints. Doct. 1. A fore sentence stand­eth against them who make transgressions to light and veniall, as not worthy to be taken notice of; or who either give dis­pensations or take dispensations to transgresse any morall com­mand: and no lesse wrath is denounced against them, who, be­cause Christ hath abolished the covenan [...] of works, and the con­demnatory power of the Law, in favours of his justified and san­ctified ones, do teach that Christ hath also abolished in favours of them, the directive, the commanding, and obligatory power of the Law: for of such, and all such Christ hath said, Whoso­ever shall teach men to break the least of these Commandments, shall be called the least in the Kingdome of Heaven. 2. These men may have great comfort, who in their doctrine and example of life do so teach justification by grace, or by faith in Jesus, without the works of the Law, as they do also urge all them who do beleeve and are justified, to make conscience of the o­bedience of every precept in the morall Law, even as they love to be saved; for of such Christ saith, Whosoever shall teach, and observe the same, shall be called greatest in the Kingdom of Hea­ven, &c.

Vers. 20. For I say unto you, That except your righteousnesse shall exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, y [...] [Page 49] shall in no case enter into the Kingdome of Heaven.

A fourth reason of Christs purpose not to abolish the Law, is, that he doth exclude from the Kingdom of grace and glory, all those whose righteousnesse shall not exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees. These Pharisees and Scribes were indeed very painfull, and outwardly made great profession of ho­linesse of life; b [...]t the truth is, they made conscience of outward obedience only, ver. 21. and of some commandments only, Chap. 15.3. Christ and grace they cared not for, therefore their righte­ousnesse was short. But a true christian first studieth to be clad with the righteousnesse of Christ, and to have his sins pardon­ed in Christ, and after that hee is justified freely by his grace, without the works of the Law, he laboureth to give e­vence of the soundnesse of his Faith, by making conscience of obedience as well inwardly as outwardly, not unto any one on­ly, or some, but to all the commandements of the Law, study­ing to make progresse in sanctification all the dayes of his life: and so both in regard of imputed righteousness, which is of God by faith in Jesus Christ; and likewise in regard of inherent righ­teousnesse, manifesting itselfe in the sincere study of a holy con­versation before God and man; the believers righteousnesse doth far exceed the superficiall righteousnesse of the Pharisees. Doct. Except a man study to outstrip the Pharisees and Scribes, both in respect of imputed righteousnesse, and inherent righte­ousnesse also, he shall not be saved; for Christ here saith, Except your righteousnesse exceed the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdome of Heaven.

Vers. 21. Ye have heard that it was said by them of old times, Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill, shall be in danger of the judgment.

A fifth Reason of Christs coming not to destroy, but to ful­fill the Law, is by his shewing the true meaning of the Law, and crying down both the false glosses put upon the Law by men, and also all vain traditions put in place of the Law: and this Christ doth most exactly, to the intent he may show how all men by the Law are made guilty, and are found worthy of condemnation, and had need of a Saviour to ransome them; and also by shewing how men being pardoned, ought to study unto an upright obedience of the Law in all things, and this is indeed to fulfill the Law. To this end Christ exponeth sundry commands in the second and first Table, and correcteth five or [Page 50] six corrupt glosses put upon the Law, by the Jewish Doctors: and first in these verses he exponeth the sixth command, re­peating the common-glosse of the Pharisees received by tradi­tion, who esteemed that the command, Thou shalt not kill, was not broken, except by actuall grosse slaughter, or murther: and if any man should commit man-slaughter, then they put him in one of three ranks: The first was to be brought before the inferiour Iudges of capitall crimes, and to be in danger of their sentence, because the murther was not of the gros­ser sort. The second rank, was to be brought before the Coun­cell, consisting of a greater number, appointed as a superiour Judicatory of capitall crimes, to fit in greater cities, and there to be in danger of their sentence; which was to denounce more shamefull and painfall death, then the inferiour Judica­tory did appoint, in case the murther was more hainous. The third rank was, in case the murther should be of the vilest, and most abominable sort; then by the great Councell which sate at Jerusalem, the guilty were to be adjudged without mercy, or more ado, to be executed most shamefully, and burnt in the most abominable place, in the valley of Hinnom, or Gehenns, whereby was represented Hell fire. The first of the three ranks is mentioned, vers. 21. The rest are to be collected by CHRISTS alluding thereunto, vers. 22. Doct. 1. Na­turall men are but slight interpreters of the Lords Law, it is not killing in their sense, if a man be not actually slain: for, Who­soever shall kill in the grossnesse of the letter, he only is guilty in their judgment. 2. Antiquity seemeth enough to carnall men, for a reason, in defence of whatsoever errour or corrupt custome for which they can pretend antiquity; for Christ sheweth us, that these Jewish Doctors did think it sufficient, that, It was said of old. 3. Truth must never be prejudged by antiquity, nor error strengthened thereby; for unto their pretended anti­quity, It was said of old, Christ doth oppose this, But I say unto you, &c.

Vers. 22. But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Racha, shall be in danger of the councel; but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

While Christ doth expone the sixth command more exactly then the Pharisees did, and doth shew the meaning of it, by al­lusion unto the manner of their judgement of capitall crimes, [Page 51] our Lords mind is not, that those Judiciall courts, with their different degrees of punishment should be the rule for censuring the breach of the sixth command; but his mind is, that albeit, there be degrees of sin, in breaking of the sixth command, yet the command reacheth to the condemning of every degree of the sin forbidden, so far, that even rash anger is capitall, and doth bring a man under the severe sentence of Gods judgment; for, Whosoever is angry, saith he, without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment; that is, he is culpable of death; and if our neighbour be wronged by us, in a disrespectfull speech, the sin is yet more capitall, and yet more deserveth the punishment of death and condemnation; for, Whosoever, saith hee, shall say to his brother, Racha, or any word of disdain, shall be in danger of the councell, that is, shall be found guilty of a capitall or deadly transgression, in a higher degree; But if anger and disdain proceed so far, as to reproach our Brother, yet more despitefully, and to call him Fool, then we shall be in danger of hell fire, that is, of a yet higher degree of judgment in hell. Doct. 1. The meanest and mainest outbreakings of our corruption in any sort are forbidden in one and the same command: for our Lords exposition of, Thou shalt not kill, forbiddeth rash anger, and every evill motion of the heart against our neighbours person, no lesse then it forbiddeth murther. 2. The wages of the least degree of sin is death, for not onely murther, but also rash an­ger, and disdainfull speech, are made capitall or deadly sins, (by our Lords interpretation) worthy of death and hels fire; So that no relief is to be looked for in Gods justice from the smal­nesse of our sins, but all standeth in the rich ransome of Christs Blood, and largeness of his Grace, unto which refuge the se­vere exaction of the Law, and strict reckoning of Justice doth drive us.

Ver. 23. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there re­membrest that thy brother hath ought against thee.

24. Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

After the exposition of this command, Christ maketh applica­tion of the doctrine unto his Disciples and all his hearers for ma­king use thereof, wherein he sheweth a necessity of making con­science to keep this command, by two reasons: one is, that if we shall not entertaine love to our neighbour, but both do him wrong, and also not care to be reconciled with him; then God will take no service or worship at our hand, nor will [...] [Page 54] from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole bodie should be cast into hell.

This exhortation is set down as the use of the former doctrin, wherein the words are not to be taken captiously, as if one might hurt his own body under pretence to preveen sin: for this is both forbidden in the sixth command, and cannot be a solid cure or remedy of sin, though it were permitted; but the matter is proponed in allusion to a presupposed like case of the hazard of a mans life, by a fester or gangrene in a mans eye or hand, (wherein as it were) better that the Chirugion should pluck out the festered eye, and cut off the festered hand, then that the whole body should be lost: so in the case of a darling sin or lust, whereby a man is made to stumble and fall in sin, it were better that he should be mortified and quat, (how necessary soever, how dear soever, though esteemed of as the right eye, or the right hand,) rather then by sparing of that sinfull lust, soul and body bothshould be cast in hell: now there is no mortifying of the lusts of the flesh but by the Spirit of Christ, Rom. 8.13. And, as for pardon of sin we are led unto Christ in the exposition of the sixth command, so are we here driven to Christ for the mor­fication of sin, in the exposition of the seventh command; for he is the onely Chirurgion, who can cut off those fretting lusts which fight against the soul.

Ver. 31. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorcement.

32. But I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adul­tery.

For clearing yet further of the seventh command, Christ cor­recteth a third corrupt glosse, about the abuse of marriage, in divorcements; which howsoever the civill Law left unpunished, for civill Reasons; yet it did not exeem him from sin, nor wrath who was the giver of the Bill of Divorcement upon a light cause: this abuse Christ doth correct, teaching that if any persons married, should thrust away their party, except in the clear case of Adultery, found in the party put away, they should be guilty of the breach of the seventh command, and of all the consequents thereof; and they who approved the Divorcement should be guilty also, each in their own degree; in so high estimation hath our Lord the band of marriage, that nothing can dissolve [Page 55] it, except that which everteth the nature of the bands, and bringeth perjury, beside the breach of the command, is dou­ble condemnation upon the Offender.

Vers. 33. Again, Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, thou shalt not for swear thy self, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths.

34. But I say unto you, Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is Gods throne.

35. Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; neither by Ierusalem, for it is the city of the great King.

36. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

As our Lord hath cleared the exposition of some command­ments in the second Table, so for further clearing the sense of the Law, he taxeth a fourth corrupt glosse of the Pharisees, and tradition of the elders (concerning the first table) who made no breach of the third command, except perjury, and made the affirmative part of the command to stand onely in the observation of vowes; this their clipped commentarie, our Lord doth correct, by teaching, 1. That by this com­mandment is discharged all idle, or unnecessary swearing; for he saith, Swear not at all, to wit, when God doth not cal us to take an oath; for otherwise to swear by God, when he calleth us unto it in weighty matters, for deciding controversies, and ending strife, it is a part of his worship, then religiously to take an oath: but except in the foresaid case, Swear not at all. 2. Hereby also is discharged all swearing by the creatures; for, Swear not by heaven, saith he, or by earth, &c. or by any part of mans selfe, as Head or Heart, or any other oath; the reason is, first, because these are creatures; Heaven and Earth are not God, and ought not therefore to be sworn by; and next, because God indirectly is imported in such oaths, by reason of the relation which the creatures have to him, as Gods Footstool, or City, or Work; and thirdly, because as none of the creatures are our Judge, to take order with us, if we swear falsly; so none of all the creatures, (no not our own Head or the least hair thereof,) are so our own, as we may ingage the same by an oath, for the least change to be made thereon, were it but of the colour of our hair to be put in pawn in case our oath be not true: and so we may not swear upon a­ny pretence at all, by any of them, for, Thou canst not make one hair white nor black, saith he.


[Page 56]Ver. 37. But let your communication be, Yea, yea, Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more then these, cometh of evill.

For eschewing rash swearing, our Lord commandeth that our sayings be averred by a constant, plain, and uniforme pronouncing of truth, imported in Yea, yea, when the mat­ter is so, and Nay, nay, when the matter is to be denyed to be so: The reason whereof is weighty, for whatsoever idle oath, or idle asseveration is more then these, is from evill, that is, from the divell and our corruption, and therfore to be eschewed.

Ver. 38. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth, for a tooth.

39. But I say unto you, that ye resist not evill: but who­soever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

He corrects a fifth corrupt glosse of the Law, wherein they abused an appendicle of the sixth command, namely a Judici­all Law given unto the Judges for execution of Justice: and did draw the law unto the authorizing of private revenge, as if God had put the sword in every mans hand to avenge him­self; for correcting of which error, our Lord teacheth his disciples, that it were better to suffer injuries, and to expose our selves by our patience, unto the hazzard of double wrongs, rather then to follow the corrupt doctrine of men, and by way of private revenge, to break the commandement of God: for the consideration of the scope of Christs speech doth make it plain, that thus the words must be taken com­paratively, with the obedience of the Pharisees false doctrine guilded with pretence of tradition and antiquity; for our re­sisting of evill, or of injuries after our own way, (as their tra­dition did give warrant) cannot fall but draw on a greater e­vill out of Gods hand; and so it followeth, that it is better to be smitten on both cheeks, then that by a wrong way of revenging ourselves, we should provoke God to destroy head and feet, soul and body together.

Ver. 40. And if any man will sue thee at the Law, and take a­way thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.

The same doctrine he applies unto injuries done under pre­tence of Law, that in private revenge they be not met with the like; to this sense, if any man sue thee wrongfully at Law, and by unjust cavillation take away thy coat; rather then thou should meet him in a wicked way, under pretence of Law to [Page 57] wrong him, it were better for thee to lose thy cloak also. How harsh doth this doctrine sound in the carnal ears of natu­rall men, who thinke much to suffer any wrong done to them by men; but think nothing to do wrong both to God and men, and to draw mischief on their own heads therby?

Ver. 41. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

Another sort of injury comprizing wrongs done by oppres­sion, and unjust exaction, under pretence of authority: If un­der pretence of Service to be done to the publike, any man press thee to be a Post, or a guide unto a Post; do not thou for thy part, contend for thy ease, but rather then thou shouldest fail in some duty by resisting, bear double burden for peace cause, lest thou be, ensuated in a sin by contending.

Ver. 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.

Last of al, to teach us not to be weary of weldoing, even then when we think we have many reasons, which may hinder us to bestow upon such as do either beg or borrow from us oftner, and more (possibly) then we can well endure; our Lord com­mandeth to give almes, and to lend the needy, albeit not all that is craved, yet what we may spare, and the parties present need requireth.

Ver. 43. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thine neighbour, and state thine enemy.

44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them that despiteful­ly use you and persecute you.

A sixth corrupt glosse put upon the Law by the corrupt Do­ctors, who taught that the command of love to our neighbour, was to be understood only toward Kindred, Friends and Ac­quaintance, and that it is lawfull to hate every man that is our enemy; our Lord doth vindicate the Law from this, both clipped and false exposition. Doct. 1. For obedience to God, and pity to perishing men, we must keep love, even to such as be our private enemies: for Christ hath so commanded, saying, Love your enemies. 2. Love to our enemies must be approven to God, for we are commanded to prove our love to them by dealing with God to give them mercy, contrary to their deservings at our hands; to this end he saith, Blesse them, Pray for them, and this is a task to exercise our obedi­ence, and to prove our sincerity therein.

[Page 58] Ver. 45. That ye may be the children of your father which is in heaven, for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and unjust.

To perswade us to obey this Command, our Lord propo­neth five motives. The first is, because so we may make it ap­pear to others, and to our own hearts also, that we are the Children of God, whose bounty is extended in giving the com­mon use of his gifts unto his evil and unjust enemies. Doct. 1. By imitating of the bounty of God, we shall grow more and more like to him, we shall more and more make it appear that we are renewed unto the image of God; therefore saith he, That ye may be the children of your Father. 2. We should not lightly passe by the common favours of God bestowed upon men, as the benefit of the Sun and Rain, but must observe the goodness of God therin toward men, in making his Sun to rise, and his Rain to fall on the unjust.

Ver. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the Publicans the same?

The second motive is, because except your love shall extend it selfe unto your enemies, in the obedience of God, ye can ex­pect no reward from him. Doct. 1. Love refused to our ene­mies, proveth our love bestowed on friends to be no accep­table service to God; for, If ye love them only which love you, what reward have ye to expect? for if we love only for love a­gain, we do serve our self only, and not God; and where no service is, no reward is. A third motive is this, the vilest and most odious sinners in the world shall equal you, if you do love only such as love you, and do not also love your enemies; ther­fore love your enemies. Doct. To stand at that measure of love, which a wicked man may attain unto, is nothing esteemed of by God; for, If you, saith he, love only your friends, do not even the Publicans the same?

Ver. 47. And if ye salute your Brethren only, what do ye more then others? do not even the Publicans so?

A Fourth motive is, there must be more in you then civility, cou [...]tesie, and humanity, moving you to give expressions of love only to your friends; therefore love also your enemies. Doct. 1. There must be more in a christian then can be in these that are not renewed: for, What do you more then others, importeth, that we should do more; seeing we are born of God, better furnished with his spirit, & more ingaged by special obligation to God then others, and therefore must not carry our [Page 59] selves so, as it may be said unto us, what do you more then others? 2. The most hated sinners may equall the holiness of them who make not conscience to have this commanded love unto their enemies in them; for, Do not the Publicans so, importeth so much.

Ver. 48. Be ye therfore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

A fifth motive is, Gods children must aime at the perfe­ction of all vertues, and therefore at the perfection of Love, extended to their enemies. Doct. 1. Christians are called un­to perfection; and albeit they cannot fully attain unto it in this life, yet must they aime at it, to come more and more near unto it; for it is said, Be you therefore perfect. 2. God only is the pattern of perfection to be set before our eyes, as he holdeth forth himselfe unto us in his word, and in his Son Jesus Christ, the expresse image of his Person, to be imitate by us; therefore it is said, Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Christs Sermon on the Mount goeth on in this chap­ter, wherein he teacheth the right manner of alms, Ver. 5. Of prayer, Ver. 16. Of fasting Ver. 19. and dischargeth covetuousnesse. In all which, he sharply taxeth the faults of the Scribes and Pha­risees.

Ver. 1. TAke heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.’

COncerning the right manner of giving Almes, these Truths are holden forth unto us. Doct. 1. Almes, or shew­ing mercy to the Poor, is a duty carefully to be gone about: for it is said, Take heed to your almes. 2. The sin of vain glory may easily slide in it self in any work, specially in alms giving; therefore saith he, Take heed you do not your almes to be seen [Page 60] of men. 3. If almes be done, for obtaining praise of men, and not for conscience of a commanded duty, God will not take it for service, for it is said, Otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in Heaven.

Ver. 2. Therefore, when thou dost thine almes, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of men: Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward.

3. But when thou dost almes, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doth:

4. That thine almes may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly.

This is the remedy of this ill. Doct. 1. We must marke and beware of such faults as we see in others; namely such o­stentation as the Pharisees used, who when they were to give almes, proclaimed by sound of Trumpet, that the poor should conveen at such a time and place, to receive such a mans alms; therefore Christ saith, Do not sound a Trumpet, &c. that is, Beware of all vain of oftentation. 2. When men in doing good, look more to mens praise, then how to please God, the vain praise of men, whether they obtain it, or misse of it, is all the fruit which they shall have of their work; for, Verily they have their reward; they need look for no more. 3. Each o­ther sinner do seek darknesse, and lurking holes to hide their sin; but Church, and Market, and the most open conventions are the choise places for acting of the sin of hypocrisie, as here, in the Synagogues and in the streets. 4. All Hypocrites are vainly glorious; Hypocrisie and vain glory go together; for. Hypocrites, saith he, Do that they may have glory of men. 5. We should not suffer our selves to take notice what we give in almes, nor should we esteem much of it, as if there were any worth in our alms, let be to seek praise of men, for this is the way, Not to let the left hand know what the right hand doth; otherwise no man can be ignorant of what he doth de­liberatly, no man can give almes but the poor who receive the almes must know of it, and in publick collecting of almes the world must needs be open. 6. Alms given in a right man­ner, that is, in obedience to God, and in love of the poor, is a se­cret work; for the main substance of it is only seen of God; therefore it is said, That thy almes may be in secret. 7. What good work wee take least notice of, what wee make least esteem of, and do carry most quietly between God and us, of [Page 61] that doth God take special notice; for of such a work it is said, the Father seeth in secret. 8. Whatsoever good work is done of secret intention to obey and glorifie God, shall be made open by him in due time to our praise, and shall be rewarded in o­pen to our profit; for beside the sweet testimony of the consci­ence following it, it is promised, Thy Father himself shall reward thee openly.

Ver. 5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say un­to you, they have their reward.

The next Doctrine concerns the right manner of prayer, Doct. 1. In prayer, all hypocriticall oftentation must be eschew­ed, such as the Pharisees used, who in the congregation, and in the Street carried themselves, so as they might be taken notice of, and accounted to be devout men: for it is re­proved here, They love to pray standing, that they may be seen of men. 2. Persons who are vain glorious in their prayers, have no profit of their prayers, save the wind of some witlesse mens approbations; for, They have their reward. 3. Howsoever men may think it hard, that prayers for this fault should be lost, yet so it shall be found; for Christ saith, Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

Vers. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy close [...]; and when thou hast thus thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee o­penly.

Christ doth not forbid publick praying before others in the Congregation, nor in a Familie; for this is a part of Gods due worship, and of our confessing of his name: neither doth he retrinch all our secret prayers to a chamber; but the meaning is, that we should in all our prayers be far from o­stentation. Doct. 1. In prayer we should regard only Gods eye, and seek only his approbation: and beside all our pray­ing, with or before others, we should pray also when no man knoweth of it; and whensoever we pray, whether in private or publick, we should be as far from vain oftentation as if we were in a private chamber alone with doors shut; for this is it that he saith, When thou prayest, shut thy door, &c. 2. Our prayer must be from the inward of our spirit, directed with con­fidence to the invisible God; for, Pray, saith he, to thy Father. 3. In prayer God doth take notice specially of the uprightnesse [Page 62] of the heart, and of that which is hid from men, for he saith, Thy Father seeth in secret. 4. The sincere and secret prayer is followed with an evident blessing in the answer; for, He shall reward thee openly, saith Christ. 5. The rewards of God must needs be full of Grace, when he promiseth to re­ward praying and begging, both in this world and at the day of judgment, saying of secret prayer, Thy Father shall reward thee openly.

Verse 7. But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8. Be ye not therfore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what thing ye have need of, before ye ask him.

The second fault in prayer is idle multiplying of words, which is discharged for three reasons, which are so many do­ctrines: 1. Idle multiplying of words, is the sin of the hea­then, who are destitute of the saving knowledge of God: for Christ saith, Use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: Idle repititions of words presupposeth and proceedeth from [...] base misconception of God, as if he could be moved by mul­titude of words, as men are moved; for, They think, saith he, to be heard by their much speaking, but do ye not so: The third reason is, Because Christs Disciples, when, in obedience of Gods command, they come to worship God, and to edifie themselves in prayer, need neither to inform God what they would have; for, He knoweth, saith Christ, what things you have need of before you ask: nor need they to move or per­swade God; for, He is your Father, saith he, and therefore we should not, nor need not use vain repetitions: mean time let us remember, that when the Saints insist in prayer, affe­ctionately avowing the truth and mercy of God, and striving to strengthen their own faith in prayer, that is not a vain repetition, or that much speaking which is here forbid­den.

Ver. 9. After this manner therfore pray ye: Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

For helping of this, and other faults about prayer, our Lord giveth us the example of a formed Prayer, which is ready and fit to be made use of expresly as a Prayer, whensoe­ver we should joyn in one body with all true Christians mi­litant in the World, in all common and necessary desires; which also is to be made use of, as a Pattern and Platform [Page 63] for imitation, when we are to pray for any one or more things, more particularly concerning our self, or any part of the mi­litant Church. Now as this Prayer is a Pattern for any desires more special then these which are here exprest, we are taught hereby, 1. To pray only for things allowed and promised in Gods word: for such are all things in the Pattern. 2. To pray to God only, who only hears at all times; for, We must pray to our heavenly Father only. 3. To pray in a known lan­guage, according as Christ did deliver this form of prayer to his Disciples. 4. To pray without vain repetition, or idle multiplying of words; for this prayer is given for example of such a prayer, as hath no vain repetition. 5. To pray with more respect to Gods glory, then to our own particular good; for the order of prayer teacheth so much. 6. To pray with a hearty and spirituall disposition, in fear and reverence to­wards God, as being above us in Heaven, there to receive, hear, and answer our prayers from the holy sanctuary of Christs bo­dy, through which vail we get accesse unto the fulnesse of the God-head, which dwelleth in Christ, who is in Heaven, and without whom we cannot find God reconciled. 7. To pray with love toward God, and confidence in him, as in our Father in Christ: for Christ giveth warrant to call God Fa­ther. 8. To pray with affection and love to all Saints mili­tant on earth, as children of the same heavenly Father, theirs and ours: Father to the weak, no lesse then to the stronger; for Christ will have us calling him, Our Father, in behalf of all the children on earth; for whom and with whom we do pray.

From the first Petition we are taught that every true Disci­ple of Christ, must have the glorifying of God for his chiefest desire; for first and above all must he seek that Gods Name may be hallowed. 2. That God must be hallowed as he maketh him­self known by his word; for it is his Name or Himself, as he is named and manifested by his word and ordinances, and works and providence, which is to be hallowed. 3. That he himself must be the procurer of his own glory among men, for therfore pray we, Hallowed be thy name.

Ver. 10. Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

From the second petition we are taught, that beside the gene­rall Kingdome, and government of all things, which is al­wayes fully in vigour, there is a speciall Kingdome of grace, [Page 64] wherein God is revealed, and acknowledged to be King and Lord over his Saints: this Christ cals, Thy Kingdom, as a pe­culiar wherein he specially delights. 2. That this Kingdom of grace is so come already, as it shall be still coming more and more, so long as Christs Disciples shall have need to pray, that is, till the fulness of glory in the second coming of Christ shall be revealed, Then shall the Kingdom prayed for, fully come. 3. That God is he, who doth promove, bring on, and perfect this kingdome: Therefore must we say, Thy Kingdome come. 4. That od will have all his Disciples draw­ing at his royall and triumphing chariot by their prayers; and saying, Thy kingdom come. From the third Petition we learn. 1. That albeit God dwelleth in heaven, and doth all his in­tended will, yet men do not obey as they should, his command­ed wil. Therefore there is need in this respect still to pray, Thy will be done. 2. That the Saints must renounce obedi­ence to their own will, and to Satans will, and to the will of men, and must submit themselves absolutely to Gods will, re­vealed by word or work; saying, Not mine, but thy will be done. 3. That it must be divine power which shall change mens hearts, and frame them to the obedience of his will, and to this end do we request him, to subdue mens wils to his own, saying, Thy will be done. 4. That God hath no work of sanctification to work upon any man, but upon these only who are on the earth, for they that are in heaven are perfected, and else-where there is none, whose will the Lord doth sanctifie: Therefore do we pray only, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. 5. Albeit we do not attain unto perfection of Holiness in this life, yet we must aim at it, long, and pray for it: for our Lord teacheth us to pray, That the will of God may be done i [...] earth, as it is in heaven.

Ver. 11. Give us this day our daily bread.

From the fourth petition we learn. 1. That whatsoever we make use of for our subsistence (comprised here under bread) must be sanctified unto us by prayer; and God must be ac­knowledged in every meanest matter, which concerns our bo­dily sustentation, even to the least morsell of Daily Bread. 2. That we live not mainly by bread, but by Gods word, and his powerfull blessing, imported in Giving of bread. 3. That how lawfully soever; and deservedly at mens hands we get our bread, yet in regard Gof od, we deserve nothing, but must have all of free bounty, & must beg of him daily, to give us our [Page 65] daily bread. 4. That we should not be anxious for to mor­row, nor for great allowance in the world: sufficient for the day is the care of it self; and we must be content to crave and to receive This day our daily bread. 5. That as we pray not for the dead, but onely with, and for such as have need of Daily bread, and are living on earth with us; so should we be sensible of their necessities, and pray for them as for ourselves, saying, Give us our bread.

Vers. 12. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debt­ers.

From the fifth Petition learn, 1. That none of Christs Disciples are so fully sanctified in this life, but sin will be found in them; and that there is a necessity lying on us to ac­knowledg our sins: 2. That every day in many things we [...] offend all, and must confesse not only sin, but sins. 3. That howsoever we have right unto remission of sins in Christ Je­sus, yet we must seek to apply that our right unto our daily faults, and beg the use of our right, for applying of forgiveness. 4. That our sins deserve due punishment, even death, which is a naturall merit of sin, which doth oblige us unto the pe­nalty; for, therefore sins here are called Debts. 5. That the sin being forgiven, the vindictive punishment is forgiven also; for to the same sense are we directed to say, Forgive us our debt, and forgive us our sins: Where-through it cometh to passe, that there is no remission of sin, and retaining of vin­dictive punishment, but both the guilt, and this sort of pu­nishment are forgiven, and taken away together: 6. Wrongs done by others unto us, do oblige the doers of injury to repair the wrong, and so do make them not only debters unto God, but also unto us; therefore doth our Lord call such as have done wrong unto us, Our debters: 7. Though publick re­spects may move us to seek reparations of wrongs, in the way of justice; yet not only must we renounce private revenge of wrong done unto us, but also forgive the same, especially when the offender calleth for it at our hand; for Christ presupposeth, that he who seeks forgiveness of God, doth also give forgive­ness to men; 8. It is an argument to perswade us of forgive­nesse from God of our wrongs, when we forgive men their wrongs done against us; for Christ will have him who saith, forgive us our trespasses, to say also, As we forgave these that tres­passe against us,

Vers. 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us [Page 66] from evill; For thine is the kingdome, and the power, and the glo­ry, for ever, Amen.

From the sixth petition learn, 1. That when our sins are for­given us, we are in perill to be overcome of new again by the tempter Satan; of which our weaknesse, and Satans power, craft and malice, we should be so sensible, as in fear to be in­snared, we should pray not to be led in Satans temptations. 2. Because we have so oft yeelded unto Satans temptation, and of our self we are so prone to be tempted, and to be overcome of our own concupiscence, that God justly may give us over unto Satans temptation; Therefore it is necessary that we should request God, not To lead us in his justice into tempta­tion. 3. If God for our tryall and further humiliation shall suffer us to be tempted, we may with confidence pray and ex­pect, that we shall be delivered from that ill one, either th [...] we fall not in his snare, or that we be not keeped therein; for as Christ doth warrant us to pray, so we may expect th [...] God will deliver us from that evill one, and from all ill; that is, from Satan, sin, and perdition; for we say, Thine is the King­dome, power, and glory: that is, Unto thee our heavenly Fa­ther belongeth the Kingdome, and soveraign government of all things, with right and strength to dispose thereof, for bring­ing to passe all that wee request for: and to thee doth belong the glory of all things for ever: Whence learn, 1. That none is to be prayed unto, but he only who only is able to grant all our requests: for, To him only belongs the Kingdom and power. 2. That when we pray for that which is agreeable to Gods will, his Fatherly affection on the one hand, and his royall power on the other hand, may assure us, that as he is both wil­ling and able, so he will grant our requests. 3. That as it is his glory to grant the petitions of his people; so unto him should we give the glory of all things. 4. That there is no end of his Kingdome and Power and Glory; for, They are for ever, 5. That we should settle our belief on him, and seal up his truth resolutely, nothing doubting to be heard, for so much doth Amen import.

Ver. 14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

This is a reason of the clause eked unto the fifth petition, of forgiving men their trespasses, when we crave God to forgive [Page 67] us our treaspasses: not that our forgiving wrongs done to us, is the cause of Gods forgiving wrongs done by us to him; but because giving forgivenesse to men, and receiving forgiv­nesse from God, are graces inseparably conjoined, so that the having or wanting of the one, may prove the having or wan­ting of the other. Doct. 1. Who so have gotten grace, in the fear of God, to forgive men their trespasses, may assure them­selves of Gods gracious forgiving them their trespasses: and albeit the remission of their sins be not intimate to them for the present, yet they shall be sure to have it manifested: for so sa [...]es the text. 2. Again, such as call God their Father, and yet will not forgive men their trespasses, may be assured that God will not forgive them their trespasses, or that God will not speak peace to their conscience, nor intimate remission of sins unto their souls: for albeit Gods granting a remission of sin, in his counsell, goes before our giving remission of mens sins, yet Gods granting unto us remission of sins in the court of our conscience, follows after our giving remission to men of their sin; for so long as we keep malice against our neighbour, and will not forgive them, our conscience shall never be solidly assured of the forgivnesse of our sins, for so importeth the text.

Verse 16. Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily I say unto you, they have their re­ward.

17. But thou when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.

18. That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall re­ward thee openly.

The third head of Doctrine teaching us in our religious fa­sting, to beware of vain oftentation, such as the Pharisees u­sed: It is not Christs meaning here, that men should refuse publick Fasts, or therein carry themselves as in a day of feast­ing, annoynting their head, and washing their face; for that is not lawfull: neither is it his meaning, that in secret Fasts, men must either carry the matter so closely, that none of the Family should know it, or else not fast at all; for that is hardly possible: But the meaning is, That when God calleth unto religious humiliation in prayer and fasting, that wee should be as far from seeking vain applause of men, as if we [Page 68] were not at all about such a business. Doct. 1. Causes of fa [...] ­ing and humiliation do attend Christs Disciples; for this [...] Lord doth insinuate, while he saith, When ye fast. 2. Such [...] in their fasting do seek mens approbation, do lose their labo [...] at Gods hand; and at the farthest, do gain no more but [...] applause of men; for of such Christ saith, Verily, they have [...] reward. 3. Hypocrits do religious actions for worldly re­spects; for of Hypocrites saith Christ, They do seek that [...] may appear to men to fast. 4. That in all our religious actio [...] we should be as far from seeking mens applause, as if we [...] not at all about any such businesse; and should so study to ap­prove the secret sincerity of our hearts unto God, as we loo [...] not toward any applause of men; for Christ commandeth [...] to fast, that you appear not to men, &c. 5. The secret sincerity of Gods service is followed with the open blessing of God; [...] he doth reward such openly.

Verse 19. Lay not up for your selves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where theeves break through and steal.

The fourth head of doctrine, is, to beware of covetousnesse and cares of this world, as of a speciall enemie to all true God­linesse; which because it is a rise evill, and hard to be cured, he insisteth upon the beating down of it so much the more: [...] ­sing to this purpose seven motives or reasons, which in sub­stance are so many doctrines. In the first part of this verse our Lord insinuates, 1. That every man is given to have some Treasure and Store of that which he most esteemeth of, loveth most to have, keepeth best, and is most loath to want; for this is imported in, Lay not up treasures for your self. 2. That we are given by nature to chuse some earthly and tem­porall thing for our Treasure, and to have the earth the place of it; and so have need to be warned to lay up our treasure not upon earth. The first reason to disswade us from covetous­nesse of earthly things, is, because all earthly things are peri­shing, and may in our time, either rot or be taken from us! for what is on earth, moth and rust may corrupt, or theeves [...] break in upon, and steal it.

Verse 20. But lay up for your selves treasures in heaven, when neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where theeves do not bre [...] through nor steal,

21. For where your treasure is, there will your heart [...] also.

[Page 69]The second reason: Heavenly things only are worthy to be our treasure, and Heaven only is worthy to be the place there­of, therefore covet not things earthly, but heavenly, such as are faith and love, and grace to abound in the good fruits of faith, Lay up, saith he, Treasures for your selves in heaven. The third reason is: Things heavenly and spirituall, are to be keeped and injoyed in heaven, where all things are incor­ruptible, and permanent, and such as cannot be taken from us by fraud or violence, where neither moth nor rust doth cor­rupt, therefore seek not these things that are earthly, but these things that are heavenly. The fourth reason is, a mans treasure takes his heart after it; therefore covet not earthly things but heavenly, that your hearts might be set on Heaven, and not on earth; for, Where your treasure is, there will your hearts be also.

Vers. 22. The light of the bodie is the eye: If therfore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of dar­nesse, if therefore the light that is in thee be darknesse, how great is that darknesse?

The fifth reason, In generall termes tending to this much; If your mind intend to treasure up heavenly things, the whole course of your life will be lightsome, holy and heavenly: but if ye intend to treasure up earthly things, then the whole course of your life will be earthly, darke, and unspeakably sinfull. Therefore set not your selves to treasure up earthly things, but heavenly rather: This is imported in a similitude thus, As the eye by its light, is the directer of the whole body, so the intention of a mans minde or heart, by its light, is the directer of the whole course and actions of a mans life. In the similitude are holden forth to us these truths; 1. That no lesse care should be had to have our judgement and inten­tion sanctified, then to have the eye of our body clear; for, as the eye is the light of the body, so is the minde, the heart and intention the light of a mans life. 2. As when the eye of the body is clear, the whole body is illuminate, and well di­rected what to do; So when the intention of the mind and heart, (which is the eye of the soul,) is single, and set upon the heavenly treasure, then the whole body of a mans conver­sation shall be well ordered, and full of light, to direct him in the way how to get the heavenly Treasure. 3. As when the eye of the body is corrupt, and ill disposed, the whole body walketh [Page 70] in darknesse without direction; So when the intention of a mans heart is not singly set on the heavenly Treasure, but is evill, and set on the things of the earth, then the whole body of a mans course and actions is ful of darknesse, that is, of ig­norance and miscarriage, of sin and misery. When the in­tention of a man (which he setteth up as a mark to shoot at, and useth as a light to direct him what means hee shall use) is darknesse, that is, erroneous and sinful; then unspeakable great is the darknesse, errour and sinfulnesse of that mans course; for, If the light that is in thee be darknesse, saith Christ, how great is that darknesse? 5. This general sentence may serve to loose a doubt, about the lawfulnesse of making provisi­on for a mans family, and laying up for his children: Thus, if a mans intention be spirituall, and singly set on God for the ob­taining of a spirituall Treasure, then shall his course be full of light, and well directed how to do duty to his family and children; but if under pretence of this lawfull care, he shall make an idol of riches, intending onely to abound in wealth, to seek and lay up his treasure on earth, then shall all that he doth in a lawfull calling, be sinfull unto him, his course shall be darknesse.

Vers. 24. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.

A sixth reason, under similitude of serving two masters. No man can serve God and Mammon or worldly riches, more then a man can serve two opposite masters; Therefore beware to set your selves to lay up treasures in the earth, but rather seek God, and lay up your treasure in him. To serve God, is to give up a mans minde, heart, and whole man, to know, and do what God requires, without care what shall be the consequen­ces: To serve Mammon, is to give up a mans minde, heart, and indeavour to sinde out and follow all the wayes he can, to in­crease riches, whatsoever may come of it. Hence learn, 1. That the man who takes God to be his Master, must do nothing but as God allows him, neither in the matter of pleasure, nor of profit, nor of preferment, nor in any other thing; for, This is to serve God as his Master. 2. If the care or love of ri­ches, or any other thing draw away the minde or heart of a man from the love of God, or from his obedience, a man be­cometh the servant of Mammon, or of that lust whereunto hee so gives obedience. 3. Albeit men conceive they can well [Page 71] serve God and their lusts also, yet it is impossible so to do; for, No man can serve two masters opposite, such as is GOD, and whatsoever thing doth come in competition with him, for, Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. 4. That thing is a mans Master, which, the man being put to the tryall, loveth most, holdeth most unto, and preferreth in competition: If a man will rather offend God then lose riches, pleasures, or prefer­ment, when he must do the one, then is the man not the ser­vant of God, but the servant of the other thing beside God; for, He loveth that other, and holdeth unto it, and preferreth it to God.

Verse 25. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your bo­dy, what ye shall put on: is not the life more then meat, and the bo­dy then rayment?

A seventh reason disswading from coverousnesse, drawn forth by consequence from the sixth reason: It is not lawful to be anxious about things necessary, as food or rayment; there­fore far lesse is it lawfull to be covetous of earthly treasure, or of needlesse riches. Hence learn, 1. That albeit using of law­full callings and ordinary means for food and rayment may stand with Gods service, and his approbation; yet taking thought for them, or being anxious about the successe, is unlaw­ful, and here forbidden as a mark of covetousness, and too much affecting of the creature, and of distrust in God; for, Take no thought for your life, saith he. This distrustful anxiety for food and rayment in time to come (which is a branch of covetous­ness, covered with the appearance of necessity) our Lord refutes by eight reasons: The first is, God who hath given life, which is more then food, will take care to provide food for mainte­nance of life, so long as he hath appointed life to continue: and God who hath framed the body, which is more worth then the rayment, will also provide for a garment; therefore anxious care for food and rayment is unlawfull: which teacheth us, That the most specious excuses which can be made for cloaking of covetousnesse, are rejected by God as naughty; Is not the life more then meat, saith Christ?

Ver. 26. Behold the souls of the a [...]r, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feede [...]h them. Are ye not much better then they?

The second reason: God who provide [...] food for birds and fowls, will certainly provide for his own children; There­fore [Page 72] anxious and distrustfull cares for food and raiment, in Christ Disciples is unlawfull; for, Behold the fowles of the air, &c. This reason is strengthened, 1. By insinua­tion, that men have the ordinary meanes of some lawfull cal­ling (comprehended under sowing and reaping,) which sow [...]s have not; and therefore anxious and distrustfull care for food and raiment is so much more unlawfull in them, as is impor­ted in these words, neither do they reap: again, this reason is strengthened, by comparison of us with birds, and preferring of us in Gods estimation, are ye not much better then they? saith he.

Ver. 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit un­to his stature?

The third reason: Anxious care about the successe of means connot produce any good effect, therefore it should not be en­tertained; for even when a man hath eaten, he cannot make himselfe stronger, or more tall then it shall please God to di­spose: To what purpose then doth it serve to take thought or anxiety, as if the use of means should not yeeld food and rai­ment? for, which of you by taking thought can eke a cubit to his stature?

Vers. 28. And why take ye thought for raiment? Consi­der the lilies of the field how they grow; they toyl not, neither do they spin.

29. And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

30. Wherfore if God so clothe the grasse of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31. Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithall shall wee be clothed?

The fourth reason: God doth care for clothing of the grasse and flowers of the field, with more curious draughts and na­tive colours, then all the glory which Solomons garment had; Therefore anxiety in Gods children for food and raiment, (as if God were not carefull of them) is unlawfull, Consider the lilies, saith he: this reason is strengthened, 1. By insinuating that Gods own children are more dear to him then the grasse and flowers of the field, which are made only to indure a lit­ [...]e time for mans use, and then to perish; for, To morrow it is case sitio the oven [...] next, by taxing taking thought and anxiety, [Page 73] as an evidence of small saith in God, Therefore saith he, O ye of little faith.

Verse 32. (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

The fifth reason: Anxious seeking of the things of this earth, is the fault of the Gentiles, who are destiture of the knowledg of God, and are ignorant of these heavenly things, prepared for Gods children; Therfore Christians who are bet­ter instructed, should eschew this godlesse anxiety; for, After these things, saith he, the Gentiles do seek. The sixth reason: Christians are not fatherless; nor is their father ignorant, un­able, or careless to do for them; God in Heaven is their fa­ther, and knoweth all things whereof they stand in need; ther­fore godlesse anxiety for food and raiment is utterly unlawful; for, Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.

Verse 33. But seek ye first the Kingdome of God, and his righteousnesse, and all these things shall be added unto you.

The seventh reason by way of precept: You have the King­dome of God and his righteousnesse, whereupon to bestow your first and chiefest cares; which if you seek after earnestly, ye shall not need to be anxious for food or raiment, or any o­ther needfull thing on earth; for, All these shall be super­added unto the grant of your chiefe desires, and shall be brought unto your hand; Therefore anxious caring for these meaner things, is unlawfull. Hence learn, 1. That to be partaker of the kingdom of Gods grace here, and of his glory in heaven, is worthy of our chiefest affections, and most intent indevours; for, Seek first the Kingdome of God, importeth this. 2. That we cannot be sure to be Subjects of Gods gracious kingdome here, nor of his glorious Kingdome in Heaven hereafter, except we also study to be sure of the righteousness of God, which is by faith in Jesus Christ, and of holinesse and uprightnesse of life flowing therefrom; for, Seek the righte­ousnesse of God, and Seek the Kingdome are joyned. 3. That whosoever do earnestly seek after the Kingdome of God, and his righteousness, shall not only be sure to have what they seek, but also to have whatsoever is necessary for them in this life: for these things, to wit, which concern food and raiment, shall be superadded unto you,

[Page 74] Ver. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the mor­row shall take thought for the things of it self: sufficient unto the day is the evill thereof.

He repeateth the discharge of anxious care for time to come, and addeth the eighth reason; The morrow shall bring with it troublesome cares of its own; and the day or the time present hath sufficient trouble by it self: Therefore neither time pre­sent, nor time to come should be rendred more miserably by anxious anticipating of troublesome cares before they come: Hence learn, 1. That we are ready to make our present time miserable, by anxious and distrustfull care; for so importeth, Take no thought for to morrow. 2. That relying on Gods ca­ring for us, not only saveth us from sin, but also cutteth off much misery; for so imports, Take no thought for the morrow. 3. That the time to come hath trouble proper to it selfe, as Gods ordinary providence doth dispose, so that we have not need by sinfull anticipating of cares to make our selfe more needlesse trouble; for, The morrow shall take thought for the things of it self. 4. That it is wisedome not to breed our selfe more trouble by sinfull and distrustfull cares and fears, when already trouble sufficient is ordained by God for our exercise; for, Sufficient unto the day is the evill thereof.


Five other heads of doctrine delivered in the ser­mon on the Mount, are set down in this cha­ter; to wit, rash judgement, to vers. 5. Discre­tion in dispensing of holy things, v. 6. Instancy in prayer, vers. 13. Concerning false teachers, vers. 21. And about wise practising of the for­mer precepts.

Ver. 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.’

THe first doctrine is a forbidding of rash judging of mens persons and actions, or passing wrong sentence censori­ously and uncharitably against others, whether in our mind, or in our speeches; either for no fault, or for lesser then we our selves are subject unto, for otherwise he forbids neither private [Page 75] nor publick righteous judgement, but only rash, uncharitable, and unrighteous censuring of others, whereunto naturally we are inclined; for, Iudg not, saith he, to wit, unrighteously: the reasons are five; The first reason is, if ye rashly judge of others, you have to fear lest God judge you justly; for, Iudge not, that ye be not judged, saith he.

Vers. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be jud­ged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

A second reason: As you are charitable and sober in your judging of others, or uncharitable and rash in judging of o­thers, so may ye expect God shall in his wise providence give you a meting; for, With what judgement (charitable or uncha­ritable) you judg, you shall be judged; that is, have like measure given to you, to wit, a just meting in mercy, or in justice.

Vers. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beame that is in thine owne eye?

A third reason: It is unreasonable, that having grosser faults your self then these which are in others, ye should passe by your own faults, grosse like beams, without observation, and go pry in upon other mens infirmities, small like motes in comparison: Therfore ye should not judge rashly. Hence learn, that Self-love so blindeth us, that of our own great faults we are not sensible, but the smallest infirmities of o­thers we narrowly pry in upon, and observe them; therefore saith he, Why beholdest thou the mote, &c.

Ver. 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye: and behold, a beam is in thine owne eye?

A fourth reason: By rash and uncharitable censuring thy neighbour, thou shalt never be able to benefit him, so long as this grosse beame of rash judgement, or any such ill is found in thy self, Therefore judg not rashly. Doct. He that would benefit others by reproving their faults; must be blamelesse himself, or else both his counsell and reproof shall be turned back upon him; for how and with what countenance, or hope of profiting his brother, will he say, Let me pull out the mote out of thy eye? &c.

Ver. 5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye.

[Page 76]A fifth reason: Censorious and rash judging of others, is the mark of a hypocrite, therefore judge not; for, thou hypo­crite he calleth him, because the censorious judger of other mens faults, would make himselfe and others beleeve, he were no wayes tainted with any such faults himselfe: Our Lord by this speech doth not hinder brotherly admonition, but rather doth direct the way and order of it; for, First cast out, &c. saith he. Doct. 1. He that would inform others, should begin in earnest to reform himself; for it is said, First cast out the beame out of thine own eye, that is, go about the reformation of thy own sins. 2. The man who is about the removing of his own sins, shall have spirituall light and wisdome to deal with others, in the matter of their repentance and reformation, for It is said, Then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote.

Ver. 6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast yee your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turne again and rent you.

The second doctrine, teaching us to use discretion i [...] dispen­sing holy things, specially by way of admonition [...] proof, so as profane men may not be provoked to blaspheme [...]od and abuse us. Doct. 1. The truth of the Gospel and the holy or­dinances of Religion are precious pearls, belonging only to Christs Disciples; therefore Christ calleth them, Your pearls. 2. Some men are so profane and sensuall, as they have no reverence nor estimation of holinesse, or holy things; and therefore are justly here called Dogs and Swine. 3. Whensoe­ver we perceive that there is no appearance of doing good, by offering holy admonitions to men, but by the contrary, that holy things shall be abused, and we also suffer reproach for offering the same, our Lord gives us warrant to forbear, Lest they trample your pearles, saith he, under their feet, and turn again, and rent you: But lest under the pretence of this warrant to keep off contempt from holy things, we be too much feared for contempt of our selves, and for this cause may prove un­charitable censurers of others, as if they were Dogs and Swine, who are not so to be accounted of, we must take along with us the former doctrine of, Iudg not rashly; praying the Lord withall to give us wisdome in all things.

Ver. 7. Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

8. For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that secketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

[Page 77]9. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will be give him a stone?

10. Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11. If ye then being evill, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the pro­phets.

The third head of doctrine serveth to stir us up to instancie in prayer. Doct. 1. Great is our need, who like beggers want all things, and must seek all of God; Therefore, Ask, saith he. 2. Albeit we obtain not at first what we lack, yet must we not fall off from prayer, but continue in­stantly to seek and knock. 3. We shall not be refused of any needfull suit that we make, nor shall we be excluded from fel­lowship with God, if we knock to have entry: for, Every one who in saith do seek (what God alloweth to be sought) recei­veth, &c. 4. We may assure our selves that the returne of our prayers shall not be unprofitable, far lesse hurtfull; for God will not deal worse with his children, then Men do with theirs [...] for, What man, saith he, will give a stone for bread, or a serpent for fish to his childe? 5. Whatsoever good could be expected by our children from us, their naturall sinfull Parents, whose affections are corrupt, that and much more, yea every thing that is good, may be expected in prayer from God; for, If ye being evill, can give, &c. 6. Such Disciples of Christ as depend on God by prayer, are accounted Gods Children: for instead of children, he putteth them that ask him. 7. Such as would have their prayers granted, must not live as they list, but do to others so as in reason they would be done unto by others; Therefore, As you would, &c. saith he, daye unto them. 8. The scope of the Scriptures is first to make men disciples to Christ, and then righteous in their con­versation; for, This is the law and the prophets.

Ver. 13. Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

14. Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which lea­deth unto life, and few there be that find it.

The fourth head of doctrine concerning the difficulty of the way to heaven. Doct. 1. Every man is travelling in [Page 78] the course of his life, either unto life or to destruction; there is not a third way beside the strait and wide gate. 2. The gate which leadeth unto life is strait, and the way narrow, and full of difficulties to our corrupt nature; but the way which lead­eth unto destruction is broad, and the gate wide without im­pediments; a way not crossing mens corrupt lusts. 3. Because of the easiness of the way to hell many go in thereat, nothing fearing the issue; but for the difficulty of the way to heaven, few do find it, few do walk in it. 4. Christs Disciples having this straight-way revealed to them in the word, should chuse ra­ther to go along to life, then go with the multitude unto destru­ction; for, Enter in at the straight gate, saith our Lord, for wide is the other.

Ver. 15. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thornes, or figs of thistles?

The fifth head concerning false Prophets, or false Tea­chers, which either preach false doctrine, or true doctrine in a corrupt manner, and for wrong ends, by whom the Lords peo­ple are in no small danger to be led away from the power of godlinesse, unto the dead course of a powerlesse formality, 2 Tim. 3.5. Of such Christ bids us beware, saying, Be­ware of false Prophets: the reasons are three, which yeeld so many doctrines. The 1. They will [...]ain themselves to be true Christians, that they might find room amongst the sheep of Christ, Therefore beware of them; for, They come to you, saith he, in sheeps cloathing. 2. Inwardly and in effect such Teachers are not for saving, but for destroying of soules; for, Inwardly they are ravening wolves. 3. They cannot so lurk, but ye may discern them by their false doctrine, or corrupt handling of the truth, or by their gracelesse conversation, and their earth­ly wayes, and ends, Ye shall know them by their fruits, saith he, Therefore beware of them.

Ver. 17. Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit: but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evill fruit.

18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit: neither can a cor­rupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewen down and cast into the fire.

20. Wherfore by their fruits ye shall know them.

He cleareth and confirmeth this third reason, by a similitude [Page 79] from trees, teaching us, that as men gather not good fruits from Thorn and Thistles, but good trees bear good fruit, and cannot bear ill fruit, as their kindly and ordinary birth; and ill trees bear ill fruit, and cannot bear good fruit as their kindly birth: so true and false Teachers are to be known by their fruits. Doct. 1. The Lord sealeth the honesty of faithful Teachers with a holy life, and doth plague false Teachers with the out-break­ing of their rottennesse. 2 As destruction abideth the tree that beareth not good fruit, and much more that which beareth ill fruit, so destruction abideth the false Teacher; for, Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewen down.

Ver. 21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

The sixth and last head of Christs Sermon, concerning the necessity of beleeving, and obeying of his doctrine, and putting it uprightly in practise, which our Lord doth presse by three rea­sons: The first is, Not every one that esteemeth himself to be Christs servant, and doth confesse him to be his Lord, shall be saved; but the man onely who putteth in practice Gods will: Therefore it is necessary that faith and obedience of Christs doctrine be carefully practised. Doct. 1. A man may professe himself a Christian, and seem to be zealous in avowing Christ to be his Lord, and yet be disobedient to the doctrine; For Christs word doth import this, that some may call him Lord, Lord, who do not his Fathers will. 2. Professors of christiani­ty, without the practice of sound faith and repentance, shall be excluded out of heaven; for the sentence is cleer, Not e­very one that saith to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the King­dome of heaven. 3. Such as study to obey Gods will reveal­ed in the Gospel, that is, to beleeve in the Son of God, and to testifie their faith by a holy conversation shal be surely saved; for, He that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven, shall enter into the Kingdome of heaven: now the will of God revea­led in the word, is, that he whom the law condemneth, should flee to Christ Jesus by faith, and study to bring forth the fruits of newnesse of life.

Ver. 22. Many wil say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out divels? and in thy name done many wonderfull work?

23. And then wil I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me ye that work iniquity.

[Page 80]The second reason to this meaning: Many conceive now, that this plea of being Prophets, and workers of miracles in my Name, will be sufficient for their salvation in the day of judgment, who then at that day will finde themselves disap­pointed of their hopes, because they have not been workers of righteousnesse; therefore reall obedience of my Doctrine is necessary. Doctr. 1. There is a day of judgment appointed for all men, when Christ shall sit as Judge; for it is said, Many shall come to me at that day; and, I shall say, i.e. Give the Sentence. 2. Many doe build hopes of heaven upon great gifts and imployments in the Ministry, given to them with some successe, who shall be rejected of Christ; for, Many will say to mee, Have I not prophesied? unto whom I will say, Depart from me. 3. All men had need to beware, lest they deceive themselves in the matter of their own salva­tion, when they hear that Preachers, and Prophets, and work­ers of miracles deceive themselves, and may be destitute of sa­ving faith and sound repentance, which they do preach to o­thers; for it is said, Many will say to me in that day, We have prophesied. 4. Such as Christ shall reject at the last day, were never endued with saving grace, or accounted by him for true B [...]leevers; for Christ saith, I will professe to them, I never knew you; that is, I never approved you for any of my true Disciples. 5. Such as are destitute of true faith and repentance, how spe­cious soever their gifts and outward conversation seem to be to themselves or others, are in Christs account but workers of iniquity, and shall not dwell in his company in heaven: for, unto them who have no more but such stuffe as is here spoken of, he will say, Depart from me, ye that work iniquity: Let an unrenewed man preach or pray, or cast out divels, or convert souls, he is still but a Worker of iniquity, because he is not drawn in the sense of sin to beleeve in Christ, and to draw vertue out of him unto sanctification.

Vers. 24. Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and is fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

26. And every one that beareth these sayings of mine, and doth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:

[Page 81]27. And the rain descended, and the flouds came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the f [...]l of i [...].

A th [...]d reason of the necessity of our put [...]ing the Do­ctrine of Faith and Repentance in practice, as, He that doth Christs sayings, is like a wise builder, whose work is able to abide the tryall; and he that doth not practise Christs Do­ctrine, is like a foolish builder, whose work is over-turned when it is tryed; therefore the practising of Christs doctrine is necessary. Doct. 1. Our Lord is an accurate observer of the inward disposition of mens hearts, and conversation; for so his carefull urging of the doing of his word doth import. 2. The building of mens hope for salvation, is not alike well grounded, for some lay their ground solidly, and in renoun­cing of all vain confidence, they close by a lively Faith with Christ, as the onely worker and supported of their hopes, and grow up in him unto a holy Temple to the Lord; others lay their ground slightly upon outward hearing and profession and suc [...] like weak and sandy foundations, and both of them seem to be alike before the tryall come: for so doth this com­parison import. 3. As the rain from above, the floods from beneath, and the winds round about, beating at a house on all hands, make full tryall of the well-grounding therof; so shall the building of mens hope for salvation, be no lesse ex­actly tryed, and he that is a Practiser of Faith and Repen­t [...]nce, shall abide the tryall, and shall not be disappointed of his hopes, but found to be a wise man; and he that is a hearer only of Christs doctrine, who doth not labour to practise it, in beleeving and obeying his word, shall find his ground work ruined, in the day of tryall, and himself declared to be foolis [...], for this is our Lords meaning. 4. There is a great need for eve­ry man to examine himself, and to make fast work of his Faith in Christ, and study of sanctification, because the ruine of the building of the hopes of salvation in a counterfeit Christian is horrible; for, Great is the fall of that house, saith our Lord.

Ver. 28. And it came to passe when Iesus had ended these say­ings, the people were astonished at his doctrine.

29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes.

This is the effect of Christs sermon on the Mount. Doct. 1. The power of Christs Word is able to convince all the hea­rers [Page 82] of it, and to force them to admire the truth therof; for, The people were astonied at his doctrine. 2. Beside the authority of a faithfull Minister, there was also soveraign Majesty to be seen in Christs teaching, proper to himself, as the Master and Lord of all men; for, He taught them as one having authority. 3. Such as study not to glorifie God in their Ministry, do lose their own estimation also, for the Scribes, who being igno­rant of the nature of Faith and Repentance, did preach mens traditions, studied not to practise the truth, but sought their own, and not Gods glory, did lose their own authority, even at the peoples hand; for it is said, Christ taught with authority, and not as the Scribes.


Our Lord gives evidence of his divine power, grace, soveraignty and wisdom in miraculous healing of sundry diseases. 18. In triall of Disciples. 23. In re­buking the tempestuous winds and seas. 27. In tri­all of the Gadarens.

Ver. 1. WHen he was come down from the mountain, great mul­titudes followed him.

2. And behold there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

THe first evidence of Christs divine power and grace, is, the miraculous healing of the leper. In whose example these things are to be learned, 1. That Christs God-head and di­vine power must be laid, as a ground by every one who come, unto him, else nothing can be expected; according as this le­per gives him the glory of curing a miraculous disease, saying, Thou canst make me clean. 2. We must submit our selves to his wil in temporall benefits, not having any certain promise to obtain them, and still give unto him the glory of power to grant our desires, whether he satisfie us or not; for, If thou wilt, saith he, thou canst make me clean. 3- Nothing can keep a needy soul from Christ, when it seeth relief in him, it lea­peth over all impediments, as this leper, contrary to the prohi­bition [Page 83] of the ceremonial law, presseth through a multitude, and cometh to him.

Vers. 3. And Iesus put forth his hand, and touched him, say­ing, I will, be thou clean. And immediately his leprosie was cleansed.

In our Lords hearkning to the Leper: Learn, 1. That Christ abhorreth not the vilest of those who come unto him, how loathsome soever, and that he can touch the unclean, and not be infected by pollution, but is able to cleanse filthiness by the touch of his power; for, He put forth his hand, and tou­ched him. 2. That Christ did profess openly his own divine pow­er; for absolutely he commanded in his own name and autho­rity, as God the departing of the sicknesse, saying, I will, be thou clean, and this he proved in effect, immediately by cleansing the leper in a moment; for, Immediately the leprosie was clean­sed.

Ver. 4. And Iesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man, but go thy way, shew thy selfe to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded for a testimony unto them.

In this direction given to the leper, to shew himselfe to the Priest, who according to the law was judge in the case of le­prosie, Learn, 1. That Christs benefits will abide the tri­all, and be found to be solid, even his soes being Judges: therefore he will have the Man healed, to go to the Priest, who was appointed Judge of the cleansing of leprosie. 2. That Christ will not allow any man to speak of him, but as he is di­rected, therefore he would have the work found to be divine by the Priest, before it should be known that it was his work, for his own greater glory; therfore saith he, See thou tell no man. 3. That Christ would have the ceremoniall law kept, so long as the time thereof indured, saying, Offer the gift that Moses commanded. 4. That if our Lord suspend the manifesting of his glory, it is for manifesting of it in a fitter time, to the convincing of his adversaries, and confirmation of the faith of his own: Therefore he will have a Sacrifice offered unto God for the cleansing, that the God-head of the cleanser may be seen, and a testimony given against them, who would not acknow­ledg his power to be divine.

Ver. 5. And when Iesus was entred into Capernaum, there came unto him a Centurion, beseeching him.

6. And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsie, grievously tormented.

[Page 84]Another evidence of Christs divine power, is the healing of the Centurions seavant; Wherein learn, That Gods elections calling, and saving grace, runs to all ranks of men, without exception; for here a man of War, a Commander, in [...]ued with faith, a Centurion, and a Gentile cometh to him. 2. That faith wor­king by love can make an earrand to Christ for others, no lesse then for it self; for, My servant lieth sick, saith the Centurion. 3. Faith accounts misery, laid before Christ, a motive good e­nough for mercy to work on: Therfore saith he▪ My servant is grievously tormented.

Verse 7. And Iesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

In Christs answer learn, 1. How ready our Lord is to hear prayer, proceeding from faith and love: for he answe­reth quickly, I wil heal him. 2. That when the party affli­cted cannot stir, Christ will be content to make the travell, as here he saith, I will come and heal him. 3. The Centuri­on did not expresly ask so much, as is here granted, but half a word from saith serveth Christ, he wil give unto it a compleat answer, My servant is sick, saith the Centurion; I wil come and heal him, saith Christ.

Ver. 8. The Centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.

9. For I am a man under authority, having souldi­ers underm [...]: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth: and to another, Come, and he cometh: and to my servant, Do this, and be d [...] it.

In the Centurions answer learn, 1. That Faith hath a high e­steem of Christ, and a low esteem of it selfe, as is seen in the Centurions saying, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof. 2. That faith is content with Christs word, without bodily presence, and looks for no lesse effect from his word then from his presence; for, Speake saith he, the word only, and my servant shall be made whole. 3. Th [...] faith acknowledgeth all power and authority over all things, to be eminently in Christ; and in speciall, that all sicknesses are Christs souldiers and servants, to go or stay as he command [...], in a far more excellent way then a centurion can command his souldiers; for, saith he, I am a man under authority, &c. there­fore thou who art supream in authority overall, may it do more then I.

[Page 85] Ver. 10. When Iesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no not in Israel.

Christ is said to Marvel, not that he is ignorant of the cause of this glorious faith of the Centurion: for Christ was author of it, and did give it unto him: but because it was to be won­dred at by the Disciples, and Christ did use some externall gesture of wondring, to make the centurions faith to be so much the more taken notice of; and therefore [...]e [...] is said to marvell: Hence learn, 1. That faith, the greater it is, the more it pitcheth on Christs Deity: the more work it purs upon him, it is the more pleasing to him: he delights in his own gift of grace where-ever he sees it, he will marvellously entertain it, and hold it forth as a rarity unto others: this is it, that He mar­velled, and spake of it to his followers. 2. That the more means and the more time that a man hath had to grow strong in the faith, and yet hath profited little, the more is he to be blamed and to be reproached, in comparison of these who profit by few meanes: This is it which Christ saith, I have not found so great faith in Israel, as in this Centurion, a born Ethnick.

Ver. 11. And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east, and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isa [...]c, and Iacob in the kingdom of heaven.

12. But the Children of the Kingdome shall be cast out in­to utter darkenesse: there shall be weeping and g [...]ashing of teeth.

Upon this occasion, our Lord prophesieth of the calling of the Gentiles, verse 11. and rejection of the Jews, verse 12. Whence we learn, 1. That such of the Gentiles as beleeve In Jesus Christ, are joyned in society with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and that out of whatsoever Nation they shall come unto Christ, they shall be incorporate in the same fellowship of grace and glory; for, they shall sit down in the Kingdome of Heaven with Abraham, &c. 2. Whatsoe­ver was our Lords purpose, about the choosing of the Sacra­mental Signs of his Supper, we are sure that he esteemed sociall fitting of the Saints at Table, a fit sign to represent their fel­lowship one with another, in grace and glory: and that he thought it good, before the institution of the Sacrament, to acquaint his Disciples with such a form of speech as might expresse so much; for in stead of saying, Many shall be par­takers [Page 86] with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob, of life, joy, and honour, He saith, Many shall SIT DOWN TO TABLE with Abraham, Isaac and Iacob. 3. Whosoever are born within the compasse of a Nationall covenant with God, are children of the Kingdome, that is, have an external title to be heirs of the Kingdome; for therefore are the Jews who were born under the covenant, called Children of the Kingdom. 4. If a man have no more but the externall honour of a Covenanter for the Kingdom, and do want faith in Christ, he shall be stripped na­ked of that externall honour also: for, here it is said of such, The children of the Kingdom shall be cast out. 5. Such as are de­barred from heaven, are cast into utter darknesse; that is, in ex­treme misery, confusion, horror, and torment in hell; Where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, that is, where shall be no­thing but desperate sorrow.

Ver. 13. And Iesus said unto the Centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast beleeved, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self same hour.

After reproving and threatning the Jews, Christ turneth about, and speaketh graciously to the Centurion. Doct. 1. Christ will never be so incensed against his foes as to forget his friends: Therefore his threatning of the misbelief of the Jews, makes not our Lord forget his respect to this faithfull Centurion. 2. Christ will not dis-appoint the hopes of his own: but as they beleeve so shall it be: they that beleeve in him shall not be ashamed, therefore saith he here, As thou hast be­leeved, so be it done unto thee. 3. Christs word and power need not his bodily presence for bringing forth the effect promi­sed: for the Centurions servant was healed, being absent in place, On the self-same hour.

Ver. 14. And when Iesus was come into Peters house, he sa [...] his wives mother laid, and sick of a fever.

15. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she a­rose and ministred unto them.

In this healing of Peters wifes mother, Learn, 1. That marriage is lawfull, and honourable in the Preachers of the Gospel, for Peter being called to the Apostleship, keepeth his wife, and house, and entertaineth his wifes mother. 2. Christ will not disdain to visit the families of his own, how mean soever they be; for, he cometh to Peters house. 3. The speciail thing our Lord taketh notice of in the house he cometh unto, is, What aileth any in it, and what need [Page 87] they stand in of his help; therefore it is observed of him here, that he saw Peters wifes mother lying sick of a feaver, as if there had been nothing else to see. 4. Christ will shew his goodness and power as need is, for the comfort of his friends as here; He touched her hand, and the feaver left her. 5. Albeit this might seem no great matter, in comparison of other miracles, yet faith wil observe Christs divine power in a little matter, as clearly as in the greatest work; therefore doth the Evangelist mark this miracle, that She arose and ministred unto them. 6. What benefit we receive of Christ, ought to be imployed for ser­vice to him, and his followers; for this woman being healed, A­rose and ministred, or served Christ and his Disciples, in such en­tertainment as Peters house could afford.

Ver. 16. And when the even was come, they brought unto him ma­ny that were possessed with divels: and he cast out the spirits with hi [...] word, and healed all that were sick.

In this multitude of miracles, learn, 1. That no time was untimous unto Christ, when people came unto him; for, When the even was come, when rest was due to Christ, after al the dayes diligence in his calling, they brought unto him many sick. 2. Among other effects which sin [...]ath brought upon men, this is one, to be bodily possessed with divels: and it is justice that it so should be, when possession spirituall is not regarded, as it is said, They brought unto him many possessed with divels. 3. There is no mean to liberate men of divels, but that they come, or be presented by others unto Christ, as these were brought to him. 4. Christ by his word o [...] command, easily can deli­ver men from deepest possession; for, He cast out the spirits by his word. 5. Never man came to him to be helped whom he cured not, therefore justly do they [...]perish who come not unto him▪ for of those that came unto him it is said, He healed ALL that were sick.

Ver. 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the Prophet, saying, himself took our infirmities, and bare our sick­nesses.

The Evangelist maketh observation of the intent of these works: Hence learn, 1. That all the miraculous cures which Christ used upon mens bodies, was to make it evident, that he was the promised Saviour of soules spoken of by the Prophets; for, These things did he, that it might be fulfilled, or be known to be fulfilled, which was spoken by Esaias. 2. This speedy delivering of the infirm, this universall hea­ling [Page 88] of the sick; this welcoming of them, how untimous so­ever they came, proveth that Christ not only took on him our infirmities, common to mankind, but also by compassion did bear our sicknesses so affectionately, that he healed such as came unto him, so readily and shortly, as if the disease had been in his own body.

Verse 18. Now when Iesus saw great multitudes a­bout him, he gave commandement to depart unto the other side.

The report of his miracles being spread abroad, multitudes of the people did flock about him, to gaze and wonder at him. Therefore Christ no wayes loving idle gazing, nor confused confluence of curious people, doth give commandement to his Disciples by ship to go over the lake of Genesaret, unto the o­ther side. Doct. 1. Many do flock after Christ and his Ordinan­ces, rather out of curiosity, and by-respects, then out of de­sire to profit, as is here evident. 2. Christ is not the author, nor allower of confusion, be it under never so specious pretences, as here appeareth. 3. Christ wil rather depart then foster folly; he loveth not to feed any mans curiosity, but to be profitable; he loveth not worldly pomp, but to be beleeved into, and to be lo­ved for salvation; Therefore, He gave commandement to depart unto the other side.

Ver. 19. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I wil follow thee wheresoever thou goest.

20. And Iesus saith unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

A scribe perceiving how Christ was esteemed of, doth make offer absolutely to be his Disciple and servant; but first, with an eye to his own ease, profit and honour, as appeareth by Christs answer; then rashly, not considering his own inabili­ty nor what hazards and difficulties he had to passe, in case of following of Christ, and withall intruding himselfe in Christs Ministry, saying, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. Our Lord meeting the mans mind, rather then his words, doth professe himselfe indeed to be the promised Messiah, now in­carnate, and made the Son of man: next, that he had volunta­rily emptied himself so far of honour, riches, and ease, as he had no certain place of residence, no not so much as a Foxes den, or birds nest, nor any houshould stuffe whereon to lay his head. This did our sins deserve, and this Christ was content [Page 89] to suffer, for ransoming of us, and procuring right for large allowance unto us, and to season and sanctifie eve [...]y mean e­state and degree of life, to such as should be called unto it; now whether this Scribe made his offer good or not, it is not materiall: but howsoever, we learn, 1. That such as wil fol­low Christ, must make resolution to be content with such al­lowance, and fare, as the Captain of our salvation was con­tent with: for so doth Christs answer import. 2. Whoso­ever do offer their service unto Christ, especially in the Mini­stry, should look well what motives do induce them, and that they be not seeking the world in his service, or else they may fall short of their intention, and be disclaimed of Christ, as unfit to be accounted his servants, for this is it which the answer doth speak.

Ver. 21. And another of his Disciples said unto him, Lord, suffer me to go and bury my father.

22. But Iesus said unto him, follow me, and let the dead bury their dead.

Here is another man called to follow Christ, who desires a delay, and putteth off the matter with an excuse, till his old father were dead and buried: Hence learn, 1. That such as Christ hath a mind to call to the Ministry, he wil find them out: for here is a Disciple, who hath no mind to follow Christ unto the constant attendance of the Ministry, and yet Christ intends to have him. 2. A true calling may be met possibly at first, with an unwilling minde, either altogether refusing the Ministry, or shifting off the calling for a time, for this man desires to be let alone till his aged father should die, that he might discharge the last duty unto him, ere he followed Christs call; Suffer me first to bury my father, saith he. 3. Christ will not take a refusall of the man, whom he intends to imploy; and that no pretence of doing duty to mens bodies shall be taken for an excuse for the not taking charge of souls, when Christ doth call; for Christ urgeth him stil, saying, Follow me. 4. Common civil duties may be done by any men, but the work of the Ministry only by men chosen, and called, and sent, Therefore follow thou me, saith Christ, and let the dead bu­ry their dead: that is, men dead in their sins are sufficient for such a work, as burying the dead, but follow thou this higher im­ployment.

Ver. 23. And when he was entred into a ship, his disciples fol­lowed him.

[Page 90]24. And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but he was a­sleep,

25. And his disciples came unto him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us, we perish.

26. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearfull, O ye of little faith? Then he arose and rebuked the winds, and the sea, and there was a great calm.

37. But the men marvelled, saying, what manner of man is this, that even the winde amd the sea obey him?

In this miracle observe, 1. That our Lord of set purpose, will lead his Disciples into dangers, for the stirring up, and triall of their faith, and for evidencing of his own glory; for, He enters into a ship for this end, and maketh his Disciples fol­low him, wherein they might safely hazard indeed when he went before and did give warrant to them to follow. 2. His presence exeemeth not his Disciples from trouble, and dan­ger; for, Now there arose a great tempest in the sea. 3. Our Lord as he took on him our nature, so also he subjected him­selfe to our naturall and sinlesse infirmities, for being weary on the land, he fals asleep in the ship. 4. The church may be like to be drowned, and Christ may seem to neglect the mar­ter; for the Church now in the ship, was covered with the waves, but he was asleep in the ship. 5. The church must be­leeve Christ to be God, and able to deliver them, albeit he seem as it were sleeping among them, because he can carry him­self as one a sleep, and that of purpose in his wisdom, to the end he may be awaked by their prayers, as by the Disciples here, They came and awoke him, and cried, Lord, save us, we perish. 6. As sense of danger and need is a choise argument, when we deal with Christ for help (for, We perish speaketh much) so is it an ordinary fore-runner of deliverance and help; for, Save us, we perish, went before the rebuking of the wind. 7. It is a sinful misbelief to be too much feared to perish in Christs com­pany and service: therfore he rebuked them, saying, why are ye fearfull? 8. He can put difference between small faith, and no faith, and as he will reprove unbelief, so wil he not despise the smallest measure of belief; therefore saith he, O ye of little faith. 9. Whether he seem to sleep, or to be awake, he is Lord of heaven and earth, ruler and commander of wind, sea and land, whom all the creatures must obey; for he arose and rebu­ked the wind and there, was a calm. 10. The glory of the delive­rance, [Page 91] which Christ doth give to his people in their greatest straight, is marvellous, and far above all that they can appre­hend ere it come: for when the Disciples looking as men on the Lords work, saw the great calm, they marvelled. 11. The faith which Christs Disciples had in his God-head, was little in comparison of what they had ground f [...]r, even from the works of the glory therof, demonstrate unto them; for, say they, What manner of man is this, that even the windes and sea obey him?

Ver. 28. And when he was come to the other side, into the coun­try of the Gergesens, there met him two poss [...]ssed with divels, com­ing out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might passe by that way.

29. And behold, they cryed out, saying, what have we to do with thee, Iesus thou Son of God? Art thou come hither to torment us be­fore the time?

30. And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

31. So the divels besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

32. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea and perished in the waters.

33. And they that kept them fled, and went their wayes into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the divels.

34. And behold, the whole city came out to meet Iesus, and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

The last part of the chapter, containeth the delivery of the two men possessed with divels: Wherein learn, 1. That Christ went no whether, but for a speciall errand; pity to these two poor possessed men, moved him to crosse The sea, or the loch of Tiberius, and when he came to the other side, his er­rand appeares, The two possessed men are presecuted unto him. Christ can make the divels bring men unto him, nill they, will they, for here there met him two possessed with divels. 3. The malice of the divels is exceeding cruel, where they can get liberty to shew it against man: for they drive these men from the society of other men, unto the saddest spectacle of tombes or sepulchers, they imbitter them with rage and fierce [Page 92] anger, and move them to come against all other men, so, that no man could passe by that way. 4. How powerfull soever divels be, yet they can neither stand out against Christs pow­er, nor flee from him, nor abide his presence: Therefore, They cry out for fear of him. 5. The case of possessed souls, in whom the spirit of disobedience doth rule, is to be seen in these whose bodies were possessed with divels, the man is their lodging house; he is no more master of his own actions, but is Satans slave; The mans eyes look for Satan, his hands and feet work and walk for Satan, his throat is made Satans blowing-horn, his mouth speaketh for Satan: and here they cry out by the Poor mans throat, saying, What have we to do with thee? 6. Divels did know Christ to be the Son of God, but they knew also that he came not in the world for their good, but to be Saviour of men; therefore, What have we [...] do w [...]th thee, say they? 7. Albeit it be not in the divels power not to yeeld to Christ, yet they remain their wicked aversnesse to obey him, being loath to leave the possession they have got­ten: they would be let alone by him, if they could, and do wickedly plead for it, saying, What have we to do with thee? 8. They know there is a time coming, when they shall be more tormented then they are as yet; even the day of Judge­ment, and this they tremble at, saying, Art thou come to tor­ment us before the time? 9. They cannot hurt so much as a sow except Christ, Lord of Heaven and Earth, do suffer them; therefore the divels besought Christ, saying, If thou cast [...] out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. 10. The Lord suf­fereth somtime Satan to have his wil of mens bodies and goods, for their tryal; as here to go into the Gadarens swine, to try the owners mind; therfore Christ said unto them, Go. 11. These wicked spirits love alwayes to do evill, and make it a sport to destroy what they are permitted: Therefore, they drove the swine headlong into the sea, and made them perish in the water. 12. To the end that the tryal of men might be perfected, Christ will have them to know be Spirituall benefits of the Gospel, as well as the temporall inconveniencies following it. This it the reason that Christ will have the Gadarens to know as well of the delivery of men possessed with divels, as of the drowning of the swine; for, The swincherds tell them of all, that so they might be inexcusable. 13. Men left to their own selves, will choose any thing rather then Christ, and will do no better then these Gadarens did. 14. Temporall losse of [Page 93] swine is so great in the worldly mens estimation, that spirituall advantage is nothing esteemed of: for the Gadarens are not so moved with the delivery of the souls and bodies of the pos­sessed men, as they are with the losse of their swine. 15. If men see nothing of Christs sweet mercies, but only take up his power, they will be loath to have him in their company; ther­fore these Gadarens do Beseech him to dapart from them. Such worldly men will rather quit the Gospel, then hazard their worldly goods. 16. This is the greatest token of Christs leaving a place, or not coming into a place, when the whole incorporation, city, or place doth consist only of Gadarens, and all do consent that he should depart: for there apparant­ly, he hath no errand to stay him; and wheresoever Christ hath no imployment, thence will he remove.


Here are moe evidences of Christs divine power, authority, and love to his people, in healing the palsie, and pardoning of sin, vers. 8. Calling of Matthew, and defending of his Disciples, vers. 17. Removing of sicknesse. vers. 22. Raising the dead. vers. 31. Dispos­sessing divels. vers. 35. And care to have mi­nisters provided for the conversion of souls.

Ver. 1. ANd he entered into a ship, and passed over, and came in­to his own city.’

HE cometh to Cpernaum, which is called his own city, not only because he dwelt in it, but because he had a number of his own in it, as may be gathered from the history: Hence learn, 1. That the more godly persons be in a city, the more the Lord will own it: and albeit a city for the most part be unthankfull (as Capernaum was) yet will no [...] the ungrati­tude of the multitude hinder him to be good to his own in it; for Christ here returneth to Capernaum, and makes it be stiled His own city.

[Page 94] Ver. 2. And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsie, lying on a bed: and Iesus seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsie, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee.

In the healing of the soul and body of the man sick of the palsie, learn, 1. That such as are seeking benefit of Christ, will watch for oportunity to finde him. When Christ cometh to Capernaum, certain men do bring out One sick of the palsie to him. 2. It is an act of lively faith as to come to Christ, so also to help others to come unto Christ: for of those that bring the palsie sick to Christ, as well as of the palsie sick himself, it is said, Iesus saw their faith. 3. Our Lord loves to entertain faith with evidences of respect unto the beleevers; for, Iesus seeing their faith, speaketh com­fortably unto the palsie sick. 4. When Christ will heal sicknesse and miseries at the root, he takes away sin, and forgiveth it: therefore saith he to the palsie sick, Thy sins are forgiven thee. 5. When he remitteth sin, he advanceth a man to Son-ship, and doth regenerate him; Therfore Christ doth here call him, Son, while he pronounceth him forgiven. 6. The man whose sins are forgiven, is blessed, albeit his outward condition do seem miserable: Therefore Jesus biddeth the sick of the pal­sie be of good chear, because his sins were forgiven.

Ver. 3. And behold, certain of the Scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.

The adversaries of Christ conceive ill thoughts of this his mercy to the palsie sick: Hence learn, 1. That it is no wonder to see Christs followers misconstrued, for the Scribes think of Christ himselfe, that he blasphemeth. 2. Even these who are of the learned sort, who should know him best, may be mi­staken about him; for, Certain of the Scribes misconsture him. 3. Any vail is sufficient to blind-fold the wicked, for these men will not see Christ to be God, notwithstanding he doth demonstrate his deitie daily, because they see him to be a man; This man, say they, blasphemeth. 4. Christs forgiving sins by his own authority, was a plain avowing himself to be very God, for who can forgive sins so but God? And this is the ground whereupon the Scribes do think Christ guilty of blas­phemie, that being, as they thought a man, and no more, he did forgive sins by his own authority, which is the property of God.

Ver. 4. And Iesus knowing their thoughts, said, Wherfore think ye evill in your hearts?

[Page 95]Christ will prove himselfe to be God, by discovering their inward thoughts: Hence learn, 1. That the more the God-head of our Lord be opposed, the more will he shew himselfe to be God, in the face of his adversaries: And here he turneth out the inside of the Scribes mind, shewing himself the searcher. of hearts; for it is said, Iesus knowing their thoughts. 2. Thoughts go not free before God, Men shall give account of them; for, here the Scribes are challenged of thoughts, Wherefore thinke ye evill? 3. It is a sin, and a fearfull one, to think in our heart, that Christ is not very God, for which no man shall be able to answer, when he shall be challenged, more then these men were able, to whom Christ saith, Wherfore think ye evill in your hearts?

Ver. 5. For whether is it easier to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee, Or to say, arise and walk?

6. But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the Palsie) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house.

7. And he arose, and departed to his house.

He demonstrateth himselfe yet more to be true God, even his enemies being judges, by discovering so much power in his works, as they acknowledged him to be divine: Hence learne, 1. That our Lord his works are able to convince the adversaries of his God-head, themselves being Judges; for, Whether, saith he, is it easier? &c. 2. Christs forgiving sins in his own name and authority, and his setting a man sick of a palsie, whole and strong upon his feet, in a moment, are both convincing evidences of Christs God-head; The argument may be fra­med thus, He who healeth the palsie sick in a moment by his own power, giveth a convincing evidence of his God-head, (even the Scribes, Christs adversaries being Judges:) But Christ doth heale the sick in a moment by his own power, (as he proveth sensibly in his healing the Palsie before their eyes:) Therefore Christ giveth a convincing evidence of his God-head, the Scribes and adversaries being judges. Another con­vincing argument may be thus, He who hath power of him­self to heal the palsie, doth without blasphemy give out him­selfe to be God, in forgiving sins by his own authority (even in the judgment of his adversaries, who esteemed the healing of the palsie in his own name, to be lesse easie then to pro­nounce forgiveness of sins in his own name:) But Christ hath power of himselfe to heal the palsie, and sensibly [...]weth the [Page 96] same in healing therof, to the intent his adversaries may know that he in the time of his humiliation in the flesh had power on earth to forgive sins; Therefore Christ without blasphemy gi­veth out himself to be God, in forgiving sins by his own autho­rity; and so the adversaries of his God-head, the Scribes were confounded.

Verse 8. But when the multitude saw it, they mar­velled, and glorified God, which had given such power and men.

The Pharisees are put to shame, and yet do not glorifie God; but the multitude do acknowledge divine power manifested in this work, Doct. 1. When the learned refuse to give to Christ glory, God can make others to glorifie him; as the multitude here do glorifie God for what they see in Christ, when the scribes are dumb. 2. The light of a miracle may convince a man, and lift him up to see divine properties in Christ, and yet not be suf­ficient to settle him in the faith, that Christ is God and Man in one person: for here the multitude do come short of a ful testi­mony that Christ is God: they glorifie God who had given such power to Men, not having yet the knowledg, that The Man was God incarnate.

Verse 9. &c. to 14. And as Iesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man named Matthew, sitting at the receit of custom: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And be arose and followed him.

In Matthew his conversion and calling to the Apostleship, Learn, 1. That it is our duty, when we may edify others, to declare what proof we have of Gods mercy toward our selves, albeit the glorifying of God by this mean be joyned with aba­sing of our own estimation; for Matthew here gives us an exam­ple so to do, in relating how himself, when Christ called him, was found in a base and odious office among the Jews, to wit, a Customer, who had sold his own credit, and all mens kindness for love of gain. 2. The grace of effectuall calling is not pre­vented by any goodness in man; for, Matthew is sitting at the receit of custome, without taking notice of Christ, all the time he had been in Capernaum, before this time: yet Christ with a speciall eye of compassion and love doth now look on him, convert and cal him to be an Apostle. 3. The operation of grace is invincible; for Matthew here without more ado, breaketh through all Impediments, ariseth, leaveth the Custom-house, and followeth Christ.

[Page 97] Ver. 10. And it came to passe, as Iesus sate at meal in the hous [...] behold, many Publicans and sinners came and sate down with him and his Disciples.

After this, Matthew doth entertain Christ in his house: upo [...] which occasion other Publicans also do come in unto Christ: Hence learn, 1. That a soul which hath rasted the grace and love of Christ, cannot chuse but fall in love with him, and his followers; for Matthew now canno [...] satisfie himself, till he get Christ and his Disciples to eat with him at his house. 2. Christ will not refuse to take, and give signes of friendship and love, where he knoweth he is loved; for here he cometh and his Disciples with him, to eat at the Publicans house. 3. The ob­servation of Christs kind respect to any one sinner, may give encouragement to the rest, to draw nee [...] unto him also: for, because Christ will come to a Publicans house to eat with him, many Publicans and sinners came and sate down also with him and his Disciples.

Ver. 11. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto [...] Disciples, Why eateth your Master with Publicans and sin­ners?

The Pharisees cannot endure this his familiar conversing with sinners. Doct. 1. Such as are not humbled in the sense of ther own sins, will take occasion of car [...]ing against God, if he deal otherwise with his own children then they can al­low; if he shew signes of favour to others, whom they judge more sinfull then themselves: This is the ground of the Pha­risees accusing Christ, because, He eateth with sinners. 2. They who are least sensible of their own sins, will be greatest enemies to such, as in the sense of sin are seeking communi­on with Christ: and no greater temptations have yong Chri­stians to waken them, then from old hypocrites: The conver­ted Publicans are disdained, Christ and his Disciples are quar­relled for their kind carriage towards young converts, only by the Pharisees: Why eateth your Master with sinners, sa [...] they?

Verse 12. But when Iesus heard that, he said unto them, they that he whole need not a Physician, but they than are sick.

Christ taketh the defence of his Disciples, and cleareth himselfe and them also. Doct. 1. Whosoever suffer or are quarrelled for Christs cause, he will take the plea upon him­selfe: the Disciples here are questioned, and Christ maketh answer [Page 98] to the Pharisees; Christ justifieth his own deed by three reasons: The first, The Physician may converse with the sick: Therefore I may converse with such publicans and sinners as find themselves sick of sin; albeit ye who count your selves whole & sound, find no need of such a Physician as I am: Hence learn, 1. That sin is like a sore sickness which needeth the true Physician, who is Jesus Christ alone: for so importeth the comparison. 2. All such as are dead in their sins and trespas­ses, and namely such as are puffed up with conceit of their own righteousness, are whole and found in their own estimation, & do misregard, the Physician Christ, as if they stood in no need of him; such were the Pharisees hereby taxed. 3. Such as are sick and sensibly troubled with sin, Christ will converse, with them, as with persons standing in need of him; for, They that are sick need the Physician, saith he.

Ver. 13. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The second reason: God never commanded a ceremonie of the Leviticall law, to hinder a necessary duty of mercy, or of the Morall law, as Hosea 6.6, teacheth; Therefore no cere­monie Leviticall must hinder me to shew mercy on these pub­licans and sinners: Hence learn, 1. That proud men who are puff'd up with the conceit of their own righteousnesse, and do disdain humbled sinners, are ignorant of the word of God, whatsoever they seem to be in profession of knowledge; Therefore saith Christ to these proud Pharisees, Goe ye and learn what it meaneth, &c. 2. God delighteth to shew mer­cy to sinners, and will not suffer any man to deny mercy to his neighbour, under pretence of observation of some act of outward ceremonie: Commands about outward ceremonies were not appointed to hinder, but to further the work of mercy; for it is said, I will have mercy and not sacrifice. The third reason: My errand unto the world is not to call unto re­pentance such as are righteous in their own eyes, as you are; But to call such as these Publicans, who are sinners in their own eyes; therefore it is lawfull for me to converse with them, rather then with you: Hence learn, 1. So many of the hearers of the Gospel, as are righteous in their own eyes, do want a warrant to come unto the comfort of Christs mer­cy and mediation, so, long as they remain proud and puff'd up with opinion of their own righteousnesse; for he saith, I am [Page 99] not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. All his doctrine unto the conceited: righteous, is, to shew them their unrighteousnesse, and deserved condemnation, and Gods imminent wrath, and to exclude them from the benefit of his Gospel, till they be humbled. 2. such as are sensible of their sins and unrighteousnesse, who see themselves to have sin, and to want repentance, are the very soules whom Christ is seeking, and whom he came to call, that coming unto him, he might give them repentance▪ for, he saith, I am come to call sinners to repentance. 3. The grace of Christs Gospel doth not give liberty to loosnesse, and sinfull living, but calls men to the course of repentance, that walking on in the way of morti­fying sin, Christ may lead them unto salvation; for I came to call sinners to repentance, saith he.

Verse 14. Then came to him the Disciples of Iohn, say­ing, Why do we and the Pharisees fast oft, but thy Disciples fast not?

Thus the Pharisees are refuted: now Johns Disciples do come and quarrell for Christs Disciples non-conformity with them in fasting. Doct. 1. It is no wonder to see questions a­rise in the Kirk for non-conformity in ceremonies; for Johns disciples do quarrel with Christ, that his Diiciples were not conformable to them in the custome of frequent fasting. 2. Men are much in love with their own customs, and look more to ce­remonies then to substance, and would have their own practice to be the sole rule which others should follow; for, Why, say they, do WE fast, but THY Disciples fast not? 3. Such as are given to urge needlesse conformity, give advantage to the ene­my, and wil readily joyn with Christs adversaries in the con­troversie to strengthen themselves, and to make their party good; for, Why do we and the Pharisees fast? say Johns disciples. They side with the Pharisees, and justifie their course, that they may burden Christ and his disciples, as the fewer number, with a prejudice.

Ver. 15. And Iesus said unto them, can the children of the bride­chamber mourne, as long as the bridegroom is with them? but the dayes will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast.

Christ justifieth his Disciples by two reasons, in which he dealeth with Johns Disciples as with friends, more mildly then with the Pharisees. The first reason is, so long as I am in my Disciples company, it is the time of joy unto them; Therfore [Page 100] to injoyn them fasting, were untimeous: Hence learn, 1. That our Lord Jesus is Bridegroom, and the church is his Bride, which he espouseth to himselfe to be partaker of all the riches of his grace; and Christs Ministers are the Bridegrooms men, for this the comparison doth import. 2. The Disciples of Christ so long as Christ was bodily present among them, had days of great joy, as children of the Bride-chamber, daily behol­ding his glory and grace, in which condition they were not cal­led unto fasting: Therfore saith he, The children of the Bride­chamber cannot mourn, as long as the Bridegroom is with them. 3. When the Lord doth with-draw his wonted presence, and usuall comforts from us, we are called to fasting and mourning; for The days shall come, wherein the bridegroom shal be taken from them, and then shall they fast, saith he.

Ver. 16. No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old gar­ment: for that which is put in to fil it up, taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse.

17. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preser­ved.

The second reason clothed with two similitudes, is this, The strong exercise of extraordinary fasting is no more fit for the tender and weak condition of my Disciples, then to put a piece of now stiffe cloth upon a tender old coat, which is not able to bear the seam, or then it is fit to put new wine in­to old and weak bottles (for this exercise of extraordinary and frequent fasting is fit for strong and exercised Disciples only) Therfore my Disciples are not charged to fast in this their tender condition: Hence learn, 1. That the work of Gods grace in young converts is very tender, and easily hurt, and must be discreetly entertained, so doth the scope of the si­militudes import. 2. When christians are grown up so some strength, and have their senses exercised, they must be put to answerable paines and exercise in Religion; for this is To put new wine in new bottles, that both might be preserved. 3. If discretion be not used in proportioning the burden of out­ward exercises of religion, unto the capacity and strength of the Disciples, both the exercise is lost, and the Disciples are hurt: for this is the meaning of, the hole of the garment is made more, the new wine and the old bottle both are lost.

Ver. 18. While the spake these things unto them, behold, there [Page 101] came a certain ruler and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thine hand upon her and she shall live.

19. And Iesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disci­ples.

The dispute is broken off by the coming of a ruler, pray­ing that his daughter might be raised from death. In the com­ing of this ruler unto Christ, We learn, 1. That Christ can find out means in his providence to honour himself in the midst of all controversies and disputations; for, A certain Ruler, a man of place cometh and worshippeth him, while he is speaking, and so breaketh off the dispute. 2. Christ can find an errand for the man whom he will draw unto him, as here, by a daughters death: so by some like trouble on a man or on his family, he can draw the Parents unto himself. 3. All that come to Christ, are not alike strong in faith. This ru­ler of the Synagogue requireth both Christs Presence, and the touch of his hand, that his daughter may be raised from dead: Come, saith he, and lay thy hand on her. 4. Our gentle Lord refuseth no man, putteth no man away that come unto him, He arose and followed him.

Ver. 20. (And behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve yeers, came behind him, and touched the b [...]mme of his garment.

21. For she, said within her self, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

While Christ is on his way, a sick woman through faith is healed. Doct. 1. Poor and rich are alike welcome to Christ, for here while he is going with the Ruler, he neglecteth not this poor sick man. 2. That which doth separate us from the so­ciety of the Holy, must not separate us from Christ, but ra­ther drive us unto him; for this woman legally polluted, and so separate from the Temple, and all clean Persons, draweth near Christ to touch him. 3. Though all remedies do fail, and our evil be of long endurance, yet Christ must be run unto, for this woman is diseased twelve years, yet cometh with hope of help in Christ. 4. Albeit Christ seem to take no notice of us, but to be about the helping of others only, yet must we take notice of him, and draw in to him upon all occasions offe­red. As this woman cometh to Christ in his way to the Rulers house; while grace is in dealing, we must have our share of it. 5. None can come to Christ rightly, but such as beleeve [Page 102] to be the better of him: and such as come may be perswaded of help by him, as this woman assured her self of health, If she might but touch his garment.

Verse 22. But Iesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that houre)

Christ will not have this work to be hid, but brought to light for good use. Doct. 1. Though modest soules resolve quietly to creep to heaven, unknown of others; yet God will have his work in them brought to light, for his own glory; Therefore Iesus turneth about, and draweth her forth before the multitude. 2. Faith in Christ gets a sweeter welcome then it can expect [...] it may come trembling, but shall find joy ere it go: as this woman is made whole, and is declared to be a Daughter, begotten by the word of the Gospel, and adopt­ed among Christs children, and is comforted and commended for her faith in the midst of her fears. 3. Our Lord will not suffer any mean of our devising to take the room from the mean appointed by himselfe; Therefore Christ doth not say, thy Touching my garment; but, Thy faith hath made thee whole.

Ver. 23. And when Iesus came unto the rulers house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,

24. He said unto them, Give place, for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorne.

Christ goeth on to the Rulers house, and doth not forget his errand. Doct. 1. Christ may give grace to another before thee; but if thou be seeking him, the helping of another shall not hinder thee, but help thee rather, as the womans healing helped the Rulers faith; and so Christ goeth on where he is invited to come. 2. Christ will have nothing counted despe­rate which he takes in hand; yea, he wil have death it self estee­med but as a sleep, in comparison of his divine power: nothing is too hard for him; in which sense he saith here, The Maid is not dead, but sleepeth. 3. To speak of Christs power to a mis­beleever, is but a jest: Therefore these misbeleevers laughed him to scorne.

Ver. 25. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.

Verse 26. And the fame thereof went abroad into all lands.

[Page 103]In the raising of the Damosel, and consequent of it, Learn, 1. That Christ is the life and resurrection, and that his pow­er can easily raise the dead [...] for here he took the dead Maid by the hand, and she arose. 2. The offer of Christs mercy to one, should make his name famous among all, as here his fame for this One work went abroad in all that land.

Ver. 27. And when Iesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.

In the healing of these two blind men, Learn, 1. That our Lord wearies not to do good; the more he is imployed, the more good he worketh. When Christ departed from the rulers house, Two blind men follow him. 2. When others get almes and mercy from Christ, it should allure more to come to his deal, as these blinde men hearing of many helped by Christ, do come and cry, Have mercy on us. 3. Such as seek good of Christ, must look on him as he is descri­bed in Scripture, as he is the promised Messiah, the na­tive King of Israel; Son of David, say they, have mercy on us. 4. Such as beleeve to get good of Christ, will find a way to follow him, and come at him, albeit they were blinde; for these blinde men follow and cry. 5. More persons in the sense of one need, may joyn in one fute unto Christ; for these two blind men do joyn in one cry, saying, Have mercy on us. 6. The incarnation of the Son of God is a noble Prop to Faith, Thou son of David, say they, have mercy. 7. Mercy is our only plea with God, and Christ; Therefore, say they, Have mercy on us.

Ver. 28. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him, and Iesus saith unto them, Beleeve ye that I am able to do this? they said unto him, Yea, Lord.

Christ suffereth them to cry on, till he lead them unto his lodging. Doct. 1. The Lord will seem not to regard the prayer which he mindeth to grant, and so will traine on the Supplicant patiently to pursue his request: for no answer is given, till the blind men come to his lodging, and do follow him within doors. 2. Whoso love to have any thing from Christ, had need to have a right estimation of his power, and to have their faith fixed; therefore, Beleeve ye, saith Christ, that I am able to do this? 3. In things belong­ing to this life, it is sufficient to beleeve his Power, leaving the matter of his Wil to himself. Therfore here it is asked only, Be­leeve [Page 104] ye that I am able? And they answer, Yea Lord, and no more.

Ver. 29. Then touched he their eyes, saying, according to your faith, be it unto you.

30. And their eyes were opened, and Iesus straightly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.

Our Lord toucheth their eyes, and openeth them. Dct. 1. Where any faith is, the Lord will strengthen it as need is; therefore albeit no touching was needful, yet to strengthen their faith, He toucheth their eyes. 2. Faith shall not be frustrate; Therefore saith Christ, According to your faith be it unto you, and their eyes were opened. 3. Our Lord loved no rash applause, but that his miracles should be keeped in silence a while, that men might take heed to his doctrine the more resolutely, and praise his work the more solidly: Therefore charged he them, saying, See that no man know it, to wit, till I give you warrant.

Ver. 31. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.

They not taking heed to the command, but consulting their own wit, do contrary to the commandement, therefore is their disobedience marked; But they spread abroad his fame: Whence we learn, That the most specious pretences that can be made, are not able to save a man from guiltinesse, if he disobey a command.

Ver. 32. And as they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a divel.

33. And when the divell was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitude marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Is­rael.

In the healing of the dumb, Learn, 1. Where Satan gets possession, he doth mar the right use of what a man hath of God in one thing or other, in so far as he is not restrained; From some he taketh the wit away, as from the lunatick: from some he taketh their strength, and boweth down their back; From some he taketh their hearing, and from this man he ta­keth his speech; He is a dumb man possessed with a divel. 2. The only remedy of all sort of possession is, To bring the person in­fested by Satan unto Christ, as this man is brought unto him. 3. When Satan is cast out, the man is set free, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty; for, When the divell is cast out, the dumb spake. 4. Where Gods work is rightly [Page 105] seen, the glo [...]y of divine and super excellent power is percei­ved: Therefore is it that the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel; meaning, that never any such work was done.

Ver. 34. But the Pharisees said, He casteth out the divels through the prince of the divels.

Satan moveth these dogs to blaspheme Christ. Doct. 1. It is a dangerous thing to oppose Christ, for such will at length readily blaspheme him, and will give the glory of his working rather unto the divel, then unto him; as here the Pharisees said, He casteth out divels by the Prince of di­vels.

Ver. 35. And Iesus went about all the cities and villages, tea­ching in their synagogues, and preaching the Gospel of the king­dome, and healing every sickness, and every disease among the people.

In Christs care of the salvation of the multitude, Learn, 1. That diligence in teaching and preaching the Gospel, is the proper way to convert and save souls, which Christ himself hath appointed and practised in his own person: He went about all cities and villages, teaching and preaching. 2. Justly is the Gospel called the Gospell of the Kingdome, both of Grace and Glory, seeing it is the light which sheweth the Kingdome, the furnisher of weapons to fight for it; It is the Scepter whereby the Subject [...] of the Kingdome are guided; It is the rule and law for the Subjects life, and it contain­eth the evidences of the Subjects right unto the Kingdome; and being received in a mans h [...]t, it b [...]ing [...]th with [...]a begun kingdome of righteousnesse, peace and joy. 3. The best op­portunities of peoples conveening, must be taken for teaching the Gospel, and no pains should be spared for that purpose; as men have their particular calling: for Christ the Prince of Pastors went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues. 4. Christs mira [...]l [...]s were all of th [...] profitable to men, He healed si [...]knesses and diseases. 5. There is no evil or malady of soul or body among people, which our Lord is not able and willing to heal in all those that imploy him: for, He healed every malady, and every disease, in those which came unto him.

Ver. 36. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them; because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.

[Page 106]Our Lord compassionatly looketh upon the condition of the people, under their ordinary teachers the Pharisees. Doct. 1. Mi­sery of Gods people, is a reason to shew pity when he pleaseth, and specially when they are conveened in a multitude; for it is said, When he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion because they fainted. 2. They are all as wandring sheep, who are not gathered in unto the saving faith of Jesus Christ; Therfore these multitudes not yet converted are compared to scattered sheep. 3. These men are no Pastors in Christs estimation, who do not teach people righteousness and salvation in Christ, who are idle and unfruitfull shepherds; Such as were the priests and Levites at that time: Therfore the multitude here are counted as Sheep having no shepherd, because their teachers did not their du­ty unto them in any profitable way.

Ver. 37. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truely is plenteous, but the labourers are few.

38. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he wil send forth labourers into his harvest.

This his commiseration he layeth forth before his Apostles, that they might be affected therewith also. Doct. 1. People made willing to hear the Gospel, are like a field ready to be cut down; so the comparison importeth. 2. Somtime the people are more in number, and more willing to hear, then there are able & willing Ministers to teach: and Then is the harvest plenteous, and the labourers few. 3. The true Disciples of Christ should carefully observe this, and lay it to heart; therefore is it that Christ layeth this case before his Disciples. 4. True Labourers and faithful Preachers are Gods special gift to a land, worthy to be sought from God by prayer; therfore saith he, Pray the Lord to send labourers. 5. God himself must fit men for the work of the Ministry, and must thrust them forth, and give them their commission, for no man can further the harvest who is not sent; the fore saith he, Pray that he would send forth, &c.


In this Chapter is contained the first commissi­on given by Christ to the Apostles to go preach, wherein he doth guard them a­gainst all difficulties in their Ministerie; and in speciall, against povertie and perse­cution.

Ver. 1. ANd when he had called unto him his twelve Disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heale all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease.’

HEre Christ calleth and furnished his Apostles. Doct. 1. Christ doth not admit every man unto the work of the Mi­nistry, but chuseth out, and calleth whom he will; as here he calleth unto him twelve, and no other. 2. Christ will have such as shall preach the Gospel, to be Disciples ere they be Mini­sters; trained and prepared a while in his company, ere they be put in publick charge; for here, He called unto him his twelve Disciples. 3. He fits whom he sends with all gifts and abilities, necessary for the discharge of their Office, as here he gave them power against unclean spirits, &c. 4. Our Lord Jesus is very God, having divine power in himself, which he will put forth by what instruments he pleaseth, as here, He giveth power to his Apostles to work miracles in his name and authority.

Ver. 2. Now the names of the twelve Apostles are these, The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, Iames the son of Zebedee, and Iohn his brother.

3. Phillip, and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the Publi­can, Iames the son of Alpheus, and Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus.

4. Simon the Canaanite, and Iudas Iscariot who also betrayed him.

In the names of the Apostles we learn, 1. That there must be an order among the Ministers of the Gospel, albeit with­out [Page 108] stately subjection of all to any one, there may be a priori­ty of order, which nature requires, without supremacy of Ju­risdiction: yea, there may be priority of order, without a su­periority of degree in Office; let be, without superiority of juris­diction; for, here there is a first, without naming a second: The first, Simon who is called Peter; who in the meetings of the Apostles might for orders cause, speak in the name of the rest, as elder then the rest, or as Moderator; but had no Lord­ship nor superiority of office over the rest; for this he disclaims 1 Peter 5.4. Next we observe, That albeit for a mans own salvation, his conversion and sanctification be necessary, yet want of true grace and sanctification doth not disan [...] the of­fice of a man outwardly called, nor hinder the lawsuinesse of his Ministry; for Iudas Iscariot is here called, and authori­zed to preach the Gospel, as Peter was, and is sent out in a common commission with the rest; for it is said, He calleth the twelve, and giveth them power, or whom Judas is named for one.

Ver. 5. These twelve Iesus sent forth, and commanded them, say­ing, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any City of the Samaritans enter yee not.

6. But go ye rather to the lost sheep of the house of Is­rael.

7. And as ye go, Preach, saying, The Kingdome of heaven is at hand.

In the direction learn, 1. That it was necessary, that the Jewes should have the first offer of the Gospel, being the visi­ble Kirk for the time, the people first and before all other in covenant with God; therefore in this first commission, the A­postles are commanded to keep within the Iews bounds, and not go to the Gentiles as yet, nor unto the Samaritans, which were composed of the off-spring of the mixt multitude of Pa­gans, who after the cativity of the ten tribes, were planted in their room; for, Go not in the way of the Gentiles, but rather to the lost sheep of Israel, saith Christ. 2. The office of Mi­nisters, is, to bring home unto the true shepherd Christ Jesus lost sheep, going astray from Christ: Therfore saith he, Go to the lost sheep. 3. The consideration of the danger of peoples souls ready to perish, must stir up the Ministers to faithful­nesse in their charge; Therefore he calleth his people Lost sheep. 4. The mean appointed by Christ for salvation of souls is preaching, how foolish soever it may seem to the world; for [Page 109] Go, saith Christ, and preach. 5. The sum of John Baptists preaching, Mat. 3.2. and of Christs, Mat. 4.17. and here of the Apostles, is all one; to wit, The Kingdome of heaven is at hand. 6. By the preaching of Christ his Ministers, the kingdome of heaven is brought neer hand to men: for righteousnesse, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost is offered unto every soule, who in the sense of need shall embrace Christ, Preach, saith he, the Kingdome of heaven is at hand.

Ver. 8. Heal the sick, cleanse the Lepers, raise the dead, cast out divels; freely yee have received, freely give.

It is worthy observation, that the Lord for confirmation of mens faith hath given power to the first Preachers of his Doctrine, to deliver men from miseries, both of soul and bo­dy, from sicknesse and divels; that in all time coming the power of his Gospel might be beleeved: for, Heal the sick, saith he, Cleanse the Lepers, Cast out divels. 2. To shew the freedome and rich grace of the Gospel, (whereby, whatsoever belongeth to righteousness and salvation, is bestowed upon the unworthy, without money, and without price) he gave the first Preachers of his grace a command to take no reward for their miraculous cures, saying, Freely have you received, freely give.

Vers. 9. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brasse in your purses.

10. Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, nor yet shooes, nor yet staves: (for the workman is worthy of his meat)

In this temporary commandement to the Apostles in their first commission, our Lord teacheth, 1. That such as have a calling to preach, need not be solicitous for their living: and that they should not aime at the conquest of money, or meanes, unto themselves, but to bring in souls to God. Therefore saith he, Provide neither gold, nor silver, &c. 2. Christ esteemeth and declareth the Preachers of the Gospel worthy of their sustenance, and their Hearers to be obliged in equity to sustaine them, saying, The work man is worthy of his meat. 3. When the Preachers are sustained by the Hearers, Christ esteemeth their sustenance to be no reward, neither to be any thing considerable, to hinder their bestow­ing of the benefit of the Gospel, to be esteemed A free gift; for after he saith, Freely give; he subjoyneth, The work man is worthy of his meat. 4. As Christ assureth painfull Preach­ers [Page 110] that they shall not want, so he giveth no order for suste­nance of idle men; for there is no servant of his spoken of here, but the work-men onely, The work-man is worthy of his meat.

Vers. 11. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall en­ter, enquire who in it is worthy, and there abide till ye go thence.

Christ giveth direction about their lodging and company, Doct. 1. Such as are known lovers of Religion, and to be ready to entertain, according to their power, the preachers of his word, are the only persons worthy of the company and guestning of Christs servants; the only persons in whose houses Ministers should chuse to; lodg; for, Enquire, saith he, he who in the city is worthy. 2. Christ will have his servants maintained in a seemly way, and not as beggers, basely going from house to house; ther­fore saith he, Abide in the house which is worthy, till ye go out of that place.

Ver. 12. And when ye come into an house, salute it.

Verse 13. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

Our Lord sheweth them to make triall of the house fit for their lodging. Doct. 1. Beside the good report that men have of their respect to Religion, Christ will have his servants try­ing them, ere they trust them much; and the mean wherby he will have them tryed, is by their respect to the Gospel, and offer of Peace through Christs Grace: for every seeming holy Per­son, is not a friend to the doctrine of Grace; therefore saith he, When ye come to a house, salute it; that is, Offer Peace by the Gospel unto it. 2. No house is worthy in Christs recko­ning, but that which receiveth the offer of Gods Peace by the Gospel of Grace through Christ, and unto such only Christ al­loweth Peace; for he saith, If the house be worthy, let your Peace, according to your doctrine, come upon it. 3. If any receive not the offer of Peace by the Gospel of grace in Christ, they are debarred as unworthy, or unfit to have the fellowship of Christs servants, or any benefit of the Gospel; therfore saith he, Let your Peace return unto you. 4. Albeit the offer of Christs Peace do unto the refusers therof no good, yet shall it testifle of the fidelity of the servants of Christ, in offering Peace for their part, and so do good to the Preacher; therfore, Let your peace, saith he, return to you.

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Ver. 14. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor bear your words, when ye depart out of that house, or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

15. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the day of judgment, then for that city.

From this to the end of the chapter, Christ incourageth the Apostles, and all his Disciples to follow the Profession of the Truth of the Gospel, without fear, by sixteen reasons: The first reason or motive, Such as receive you not, shall be severe­ly punished; for the shaking off the dust of the feet, served to shew that the Apostles were free of their blood, and that God did despise the refusers of the Gospel, as a man doth the dust of his feet, and that in the last day, the dust of the ground where despisers of the Gospel did dwel, should bear witnesse against them, albeit there were no other witnesse to be found. Hence learn, That such as despise the Gospel, God shall despise them, and cut them off from the society of himself, and all his servants. 2. There is an appointed day, when Justice shall be execute to the full upon all the wicked; and namely, on the despisers of the Gospel; and this is, At the day of judgment, saith Christ. 3. There shall be degrees of torment in hell, as there are degrees of offenders; for, The case of Sodom shall be more tolerable then of some other. 4. The sin of a city re­fusing the Gospel, is greater then the sin of Sodom: for so doth the comparison of the refusers to hear Christs messengers, and of Sodom import. The reason whereof is, because So­dom had not the Gospel, and offer of Gods grace made unto them, did not sin against such a convincing light, did not de­spise in so high a degree the remedy of sin, as despisers of the Gospel do.

Vers. 16. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmelesse as doves.

The second Reason: Though your danger be great, yet re­member ye are in my service; I send you out, therefore care for no more, but prudently and holily to carry your selves in my service. Doct. 1. Preachers must prepare themselves not only not to be received by all to whom they do offer the Gospel, but also to be persecuted, and put in hazard of their life: for Christ saith, I send you forth as sheep among wolves. 2. Reso­lution must be made for the worst entertainment that can be­fall [Page 112] Preachers, (that so the lesser crosses may be the better indured) even for what sheep may suffer of wolves; to wit, Beastly cruelty without pitie, because that many Preachers suffer of people; Behold, saith he, I send you forth as sheep a­mong wolves. 3. Christs commission to his servants may incourage them, and comfort them against whatsoever crosse may befall them, Behold I send you forth. 4. Except the great Shepherd of soules defend his own servants, they have no more strength to resist their enemies, then sheep, in comparison of Wolves. 5. Preachers must be wary and circumspect, to keep themselves from harm of their wicked adversaries, that neither their body, nor soul be hurt by them; Therefore it is said, be wise as serpents. 6. They must also take heed, that they harm not the flock of their adversaries by any passage of un­faithfulnesse in their calling; for it is said, Be harmlesse as doves.

Verse 17. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to the councels, and they will scourge you in their syna­gogues.

18. And ye shall be brought before governours and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gen­tiles.

The third reason: Ye are forewarned of witty and pow­erfull enemies in Church and State against you; but remem­ber it is for my sake, and for a testimony against them, and therfore Fear not: Hence we learn. 1. That there is no less danger to Christs servants, from unrenewed men, who seem to be civil, and courteous, and observant of the laws, then there is danger from the most beastly and cruel adversaries; There­fore saith he, Beware of men. 2. There is great danger for Christs servants in civill courts and judgment seats under pretence of law; yea civill judicatories and Ecclesiasticall both, may turne adversaries to Christs servants, and conspire to persecute them; for it is said, They will deliver you up to councels, and scourge you in the synagogues. 3. When in­ferior judicatories are found unjust against the servants of Christ, remeed in law by superiors is hardly to be expe­cted; at least, small confidence is to be put in appellations to supreme Judges, but Christs servants must prepare them­selves for the enmitie of chiefe governours, and Kings al­so; for it is foretold, That they shall be brought before governours and kings. 4. Whatsoever be the pretence of Peo­ple [Page 113] against the Preachers of the Gospel, the maine quarrell is for Christs sake; for it is said, Ye shall be brought be­fore Governours and Kings for my sake. 5. A testimony gi­ven to the truth of Christs Gospell before persecuters, which may stand against them at the last day, in case it prevail not with them unto conversion, is worthy all the sufferings of these that be persecuted; for you shall be brought for a testimo­ny against them. 6. There are a number to whom the word of the Gospel doth come, only for their conviction, who re­ceive no benefit therby; for so importeth this Testimony against them.

Ver. 29. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

The fourth reason: Ye shall be furnished by my Spirit, as you have need, in your sufferings and speeches for the defence of the Gospel: Therefore fear not. Doct. 1. It is good to be resolved and prepared for the crosse ere it come: Therfore our Lord brings it, as it were, to the time of compearance, say­ing, When they deliver you up. 2. The main matter which a true Disciple should consider, and will take notice of, is not what he may suffer, or what he shall say; but what way he may glorifie Christ, and maintain the truth best; Therefore it is said, Take no thought how, or what ye shall speak. 3. Christs ser­vants must not be perplexed what to do or say in his cause, for Christ doth forbid us to be anxious, (ordinary means or pre­paration are not forbidden, but anxiety only) saying; Take no thought what or how ye shall speak. 4. The Lord will not for­sake in the day of tryall such servants, as are more feared to offend, then to suffer, but surely will be present with them, to make them give a fair testimony: for he promiseth to such, It shall be given you in that same hour. 5. It is not necessary, that God should give before-hand what is needfull for the hour of tryall: it is sufficient that assistance be given when the time of need cometh; for he saith, It shall be given you in that same hour, what you shall speak.

Ver. 20. For it is not ye that speak, but the spirit of your father which speaketh in you.

For confirmation of our faith, he assureth such servants, of the communion of his Spirit. Doct. 1. A testimony or suffe­ring for Christ, concerneth the Father and the Spirit, no lesse then it doth concern Christ: for in this case the spirit of the [Page 114] Father doth own Christs cause; for, It is the spirit which spea­keth. Christs cause is not upholden by learning, or humane wisdome, but by the holy spirit; for, It is the spirit of your Father which speaketh. 3. The servants of Christ are but in­struments whose mouth the Lord borroweth in his own cause; for Christ saith, It is the spirit which speaketh in you.

Vers. 21. And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the Father the Child: and the Children shall rise up against their Parents, and cause them to be put to death.

22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my names sake: but be that endureth to the end, shall be saved.

The fifth reason: You must resolve to be hated for my sake of all men; but if you go on to the end, ye shall be saved: Therefore Fear not. Doct. 1. The worlds hatred against Christ and his Gospel, and grace in his servants, is stronger then na­turall love, and is able to dissolve all bonds of blood or friend­ship between the ungodly and Christs Disciples; for, The bro­ther shall deliver up the brother to death, &c. 2. Christs ser­vants are obnoxious, not only to be destitute of all mens com­fort, but also to be hated of all sorts of men for Christs cause; for it is said, Ye shall be hated OF ALL MEN for my names sake. 3. There shall be an end of the troubles of all Christs true Disciples, for so importeth, He that indureth to the end. 4. There is a certain salvation after the troubles are past; for, He that endureth shall be saved. 5. There is need of pati­ence and enduring of the trouble unto the end, lest if a man faint and give over, he lose his reward; for none, But he that endureth to the end shall be saved

Vers. 23. But when they persecute you in this City, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the Cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

The sixth reason: Sometime I will reserve you for further service, and will open a door for your escaping of persecution, and you shall not want some place to welcome you: There­fore Fear not. Doct. 1. The Lord alloweth Ministers in case of persecution to flee at sometimes; namely when their life shall serve more for Gods glory, and the Kirks good, then their death can; in such a case, he saith, When they persecute you in one City, flee, &c. 2. Preachers must still follow their calling, and seek occasion of preaching in another place; Therefore [Page 115] saith he, Flee to another City. 3. When one place refuseth to hear Christs servants, God will provide another place, where they may preach; Therefore saith he, Flee into another City. 4. He answereth a doubt, what if thy servants be persecuted in each city, and having gone through all, shall finde no city kindly to them, whether they may retire? He answereth, that till the second coming of the Son of Man (which second com­ing now onely rested, he being come the first time already) there should not be wanting some city of Israel, some kindly place to receive his servants: which speech is not fitted for the Apostles in their first out sending, wherein there was no per­secution; nor yet onely for the Apostles in their second com­mission to all the world; but for all preachers of the Gospel un­to the worlds end, who in the Apostles persons are spoken unto. Under the name of the Cities of Israel, is understood places where his servants will be welcome to preach the Gospel, if o­ther places cast them out. Whence this doctrine is afforded, that However some Ministers may be so persecuted that they cannot flee; or fleeing, shall not escape the sword of the persecuter, but must glorifie God in their martyrdome; yet there shall be other Ministers one after another, till the second coming of Christ, preaching the Gospel from place to place, in despite of all the persecuters in the world; for of this our Lord giveth assurance, saying, Verily I say unto you, Ye shal not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.

Ver. 24. The Disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant a­bove his Lord.

25. It is enough for the Disciple that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord: if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his hous­hold.

The seventh reason: It may content you, that you shall not be worse used then I your Lord and Master am, and shal be used: Therefore Fear not. Doct. 1. There are very neer and sweet bands between Christ and us; for he is our School-master, and we his Disciples; he is our Lord, and we are his servants: he is the Good man of the house, his church, and we his Domesticks and houshhold men, so importeth his words, saying, The Disciple is not above his Master, &c 2. Christ is a pattern of sufferings, from the cradle to the crosse, from his birth to his buriall; for here he setteth forth his own suffering, to encourage us to suffer by like example. 3. To [Page 116] seek or look after freedom from persecution, is to seek that we who are Christs Disciples should be better dealt with then our Master was, which is unreasonable; for, The Disciple is not a­bove his Master, nor the servant above his Lord. 4. Conformi­ty with Christ in suffering, may sufficiently comfort any man who suffereth for Christ; for, It is enough for the disciple that he be as his Master. 5. The comparison of Christs excellen­cy, and our base condition, should make us willing to under­go any sort of humiliation; therfore saith he, It is enough that the servant be as his Lord. 6. Beelzebub was the idoll of Ek­ron, and one of the chiefest divels names: There is no blasphe­my so great against Christ, but Satan will find mouths to vent it; for it is written, They called the Master of the house Beelze­bub. 7. No wonder that Christs servants be called divels, when Christ was called a divel; so reasoneth Christ, saying, How much more shall they call them of the houshold Beelze­bub.

Vers. 26. Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing co­vered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

The eight reason: The truth of my doctrine, and your in­nocency, must both be brought to light upon all hazards; Therefore, Fear not, but avow my Gospel boldly. Doct. 1. Christs servants are in danger to minish their testimony concerning Christs truth, for fear of men; Therefore are they warned not to fear them. 2. Albeit the holinesse and innocency of Christs servants be overclouded, and born down for a time, by scandalous speeches of persecuters; and they e­steemed no better then Beelzebub, yet shall it be brought forth to light in Gods time: for our Lord hath said, That there is nothing covered that shal not be revealed, nor secret which shall not be known; Thus may this generall sentence serve the purpose in this place. 3. Because at last the light of the Gospel shall break forth and overcome all obstacles, Therefore Ministers should boldly preach Christs truth: and thus also doth this generall sentence serve Christs intent, as the next verse maketh it plain.

Vers. 27. What I tell you in darknesse, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the eare, that preach ye upon the house tops.

Christ commandeth his Apostles to publish, as openly as they could, whatsoever he should reveale unto them, in any man­ner [Page 117] of way: putting the house top, for the most patent places, where a man might be best seen, and heard; for the houses of Judea were covered platform. Doct. 1. The matter of Prea­chers sermons should be nothing but truth revealed by Christ; therfore saith he, What I tell you, that speak. 2. Christ doth not reveal any thing to his servants, whether ordinarily by ordinary meanes, as by reading or meditation; or extraor­dinarily by his Spirit, but it is able to abide the light, and the tryall of all who shall hear of it; and is worthy to be avowed openly; for he saith, What I tell you in darknesse, that speak you in light, and what you hear in the care, that preach on the house tops.

Ver. 28. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

The ninth reason: You must fear me, who am able to kill both soul and body; therefore, Fear not man, who cannot harme you so much. Doct. 1. Plain and faithfull preaching of Christs truth, may readily be met with persecution, and hazard of life: and a man must be master of death, and deli­vered of the fear, not only of smaller losses, but even of the losse of life also, if he would preach all Christs truth as he should; Therefore saith Christ, Fear not them which kill the body. 2. All that men can do against a faithfull witnesse of Christs truth, is to take the life of the body; they cannot reach to the soul to destroy it, or to take away from it righteous­nesse or peace, or joy in the holy Ghost; for, They are not able to kill the soul, saith he. 3. The true remedy of all base fear of the creature, and of death, is the true fear of God; There­fore saith he, Fear him rather which is able to destroy soul and body in hell. 4. If a man suppresse the testimony which he should give to Christ, for fear of being killed by men, he falleth in the danger of being cast in hell, and losing soule and body. This is imported in the saying, Fear him which is a­ble to destroy soul and body in hell.

Vers. 29. Are not two Sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Fa­ther.

30. But the very hairs of your head are all num­bred.

31. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value then many Spar­rows.

[Page 118]The tenth reason: Gods providence which reacheth unto Sparrowes, and to the haires of your head, to preserve the least of them, may incourage you sufficiently against fear of men; therfore, Fear not to preach my truth. Doct. 1. Gods providence is very particular toward all the creatures, so that the least of them is not taken or slaine, without Gods dispen­sation; for, One Sparrow, saith he, shall not fall to the ground without your Father. 2. The Lords care of his servants doth reach to the preservation not only of their life, but also of the smallest thing that concerneth them; for, The very haires of your head are numbred, saith he. 3. God esteemeth much more of his servants then of other creatures: for his children are bought with his Sons blood; Therefore saith he, Ye are of more value then many Sparrowes. 4. The consideration of Gods estimation of his servants, and of his particular provi­dence about them, may give them assurance, that tyrants and persecuters shall do them no further hurt then God pleaseth, and so may deliver them from all fear in the discharge of their message; this Christ inferreth, saying expresly, Fear ye not therfore.

Vers. 32. Whosoever therfore shall confesse me before men, him will I confesse also before my Father which is in hea­ven.

33. But whosoever shal deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

The eleventh reason: If ye confesse me confidently before men, I will confesse you before God, but if for fear of men, ye deny me, I will deny you; Therefore, fear not to avow the truth of my Gospel. Doct. 1. Christ will not only have Preachers, but also all christians, to avow his name and his truth before all men, and that for Gods glory and mens edifi­cation: This is it he saith in the generall, Whosoever shall con­fesse me before men. 2. Men by confessing Christs truth, can­not honour him so much as he shall honour them who boldly do avow him; for, Him will I confesse before my Father, saith he. 3. If men refuse to stand for Christ, or for his truth, or cause, or for his servants troubled for his service, they deny Christ, and in substance do say, They know him not, and that they will not be for him in danger; for not to confesse Christ, is here to deny him; for, Whosoever shall deny me, saith he, instead of saying, whosoever shall Not confesse me. 2. Such as re­fuse to avow Christ and his cause before men, he will disclaim [Page 119] them before God, as men that belong not unto him; for he saith; Him will I also deny before my Father: This threatning strikes not against such, as do slide at a time, and do afterward repent; and are ready to confess Christ in no less hazard, as Peter did: for such men do not refuse to avow Christ, but resolve to confes him, and do keep their resolution, albeit in some surprizall they slide.

Ver. 34. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth [...] came not to send peace, but a sword.

The twelfth reason: Ye must resolve for trouble, even from your nearest friends, and not look for worldly peace, if ye follow me; Therefore, Fear not. Doct. 1. We are rea­dy to promse to our selves worldly ease, and wealth, and ho­nour, and friendship, by professing of the Gospel, albeit we have no warrant for [...]o: therefore wil our Lord have us pur­ged of such conceits, saying, Think not that I am come to send peace, &c. 2. Christs errand is indeed to bring peace, heavenly peace between God and man, but not to bring earthly peace between the Godly and wicked; therefore saith he, Think no [...] that I am come to send peace on the earth. 3. Albeit it be true, that the Gospel of Christ is not the cause of pe [...]secution, con­ [...]ention, and war [...] but the cause is in the wickedness of [...] and malice of Satan, who cannot indure the Gospel; [...] she setting up of Christs throne in any place, is so frequently the occasion of contention, and trouble, and wars, that Christ is esteemed by men to be a raiser of trouble in the world while as his part is only this, he chuseth that contention, trouble, perse­cution, and wars should come, rather then his kingdom should not be erected and promoved, in and among men; Ther­fore is it that he saith, I came not to send peace, but the sword. 4. Albeit the Gospel be not the cause of war, but by accident of mans wickednesse, yet Christ will take it on him, that in some sense he came to send the sword [...] because he [...] ap­pointed troubles, persecution, wars and [...] that may be com­prehended under the sword to come, that he may make use thereof, as of a fan in his hand, for the trying and purging of his followers; and therfore howsoever he be not accessory to the sin or persecuters, yet i [...] he the author of the purging of his own Church, and the appointer of all the means tending there­unto; in which sense he saith, He came not to send peace, but the sword.

Ver. 35. For I am come to set a man at variance against his Fa­ther [Page 120] and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

36. And a mans foes shall be they of his own hous­hold.

This is explained in these verses, wherein the most bitter sort of contention for the Gospel is foretold. Doct. 1. The naturall hatred which men have against the Gospel will make then: break all the bands of allyance and nature, and persecute their dearest friends, for hatred of Christs Gospel; and this trouble we must resolve to endure; for it is told us, There shall be variance Between Children and Parents, Father and Son, Mother and Daughter. 2. As this variance is a part of the tryall and exercise of his own people, Christ will avow himselfe to be the cause of it, saying, I came to set a man at va­riance. 3. In the case of persecution for the Gospel, at no unrenewed mens hands is friendship, or favour, or help to be expected, but rather the contrary may be looked for, that the more obligation of friendship be betwixt them and us, we shall have the more opposition by them; for, A mans foes shall be they of his own houshold, saith Christ. 4. The Gospel doth not work on all alike, but may take effect in one, and passe by the rest; for, A mans foes shall be they of his own houshold, doth import so much.

Ver. 37. He that loveth father or mother more then me, is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more then me, is not worthy of me.

The thirteenth reason: Whosoever shall chuse to please kindred, friends, or allyance, rather then me, I will disclaim them; Therefore stand not to avow the word of my Gos­pel, albeit nearest and dearest friends should storm at it. Doct. 1. in the case of persecution for Christs cause, He who to please friends, standeth not to disavow Christs cause, & doth chuse to offend Christ, rather then his friends, is unworthy of the name of a Christian; for he is unworthy of me, saith Christ. 2. Love to Christ hindereth not love to friends, but only seasoneth it and keepeth it in the own place; for Christ only saith, he that lo­veth them more then me.

Ver. 38. And he that taketh not his crosse and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

The fourteenth reason: if any man refuse trouble for me, I will disclaim him; therefore, Fear not to professe me. Doct. 1. Whosoever is not content to submit himselfe to whatsoever trouble can be imagined may befall him, for fol­lowing [Page 121] of Christ and his cause, is unworthy of the name of a Christian; for so much doth the text import. 2. Such damage, pain and ignominy, as Christ indured must every christian re­solve to endure for Christs cause; therefore i [...] trouble for Christ called by the name of the crosse, while he saith, He that taketh not up his crosse. 3. The weight of the crosse cannot be born, except Christ be looked unto, be followed, and adhered unto; ther­fore he commands every Beleever, both to take up his crosse, and to follow him. 4. If this condition please not a man, to have Christ and a crosse both, Christ will reject him, for [...]f such he saith, He is not worthy of me; that is, He is not fit for me, I wil not own him.

Ver. 39. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake, shall find it.

The fifteenth reason: If any shall seek to save his life, with disadvantage of my Gospel, he shall lose his life; and if any shall not regard his life to do me service, he shall save his life: Therefore, fear not to avow the truth of my Gospel. Doct. 1. Christs truth should be dearer to us then our life, for so doth Christs words import. 2. Whosoever do find out, or follow a way to save his goods or his life, with the disadvan­tage and losse of Christs cause, he bringeth eternall perdition on himselfe; for Christ saith here, He that findeth his life, shall lose it. 3. Whosoever shall hazard, or in the hazard, lose his life temporall for Christ, he shall know by experience, that he hath made a good bargain, and preserved his life for e­ver; for it is said, He that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

Ver. 40. He that receiveth you receiveth me, & he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.

41. He that receiveth a Prophet in the name of a prophet, shall receive a Prophets reward. And he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man, shall receive a righteous mans re­ward.

42. And whosoever shal give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shal in no wise lose his reward.

The sixteenth reason: Whatsoever respect or kindnesse is done to any of my Disciples, for my cause, I will take it as done to me, and will reward it; Therefore, Fear not to profess the truth of my Gospel, upon all hazards. Doct. 1. Re­ceiving the message of salvation from Christs servants, or [Page 122] kindnesse shown unto Christs servants, is reckoned by Christ as done to himself, and done to the Father, in whose name the preacher doth come, for he saith, He that receiveth me, recei­veth [...] tha [...] sent me, &c. 2. The cause for which a man doth any respect to Christs servants, is mainly looked unto by God, whether it be done to a preacher, because he is a Prea­cher; to a righteous man, because he is such; to a Believer in Christ or Disciple, (how little or despiseable soever he seem) because he is a Disciple; therefore saith he, In the name of a Prophet ▪ in the name of a Disciple: for what good is done to a­ny of Christs followers for other respects, as for friendship, hope of receiving gain by it, or such like, doth not come in [...] 3. The smalness or meanness of the benefit, wherby any of Christs followers are helped or refreshed, shall not dimi­nish Christs estimation of the mans good affection; for, Even a cup of cold water shall not want a reward.) 4. This doctrine how hardly soever it be beleived, is worthy to be received; for Christ confirmeth it by a verily, and that to purchase unto this saying, the more credit.


After closing up of the Apostles commission, we have John Baptists message to Christ, with Christs answer and testimony of John, to vers. 15. Then Christ upbraideth these cities which did not receive, or make use of the Gospel, to vers. 25. And inviteth needy sin­ners to come unto him.

Ver. 1. ANd it came to passe, when Iesus had made an end of com­manding his twelve Disciples, be departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.’

IN closing the commission of the Apostles, Learn, 1. That the Apostles had no unlimitted commissions, but were a­ [...]ic [...]e [...] to commandments, for the former directions given to them are here called Commanding of them. 2. Acts of base fear, [Page 123] or witlesse impudency, done in a perillous time, to the disho­nour of the Gospel, or disadvantage of any point of the truth belonging to the Gospel, are breaches of Christs command: for here all Christs exhortations to his servants wisely and stoutly to bear out the profession of his truth in all points, are likewise called Commanding of them. 3. Christ so employeth his, servants in teaching and preaching, that he will also go about the worke himselfe; for having commanded his Disciples to preach, He departed to preach and to teach in their cities.

Vers. 2. Now when Iohn had heard an the pr [...]son the works of Christ, he sent two of his Disciples,

3. And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

John being in prison, setteth himselfe to confirme his Dis­ciples in the faith of Christ; and to this end he sendeth them to Christ with a question, wherein he knew Christ would give them solid satisfaction. Doct. 1. The world will readily re­ward the labours of the most excellent Saints of God, with in­juries; for, Iohn Baptist here is in prison for his pains. 2. The news of the prospering of the Gospel, Christ can cause to be carried to the prisons where his servants do [...]ly, thereby to refresh them; Therefore John must hear of Christs works, I [...] the prison. 3. A faithfull servant of Christ should st [...]y to, make Christs name known by whatsoever means he can, and to have all those who belong unto him acquainted with Christ, for John even in prison taketh course to have his disciples to know Christ, better then they did. 4. Beside what we can do in solving the doubts of others, we shall do well to send the weak in faith, to propone their doubts to Christ himself. Therfore John commandeth his two disciples to propone their questions to Christ, saying, Art thou he? &c. knowing that he was most able to satisfie them.

Ver. 4. Iesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew Iohn a­gain those things which ye do hear and see.

5. The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel preached to them.

From the answer learn, 1. That Christ despiseth not the weaknesse of the saith of his own; for here he answers John [...] doubting disciples, both with words, and deeds, saying, Go shew what you hear and see. 2. Our Lord deals prudently with weak ones; for as John covers the Disciples doubting [Page 124] with a question, proponed as it were in his own name; So Christ covers their doubting also, by giving the answer, as it were unto John, rather then to them; Go shew Iohn again, saith he, albeit it is sure John had no doubt about Christ, for at Christs Baptisme, he was confirmed abundantly that Christ was the very Messiah. 3. That which disciples may hear, and see, and observe, in the reall and experimen­tall putting forth of Christs power among men, is sufficient to prove that hee is the true Messiah: Therefore saith hee, Tell Iohn again these things which ye do hear and see; Like as even the ordinary and daily working of Christ still unto this day, upon such as are converted from time to time, may prove that he is the true Messiah. 4. He in whom all these things which are prophesied to be done by the Messias are accomplished, is the onely true Messias: But Christ Jesus is hee in whom all prophesies are accomplished; for, He maketh the blinde to see, the lame to walk, and the poor to take the Gospel: Therefore Christ is the onely true Messiah; for this is the proof whereby Christ doth confirm Johns Disciples, that there was no other Messiah to be looked for. 5. The remedy of all sin and mise­ry is to be found in Christ, both for body and soul; for it is he by whom the blinde receive their sight, and the poor receive the Gospel, &c. 6. The poor and needy soul, sensible of its own sin and misery, is the proper object of the Gospel; The righ­teous and the rich in their own opinion, do not smel any worth in Christs Word; for, It is the poor who receive the Gospel. 7. The Gospel doth affect the poor and needy soul, so as it doth put as it were a stamp of the good news of Gods grace upon it: for so importeth the passive word in the Original, which saith, that the poor are Evangelized, or stamped with the preaching of the Gospel.

Verse 6. And blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.

Our Lord obviats any temptation which might arise from his outward humiliation. Doct. 1. Many stumbling blocks are to be met within a mans way toward Jesus Christ, such as were taking on the shape of a servant, and his out­ward humbling of himselfe unto the crosse: This is im­ported In his mentioning of mens being offended, or stum­bling at him. 2. Such as do not stumble at Christ, nor start back from beleeving and professing of him, for whatsoe­ver crosse or impediment laid in their way, shall surely be [Page 125] saved; for, Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me, saith he.

Ver. 7. And as they departed, Iesus began to say unto the multi­tudes concerning Iohn, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?

Now followeth Christs testimony of John Baptist, wherein John is commended for eight respects. The first is, his con­stancie: Hence learn, 1. That Christ gives his servants a good meeting, he bears witnesse of their faithfulnesse, as well as they do bear witness that he is the true Messiah; as here for instance, when Johns Disciples are departed, Christ speaketh to Iohns praise before the multitude. 2. The reasons which moveth us to go hear the Sermons of any preacher should be well examined; for we must answer unto Christs questi­on, What went ye out to see? 3. It is the commendation of a Preacher of the truth that he be constant in the truth, and not wavering hither and thither; for this is the ground of Johns commendation, That he was not a reed shaken with the winde, as the interrogation having the force of a negation, doth im­port.

Verse 8. But what went ye out for to see? a man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing, are in kings houses.

The second point of the commendation of John, is, for his Holinesse and high Measure of Mortification: Hence learn, 1. That it is the commendation of a Preacher, to be mortified to the glory, ease, pleasure, and riches of this world; for on this ground Christ commendeth John, by way of interrogati­on, denying him to be A man given to soft raimens. 2. A true Preacher must be so mortified to this World, as all the Allure­ments of court be not able to corrupt him; for such as love to wear soft raiment, will affect to be in respect at court, for that very end; therfore saith he, They that wear soft raiment, are in kings houses.

Ver. 9. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more then a prophet.

The third point of Johns commendation is the clear revea­ling of Christ, and of the shortest course to come unto Him, wherein John was above any Prophet. Hence learn, 1. That the right reason of going to hear Sermons, is, because the man that speaketh, hath warrand to speak, and to reveal Gods will: this is it which he saith, Went ye out to see a [Page 126] Prophet? 2. John is called more then a Prophet, specially because he did point out Christ more clearly and fully, then any before him, as Christ doth shew hereafter; teaching us, that these are the greatest men in the Ministry, who do most point out Christ to the world, and do most sincerely lead men unto him.

Verse 10. For this is be of whom it is written, behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.

The fourth point of Johns commendation, is from his spe­ciall imployment to be Christs Harbinger, to make way for Christ; for albeit every Minister of the Gospel be Christs messengers, to carry amba [...]age to the world, yet John Baptist was such in a special manner: for of him it was prophesied by Malachi, Behold, I send my messenger. 2. Albeit it be the of­fice of every Minister, by the preaching of Christs doctrine, to make way for Christs entrie into the soul, to dwell in it by his Spirit, yet John Baptist was Harbinger in an odd way, assisted by the doctrine of repentance, in humbling proud sinners, and fitting them for mercy in Christ: And, 3. He was in a speci­all manner imployed for pointing out of Christ to be the Lamb of God, not only in doctrine, but also with the finger of ocular demonstration.

Ver. 11. Verily I say unto you, among them that are bor [...] of women, there hath not risen a greater then Iohn the Baptist: not­withstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater then be.

The fifth point of Johns commendation, is, in comparing him with, and prefering him above all the Prophets which came before him: because, 1. Singular predictions were of him, more then ever of any of the Prophets. 2. His bringing into the world had more extraordinary passages of providene then any of the Prophets. 3. His authority and office to bring in a new Sacra­ment, was singular. 4. Beside the baptizing of our Lord, and converting of such multitudes, his Ministry was countenanced with the clearest vision, and revelation of the mystery of the Trinity, that ever was. 5. The sanctification of his Person from the womb to his Martyrdome, was singular. 6. The clearness of his knowledg of the way of righteousnes by Christ [...] and of the application of types of the Messiah unto Christ, as that true Lamb of God, was singular. These and such like other excellencies are reasons why our Lord said, there hath not risen a [Page 127] greater then Iohn the Baptist, among them that are born of wo­men. Mean time lest John should be too much esteemed of, Christ having thus preferred him unto all that were born of women, doth except Himself, and justly preferreth Himself unto John, saying, He that is least, or, no man in the kingdom of God, is greater then he; So doth Christ describe himselfe, as he was esteemed of by the rulers of the Church; for who could be lesse in the Kingdome of God, in their estimation, then he whom they did excommunicate? Now the rulers did excommunicate Christ, and for his cause also, did cast out of the synagogue all that confessed him. He was the Stone which the builders refused; whom the chief Priests and Elders did not esteem worthy to be a member of the Church, or to have any place in the building of Gods Temple: So Christ was in their estimation, The least; that is, no man, in the Kingdome of Heaven, as this phrase is taken, Mat. 5.19, 20. And who except Christ can be greater then John, who is cal­led greater then any of all the Prophets, yea of all which were born of women? It is true, that Christians who lived since Christ ascended, have the history of many particulars con­cerning Christ, which John did not live to see: But who shall perswade us, that the least member of the Christian Church, or the least Preacher of the Gospel, do see more of Christ in the Word of history, then any of the Prophets; or John, who is greater then any of the prophets, did see in the spirit and word of prophesie? And put the case that in regard of historical knowledge, they did know many particulars which John did not know; yet this sort or measure of knowledg, doth not make them simply greater then John. Now the comparison here, of John with the least of the Kingdome of Heaven, is not simply in respect of knowledg, but in respect of greatness, which greatnesse comprehendeth all the forenamed six points of excellency, and also whatsoever other respect may contri­bute to excellency: and thus if we take greatness, none can be called greater then John, except Christ, who in the estimation of the rulers of the Jewish church at that time, was the least, that is, no man in the Kingdom of God, and the stone of of­fence, which the builders did reject: Hence learn, 1. That whensoever any greatnesse or excellency of man is spoken of, the excellency of our Lord Jesus must not be obscured, but rather lifted up thereby: for where he is, a greater then So­lomon is; a greater then John Baptist is. 12, Whosoever [Page 128] shall dishonour Christ, he will not deny himselfe: He will take unto him his own glory, for he declareth himselfe here greater then John, though the rulers of the church and o­thers esteemed him to be the least, or no man in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Ver. 12. And from the dayes of Iohn the Baptist untill now, the kingdome of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

The sixth point of Johns commendation is, the fruitfulness of his doctrine, that by the clearnesse of Johns preaching, the gates of Heaven, and the way of the Church were made so patent, that men did not stand upon the bar and partition of ceremonies, or upon any orderly way of the proselites com­ing into the church; But multitudes did leap over all the Levi­ticall ceremonies: so that publicans, sinners, heathen, legally unclean, and the naturally lothed lepers did thrust themselves all in upon the company of converts, and upon the grace ma­nifested by Johns doctrine: and indeed obtained grace to enter in the Kingdome of Christ, by this their ingyring them­selves upon him: Hence learn, 1. That the legall ceremo­nies were never appointed to hinder people from Christ, but to lead them to him; and therfore when the observation of these ceremonies might be a hinderance of people coming to Christ, (As for example, so many dayes behoved to passe ere a leper were legally purified, that he might come in the company where the Word of God was preached) in such a case, God was not displeased that men overpast & violently ran over these impe­diments to come to Gods Grace manifested in Christ: for saith he, The violent take it by force. 2. Yea the doctrine of Grace be­ing clearly revealed, no impediment of bygone sins, or sense of unworthiness present should hinder a humbled soul from entry in the Kingdom of Grace, for this Kingdom is taken by force. If we cannot remove impediments, let us set our foot on them, and make stepping stones of them, thrusting our selves so much more on Christs grace, as we find our selves unworthy: laying hold so much more on his offered salvation, as we find our selves otherwayes to be lost.

Ver. 13. For all the prophets, and the law prophesied untill Iohn.

The seventh point of commendation, is, that John poin­ted at Christ now already come, at Grace already laid open: whereas the Law and the Prophets onely did prophesie and [Page 129] foretell that it was to come; and this is a reason of the fruit­fulnesse of Johns Ministry; Hence learn, 1. That the pointing forth of the fulfilling of the promises, and prophe­sies in Christ, is a mean to bring men in multitudes unto the Kingdome of Heaven; and this is imported in the particle [...]or, wherein a reason is rendered of what is said in the former verse; for, saith he, all the Prophets and the Law prophesi­ed untill John, but John shews the accomplishment: And there­fore multitudes did thrust themselves into the Kingdome of Heaven. 2. The Church of the Old Testament, had a dark time, in comparison of what we have now; for their light was prophesies of things to come, but ours is preaching of what is already come; for, The Law and the Prophets prophesied untill Iohn.

Ver. 14. And if ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.

The eighth and last point of Johns commendation, is, that John was that Elias prophesied of, to come before Christ: Malachi 4. John is called by the name of Elias, because of like zeal for God, and successful imployment in the reformati­on of Religion; for as Elias in his dayes, so John in his dayes did in the power of the same Spirit, stir up men to seek the true God in Christ. Doct. 1. When truth is told to people never so cleerly, yet wil they hardly beleeve it, no not though Christ himself should speak it; Therfore saith Christ, If you will receive it. 2. Whether men beleeve or not, Truth must be told them, to make them inexcusable; This is Elias, saith Christ, If ye will receive it.

Ver. 15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

If Christs testimony of John had been beleeved, then Johns testimony of Christ had been beleeved also; for John testifi­ed that Christ was the promised Messiah: therefore Christ did so much the longer insist in this commendation of John; and having said sufficiently, he closeth with this speech, He that hath ears, &c. Teaching thereby, first, That every man hath not a hearing ear, but some are deaf misbeleevers of Gods Word, imported in these words, He that hath ears. 2. Even these who are elect, of them it is said, Let them hear. 3. If the E­lect shall hear unto beleeving, it sufficeth Gods intention, al­though the rest remain ignorant misbeleevers; for, He that hath ears, let him hear, is as much as, Let the rest go their way, come of them what may.

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Verse 16. But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fel­lowes,

17. And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamen­ted.

Our Lord perceiving the unbelief of the multitude; doth regrate their obstinacie, who neither by Johns austere Mini­stry, nor by his own sweet dealing, could he moved to repent or beleeve; and this he doth, by comparing their disposition toward the Gospel, with the disposition of the rude people to­ward musick: for as they cared for no melody, and could not be moved either with piping or lighter springs; nor with mour­ning and sader songs, as the Minstrel boyes use to sing; So the Jewes could neither be moved to sorrow, unto repentance, by Johns austere preaching of repentance and judgement; nor to rejoyce at Christs sweet offers of Grace and Salvati­on, made to them in a more gentle and loving way. Hence learn, 1. That the obstinacy and rebellion of the hard hearts of Christs hearers, affected and moved his tender heart with grief; for, Whereunto shall I liken them, doth import so much. 2. The more are found in the guiltiness of despising the Gos­pel, the more doth our Lord resent the wrong, and regrate sin­ners misery: Therfore saith he, This generation. 3. Hardly can any comparison express the sin of despising of the Gospel; for, Whereunto shall I liken them, importeth this. 4. The most obvi­ous by-word shall be made use of to condemn the wickednesse and folly of them who despise the Gospel, in the conceit of their own wisdom; for it is like little children saith he, who when they find no respect had of their musick, do put up their pipes with this regrate,

Ver. 18. For Iohn came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He hath a divel.

19. The son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold, a man gluttonous, and a wine-bibber, a friend of Publicans and sinners: "But wisedome is justified of her chil­dren.

It is said here, That John neither did eat, nor drink, that is, not after the ordinary dyet of other men, as appeareth, if we compare this with Mat. 3.4. Whence we learn, 1. That Gods Word is not to be pressed captiously, but the true intent of it is to be looked unto, one place being compared with an­other. [Page 131] 2. God useth to send out his Ministers with divers dispositions: some are more austete in life, and more thun­ding in their Doctrine; others more sociall in their carriage, and more gently inducing people to repentan [...]: Of the for­ner sort was Iohn Baptist; Of the Latter, Christ. 3. Peo­ple have ever some fault to alledg in the Preacher, why they will not receive his message; for here the people say, The divell it in John, because he chused to live more auster [...]ly than other men, and when they see Christ converse sociably with sinners, To eat and drink with them, and to take the fare as they found it, they say of him, that he was a Glut [...]a [...], a drunkard, and a companion to wicked and vile men. 4. All hearers are not alike ill disposed; though many do misbeleeve, yet some are begotten to God by wisdom, or by the doctrine of Gods grace; for; Wisdom hath her own children. 5. Such as are made wise to salvation, will bear witnesse by their faith, by their professi­on and Godly life, unto the doctrine of God, and will glorifie the wisdom of God preached unto them: for, Wisdom is justified of her own children. 6. How many soever they be, who despise the Gospel, it doth not work a reasonable prejudice to wisdom▪ God will content him with the testimony of elect and true Be­leevers: for to God it is sufficient, that Wisdom be justified of her own children.

Verse 20. Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.

Seeing the main scope of the following speech is expresly set down to the upbraiding of these cities, and the ag [...]eging of their sin, it is without ground [...]o argue hence, the ability of man to repent and beleeve, without the speciall operation of Gods grace, and, it is an idle and prophane deed, to move question, why God did not grant such meanes to Tyrus and [...]idon, upon such and such supposition: for it is sufficient unto Christs purpose, that Aborazin and Bethsaida, had so abused the meanes of grace, as they had hardened themselves in the sinfulnesse of nature, above Tyrus and Sidon: so that more might have been expected in the matter of repentance from Tyrus and Sidon, and from Sodom and Gomorrah, even according to the principles of [...], then was found in these cities; for is so much paines had been taken on them, as was taken on Capernaum, &c. in much appearance of reason it might have been expected, that they should have repented [Page 132] in some sort, and have given such signes of repentance, at least, as with Ahab, and Niniveh, they might have escaped tem­poral Judgments. This being the scope, we should not stretch the words beyond, and contrary to it: Hence learn, 1. That the miracles of Christ were done by his own power▪ for here they are called His mighty works, in a proper sense, and so they do prove him to be true God. 2. The use which should be made of the miracles of Christ, and migh­ty works done by him, is repentance; for that which is found fault with here, is, they repented not. 3. Whosoever will not repent, when God calls for repentance, and will not give glory to God when he calls for it, he will pour shame on them; for here he upbraids these cities, which did not honour him.

Ver. 21. We unto thee Chorazin, we unto thee Bethsaida: for if the mighty works which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.

22. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, then for you.

Here is the doom given forth against these cities. Doct. 1. Over and above the wrath due unto sinners, for transgression of the Law, a higher degree attendeth the abusing the means of grace, and so much the greater, as the means have been the more largely granted; for, Wo unto thee Chorazin. 1. It is free for God to send the offer of the Gospel where he pleaseth; He had his own reason, why he did not send the Gospel to Tyrus and Sidon, and yet would offer it Cho­razin, and Bethsaida. 3. Such as do hear the Gospel daily, may readily be found more hard hearted, then they who never heard it; Chorazin more impenitently disposed then Tyrus. 4. There shall be proportion of judgment at the last day, as there hath been of sin in this life; and the torment of such as perish without the meanes of the Gospel, shall belesse then of such who under the meanes are found impenitent, for, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, then for Chorazin and Beth­saida.

Ver. 23. And thou Capernaum, which art exalted [...]ne [...] heaven, shalt be brought down to h [...]ll, for if the mighty works which have been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained untill this day.

Verse 24. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable [Page 133] for the land of Sodom, in the day of Iudgement, then for thee.

The like judgement is threatned against Capernaum. Doct. 1. The honour of a town is the Gospel, and where it is most clearly preached, that place is exalted most and made nearest heaven; Therfore, Is Capernaum said to be exalted to heaven. 2. Abused means of grace, if they prevail not unto true con­version, do bring a man deeper in the state of condemnation; Therfore saith he, Thou Capernaum shalt be brought down to hel. 3. Abuse and contempt of the Gospel, impernitent unbelief, and misregarding the offers of Gods grace, do weigh heavier in Gods ballance, then the grossest sins against the Law; and are attended with heavier wrath, for this the comparison of Caper­naum [...] sin and judgement, with Sodoms sin and judgment, ma­keth evident.

Vers. 25. At that time Iesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

26. Even so Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.

Sometimes one is said to answer, when he openeth his mouth and speaketh to them, who were expecting some speech from him, albeit none have spoken before, as here in this speech: Christ glorifieth his Father, for the wise and free dispensation of saving Grace, manifested in the good successe which his Disciples had, (whom as it is, Luke 10.17.21.) he sent forth to preach, and work miracles, verse 25, 26. He decla­reth his own power to give light and life to as many as came unto him, vers. 27. And last of all exhorts the needy to come unto him, with sundry motives to induce them, ver. 28, 29, 30. For the first: Learn, 1. That the mystery of salvation is at Gods disposing, to hold it from, or shew it unto whom he pleaseth; for saith he, Thou hast hid it from the wise, &c. Thou hast revea­led it unto babes, &c. 2. The worldly wise, and prudent men in this world, are not these for the most part to whom the Gos­pel is revealed; for thou hast hid it, saith he, from the wise and prudent. 3. The people of weaker understanding, and babes in comparison of others are found to be the Lords choice in election, and the persons who get the saving light of the go­spel for the greatest part; for he saith, Thou revealest them to babes. 4. Christ will not want followers, despise him who will, for whose conversion, how base soever they seem, God is [Page 134] to be praised; Therefore Christ for those little ones saith, I thank thee, O Father, and doth rejoyce in them, how con­temptible soever they seem to be, no lesse then if they had all the excellencies of the world in them. 5. Gods suprema­cy over Heaven and earth, maketh him free, to chuse or re­fuse whom he pleaseth; I thank thee, saith he, Lord of Hea­ven and Earth. 6. The cause of election of some, and re­probation of other some, of this or that man, rather then of others, is to be found only in Gods good pleasure; Therfore saith Christ, O Father, for it seemed good in thy eyes. 7. Christ heartily consents unto, and approveth the Fathers decree of ele­ction and reprobation, as it standeth; Therfore saith he, Even­so Father, and I thank thee; for God and Christ are glorified in both.

Vers. 27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son but the Father: neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he so whomsoever the Son will re­veal him.

Here Christ proclaimeth his riches and authority, that he may make way for the offer following. Doct. 1. Beside the right and power which Christ as God hath unto, and over all things, he hath received of the Father as God-man, or God incarnate, right unto and oyer all things, in, and for the church, nothing being excepted, except him who hath delivered all things unto him; for, All things are delivered to me of my Father; and Christ hath taken the gift of all things, for our behove, as power to gather his Church, appoint Ministers, bestow the spirit as he will, open and close Heaven and hell, as he pleaseth, and to dispose of all his enemies, and of all creatures as they may best serve for the well of his people. 2. The excellency of the Son of God is a mystery, which neither man nor Angel can know compre­hensively, as he is indeed, but the Father only; for, No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; and so, except a man he taught of the Father, and learn of the Father, he can never attain the right knowledg of the Son. 3. The distinction of the Father from the Son, and the glory of the Fathers per­son is a mystery which neither man nor Angel can know per­fectly; No man knoweth the Father, but only the Son. 4. Any measure of right knowledg of the Father which we can attain unto, must come by revelation from the Son, who is the ingra­ven character of his person, who by his word and spirit doth [Page 135] the Father known unto so many as he pleaseth; Therfore saith he, No man knoweth the Father, but he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

Ver. 28. Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will [...]ve you rest.

From the former doctrine Christ draweth forth two ex­hortations: the first unto faith in himselfe; the next, unto new obedience. Doct. 1. The right use of the doctrine of election, and reprobation, verse 28. and of the riches which is in Christ, and of the mystery of the Father, and of the Son, is this, to draw neer to Christ, and to seek communion with him: for having spoken of those, he calleth upon us, saying, Come unto me. 2. All things being delivered unto Christ, he cannot be quiet till he have needy soules made partakers of the riches which is in him; Therfore doth he call unto us, saying, Come unto me. 3. Such as have wearied themselves in seeking in themselves, or in any of the creatures, something to quiet their soules, and cannot find rest, have war­rand to come to him; for he saith, Come unto me ye that la­bour. 4. Albeit a soul find nothing whereby to commend it selfe to Christ, but a fruitlesse life, and loathfom burthen of sin, nothing but that which yeeldeth restlesse unquietnesse; yet without exception of any person, all such may come unto him for relief; none of those who acknowledg their inability to help themselves, are secluded. There is no Bar to put back a soule from Christ, which desires to come unto him, which desires to beleeve in him, and to have communion with him; for he saith, Come unto me all yee. 5. Albeit there be no bar put to hinder any man from coming to Christ, yet none wil come until they be sensible of a burden whereof they cannot be freed by any other meanes: Therfore he speaketh expresly to such, saying, Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, not excluding luke-warm Laodiceans, or any other, who desire to be made sensible of sin, who desire to re­pent, who desire to beleeve in God, and to fear God. 6. Seeing all things are delivered unto Christ, and all that have need are commanded to come to him, it is a miserable and damnable folly, to seek any thing belonging to righteous­nesse, and eternall life, except in Christ Jesus only; for he telleth us, All things are delivered unto me; and saith, Come unto me. 7. God can sanctifie the love of our selves, so far as to make it a motive and allurement, to draw us unto him; [Page 136] for such as are unquiet about the condition of their soul, or are burdened with any trouble which they are not able to bear, have a promise of relief, if they shall come unto him, who can shew them the true cause of their trouble, and the right outgate also; for; I will give you rest, saith he. Now rest is opposed to labour and burthens, and so importeth ful relief from al the sin and mi­sery which can trouble any man.

Ver. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your soules.

The next exhortation teacheth us, 1. To stay with Christ under his discipline, after we are come unto him; and so to joyn the study of obedience with faith: the duties of faith and obedience must not be severed: for he joyneth, Come to me, and take on my yoke. 2. Albeit Christs commands be our true li­berty, yet in respect of the untowardnesse of our nature, the tye of doing all holy duties belonging to sanctification, of bearing the Lords chastisements, and suffering persecution, is a yoke wherein we have need to be bound: Therfore saith he, Take on my yoke. 3. It is necessary that we willingly submit our selves to this yoke, and burden, how contrary soever it seem to our nature; for, Take ye up my yoke, doth the word in the Origi­nall bear; or, Lift it as it were upon your shoulders. 4. When we have consented to submit to Christs yoke, we have need as Disciples daily to learn how to bear it; Therefore he com­mandeth, saying, Learn of me. 5. As unto the right bearing of the yoke of Christ, the vertues of humility and meekness are necessary; so are they to be learned, and had onely from Christ, blessing unto us not onely his Doctrine, but also his example; for it is said, Learn of me, that I am meek and lowly: now no command given unto him of the Father was grievous, no suffering made him grudg, no paines made him shrinke from his duty or to faint: his plaints of his enemies, and his answers unto them, were full of meeknesse: he stood not to abase himself for the Fathers glory, and mens good; and it is he who must give us grace to do so also. 6. True rest unto the conscience is to be found in Christs satisfaction given to justice for us, true peace in his service; for he saith, Come to me, and ye shall find rest. 7. It is sufficient in this life, that we find rest to our souls, albeit our bodies be troubled. Therfore it is said, Ye shall find rest to your souls. No more is promised.

[Page 137] Ver. 30. For my yoke is easie, and my burden is light.

Another motive to take on his yoke, is, My yoke is easie, Hence learn, 1. That albeit Christs Discipline and manner of exercising of his followers, be a yoke and burden to our cor­rupt nature, yet it is an easie yoke and a light burden to a soul, seeking liberation from sin, and seeking salvation through Christ; Therefore saith he, My yoke is easie. &c. Now it is called an easie yoke, in comparison of the covenant of works, wherein men want the help of a Mediator, and are bound to do all in their own naturall strength; but we have Christ to help us, who worketh all our works in us, and for us. 2. It is an easie yoke in comparison of sin, which maketh a man draw and bear his own ditty unto condemnation. 3. Christs yoke is easie, because albeit the ten commands renewed, and repeated in the Gospel, do require no lesse perfection to be ay­med at in sincerity of obedience, then under the covenant of works: yet the cords to bind on the yoke are not terrour, but love; and that little which is done in faith, and upright obedi­ence, is well accepted: and much joy and peace, much courage and comfort is bestowed on such as uprightly ayme, and endea­vour to obey the commands of God in Christ, thus saith he, My yoke is easie, and my burden is light.


There are three controversies between CHRIST and the Pharisees: The first is, about his Dis­ciples their plucking of ears of corn, to ver. 10. The next, about the healing of the withered arme of a lame man, to ver. 22. The third a­bout the casting out of a divel, to ver. 46. After which we have his estimation of his carnall and spirituall kindred.

Ver. 1. AT that time Iesus went on the Sabbath day, through the corn, and his Disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.’

[Page 138]IN the first controversie learn first, That our Lord took much pains in going from place to place, about what the Father had given him to do; for even on the Sabbath he went from place to place, Through the corn field. 2. The work of the Mi­nistry, and attending on the Lord, somtimes may be so urgent, as his servants wil forget to provide their meat; for here, His Di­sciples were an hungred. 3. God may put his chosen children to straits in this world, and suffer them now and then to taste of want; for his Disciples must for hunger, at a time, Pluck the ears of corn, and eat them for bread.

Ver. 2. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, be­hold, thy Disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the Sab­bath-day.

The Pharisees fish a fault where there was none, and quar­rell with Christ for his Disciples. Doct. 1. It is no new thing to see men, who are otherwise learned, and are in account for their holinesse in the church, to be adversaries unto Christ, and his Disciples; for the Pharisees here do quarrell with Christ for his Disciples cause. 2. Christs Disciples readily shall be mistaken and misconstrued, do what they please: for their plucking of eares of rough corn, to satisfie their hunger doth not escape censure. 3. Hypocrites do urge ceremonies, and externall observations, more then the greater things of the Law: for here the Pharisees quarrell the Disciples, for plucking of the corn, and purging of it from the aunds, and ea­ting of it on the sabbath, in the case of necessity, as a breach of the sabbath: misregarding charity to the hungry and fainting Disciples, saying, Why do they that which is not lawful on the sabbath-day.

Ver. 3. But he said unto them, have ye not read what David did when he was an hungred, and they that were with him.

4. How he entred into the house of God, and did eat the shew-bread, which was unlawfull for him to eat, neither for them that were with him, but onely for the priests?

Our Lord defendeth his disciples by four reasons: The first is this, It was no sin for David and his men, in a case of ne­cessity, to eat the shew-bread, which by the letter of the Law was appointed for no mans use ordinarily, save the priests: therefore without sin likewise may my disciples pluck the ears of corn and eat thereof on the Sabbath: for notwith­standing [Page 139] the letter of the Law forbideth all manner of work opon the Sabbath, yet the intent of the Law and meaning therof was neither to forbid the Shew-bread to be made use of in such an extraordinary case of necessity, nor to forbid meat to be made ready on the Sabbath to suffice a mans hunger. Doct. 1. When the mind of the Law-giver, and the intent, and the end of the command is not contraveened, the precept is not broken; for this is the ground of Christs defence. 2. Not reading nor considering the Scripture, whereby the meaning of the Law may be understood, is the cause of errour and mistaking of duties; This is it he saith, Have ye not read?

Ver. 5. Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the Sabbath-dayes the Priests in the Temple profane the Sabbath, and are blame­lesse?

6. But I say unto you, that in this place there is one greater then the temple.

The second reason, is, The priests for promoving of the service of the Temple, do bodily work on the sabbath, which in your language is to profane the sabbath, and yet are blame­lesse: Therefore albeit my disciples, for promoving my ser­vice (who am greater then the Temple) do pluck ears of corn, and eat thereof on the Sabbath, and so seem to you to profane the Sabbath, yet they are also blamelesse; Hence learn, 1. Whatsoever bodily work is necessary for the promoving of the service and worship of God upon the Sabbath, is not a breaking of the Sabbath; for the Priests Did bodily work in the Temple on the Sabbath-day, and are blamelesse. 2. As the body is above the figure, or shadow, so is Christ greater then the Temple, which is a figure of him: Therfore saith he, In this place is one greater then the temple.

Ver. 7. But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guilt­lesse.

The third reason, is this, The Lord never appointed the outward ceremonies of his service in the first table, to hinder works of mercy prescribed in the second table: but on the con­trary, when at one time both cannot be done, he will have the work of mercy done, and the ceremony of a sacrifice left undone, for that time. Therefore it is agreeable to Gods will, that my Disciples should rather pluck corn, and eat it on the Sabbath, by way of mercy to their own body; [Page 140] then harm their health under pretext of keeping the Sabbath, which if ye had understood and considered, ye would not have condemned my Disciples without cause. Hence learn, 1. The true meaning of Gods word being known, it is able to prevent rash judgment: Therfore it is said, If ye had known. 2. Condemning of the guiltlesse doth draw the judg, being rash, under guilt: Therfore saith he, Ye would not have condemned the guiltlesse. 3. It is not every man, no not every learned man, who is acquainted with the true meaning of the Scriptures: for in saying, If ye had known, he taxeth both the Pharisees and Scribes of ignorance.

Verse 18. For the Son of man is Lord even of the Sabbath day.

The fourth reason, I whom ye see to be a man, am also God, and Lord of the Sabbath, having authority to prescribe or al­low for my service on that day, what I please: to judge, and to punish, or pardon the breach, as I please; Therfore, If I judg this work of my Disciples to be no fault, neither should ye. Hence learn, 1. That the incarnation of the Word, or second person of the God-head, made the Son of God to be the Son of Man: but it did not diminish his Divine Authority, as he is the Son of God: for he saith, That the Son of man is Lord e­ven of the Sabbath day. 2. Christ can maintain the authority of the fourth command, and appoint any one of the seven dayes as he pleaseth, for the observation of the command: for, He is Lord even of the Sabbath,

Ver. 8. And when he was departed thence, he went into their sy­nagogue.

10. And behold, there was a man which had his hand withered: and they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? [...]hat they might accuse him.

11. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall in­to a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

12. How much then is a man better then a sheep? wherfore it is lawful to do wel on the sabbath dayes.

Here is another dispute about the sabbath in the synagogue, whether it was a breach of the sabbath, to heal a man of a wi­thered hand miraculously: Hence learn, 1. That Christ went on to follow his calling, notwithstanding of enemies and op­position: for after his disputation in the field with the Phari­sees, [Page 141] he goeth into the synagogue, where he might do good to the People. 2. Christs enemies, when they have no just quar­teil against Christ or his followers, they invent one: as when they could find no sin at all in him; they sought to accuse him for miraculous healing of men on the sabbath, for want of bet­ter ground of accusation; for, They asked that they might ac­cuse him. 3. Malice maketh men blinde, reasonlesse and ab­surd: for, They ask if it be lawful to heal a man miraculously on the sabbath day, wherin there can be no apparent ground of doubt­ing. 4. The more impudent Christs enemies be against him, the more shame and confusion the Lord will bring on them; for our Lord refuteth his adversaries by their own confessions, that it was lawfull to do more on the sabbath to a beast, then they did question him for doing unto a man; ver. 11, 12.

Ver. 13. Then said he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand: and he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.

The Lord goeth on to heal the impotent man. Doct. 1. What­soever impediment be put in Christs way to hinder him to do good, he will go on to do what he intendeth; for, He saith to the man, stretch out thy hand. 2. There is no need to presup­pose power to obey, in those to whom God giveth commands; for he can call things that are not, and make them to be: he saith here to the man whose hand was withered, who was un­able to stretch forth his hand, Stretch forth thy hand. 3. Al­beit we know we have no power to obey what is commanded, yet at Gods command it is good to essay, and set to, as if we had power; for the man at command, stretched forth his hand. 4. While men are in the way of obedience of a command, how difficult soever it be, God can blesse the beginning of obedience, with ability to perform what is commanded; for, His hand was restored whole as the other: He preased to stretch forth a withered arme, and it became whole in the stretching forth.

Ver. 14. Then the Pharisees went out and held a councel against him, how they might destroy him.

Now the Pharisees being confounded in dispute by Scripture and experience, they resolve to kill Christ: Hence learn, 1. That Christs enemies, when arguments do fail them, do fal to vio­lence; for, The Pharisees seek now how to destroy Christ. 2. Christs adversaries take help one of another, and combine against him with joint wit and power, as here, They took counsell to destroy him.

[Page 142] Ver. 15 But when Iesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence: and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all.

Christ withdraweth himselfe from these murtherers; Hence learn, 1. It is lawful for Christs Ministers to go out of the way of furious persecuters for a time, when the adversaries plot to kill them; for even Christ, who was able to resist, With­drew himself from that place where they consulted to destroy him. When a Minister perceiveth that his life may do unto God, and his Church, more service, then to be killed at such a time, and in such a way, it is no wisedome for him to be stouter then his Master. 2. It is better that such as love the Gospel, should follow the persecuted Preachers thereof, then that they should want the benefit of the Gospel; as here multitudes follow persecuted Christ. 3. None follow Christ in earnest, and for the right end, but they shall obtain their desire; for, He healed them all, that followed him for obtaining health.

Verse 16. And charged them that they should not make him known.

Albeit it was Christs mind, that his miracles should not be buried, yet (having his own meanes, and men, and time how, and by whom, and when he wil be made known) he loveth not, that himself, or his great works, should be the subject of common newes, rashly and idly to be divulged, and talked of by every man; Therfore, He chargeth them that they should not make him known.

Ver. 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the Prophet, saying,

18 Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved in whom my soul is wel pleased: I wil put my Spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.

The Evangelist observeth a design of God, by this means to fulfill, or rather make manifest the fulfilling of a Prophesie of Isaiah, chap. 42.1. wherein it is foretold, that Christ should work great and glorious works descreetly and with little din. Hence learn, 1. That Christs coming into the world, was not with worldly pomps, and much noise, as worldly prin­ces do carry themselves with much shew; for so was it fore­told of him by the Prophet. 2. As for the words of the Pro­phet, they are worthy that notice should be taken of them, and that men should attend unto them; Therefore is Behold [Page 143] prefixed. 3. Christ is the fathers servant, in regard of his hu­mane nature; and in regard of his office of a Redeemer, and Mediator, being imployed in the noblest service that ever was, that is, to bring home the Elect; for God saith, Behold my Servant. 4. He is a person singled out for the purpose: in Heaven or Earth there is none like to him, for this is He whom I have chosen, saith the Father. 5. The Father loveth Christ as himself, for his own worth [...]t the Son of his love, as the in­graven form of his own person; & in this sense he calleth him, My Beloved. 6. In Christ God is wel contented and satisfied every way, and namely as he is Surety and Under-taker for us; The Father craveth no more, no other thing for our full ransome then what Christ hath laid down, and no more in us then he hath promised to work in us: for of him saith he, In him I am well pleased. 7. He is so throughly well pleased in him for us, and in our name, that he wished no more, My soul is well pleased. 8. Christ as man is furnished fully unto all the employ­ment of a Mediator for ever; and the Spirit of God is bestow­ed on him as he is Man, without measure; for, I will put my spi­rit upon him, saith he. 9 Not only the Elect of the Jews, but al­so the Gentiles were designed to be Christs flock, that he should labour among us, and teach us how to behave our selves to­wards God and man, how God will save us, and how he wil be served of us; how he governs the world now, and what he hath decreed to do hereafter; for it is said, He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Now judgment is whatsoever God would have us beleeve, or do.

Ver. 19. He shall not strive, nor cry, neither shall any man hear bk voyce in the streets.

From these words, Learn, 1. That the manner of Christs first coming was not to subdue by strong hand, as an earthly Conquerour, as many supposed he should have come; for it was prophesied of him, He shall not, strive, that is, by externall force he shall not set up his throne. 2. Though in zeal and affection to his Fathers glory, and mens salvation; he uttered his voice and cryed, yet not the voice of contention, the voice of oftentative ambition, and imperious proclamations; for in this respect he uttered it not, He shal not cry, neither shal any man hear his voice in the streets.

Ver. 20. A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoaking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgement unto vi­ctory.

[Page 144]Another point of Christs commendation teaching us, 1. That there may be much weaknesse and tendernesse in the be­ginning of Gods work of grace, in a converted soul, compa­rable to a smoaking flax, or bruised reed. 2. Christ will not despise these weak beginnings, nor reject such weaklings; for, He will not quench the smoaking flax. &c. But will tenderly entertain the spunk of begun light, and affection, and will bind him, and strengthen a bruised reed. 3. Whither the weak work of his grace be in a particular person, or in a so­ciety, he will fight for the maintenance of it, till he have the victory; for, Iudgement shall at last be brought forth unto vi­ctory; that is to say, Truth shall have sentence pronounced by him in favours thereof at last, and shall have the victory against all opposition; for, He shall bring forth judgment unto victory.

Ver. 21. And in his name shall the Gentiles trust.

The last point of the commendation of Christ, is, that he shall not only perfect his commission among the Jews, but also shall prevail among the Gentiles. Doct. 1. The power of the Gospel is able to perswade the greatest strangers and aliens from the common-wealth of Israel to come to him: for it is said, In his name shall the Gentiles trust. 2. It is as sufficient for faith to have Christs Name preached, as to see his person; for, The Gentiles shall trust in his Name, that is, in him as he is set forth to the audience of all, in the preaching of his truth.

Ver. 22. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a divel, blind and dumb, and he healed him, in so much that the blind and dumb both spake and saw.

Followeth a notable miracle in dispossessing Satan of a blinde and dumbe cative, with the divers censours of Christs works by the People and Pharisees, whose wickednesse Christ rebuketh: Wherein observe, 1. That the fearfull conditi­on of men spiritually possessed by Satan, (as are all unrenew­ed, in whom the spirit of disobedience doth raign) may be seen in bodily possessions; and among the rest, in this man, on whom Satan shutteth all doors, that he can neither let in comfort nor let forth the sense of his misery; for, He maketh him' blinde and dumbe, which dumbnesse is ordinarily accompanied with deafnesse also. 2. Such as Christ will deliver from Sa­tan, albeit they cannot come of themselves to him, yet he can furnish meanes to bring them to him; for, This blind and [Page 145] dumb man was brought unto Christ. 3. Christ is the powerfull Physician of evils inflicted by the Divel, as here he giveth e­vidence, in healing this man perfectly; for he came to lose the hands of Satan.

Ver. 23. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is this the son of David?

The People are moved at the sight of this work, and do see a glimpse of his God-head, and of Divine glory in him. Doct. The miracles of our Lord were so demonstrative of his Divine power, that the beholders were overcome, and for­ced to acknowledg his works to be worthy of the promised Mes­siah: Is this (say they) the son of David?

Vers. 24. But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fel­low doth not cast out divels, but by Beelzebub the prince of the divels.

The Pharisees perceiving the people to be affected with the miracle, grow mad, and do blaspheme. Doct. 1. Satan, the more he is like to lose his prey, the more doth he rage; for the Pharisees do baspheme Christ so much the more, that they perceive the people to acknowledg him to be the true Messiah: 2. What Satan loseth one way, he laboureth to recover and make up another way, in opposing Christ and misconstruing his work, so much the more violently and wickedly, as he seeth himself like to be overcome: as is here to be seen in the Pha­risees. 3. Such as fall in opposing Christ, readily grow worse and worse, till they come to a height, as may be perceived in these proud men. 4. How impudent and malicious is the Di­vel, and how desperate are his slaves, who dare call Christ by the name of Beelzebub!

Verse 25. And Iesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdome divided against it self, is brought to de­solation; and every city or house divided against it self, shall not stand.

36. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself, how shall then his kingdom stand?

Christ cleareth himself, and convinceth his adversaries by five reasons: The first reason, Seeing every Kingdome, city and family set against it self, is ruined, and so also is the Kingdome of Satan; if he should assist me to cast himselfe out, it is no more reasonable to say, that I cast out divels by Satans help and assistance, then to imagine and say: that Sa­tan will consent that his kingdome should fall; therefore I [Page 146] cannot with any colour of reason be thus blasphemed: From the description of the sin of these Pharsees, learn, 1. That in pondering mens sins, the Lord looks much to the inward dis­position, mind and affection of sinners, whether they sin of in­firmity, or of presumption; of ignorance, or against their light; Therefore it is said, Iesus knew their thoughts. 2. The way to preserve all Societies, is Union; and the way to ruine them, is dissention; for, For every Kingdom, City, house di­vided, shall not stand. 3. Satan hath a kingdom among men, which by all means he goeth about to maintain, and will be loath, really and in effect, wholly to dispossesse himself, both of the soul and body of any in whom he hath power and place; for, If Satan cast out Satan, how shall his Kingdom stand?

Ver. 17. And if I by Beelzebub cast out divels, by whom do your children cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.

The second reason, for clearing of Christ and convincing his adversaries, is this. You grant that your children and car­nall friends, when they cast out divels by the gift of miracles, do it by the power of God; Therefore that shall condemn you of malicious partiality, for your saying, That I cast out divels not by the power of God, but by Beelzebub: Hence learn, 1. That malice moveth men to misconstrue the best actions of the most innocent: for the Pharisees out of malice ascribe Christs works to the Divel, which they knew were of God. 2. The processe of justice against the wicked must be short, when their conscience and common reason in their dear­est carnall friends, is sufficient to bear witnesse against their wickednesse, and to condemn them for it: upon this ground Christ saith, By whom do your children cast out Satan? therefore they shall be your judges.

Ver. 28. But if I cast out divels by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you.

A third reason to convince these men of blasphemy, is, Seeing you know that I do cast out divels by divine power of Gods Spirit, you cannot be ignorant that I am the Messiah, and that the kingdom of grace promised in the Messiah is come: and therefore you are malicious opposers of the kingdome of God in my person: Hence learn, 1. Christs manner of ca­sting out divels was with such heavenly majesty and authority, as that his enemies knew it was by the Spirit of God: for here our Lord taketh that for granted, saying, If I cast out di­vels [Page 147] by the spirit of God, &c. 2. Seeing Satans kingdom is cast down by the doctrine of the Gospel, and soules are converted through the divine power of God; It is certain that the promi­sed Kingdom of Gods grace in Christ is already come; For, If I, saith Christ, cast out divels by the spirit of God, then is the kingdom of God come unto you

Ver. 29. Or else, how can one enter into a strong m [...]ns house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.

A fourth reason: If I by the supreme power of Gods spirit, did not cast out Satan, it were as impossible to thrust him out, as to spoil a strongs mans house without overcoming him first; Therefore you are wilfull blasphemers, who ascribe this work to the Divel: Hence learn, 1. That Satan is power­full to take, and keep possession of men, when God permitteth him so to do: and may be compared to a strong man, who brings his conquest within doors, and maintains the house a­gainst all that might spoil him: so doth the comparison import. 2. Christ is powerful to overcome Satan, and to spoil him of his possession, and may be compared to a stronger Man. 3. Sa­tan will not shed with the possession of a sinner, except by strong hand he be over-mastred; for, he must be bound, before he be spoyled.

Ver. 30. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that ga­thereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

A fifth reason: Wheresoever I come to set up my Kingdom, all these who do not help forward my work, are really my enemies; Therefore you who do oppose me, are much more my enemies; and so your speeches against me, are to be estee­med malicious blasphemies: Hence learn, 1. Wheresoever Christ sendeth his Gospel, all that hear it, are either for him, or against him, none are neutrals; for so he saith, He that is not with me, is against me. 2. None are for Christ, but such as do their best to gather in others unto him, (as corn to his barne) according to their calling; and whosoever do not promove Christs Kingdom, are culpable of hindering of it; for he saith, Who so gathereth not with me, scattereth a­broad.

Ver. 31. Wherfore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphe­my shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

32. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, [Page 148] it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in the world to come.

Thus are these men convicted: now the Lord sheweth, how neere they were to perdition: and this he doth by laying before them the desperate condition of such, as sin against the holy Ghost; for each other sort of sin is pardonable, and in some person, one or other, is actually pardoned; even sins com­mitted against the Mediator, are pardoned; but the sin against the holy Ghost, is never pardoned, neither in this world, by the ministeriall application of the Gospel; nor in the world to come, by the authoritative absolution of the Judg, at the last day. The Scripture in Marke 3.29. Luke 12.10. Heb. 6.4, 5, 6. and 10.26. giveth us to understand, that not e­very sin against conscience or against the Gospel is this sin: but that this sin is an open, wilfull, deliberate and malicious rejecting and opposing of Jesus Christ totally, and of the way of Salvation by him; and that after the holy Ghost, hath by a supernaturall operation convicted the Person of the Salva­tion offered to the World through Christ: And therefore it is called, A blasphemie against the holy Ghost: Because this sin divelishly opposeth the supernaturall work of the holy Ghost, convincing the mind, that, Iesus is the Son of God, the only Saviour of the World; for otherwise in a common man­ner, every sin against God, is a sin against all the Persons. Now this sin is called Unpardonable, not because it cannot be forgiven, but because it never is forgiven: The man that falleth in this sin, never repenteth, nor getteth grace to desire to repent, but doth as a Divel desperately go on to oppose Jesus Christ: Therefore, whatsoever sin it be, fo [...] which the man is sorrowfull and penitent, and doth flee unto Christ, to be relieved of it, it is not this sin, which the Scripture doth call The Blasphemy against the holy Ghost, how hainous soever it be. Hence learn, 1. That there is [...]o sort of sin, except this one, which may not, yea hath not been forgiven in one mans person or other; for it is said, All manner of sin shall be forgiven unto men. 2. The sin against the holy Ghost, as it is formerly descri­bed, cannot fall out in the person of a penitent beleever in Je­sus Christ, to whom pardon is promised; for, This sin shal not be forgiven. 3. The son of God is also the son of Man, verily par [...]a­ker of our flesh and blood, in whose person the nature of God and man is united, for a ground of confidence unto sinfull men [Page 149] that they may come unto God through him: for here he is cal­led, The Son of Man. 4. It is possible, that some of the E­lect appointed for Life, may fall in the sin of blasphemy a­gainst the Son of God, out of ignorance, or fear, or some sort of deception, and thereafter may repent, and find mercy: for it is said, Whosoever shal speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; to wit, Upon the conditions, and in the manner set down in Scripture, to wit, if he repent, and flee to Christ. 5. It is a dangerous matter to oppose Christ and his Gospel, in any part of his Truth, or Kingdome, or to blaspheme, and speak ill of the work of grace in his Chil­dren; especiall out of hatred of the truth, and good way of God: for this draweth neer to the unpardonable sin against the holy Ghost.

Ver. 33. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

There were two things which might weaken the power of his threatning: 1. The conceit of the holinesse of these Phari­sees. 2. That their blasphemy was but a matter of words; Therefore for the peoples edification, Christ breaketh down these sconces, shewing these men to be most wicked to ver. 36. and Gods judgement to be strict, even in the matter of words, to verse 38. As for the first he proveth these men not, to be holy, but wicked, by four reasons: The first is, because their Fruits were evill, set down in the comparison of trees which being good, do bring forth goods fruits: and being e­vil, do bring forth evill fruits; Hence learn, 1. As a tree is known to be good, or evil, by the fruits; so is a man known by the course of his deeds; for this is the intent of the simili­tude. 2. As a man carryeth himself for Christ, or against him, so is he good or evil; and though he were as blameless otherwise, as these Pharisees, yet he is a wicked man if he be against Christ; for The tree is known by his fruit.

Ver. 34. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,

A second reason, because the whole [...]ect of the Pharisees were a wicked Pack, seeming to be friends to the Law, but ad­versaries to Christ, the true intent thereof, adversaries to the grace of God, and to righteousnesse by faith; and so not on­ly by nature, but also by succession to their Predecessours, in [Page 150] holding their poisonable doctrine, they were a generation of vipers, the worst sort of adders, who being evill, could not speak good; and having their heart full of poison, could not but speak as their heart dyted unto them; Hence learn, 1. It is im­possible for unrenewed men to speak good, far more impossible to do good; for, How can you that are evil, speak good? saith he. 2. Men who glory in their forebears, as these men did in Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and do not follow their footsteps, are in Gods account to be fathered on Satan, and are the vipe­rous brood of his children; Therefore justly doth our Lord call these men, Generation of vipers. A third reason, Because the overflowing of their hearts in blasphemous words, did prove them to be wicked blasphemers. Doct. 1. The heart is the fountain of a mans words and works; as it is set, so is the cur­rent of a mans words and works, good or evil; for, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. 2. Whensoever evill doth break forth in a mans words, for that time at least e­vil aboundeth in the heart; for, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

Ver. 35. A good man out of the treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things.

A fourth reason proving them to be wicked, is, be­cause they did delight to lay up wickedness in their heart, and to bring forth ill out of their heart. Doct. Whether a man be renewed and a good man, or unrenewed and an evil man, it may be known by the stuffe, which delibrately he layeth up in his heart, and deliberately brings forth out of his heart; for, If it be a good treasure, he is a good man; if it be an evil treasure, he is an evill man: for here such as the man is, such is his treasure; for, A good man out of the good treasure, and an evil man of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth, &c.

Ver. 36. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shal speak, they shal give account thereof in the day of judge­ment.

Thus Christ hath removed the pretext, and conceit of the Pharisees holiness: now he removeth the conceit of the smal­nesse of their sin, in respect it was a matter of words, for two reasons; The first is, Idle words should be punished, much more blasphemous words: Hence learn, 1. How little soe­ver men do esteem of words, yet in Gods ballance they weigh [Page 151] not light: for, not only wicked words, but also idle words, such as serve for no good purpose, or for no lawfull end, shall come in reckoning as so many sins; Therefore saith he, Every idle word they shall give account therof 2. There shall be a day of judgment, wherein all sins, even words shall come to be judged: for here a day of judgment is set, and this judgment shall passe upon particulars, even upon words, whereof men have not before given account, and received pardon.

Ver. 37. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Another reason; shewing that words will be respected by God, whatsoever men think of them; because the course of a mans words being naughty, shall be sufficient to be a ditty to prove a man unrighteous; and being well seasoned, shall be a sufficient evidence to prove a man righteous; therfore words are not to be slighted: Hence learn, That as a well gover­ned tongue, and the course of wisely ordered speeches, is, and shall be in Gods judgement a sufficient evidence of a man re­newed and justified; so also a loose tongue is and shal be an e­vidence of the contrary.

Ver. 38. Then certain of the Scribes and of the Pharisees an­swered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

Another dispute about signes, which the Pharisees craved of Christ; wherein learn, 1. That Christ was exercised with divers sorts of temptations by his adversaries; some openly blaspheming, some subtilly insinuating, as if they would deal reasonably with him, Master, say these men, we would see a sight as if they never had seen any of his miracles before; or, as if upon the doing of some miracle, they minded to believe in him. 2. Christs miracles were sufficient to cleare that he was the Messiah; for even his enemies can crave no more, but to have a sign; for, say they, We would see a sign from thee. 3. Obstinat unbeleevers wil not be satisfied with any of Gods words or works; but stil wil crave new ones, as these men, after numbers of signes, crave yet a sign. 4. Mis-beleevers are also limitators of the Holy One of Israel, nothing will satisfie these men but a sign at their direction: We desire to see a sign, say they.

Ver. 39. But he answered and said to them, an evil and adulte­rous generation seeketh after a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the Prophet Ionas.

[Page 152]40 For as Ionas was three days and three nights in the Whales belly: so shall the son of man be three dayes and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Our Lord refuseth to give them any signe, save this, That after they had killed him, he should rise from the dead, as Jo­nas came out of the Whales belly, and so they would not pre­vaile over him, for all their malice. In this answer, learn, 1. That a people that doth not embrace the Lord, as he is pleased to offer himselfe, is a people alienate from God, and is a fol­lower of another God of their own devising; for therefore he calleth them, Adulterous generation. 2. As when Jo­nas his doctrine was rejected by the Jewes, God made him be accepted in Niniveh: So shall it be with such, as will not receive Christ offering himselfe unto them, he shall find others to take the offer: If the Jews refuse, the Gentiles shal receive him: this is one way of having the signe of Ionas. 3. Again the enemies of Christ who will not cease to pe [...]secute him, shall know by Christs victory over them, that he is the Messiah; for as Jonas was proved to be the Lords Peophet by his miraculous delivery from death; so shall Christ be found to be the true Messiah, by the resurrection from the dead, and by his victory over the persecutions of his adversaries; and this is another way of having the signe of the Prophet Io­nah: signes of both these sorts are proper to mis-belee­vers.

Verse 41. The men of Niniveh shall rise in judgement with this generation, and shall condemn it, because they re­pented at the preaching of Ionas; and behold, a greater then Ionas is bere.

Christ after refusing to gi [...]e them a signe, or to work any miracle at their pleasure, certifieth them that they shall be condemned for their mis-belief, by two witnesses. The first witnesse is, The men of Niniveh, who repented at the preaching of Jonas: whether this repentance was better then the repentance of Achab, it skilleth not to dispute: because, presuppose it was no more then was in a naturall man, up­on the historicall beleeving of temporall judgement coming upon them, like unto Achabs repentance, yet it was more then these hard-hearted people did, who were obstinate unbelievers, and were neither moved with the preaching of mercy nor judg­ment. Doct. 1. Any sort of repentance, presuppose it be on­ly temporary, is better then obstinate unbelief, and no sort of [Page 153] repentance: for Ninivehs humiliation is better then the Jews hard-hearted carriage. 2. There is more fruit of one Sermon to be expected from Pagans, then of many Sermons from the abusers of Ordinances of Religion, for Niniveh repenteth at one Sermon, Judea repenteth not after hearing many. 3. The sin of the Mis-beleever, and his judgment is the greater, by so much as the means of beleeving have been more frequently applyed, and Christ hath shown himselfe more in the use of means: for, therefore was the condemnation of the Jewes un­beliefe the greater, because Christ, who was greater then Io­nas, was not beleeved, after long preaching and miracles wrought.

Verse 42. The Queen of the South shall rise up in the judgement with this generation, and shall condemne it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth, to heare the wisedome of Solomon; and behold, a greater then Solomon is here.

Another witness is the Queen of the South. Doct. The Example of such as have taken paines to get knowledge, or obtain any vertue, whose names are recorded in Scripture, must either be made use of, unto imitation of their faith and diligence, or else their example will serve to agredge sins unto deeper judgement: for the Queen of the South shall rise in judgement against those that regard not the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Verse 43. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, be walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

45. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked then himself, and they enter in, and dwel there: and the last state of that man is worse then the first. Even so shal it be also unto this generation.

The last answer serveth to shew them their own miserable condition, and that by a parable of a supposed case of Satans being cast out of a man, in respect of one sort of possession, and coming back unto a worse and more dangerous sort of possession: The scope of the parable [...]s, to shew, that this people by the [...]r refusing to receive the grace of God, and to beleeve in Christ, were in a seven-fold worse condition, then if [Page 154] the Gospel had never been preached unto them: for Christ by his doctrine had made them see the onely true way of right [...]ousnesse and eternall life, and so in regard of the refuta­tion of their former errour, and removing the ignorance wher­in they did formerly lye, Satan was in some sort cast out: but in respect of their not receiving Jesus Christ, and his grace, to dwel in their hearts by faith, the divel had gotten a seven-fold stronger possession of them now then before. From this para­ble we may learn, 1. That Satan is an unclean spirit, for so here is he called. 2. He may be cast out of a man in some sort, and yet the man be not renewed; As for example, He may be cast out of a bodily possession, and the man remain unre­newed: He may be cast out in regard of a mans outward pol­luted life, as he was cast out of these, who after abjuration of their ungodly life at their baptisme, did returne again to their former filthinesse, 2 Pet. 2.. He may be cast out of a mans mind by refutation of his former errours, and illumi­nation of him by sound doctrine: and yet the man may remain unrenewed: such as was the casting of Satan out of this evil and adulterous generation. 3. In case a man be not taken up by the spirit of grace, in whatsoever other respect Satan is cast out of him, he shall be more deeply possessed by him, then before.

Verse 46.

While be yet talked to the people, behold, his mo­ther and his brethren stood without, desiring to speake with him.

47. Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee.

Concerning the coming of Christs friends and kins folks un­to him, whatsoever was their errand, their pretence is to speak with him: but untimously do they call for conference, while he is about another work: Hence learn, that Christ is indeed very man, having kindly consanguinity with other men, and naturall relations unto them, grounded upon the verity of his humane nature: for he hath, Mother and brethren, or Cousin germans, Persons neare in blood unto him, who are called in Scripture, Brethren. 2. The Virgin Mother was not so free of sin, but she might and did fall in escapes, as here in joining with the friends, at least, in an untimous troubling of Christs Sermon (to say no more) and preferring her own conference with him, unto his fathers service: which confe­rence [Page 155] might have been delayed, untill his teaching of the peo­ple had been ended, and a more eminent work, which was now in hand, perfected.

Ver. 48. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my Mother? and who are my brethren?

49. And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold, my mother, and my brethren.

50. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mo­ther.

From Christs answer, learn, 1. That respect unto kindred and friends, must not be prejudiciall to any higher service of God; for when Christs mother and friends called to speak with him, while he is teaching; he asked, Who is my mother? 2. Whosoever believeth in Christ, and endeavours to do Gods will, giveth reall demonstration of saving faith, and may be as­sured of Christs love and estimation, no lesse, then if all the re­lations of Brother, and Mother, and Sister, in one [...]vere put upon him; for, Whosoever shall do the will of my Father, the same, saith Christ, is my Brother, and Sister, and Mother.


The constitution of the visible Church, and the dispensation of Gods grace in it, unto the end of the world, and how the separation shal be at the day of judgement, is set down in divers parables, to vers. 53. and what smal respect our Lords countrey-men carried towards him.

Ver. 1. THe same day went Iesus out of the house, and sat by the seaside.’

THe time is marked of this following sermon, and the place also, to teach us, that nothing could hinder Christ from spreading the doctrine of salvation, no opposition of foes, no misconstructions of friends were able to discourage him from his calling; for, That same day wherein he had a bitter [Page 156] conflict with the Pharisees, and interruption from his friends, That same day without wearying or fainting in labour, he goeth to the sea side to teach.

Ver. 2. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

The gathering of great multitudes to hear Christ teach is marked, to shew us, That when Christs enemies do set them­selves most to disgrace him, then can he, and doth he glorifie himself most: for when the Pharisees had set themselves, by bitter blasphemies, to scare the people from following Christ, so great a confluence of people is gathered unto him, that he must (for eschewing the croud, and prease of the people) Go into a ship.

Ver. 3. And he spake many things to them in parables, saying Be­hold, a lower went forth to sow.

4. And when he sowed, some seeds fel by the wayes side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.

5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepnesse of earth:

6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched, and because they had not root, they withered away.

7. And some fell among thorns: and the thorns sprung up and thoaked them.

8. But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred fold, some sixty fold, some thirty fold.

The scope of this parable, is to shew That not all hea­rers of the word do profit thereby, but some only: and this is set down under comparison of sowing seed in divers grounds, to verse 9. Then is it enquired after, while may he the meaning of it, and exponed, to verse [...]4. From this phrabo­lick similitude, learn, 1. That Christ in his care which he hath of the Church, is like a diligent husband-man labou­ring; The people are like to the field or ground; and the word preached is like to seed sown. 2. Albeit the word as seed be one, yet the ground is of sundry sorts, the hearers [...] of divers kindes; some comparable to stony ground; some to thorny ground; some to high-way ground; some to good ground. 3. The Lord maketh triall of all, and doth not spare to cast seed on all sort of ground. 4. In most hearers, through their [Page 157] own default, the seed of Gods word bringeth not forth fruit.

Ver. 9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

The parable being proponed, our Lord careth for no more but that so many onely as should have grace to understand it, shall make use of it. Doct. 1. Of outward hearers of the Lords Word, some are destitute of the inward ear of understanding, destitute of belief; other some have an open ear to understand and beleeve; for this is imported, by, He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear. 2. It is Christs intention, that his own to whom he giveth understanding and faith, should profit by hearing; and when these do beleeve, he rests satisfied: therfore saith he, let him that hath an ear, hear; whatsoever may become of the rest. 3. This Doctrine being proponed to a people in common, without ap­plication to any particular person, serveth much to waken and stir up the hearers to study, and to understand, and to make use of what is spoken; as appeareth in the Disciples question, which followeth: for this saying, Let him that hath an ear, hear, impor­teth as much, as, God will not regard the loss of such, as do not regard to understand his word, & to make use of what they hear,

Ver. 10. And the Disciples came and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in Parables?

The Disciples ask the meaning of the parables, and a reason of this manner of Christs teaching. Doct. 1. It is a duty of love to be soliciters for the common multitude: therfore the disci­ples do regrate their case, saying, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? that is, in a way which they wil not understand. 2. Our questions about the manner of the Lords dealing with people, & manner of speaking unto them, should be proponed unto the Lord himself, and satisfaction sought from him; for, Why spea­kest thou to them in parables? say they: the question otherwise proponed by way of quarrelling, is dangerous.

Ver. 11. He answered and said unto them, Because it is given un­to you to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.

Our Lord doth answer them in a very satisfactory way: teach­ing that the matters of the Kingdom of Heaven are mysteries, which none can understand till it be given them from God, and that there are some to whom God mindeth not to give un­derstanding of his mysteries, they being reprobate; therfore, To them it is not given, saith he. 2. There are others, to wit, his elect ones, to whom he wil give the unde [...]standing of the mysteries of Heaven; for he saith, To you it is given. 3. The cause of putting [Page 158] difference betwixt one and another, in the matters of the King­dom of Heaven, it is in the will of God the giver; for so doth Christ reckon, saying, To them it is not given, to you it is given.

Ver. 12. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be ta­ken away, even that he hath.

Our Lord doth clear, and confirme his Answer, by shewing the course kept by God in the dispensation of grace, wherein ha­ving and not having, is to be understood of saving grace. Doct. 1. Such as find grace in God's eyes through Christ, have indeed a gift or possession worthy to be called a gift; for so he describeth the Elect, Whosoever hath. 2. Such as are Reprobates, or are not elected, and do not find grace in the Lord's eyes, whatsoever they have of others gifts, it is nothing in effect, but a seeming to have; for such are described, Whosoever hath not. 3. Whosoever hath gotten the Fountain-gift of saving grace, or of God's love in Christ, he shall have all other gifts, which tend to perfect sal­vation; for it is said, Whosoever hath, to him shal be given, & that in abundance. 4. Whosoever hath not this gift of grace, & favour in God's eyes, shall want and be deprived also of all other gifts tending to salvation, or at least, of the right use of them; for e­ven that which they seemed to have of common gifts & means of salvation, shall be taken from them, so as they shall not reap eternall life thereby.

Ver. 13. Therefore speak I to them in Parables: because they seeing, see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they under­stand.

From this ground, that this multitude was reprobate, our Lord giveth a reason of his speaking to them in parables. Doct. 1. Some do see with their natural eyes Gods Works and wonders, and do hear his Word also outwardly, who do not by the spiri­tual eye of Faith perceive or take up the Lord's glory shining therin; for, Some in seeing, see not, in hearing, hear not. 2. Con­cerning such as God hath reprobate, he will dispose so of the meanes of salvation toward them, as they shall profit nothing by them unto salvation; therefore saith he, I speak to them in parables.

Ver. 14. And in them is fulfilled the prophesie of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shal hear, and shal not understand; and seeing, ye shall see, and shall not perceive.

Left they should have thought this an hard saying, Christ sheweth, that Isaias threatned the like against the wicked in his [Page 159] time, and did prophesie of the righteous judgment of God, in this sort to come upon the reprobate in Christ's time: Hence learn, 1. That the prime reason of the with-holding of saving grace, from such as do perish, is in Gods decree of reprobation; for of the reprobate it may be said, Though the Lords works be outwardly, and in a common manner seen by them; and his Word do sound among them, and be outwardly, or in a common manner heard by them, yet this shall be without profit to them, or use making of by them; for, Such hearing, they hear and perceive not. 2. When Gods judgment pronounced in Scrip­ture, hath taken hold of one fleece of wicked persons in one age, it goeth on to be executed upon others after them, of that same sort; for the words of Isaiah spoken to the people in his own time, are to be fulfilled even upon the wicked in Christs time, some hundred years after Isaiah's prophesie, and the same words are fulfilled in our time, and shall take hold of the wicked in time to come.

Ver. 15. For this peoples heart is waxed grosse, and their eares are dul of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

The Lord sheweth the righteousness of God, in execution of this decree of reprobation, by this, that there is in them a volun­tary induration of heart, going before the juridial induration inflicted upon them: Hence learn, 1. That beside the natural seneslesnesse of things spiritual, and the natural ignorance, and unbelief of the Gospel, there is an affected & voluntary blind­nesse of mind, and hardness of heart, which men draw on by cu­stome of sinning; this is it he saith, Their eyes have they closed. 2. Where unto natural blindnesse and hardnesse of heart, men superadde a wilfull blindnesse and hardnesse of heart, it is justice with God to give them over to a judiciall blindnesse of mind, and hardnesse of heart, as the comparison of this place, with that of Isaiah, cha. 6. giveth ground; for here their volunta­ry blindness is set down, They have closed their eyes; & there the judicial blindnesse and hardness is set down, Shut their eyes, make their heart fat. 3. This plague is proper to the reprobat, who God wil not save, to whom God hath resolved to give no saving grace, Lest he should heal them. 4. whosoever get grace to turn fro their sins, to repent & to beleeve in Jesus Christ, are not given o­ver to a reprobate sense, shal surely be saved; For while he saith, [Page 160] He wil not grant them grace to hear and understand; that is, to be­lieve & repent, least they should be healed, he importeth, that if they did believe and repent, they behoved undoubtedly to be healed; the exercise of Faith and Repentance being infallibly marks of saving grace.

Ver. 16. B [...] blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your eares, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, that many Prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, & to hear those things which ye hear, & have not heard them.

By shewing the reprobation of this People, Christ commen­deth the estate of his Disciples. Doct. 1. Such as have received grace to perceive salvation offered in Jesus Christ, and to lay hold theron, are truly blessed; for, Blessed are your eyes, saith Christ, for they see. 2. The miserable condition of the reprobate, and such as are given over to misbelief, doth commend the blessed estate and condition of such as get grace to believe, being compared therwith; this is imported in, But blessed are your eyes. 3. The e­state of the church after the manifestation of the Messiah in the flesh, is more blessed than the condition of the church before Christ, in respect of the grace of the Gospel, now more cleerly proponed without shadows and figures; and in this happiness, the Apostles who conversed with Christ bodily, justly have the first place: Many Prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen them. 4. Such as get a saving sight of Christ, do earnestly desire to see more of him; for Prophets and righteous men who beleeved in Christ to come, ardently desired to see him in the flesh.

Ver. 18. Hear ye therefore the Parable of the Sower.

In the exposition of the Parable, learn, The Lord will teach his own the meaning of his Word, so as they may be edified therby; and what they do not understand at one time, he will cause them to understand at another: for, Hear ye, saith he to his disciples, the parable of the sower.

Ver. 19. When any one heareth the word of the Kingdome, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth a­way that which was sown in his heart: this is be which received seed by the way side.

From the exposition of the seed sown by the way side, learn, 1. That the Gospel is the word of the kingdome of Heaven, and other words in comparison are to smal effect; but this word sheweth the way, and giveth right unto the Kingdome, giveth [Page 161] earnest, and a beginning of the Kingdome of Heaven; there­fore it is called, The word of the kingdome. 2. Satan is busie waiting on where the word is preached, to marr the hearing, or understanding, and believing of it; for, When one heareth, that wicked one cometh. 3. Where men understand not the Gospel preached, and are not made sensible by the preaching of it, of their own sinfulnesse, and danger on the one hand: and of the grace of God offered in Christ to relieve them, on the other hand, the word is lost unto them; for, The wicked one catcheth away that which was sown.

Ver. 20. But he that receiveth the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it.

21. Yet hath he no root in himselfe, but dureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

From the exposition of the seed sown in stony ground, learn, 1. That some hear the word, and receive it with joy readily, upon temporall grounds, and naturall motives: for excellent truths, and offers of remission of sinnes, and eternal life, may af­fect a naturall man in a natural way, Such is he that receiveth the [...]rd in stony places. 2. Where sound faith is not mixed with the word received, there the word is not ingrast; for, He hath no root in himself. 3. Where the word is not received, so as the root of true faith and Gods grace is in the man, his seeming faith will not endure, whatsoever lustre it may have; for, He endu­reth but a while. 4. When a man receiveth the Gospel for some motive of a temporary good, the fear of some temporary evill (such as is threatened in persecution) will be able to drive him from his professed Faith; for, When persecution cometh, by and by he is offended, and so a ffliction is a touch-stone wherby to try the sincerity of professours.

Vers. 22. He also that receiveth seed among the thornes, is he that heareth the word: and the care of this world, and the de­ceitfulnesse of riches choak the word, and he becometh unfruit­full.

From the exposition of the seed sown in thorny ground, learn, 1. That however the word seem to be received, if it do not bring forth fruits of amendment of life, if it beget not Faith working by Love, it is like seed choaked with thorns, and the word is lost in such an heart. 2. Whatsoever things per­taining to this life, do go so near a mans heart, as they take [Page 162] up the room, time, travell, and affection, which heavenly things should have, they are but thornes which choak the seed of God's Word. 3. When the care of getting, or keeping, or governing of riches, under fair pretences of a lawfull calling, of caring for our family, and not neglecting the benefits of God, do steal away the heart, and do waste a mans time and strength, which should be bestowed upon heavenly things, then all these preten­ces are but the deceitfulnesse of riches. 4. If a man's works do not proceed from the vertue of God's word, whatsoever be his works from other principles, they are nothing in God's ac­count; for, If the Word be choaked, the man becometh unfruit­full.

Ver. 23. But he that received seed into the good ground, is he that heareth the Word, and understandeth it, which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth some an hundred fold, some sixty, some thirty.

From the exposition of the good ground, learn, 1. That onely such are worthy receivers of the Word, who believe and obey it in their conversation; for, These only are like good ground, receiving the good seed, and rendring the fruits of good seed. 2. Every true believer is fruitfull, albeit every one doth not bring forth fruit in a like measure, but some more, some lesse; Some an hundred, some sixty, and some thirty fold.

Ver. 24.

Another Parable put he forth unto them, saying, The Kingdome of Heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field.

25 But while men slept, his enemie came, and sowed [...]ares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brough [...] forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the Housholder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?

28 He said unto them, An enemie hath done this. The Ser­vant said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up.

29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the Harvest: and in the time of Harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barns.

[Page 463]Another Parable serving to teach, That the visible church full not want a mixture of wicked persons, joyned with the Godly, unto the worlds end: and that we must not dream of a possibility, to make a perfect separation of good and bad, in the church. The chief doctrines to be observed herein are, 1, That the externall visible church is worthy to be called, and counted the Kingdome of Heaven, even in regard of the externall con­stitution of it in this world, notwithstanding of the mixture of wicked hypocrites in it; because therein Christ rules as King, and hath his Subjects, all professing him to be King of Saints, but especially in respect of his own elect therein, who honour him in Spirit, in whom he doth begin eternal life, and draweth it on unto perfection.

2. The visible church is like a corn field, wherein are sown good seeds and noysome weeds, sound converts, begotten of God, and wicked hypocrites, who are the children of Satan; for the enemy sowes tares among the wheat.

3. There is no more possibility for men to eschew the in­coming of Hypocrites into the church, than for any husband-man's servant to hinder an enemy to cast in the seed of weeds in their Master's field, in the night when men do sleep.

4. It is a matter of grief and offence, to see in the church of God so many unprofitable and noysom weeds, so many wicked hypocrites and naughty persons; this the servants coming to re­grate the matter, doth import.

5. The rash zeal of servants, before they consult the Lord their Master, is ready with the hazard of the church, and true members thereof, to have such a constitution of the visible church, as they should suffer none to be a member, who are not inwardly regenerate, but have all others of whose inward Regeneration they are not assured, plucked from among pro­fessours: this is imported in, Wilt thou that we go and gather them up?

6. The Lord, albeit he hath given order to censure the scan­dalous Offenders, yet he dischargeth his servants to prosse to­ward such a separation, as to have all the weeds and wicked in heart to be cast out, least while they gather out the gracelesse tares, they should root out also the gracious wheat with them, for it is not possible for any man to discern the renewed from the unrenewed so clearly, but he may be mistaken; this Christ meaneth by, he said, Nay, lest ye root up the wheat with them.

7. The Lord accounteth it lesse hazard to suffer many hypo­crites [Page 164] to be in the visible Church, then to hold out, or cast out of it any one of the weakest of the Elect and conver­ted children; for so he reckoneth here, that it is much safer to suffer many weeds to grow in Gods field, then to hazard one grain of good wheat, by seeking to root out the weed; Nay, saith he, gather not out the tares, lest ye root up the wheat with them.

8. This mixture in the visible Church, Christ the Lord is minded to permit, and commands to be permitted, till the day of judgement; and then, but not till then, shall a full se­paration of the Godly and the wicked, of the elect, and the re­probate he made; In the time of harvest, I wil say, Gather the wheat, &c.

9. At last, the separation shall be such; as all the wick­ed shall be cast into hell fire, and the Godly placed in hea­ven: Th [...] tares shall be burnt, and the wheat gathered into the barn.

Ver. 31. Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man [...]ook and sowed in his field.

32. Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree: so that the birds of the aire come and lodge in the branches there­of.

Another parable, The scope wherof is to shew, that the visible Church, in regard of the power of the Gospel in it, and of the true grate of God, in the true members thereof, how small soever it may seem in the beginning, yet shall grow up won­derfully, this is set forth under the similitude of mustard-seed, which for examples cause, in the parable, after the nature of a parable, is presupposed to be the least of all seeds; and again, is presupposed to grow up to such height, that it should become the tallest of all trees: which parabolicall sup­position being made, then shall it be fit to resemble the work of God, by the grace of the Gospel, which how small soever the beginnings of it be, yet shall it be the most glorious of all Gods works, ere all be done. Hence learn, That the work of the Gospel, and planting of Gods Church, how smal beginning: soever it seem to have, yet shal by the blessing of God have won­derful increase. The day of smal things is not to be despised▪ by this, as the disciples were encouraged to spread the Gospel, so should all the Lords servant [...] be encouraged to be diligent to [Page 165] sow the seed of grace, by holding forth the doctrine of the Gos­pel, according to their calling.

Verse 33. Another parable spake he unto them, The Kingdome of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was lea­vened.

Another parable tending to this same purpose, namely, to shew that the work of Gods grace by the Gospel in the visible Church, how small appearance soever it hath, wil notwithstand­ing spread and prevail, according to the measure appointed of God. The doctrine is this, As good leaven, after a compe­tent time, will leaven all the lump, to the leavening whereof it is appointed; so will the work of Gods grace in his Church by the Gospel powerfully affect, and prevail unto the conver­sion of all these for whom God shall send it, and therefore we should not judge of Gods works in his Church by outward appearance; this serveth then, and should serve now, to make men faithful in teaching the truth, and to wait for a while till God shall work, and give his blessing to the hearers in his own time.

Verse. 34. All these things spake Iesus unto the mul­titude in parables, and without a parable spake he not unto them.

35. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Pra­ [...]bet, saying, I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.

Here is rendered another reason, why Christ did speak to the people in parables, to wit, that he might fulfill what the Prophet as the type foretold, that Christ should do, and how Christ should by speaking in parables stir up his hearers to search what was meaned by this sort of speaking, as the Psal­mist stirred up his Hearers to attend the more, to what he was to deliver in parables, Psalm 78 2.. To the intent that such as would understand, might learn; and others who would not search for light, might be justly left in blindness. Doct. 1. Both the matter and manner of Christs doctrine is worthy to be maintained and vindicated from all misconstructions, for Heat we have the evangelist for a precedent. 2. Prea­chers should teach nothing for matter nor manner, but what they have a precedent, for in the Scripture, for even Christ did so.

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Ver. 36. Then Iesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37. He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed, is the Son of man.

38. The field is the world: the good seed are the children of the Kingdome: but the tares are the children of the wicked one.

39. The enemy that sowed them is the Divell: the harvest is the end of the world: and the reapers are the An­gels.

40. As therefore the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire; so shal it be in the end of this world.

41. The son of man shall send forth his Angels, and they shal ga­ther out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do i­niquity.

42. And shal cast them into a furnace of fire: there shal be wai­ling and gnashing of teeth.

43. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdome of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Here the speaking in parables taketh good effect in his own Disciples; they are made sensible of their own dulnesse in un­derstanding, and are moved to ask light of the Lord, and so they receive satisfaction; for the Lord declareth what the parts of the parable were in their intent and signification. Hence learn, 1. That the visible Church, as it is not without rea­son called, The Kingdome of Heaven, as is shewne before; so also, not without reason, is it called here, the world; in regard it con­taineth all sorts of people in The world, and is spread through­out the world, and not limited to any one place: The field (to wit, the universall visible Church) where the seed is day­ly sown, is called The world. 2. The Elect, and true Be­leevers begotten by the Gospel, and true Subjects of Christs Kingdome, and heirs of Heaven, are the only proper chil­dren of the Kingdome, for, The good seed are the children of the Kingdom.

3. Such as have nothing in them, save outward profession, and do remain wicked and unrenewed men, are nothing else for their inward estate but children of Satan; for, The tares are the children of the wicked one.

4. Satan, as an enemy to the glory of God in his Church, [Page 167] doth what he can to have hypocrites, and wicked men mixed among the godly, as members of that same church, ver. 39. for, The enemie that sowed them, is the divel.

5. This mixture of good and bad, is to endure to the end of the world, that is, untill the day of judgement, wherein the Angels shall have work to separate the wicked from the god­ly; for, The harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the Angels.

6. In the end of the world, every man shall have the fruit of his labour, as his seed, that is, as his good or evil works have been; for, This is the full harvest, vers. 39.

7. Openly prophane persons, and secret Hypocrites, workers of iniquity, shall have no place among Gods people any more after the day of judgement, but their place shall be hell, the place of unexpressible torment; for, The tares shall be gathered and burnt in the fire.

8. Such as are justified by faith in Christ, and do study by his grace to live righteously, how base soever they may appear in this world, shall in the world to come be wonderfull glo­rious; for, They shall shine as the Sun in the kingdome of their Father.

9. It is sufficient for the main end of Christs doctrine, if such as have grace to understand, and believe, shall make use therof, for the rest he regardeth not; for he saith, They that have ears to hear, let them hear.

Ver. 44. Again, the Kingdome of heaven is like unto a treasure bid in a field: the which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy thereof, goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Another parable, teaching us, that the church, in regard of the precious doctrine of grace and salvation to be had by Christ in it, is a rich treasure, able to relieve and supply all wants and necessities, therefore called an hid Treasure, which the misbeleevers, how wise soever in the world, cannot per­ceive.

2. The beleever who findeth it, will make no reckoning of the worth of any ear [...]hly thing, in comparison of it, but will part with what soever is pleasant or profitable unto him in this life, rather then be deprived of this grace; for, He selleth all to buy it.

3. As he laboureth to have this treasure, so he hath a care to keep it, that neither by violence nor deceit it be taken from [Page 168] him; for, He hideth it, and selleth all to have the means of enjoy­ing of it, and to have right to the field of the visible Church, where this treasure is to be found.

Ver 45. Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto a Merchant man seeking goodly pearls:

46. Who when he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

Another parable teaching us, 1. That the Church in respect of the true subjects thereof, that is, in respect of the Elect, and true Beleevers, is like Merchant-men occupied about the pur­chase of these things, which may truly enrich them, and make them happy. 2. That among all things which can be conceived to be fit to bring men unto happiness, there is only one means able to make blessed, one pearl of price, to wit, Christ Jesus; in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and grace, and that the wise man wil content himself with Christ, and what is to be found in him, and wil renounce all other things, which come in comparison with him.

Verse 47. Again, the Kingdome of Heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind.

48. Which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad a­way.

49.So shall it be at the end of the world: the Angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just.

50. And shal cast them into the furnace of fire: there shal be wai­ling and gnashing of teeth.

Another parable teaching us, 1. That the visible Church, in the way of gathering members, and manner of constitution thereof, is like a draught-net, taking in all who professe sub­jection to Christ in his ordinances; good and bad, true and false professors; for it gathereth of every kinde, to wit, whosoever professe faith in, and promise subjection to Christ.

2. That not before the day of judgment, but then precisely, separation shall be made of the just and wicked, and then shall the wicked be punished for ever, in whatsoever place or esti­mation they have been in this world. This parable and that of the tares, tend to one end, to strengthen us so much the more against the stumbling blocke of the unavoydable mixture of [Page 169] wicked hypocrites in the Church visible, that the godly shall not fare the worse, for the wickeds being among them in one field, in one draught-net; nor the wicked fare the better at the latter end, for their society with the godly, in the visible Church.

Ver. 51. Iesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him: Yea, Lord.

Christ taketh account of his Disciples whether they under­stood his speech. Doct. 1. Hearers of the Gospel should labour to understand what they hear; for, Have ye understood? saith Christ. 2. The Ministers by catechising should take account of their hearers; for so doth Christ, saying, Have ye understood? 3. People of what quality soever, should be willing to give account to their Teachers of their profiting in knowledg; for the Disci­ples do a [...]swer, Yea, Lord.

Ver. 52. Then said he unto them, Therefore every Scribe which is instructed unto the kingdome of heaven, is like unto a man that is an housholder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Christ teacheth them still to be gathering more knowledge, and to make use of their hearing. Doct. 1. Every Minister should be furnished for his imployment; for, He is A Scribe unto the kingdom of heaven. 2. Ministers should be faithful st [...]wards, di­stributing unto the necessity of the people, out of the abundance of their furniture; for, They are Housholders, who should be pro­vided with store, as it were of the last years growth, and of this years gathering also.

Ver. 53. And it came to passe that when Iesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.

54. And when he was come into his own Country: he taught them in their Synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this Wis [...]dome, and these mighty Works?

55. Is not this the Carpenters Son? Is not his Mother called Mary? and his Brethren Iames and Ioses, and Simon, and Iudas?

56. And his Sisters are they not all with us? whence then hath this Man all these things?

Christ departs from that place, and goeth into Ga [...]ilee, where he is not well received. Hence learn, 1. That when Christ hath perfected his Work, and not till then, will he remove from a place; for it is said, When he had finished, then he departed. [Page 170] 2. He neglected no bands of common duty, he visits Nazareth & Galilee, where he was brought up, & giveth them an offer of his grace; teaching us by his example, that the greatest evidence of kindness to our Friends or Acquaintence which can be gi­ven, is, according to our calling, to draw them unto God; for, He came unto his country, and taught them in their synagogues. 3. By the preaching of the Gospel (how clearly and convincingly soe­ver it be preached) the reprobate and obstinate unbeliever will not profit, but at most wil only admire it, and let it go [...] he may be convinced by it, but wil not be converted. When he can ob­ject nothing against the doctrine, he wil without all reason ex­cept against the person of the Preacher, or his kindred, and his parentage, or his outward condition, or some such one thing or other to debar himself from believing and obeying the doctrin, even as these men did. They were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom? &c.

Ver. 57. And they were offended in him. But Iesus said unto them, A Prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

Christ his extraordinary wisdom should have made them take up his excellency, but it turneth contrary. Doct. 1. These very things which are inducements unto belief, will prove stumbling blocks unto the wicked, to hinder them from belief, as here is seen. 2. Ministers despised by their carnal friends, must comfort themselves with the ordinary lot of Godly teachers, who of all sorts of men are lest esteemed amongst their own friends & ac­quaintance; graceless nature having more enmity against Prea­chers and instruments of grace, then against any other sort of men; for so did Christ comfort himself: saying, A Prophet is not without honour, save in his own Country.

Ver. 58. And he did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

The despising of Christ turneth to the disadvantage of the despiser. Doct. 1. Despising of the Ministers prejugeth men of the blessing of the Ministry, and misbelief is punished by the Lords hiding his power from the misbeliever; fortherfore Christ did not many mighty works among them, because of unbelief: for as unto the Believer God manifesteth himself, so from the misbe­liever God doth hide himself.


After the history of Johns beheading, to ver. 13. The miracle of the loaves, and Christs walking on the sea, to ver. 34. And the healing of the sick in the bounds of Genezareth is set down.

Ver. 1. AT that time Herod the Tetrarch heard of the fame of Iesus.

2. And said unto his servants, This is Iohn the Baptist, he is risen from the dead, and therfore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.

Herod heareth of Christ, and taketh him to be John Baptist risen from the dead. Doct. 1. Whatsoever opposition Christ doth meet with, he seeth ever to the spreading of the glory of his own name: for here, His fame cometh to Herod, after Iohn is beheaded. 2. God can clear the cause of his Martyrs in the conscience of their persecuters, as Herod here counteth John Baptist a man righteous, whom God would honour, by making him an in­strument of mighty works.

Ver. 3. For Herod had laid hold on Iohn, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias sake, his brother Philips wife.

4. For Iohn said unto him, It is not lawfull for thee to have her:

5. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the mul­titude, because they counted him as a Prophet.

By this occasion, Johns death which was bypast, is here recor­ded, in which history, learn, 1. Faithful Ministers wil not spare to tel, even Kings their sins, as John doth here reprove Herod for his incest & adultery. 2. It is no new thing that Kings & great men take it evil, to be reproved of their sins, and are ready to persecute faithful Preachers; for, Herod here imprisons Iohn for his free speeches. 3. The Lord can make any means serve to keep his servants life so long as he pleaseth, as here he maketh the fear of the people a mean of Johns safety for a time. 4. Wicked men do not abstain from any sin, but for worldly reasons, they do no­thing for regard to God, nothing else did Herod look to; but, He feared the multitude.

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Verse 6. But when Herods birth-day was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased He­rod.

7. Wherupon he promised with an oath, to give her whatsoever she would ask.

8. And she, being before instructed of her mother, saith, Give me here Iohn Baptists head in a charger.

9. And the king was sorry: never theless, for the oaths sake, and them which sat with him as meat, he commanded it to be given her.

10. And he sent and beheahed Iohn in the prison.

11. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.

At last the Lords appointed time cometh, and John is be­headed: in which history, learn, 1. When a man hath a mind to an evil work, a time shall be found fit for the doing of it, as here a time is offered unto Herod. 2. A time of car­nall feasting, is a time fit for plotting and practising against Gods Servants, as here Herods birth-day is fit for John Bap­tists beheading. 3. A foolish and gracelesse heart is easily ta­ken with a small delight, as Herod is marvellously pleased with a Damsels dancing. 4. A foolish delight is able to insnare a man for practising a wicked work, as Herods vain delight inga­geth him in a rash generall promise and oath, and so he is in­gaged in the murther of the Lords Servant. 5. Such as the Pa­rents are, such is the education of their children readily, Such mother here, such daughter. 6. The malice of the wicked a­gainst reprovers of their sin is deadly; for, Iohn Baptists head must passe for his reproof of incest. 7. Malicious persons wil prefer the satisfaction of their malice to any thing else; for, Herodi­as had rather have Iohns head, then half a Kingdome. 8. A gracelesse soul may have a wrestling with his lusts, ere he commit a sin, and may be sorrowfull for carnal reasons to do some wicked deed, as Herod here is loath to kill John: Na­turall conscience may tell a man of sin, and vexe him also, and yet for no right reasons; as, The King is sorry, to behead Iohn. 9. A naturall conscience is not able to resist a temp­tation, though it may restrain a man for a time; for, Herod, though he be sorry, yet he yeeldeth. 10. A sinner insnared is holden by bands which he might lawfully break, as Herod here by a rash oath; Neverthelesse for the oaths sake, he yeeldeth. 11. That which indeed is a mans shame, will appear unto a foo­lish [Page 173] sinner to be his credit; and when credit appears, it will more prevail with the wicked, then either conscience and carnal fe [...]; Herod here for Their sakes that sate with him at meat, doth yeeld that John shall lose his head. 12. Gods dearest servants may be taken away by a light occasion, after that [...]he Lord hath ended his worke by them; as here, Iohn dyeth at the desire of a wanton Lasse. 13. The bodies of the Saints may be abused after death, at the pleasure of the persecuters, as Iohns head here is made a spectacle to his foes.

Ver. 12. And his disciples came, and took up his body and buried it, and went and told Iesus.

From the history of Johns buriall, Learn, 1. That the faithful must not be ashamed at the suffering of the Saints, but testifie their respect to the living and to the dead; for; Iohns dis­ciples came and buried Iohns body. 2. When Pastors are cut off, men must resort to the chiefe shepherd so much the more, at the Disciples of John came to Christ, and told him of Iohns death.

Verse 13. When Iesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart: and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him one foot out of the Ci­ties.

14. And Iesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their [...].

From the history of Christs departure, Learn, 1. That Jesus hath reason to depart from the place where any of his servants are slain, and others of them are in danger; for, When he heard this he departed. 2. Such as have need of Christ wil find him out, and follow after him, refusing no travel nor pains to seek him; for, The people follow him to a desert place. 3. Christ is compassio­nate toward such as seek him; and of such as seek he will put none away; the needy and sick find health from him, for here it is said, He was moved with compassion, and healed the sick which followed him.

Ver. 15. And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy them­selves victuals.

16. But Iesus said unto them, They need not depart, give them to eat.

[Page 174]17. And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.

18. He said, Bring them hither to me.

19. And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grasse, & took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

20. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they tooke up of the fragments that remained, twelve baskets full.

21. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

Here is the miracle of the loaves, occasioned by the Disciples care to have the multitude dismissed timously. Doct. 1. It is wisdom to have regard unto peoples infirmity, and what they may endure in attendance of divine worship; as, The Disciples here have a care of the peoples want of food. 2. If God cal for ex­traordinary attendance, he wil furnish ability, and provide for the bodies of such as prefer the feeding of their soules to the re­freshing of their bodies, providing they tempt not God herein, by neglecting wilfully ordinary means; Therefore Jesus saith, They need not depart, give ye them to eat. 3. Where God gi­veth a call to his servants to feed people, they must look to him­self for ability, and not be discouraged, for the little furniture which they conceive they have; for here the Disciples have no more but five loaves, and two fishes, and Christ contenteth himself with them, Bring them to me, saith he. 4. It is good in an ordinary call unto any work to look to ordinary means, as the disciples here not apprehending as yet any more then the or­dinary, do make objection, that they have but five loaves and two fishes. 5. The Lord will have our weaknesse for his work to beseen: to the end his power may the more appear; as here, the paucity of loaves and fishes must first be seen, ere he work the work. 6. In working of miracles, our Lord did so dispose of all circumstances, as might most profit the people, and glorifie the Father; in whose name and power, as being one with the Fa­ther he did the work; as here, He ordereth the people in their pla­ces, looketh to Heaven, and powerfully blesseth their provision, that there might be bread and fish enough by his divine operation. 7. Christs Ministers shall lose nothing in distributing their gifts unto the feeding of his people; for the Disciples, after more then five thousand have eaten of their few loaves, do take [Page 175] up twelve baskets full, a great deal more then they had laid down.

Ver. 22.

And straightway Iesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away.

23. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

24. But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.

Another miracle tending to shew, that as Christ is Lord of the earth, and lives of the creatures therein, so he is Lord also of the sea and winds, wherein he exerciseth his Disciples with a plece of trouble, to make them profit in the knowledg of his spirituall Kingdom. The reasons of this short dispatch, and con­straining of the disciples to go to sea without his bodily presence, may be seen in Ioh. 6. and Mark. 6. Here it is sufficient to learn, 1. That we should be sure of an urgent calling, before we under­take a hazardous voyage; for, Iesus constrained his disciples to go into a ship. 2. Christ wil not have men diverted from their places and callings, under pretence of waiting on him; nor to expect to live by miraculous means, but to attend upon the ordinary blessing of each mans vocation: and therfore, he sendeth the multitude away. 3. Christ, albeit the Son of God, yet because he had taken on our nature, and the office of Mediator therein, upon all occasions of retyring, he prayeth and intercedeth with God for his people, He went and prayed apart. 4. When the God­ly are in trouble, and under trials, the Mediator is praying for their upholding: when the disciples go to sea, Christ goeth to the Mount to pray. 5. Christs Disciples must be in trouble and hazards, when others are at ease, as here it fareth with these Disciples. 6. Albeit men have Christs warrant for their voy­age, yet are they not exempted from trouble & danger therein, for here is an instance. 7. Men may have fair wheather in the beginning of a work, and danger and trouble may be kept back till they be so far ingaged, as it is more safe for them to go forward then to return; so fareth it here with the Disciples; for, The storm ariseth, when they are in the midst of the sea.

Ver. 25. And in the fourth watch of the night, Iesus went unto them walking on the sea.

26. And when the Disciples saw him walking on the sea, [Page 176] they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cryed out for fear.

27. But straightway Iesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid.

Christ doth not stay all night from them, but cometh to them in due time. Doct. 1. God keepeth back comfort and delivery, till it be time, as Christ suffereth the disciples to be exercised long, and cometh not to them till the fourth watch of the night: but then he cometh in due season. 2. Christ is Lord of Sea and Land, and can make way unto his people [...] relief, through the most stormy Sea, no impediment can [...]n­der him, nor hold him from his disciples society: for, Christ here cometh walking on the Sea. 3. The Lords coming to his own sometimes is fearfull, and sometimes destruction is ap­prehended, when delivery is most near, as here They cry out for fear. 4. Apparitions of spirits in bodily shape [...] is possible, and the truth of it in all ages hath been received, as here, They say, It is a spirit. 5. When the Lords disciples are in greatest extremity, then useth he to comfort them speedily, and to re­veal himselfe unto them most kindly, as here straightway he cryeth, It is I, be of good cheer. 6. Wheresoever Christ sheweth himselfe present, there is no reason to be afraid of any trouble or danger, for he is able to deliver his owne in whatsoever strait; therefore saith he, It is I, be not a­fraid. 7. When he speaketh, he maketh his word to be discerned by his people, and so satisfies them; for he ma­keth his owne know his presence, Be of good cheer, it is I, saith he.

Ver. 28. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, [...]id me come unto thee on the water.

29. And he said, Come, and when Peter was come downe out of the ship, [...]e walked on the water, to go to Ie­sus.

Zealous Peter cannot stay, till Christ enter the ship, and so cometh to be exercised a little. Doct. 1. Fervent love ha­steth to be at Christ, it looketh to no danger, but will hazard through fire and water to be at him; as here: Peters heart fli [...] ­ [...]ers to be a [...] the Lord, when he seeth him. 2. When men mi­stake the measure of their own strength and gifts, they are ready to seek a calling ere it be given them, and to enterprise things too hard for them: as here Peter saith, Lord bid me come unto thee on the water. 3. If God give a calling, however it seem to be [Page 177] procured, a man may relye on it, and have reason to believe for assistance in following of it; for, Peter heareth Christ say, Come; and presently he casteth himselfe on the sea, and his faith for a time upheld him, so long as he kept the gripes.

Vers. 30. But when he saw the wind boisterous: he was a­fraid: and beginning to sinke, he cryed, saying, Lord, save me.

The storme continueth, and Peter beginneth to fear, and doubt, and sink. Doct. 1. It is not Christs presence, but his will and command, which maketh a storm calme: Christ and trouble may be both present together; for notwithstanding Christ is come, the wind is boisterous stil. 2. The continu­ance of the triall of faith, bringeth to light the weaknesse of faith; for a man may hold out a while, who at length may faint as Peter here doth. 3. When men look more to the dan­gers then to God calling them to it, no wonder that their faith be [...]brangled: for Peter seeth the wind too much, and Christ pre­sence too little. 4. It is safest to ponder all that faith is to meet with, if we can overtake it, before we enter in the conflict with difficulties; for Peter should have prepared against the wind, as well as against the sea, and waters. 5. Somtimes perill pres­seth a man more when he is in the dangers, then before; and a man may seem stout before the experience of the danger, who shall prove feeble in it: men know not readily their own weak­nesse, till they be put to a proof; Peter doubted nothing to walk on the Sea, till now. 6. As faith groweth feeble, courage and strength, and all begin to fail; as soon as Peter doubteth, he be­ginneth to sink. 7. When our faith groweth weak, our prayer should be strong; for doubting Peter cryed in prayer. 8. What­soever be our danger, let Christs power be exalted, as suffici­ent to help us, as Peter doth, saying, Lord, save me. 9. Seen danger, and felt weaknesse, doth cut off presumption, and put faith to rely upon God altogether; for now Peter cryeth, Lord, save me.

Ver. 31. And immediately Iesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Christ draweth neer quickly, and helpeth him. Doct. 1. Albeit our Lord be displeased with our sins, yet will he not de­lay to help, when need calleth for present relief; as here sudden­ly, He stretched forth his hand. 2. To doubt where we have war­rant to believe, is worthy of a reproof; therefore saith Christ, [Page 178] Why didst thou doubt?; Christ wil neithe [...] deny that to be faith which is mixt with doubting, nor refuse to help the weaknes thereof, by gryping by his powerful grace, such as do but faintly gripe him by their faith, as here he caught Peter, and said unto him, O thou of little faith.

Ver. 32. And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

33. Then they that were in the ship, came and worshipped him, saying, of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Now the exercise is ended, the disciples weaknes and Christs strength is manifested. Doct. 1. When the triall is at an end, the trouble is at an end, Christ and Peter come up into the ship, and the wind ceased. 2. It is a blessed trouble which endeth in glorifying of Christ, and in the increase of knowledg; for, Now the Disciples come, and worship Christ. 3. New ex­perience doth furnish deep impressions of Christs divine power and Godhead; for now, say they, Thou art the Son of God. 3. Delivery out of imminent death, speaketh more of Gods power to the humble person, then the greatest works doth speak unto the secure, as the delivery of the Disciples from the raging sea, maketh them more sensible of Christs Godhead, then the miraculous feeding of five thousand with so few loaves in the wilderness; for now it is, and not till now, that they say, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Ver. 34. And when they were gone over, they came into the land of Genesaret.

35. And when the men of that place had knowledg of him, they sent out into all that countrey round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased.

36. And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment, and as many as touched, were made perfectly whole.

Now the Lord landeth, and goeth to Gen [...]saret, and healeth the sick. Doct. 1. Our Lord goeth ever where he hath an errand, and delighting to do good where ever he goeth, and as the common Saviour of all sorts of persons, in all places, doth heal all, who in the sense of their need do seek the benefit of him; as here, all the sick in Genesaret that come to him, Are made whole. 2. Then have people right knowledg of Christ, when they know his power, and grace, and do give him imployment, as this people do. 3. Such as know Christ aright, will not only make use of him themselves, but also bring in unto him, all whom they can move, each man according to his calling, as this people do. 4 The greater mea­sure of saith be, the l [...]ss wil be the prescribing of signs unto God; for, The hem of the garment sufficeth these beleeving people. 5. Where God seeth need of signs to help the exercise of the faith of miracles, he giveth unto the persons the instinct also of the signe, which may suffice to confirm them; for, As many as touched, were made whole perfectly.


Christ defends his disciples against the challenge of the Pha­risees for not observing ceremonies of Religion devised by men, to ver. 21. Healeth the woman of Canaans daughter, to ver. 29. Healeth many, and feedeth miraculously a multitude by the sea of Galilee.

Ver. 1. THen came to Iesus Scribes and Pharisees, which were of Ieru­salem.

2. Why do thy Disciples transgresse the tradition of the Elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.

[Page 179]IN this contest betwixt Christ & the Pharisees about traditions, learn. 1. That it is no new thing that Christ hath adversaries; and these chiefly, corrupt Churchmen, even such as bear office in places most fa­mous for Religion; for here Are Scribes and Pharisees which were of Ie­rusalem, going about to divert disciples from following of Christ, and to put a disgrace (if they could) on our Lord, for his Disciples cause. 2. It is no wonder to see Christ and his Church molested with the contro­versie of non-conformity in humane inventions of Religion, Why do thy disciples transgress the traditions? say they. 3. Antiquity and Fathers with­out Scripture, is the old charter of superstitious Formalists; for, Why (say they) do thy disciples transgresse the traditions of the Elders? 4. That which otherwise is lawful in it self, while it abideth within the limits of civill fashions, may be left undone, and be discountenanced, when it is set up in state, within the limits of Religion; therefore the Disciples did not wash their hands before meat, in the company of Pharisees, who made washing at that time, to be a holy and religious act.

Ver. 3. But he answered unto them, Why do you also transgress the Comman­dement of God by your tradition?

Christ putteth the Pharisees to defend their traditions, and refuteth them: Hence learn, 1. That God in wisdom bringeth mens ceremo­nies to a dispute, and so to be refuted and contemned, then especially when men do presse them most; for now Christ taketh on the plan, and answereth for his Disciples, and confuteth the Formalists by four rea­sons. The first reason; By the authority of your traditions ye transgress the command of God: Therefore such authority is not to be regarded by my Disciples: Hence learn, 1. That traditions may be fathered or mothered on those that maintain them, no lesse then upon those who invented them; for Christ saith, Why do you by your traditions transgress? 2: Such as are most [...]ealous for humane traditions shall readily be found transgressours and contemners of divine commands, and Gods traditi­ons given by Scripture; for, Why do you transgresse the command of God? saith he. 3. When the authority of humane traditions doth loose, or weaken the obligatory power of morall command in any thing, it may and should be despised altogether, and rejected as unworthy to be a rule for a mans carriage in any thing; for, Why do you also by your traditions transgresse the command of God▪

Ver. 4. For God commanded saying, Honour thy father and mother: and be that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.

5. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his Father or his mother, It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me,

6. And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.

Christ proveth the challenge, because their traditions did warrant the children to dedicate unto the church-men, for a re­ligious offering or gift, all that they might spare above their own maintenance; and so for their own filthy lucre, they deprived Parents of all maintenance from their children, con­trary to the fift command; for when the Parents, or the poore should seek support of them, their traditions bade them answer [Page 180] thus, That which thou seekest, and every other thing whereby thou mightest be helped, or profited by me, or any thing of mine, it is a gift already dedicate to the Church; And therefore hold me excused: Hence learn, 1. The duty of children unto pa­rents is straightly urged by Gods command: and the wicked transgression of it is made capitall; for the Law saith, He that curseth, let him die the death. 2. It is a part of the ho­nour due to parents, that children sustain them in their need, as they are able: for not helping is here as much, As not honouring of their Father or Mother. 3. Such tradi­tions as directly, or by consequence do prejudge the true intent of any of Gods Laws (whatsoever pretence of Religion be made) are wicked; for he saith, You by your traditions have made the command of God of none effect. 4. No gift nor vo­luntary offering presented unto God doth please him, when the duty of love adebted to others is neglected, or contra­veened thereby; for Christ calls such a gift, a breach of the fifth command. 5. Dispensation with Gods Law by humane authority, and urging of mens traditions more then of Gods commands, is in effect the abolishing of Gods Law; for so saith Christ, By your tradition, you have made the command of God of no effect.

Verse 7. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesie of you, saying,

8. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips: but their heart is farre from me.

The second reason, from Isa. 29.13. By way of retorting; the challeng is, this urging of your traditions is but the bewray­ing of your hypocrisie, and counterfeit drawing neer to God in externall rites, when your affections are no wayes toward God; Therefore my disciples should not receive them: Hence learn, 1. Zeal for humane ceremonies, especially joyned with the neglect of Gods precepts, doth prove grosse hypocrisie; for so saith Christ, Ye hypocrites draw neer to me. 2. The Lord esteems nothing even of the outward exercises of religious or­dinances, appointed by himself, when men do not labour to perform the same with affection; it is the heart which he looks unto in worship: Therefore saith he, Their heart is farr from me.

Ver. 9. Bu [...] in vain they d [...] worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandements of men.

[Page 181]A third reason, from the Scripture also, Isai. 29.13. When mens inventions and precepts, are made the rule of Gods wor­ship, God doth reject such service, and therefore your challenge of my disciples is unjust. Hence learn, That it is the Lords prerogative to prescribe all the parts of his own worship; and if a man presume to prescribe what shall be worship to him, which he hath not prescribed, it is a sufficient cause to reject mans ordinance; for, In vain do they worship me, &c.

Ver. 10. And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand.

11. Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man: but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.

A fourth reason delivered unto the multitude, by way of apology for his Disciples, This sort of pollution which com­eth to the mouth by unwashen hands, is not a sin which de­fileth the conscience, but the wickednesse of the heart, ven­ted by the mouth; such as is these wicked mens quarrelling of my Disciples, that indeed doth pollute the man: There­fore these Pharisees, rather then my Disciples, are polluted. Hence learn, 1. That contesting against Christs Disciples, slandering and reproaching of such as do not observe hu­mane traditions, is a pollution of the slanderer, and more dan­gerous then the omission of humane ceremonies, which may be omitted without pollution of sin; for, That which cometh out of the mouth, polluteth. 2. Albeit unto mocking adversaries, we need not alwayes give reasons of what we do or omit, yet unto different spectators it is good to give a reason, for their edification, and our own clearing, as here Christ giveth satisfaction to the common people; for, He called the multitude, and said. 3. The fountain of the pollution of a mans actions, is his heart, conscience and affections not be­ing rightly disposed; for, Out of the heart cometh such and such evils.

Ver. 12. Then came his disciples and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this say­ing?

The Disciples do wonder that Christ did regard so little to displease the Pharisees: Hence learn, 1. Truth must be taught, whosoever may be displeased; for so did Christ preach, albe­it the Pharisees were offended. 2. Nothing will vexe false [Page 182] teachers more, then the discovery of their false doctrine before the multitude, as the Pharisees for this Cause were offended. 3. Men are ready to stumble and offend at the teaching of Truth, where no stumbling block is laid before them, as at Christs doctrine, The Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying.

Ver. 13. But he answered and said, Every plant which my hea­venly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.

Our Lords answer serveth for a reason, 1. Why he spake a­gainst the Pharisees false doctrine: and 2ly against their tra­ditions; and 3ly why he misregarded in this case their of­fence-taking, because both their ceremonies, their false do­ctrine, and they themselves also, being altogether reprobate stuffe, were plants which God had not planted in his field, but Satan; and therefore they were all to be rooted out, for the good of the vineyard, and field of the Lords church. Hence learn, 1. That in the visible church, and Garden of the Lord, there may be some plants not of Gods plantation, but of Satans; such as false doctrine, corrupt inventions of men, thrust into Gods worship, and wicked men defenders of both; for this is imported in, Every plant which my Father hath not planted. 2. God, the good Husband-man, will have these evill weeds discovered, and cast out, as God gi­veth a calling and occasion; therefore saith he, They shall be rooted out.

Vers. 14. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

Christ doth cut off any more speaking of these wicked men. Doct. 1. Obstinate maintainers of false doctrine, and of cor­rupt traditions, enemies to Christ and his disciples, are given over of God, and are worthy also to be given over, and let a­lone by men, that is, fellowship is not to be kept with them; Therefore he saith, Let them alone. 2. Where the teachers and people follow mens traditions in Religion, and not the rule of Gods word, the leaders and they that are led, are both blind; This is it he saith, They be blind leaders of the blind. 3. The following of false teachers and blind guides, will not be an excuse before God for people to plead immunity: But seeing none should follow any man, but as that man doth fol­low the Lord, the blind guide and the blind follower shall both perish, if they hold on in their wrong way; for, Both shall fall in­to the ditch.

[Page 183]

Ver. 15. Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto [...] this parable.

16. And Iesus said, Are ye also yet without understan­ding?

17. Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entreth in at the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught?

18. But those things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and they defile the man.

19. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulte­ries, fornications, thefts, false witnesse, blasphemies.

20. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with un­washen hands defileth not a man.

Peter doth not understand the parable of not being polluted by meat, and so moveth this question. Doct. 1. It is good to be asking of Christ, whatsoever we understand not, what­soever reproofe may follow for our dulnesse; therefore saith Peter, declare unto us this parable. From Christs answer: learn, 1. That when disciples do not take up the plain speeches of Christ, they are reproof-worthy; Therfore saith Christ, Are ye also without understanding? 2. Albeit Christ reprove our faults, and be angry at them, yet he wil go about to relieve us of them, for he is about to teach after reproof, saying, do not ye understand? 3. Every action or word doth testifie what is in the heart, and doth adde a degree of further pollution and guiltiness, unto that which the man had before he brake out externally; for, Evil words coming forth from the heart, do pollute the man yet more. 4. When a needless ceremony, and a super­stitious invention of man is neglected, or forborn, it is not a sin, notwithstanding of whatsoever humane authority, or tra­dition of the Elders commanding it; for Christ here doth pro­nounce the disciples eating with unwashen hands, though contrary to the tradition of the Jewish doctors, Not to defile the man.

Ver. 21. Then Iesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon.

22. And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts and cryed unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou son of David, my daughter is grievously vexed with a di­vell.

Christ having ended his dispute, goeth to seek a wandering Sheep: from this his journey-taking for the woman of Canaans [Page 184] cause; Learn, 1. That where Christ hath a lost sheep, or a work of mercy to work, he spareth no pains to compasse his purpose; for here, He departed to the coasts of Sidon. 2. The persons to whom Christ hath a mind, providence will draw them after him, Behold, a woman of Canaan came. 3. Faith findeth the smell of Christ where ever he be, and draweth in unto him; for, She cometh and calleth on him. 4. Faith pres­sed with need is earnest in prayer; for, She cryed unto him. 5. Faith doth fix on Christ as the true promised Messiah; for she calleth him, Son of David: Faith looketh on Christ as compassionate and mercifull, it pleadeth for mercy and pre­tendeth no merit, for thus saith she, Have mercy on me. 6. Love owneth them whom it loveth, whatsoever be their con­dition; for here the trouble that her child is troubled with, she counteth it as her own, saying, Have mercy on me, for my daughter is troubled. 7. Faith giveth Christ the glory of abi­lity to do all that it desireth; so she ascribeth unto him pow­er to cast out the divell, saying, My daughter is vexed of a di­vell.

Vers. 23. But he answered her not a word: And his disci­ples came and besought him, saying, Send her away, for she cryeth after us.

There are 4 means used for the triall of her faith. The first is, Christs keeping silence when she prayeth: Hence learn, That God, albeit he love the Suppliant, and do accept his peti­tion, yet possibly he will keep silence, and not seem to take no­tice for a time; for, He answered her not a word. The next means of her triall is the small assistance she hath of the disciples pray­ers: wherin learn, That saith loveth the help of the prayers of the Faithfull militant, as a means prescribed of God for mutuall comfort; for, She cryed after the disciples. 2. When God thinketh it fit to try our faith, by delaying to hear us, he will for our tryall make other means which we use, to fail us also; as here the disciples would be rid of her importuni­ty, and have her dispatched, that she should not trouble them; Therefore say they, Send her away, She cryeth after us.

Ver. 24. But he answered and said, I am not sent, but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The third means of the triall of her faith, is, By our Lords tel­ling her, that his commission reached only unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, which was indeed true, in regard of his [Page 185] particular and personal Ministry in the days of his humiliation, wherein he was to make offer of his grace, first and chiefly un­to the Jews: and this is true again, If we take Israel for the E­lect of God, both Jews and Gentiles: He came for these Elect ones only: But unto this woman who understood not so high a matter, it could not seem but that his commission was to the Jews only, and not to the Gentiles, of which sort was she: Hence learn, 1. That among other trialls of the faith of the Lords people, this is one, To suffer them to be questioned, whether they be of the number of the Elect; for thus much importeth, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of Israel. 2. Christ hath an errand to such as find themselves in perill to perish; for, He is sent to the lost sheep.

Vers. 25. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord help me.

She cannot answer this doubt, and therefore passeth it over; and insists in prayer; what Christs commission is, she will not dispute, but sure she is, she must be helped: Hence learn, That when any doubt doth tend toward excluding us from the num­ber of such to whom the Gospel is sent, we shall do well to passe by such doubts, without disputation, and to insist in prayer, grounded upon Gods goodnesse and power to help, for so did this woman, Then came she and worshipped. 2. The more the Lord seem to refuse us, we should so much the more humble our selves before him, and continue in prayer; for it is marked, That then she worshipped, and said, Lord help me.

Ver. 26. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the chil­drens bread, and cast it to dogs.

The fourth means of her tryall, is, By seeming to exclude her (as a heathen, or unclean dog, without the covenant) from al the benefits of the Messiah, belonging to Israel, (who are the chil­dren of God by covenant) as their proper food; and here the former doubt is augmented, and put more nearly home unto her: Hence learn, 1. That the Lord when he will try, doth try unto the quick, and humbleth unto the dust the soul under tri­all, and for this end maketh the last difficulty more then any of the former; for now he saith, It is not meet to give to dogs, &c. 2. Such as are within the externall covenant of Grace, are in some respect holy, as consecrate to God and appropriate unto him by covenant, and such as have the priviledges of Gods people belonging unto them, as unto children, while [Page 186] others who are without the covenant are counted dogs; This he importeth, saying, It is not meet to cast the childrens bread to dogs. 3. The representation of our unworthiness before our eys is a main point of triall of our faith: Therfore, for her last trial, he compares her to a dog.

Ver. 27. And she said, Truth Lord, yet the dogs eat of the crums which fall from their masters table.

The Lords Spirit looseth the doubt unto her: Hence learn, 1. That Christs commission, albeit it was chiefly unto the Jews to set much on their table, yet it was not so limited, but that crums of their food; especially being neglected by them, might be bestowed upon the Gentiles: this is it she seeth, Crums fall from the table. 2. The Lord in tryal of faith, makes the Believer of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord, to mark all ad­vantages whereby it may strengthen it self; Therefore saith she, Truth, Lord, yet the dogs eat the crums. 3. The Believer is con­tent to be humbled, as deeply as the Lord pleaseth; and to ac­knowledg his own unworthiness to the uttermost: only he can­not be content to be excluded from God, and the benefits of his grace; for this woman can be called a dog, but cannot want some crums of Christs kindness. 4. It is a special wisdom to turn motives unto discouragement, into motives to believing, and drawing so much the more near to Christ, as the motives unto dscouragement do drive us away from him; for so this woman doth, The more her natural uncleanness & unworthiness, and her alienation from the common-wealth of Israel, is represen­ted unto her, she beareth her self the more in upon Christ: when she seemeth to be boasted away from him as a dog, she creepeth in under the childrens table, to catch crums falling from it.

Ver. 28. Then Iesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

From Christs answer, learn, 1. That faith doth please Christ exceedingly; therfore saith he, O woman. 2. This is a true and kindly faith, not to take a refuse of Christ, answer as he pleaseth; but to pursue constantly our petition for his grace, and by no means to part with him: for this cause Christ saith to her, Great is thy faith. 3. Whatsoever hard expressions be due to a sinner, in regard of his natural condition, yet the believer is greatly loved and esteemed of by Christ, as here; It is now no more A dog, but O woman. 4. Howsoever Christ seem to wrestle with a believer, [Page 187] yet he is purposed to give faith the victory, and to yeeld himself in this conflict to the believer, as here, Be it unto thee, saith he, as thou wilt: The believer shal have at last all that he wisheth; and Satan shall he tread under foot. 5. The prayer of his faith is a­vailable for others; for this womans daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Ver. 29. And Iesus departed from thence and came [...]igh unto the sea of Galilee, and went up into a mountain, and sat down there.

30. And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Iesus feet, and he healed them.

Another proof of Christs God-head, and of his grace toward the miserable; He healeth all the miserable who came unto him. Doct. 1. When Christ hath done his work in one place, he follow­eth his work in another place, he cometh now to the sea of Gali­lee. 2. Many may come to Christ at once, without impeding one another: it is not so among men, where one must wait till ano­ther be dispatched; Here multitudes come unto him. 3. Christ standeth not how many, & how desperate the cures be that are presented unto him; for here, He healed them all, blind, dumb, lame, &c. 4. It is sufficient to lay our miseries before Christ, our miseries wil speak for us, and he wil answer us with helping of us; for here, They did but cast down the miserable at his feet, and he healed them.

Ver. 31. Insomuch that the multitude wondered when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel.

Here is the effect of these miracles, They wondered and glo­rified God. Doct. 1. The miraculous works of Christ were such as forced the beholders to acknowledg divine Power in him; for here, the beholders wondred, and glorified God. 2. Very na­ture wil be moved, and forced to glorifie God, when it seeth Gods Power in a supernatural way manifested; Therfore it is said, The multitude wondered; &c.

Ver. 32. Then Iesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I wil not send them away fasting, lest they faint by the way.

Unto all the former bounty bestowed on the people, is added this miracle, of feeding such a multitude, by so mean provision. Hence learn, 1. That the care of mens welfare lyeth more neare [Page 188] unto Christs heart, then unto the heart of any of his Disciples; for it is Christ here who first taketh notice of the peoples neces­sity. 2. Love and compassion is the fountain of Christs bounty to his people; for, I have compassion, saith he. 3. He feedeth his compassion upon the sight of our necessities and miseries in­cumbent and imminent; and he not only relieveth present ne­cessities, but doth provide also for time to come; as here he saith, I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.

Vers. 33. And his disciples say unto him, Whence should wee have so much bread in the wildernesse as to fill so great a multi­tude?

The Disciples think it impossible, because they did not see means how it should be. Doct. 1. Seen difficulties, and appa­rent impossibilities do serve as lighted torches to make the Lords way toward us, and his work about us to be better seen, as the disciples objections here do contribute to illustrate the miracle; for, Whence should we have so much bread? say they. 2. Christs Ministers being to be imployed in a piece of service, do readily look more what furniture they have, then what power Christ hath, who is about to imploy them; Whence should we have, say they, so much bread in the wildernesse, to fill so many? 3. Such is our naturall misbelief, that if we see no means, we cannot be­leeve that which God saith shall be; no not, albeit we have had experience before in the like case; Whence shall we have, say they, so much bread? They forgot the former miracles. 4. Mis­belief is ready to strengthen it self by all appearances of rea­son; as here the Disciples do, saying, Whence shall we have bread in the wilderness?

Ver. 34. And Iesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? and they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.

35. And hee commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground;

36. And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.

37. And they did all eat, and were filled, and they took up of the broken meat that was left, seven baskets full.

38. And they that did eat, were four thousand men, beside women and children.

39. And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came unto the coasts of Magdala.

[Page 189]Followeth the miracle and the orderly disposing of it, as the Lords power may be best seen: Hence learn, 1. Ere the Lord work, he will have it seen how little ground he hath to work up­on; therefore by asking his Disciples, he draweth forth how few loaves and fishes for such a work were to be had. 2. He will not despise his own appointed ordinary means, for so far as they can reach: nor wil he do any thing extraordinary, further then is necessary; for, He could have fed them without these seven loaves, but he wil take them and make use of them seeing they may be had. 3. Christ useth to shame the misbelief of his servants by making them actors in the work, which they could not be­lieve to see; for, He gave to the Disciples, & they to the multitude. 4. There is no scant when the Lord giveth the banquet, for all are filled when he inviteth his guests, as here. 5. His manifold wisdom wil glorifie himself as he pleaseth, but ever in a way sufficient to manifest his divine power; for there are here more loaves and fewer people, and fewer fragments, then when by five loaves five thousand were fed, but one basket proveth the miracles as well as a hundreth, and the few­er the ordinary means be, he will shew his power the more.


The Pharisees with the Sadduces do tempt Christ, to ver. 6. Our Lord warneth his disciples to be­ware of their doctrine, to ver. 13 And having set­led them in the belief of his Godhead and of­fice, to ver. 21. He guardeth them against his own suffering, and theirs also, lest they should after­ward stumble at the crosse.

Ver. 1. THe Pharisees also with the Sadduces, came, and temp­ting, desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.’

IN these wicked mens tempting of Christ: learn, 1. That our Lord did suffer much contradiction and temptation by wic­ked Sectaries; here divers, & mo at one time, come against him. [Page 190] 2. Satans children, how opposite soever one to another, can a­gree to oppose Christ; for, the Pharisees and Sadduces here do joyne against Christ, though they were otherwise adversaries one to another; The Pharisees maintaining the resurrection of the body, & the immortality of the soul; the Sadduces denying both. 3. Such as would make shew that they would believe, if such and such signes, or not promised conditions were granted unto them, are both lying hypocrites and tempters of God also, in prescribing new means of believing, when God hath given sufficient already; Therfore it is said, They came tempting him, in desiring a signe.

Ver. 2.He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will he fair weather: for the skie is red.

3. And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the skie is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the skie, but can ye not discern the signes of the times?

4. A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a signe, and there shal no signe be given them but the signe of the prophet Ionas. And be left them, and departed.

Because Christs doctrine and miracles did prove that the Messiah was come, and the time of the Kingdome of grace; Therefore he reproveth them, for not discerning the times. Doct. 1. The Lord hath made the offer of the means of grace, a signe of the time of grace, as well as he hath made signes in the sky of foul or fair weather approaching; therfore are they wor­thy to be blamed, who do not observe the time; for, Can y [...] not discern the signes of the times? saith Christ. 2. Hypocrites and men in nature, are able to discern of naturall things, but not of spirituall: Thus Christ taxeth the Pharisees, saying, Ye can dis­cern the signes of the sky, but not the time of grace. 3. Such as set not their heart on God revealed in Christ, are not of the true church, nor Spouse of Christ, but are adulterers; Therefore Christ calleth these Pharisees and Sadduces, Adulterous genera­tion. 4. Christs enemies shall get no satisfaction in signes; such as they prescribe to help them to discerne Christ by in his Doctrine and Operations, shall be suffered to go on in oppositi­on, till they have vented their malice to the full; and then shall they know by Christs victory over them, and over death it self, and over all his enemies, that Christ is indeed the true Messiah; for saith Christ, No signe shall be given them, but the signe of the prophet Ionas, who after three daies arose, as it were, out of the grave. 5. Hypocrites and such as tempt [Page 191] God, shall be left unto themselves; as here, Christ left them, and departed.

Ver. 5. And when his disciples were come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.

This forgetting to take bread, is told us; partly, That we may know how our Lords train was maintained; to wit, As souldi­ers they carried their bread with them, and to shew us, that our Lord had a care that his followers should not be burdensom to any; But in speciall it is spoken of, to clear the occasion of the disciples mistaking of the speech of Christ, herafter set down in his warning of his disciples, to beware of corrupt doctrine un­der comparison of leaven.

Ver. 6. Then Iesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the Sadduces.

Under the similitude of leaven, Christ bids his disciples be­ware to be infected by the corrupt doctrine of these sectaries. Doct. 1. False doctrine is like leaven, for it infects the lump se­cretly and totally; therfore Beware of leaven, saith he. 2. The doctrine of justification by works professed by the Pharisees, and the doctrine of the Sadduces denying the resurrection of the body, and the immortality of the soul, are both poisonable leaven; therfore, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sad­duces, saith he; putting both the sects in a like condition of in­fection.

Ver. 7. And they reasoned among themselves saying, It is because we have taken no bread.

The disciples imagine that Christ was speaking of bodily lea­ven. Doct. Readily are our Lords words mistaken, even by disciples, and upon a mistake wrong conclusions are drawn, and so the intent of Christs words are lost; for, Because we have no bread, is this admonition given, say the disciples.

Ver. 8. Which when Iesus perceived, he said unto them, O ye of little faith, why reason ye among your selves, because ye have brought no bread?

9. Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many basket ye took up?

10. Neither the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?

11. How is it that you do not understand, that I spake it not to you concerning bread, that you should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadduces?

12. Then understood they how that he had them not beware [Page 192] of the leaven of bread: but of the doctrine of the Pharisees, and of the Sadduces.

Christ is offended that they should be so carefull of bread, and imagine that himself was anxious about bread also, seeing they had experience lately of his power to provide bread at his pleasure. Doct. 1. Our Lord will not change his speech for our mis-taking, but rather reprove our dulnesse, and then help to a right understanding, as here he doth, saying, Why do ye reason thus? 2. Christ will make it a matter of reproof, if he see his disciples anxious about any thing in this world, as here for this, Because they had brought no bread. 3. Not to profit in faith, is the matter of greatest controversie between Christ and his fol­lowers; as here, O ye of little faith. 4. The right use of Christs works, in speciall of his miraculous feeding many with a little food, is to assure us of Christs power to provide bread for his servants, and that they need not to be anxious about that mat­ter; Therefore saith he, Remember the miracle of the loaves. 5. The Lords reproof, is a mean of rectifying our understanding; for after the reproof, then they understood that he meaned by leaven, The corrupt doctrine of the Pharisees.

Vers. 13. When Iesus came into the coasts of Cesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples saying, Whom do men say that I, the Son of man, am?

14. And they said, Some say that thou art Iohn the Baptist, some Elias, and others Ieremias, or one of the prophets.

15. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

Christ is about to clear and confirme his disciples in the knowledge of himself, and maketh way for this, by questions: Hence learn, 1. That it is expedient for Pastors to examine the knowledge of their flock as Christ here asked his disciples. 2. It is no new thing to see diversity of judgement concerning Christ, and the matters of his Kingdom; for there were in Christs dayes divers opinions of men about him, even among them, who were not his opposite enemies; for, Some said he was Iohn Baptist, &c. 3. Of such as have most means of the know­ledg of Christ, most is to be expected, and if Christs Disciples have a right estimation of him, the less matter what others have; but chiefly it is necessary that such as are to preach Christ, know him rightly; Therefore saith Christ, But whom say ye that I am?

Ver. 16. And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art Christ the Son of the living God.

[Page 193]From Peters answer: Learn, 1. That the Apostles knew Christ to be very God and very man in one person; for Pe­ter saith, Thou art that Christ, i. e. The promised Christ. 2. The vail of his humane nature and infirmities, did not keep the eye of their faith from se [...]ing him to be one in substance with he living God; for, Thou art Christ, the son of the living God, say they.

Vers. 17. And Iesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thée, but my Father which is in heaven.

18. And I say unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church: and the gates of hell shall not prevail a­gainst it.

Christ commendeth this confession of Peter, as a saving truth revealed from Heaven, whereupon in despite of Satan, he would settle his church, and rule the same by the Ministry of his servants, and would ratifie in heaven their service done up­on earth. Doct. 1. It is very acceptable and pleasant unto Christ that his disciples do profit in knowledge and grace; Therfore saith he, Blessed art thou. 2. None get saving knowledge of Christs person and offices but by special revelation from God, for, Flesh and blood hath not revealed it, saith he. 3. Such as know Christ rightly are truly blessed; for this cause he saith, Blessed art thou. 4. Such as bear testimony unto Christ, he will bear testimony for them, and will give them a new name, as here he pronounceth Peter, A lively stone, builded on a sure rock, and that by way of confirmation of the name, which he had given unto him at his first calling, saying, Thou art Peter, or a stone. 5. The truth that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah, very God, and very man in one person, the anointed Saviour of the world, is, The main ground-stone wherupon the faith of all be­lievers is founded, as upon a rock; for, Upon this rock I will build, saith he. 6. All the power and policy of the divel, and his instruments shall not be able to overturn this truth, nor the Lords building of his church upon it, nor the work of Gods grace in any member of the church, which is builded on this truth; for so he promiseth in a speech borrowed from the man­ner of these times when the Judges sat at the Port and gave judgement; And so what wisdome or power was in the towne, was in the gates thereof, The gates of hell shall not prevail against it, saith he. 7. The church properly belongeth to Christ as his own peculiar; neither Pope, nor King, nor Parliament, nor [Page 194] any one or moe in heaven or earth, may subject the Church un­to themselves, as it is the church; for Christ hath reserved the church for himself, and hath appropriate this incorporation, as such, unto himself alone, and called the church his own proper; saying, I wil build my Church. 8. Howsoever there be many particular churches distinguished one from another, yet must they all endeavour for an unity among themselves, that they may be one church with, and to Christ, and among themselves, keeping the unity of faith in Christ, and unity of subjection to all his ordinances in the bond of peace among themselves; for Christ hath called them one, and appointed them to be one, saying, I will build my Church, in the singular number. 9. Whatsoever externall defence, comfort, cherishing, and assi­stance unto the church be required of the Magistrate, for the service of Christ, yet all the means of edification of the church, and all the administration of the means of the internall buil­ding of the church, Christ reserveth unto himself, to be done by his own means, and his own chosen instruments; for this worke he taketh unto himselfe, saying, I will build my Church.

Ver. 19. And I wil give unto thee the keyes of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.

In this promise made to Peter, in name of the Apostles and their Successours in the Pastorall charge, in whose name he did speak: learn, 1. Christs church visible is his Kingdom, even on this earth, not an earthly Kingdom, but a spiritual and hea­venly Kingdom, wherein he as King of heaven, in heavenly things, doth reign; therfore he calleth the church visible, The Kingdom of Heaven. 2. This Kingdom or church hath keys to let in and keep in subjects; to cast out, and hold out rebels, by doctrine and Discipline, and is not left without Ordinances and Order, for the preservation and inlargement of it self; for, I will give Keyes, saith he. 3. The Ministriall power of their keyes is promised to the Ministers of this Kingdom, that is, the Apo­stles, and their Successours in the Pastorall charge, in whose name Peter did speak unto Christ, and in whose name he is spoken unto by Christ; for he saith, I will give to thee. 4. Such as have the office of administration of the keyes, have their authority in that office only from Christ, in whose Name the keyes are to be used, for He only is the Giver of the keyes; [Page 195] for it is said, I will give thee the keyes. 5. What the Lords Ministers do by vertue of their office, in admitting unto the fellowship of God and his Saints, or excluding from the same; binding unto judgment, and loosing from judgment in Christs Name, according to their commission, it is ratified by God in Heaven, as done by his warrant; for it is promi­sed, Whatsoever ye shall binde on earth, or loose, shall be so in Heaven.

Ver. 20. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Iesus the Christ.

This mystery he commandeth them to keep to themselves till he should give further order. Hence learn, Christ hath his own fit times when he will reveal his own mysteries; therefore be charged them that they should tel no man that he was Iesus the Christ; for if they had known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory: He will not have his death hindred by the untimous proclamation of his Truth.

Vers. 21. From that time forth began Iesus to shew to his di­sciples how that he must go into Ierusalem, and suffer many things of the elders, and [...]hief priests, and Scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

The disciples being now instructed about the person and of­fice of Christ, he foretelleth his suffering, death and resurrecti­on, to acquaint them with the crosse, and so to prevent their stumbling at his sufferings. Hence learn, 1. Our Lord was not ignorant what he was to suffer ere it came, nor ignorant of the out-gate appointed for him, how he should be killed and raised again. 2. Whoso would look rightly on Christs sufferings, must also look unto his out-gate and victory over the same; he must look on his raising, as well as his killing; for he telleth them, He must be killed, and raised the third day.

Verse 22. Then Peter tooke him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord; this shall not be unto thee.

Peter out of his carnall wisdom rashly forbiddeth Christ to suffer himself to be so used. H [...]nce learn, 1. That if the crosse be looked unto, without looking to the Appointer of it, the use, end, and outgate of it, men will never consent, that ei­ther they, or such as they love should bear it; therefore saith Peter; Far it be from thee, Lord. 2. Naturall wit is very confident and presumptuous to judge of Gods matters; for Peter leaning unto it, dare take upon him to rebuke Christ. [Page 196] 3. Yea, if a man lean unto, and follow his own naturall wit and affection, he may be led to oppose God, and the worke of his own Salvation; for, This shall not be unto thee, Lord, saith Peter.

Ver. 23. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind [...]e Satan, thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the thing [...] that be of God, but those that be of man.

In Christs reproof given to Peter, learn, 1. Our Lord so lo­ved to work out our redemption, that he could not endure to be any way hindred; therefore saith he, Get thee behind me. 2. What Satan cannot do immediately, he will assay to do it by instruments, Christ findeth him out here, saying, Get thee behinde me Satan. 3. Naturally a man savoureth not thing [...] spirituall, neither knoweth them, nor loveth them, if they be told him; Therefore saith he, Thou savourest not the things of Go [...]. 4. We should in temptations beware of Satan, as our pany, whoever be the instrument, and the more impudently we be tempted unto sin, wo should the more stoutly, and peremptori­ly resist it, as Christ did; saying, Get thee behinde me Satan. 5. After a man hath been much lifted up in consolation, be may readily miscarry and fall in some offence, as Peters case is here, compared with ver. 16.6 A man may be a stumbling block unto others, albeit he do not intend it; for to Peter it is said, Thou art an offence. 7. Apparent good counsell from a carnall friend, may readily carry some temptation in the bosome of it, as Peters counsell here doth; and sin will serve Satans tur [...], where ever he find it, whether in the godly or wicked, for Peters corruption here is Satans instrument fit enough for the time.

Ver. 24. Then said Iesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himselfe, and take up his crosse and fol­low me.

Hereupon our Lord takes occasion to teach all his followers a necessity of bearing the cross: Hence learn, 1. That Christ [...]o [...] that he was to be crucified, and resolved to suffer the shame full death of the crosse, before it came; Therefore calls he his ser­vants suffering fo him, by the name of the Crosse, that he mig [...] teach them not to be ashamed of his manner of death, when i [...] should come. 2. Christs followers must resolve to be disclaimed of him, as one of his followers, except they will resolve to be [...] his crosse; Therefore saith he, If any man will follow me, L [...] him take up his Crosse. 3. Love to a man [...] own life, estimation [Page 197] of his wit, and worth; in a word, a mans own self is a bundle of all sort of idols, which we must either renounce, and be content to have them mortified, or else we cannot follow Christ: there­fore saith he, Let him deny himself. This self-denyall the Lord hath appointed to be helped forward by a crosse, which God will not leave to our choice, but will fit it for every man, and lay it before him, or upon him, and wil have every man humbly to stoop, and submit, and take it on, and bear it out constantly, so long as the Lord thinks fit to let [...]ly; for, Let him, saith he, de­ny himself, and take up his crosse. 5. This crosse must not make a man forsake to follow Christ; but rather the man under the crosse, must draw the more ne [...]r unto Christ, and follow him, that he may be helped to bear his cross, and so attain to self-de­nyall more and more; therefore he saith, Take up, and follow me. 6. As the crosse doth force a man to deny himself, for it faileth not to take from him, and to lay upon him what he would not, so self-denyall boweth the back to take up and bear the crosse kindly; therefore said he, Let him deny himself, and take up his crosse.

Ver. 25. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it, and who­soever will lose his life for my sake, shall finde it.

The reasons to move us so to do, are seven. The first reason is, the eschewing of the crosse to save your life, is the very way to lose your life, therefore resolve to bear the crosse; for, Who­soever will save his life, saith he, shall lose it. A second reason; to resolve to lose thy life for my sake, is the way to keep it: there­fore resolve to bear the crosse. Hence learn, 1. That the love of this temporall life maketh men deny Christ: therefore is it, that Christ will have a man resolving about this life. 2. Who­soever will save his life by denying Christ, is a great fool; for he loseth that eternally which he seeketh, by eschewing of Christs crosse, to save for a time; for, Whosoever will save his life, saith he, shall lose it. 3. To lay our reckoning to lose life and al, rather then deny Christ, or any point of his truth, is our grea­test wisdom: He who maketh least account of his life, and of all things belonging thereto, in comparison of serving and confes­sing Christ, is a wise man; for he gaineth for ever in effect that which he hazards temporally for Christ; for, Whosoever, saith he, will lose his life for my sake, shall finde it.

Ver. 26. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

[Page 198]A third reason is, He that refuseth to bear my crosse in hope to gain thereby, shall be disappointed; for he shall lose his own soul, and so can gain nothing, though he seem to gain a world; therefore resolve to bear my crosse. Doct. 1. When the cause of Christ cannot be maintained without the crosse be born, and hope is offered of worldly gain also, if a man shall fall off from Christs cause, it is a sore temptation, as Christs question in an­swering of it doth import, What is a man profited in this case? saith he. 2. He that in fear to lose, or in hope to gain some earthly thing, refuseth to maintain Christs cause, shall lose more then he can gain, were it a Kingdom; for, he loseth his soul, and what profit hath he, if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? A fourth reason; Nothing in the earth can re­deem a mans soul, when he hath shed from me for fear of the crosse, or hope of gain; therefore resolve to bear my crosse ra­ther then to deny me. Doct. 1. There is no ransome of a mans soul beside Christ, if any man deny him; for, What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 2. It is a special means to streng­then us against the fear of the crosse for Christs cause, to fore­see our irreparable losse if we deny him, and to say with our selves, What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Vers. 27. For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Fa­ther, with his Angels, and then he shall reward every man accor­ding to his works.

A fifth reason; Though I may seem mean and abased, in that my followers are put to bear my crosse, yet I will be found the glorious Son of God, worthy to be suffered for; Therefore let no man think shame, of my crosse, The Son of man, saith he, shall come in the glory of the Father. The sixth reason; The fruit of bearing my crosse, or refusing of it, shall be seen at the day of judgment, when I shall be Judg, and shall reward the backsli­der with deserved judgment, and shal crown the grace of suffer­ing for me with the reward of life; He shall reward every man, saith he, according to his works: Hence learn, 1. That Christs incarnation neither should, nor shall derogate any thing from the glory of his God-head; for, The Son of man shall come in the glory of the Father. 2. The Son of man and the Son of God is onely one person; for it is said, The Son of man shall come in his Fathers glory. 3. The fruit of every mans works, whether good or ill, shall be found at the second coming of our Lord; for, Then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Verse 28. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing h [...]re, [Page 199] which shall not taste of death, til they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdome.

The seventh and last motive, is, I do promise a glance of the glory of my kingdom, unto some of you my hearers, before I die, as much as may incourage you, and all others my follow­ers to indure any crosse for me: Therefore resolve to bear the crosse. Now some little glance of his glory he gave shortly after this, in the transfiguration; but this was not the main matter: his coming in the power of his kingdome, was then made more evident, when after his resurrection he declared himself Lord and King, in erecting his church with all her officers where he pleased, in subduing Jews and Gentiles unto himself, by the power of his Word and Spirit, in separating his church and his people from the world, without the church. This Kingly power was seen most evidently by such of the Apostles as lived lon­gest; and this his coming in the power of the gospel, is a pawn and evidence of his future coming to judgment, in the glory of his Father. Hence learn, 1. Whosoever get a right sight of the glory of Christs power, in converting soules, in erecting his church with all his ordinances therin, and governing of it, will not refuse to bear his crosse; for, To encourage the disciples to bear the crosse, this promise here is made. 2. Christs pow­er and grace manifested by conversion of soules, and ere­cting of the church in the Apostles dayes, is a demonstrati­on of Christs Kingly Power, and an evidence of his com­ing unto judgement; for, Some (saith he) here standing, shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdome.


After Christs transfiguration, to vers. 14. He hea­leth the lunatick, to vers. 22. Fore-telleth his own passion, and payeth tribute.

Ver. 1. ANd after six dayes, Iesus taketh Peter, Iames and Iohn his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.’

[Page 200]HOwsoever the last verse of the former chapter is not altoge­ther fulfilled in this transfiguration of Christ, yet is it some earnest of performance of the promise there made; for by this glance of Christs glory, they had evidence how glorious he should be, in the morefull manifestation of his Kingly power and Majesty; He chooseth witnesses, not all, but some, and these in a sufficient number, three; the same whom he was to make witnesses of his agony in the garden therafter, Peter Iames, and Iohn: and these he takes apart into an high moun­tain: that being separate and set above distractions, they might attend the vision without interruption. Doct. 1. Our Lord will not use all his servants alike familiarly; but some, such as he pleaseth, he will make in some cases more intimate, for here he chooseth only three to see his glorious transfiguration. 2. Such as he minds to acquaint most with his sufferings, he will readily acquaint most with his glory, for their incouragement and preparation; for these three are they who are made wit­nesses hereafter of his agony in the Garden; Peter, Iames and Iohn.

Ver. 2. And was transfigured before them, and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

In the transfiguration, the Lords glory appeareth in three things. The first is, the alteration of the naturall obscurity of his flesh, into a glorious shining brightnesse, flowing from the in-dwelling of the God-head in him; in so farre, that the darknesse of his [...]aiment is swallowed up in this light, springing through the same, so as it made his raiment appeare white as light. Hence learn, 1. Where the Lord pleaseth to let forth his glory, it is able to beautifie our earthly and obscure bodies, as this transfiguration, far transcending Moses his face shining, giveth evidence. 2. Glorification taketh not away the substance, nor naturall properties of the body; for here is a glo­rious transfiguration, but no abolition of the substance of Christs body.

Ver. 3. And behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

The second point of Christs glory, is the apparition of Mo­ses and Elias, whether in their owne proper bodies, resumed for a time, or in bodies formed for the present purpose, to be laid down again as garments, it is not materiall to inquire; for either this or that was alike easie to the Lord: and presuppose their bodies had been raised, and laid down again in dust, yet [Page 201] wherein soever Moses and Elias could be serviceable to their Redeemers glory, it was not their trouble or loss, but their ad­vantage; The main matter which we have to learn, is, 1. That Moses and Elias, and so all the prophets are Christs servants and witnesses unto him, all of them agreeing in one with him. 2. That the dead in the Lord are not perished, but live with God in heaven; for, Moses and Elias are seen here, kept there­fore.

Vers. 4. Then answered Peter, and said unto Iesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three Tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

The effect of this glorious vision ravisheth so the hearts of the three apostles, that they could have taken this estate for hea­ven: Hence learn, 1. How joyful the sight of glorified persons shall be. 2. The sight of the least part of the glory in heaven, so ravisheth the soul, that it forgetteth all that is on the earth, and is so satisfactory, that a soul could rest on the least degree thereof, as in a heaven; for, It is good to be here, saith Peter. 3. It is our nature, if it be well with our selves, not to care for others, little mind had the Apostles what need others had of their service, when they could have stayed still on the mount.

Verse 5. While hee yet spake, behold a bright cloud over­shadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him.

The third point of Christs glorification, is, the testimony of the Father concerning his Son Jesus, which Peter could never forget again, 2 Peter 1.17. First, they see a bright cloud, then they hear a voyce out of the cloud (for we are not able to behold him as he is, and must not pry into his glory, which is unsearch­able, but must take heed unto what he revealed by the eare: a Voice, of his Word must reveal God unto us) and that which is here revealed concerning Christ, is, 1. That the Man Christ is true God; the Son of God, one in substance with the Fa­ther; for, This is my Son, saith the Father. 2. That as he is in­carnate, going about the work of Redemption, and presenting himself Mediator for us, to satisfie God in all things about us, he is Beloved, accepted, approved as satisfactory and rested up­on for our behove, In whom I am well pleased, saith the Father. 3. That we are to take him fo [...] our Teacher and Commander, [Page 202] to beleeve and obey Him; for the Father hath said to us all, Hear him.

Ver. 6. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

This voyce was so full of Majesty, proceeding from the ex­cellent glory, that the disciples fel down. Doct. 1. When the God-head of the Father, or of Christ is manifested, who can stand before his Majesty? No wonder they fel on their face, the presence of the Lord in this life, even in mercy reveiled, is very fearfull; for it is said, They were sore afraid, such is his glory, and our weakness.

Ver. 7. And Iesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.

Thus lay the Apostles as dead men till Christ came, and put strength and comfort in them. Doct. It is Christ by whom we are lift up when we fal, and confirmed against our fears; for the disciples did not stir, till he touched them, and said, Be not afraid.

Ver. 8. And when they had lift up their eyes, they saw no man, save Iesus only.

That we may know that the voice was spoke of Jesus, and concerned him alone, he alone is left with the disciples, and now the vision is removed, when the intent of it is obtained. Doct. The Lord measureth the means of manifesting himself, as he seem fit for our good; for, When they lifted up their eyes, they saw none but Iesus only.

Ver. 9. And as they came down from the mountain, Iesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, untill the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

The discharging of the disciples to shew the vision until the resurrection, teacheth us, that the Lord hath his own set-time, when he wil make use of what he revealeth to his servants, and will bring forth every truth in his own time, when it may be most useful; Therfore saith he, Tell no man, till the Son of man be risen from the dead.

Ver. 10. And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the Scribes that Elias must first come?

Upon the departure of Elias, and the discharge of revealing the vision, the three Disciples do move a question, about the Prophesie of the coming of Elias, which the Disciples do think to be now accomplished; and that by his staying still, it might have appear'd to the world to be accomplished: But Christ shew­eth [Page 203] that that prophesie was accomplished another way, in John Baptist. Doct. 1. What doubts do arise unto us about Scripture, among other means, let us by prayer crave solution of them through Christ, as the Disciples here asked him about Elias. 2 The adversaries of Christ are ready to blindfold themselves, and others also, by mistaking Scriptures, like these Scribes, who wil not acknowledg Christ to be come, Til Elias come, to wit, in their way.

Ver. 11. And Iesus answered and said unto them, Elias truely shal first come, and restore all things:

12. But I say unto you, that Elias is already come, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they lifted: likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

Our Lord did answer, that indeed the Scripture must be ac­complished, & not a letter fail; for, Elias, saith he, truly shal first come, and that when John Baptist came, this Scripture concern­ing the coming of Elias was fulfilled, because when John Bap­tist came in the spirit and power of Elias, Elias in a manner was revived; for as Elias set himself to the reformation of Re­ligion, when all was wrong in his time; so John Baptist, when the whole frame of Religion was marred, by the corruption of the Jewish Doctors, did renew the doctrine and worship again: Doct. 1. The fulfilling of the Scriptures may readily be mista­ken of men; for, when that which is foretold is done before their eyes, they wil not see it; for, Now Elias is come, and they knew him not. 2. The world instead of receiving Gods Messengers, as becometh, are ready to abuse them, as they please; Therefore saith he, They have done to him what they listed. 3. As men do deal with Christs Servants, so would they deal with Christs self, if they were able, and could get occasion; for, Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them, saith Christ.

Ver. 13. Then the Disciples understood that he spake unto them of Iohn the Baptist.

By this speech the Apostles take satisfaction, and stumble no more at this doubt. Doct. Albeit our Lord do not answer mens doubts and questions in so many letters and syllables, yet he will make his own disciples understand the solution of their questions, and what is his meaning; His inquisitive Scholers shall be taught what is needful for them to know, as here Christs speech doth satisfie his Disciples; for it is said, Then they under­stood, &c.

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Ver. 15. And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certaine man, kneeling down to him and say­ing,

15. Lord have mercy on my son, for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for oft times he falleth into the fire, and oft in the water.

16. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

Concerning the healing of the lunatick: Learn, 1. It is a fit time for the Lord to shew his power most, when he may have mainest witnesses, and most glory in his working; as here, he trusseth the healing of the lunatick, with his coming to the multitude. 2. The soul which beleeveth in Christ, as it find­eth its need pressing, so will it go speedily to Christ, so will it humbly and earnestly seek help of him, as the Lunaticks father doth: 3. The misery of a soule left unto Satan, is great, who out of malice, if he can, will vex the man who is in his power; as, the poore child was vexed in fire and water. 4. Christ doth reserve some benefits to be conferred immedi­atly by himself, and in this case second Means and instruments (although they be imployed) do fail; as here it falleth out, I brought him to thy disciples, but they could not heal him, saith the childs Father.

Ver. 17. Then Iesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shal I be with you? how long shal I suffer you? Bring him hither to me.

This sharp rebuking both of the mis-beleeving Jews, and also of the Apostles, for depriving themselves of the use of the gift of miracles by their unbeliefe, teacheth, 1. That no­thing grieveth our Lord more then peoples mis-belief, for this obstructeth all the blessings which are appointed to come by faith; Therefore he upbraideth the multitude, and his Disciples among the rest, with this sharp rebuke, O faithless ge­neration. 2. The longer that Christ hath offered himself to a people or person, and the more patience he hath shown towards them; the more he is provoked by their mis-belief to reject them, and depart from them; therfore saith he, How long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? 3. He is not so angry, as any passion can move him to forget to be mercifull to the miserable; for incontinent he saith of the poor Boy, Bring him hither to me.

Verse 18. And Iesus rebuked the divell, and he de­parted [Page 205] out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.

At a word our Lord delivereth this distressed soul. Doct. 1. How strong soever, and how long soever Satans possession be in a soul, Christ can cast him out quickly; as here, Iesus rebuked the divel. 2. Christ is a perfect Physician, he can so cast out Sa­tan, and remove a plague, that the party afflicted shall be no more molested, as here, The divel departed out of him, and the child was cured from that very hour.

Ver. 19. Then came the disciples to Iesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

The disciples are ashamed, and privily do aske the cause of their ill success. Doct. 1. It is reasonable that we be ashamed of our mis-beliefe, as the Disciples were when they came to Christ, in the house privately, and apart. 2. Chastisements are then best made use of when they send men to search the sins which have drawn them on; as here, Why could not we cast him out? say they.

Ver. 20. And Iesus said unto them, Because of your unbeliefe: for verily I say unto you, if ye have faith as a grain of mustard-seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be unpossible unto you.

From Christs answer learn, 1. That Unbelief may be lurking, till it be brought forth in trial, and not being observed timou [...]ly by ourselves, nor repented of in secret, may be brought forth before others, to our shame openly, and so we cha­stised for it, as the disciples were, to whom Christ answereth, Be­cause of your unbelief. 2. Unbelief, and other unrepented sins, may mar the exercise of most excellent gifts; for the Apostles could not cure this child, Because of their unbelief. 3. The least measure of the faith of miracles being put to work, upon the warrand of Gods word, if it be purged from unbelief, and from secure and carnall confidence, and be put forth in the own vi­gour, (as the least graine of Mustard-seed doth put forth the sharpnesse, taste, and smell of its own kind) it is able to effe­ctuate the greatest works, and to overcome the greatest diffi­culties; put the case they seemed as impossible as the remo­ving of mountaines; Therefore saith he, If ye have faith, &c. 4. The same may be said of saving faith also, it being put to work upon the warrand of Gods word, to mortifie some lust, or to grow in some vertue, it shall be able to overcome all diffi­culties: [Page 206] The reason is, Because nothing is impossible to God, who when he passeth his word unto the Believer, will not fail to performe what he hath promised, whether it be in an extra­ordinary, or an ordinary way; for it is said, nothing shall be impossible to you.

Ver. 21. Howbeit this kind goeth not out, but by prayer and fasting.

Christ giveth another reason of their not being able to cure the child. Doct. 1. There is a difference of the power of divells, and there are differences of exercises of poor souls by them; for here is a kind most violent. 2. When we find Satan strong and violent, and not yeelding ground to us, when he is opposed▪ or set upon by us, then must we set an edge upon our faith by prayer, and an edge upon our prayer, by fasting and separation of our selves unto the exercise of prayer; for, this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting, saith he.

Ver. 22. And while they abode in Galilee, Iesus said unto them, The Son of man shall bee betrayed into the hands of men.

23. And they shal kil him, and the third day he shal rise again▪ and they were exceeding sorry.

There is another warning of the Disciples, concerning the cross and sufferings of our Lord, and of his resurrection. Hence learn, 1. That there is need to guard well against the scandall of the cross of Christ, before the crosse come, lest we stumble when unexpected troubles shall follow Christs cause; therfore said he, The Son of man must be betrayed. 2. The best guard a­gainst troubles, is, to look to Gods appointment, and foretel­ling of the crosse, and to look to the resurrection, and out-gate promised; therfore Christ saith, The third day he shall rise again. 3. We are inclined to be more moved with the grief of the cross, then to be comforted and encouraged by the glorious out-gate of it; for, Now They were exceeding sorry.

Ver. 24. And when they were come to Capernaum, they that re­ceived tribute money, came to Peter and said, Doth not your Master pay tribute?

25. He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Iesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?

26. Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Iesus saith unto him, the [...] are the children free.

[Page 207]27. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up: and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of mony, that take, and give unto them for me and thee.

In this history of Christs paying tribute: Learn, 1. That tri­bute is due to Magistrats for their publick service, this is impor­ted in, Doth your Master pay tribute? 2. Christ is no unfriend un­to Magistrats and Rulers, nor any wayes a hinderer of paying any thing due unto them: for Peter affirmeth that Christ payed ordinarily. 3. He wil not exempt his Ministers or Followers from the common civil duties wherunto other subjects are lya­ble; Therfore he saith to Peter, What thinkest thou? &c. 4. Christ by no ordinary course of Law was subject unto any power un­der heaven: for as Kings sons are naturally free from tribute, so is the Son of God naturally free also, for he is the Heir and Owner of all things; for as every King and his native children are naturally free from the burdens proper unto the subject, so is God the Father, and his native Son Christ, coeternall with the Father, naturally also free from all things which the crea­tures can impose upon him. What King is he, who will sub­ject Gods Son unto him? Therfore Christ said, That Kings children are free, of all whom he was the chief. 5. Howsoever Christ was the rich Heir of Heaven and Earth, as of his own workmanship, yet for our cause he voluntarily subjected him­self, and became poor, that he might make us rich; for he had no mony to pay his tribute. 6. As in matters of civil losse, Christ did dispense with his own right civill, and subjected himself to pay tribute, which he was not bound to do, so must his servants do: and not only must they pay tribute, which is their due by civil obligation, but rather then they mar the Gospel, and breed scandall, they must bear burdens, which civilly they are not bound to bear. 7. Christ was never so far abased at any time, but the glory of his God-head might have been seen breaking forth in the mean time, or shortly after, lest his humiliation should at any time prejudice his glory at our hands; as here at the time when he doth subject himself to pay tribute, at the same time he sheweth himself Lord of all the creatures, who can make the most wild of them to come to his angle, and bring mony with them in their mouth unto him; as here he giveth e­vidence, in this fish which Peter catcheth.


Our Lord dischargeth prelacy among his Disciples, to ver. 7. Commandeth to eschew offences, to ver. 15. And to remove them (when they should fall out) by discipline and forgivenesse mutuall.

Ver. 1. AT the same time came the Disciples unto Iesus, say­ing, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’

THe Disciples dreaming of a worldly kingdome of Christ, do strive for state among themselves; Hence learn, 1. The seed of ambition and prelacie is old in Ministers, and ground was found to foster it in the unmortified corruptions of the Apo­stles; for here they are disputing, Who is the greatest in the kingdome? 2. Neither Peter nor any other of the Apostles had supremacie or majority of power over the rest; for here they ask Christ, Who is the greatest? They did not acknowledge any one greater then another, but referred the determination of this unto Christ, who simply disallowed the question, as sinfull.

Ver. 2. And Iesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them.

3. And said, Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

This pestilent and pernicious evil Christ dischargeth & dis­swadeth them from by six reasons; The first reason, which com­prehendeth a doctrine in it, except you study to be as far as this little child is, from seeking of preheminence one over another, in the church or kingdom of heaven here beneath, you shal not en­ter into the kingdom of heaven, which is above. 2. Learn, that the mortifying of ambition and renunciation of prelacy, and folowing of humility, is so hard a lesson to be learned, that there is need of teaching of it in an odd way by the eye, as well as by the ear, therfore, Is a yong child set, as a copy of the lesson, before the Disciples eyes. 3. Howsoever Christ hath ordained sundry de­grees of office-bearers in his house, yet he will have no majo­rity [Page 209] of power of any one over the rest of that office, but will have men so far from affecting of it, as a young child is, who knoweth not what striving for state doth mean; therfore saith he, Except ye become as children. 4. If this wicked root set up the self in a man, he must repent him of any motion toward it, and be converted; and if being convinced of the sin, he shall not be converted, and repent of it, he shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven which is above; for so much saith our Lord here to the Apostles, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shal not enter into heaven.

Verse 4. Whosoever therfore shall humble himself as this little childe, the same is the greatest in the kingdome of hea­ven.

A second reason, The man furthest from affectation of pre­heminence, is the man worthy of most estimation before men; therfore beware of looking toward prelaticall preheminence of one over another. Doct. True greatness of Ministers stands not in being one over another in majority of power, but in humility and farnesse from seeking a prelacy or preheminence over their brethren; for, Whosoever shall humble himself as this little child, saith he, is the greatest in the kingdome of heaven.

Ver. 5. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name, receiveth me.

6. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones, which be­leeve in me, it were better for him that a milstone were han­ged about his neck, and that hee were drowned in the depth of the sea.

The third reason; I give authority unto every messenger of the Gospel, even to the meanest and most averse from this sort of preheminence, that, Whosoever receiveth him, receiveth me, &c. Therefore be content with this common honour, and seek not greatnesse of one over another. The fourth reason, the ministeriall authority is not augmented by prelatical pow­er erected among you, nor diminished for want of it, therfore beware of prelacy; for I do give the authority of Embassadors to the meanest whom I send, even to the most humble, so as, Whoso receiveth such an one in my name, receiveth me. This may content a moderate man. A fifth reason; affectation of Majority over the brethren, is a stumbling block to little ones who beleeve in me, Therefore beware of it; for, Whoso shall offend any of these little ones, &c. The sixth reason is from the danger, if they do otherwise, that it were better for a [Page 210] man to die a violent and ignominious death, then by affectati­on of prelacy, and despisisng the simplicity of a sent Minister, to hinder the work of the gospel in his hand, or the salvation of a­ny beleever, how mean soever he be, Better, saith he, that a mil­stone were hanged about his neck, &c.

Ver. 7. Wo unto the world because of offences: for it must needs be that offences come: but wo to that man by whom the offence com­eth.

Here in general he dischargeth laying of any stumbling block before others, whether by word or deed, or any other way, which may induce any man to sin, or may hinder him in the course of obedience of God: the reasons of the discharge are seven, which are so many doctrines. The 1. reason, Much wo, much sin and misery is to come upon the world by stumbling blocks cast be­fore them: Therfore beware of offences; for, Wo unto the world because of offences. The 2. reason, Greatest woe abideth the man by whom offence is given; But wo to such a man by whom offences come; Therfore beware of offences. Doct. 1. There is a necessi­ty of offences coming, or that stumbling blocks or inducements to sin, and meanes to turn men away from the right paths of the Lord, shall be laid in mens way; a necessity is in regard of the inclination that mens corrupt natures have to be drawn, and to draw others unto sin: a necessity is, in regard of God [...] decree, to permit such stumbling blocks for the trial of some, and punish­ment of others; for, Offences must come. 2. Whatsoever mischief shall come, or may come by a stumbling block, shal be imputed unto him who giveth offence, or layeth a stumbling block in o­thers way; for, Wo to the man by whom the offence cometh. 3. Nei­ther the necessity of the coming of offences in Gods provi­dence, nor the imputation of the mischief done unto the man who giveth offence, shall excuse the party that taketh offence, or save him from wrath; for stil this standeth, Wo to the world, because of offences.

Ver. 8. Wherfore if thine hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee; it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather then having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire.

9. And if thy eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee [...] it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather then ha­ving two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

A third reason; Whatsoever thing it be which is the cause of a sinfull fall to your selfe, or to your neighbour, were it as [Page 211] profitable or necessary as your eye, or your foot, in your esti­mation, it is better to be deprived of it, then to sin, and so be cast in hell with it; therfore beware of giving offence. Hence learn, 1. That the cause of stumbling our selves, and moving others to stumble, is in our selves, to wit, some beloved lust, precious and profitable perhaps in our estimation, as our eye, or our hand, or our foot; therfore saith he, If thy hand, eye, or foot of­fend thee.2. Such beloved lusts must either be mortified and cut off, or else we cannot but perish: and therfore better these lusts be abandoned and cut off, then they and we should both perish; Cut them off, saith he; better for thee, &c.

Ver. 10. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their Angels do alwayes behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

A fourth reason; Despising any of these little ones must be eschewed: therfore the laying of stumbling blocks must be es­chewed; for not caring to offend them, is to despise them: Ther­fore saith he, Take heed ye despise not one of these little ones. The fifth reason; God esteems of the meanest of these little ones so much, that the good Angels, who daily enjoy Gods glorious presence, are ministring spirits appointed to attend them: Ther­fore do not despise them, by not caring to stumble or offend them. Doct. If we consider what price God and his holy An­gels set upon the meanest christian, we would be loath to de­spise or offend them; for, Their angels behold Gods face.

Vers. 11. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

The sixth reason; I came to redeem the meanest of Belee­vers, even such as count themselves lost; Therfore ye should not despise them, by not caring to offend them. Doct. The e­stimation and love that Christ hath of and toward the meanest christian, should move us to beware to offend or despise them; for, The Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Ver. 12. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountaines, and seeketh that which is gon a­stray?

13. And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoyceth more of that sheep than of the ninety and nine which went not a­stray.

14. Even so, it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

[Page 212]The 7th reason; It is not the will of the Father that any the least christian should perish, and therefore ye should not despise them, or misregard their offence or stumbling, where-through they may perish: This is set down in the parable of a good Shepherd; the scope whereof is to shew, that as a good shepherd regards every one of his sheep, and if they wander, will carefully seek to reclaim them and save them; so doth God regard the meanest of his elect, the meanest of christians, so as he will re­claim them from their sins, and danger of perishing, as the Text sheweth: How think ye, if a man have so many sheep? &c. Doct. 1. He that scandalizeth his neighbour doth what he can to make him perish, as the opposing of the will of the Father to preserve him, unto the power of a stumbling block, doth import. 2. Do the divell or his instruments what they can to hinder the sal­vation of Beleevers, God will preserve them; for, It is the Fa­thers will that one of these little ones should not perish. 3. Albeit he that layeth a stumbling block before his brother, shall not be able to destroy him, yet he may put him out of the way a little, and hinder him in his course to heaven, as the parable of the shepherds reducing of the wandring sheep doth shew.

Vers. 15. Moreover, if thy brother trespasse against thee, go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone: if he shall bear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.

After disswading us from stumbling of others, he teacheth us how to remedy scandals given unto us by others, that the offen­der may be reclaimed, and the church receive least damage ther­by: and 1. He giveth direction about private scandals, saying, Moreover, &c. Doct. 1. When scandal is given, we must not onely beware our selves to stumble, (though we cannot eschew but be grieved) but also must study to reclaim the offender; for this direction is given to us, to remedy scandals given. 2. The scandalous sin of a brother, or professed believer especially, must be cared for, and cured by believers; If thy brother offend thee. 3. Private admonition especially, in case the offence be private, is a mean of reclaiming our brethren from their sinful courses, Go tell him his fault alone. 4. It is not necessary to divulge every fault which we alone know, or to let others know of it; for it is said, Tell him between him and thee alone. 5. The most disc [...]eet, easie, and gentle wayes are first to be assayed in the case of pri­vate offences; Therefore saith he, Tell thou him alone. 6. It is the gaining or saving of a brother, to reclaim him from his sin: and an obligation put upon the reclaimed sinner, toward [Page 213] the Brother who admonished him; for saith he, Thou hast gained thy brother. 7. We are bound to hear and obey private admoni­tion, even as we would be saved; for, if he bear thee, saith he, thou hast gained thy brother.

Ver. 16. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Now he teacheth how to proceed, if private admonition prevail not. Doct. 1. If private admonition profit not, and the party admonished will not amend, we must not give o­ver the cure of his scandalous course, but must use further means, and take the assistance of some others to help to re­claim him; Therefore saith he, Take with thee one or two more. 2. The admonition of two or three, serveth to convince the Offender of his fault the more clearly, or to bear wit­nesse against him in case of his disobedience; for, In the mouth of two or three witnesses every truth shall be esta­blished.

Ver. 17. And if he shal neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as a [...] heathen man and a publican.

The former failing, he teacheth what further must be done, Doct. 1. When more private means avail not to remedy a scandall, Christ hath appointed more and more publick Censure and Discipline in his Church; for he saith, Go tell the Church. 2. Christ hath appointed a church of Gover­nours, or rulers over congregations, and over all particular persons within the same, which must attend the complaints of the Offended, and remove scandals, and who have power to call before them, and to examine and censure the Offender for that end; for so importeth Christs say­ing, Tell it unto the Church. 3. The Church hath means and power to remove publick scandall, which being imployed by the church, and obeyed by the Offender, Excommu­nication is not to be used; for Neglecting to heare the Church, presupposeth the church Direction and Order to be given forth for amendment of the Offender, and remo­ving of the scandall. 4. When the church hath given sen­tence upon the Offender, and hath appointed the way to remove the scandall, then the Offender should obey in the Lord; for Christ declareth it a sensurable fault, to Neg­lect to bear the Church. 5. If the Offender disobey the [Page 214] churches direction, for removing of the scandal, then the church may and should excommunicate the obstinate; that is, declare him to be deprived of the honour of a Christian, till he repent, and to be holden in such dis-respect, as the heathen and pub­licans were by the Jewish Church in those dayes; for, Let him be to thee such, presupposeth, he is found and declared by the church to be holden for such. 6. When the church decla­reth an offender contumacious, or excommunicateth him as unworthy of the fellowship of the Saints, for his present abomi­nable condition; then every beleever must carry himself to­ward the excommunicate, as toward a man disgraced, and cast out of church-honour; for Christ hath said, Let him be unto thee as an heathen man, that is, as one without the church; and a publican, that is, a despised sinner; for so were Publican [...] esteem­ed of among the Jews, to the intent the Offender may be asha­med of his sin, and repent.

Ver. 18. Verily I say unto you, whosoever ye shall binde on earth, shall be bound in heaven: and whosoever ye shall loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven.

Here our Lord confirmeth the Authority given unto the church, or Assembly of church-Governours. Doct. 1. The church, or Assembly of church-Governours hath authority from Christ, in Christs name to pronounce guilty, and lyable to judgment, and to pronounce absolution and remission of sin, as they finde cause; for saith he, Whosoever ye binde, or ye loose. 2. Christ will ratifie in heaven, what the church assembled do in his Name, in the exercise of the keyes of Doctrine and Di­scipline, whether to the condemning of the guilty, or absol­ving of the penitent; for he saith, It shall be bound in heaven, loosed in heaven.

Ver. 19. Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

20. For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.

To give assurance that the execution of his ordinances by the church, shall be ratified in heaven, he sheweth them, that the consent of never so few of his Saints, agreeing together upon a petition unto God, shall have a blessed effect in heaven; how much more shall the consent of the church-Rulers in execution of publick ordinances be ratified and have effect: and this he further confirmeth, by certifying us of his gracious presence, [Page 215] where never so few, two or three, suppose there be no more Ru­lers in some small congregations, are met in his name: much more when a greater number do assemble and meet for his pub­lick service: Hence learn, 1. That for mutuall edification one christian may take the help of another, for prosecuting joyntly some particular petition before God; for it is said, If two of you shall agree upon a petition, &c. 2. God doth so love the com­munion of Saints, that the consent of more of his children in one suplication, hath the encouragement of this particular pro­mise; for, What they ask shall be done. 3. If the consent of some shall be blessed when they joyntly prosecute one petition, much more may the church be confident, that their publick consent­ing unto the execution of Christs ordinances shall be blessed; for this the scope of the speech importeth. 4. No meeting or gathering together of the Saints can have expectation of a bles­sing, except it be in Christs name, that is, in so holy a man­ner, and upon such warrantable grounds, as his glory, and the welfare of his church be promoved therby, and not hindred; for he promiseth his presence only to such as are gathered in his Name.

Vers. 21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

22. Iesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but till seventy times seven.

For clearing of the matter of private admonition, and publick censures, a question is moved by Peter, how oft we should for­give offences unto our brethren, professing repentance; which Christ answereth: Hence learn; That it seemeth to our corrupt nature that we should not forgive faults to the same person, ma­ny times falling therein; for, How oft, and till seven times, which seemeth abundance, importeth so much. From Christs answer learn, 1. That we should set no number to the times of forgiving the penitent, were it untill seventy times seven times, that is, how oft soever. 2. The Lord delighteth in large mercy, and standeth not how oft soever to give mercy, provi­ding the party be truly penitent; for otherwayes we must not deceive our selves, God will not be mocked t [...] fo [...]e that com­mandeth man to shew mercy so oft, will no [...] refuse to give mer­cy himself.

Ver. 23. Therfore is the Kingdome of heaven lik [...]d unto a cer­tain King which would take account of his servants.

[Page 216]24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him which ought him ten thousand talents.

25. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his Lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and pay­ment to be made.

26. The servant therfore fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

27. Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, which ought him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and tooke him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou ow­est.

29. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.

30. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, til he should pay the debt.

31. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.

32. Then his lord after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desi­redst me.

33. Shouldst not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-ser­vant, even as I had pity on thee.

34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors til he should pay all that was due unto him.

35. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their tres­passes.

This doctrine is cleared and confirmed by a parable, the scope wherof is to shew, that except we be willing to forgive, and do forgive particular injuries done to us, how oft soever our brother shall desire pardon, we cut our selves off from being pardoned of God, against whom we do sin oftner then any man can do against us. According then to the scope of the parable, we are taught, 1. That our sins against God are moe, and more heavie, then any which our brethren do comitt against us; for mens injuries against usare but pennies in comparison, but our faults against God are thousands of talents. 2. God is readier to forgive us our greater sins, then we are ready to forgive our bre­thren their petty offences against us. 3. The consequence of [Page 217] Gods mercy toward us, should move us to be mercifull one to­ward another. 4. He who will not forgive his brother his tres­passes, and that from the heart sincerely, the Lord will not for­give that man his sins, but wil cast him in hel, til he pay for his sins, and that shall never be. To dispute here of the recalling of remission of sins, is without ground, and not to the purpose, for the scope is fulfilled in this, that as the wicked servant who did not forgive his fellow-servant, got not forgivenesse, but was cast in Gaole, and into the tormentors hands, so neither should any get forgivenesse from God, who did not forgive men their trespasses.


Christ cometh from Galilee to Judea, and healeth the sick, to vers. 3. Cleareth the cases of divorce­ment and of single life, to vers. 13. Blesseth young children, to vers. 15. Sheweth the impos­sibility of justification by works, to vers. 26. And the disciples blessednesse to the end.

Ver. 1. ANd it came to pass, that when Iesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Iudea, beyond Iordan.

2. And great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there.

CHrist returneth to Judea in his own time, to help such as he had a mind unto. Doct. The sick and diseased, and such as find need of Christ, wil seek after him; Such are his train who follow him, and who wil find relief in him; for, He healed them all who came.

Ver. 3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawfull for a man to put away his wife for every cause?

4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them both male and female?

5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mo­ther, [Page 218] and shall cleave to his wife: and they twaine shall be one flesh.

6. Wherfore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therfore God hath joyned together, let no man put asunder.

Christs enemies move the question about divorcement, to make him odious either to men or women, howsoever he should answer. Hence learn, 1. Whithersoever Christ went, as he had disciples, so he had adversaries, who did ever seek to make him odious to the people, that his doctrin should be the less fruitful: here are cavillers, asking, Is it lawfull, &c. 2. Ignorance of Scripture is the cause of error, and of idle questions; for, Have ye not read? saith Christ. 3. To come to the institution of any Ordinance of God, is the way to correct the abuses of it, as here in the matter of marriage, Christ goeth to the first institution of marriage, saying, He which made them. 4. Marriage of one man with one woman and no moe at once, is Gods ordinance, foun­ded upon the creation of the first couple, for he made them on­ly One male, and one female. To the end that this Matrimonial love might be incommunicable to any other, and indissolvable one from another; for, They two shall be one flesh. 5. The band of Man and Wife for mutuall society, is more intire then of Pa­rents and children; Yea, it is a sort of unity, so that man and wife become As one flesh; for in regard of mutual affection and agreement, for the mutuall welfare one of another, They are no more two, but one flesh. 6. Where God doth not give warrant to loose marriage, neither consent of parties, nor any humane au­thority can lawfully loose; for, What God hath joyned, let no man put asunder.

Ver. 7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?

8. He saith unto them, Moses, because of the hardnesse of your hearts, suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not s [...]

9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and who so marrieth her which is put away, doth commit adul­tery.

The Pharisees do object the bill of divorcement, and Christ sheweth that this doth not free any man from sin, who (except in the case of adultery (shall put away his wife. Hence learn, 1. That Patrons of error wil wrest Scripture, and set it in opposi­tion to truth; for, Why did Moses? &c. say the Pharisees. 2. [Page 219] Moses Ordinance about the bill of divorcement, was no allow­ance of the divorcement, but a judicial or civill law, providing for the credit and safety of the honest woman: for the sum of it was, I find no fault with this woman, only I cannot love her, so shee was clear, and this civill permission did deliver the man from civil punishment only, but not from sin: therfore saith he, Moses suffered you. 2. The civill punishment was spared, and the bill of divorcement permitted for the hardnesse of the mans heart, who if he should not have been suffered to put away his wife, would have some way taken away her life; for, Moses suffered you for the hardnesse of your heart. 4. This permission was but temporary, and for a time; but the first and ancient institution of marriage behoved to be the rule wherby to cor­rect abuses crept in; therfore saith he, From the beginning it was not so. 5. Marriage is loosed by adultery, and the inno­cent party is free; for he doth make exception of fornication, as a cause making the party injured to be free to put away the Adultresse. 6. And in case the unlawfully divorced party be married to another, it is Adultery; for so doth Christ pro­nounce.

Ver. 10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.

The disciples think this doctrine hard, for in case divorce­ment were not lawful, they say it were better not to marry, then to be so straightly bound in marriage: in whom we see, 1. How impatient our nature is of all restraint, and how much we love to be at liberty, even from the bands of God; for, If so it be, it is not good to marry, say they. 2. Suddain resolutions and sen­tences are readily full of folly: for here the disciples neither do look unto their own strength, or rather inability to live in a single life, nor do they consider the incommodities of an un­married life, nor the commodities of marriage, where God giveth a blessing.

Ver. 11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this say­ing, save they to whom it is given.

12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mothers womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be some eunuchs which made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of heavens sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Our Lords answer is to this meaning: Every man is not able to receive this saying of yours, that is, To live without marriage [Page 220] lawfully, except either he be an Eunuch by nature, born impo­tent, unfit for marriage; or an Eunuch by Art of man, gelded; or an Eunuch by grace, to whom God hath given power over all his natural affections, and the gift of continency to live unmar­ried, for this end, that he may be so helped more constantly and without diversion, to go on toward the Kingdom of Heaven. Hence learn, that no man ought to despise or rashly reject mar­riage, it being Gods Ordinance, and a mean to keep from for­nication; for all men cannot receive this saying of, Better not marry, &c. 2. If any man be freed of the necessity of mar­riage, he ought to imploy himself so much the more for the kingdom of God; else the gift is to small use, for he that is a­ble to live unmarried, and to receive the disciples saying, he to whom this gift is given, must be as an Eunuch unto the Kingdom of God.

Ver. 13. Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray; and the disciples rebuked them.

Some desired Christ to blesse their yong children, and to this end do present them unto him. Doct. 1. Albeit little children understand not the mysteries of Christ, yet it is lawful and commendable to beleeving parents to consecrate their children to Christ, and to seek his blessing, with the externall signs and seals of the blessing of them; for here, They brought unto him lit­tle children, that he should lay his hands on them, and pray. 2. Car­nal wisdom is not fit to judg of the extent of Christ his grace, not what persons are priviledged to come unto him: for here in the disciples, it is carnal wisdom, to thrust away children offered unto Christ.

Ver. 14. But Iesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not to come unto me for of such is the Kingdom of heaven.

15. And he laid his hands on them, and departed [...].

Christ admitteth the children, and reproveth the Disciples for debarring them. Hence learn, 1. That Christ will not exclude the young children of Beleevers, being offered unto him; for Christ said, Suffer little children to come unto me. 2. Albeit little children know not what to ask; or what is done unto them, yet can Christ give both his blessing, and the signes thereof to them; the ignorance of little children did not exclude them from the Sacrament of Circumcision, nor these children from imposition of Christs hands, in sign of a speciall blessing. Neither must this exception of childrens [Page 221] ignorance exclude our children from Baptism; for this holdeth still, Suffer them to come unto me. 3. Seeing little children of Be­leevers are neither excluded from the Kingdome of Heaven in this earth, that is, from being members of the visible church; nor are they secluded from the Kingdome of Heaven which is above; therfore are they not excluded from receiving the signs and seales of the Right and Entry to such grace, namely the seal of the covenant, Baptism; for it is said, Of such is the king­dom of heaven. 4. If Christ did esteem it a sufficient reason, why not only these little children, but also why in generall, little Children should be admitted to the signes of his bles­sing, because, Of such is the kingdom of heaven; then, who is he who after he hath heard the Disciples reproved for debar­ring of such; dare debarre any such from the first signe of entry into Christs Kingdome? for Christ hath said, by way of reason-giving for their admission, Of such is the Kingdome of heaven, and He laid his hands on these, for example.

Verse 16. And behold one came, and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternall life?

Here cometh a young man, very holy in his own estima­tion, and hopeth to be approved of Christ. In the example of this Youth, observe, 1. That a naturall man may per­ceive that true happinesse is not in riches, but in eternall life; for this rich Youth having riches for this life, seeketh Life eternall. &▪ A naturall man may have a desire of Heaven, for so hath this Youth, That he may have life. 3. The na­turall man is utterly ignorant of justification by faith in Christ, and inclined to seek justification by works; for he saith, What good thing shall I do, that I may have eternall life? 4. The naturall man presumeth on his own strength, as able to do whatsoever good work can be prescribed unto him; for, What shal I do? saith he. 5. A natural man may seem to have a good estimation of Christ, and call him Good Master, and make fair offers to serve God, and follow the commands of Christ, and yet he found void of all reall truth herein, which to himselfe and others he seemeth to have, as in this man is found.

Ver. 17. And he said unto him, Why calle [...] thou me good? there is none good but one, that is God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the Commandements.

[Page 222]18. He saith unto him, Which? Iesus said, Thou shalt do no mur­der, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witnesse.

19. Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self.

In Christs answer learn, 1. That Christ loveth no comple­ments of fair words which proceed not from sound faith, and love to him; therfore saith he, Why callest thou me good? 2. Christ wil be known to be God by them who come unto him, or else they cannot worship him aright; for the reproof being fitted to allay the young mans high estimation of himself, (who could not speak a right word) doth import this much: Give me not divine attributes, seeing thou takest me not to be God; or give me not fairer words then thy judgment and affection do allow. 3. In proper speech, only God is good, by whom alone a man must be made good, made to do good, and made to receive good; for there is One good, even God. 4. Such as seek justification and eternall life by works, must be taught, that to keepe the whole Law in all points without the least sin, is the only way to heaven by works, (which way to every man now polluted with sin, is impossible): There is no better way to humble a proud Pharisee, then to teach him soundly the mind of the law; Therfore saith Christ, If thou wouldst enter into life, keep the Commands. 5. The precepts of the second Table, wherein Pharisees conceive themselves most perfect, are a sufficient touchstone, whereby to try their unfruitfulnesse, and imperfe­ction; therfore Christ names only the Commands of the se­cond Table.

Ver. 20. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?

From this impudently false answer, learn, 1. That the natural man knows not the Laws meaning rightly, but conceiveth of it as if it did command some externall duties only, and did forbid only some of the grossest sins, and did not reach unto the utmost branch of every duty, and sin in the inner man, no lesss then in the outward Acts: Therfore saith this ignorant, All these have I kept. 2. A short exposition of the Law, makes a large opinion of righteousnes & keeping of the Law; Therfore saith he, All these have I kept from my youth up. 3. All the righteousnesse that a natural man can conceive himself to have attained unto, will not give true quietnesse to his conscience, for this youth for all this is asking, What lack I yet?

[Page 223] Ver. 21. Iesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

In Christs answer, observe, 1. That Christ will put the men, who have a high estimation of themselves, unto speciall tryalls, that their inabilities may be openly known; as here, If thou wilt be perfect, go sell all. 2. Every man is bound to bestow, as God directeth, all which God hath given unto him: goods, lands and life, when he is called by God unto it: And therfore Christ giveth not here a simple counsell to this man, but a speciall command to renounce the love of riches, which was his idol, and to bestow his goods as he was commanded, and that upon promise of more durable riches in Heaven, that so he may make the man who would appear perfect, to be seen a grosse worshipper of Mammon; for, Sell, and give to the poor, is a particular and expresse command given to this man. 3. Presuppose a man upon a speciall command sold all, and distributed all to the poor, as was commanded to this man, yet unto the perfecting of him there will be requi­red more, to wit, that he should be a follower of Christ, enter himselfe Christs Disciple, deny himselfe, take up his crosse, and follow Christ, that so he might have righteousnesse and life eternall by him alone; for it is here written, If thou wilt be perfect, not only sell all, &c. but also, and come and follow me.

Ver. 22. But when the yong man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

The young man had no will of this blessed bargain, but goeth away sorrowfull. In the example learn, 1. How tri­alls do bring men forth to the light, and make them manifest what they are, as here this youth, He went away now. 2. A man wedded to the love of this world, will renounce Christ and his Commands rather then the world, when it cometh to a proofe, especially if he be a great man in the world; therefore it is marked, That hee had great pos­sessions. 3. A natural man may be sorrowful when he cannot with Heaven in his own way; when he cannot get Heaven, and his own wil in this world also; for it is said, He went away sor­rowful.

Ver. 23. Then said Iesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shal hardly enter into the Kingdom of Hea­ven:

[Page 224]24. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a camell to go through the eye of a needle, then for a rich man to enter into the kingdome of God.

25. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who can then be saved?

26. But Iesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Upon this mans departure, Christ teacheth his disciples wholesome lessons; wherin learn, 1. That Christ edifieth his church upon all occasions, whether men joyn themselves to him or separate from him, as here. 2. It is as impossible to have riches and not to trust in them, not to be insnared and hindred from heaven by them, as for a camel or cables sow, to go through a needles eye, by reason of the naturall corruption which i [...] in man, ready to intangle and drown the mans mind, and his time, and affections in the world, and cares and pleasures of it; Therfore saith Christ, A rich man shall hardly enter in the Kingdome of heaven. 3. Whatsoever difficulties be told us of in the way to heaven, they serve onely to make us despaire of our own strength and abilities, and to flee in unto God, to whom nothing is impossible, for he can [...]o loose the heart of a man from the world, as riches shall be no impediment to hinder him from Heaven, and whatsoever else [...] impossible to us, he can make it possible and bring it to passe; for, To God all things [...] possible.

Ver. 27. Then answered Peter, and sa [...]d unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed thee; what shall we have there­fore?

28. And Iesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, th [...] ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of man shal sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shal sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or Brethren, or Si­sters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name sake, shall receive an hundred fold, and shall inherit ever­lasting life.

Here upon occasion Christ sheweth the felicity of his fait­full disciples. In Peters question, Learn, 1. Albeit it be little that we suffer for Christ, yet we think much of it, for Peters worldly case in following Christ was little worse [...]hen when he traded onely in the fishing, notwithstanding he thus speaketh, saying, We have for saken al, as if it had been some great matter. [Page 225] 2. Howsoever it be not worthy to speak of, what we do or suf­fer for Christ, yet the least thing done in sincerity, is not de­spised by Christ, but highly esteemed, and richly rewarded [...] for Christ promiseth a reward. 3. Christ doth not narrowly mark the infirmities of his own, but doth cherish the smallest beginnings, and formenteth the smoaking flax, as here may be seen in his answer to Peter; albeit Peters speech smell of pride, yet he paseth it over, saying, Verily I say unto you, &c. 4. Al­though Christ doth not always answer his peoples expectation, by giving them the very thing which they look for, yet he will not fail to give them a better thing; as here the Apostles dream­ed of an earthly Kingdom, and of earthly honours to be given unto Christ and themselves; this he will not give them, but he leadeth them higher, shewing them, that what they loved to have in this life, should be given them in substance, and in a more eminent way in the life to come; to wit, a Kingdome to each of them, which should be satisfactory unto them; and that, in stead of the Kingdom which they did affect over the twelve Tribes of Israel, in their earthly conceit of his King­dom, saying, Ye shall sit upon Thrones. 5. The day of judg­ment shall be a sort of regeneration, wherein our bodies and souls shall be renewed perfectly for glory, and immortality [...] Therfore Christ calleth tha [...] [...], in the regeneration. 6. At that day Christ, even in his humane nature, shall be seen to reign in glory sutable to his divine Majesty [...] for He shall sit on the Throne of his glory.

7. Such as follow Christ, must resolve for Christs sake to be deprived of what is dear unto them in this life, if he shal be plea­sed to put them to triall, that is imported in, Every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren. 8. What men do lose for Christ, shall breed them gain, a hundred fold even in this life: be­cause the comforts and priviledges of Christs Kingdome are a hundred fold better then any thing they can be deprived of for the Gospels cause; for saith he, They shall receive an hundred fold. 9. Beside what spirituall gain is gotten in this life to such as suffer for the Gospel, life eternall is also given for an inheritance in the world to come, which is able to make up all losses sustained for Christ; for it is said, And they shall inherit eternall life.

Ver. 30. But many that he first, shal be last; and the last shall be first.

Howsoever Christ esteem much of what his servants do [Page 226] suffer for him, yet he giveth advertisement to Peter and the rest, & in them to al men, that they should not conceit of any merit in their sufferings, or worth in any other specious excellency, but to study rather to be humble and sincere; because at the time of Gods reckoning, many who in their own eyes, and be­fore men were first, should be found to be last; that is, of no e­steem with God: and such as in their own eyes, and in the eyes of the world seemed nothing, should be with God in prime esti­mation: many who in the conceit of their own merit were first, in the reward should be last, and of no account; and many who in the opinion of the merit were last, and worthy of nothing, should be first in the reward; this is imported in saying, But ma­ny that are first shall be last, &c.


Christ sheweth in a parable how many that are last shall be first, to ver. 16. Forewarneth his disciples of his sufferings, to ver. 20. Dischargeth prelacie a­mong them, ver. 29. And healeth two blind men.

Ver. 1. FOr the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an housholder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.

2. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a peny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.

3. And he went about the third hour, and saw others standing i­dle in the market-place,

4. And said unto them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatso­ever is right, I wil give you. And they went their way.

5. Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise.

6. And about the Eleventh hour, he went out and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle?

7. They say unto him, Because no man hath hired us. He saith un­to them, Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.

8. So when even was come, the Lord of the vineyard saith unto [Page 227] his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last to the first.

9. And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a peny.

10. But when she first came, they supposed that they should have received more, and they likewise received every man a peny.

11. And when they had received it, they murmured against the good man of the house,

12. Saying, these last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equall unto us, which have born the burden and heat of the day.

13. But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a peny.

14. Take that thine is, and go thy way, I wil give unto this last, even as unto thee.

15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I wil with mine own? i [...] thine eye evil because I am good?

16. So the last shal be first, and the first shal be last: for many be called, but few chosen.

THe scope of the parable is, to shew, that such as conceit of the merit of their works, are of no estimation with G [...]d, who giveth eternal life of Free grace, and not of merit. The pa­rable is propounded, to ver. 16. And applyed to the purpose or scope, ver. 16. To this intent, as in the vineyard all these labou­rers who esteemed much of their own labour, notwithstanding they had wrought longer then others, yet were last taken notice of, least esteemed of, and disappointed of their expectation, and rebuked as adversaries to Free grace: but such as had no confi­dence in their own working, were first rewarded, and liberally dealt with. So is it in the visible church, (which is the vineyard of the Lord) such as esteem most of their own works, merits & sufferings, shall be least esteemed of by God: but such as have no confidence in their own works, shal be first taken notice of, and most liberally dealt with; Thus the last shall be first, and the first shall be last. A reason whereof is given from the paucity of the Elect, in comparison of the greater number of these who are externally called, but not elect; Herein giving us to understand, that it is grace to be imployed in any service or suffering for Christ with any sincerity; and it is grace to have a low estimation of our selves, and of whatsoever we do or [Page 228] suffer for the Gospel; as also to have our persons and works ac­ceptable to God, and graciously rewarded with eternal life; it doth flow altogether from Gods grace, & free love, electing such a one unto holiness & blessednes, and not from any good thing in the person; And here let us remember, that neither simili­tude nor parable are to be followed further then the scope and intention of the speaker: true it is, that many witty similitudes may be made here, to represent Gods care of his church, men [...] duty in serving God in their callings, Gods incouraging men to work, by setting before them a reward, Gods calling of some men in their youth, some in their old days, the distributing to every man the reward of his work after this life is ended, and such like; but these doctrines are not soundly grounded on this, place, wherein the scope only is to be the rule of the exposition [...] wherfore if a man once depart, he may easilyfal, not only in im­pertinent questions, but also in perilous conceptions, and such as are contrary to the scope: for if the [...] Penny be the reward; and the reward be eternall life; if the penny be made Hire, or due by debt, and all the workers do get the Penny, then by this parable all shall be saved, and all shall be saved by merit of their work; then all shall be equall in the gift of eternall life, which they make the Penny of reward, and so none shall be first or last; and none shall be workers in the vineyard or visible Church but Elect only: and so the parable shall be close everted, and tur­ned to be contrary to the scope, expresly declared in the text. Thus much may suffice for advertisement to be sober in the exposition not only of this, but of al other parables, that nothing be a ground to build upon, save what the Lord the Speaker in­tendeth as his scope.

Ver. 17. And Iesus going up to Ierusalem, took the twelve di­sciples apart in the way, and said unto them,

18. Behold, we go up to Ierusalem, and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief Priests, and unto the Scribes, and they shall condemn him to death.

19. And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge, and to crucifie him, and third the day he shall rise a­gain.

In Christ his forewarning the Disciples of his sufferings, & that in the way that he went the last time to Jerusalem: Learn, 1. How necessary it is that the doctrine of the crosse be often inculcated, that being provided for before, it may trouble us lesse when it shall come; for this is it which in sundry [Page 229] times before Christ had told them. 2. The often foretelling of our Lords passion, doth serve to confirme us of the reso­lute willingnesse of the Redeemer to suffer for us; for he knew all that he was to suffer, and was never dashed. 3. It is ne­cessary that we never separate the consideration of the crosse from the issue, nor Christs death from his resurrection, which followed, lest we be overcome and stumble at the crosse; for Christ doth alwayes joyn the mentioning of both to­gether.

Ver. 20. Then came to him the mother of Zebedees children, with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.

21. And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left in thy Kingdom.

Concerning the requ [...]st made to Christ for preferment of the two Apostles, James, and John: Learn, 1. How hard a thing it is to be rid of the love of this world, and of pleasa [...]t dreames about it; for still the Apostles and their friends did dream of an earthly Kingdom of Christ, and of worldly ho­nour unto his servants, notwithstanding Christ did so often tell them the contrary, [...]and did study to prepare them for the crosse rather, in this world. 2. How necessary it is for all men to watch over their hearts, that the love of the honour of this world creep not in upon them, when occasion of a Bait doth offer; for in hope of prevailing by their mothers mony, these two chiefe Apostles are thus tickled and intangled with a vain and corrupt lust. 3. What means and mony men will im­ploy, to gain any earthly thing which they love; the mother for her naturall bands with Christ, must be set on to make suit; a preface must be made in general in her speech to oblige Christ for fear of refuse, if the particular should first have been pro­pounded; I desire a certain thing of thee, saith she, Grant that these my sons, &c.

Ver. 22. But Iesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be bap­ptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.

From Christs answer, learn, 1. That when the Mini­sters of the Gospel hunt for high places in the world, they wo [...] not what they are doing, nor how foolish they are in so doing; as Christ saith here, Ye know not what ye ask. 2. The Pre­fer [...] [Page 230] ferment and Kingdome which we should affect, is in an o­ther world, and we must prepare us for the crosse with Christ, ere we come to the Kngdome with him: Are ye able to drinke of the cup that I shall drinke off? 3. From the two disciples undertaking, learn, that men least acquainted with the crosse, are most confident undertakers; for they say, We are able.

Verse 23. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptisme that I am bapti­zed with: but to sit on my right hand and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Christ putteth them in mind of suffering, rather then reign­ing, and of suffering in this world, ere they could reign in the world to come. Hence learn, 1. Such as suffer for Christ, suffer no other thing but such as Christ did suffer also; for, Ye shall drink, saith he, of my cup. 2. A certain measure of affliction was fitted and measured out for Christ and his fol­lowers, which Christ esteemed to be but light, and of most short indurance; to wit, A cup soon drunk out, a douk, a dipping, or a sprinkling with affliction, A Baptism, as the originall doth import. 3. To appoint what degrees every Beleever shall have in Glory, in comparison one of another, or who shall have lesse, who more, is no part of the commissi­on given to Christ, when he was sent into the world; it apper­taineth not unto Christ. Againe, It is not his without the Father, as the petitioner conceived: It is not mine to give: As likewise speaking as a man, more sib to one than to ano­ther, as here, he was looked on, or as if at his own pleasure, for gratifying of friends, he might distribute degrees of Glory in Heaven; in this sense also he saith, It is not mine to give, save to these, &c. 4. There shall be degrees of Glory in Heaven, comparable to sitting on the right hand to some, and on the left hand to others; for our Lord denyeth not this, but insinuateth it in manner of his answer. 5. These degrees of Glory shall not be distributed with respect unto mens works or deservings; or unto any thing in the persons to be glorified, but meerly according to the good pleasure of God, and his decree, preparing and predetermining what shal be every mans' measure; for, It shall be given to them for whom it is prepared, saith he: and in this sort of distribution, Christ [...] denyeth not, but it belonged unto him, as one in substance, and [Page 231] Government with the Father, to give decrees of Glory; for the Originall is, It is not mine to give, save to them for whom it is pre­pared of my Father.

Ver. 24. And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indig­nation against the two brethren.

The rest of the Apostles were no lesse ambitious then these were in this particular, yet are they angry at these two. Doct. Men will be angry at others for a fault whereof they themselves are guilty, and nothing grieved for it in their own person; as the ten were moved with indignation, when they heard this, and yet were neither free of the same fault themselves, nor grieved for it; so diversly is sin shaped in our own person, and in o­thers.

Verse 25. But Iesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion o­ver them, and they that are great, exercise authority upon them.

26. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your Minister.

27. And whosoever will be chiefe among you, let him be your servant.

Our Lord taketh occasion from this, to beat down, and root out this wicked weed of prelacy: This strife for State and Ma­jority of Power was reproved before, and yet it is not amended. Doct. 1 Hard is it to root out the seed of a beloved sin, espe­cially the root of prelaticall ambition; it cannot be drawn out, till it be repented, for it is hard to put it out of the A­postles hearts. 2. Our Lord did esteem it a fit means to cut off strife, to take away all domination in the church, and all Majority of Power among the men of one office in his house: for where there is no higher place, where there is no great pow­to one then to another, there all strife for the place of more power doth cease; It shall not be so among you, saith Christ. 3. The Lord alloweth domination, and Principality, and Grea­nesse, and exercising of authority in the civill State, but will not allow it among the Ministers of the Gospel; for having granted domination to civill Governours, he excludeth church-men from it, saying, But it shall not be so among you. 4. It is not the abuse of Majority of Power, which our Lord forbiddeth his Ministers, but simply and absolute­ly he dischargeth All Majority of power, all Greatness of Iu­risdiction of one over the rest, and doth curb the very wishes [Page 232] and will of being great among their Fellow-Ministers, speak­ing to every one of his Ministers, saying, Whosoever will be great among you. 5. So far must the Apostles and Ministers of the Gospel be from affecting State, and Majority of Pow­er over the rest, that as they would please our Lord, they must set themselves to serve the rest of their Brethren, and to promove the worke of Christ each in others hands, by main­taining the credit each of others Ministery; for he saith, Let him be your Minister, or Servant. 6. Not only doth our Lord discharge all majority of Power among the Apostles, and in their persons among the Preachers of the Gospel, but also all stately Primacy, or Dignitary Priority: All Chiefness, albeit without jurisdiction, such as is constant and unchange­able Precedency in Assemblies; and therefore he prescribed the curbing of this inclination, by injoyning the study of submission mutuall, and each man serving of the rest, for the furtherance of the common work; for, Let him be your ser­vant, importeth this. 3. If this command do not prevail with the ambitious party, but he must needs bring forth his ambitious desires, then the rest of the Ministers are warranted to dimi­nish of that mans estimation, and to account the lesse of him, by so much as he is ambitiously inclined to a principality, and majority over the rest; for so doth the words beare, Let him be your Servant, that is, Let him be so esteemed of, and no more.

Verse 28. Even as the Son of man came not to be ministred unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransome for ma­ny.

Our Lord doth clear his Doctrine by his own example, shewing them how he humbled himselfe for the publick good. Doct. 1. The example of our Lords humiliation of himselfe serveth to curb all ambition in his Ministers, and if it prevaile not, shall bear witness against them; for, Even the Son of Man, saith he, came not to be ministred unto. 2. Christ in his first com­ing, came not to take up an earthly dominion, or a stately preheminence, as his Disciples imagined, but came in the shape and state of a servant, and behaved himself so, as he was ready for the good of his Disciples to wash their feet; for he came not to reign in a worldly manner, but to serve in the externall Ministery of the Gospell; He came, saith he, to minister. 3. Ministers should not onely quit prelacy for the good of the Church, but their life also, if need bet, for [Page 233] Christ out of the Love to mens Salvation, not onely em­ptied himselfe of Stately Dominion, but also emptied him­selfe of Liberty and Life, And gave himselfe a ransom for many.

Ver. 29. And as they departed from Iericho, a great multitude followed him.

30. And behold two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Iesus passed by, cryed out, saying, have mercy on us, O Lord, thou son of David.

Among these that countenance Christ, and follow him from Jericho, two are marked. Doct. 1. Of all the multi­tude of Christs followers these are the most remarkable per­sons, who give unto Christ most imployment, and draw most vertue by faith out of him: therefore above all, These two blind men are specially here noted. 2. It is wisdom to seek of God the greatest things, whatsoever else we need; for these men are not so curious for Alms of Mony, albeit they were Beggers, as to have the benefit of the Mediators mercy, Have mercy on us, say they. 3. Whosoever crave any benefit by Christ, must be cleare in this point, that Christ is the promised Messi­ah? for, Son of David is their great argument. 4. We must beleeve his power and love as God incarnate, able and willing to save us; for so do they, saying, O Lord, thou Son of David.

Ver. 31. And the multitude rebuked them, because they should hold their peace: but they cryed the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.

From the discouragement off [...]red unto them: Learne, 1. It is no new thing that such as in appearance are following Christ, do hinder these who are following him in ea [...]est; for, The multitude rebuked these poor men, and will have them to hold their peace. 2. But it is wisdom for such as beleeve in Christ, the more they are opposed, the more to seek him, and to take no answer from any, but from himselfe: for so doth these blind men, who do not forsake their petition, till it be gran­ted.

Ver. 32. And Iesus stood stil, and called them, and said, What wil ye that I shal do unto you?

33. They say unto him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened.

34. So Iesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes, and immediately their eyes received sight: and they followed him.

[Page 234]Christ heareth them, and falleth in conference with them. Doct. 1. Christ taketh notice of such suppliants as the multitude doth despise. He standeth still to hear these blind mens suit. 2. Where there is Faith and Sincerity, the Lord will draw it forth to open view for his owne glory, and the good of the Be­liever, therfore, He asketh what they would have; that it might be known that they did not seek money, but the fruit of his divine power. 3. When misery is laid forth in faith before Christ, he meeteth it with compassion, as here in these blind men, for he is a compassionate high priest. 4. It is easie for Christ to do e­very greatest work, as here to open the eyes of the blind, and to give sight to them; for, He touched their eyes, and they immediately received sight. 5. It is reason that what gift we get of Christ, we imploy it for his honour; for, Their eyes received sight, and they followed him.


Christ rideth to Jerusalem, to vers. 12. Casteth out the buyers and sellers out of the temple, to ve. 18. Curseth the fig tree. vers. 22. Defendeth his own authority against the Pharisees challenge. ver. 28. And in two parables setteth down their sin, and Gods judgement in rejecting of them.

Ver. 1. ANd when they drew nigh unto Ierusalem, and were come to Bethpage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Iesus two disciples,

2. Saying unto them, Go into the villages over against you, and straightway ye shall find an asse tyed, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them unto me.

3. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them.

IN this Christ's last voyage to Jerusalem, Observe, 1. That Christ being resolved to lay down his life, the more near he draweth to his suffering, the more doth he reveal himself to be [Page 235] the promised Messiah, in whom the promises were accomplished; Therfore he wil now go riding into Ierusalem. 2. Again lest the nature of his kingdom should be mistaken, he wil give evidence in his poverty, that his kingdome is not of this world; Therfore he will borrow an asse to ride on. 3. He hath right to whatsoever he liketh to make use of, as he sheweth in commanding the disciples, To loose the asse and her colt, and to bring them to him. 4. His knowledge doth reach to the observation of the meanest things, and doth take notice of Asses and their colts, and their bindings and loosings. 5. Whatsoever impediment can occur to any of his servants in their course of obedience unto him, he doth foresee it, and doth provide for the removing therof; as here, If any say ought unto you, &c. 6. He knoweth the master of the Asse will be within, and what he wil say, and foretelleth how he shall dispose of his will, and move him without any more to let them go; for the hearts of kings and country-men are in his hand: and thus he letteth his disciples see a glimpse of his God▪ head, saying, Straightway he send them. 7. Albeit he be Lord of all, yet will he make use of what his friends have with their own consent, so that they may be reasonable servants, with good will bestowing what he calleth for; Therfore saith he, Straightway he will send them. 8. He is not ashamed to pro­fesse himselfe Lord and Master, and yet to be so far emptied, as to have need of the service of an Asse; Say, saith he, the Lord hath need of them.

Ver. 4. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet, saying,

5. Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an asse, and a colt the foal of an asse.

6. And the disciples went, and did as Iesus commanded them.

The Evangelist maketh this observation on this passage: Whence learn, 1. Our Lord will see to the performance of all things written of him. He is the promise maker, and the perfor­mer also: Therfore it is said, This was done that it might be ful­filled, &c. 2. It is not our deserving, but Gods purpose and promise, which is the cause of our Lords gracious carriage to­ward the world; for now he is to be killed in Jerusalem, yet will he ride in as king, to accomplish promises made to the Kirk, by the Prophet Zachary. It is sufficient to observe the sense of a Scripture quoted, for the Scripture stands not in letters or in [Page 236] syllables, but in sense of words compare this with Zach. 9.9.4. It is the matter of the Kirks joy and gladnesse, to know of Christ, and of his coming to his people; whatsoever be their griefe, this is sufficient to be their comfort: Therfore said the Spirit for comfort, Tell the daughter of Zion. 5. It matters not how the world fare, it is the daughter of Zion, the company of the Blest and Beleevers in Jesus whose comfort God doth respect; Therfore it is said, Tel the daughter of Zion. 6. Not onely the dull multitude, but even the Daughter of Zion is a­sleep unto the gracious tydings of the Gospel, and hath need to be stirred up, by, a Behold, to observe the Messiah come, Therefore saith he, Behold thy king. 7. Our Lord is a King, how lowly soever he look, yea, Lord of Lords, and King of Kings: for he saith, Thy King cometh. 8. The church hath a speciall interest in Christ, as King, and he hath interest in his church, as his own peculiar Subjects, for whose good he governeth all the matters of the world; for it is said, Thy King cometh unto thee. 9. This is the glory of his crown, that he is so gentle and mercifull to us, as he will not forsake the work of our Redemption, neither for our mis-deservings and provocations, nor for the injuries done to him by his ad­versaries for our cause; for, He is meek. 10. The manner of his Kingdome is spirituall, not after the pompe of this world, sitting upon no stately hotse, but on an asse colt, so as the poo­rest of his subjects should not be deterred or debarred from ac­cesse to him.

Ver. 7. And brought the asse, and the colt, and put on them their cloaths, and they set him theron.

The disciples obedience and success is observed: Hence learn, 1. When we have a clear call, ready obedience is our part, without troubling our selves what may be the successe; for, The disciples went and did as he commanded them. 2. It is our pa [...]t to honour Christ, so farre as we can, and to lay aside our ornaments to glorifie him; for, They put their cloathes on the asse and the colt. 3. Christ contenteth himself for any state which is to keep in his Kingdom here on earth, with what his disciples can furnish him, as here; for, They set him theron, and so he rode.

Ver. 8. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way, others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

The people are moved, and do honour unto Christ. Do [...] [Page 237] How base soever our Lords kingdom may seem unto specta­tors, yet he can bring to himself Subjects how many he plea­eth, and so purchase himself glory, not only before a spiritual eye, but also in the sight of the world; for here, great multitudes spread their garments in the way. 2. It is every mans part to ho­nour our Lord, and set forward his kingdome as they are in­abled, some one way, some another; for here, Some spread their garments, others cut down branches of trees, and strawed them in the way.

Vers. 9. And the multitudes that went before, and that fol­lowed, cryed saying, Hosanna to the son of David: bles­sed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord, Hosanna in the highest.

They take in their mouths words of the Psal. 118. where it is prophecied of the coming of Christ, to shew himself king. Doct. 1. The Lord can open the eyes of whomsoever he will, to see his glory, and to give him honour, as the true King of Israel, and to perceive the predictions of prophecies to be accomplished in him; for here, The people cryed, Hosanna. 2. The meaner sort of people, are usually they whom the Lord chooseth to set forth his glory, and to be Trumpeters of his praise: as here, The multitudes go before, and follow after. 3. When such as should know Christ, and honour him, do it not, God can raise up others to glorifie him: The church-men here mis-regard Christ, and God stirreth up the multitudes to confesse him. 4. When it pleaseth Christ to shew his kingly power, he can make the mea­nest of his subjects to avow him, and set forth his glory, even in the faces of his raging enemies: for here (without fear of the corrupt church-mens excommunication) the people make joyfull acclamation to his honour, they pray for the prospering of his Kingdome, and professe, that salvation is the fruit ther­of, for Hosanna in the Hebrew signifieth, Give now Salvation, we pray: They do acknowledge Christ to be the promised Messiah, The son of David, to be sent of God, and in his name into the world, to be the Blessed, and the Fountain of Blessing to his subjects, saying, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Ver. 10. And when he was come into Ierusalem, al the city was moved, saying, Who is this?

Thus he entreth openly, in State, into Jerusalem: Hence learn, 1. When it pleaseth Christ to take unto him his king­dome, he will avow himselfe king in the midst of his enemies; [Page 238] as now he rideth in this glory into Jerusalem. 2. Where greatest shew of Religion is, it is no new thing to see Christ to be least known; for, Who is this? say they. 3. Where he hath a mind to honour himselfe in suffering, he will shew himselfe so evidently, as he may be taken notice of by his enemies, as here, All the city is moved, saying, Who is this?

Ver. 11. And the multitude said, This is Iesus the Prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.

The multitude describeth Christ rudely, as he was common­ly talked of. Doct. As men do know Christ, so do they speak of him, and according to the measure of their knowledge should they bear witnesse of him; for this was the clearest description of him which the multitude could give, This is Iesus, the Pro­phet of Nazareth, say they.

Ver. 12. And Iesus went into the Temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the money-changers, and the seats of them that sold doves.

Christ sheweth himself King in purging of his Temple, Doct. 1. It is the work of King Jesus to take notice of Religion, and [...]o purge it where he mindeth to reign: Therefore, He went into the Temple of God, to purge it. 2. Horrible abuses may creep in into the place of Gods Service, while men under pre­tence of furthering Religion, do follow courses for their own gain; as here, Mercat and Money-changing are set up in the place where Religion onely was to be exercised. 3. In this extraordinary way of reformation of his Temple, he sheweth himselfe to be God, able to compasse the most difficile works, by what means he pleaseth, and to terrifie his adversaries. 4. Outward abuses, albeit not so great as inward, yet may they be begun at in reformation, as here Christ doth.

Vers. 13. And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer, but ye have made a den of theeves.

He giveth a reason of his doing, from Scripture. Doct. 1, Reformation of Religion is to be done according to Scrip­ture, by reducing abused ordinances unto their first institu­tion; for, It is written, saith he. 2. All the Ceremoniall Service appointed at the Temple was subservient to the Morall and Spirituall Duties; for it is said, My House shall be called a House of Prayer. 3. All the worship of God may be com­prised in Prayer, as it comprehendeth praises and thanksgi­ving, [Page 239] because the end of Ordinances is to make men know how to carry themselves towards God in prayses and prayer; Therefore, saith he, My House shall be called the House of Prayer. 4. Vilest sins seeke shelter under the pretext of Religion, and there thinke to lurke; There­fore, this is the Challenge, Ye have made my House, a den of theeves.

Ver. 14. And the blinde and the lame came to him in the Tem­ple, and he healed them.

When wicked men are scourged forth, blind and lame come and are healed. Doct. How harshly soever our Lord carry himselfe towards hypocrites, and abusers of Religion, yet will he deal graciously with the poor and needy, who call for his helpe; for here, The blinde and lame come and are healed in the Temple; when Buyers and Sellers are scourged out of that place.

Ver. 15. And when the chiefe Priests and Scribes saw the wonderfull things that he did, and the children crying in the Temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David; they were sore displeased,

Vers. 16. And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Iesus saith unto them, Yea, have ye never ready Out of the mouth of Babes and Sucklings thou hast perfected praise?

This Glory of Christ grieveth his enemies. Doct. 1. Christs enemies are never more incensed, and malicious against him, then when he is most honoured, and doth shew his Divine Pow­er most; therefore now The Scribes and Pharisees are displeased. 2. Wicked hypocrites are so blind, that they do see nothing of the beauty of God, but only seek, and finde out matter to carp at: Therefore, They are displeased, and say, Hearest thou, &c. 3. It is good for the children to hear their Parents, and the elder sort sing Hosanna unto Christ, that they may learn to do the same; for here as the elder, so also The Children cryed. 4. Christ is not ashamed of childrens way of praising of him as they are able, and fitted for it: therefore, Christ answered them, Yea. 5. If God can glorifie himself in the mouths of babes and sucklings, which cannot speak, making them from their womb to crave and re­ceive by their mouth their nourishment, without reaching; shal he not be glorified in training them up to speak, and to speak words of his owne praise, in the measure of understanding suitable to their age? for, Out of the mouths [Page 240] of Babes he perfecteth praise. 6. Divers doctrines may perti­nently be drawn from the same text, upon divers occasions and the same text may be well applied to divers purposes, without wresting of it, as will appear by comparing this place with Psal. 8. ver. 2.

Ver. 17. And he left them, and went out of the city into Bethany, and he lodged there.

He had his own intended work in Bethany: yet by his lea­ving of his adversaries, he teacheth us to cease from conten­tion before it grow hot, and to cut short with our enemies, using as few speeches as may be; therefore it is said, He left them. 2. In that by his going off the town, occasion of tumult [...] and uproars were eschewed, we learn to eschew needlesse dan­gers, and to reserve our selves unto the time wherein God cal­leth us to glorifie him by suffering; for, He went out of the city to Bethany.

Ver. 18. Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungred.

19. And when he saw a fig-tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon but leaves only, and said unto it. Let no fruit grow on thee hence forward for ever. And presently the fig-tree wi­thered away.

20. And when the Disciples saw it, they marvelled, saying, How soon is the fig-tree withered away?

21. Iesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, if ye have faith and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig-tree; but also if ye shall say to this mountaine, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, it shall be done.

22. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, beleeving, ye shall receive.

Christ turneth to the city, and curseth a fig-tree by the way. Doct. 1. Where Christ hath his own chosen to teach, and his glo­ry to advance, there will he becoming and going; though the place be wicked, and his resort thither be dangerous; therfore, In the morning he returned to the city. 2. How diligent was our Lord in his calling, when to do his Fathers work, he came from the country into the city, even in the morning, ere he tasted mea [...]; for it is said, Ho hungred. 3. How oft did our Lord give evidence of the truth and kindlinesse of his Manhood; for, He is here hungry, and desirous to [...]at; yet more desirous to teach his disci­ple [...] somwhat for their edification, upon occasion of his being [Page 241] hungry, then to eat the sweetest figs, and therefore he ma­keth the barren fig-tree to become the table whereupon he should feed on, and whereupon he should set shortly after ready food for his Disciples,▪ To move questions here whether Christ was ignorant that there was no figs on this tree, and why he cursed it▪ seeing it was not yet the time of figs, as idle. No doubt he knew what fruit to draw from it, and missed not what he expected; but did obtain all that which he intended, to wit, That the Disciples by this miracle, might be taught to make use of the gift of miracles given unto them, and certainly a tree was well bestowed, (how birthy soever it might have been) upon so noble a lesson unto the Church. It is also without warrant to ground allegories here, as if Christ had intended to shew that he desired fruits of the Church of the Jews, and of all professours of Religion, and that if they do not render fruits, when he doth call for them, then that he would curse them, and make them unable to bear fruit afterwards: such like flowers may seem pleasant, but have no solidity, as from the intention of this miracle. I grant that allusions may be made unto this tree, and simi­litudes may be drawn from it, no lesse then from any other thing: but the scope which our Lord declareth afterward, is that onely whereupon we must with warrant build; namely, He will shew his Almighty Power in blasting of so strong a tree with a word of his mouth, so that the Disciples do wonder to see the miracle, vers. 20. Whereupon our Lord doth teach them, that whensoever they should have this word for their warrant, whether extraordinarily inspired for the doing of any miraculous work in his name, or ordinarily propounded in the common doctrine of the Church, for a warrant to pray for, and expect anything, if they should act their faith, and not give wayto doubting, then they should be able to do greater miracles then the blasting of the fig-tree was, even the greatest which they could imagine: so that if the Spirit of the Lord gave a word for removing of a mountain, (for examples cause) how impossible soever it might seem, yet should it come to passe, if they did put forth their Faith to act about it; and so also, whatsoever the Word of the Lord did warrant them to pray for, and to expect of him, they should obtain it, if they did pray in faith for it; and was not this lesson worth all the figs, which either this fig-tree or any other tree could bear? Doct. 1. Our Lord was never so hungry for meat and drink, but he could forbear it til a [Page 242] fit time, and make it his meat and drink to be doing good, and fulfilling the Fathers will: for he loveth to edifie, and feed his Disciples here, more then to feed his naturall hunger. 2. Al­beit our Lord did never harme to any man by any of his mi­racles, yet had he power to curse, and miraculously to destroy, as well as to save, if he had pleased to put forth his power in justice; for the fig-tree was not able to stand, when he did curse it. 3. He trained his Disciples by his own example unto all duties which he put them unto, and here he traineth them unto the exercise of the gift of miracles. 4. The gift of miracles was never to be exercised in particular, but upon a good ground of Faith, that is upon a warrant given from Christs Spirit, for doing that work in particular; and it was necessary for him who had the gift and the warrant for doing of a miracle, to strengthen his Faith on the warrant, or else to misse of his intent, as in Peters sinking did appear. Ther­fore, saith he, If ye have faith and doubt not. 5. The Lord requireth Faith in prayer for obtaining promised mercies, or else if we come short, to blame our misbelief; Therefore saith he, Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive it.

Ver. 23. And when he was come into the Temple, the chiefe Priests and Elders of the people came unto him as he was teach­ing, and said, By what authority dost thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Here is another conflict: Teaching us, 1. That when Christ's adversaries can say nothing against his doctrine, and are convin­ced by his miracles, of his Comission from God, yea, of his God-head, yet do they quarrell with him about his calling, say­ing, By what authority dost thou, &c. It is no strange thing if his adversaries deal so with his servants. 2. This holdeth sure in the generall, That no man should take this honour unto him to be a Preacher of Gods truth without warrant and authority; for so importeth the question, By what authority dost thou these things?

Ver. 24. And Iesus answered and said unto them, I also ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

25. The baptism of Iohn, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? and they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, he will say unto us, Why did ye not believe him?

26. But if we shall say, Of men, we fear the people, for all hold Iohn as a Prophet.

[Page 243]Christ propoundeth another question to his adversaries, Doct. 1. When cavillers come to tempt us to take advantage of our speeches, we ought to be circumspect, that neither the truth be damnified by us, nor our adversaries get advantage against us. Therefore here Christ asketh a question in stead of giving an answer. 2. The Lord [...]n catch the crafty in their crafti­nesse, and can decipher [...] [...]olly of them who seek to cloak wickednesse under colours, for this question both answered the former, and convinced the adversaries of wilfull wicked­nesse; For they knew John's calling and doctrine to be di­vine, and that John bare witnesse unto Christ, and so they behoved to know Christ to be the Messiah; therefore perti­nently doth he ask, Iohn's baptisme, whence was it? 3. Cal­lings unto the holy Ministery must either be from God, and so they are lawfull, or from men only, and so they are un­lawfull; They must either be from heaven, or of men. 4 The Sacraments and all religious Service and Worship, must have the same authority with the doctrine, to wit, Divine; for the question is moved about John's Baptism in stead of John's Do­ctrine, or John's Commission or Calling. 5. Men of corrupt minds do seek not the verity, but the victory in dispute; they do not look what is true or false, right or wrong, but what is most for their own corrupt ends and purpose, as the reasoning of these men doth shew: for the verity which they knew of John, they will not confesse for shame, nor dare they flatly deny it, for fear the people should fall on them. 6. Whosoever con­fesse a doctrine to be from Heaven, and yet do not believe it, are inexcusable, and condemned by their own conscience; for say they, If we say from Heaven, he will say, Why did ye not be­lieve him?

Ver. 27. And they answered Iesus and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you, by what authority I do these things.

Christ hath the victory here; Doct. 1. The Lords enemies at last are confounded and put to silence; for, We cannot tell, say they. 2. One sin insnareth and draweth a man into ano­ther sin, for they refuse to tell the truth, and in refusing, they fall in a lie, saying, We cannot tell. 3. Such as captivate the know­ledge they have, and make no use of it, are justly deprived of what further kowledge they pretend to seek? for, Neither will I tell you, is Christs last answer to such.

Ver. 28. But what think you? A certain man had two sons, and [Page 244] he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vine­yard.

29. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.

30. And he came to the second, and said likewise, And he answe­red him and said, I go sir, and went not.

31. Whether of them twain did [...] Will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Iesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the Publicans and the harlots go into the Kingdom of God before you.

Thus they have done with Christ, their plot is disappoin­ted, but Christ doth pursue them, convincing them of disobe­dience, and denouncing deserved judgment upon them, in two parables: The scope of the first is, to shew, that sundry of Publi­cans and open sinners, of whom they esteemed least, were more righteous and blessed then they were, because the Publicans, like the penitent son, repented their backwardnesse unto Gods commandements, and were fled in by faith to the Messiah, and were made Subjects of the Kingdom of Grace, and so Heirs of the Kingdom of glory; But they notwithstanding of a faire profession of obedience to God, were like the other disobedi­ent and counterfeit son, abiding still in their impenitency and unbelief, and in the way to be debarred from the Kingdom of grace and glory: Hence learn, 1. That men will more readily acknowledg their fault in another mans person, then in their own; therfore doth Christ draw forth these mens judgment by a parable. 2. He wil have the conscience of the wicked, subscri­bing to the righteousnes of Gods judgment against themselves, as will appear by, What think ye? compared with their answer. 3. The most odious and despised sinners, repenting and belee­ving in Jesus, do find Grace and Place both in the church, and in heaven above; but such as confide in their own righteousnes, are debarred, for, Harlots, saith Christ, go into the kingdom of hea­ven before you.

Ver. 32. For Iohn came unto you in the way of righteousnes, and ye beleeved him not; but the Publicans and the harlots beleevd him. And ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might beleeve him.

Christ giveth reason of the condemning these wicked men. Doct. 1. The more blamelesse and holy the Preacher of repen­tance & righteousnes by Christ be found, the greater is the sin of those who do not receive the message: for so Christ aggra­vateth [Page 245] these mens sin, saying, Iohn came in the way of righteous­nes & ye beleeved him not. 2. Albeit self-conceited righteous peo­ple do not beleeve the doctrine of righteousness by Christ, yet God wil manifest the power of his truth, in the conversion of de­spised sinners; for, The harlots beleeved Iohn, albeit the Pharisees did not. 3. The sight and example of other folks beleeving, and repenting in Christ, if it do not move us to acknowledging of our sins also, and flying unto Christ, it shall stand as a witnesse against us, to aggravate our sin and condemnation; Therfore saith he, And ye, when ye had seen it, ye repented not. 4. Remorse for not believing Gods word in his servants mouth, in time by­gone, is a speciall spur and preparative to beleeve it the more solidly for time to come; Therefore saith he, Ye repented not, that ye might beleeve him; that is, When you saw that the Publicans had out stripped you in the way of righ­teousnesse, by beleeving Johns testimony of me, ye did not lament your unbelief, that you might give him so much the more credit for time to come, and so recover your loss by faith in me.

Ver. 33. Hear another parable, There was a certain housholder which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a wine-presse in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country.

34. And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.

35. And the husbandmen took his servants, and beatone, and kil­led another, and stoned another.

36. And he sent other servants moe then the rest, and they did unto them likewise.

37 But last of all, he sent unto them his Son, saying, They wil re­verence my Son.

38. But when the husbandmen saw the Son, They said among themselves, This is the Heir, come let us kill him, and let us seise on his inheritance.

39 And they caught him, and cast him out of the Vineyard, and s [...]w him.

40. When the Lord therefore of the Vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those Husbandmen?

41. They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and wil let out his Vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shal render him the fruits in their seasons.

[Page 246]Another parable convincing them of their wickednesse a­gainst God and his Son Christ, and denouncing judgement against them, and that whole ungrate nation, under the simi­litude of a Housholder and his Tenants, the substance where­of is this; As the Tenants of the housholder dealt with their Master and his servants, and his son, the heir of the vineyard, so the Scribes and Elders of the Jews, with the rest of that un­thankfull nation, dealt with God, and his servants the Pro­phets, and with his son Jesus Christ: and as the housholder punished these wicked tenants of the vineyard, so should God punish that wicked nation, by taking the Gospel and face of a visible Kirk from them, and giving their room unto the Gen­tiles, who should bring forth better fruits than they had done. From this parable, learn, 1. That the Lords care of his visi­ble church, is comparable to the care which the most painfull husbandman hath of his vineyard; he leaves nothing undone which may make it fruitfull: he giveth wholesome ordinances of Doctrine, Worship, Discipline, erecteth governours, civil and Ecclesiastick, appointeth them (as his tenants) to presse the fruits of a holy conversation from his people; and when they are remisse, he stirreth up some speciall instruments, faith­full Prophets and Preachers, to stir up all, and to exact of all the fruit of his labour upon his people, as may be seen in his dealing with the Jewish church. 2. Ordinarily the Lord gets a bad meeting of his people, and specially of the rulers of the church, who look more each man unto his own case, honour, and gain, than to the holy conversation of people, and glory of God; as the example of the Jewish doctors here, and Ru­lers of the Lord's people sheweth. 3. When the body of church-rulers are corrupt, if any of their fellowes shall plead the Lords cause against them, these faithfull servants shall readily be persecuted, evill intreated, and killed for their paines, as in the example of the Jewish church is to be seen. 4. As men deal with God's servants, so would they doe with God himself, if he should come as a man to them, and put himselfe in their power, to try their affections unto him, as is evident in the Jewish rulers, who flew Christ the Son of God, God manife­sted in the flesh. 5. When a people not only do bring forth no fruits of the Gospel, but also do persecute such as do stir them up unto their duties, it is righteousnesse with God to pour out his plagues upon them, and go away from them to some other people, as he dealt with the Jews after many provocati­ons.

[Page 247] Vers. 42. Iesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is be­come the head of the corner? this is the Lords doings, and it is mar­vellous in our eyes.

From 118. Psalme our Lord sheweth, That it was fore­told how the Rulers of the Church should deale with him­selfe, the Messiah, and with what successe. Doct. 1. The not considering and believing of the Scriptures, is the cause why many do fulfill things foretold in the Scripture to their own ruine and condemnation; therefore saith he, Did ye never read? 2. The gathering of the Church is compared to the building of a Temple, wherein the Ministers and Rulers are Builders. 3. It was prophesied that Christ should be esteem­ed by the Church-men in his time, a Stone not worthy to have any room in the building, and therefore should be reje­cted, and excommunicated by them; for it is written of Christ, The stone which the Builders refused. 4. How base­ly soever he was esteemed of by them, yet he was indeed the Ground-stone, the Strength and Glory of the Church; so should he be seen, and acknowledged to be, contrary to all opposition; for, This Stone is become the Head of the corner. 5. The Divine Power of God appeareth most evidently in the exaltation of Christ in his Church, beyond the expectation, and contrary to the hearts of all his enemies; therefore saith he, This is the Lords doing. 6. The work of God about his Church in setting up the Throne of Christ, is a most wonderfull matter in the eyes of all who have understanding; for, It is marvellous in our eyes, saith the Prophet.

Vers. 43. Therefore say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a Nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.

Here Christ applieth the last Parable, and the Psalme last cited to the Scribes and Rulers, and to the rest of the rotten members of that Church. Doct. 1. The Gospel or the means of Grace in a visible face of a Church, is Gods Kingdom on earth, and the greatest benefit that can be bestowed on a Land; for so it is called here. 2. The Nation which doth not bring forth the fruits of the Gospell, may justly be deprived of that priviledge, as here is threatned, The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you. 3. The Church m [...]y be flitted from one Nation to another, but shal not cease to be among some people; for, It shall be given to another, saith Christ; Thus he foretelleth [Page 248] them of the rejection of the Jews, and the in-bringing of the Gentiles.

Ver. 44. And whosoever shall fall on this stone, shall be bro­ken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grinde him to powder.

Having threatned the whole Nation of the Jewes, now he threatneth all his enemies of every sort more specially, teaching us, 1. That some will stumble at him, as at a stone of offence, and wil oppose him out of ignorance, and inadvertance, as men do fal on a stone in their way: and some wil oppose him out of malice, and wil set themselves as adversaries to him, as the distinction of falling on and being fallen upon, importeth. 2. The first sort shal not only not prevail against him, but as here is said, shal be bro­ken also, either to their repentance, as Paul was; or to their per­dition, as ignorant and misbeleeving adversaries are. 3. Such as are adversaries out of malice he will set himself against these, as here he saith, He will fall upon them with his weight and by his mighty power grind them to powder, that is, destroy them utterly by the highest degrees of punishment, and thus he telleth the chief Priests and Pharisees their own particular doom.

Ver. 45. And when the chief priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them.

46 But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a Prophet.

These men take up Christs meaning, but do make no good use of the warning. Doct. 1. Threatnings profit not, but ra­ther do irritate desperately wicked men, as here they desired to lay hands on him. 2. Christs most malicious adversaries (though they be set for bloud) yet can do no more than God will suffer them to do, as here is to be seen. 3. As long as the body of the people do favour Christs cause, persecutors will not vent all their designs against Christ and his followers; as here, They sought to lay hands on Christ, but they feared the multitude. 4. The least good opinion of Christ wil serve for some use; albeit not to the parties salvation, yet to the advantage of Christs cause, as here it served for some use, That they took him for a Prophet.


The Parable of the marriage of the Kings son, to ver. 15. The Pharisees tempt Christ a­bout tribute to Caesar, ver. 23. and the Sad­duces tempt him about marriage in the re­surrection, ver. 34. The Pharisees againe tempt him about the greatest commande­ment in the law, and our Lord trieth their skill in scripture, by a question about the Messiah.

Ver. 1. ANd Iesus answered, and spake again unto them by pa­rables, and said,

2. The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,

3. And sent for his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding, and they would not come.

4. Again he sent forth other servants, saying, Tel them which are bidden, Behold, I have pr [...]pared my dinner: my oxen, and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the mar­riage.

5. But they made light of it, and went their wayes, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:

6. And the remnant took his servants, and intreated them spite­fully, and flew them.

7. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burnt up their city.

THe scope of this parable is to set forth the manner of accep­tance of the Gospel preached: some reject the offer alto­gether, some not only reject the offer, but do abuse, and per­secute the church, and Preachers of the Gospel: some do joyn themselves in Truth into the fellowship of the Grace of God in Christ; and some do joyne themselves unto the [Page 250] church in hypocrisie, being onely called externally, but not e­lected; all this is represented in a similitude of the marriage of the Kings son. In which parable or presupposed history, we are given to understand, 1. That communion and fellowship with Christ in all graces, in his church visible, dayly preached to the world, is like a feast, a marriage feast of the King's son, abounding in all meanes of life, and joy, and honour, ready prepared, and offered unto men liberally and freely to be be­stowed on such as will receive the offer, as is described, vers. 1, 2, 3, 4.2. The acceptance, which the offer of the grace of Christ in the Gospel receiveth at the hands of many men, is like the meeting which was given to the invitation to the Kings feast; for many made sight account of the offered favour; every man preferring his own naughty matters unto the Kings grace tendred unto them, vers. 5. and some not only reject the of­fer, but also persecute and kill the preachers, as ver. 6.3. The rejecters of the Gospel of Gods grace in Christ, offered un­to them in the gospel, and much more the persecutors of the Lords servants who make the offer, shall be served as these wicked and rebellious murderers were, that is, They shall be destroyed and perish in the just indignation of God, ver. 7.

Ver. 8. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.

9. Go ye therfore into the high wayes, and as many as ye shal find, bid to the marriage.

10. So those servants went out into the high-wayes, and gathe­red together all, as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.

From this part of the Parable, Learn, 1. Refuse the gospel who will, and oppose it who will, God shall not want a church; but shal have as many as he pleaseth, for the countenancing of his rich and free grace, and glorifying of Jesus Christ, some com­ing in to the gospel in truth, good guests; some coming in to the church in hypocrisie, bad guests, and all by the Ministry of Christs servants, represented by the furnishing of guests to the Kings marriage feast.

Ver. 11. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment.

12. And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a wedding garment? And he was speech­lesse.

[Page 251]13. Then said the king to his servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into utter darknesse: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

From this part, Learn, 1. That such as joyne themselves to the church in hypocrisie, and have no care to honour God by a holy life, flowing from faith and love toward Jesus Christ, shall be remarked and observed so particularly, that if there were but one, he shall not escape, but shall be condem­ned, and cast in hell, there to be tormented for ever, repre­sented by the punishment of the man who came in to the feast, as a friend; but without a wedding garment, that is, with­out purpose or care to honour the marriage, or the Bride­groome, by a holy life proceeding from faith and love toward Christ.

Ver. 14. For many are called, but few are chosen.

The reason of this different manner of receiving the offer of the gospel is marked. Doct. The cause why some receive the grace of Christ offered in the Gospel, in a better manner then the multitude of others do, and do adorne the gospel by a ho­ly conversation, flowing from faith and love to Jesus Christ, as the multitude of others do not, is not in the men them­selves, but in the free grace and love of God electing some un­to grace and glory, and leaving others to answer for their mee­ting given to this call; for, Many are called, saith he, but few are chosen.

Ver. 15. Then went the Pharisees, and took counsell how they might intangle him in his talk.

16. And they sent out unto him their disciples, with the Herodi­ans, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the wayes of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou re­gardest not the person of men.

This is Christs ran counter with the disciples of the Pharisees and Herodians; they go about either to make him odious to the people, if he should allow tribute, or make him seem an e­nemy to Cesar, if he should disallow it: Hence learn, 1. The enemies of Christ will not rest till they perish, but will assay one mean after another to draw inconveniencies upon him, and his followers: for here again, They take counsel how to intan­gle him in his talk, that they may have advantage of his words. 2. How close soever Christs enemies shall carry their plot, he will bring it forth to light; these men will not appear themselves, but send out and suborn others less suspected; for, They sent out their [Page 252] Disciples with the Herodians, men of the Court-religion, fol­lowing Herods way, who was half an Idumean, and halfe a Jew, men subtil and politick, and fit to take advantage of words, if any thing should have escaped Christ to the seeming prejudice of Cesar, or his deputies. 3. It is admirable how fair a shew bloody adversaries of Christ may make of their great respect to Religion, of their estimation of upright Tea­chers, of their desire to grow in knowledge, from the love of truth, and such like, and yet intend nothing but to intangle, insnare, betray, and destroy Christ and his servants; for who can speake or pretend fairer then these men, saying, Ma­ster, we know that thou art true, &c. 4. How benummed and feared with an hot iron is the conscience of hypocrites, who being convinced of the truth of a mans doctrine, and of his honesty and fidelity, yet will not only not believe him, but also seek to destroy him, as these men give evidence. 5. The properties of a faithfull preacher are, first, He is a true and upright man, whose heart, and words, and wayes do a­gree; he teacheth not mens precepts and devises, nor his own dreams, but the wayes of God; secondly, He teacheth truth, in truth truly, for the right end, in sincerity, aiming to informe, and perswade men to imbrace truth; thirdly, His affections doe not make him wrest his commission, for fear or favour; fourthly, He careth not for the feare or favour of any man, so as to wrest the truth for any mans cause, but without partiali­ty, or personal respects he delivereth the same truth equally unto all, not regarding the person of man.

Ver. 17 Tell us therfore, What thinkest thou? is it lawfull to give tribute unto Cesar, or not?

After their flattering insinuation they present the snare; wherein we learn, That it is an old cra [...]t of the devill, to labour to draw the Preachers of the Gospel in dislike either with the people, or with the magistrate, the one snare failing, then by the other; for thus they say, Is it lawfull to give tribute to Cesar, or not? thinking, if he said Yea, the people should have him as an adversary to the liberties of his native Kingdome: if he said, Not, he might be held guilty of treason and sedi­tion.

Ver. 18 But Iesus perceived their wickednesse, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

From C [...]ists answ [...]r, learn, 1. That it is impossible to deceive the Lord, he knoweth the hypocrite, whatsoever vision he puts [Page 253] on; for Jesus perceived their wickednesse. 2. He will let the hy­pocrite know sometime, that he will not be mocked: therfore saith he, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?

Ver. 19. Shew me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a peny.

20. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and super­scription?

21. They say unto him, Cesars. Then saith he unto them, Render therfore unto Cesar, the things which are Cesars: and unto God, the things which are Gods.

By calling for the stamp of the tribute mony, and finding by the Im age and superscription of the money, that they had by a­greement subjected themselves unto Cesar, and taken him for their King, and stricken coyne for his use, he concludeth the question as solved, and biddeth them, Give unto Cesar that which is Cesars, and unto God that which is Gods: Hence learn, 1. Where a Kingdome hath subjected themselves unto a King, and become his Subjects and tributaries, it is lawfull to pay tribute unto him; Give unto Cesar that which is his. 2. Christ is no enemy to Magistrayey, nor to civill rulers, but teacheth men to give therin their due; for, Give unto Cesar that which is Cesars, saith he: and therfore it is reason that magistrates be as carefull, that God have what is due to him, in Religion and obedience of his commands, as he is carefull that their due be given to them. 3. Men should so regard Kings and Rulers, as they do not mistake God, but respect, honour, and obey him above all; Therfore saith he, Give unto God, that which is Gods.

Ver. 22. When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

They find themselves disappointed, and with a fruitlesse ad­miration of Christs wisdom, do depart. Doct. Christs adver­saries in the end will find themselves mistaken in their vain hopes, which they have had to ensnare him, or his: and all that open the mouth against him shal be ashamed, as, These men mar­velled, and went away.

Ver. 23. The same day came unto him the Sadduces, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him,

24. Saying, Master, Moses said, if a man dye having no chil­dren, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his bro­ther.

In Christs ran counter with the Sadduces, learn, 1. Christ will [Page 254] yoke, with all his adversaries, and will dispute with all Secta­ries, and confound them; new exercises, new disputes, new contradictions, new temptations abide our Lord and his Church; for after the Pharisees and Herodians are gone, the Sadduces come. 2. It is a speciell policy of Satan to multiply his temptations one after another, so near in time as he can; for, The Sadduces came that day. 3. Multitudes of sects and schismes, is not new nor strange, but the just punishment of a corrupt Church; not onely Pharisees and Herodians, but Sad­duces also, set on by turn upon our Lord. 4. No errour so monstrous, but it will finde Patrons and Followers among them who do not follow Christ; for the beastly errour of the mortality of the Soul, and denying the Resurrection of the bo­dy, findeth here Sadduces to professe it.

Ver. 25. Now there were with us seven brethren, and the first when he had married a wife, deceased, and having no issue, left his wife unto his brother.

26. Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

27. And last of all the woman died also.

28. Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife shall she be of the seven, for they all had her.

Because that in the resurrection the Sadduces concei­ved that every man is to return to his wordly estate and con­dition, as wife, children, and goods, and thus do see many ab­surdities follow, (as they apprehend) upon their own suspici­on, therefore they reject this article of faith, and propound their conceit as an unanswerable doubt unto Christ. Hence learn, 1. The conceiving of spirituall things in a fleshly man­ner, is the ground of mistaking the truth, and setting up of er­rours and heresies, as appeareth in these Sadduces; they appre­hend the doctrine of eternall life to be this, That the course of this temporary life shall be renewed and made perpetuall. 2. No man seemeth wiser in his own eyes then the blindest here­ticks do; they conceive that Christ himself cannot answer their objections against the truth, and this imboldneth these Saddu­ces to dispute.

Ver. 29. Iesus answered, and said unto them, Ye do erre, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the Power of God.

30. For in the resurrection, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels of God in heaven.

Christ confuteth them by Scripture. Doct. 1. If the Scrip­tures be not understood and believed, it cannot misse but [Page 255] errours will arise: for nothing else but this light can prevent or remove errours; for, They erred, not knowing the Scriptures. 2. It is necessary for quieting our minds in the truth of Gods Word, that we look onely to the promise of God, and to his ability, to performe all what he hath promised; Therefore saith he, Ye erre, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the Power of God. 3. After the resurrection, we shall be set free from the infirmi­ties whereunto now we are subject; and shall neither need meat, nor drink, nor marriage, but shall be upholden imme­diately of God, without means, as Angels are, and shall be im­ployed onely in the immediate service of God, as the Angels of Heaven are.

Vers. 31. But as touching the Resurrection of the dead, have ye not read, that which was spoken unto you by God, saying,

32. I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Iacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.

Having reproved their errour, he confirmeth the true Do­ctrine by Scripture: Hence learn, 1. That no sufficient silencing of errour can be, till the contrary truth be made clear by Scripture; Therefore saith he, Have ye not read? 2. What­soever is said in the Scripture, should be taken as spoken unto us, and that by God; for, Have ye not read that which is spoken unto you by God? saith he. 3. Whatsoever the Scripture doth im­port, by good consequence is to be accounted for God [...] speech, and that which in reading should be so understood, as if it were expressed, as here Christ reckoneth, Concerning the Resurrection, have ye not read? saith he; for the Scripture doth not stand in letters or syllables, but in the sense of words, and in the truely inferred consequences from thence. 4. Whosoever are within the Covenant of Grace, whose God the Lord is by Covenant, they are sure to live in Heaven with God, after this life, and to have their bodies raised at last unto immortall life: because God is the Saviour and Redeemer, not of the soul of his Elect only, but also of the body; therefore there must be a resurrection of the body; for, God is not the God of the dead, but of the living: that is, His Covenant to be a mans God, will not suffer the man to perish in soul or body, but though temporall death overtake the body, yet the soul must live, and not die, but be for ever in a blessed condition with God, and the body must not alwayes re­maine under the power of death, but must be raised at [Page 256] last to an immortall condition, that it may also live for e­ever by his Power, who hath proclaimed himselfe the Go [...] of his own people, and hath taken this stile, and will keep it for ever.

Ver. 33. And when the multitude heard this, they were asto­nished at his doctrine.

This is the issue of the Controversie, Doct. The end of disputation against the truth, is a further clearing of it, and glo­rifying of Christ; as here, The multitude were astonished at his Doctrine.

Ver. 34. But when the Phrisees had heard that he had put the Sadduces to silence, they were gathered together.

35. Then one of them which was a Lawyer, asked him a que­stion, tempting him, and saying,

36. Master, which is the great commadement in the law?

This is a new rancounter with the Pharisees, who though they were refuted sundry times before, and had heard that the Saddu­ces were put to silence, yet they do resolve a new assay; and after consultation, do find out one of their learned Rabbies, thinking to give Christ some affront upon a disputable question concern­ing, What is the greatest Commandement in the Law? Doct. 1. In these perverse men, the blindnesse, the boldnesse, the obstinacy, the malice of Christs enemies is to be seen, they renew their onsets frequently, They gathered together, and sent out one to tempt him. 2. The adversaries of Christs grace will seem to be much for the Law, even when they are a­gainst the true end of the Law, that is, against forgivenesse of sin through Christ, which is the greatest matter of the word of God.

Ver. 37. Iesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soule, and with all thy mind.

38. This is the first and great Commandement.

Our Lord having to do with a proud hypocrite, puffed up with a conceit of his own righteousnesse, doth so answer him, as he sayeth out the spirituall meaning of the Law, that the man might see how short he came in the obedience thereof, and so doth teach us, 1. That the commandements are not obey­ed, except the obedience proceed from love, this is im­ported, Thou shalt love the Lord. 2. The commands are not satisfied, except the whole man wholly in all things obey, with his whole mind, affections, and the strength [Page 257] of all the powers of soule and body; therefore, saith he, With all thy heart, soule, and mind. 3. To love God is the greatest command, because it is the Fountain of the obedi­ence of all the commands; and also, because all the com­mands of the first Table are but branches, and evidences in part of our love to God. 4. The great commandment is not fulfilled, except a man in the sense of his short coming in love to God, seek for reconciliation with him, enter in a covenant of grace with him, and make use of his friendship, as of a reconciled God; therefore, saith he, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. 5. The commandment of loving God with all our might, and adhering to him, as reconciled unto us, and made ours by covenant, is first to be looked unto, as being of greatest consequence; for, This is the first and great command, to love the Lord thy God.

Ver. 39. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy Neigh­bour as thy selfe.

The Pharisees asked of one commandment, and our Lord in his answer, giveth two, comprehending all: this command­ment is called the second, because it is in the next room, af­ter immediate worship of God to be looked unto, and because it is the summe of the second Table. It is called like unto the first, because it hath the same authority, it requireth like spiri­tuall and constant obedience as the first, and must be joyn­ed with the first, by such as would be found obedient unto the first; and herein the envy and malice of these Pharisees is tax­ed, who pretended to love God, and yet did hate the Saviour, his Son, and all peoples salvation, who must be saved onely by him. Doct. 1. So many as professe love to God, must set themselves to love their Neighbour also, at his command; for he cannot love God, who will not love his Neighbour, there­fore, saith he, The second is, Love thy Neighbour. 2. It is lawfull to love our selves, yea, it is a commanded duty after ou [...] love to God, and with our love to God, and from our love to God; that is to say, So as our love to our selves be not in the first room, which belongeth to God; so as our love to our selves be subordinate unto the love of God, and may make us forth-coming to the honour of God, and do not prejudge our love to God, but fu [...]ther the same: for the command which saith, Love thy Neighbour as thy selfe, saith, Love thy selfe, by a second and like command, depending on and flowing from the first. 3. A right ordered and measured love to our selves is [Page 258] the rule and measure of our love to our neighbour; the love of God must be preferred both to our selves and neighbour, so as we must not please our selves or our neighbour by displeasing God, but our love to God being fixed in the own place: then in reason, as we would have others to do unto us, do we also unto them: for, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self, that is, Sincere­ly and constantly.

Ver. 40. On these two commandements hang all the Law and the Prophets.

The Pharisee did move the question, concerning the greatest commandement in the Law, meaning the moral Law; Christ having answered, telling him, that he had not only satisfied the question concerning the greatest commandement of the moral Law, but also had given him the summe of the whole Law, yea not only so, but also had given him the summe and scope of the whole Books of Scripture, wherupon doth hang the whole do­ctrine of Moses and the Prophets; On these two commandements saith he, hang all the Law and the Prophets; and so shall we find it to be, if we consider the matter: for the summe and scope of the Scriptures may be comprehended in these three: The first is, To shew us what duties the perfect Law of God requireth of us. The second is, To shew how being found short of our duties, and guilty of fearful transgressions of the Law, we may be re­conciled with God. The third is, To shew how and by what rule we shall walke before God in new obedience: Now all these three will befound in Christs answer, and in these two great commandements; for, 1. In these great commands, the duty of perfect love is first enjoyned; for it is said, Love God with all thy heart; and thy neighbour as thy selfe. 2. Upon our presupposed short-coming in our duty, the seeking unto the co­venant of reconciliation is insinuate, and injoyned in these words [thy God] Thou shalt love the Lord thy God. 3. After the covenanting there is injoyned an indeavour of sincere set­ting unto the obedience of the whole Law, with our heart, mind, and soul, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, &c. and if the words be exponed thus, then indeed upon these two commands all the Doctrine of the Law and Prophets doth hang, as explications of them, and inducements, and directions unto the obedience of them.

Ver. 41. While the Pharisees were gathered together, Iesus as­ked them.

42. Saying, What think ye of Christ? Whose Son is he? They ay unto him, The son of David.

[Page 259]43. He saith unto them, How then doth David in spirit call him Lord, saying,

44. The LORD said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, til I make thine enemies thy foot-stool.

45. If David then call him Lord, how is he his son?

Our Lord thinketh it not sufficient, wisely to answer the tempting questions of his adversaries, but he will also ask que­stions of them, to put them to shame, and so to humble them, and withall will shew forth his own God-head spoken of in scripture, if possibly some of them might beleeve and be saved; and howsoever, that his own might be edified. Doct. 1. As it is good to be zealous of the Law, so it is necessary to know the Messiah, who redeemeth men from the curse of the Law: for our Lord having answered the Pharisees question about the Law, asketh them, What think ye of Christ? 2. Christ is a very man lineally descended of David; for he is David's Son, so say even the Pharisees. 3. Christ is also very God; for he is David's Lord, equal with the Father, The Lord said to my Lord, saith David. 4. The son of David, and David's Lord distin­guished from the Father; as one of the persons of the Godhead is but one person; for, David's God, and David's Son is here spoken of as one person. 5. Christ is Fellow-partner of di­vine glory with the Father, for, Sit thou at my right hand, saith the Father. 6. Christ shall not want enemies who shall op­pose his kingdom; this is imported in, Thine enemies. 7. Christs enemies shal be put under his power; for it is said of the Fa­ther, Till I make thine enemies thy foot-stool. 8. There is but one divine power of the Son and Father; for as the Son reigneth in majesty over his enemies, so the Father putteth them down also; for, Sit thou, till I put them down, is; Reign thou, till this be done. 9. None can conciliat the speeches in scrip­ture concerning Christ, except he who beleeveth and acknow­legeth him to be God and Man in one person; for if David call him Lord, how is he his son? no answer, but he is both God and Man.

Ver. 46. And no man was able to answer him a word, nei­ther durst any man (from that day forth) aske him any moe que­stions.

The issue of this disputation is set down, to teach us, 1. That all Christ's enemies will be beaten in disputati­on, and put to silence: the force of divine Truth prudently put forth, is irresistible; therefore it is said, No man was able [Page 260] to answer him: 2. The conviction of Gods enemies may be expected, but the conversion of all the convicted can hardly be expected; for, They could not answer, and they durst not ask mo questions: there is all, we hear of no good use they make of this.


Our Lord painteth forth the Scribes and Pha­risees in their owne colours, before the peo­ple, and denounceth wo and wrath on them, to verse 37. and destruction on Jerusa­lem.

Ver. 1. THen spake Iesus to the multitude, and to his di­sciples,

2. Saying, The Scribes and Pharisees fit in Moses seat.

3. All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do: but do not ye after their works; far they say, and do not.

OUr Lord having put his adversaries to silence, doth take course to save his people from their wayes. Doct. 1. The people must be warned to beware of the contagion of corrupt Teachers, when they will not amend their doings: for this is the course which Christ taketh about the Pharisees and Scribes, 2. Albeit the faults of teachers must not be spared, yet their au­thority and office must be guarded, lest the message of God by their mouth be marred, their office must be defended, albeit their persons be corrupt; Therefore saith he, They sit in Moses chair, that is, they succeed to Moses in the ordinary office of teaching the word of God. 3. What Moses successours teach, as Moses successours, must be obeyed; that is, The truth which from the warrant of Gods Word is recommended unto us, from corrupt teachers clad with lawfull authority to teach, we ought to obey it, because the message is the Doctrine of God; albeit the Messenger be corrupt; for it is said, What­soever [Page 261] they bid you do, as Moses successours, with Moses warrant, from the Lords mouth, That observe and do. 2. People are in danger to follow the example of the evil life of corrupt tea­chers, rather than the command of God delivered in their do­ctrine, and therefore had need to be warned; for, saith he, After their works do not. 3. Whatsoever commanded works a man doth, and not for the commanded ends, be­fore God, it is as good as no doing: Therefore, albeit the Pharisees did many works commanded in the Law, yet because they did them to be seen of men, and as works meri­torious to oblige God, and were more carefull of the outward ceremonies of the Law, then to observe the morall duties of justice and mercy; therefore what they did, was counted as If they did not; and Christ saith of them, They say, and do not.

Ver. 4. For they bind heavy burdens, and grievous to be born, and lay them on mens shoulders, but they themselves wil not move them with one of their fingers.

The Lord giveth a reason of this caveat, given concern­ing the Pharisees. Doct. 1. The Doctrine of the Law morall and ceremoniall, separate from the true intent of it, which is to lead unto the Gospell, where grace and strength is to be had for righteousnesse and new obedience, is a yoke unsupportable, and here called, A heavie burden, and grievous to be borne; and therefore to presse morall duties on a people, without teaching them how to draw strength from Christ for obedience, is, To binde heavie bur­dens on their shoulders. 2. Hypocrites do teach people most im­periously, and with least compassion, contributing least of any men unto the inabling of the people unto obedience, whe­ther by wisdome of doctrine, or example, or prayer; therefore saith Christ, They do not move them with their finger.

Ver. 5. But all their works they do for to be seen of men; they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their gar­ments.

Phylacteries were some ribans, or fringes, wherupon were drawn the words of the Law, to put them in mind to keep the ten Commands, as is prescribed among other ceremonies, Exodus 13. Numbers 15.38. Deut. 6.8. and here our Lord reckoneth up their faults more specially: the first is, their vain oftentation of holinesse, and ambitious seeking of vain [Page 262] applause of men, to which end they did write the words of the law on the borders of their garments, as if they had been all made up of the love of the law. Doct. 1. The nature of hypo­crites is to study more to seem religious, than to be religious) to please men with appearances, rather than to please God in truth; for, They do, saith he, All to be seen of men. 2. Hy­pocrites are most in affecting of ceremoniall observations, and outward parts of commanded duties, neglecting the substance; for, They make broad, saith he, their phyla­cteries.

Ver. 6. And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the Synagogues.

7. And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.

Their second fault, is, vain affectation of preheminence, and respect in all things above other people, in all sort of conventions within doores, and without, at feasts, in churches, in mercats, and to have stately stiles of Rab­bi, Rabbi. Doct. 1. Albeit the Lord doth not condemne respects and reverence due to men, according to their cal­lings and places, yet he condemneth love, and ambitious affectation of these respects, saying, They love the uppermost roomes. 2. Hypocrites and vain men, least worthy of respect or honour, are most ambitious and desirous to have respect; for, They love the first seats, the first Salutation, and the stile of Rabbi, Rabbi.

Ver. 8. But be not ye called Rabbi, for one is your Master eve [...] Christ, and all ye are brethren.

Christ dischargeth such vain titles, and giveth reason for it. Doct. 1. Stately stiles whereby men are not simply di­stinguished for order, and for their office cause, from other men, but also are exalted over their brethren in stately dignity (after the manner of civill or stately stiles of honour, given to men in the kingdomes of this world) do not be seem the Ministers of Christ; therefore saith he, Be not ye called Rab­bi, Rabbi, for all ye are brethren. 2. Such as take such stately stiles unto them, wherby they will seem eminent above their brethren in that same office, are injurious to Christ, who in the church hath appointed only a Ministry, and hath reserved to himselfe alone all stately preheminence; and they are injuri­ous also to their fellow Ministers, whom Christ hath made equal in office as brethren (howsoever naturall and civil differences, [Page 263] for age, and other respects be kept) For one is your Master, saith he, to wit, in stately Excellency, even Christ; for all ye are brethren.

Ver. 9. And call no man your Father upon the earth: for one is your Father which is in heaven.

Our Lord doth not discharge the simple Name of Father, but the stately exaltation of any man under this Name, to the prejudice of God's glory, and teacheth us that we should not put too high an estimation upon any man, for whatsoever gifts is in him, or good received from him: because this doth derogate unto the glory of God, when we attribute too much unto men; for all the glory of father-hood, and derivation of any good thing towords us, ought to be given unto God alone; for, One is your Father, that is in hea­ven, saith he.

Ver. 10. Neither be ye called Masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.

From this, learn, 1. That we are very ready to ascribe something unto our selves, if by any gifts given unto us, any should profit or be informed; therefore, as before he said, Be not called Rabbi; so here again, he saith the second time, Be not called Master: The meaning is, arrogate to your selves no more then is the creatures due, when you teach others by Gods gift bestowed upon you; and if any do ascribe unto you any more then is due, see that ye admit not this sacrilegious commendation; that is, Be not called Master. 2. All the authority of teaching, and all the light in the Teach­er, and all the successe of teaching, doth slow from the power­full Teacher Christ; for, One is your Master, even Christ: and from him it is taken sacrilegiously, whatsoever is given unto the creature, above the place of his instrument.

Ver. 11. But he that is greatest among you, shall be your servant.

Here he teacheth the right strife for greatnesse, and dischar­geth prelacy. Doct. The Majority of the Ministers in the Church, standeth not in the exalting of any man with higher power over the rest, but in true humility and subjection of a man unto his brethren, and being ready to serve them, for promoving the work of God in their hands; therefore saith he, He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant.

Ver. 12. And whosoever shall exalt himselfe, shall be abased, and he that shall humble himselfe, shall be exalted.

[Page 264]This doctrine Christ doth confirm by a promise on the one hand, and a threatning on the other. Doct. 1. The more ambitious a man sheweth himself, the less shall he be esteemed of by good men, and the more shall God put contempt upon him; for, Whosoever shall exalt himself, shall be abased. 2. The more a man in conscience of his own inlakes of love to his bre­thren, and obedience unto God, shall humble himselfe be­fore God and Men, the more respect and estimation shall be put upon him; for, He that humbleth himself shall be ex­alted.

Ver. 13. But wo unto you, Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye shut up the Kingdome of heaven against men: for ye nei­ther go in your selves, neither suffer ye them that are entring to go in.

Upon the Scribes and Pharisees Christ denounceth wo eight times, for their severall vices: The first wo for hindering the Gospel. Doct. 1. The Lords indignation is great against cor­rupt teachers, and church-men he will have more sharply hand­led then any other vicious persons, saying, Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees. 2. To belie our profession is an odtous sin; Ther­fore saith he, Wo to you hypocrites. 3. Men by nature are exiles from Heaven, and from the grace of God offered in the gos­pel, but by the right or wrong ministeriall dispensation of the Word and Ordinances of God, the door of heaven is opened or shut; You, saith he, shut up the Kingdome of Heaven against men. 4. It is a fearful challenge against corrupt teachers, that they do not come to Christ themselves, and also do divert o­thers to their power, by their ill example or doctrine; This is it he saith, You neither go in your selves, nor suffer others to go in.

Verse 14. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypo­crites; for ye devoure widowes houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therfore ye shall receive the greater damna­tion.

A second wo is, for their avarice. Doct. 1. As ambition and hypocrisie go together, so also ambition and avarice go to­gether; Therfore saith he, You hypocrites devour widows hou­ses. 2. The simple and ignorant helplesse soules are the prey of corrupt church-men, such as are Widowes houses. 3. It is no new thing that corrupt church-men find out shifts to catch peoples goods, as by satisfactions, merits, indulgences, ab­solution, soul-masses, &c. for, You devoure widowes houses. [Page 265] 4. The most cursed s [...]ift that can be devised, may be cloaked with the pretence of Religion; Therefore saith he, For a pretence they make long prayers. 5. The fairer pretence [...] put upon a wicked course, or a wicked worke, the sinne is the greater, and the punishment shall be the greater also; This is it he saith, Therefore ye shall receive the greater dam­nation.

Ver. 15. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye compasse sea and land to make one profesi [...]e, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the childe of hell then your selves.

The third wo is, for their blind zeal, to poyson others with their errours, to make them proselytes, or to draw them to their sect. Doct. 1. Seducers will be more busie to draw others to their errour, then Teachers of the Truth use to be diligent for drawing others to the truth; Ye compasse, saith he, sea and land to make a proselyte. 2. The more pains in false zeal, and the more speed a man useth in preverting othe [...]s, the more mea­sure of vengeance abideth on him; Therefore saith he, Wo unto you for this. 3. The more a man do profit in the schoole of errour and superstition, the more he is the child of hell and Satan, for the original of errours is from hel, and Satan is the father of errour, superstition, and heresie, Ye make him the child of hel, saith he. 4. Young pro [...]ytes, who drink in superstition at the perswasion of learned seducers, are far more taken with the false opinions, and more addicted to these false superstitions, then their teachers are conceiving them to be truth; when these old deceivers do but laugh to see the credulity of the deluded [...] this is it he saith, You make them twofold more the children of hell then your selves, to wit in respect of beleeving these errours which you teach them, for in other respects the deceivers were the elder sons of Satan.

Verse 16. Wo unto you ye blinde guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the Temple, it is nothing: but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the Temple, he is a debter.

The fourth wo is, for their erroneous doctrine, and being blind guides, evidenced in their dispensing with oaths, and ta­king of the Name of God in vain, esteeming nothing of an oath made by the temple, and making the oath sworn by the gold of the temple, obligatory, ver. 16, for the teaching of [...] errour, hee condemneth them as blind fools, verse 17. [...]he [Page 266] like fault he findeth with them, in their preferring an oath made by the gift on the altar, above an oath made by the altar, verse 18. for which he reproveth them as blind fools, ver. 19. and correcteth their errour, to verse 23. Hence learn. 1. Corrupt churh-men do corrupt Religion also, and mislead the people fearfully; they become blinde guides, whose of­fice requireth that they should be wise, and Seeing-guides; in which case, Wo to the People, but chiefly Wo to the blind guides. 2. Swearing by the creature is no new sin, for these corrupt hypocrites did foster swearing by the crea­tures, as by the temple, altar, gold, and gifts. 3. Corrupt church-men make things to be sin or no sin, as it serveth their purpose; as here they made an oath by the Temple to be none, and an oath by the Gold of the temple to oblige. 4. To make light of an oath by the creature, as not obligatory, doth open a door to superstition and perjury: for to swear by the temple, they said, it was nothing, and Christ asketh, Whether is greater, the gold, or the Temple which sanctifieth the gold?

Ver. 17. Ye fools, and blind: for whether is greater the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?

The Lord rebuketh them sharply for this their corrupt doctrine. Doct. 1. When men depart from the rule of Gods Word, in determining of sin, they prove themselves foolish and blinde; Therefore Christ calleth them, Ye fools and blinde. 2. As any thing draweth more near unto Goo in re­lation of service, so is it in a higher degree more holy, to wit, by way of consecration and use: for the temple that signi­fied Christ and his church, is more holy then the gold which sig­nified the gifts of Christ. 3. Superstition and error blindes the minde, and besots the heart; for he saith, Ye fools and blinde.

Verse 18. And whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is no­thing: but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.

19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater the gift, or the al­tar that sanctifieth the gift?

20. Whoso therfore shal swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.

21 And whoso shal swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.

[...]. And he that shal swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of Go [...], [...]id by him that sitteth theron.

[Page 267]Our Lord goeth on to tell more of their corrupt doctrine: Hence learn, That he that sweareth by the creature, whether he intend to swear by God or not; sweareth indirectly by God the Creator also, because the creature hath nothing but from God, and as it is his creature; for saith Christ, He that swea­reth by the Temple or Heaven, sweareth by him that dwell [...]th ther­in, &c. Such oathes are not allowed any way here, but a double fault is taxed in the Pharisees; first, that they taught men to swear by the creatures; next, that they made some of such oaths not obligatory, and some of them obligatory, as they thought fit.

Verse 23. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypo­crites; for ye pay tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other un­done.

The fifth wo is, for their ostentation of precise keeping of the Law in the least things, while in the mean tim [...] they despi­sed the Law in the greatest duties. Doct. 1. It is no new thing for hypocrites to make a busines about smal matters, and in the mean time to reject the most weighty duties; for the Pharisees, They tithed annise, and omitted mercy. The discharge of greater duties, do not liberate a man from his obligation to do the smallest duties, but one authority obligeth unto both; for, These ought ye to have done, and not left the other undone, saith Christ.

Ver. 24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.

For this their practise he upbraideth them, as before. Doct. 1. The precisenesse of hypocrites is no lesse ridiculous, then if a man should make nice to swallow a midge or a smaller mat­ter, and not stand to swallow down a greater matter, as it were an horse or an camel; Ye strain at a gnat, saith he. 2. Such as take upon them to teach others the way to heaven, had need to know it well themselves; for it is a fearfull charge to be found blinde guides.

Ver. 25. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are ful of extortion and excesse.

26. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is with­in the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be cleane also.

[Page 268]The sixth wo is, for pretending great holinesse in eating of their meat, and not standing with how great iniquity they did conquer and purchase their meat: neither how they did abuse their meat in superfluity. Doct. 1. Such as get their meat by extortion, and use it intemperately unto excesse, can never sanctifie their table, whatsoever ceremonies they use: for the saying Grace at meat by such men, is no better then if a man should wash the outside of the cup and platter, and eat of the filthinesse of the inside; They make clean the outside, saith Christ. 2. The way to eat our bread with Gods blessing, is to sanctifie our hands in our conquering, and our hearts in a wise and moderate using the creatures, for a right end; and so our feeding shall be sanctified; Therfore saith he, Cleanse first that which is within the cup.

Ver. 27. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautifull outward, but are within full of dead mens bones, and of all un­cleannesse.

28. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisie and iniquity.

A seventh wo, for their deceiving of the people with the ap­pearance of holinesse, when there were nothing such in them. Doct. 1. Hypocrites may carry their wickednesse so fai [...], as men may be deceived: for they may seem very beautifull out­wardly, when inwardly they are filthy, Like tombs plaistred without, and full of rottennesse within. 2. God will not be de­ceived by hypocrites, he will find them out, and in his time will decipher them to the world, and will pour out wrath on them; for, Wo to you, saith Christ.

Ver. 29. Wo unto you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; be­cause ye build the tombs of the Prophets, and garnish the sepul­chres of the righteous.

30. And say, If we had been in the dayes of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the bloud of the Prophets.

The eighth wo is, for their pretending to honour the Saints departed, and in the mean time they were injurious to the li­ving; yea, they were about to murther Christ himself. Doct. 1. The Lords respect is great unto his servants, for even af­ter their death, he will clear their innocency and holy conversa­tion, and make the posterity acknowledg them for such; as here, To build the Sepulchres of the Prophets. 2. The world do love dead Prophets better then the living: for the living reprove their [Page 269] sin more particularly then the dead; This is it he saith, Ye build their sepulchres. 3. Such men are grosse hypocrites, who pretend to love good men, and yet do not love goodness, who make pro­testation of their mind toward righteousness, upon condition that they had such means as their Forefathers had, & yet do make no use of the means which they have themselves: who can con­demn their fathers faults, & yet practise the same themselves; they are like unto the men, who said, If we had been in the days of our fa­thers, we would not have been partakers of the blood of the Prophets.

Ver. 31. Wherefore ye be witnesse unto your selves that ye are children of them which killed the Prophets.

32. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.

Christ from the confession of the Pharisees, that they were descended of those who slew the Prophets, and from their malignant opposing of his Gospel, with inten­tion to kill him, so soon as they could, doth prove them to be every way the children of these who slew the Prophets, where­upon he gives up with them, and gives them over unto the ful­filling of their malice. Doct. 1. Christs enemies shall not want a witnesse of their malicious opposing of him, yea from their own words and purposes, he shall bring matter of conviction a­gainst them; their never-dying worm shall breed in their own bosome, as Christ saith here, Ye are against your selves witnes­ses. 2. Christ will give over desperate enemies to their own ma­licious disposition, and will defie them; as here he saith, Fill ye up the measure of your fathers. 3. There is a measure set to be filled up with the transgressions of the Lords enemies, and till this cup be full to the lip, they shall be suffered to go on: but when this cup is full, then the cup of Gods wrath shal be full al­so, and run over upon them to their destruction; Therefore saith he, Fill ye up the measure, that is, Go on, till you kill me, as your fathers did the Prophets. 4. Sin ha [...]h the own height in Kingdoms and Families, whereby Successors do adde unto their predecessors sins, before the Kingdom or Family be punished; Therefore saith he, Fill up the measure of your Fathers.

Ver. 33. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?

Now he condemns them, and threatens them with hell. Doct. 1. When the Lord will reckon, he will make the wicked know their sin to their face, as here he calls these men, Serpents, gene­ration of vipers. 2. It is good that the difficulty of being saved, be intimate unto the obstinate, if by any means they can be [Page 270] driven to seek salvation; Therefore saith he, How can ye escape? 3. The end of Christs enemies shal be condemnation unto hell; for, How can ye escape the condemnation of hell? saith he.

Ver. 34. Wherefore behold, I send unto you Prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucifie, and some of them shall ye scourge in your Synagogues, and persecute them from city to city.

35. That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Za­charias the son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.

He foretelleth them, how he as Disposer of all things, is to proceed with them, and to make up the processe of their condemnation. Doct. 1. Our Lord in the face of his enemies avowed himselfe to be God, having authority to send out Prophets, and to bestow gifts on men. Behold, saith he, I send to you Prophets. 2. Our Lord kn [...]w [...]th how his servants will be served in every place they come unto, and what measure of sufferings each of them wil meet from with the wick­ed, saying, Some of them ye shall crucifie. 3. The Lords servants (albeit they know that sufferings abide them) must notwith­standing go on in their message: for this is the fore-warning given unto his servants also, I send you Prophets, and some of them ye shall kill, &c. 4. They who go on in the course of any sin, do subscribe unto the sins of such as before them did follow that sort of sin, and justly may be condemned and punished as guilty of the sin of others, which they do app [...]ove; for so Christ reckoneth, saying, That on you may come all the blood whom ye slew, &c. 5. The sufferers for righteousnesse, from the begin­ning of the world, are all in the rank of Martyrs, and their suf­ferings are kept in fresh remembrance, From righteous Abel, un­to Zacharias, the son of Iehojada, otherwise called Barachias, of whose slaughter is spoken, 2 Chron. 24.21. as here appeareth. 6. Raging persecuters look neither to place nor person, nor con­sequence of th [...]ir cruelty, but as blind beasts do follow forth their own fury; for, Betwixt the por [...]h and the altar was Zacha­rias slain.

Ver. 36. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come up­on this generation.

Now he foretelleth the ruine of Jerusalem, and giveth them over till the day of judgement, at what time they should know who was the Christ, for whom they pretended to be [Page 271] preparing the song, which is foretold in the Psalm 118.26. As if he had said, I foretell you, that Jerusalem, and this Na­tion shall be destroyed, and after you have killed me, you shal not see me, till the day of judgement, when you shall be for­ced to acknowledge me to be the blessed Messiah, come in the Name of the Lord, which for the present, ye will not do, Doct. 1. The destruction of Jerusalem, and rejection of the Jews, was foretold by Christ sundry times ere it came; for here he saith, O Ierusalem, your house is left desolate unto you. 2. It is a speciall motive unto repentance to tell men of the propinquity of judg­ment; therefore saith he, All these things shall come on this generation.

Ver. 37. O Ierusalem, Ierusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not?

In this lamentation, our Lord is not to shew what power is in mens wicked nature to convert themselves, or to make use of the means of conversion, nor what power there is in corrupt nature to oppose that power which God putteth forth in conversion of soules: neither is he lamenting their case, as one unable to obtain his own desired end in the salvation of such as he intended to save: for no reason can extract these conclusions necessarily from these speeches; & the true sense of them is obtained without any such inferences; for our Lord, as man, and a kindly Minister of the circumcision, moved with humane compassion of the miseries of his native Countrey­men, letteth forth his love in this lamentation and weeping, while he beholdeth the desperate obstinacy of the multitude running to perdition, thereby intending to make the reprobate, who should hear of his tender bowels, inexcusable; and to move the Elect unto repentance by this means. Doct. 1. Our Lord, as man, in the bowels of compassion was moved in the dayes of his flesh, with the misery of the most wicked, as this lamentation sheweth. 2. When Christ was most moved with the provocations of the wicked, there was no sinfull perturbation in him, to make him forget to fulfill the law of love unto his most desperate enemies; therefore he la­menteth thus, Ierusalem, Ierusalem. 3. As oft as the Lord sendeth forth his Ministers with offers of mercy to sinfull people, so oft is he lovingly calling them to come in un­to him; so saith he, As a hen gathereth her chickens, how [Page 272] oft would I have gathered thee? 4. When the Lord is about to save his own Elect children in the visible church, the body or the greatest part of his people may oppose the work, and nill the work which he willeth; and albeit they be not able to impede his effectuall gathering of so many as he intendeth to save, ye [...] may they make themselves guilty of impeding and resisting the will of God, which they cannot overcome; therfore saith he to this sense, O Ierusalem, how oft was I about to convert thy chil­dren, so many as I had elected, by the offers of mercy, which my servants made unto thee, the visible Kirk their Mother? And thou wouldst not, but opposed my work so far as thou couldst, in slaying the Prophets, and stoning them who were sent unto thee, for the Elects cause who were in the midst of thee. 5. The Lord will pursue his purpose, and renew messages till he both gain his own, and also make the reprobate inexcusable to the ful; for how oft, saith he, Would I have gathered thy children, and ye would not.

Ver. 38. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Having told the sin of the visible Kirk there, he telleth them now of their judgement. Doct. When mercy hath been often offered unto a visible church, and [...]hath been rejected or opposed, it is righteousnesse with God to remove his dwel­ling from that place, and to take away the face of a church from it; therefore saith he, Thy house shall be left desolate un­to thee, even the most glorious place shall not be spared, but when mercy findeth no place, judgement shall have place.

Verse 39. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Here our Lord smiteth these desperate enemies with irrevo­cable blindnesse, that from that time forward, they should never get grace to acknowledge him to be the Messiah, till at the day of Judgement they should be forced to confesse him to be the true Christ, prophesied of in the 118. Psalm. Doct. 1. It is righteousnesse with Christ to smite them with judicial blind­nesse, who refuse obstinately to acknowledge him, when he offers himselfe unto them; as here he saith, Ye shall not see me henceforth, that is, You shall not perceive me to be the Messiah; for otherwise bodily they did see him, and did crucifie him, but they saw not who he was; for had they known, they would not have crucified the God of glory. 2. At last, Christ's most [Page 273] cruell enemies shall see, and know, and acknowledge him to be that blessed Messiah; for all knees shall bow to him, and all tongues shal confess to him, and his adversaries among the rest shall say, Now we see that Jesus is the blessed Son of God, and the true Lambe of God, Hils and Mountaines fall on us, and hide us from the wrath of the Lamb, yonder is the blessed Sa­viour, Who came in the name of the Lord.


Our Lord having told that the Temple shall be destroyed, the disciples aske of the time therof, and of the signes of his coming, to vers. 4. For answer, He forewarneth them of trial and per­secution, wherein all his disciples had need to beware, least they should be deceived: and sheweth the signes of the utter destruction of Jerusalem, to vers. 23. and again teacheth them, that the chief care of his disciples should be, that they be not deceived with false Religi­on, and false Christs, wherin the danger was to be great, even untill his second coming, when he should gather all his Elect unto him, vers 32. As for the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, he telleth, that the forerunners and coming of it should be in their own dayes, vers. 36. But the time of the day of universall Judgement, and of his second coming was a secret, and should come as the Floud unexpected, vers. 42. and therefore that it was the Disciples part to watch, that they might be found in peace, following their calling, least wrath should fall on them.

[Page 274] Ver. 1. ANd Iesus went out, and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the Temple.’

THe Disciples moved at Christs words, do regrate in a man­ner the destruction of such buildings. Doct. 1. It is a hard thing to yeild our minds unto the Lord, when he doth threaten to overthrow such things as we do esteem much of in the world, as to destroy potent people, to plague a visible Church, and such like; as here, The disciples shew to him the build­ing of the Temple, as it were pitying that it should be destroy­ed.

Ve. 2. And Iesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? ve­rily I say unto you, there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.

Because our Lord was purposed by casting down the temple of Jerusalem, to punish the peoples carnal confidence in it, and their contempt of the Gospel, and withal to remove the Theater of the Jewish ceremonies, and the Shadowes of the Leviticall Law, therfore he reneweth the threatning. Doct. 1. The outward glory of buildings shall not save them from destruction, when they are abused, as here is threatned, There shal not be left one stone upon another. 2. The outward glory of worldly things, which bear much bulk in mens eyes, is little esteemed of by Christ; for the disciples shew the glory of the temple unto him, ver. 1. and here he sheweth it to them again, saying, See ye not all these things? and he telleth them, That not a stone shal be left upon another.

Vers. 3. And as he sate upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, When shall these things be? and what shal be the signes of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

The disciples understanding that the Temple should be de­stroyed, ask some questions. Doct. Men are more curious to know things hid in Gods secret counsell, then to make use of what is revealed; as the disciples here, who asked, When shall these things be? when a more usefull question had been more expedient.

Ver. 4. And Iesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Our Lord answereth so, as his disciples might be best edi [...] ­ed. Doct. 1. The Lords words serve not to satifie his peoples [Page 275] curiosity, but for their instruction and utility, as here we see. 2. It is better for us to guard against the hazard where­in we may be, before the worlds end, than to be curious a­bout the time when it shall end: therefore saith Christ, Take heed that no man deceive you. 3. The speciall danger of the church is from errours, and false doctrine, whereby their faith may be hurt; against this should we mainely watch, as Christ here wa [...]neth, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Ver. 5. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ: and shall deceive many

To the end his disciples not only then living, but in all ages following, should guard themselves against al sorts of temptati­ons unto the end of the world, he warneth them of five or six sorts of temptations, or exercises abiding them. Doct. 1. The first sort of exercise of the church, is, by sects and heresies, the Lord will suffe [...] blasphemies and Heresies to arise in the visible church, for the punishing of some, and triall of othe [...]s; for, Many shal come in my name, s [...]ith he, that is, Taking on the name proper to me, and pretending themselves to be Christ. 2. When the onely one true Christ is not received, It is justice that many false pretended Christs should come, and deceive them who will not receive the truth in love; Therefore he forewarneth, That they shall deceive many. 3. The impudency of the divel, and the delusion of Hereticks is admirable, that he dare suggest, and they dare avow themselves to be Christ; yet such shall be, and shall dare to say, I am Christ. 4. The prevai­ling of deceivers with the multitude (which is more ready to believe lies than truth) should make the Lords People the more circumspect; therefore saith he, Ta [...]e heed, for many shall come &c.

Ver. 6. And ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to passe, but the end is not yet.

7. For nation shal rise against nation, and kingdom against king­dom, and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes in divers places.

8. All these are the beginning of sorrowes.

Another sort of the temptations of the church is the terrour of wars. Doct. 1. If wars fall out about Religion and the gospel, it is no small triall; therefore he telleth us, Ye shall hear of wars. 2. We must in such times keep fast the faith, and there­by [Page 276] by study to keep our hearts in peace, See, saith he, That ye be not troubled. 3. One of the reasons quieting our minds, when wars and rumours of wars (wherein we are involved) are heard of; is, the Lord's decree so to plague the World, and exercise us; therefore saith he, These things must be. 4. When we have digested one trouble, we must not think to passe so, but must expect greater troubles, and pray for constant pati­ence; for, The end is not yet, saith he. 5. It is decreed in hea­ven to punish the wickednesse of the World, and specially the contempt of the Gospel, by provoking Kingdoms and Nati­ons one against another, and to plague all by famine, and pe­stilence, and earthquakes in divers places; for it is foretold, That Nation shall rise against Nation, &c. 6. When such evils befall Nations in God's displeasure for their sins, and spe­cially for abusing the Gospell, it is but an earnest, and a be­ginning of the sorrowes which God will bring at length upon this wicked World; for, All these are the beginning of sorrowes.

Ver. 9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you, and ye shall be hated of all Nations for my Names sake.

The third sort of the exercise of Christs Disciples, is, Persecu­tion, imprisonment, and slaughter. Doct. 1. Christians must re­solve for the Gospel to lose their life; for, saith he, They shall de­liver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you. 2. Christs disci­ples need not to look for love of this World, but rather must expect to be hated where-ever they shall come, albeit there were no other cause but the profession of Christ's Name, and his Truth; for, Ye shall be bated of al Nations for my Names sake, saith he.

Ver. 10. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray ou [...] [...] ­nother, and shall hate one another.

The fourth temptation, or fourth sort of exercise of Christ's Disciples, is the apostasie of professours, when persecution ariseth for the Gospel. Doct. 1. This is a nar­row trial, when many who ran fast in profession with prosp [...] ­rity, do turn their back on Christ when trouble cometh; yet it must come to passe; for, Then, saith he, shall ma [...]y be of­fended; that is, Stumble at Christ's Crosse, and forsake the true Religion. 2. Such professours as make apostasie from true Religion, shall be the chiefe adversaries of the true members of the Church, Traitours and Enemies; [Page 277] for of Professours it is said, They shall betray and hate one ano­ther.

Ver. 11. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

The fifth temptation, or fifth sort of exercise, is, The a­rising of many false Teachers within the Church, who shall brangle the faith of the Godly, and deceive many. Doct. 1. Christians may be tempted to defection by their own Tea­chers, who ere people be aware, may make defection themselves, and then fall to reduce the people; for it is said, Many false pro­phets shall arise. 2. This sort of temptation is ready to prevail with people, and to draw such away whom open persecution could not drive from the truth; for it is said, They shall deceive many; Because disputation and opposition against the Truth, (for which we are called to suffer) by our own Teachers, when they begin to swerve from the Truth, is a harder onset a­gainst a man's faith, than when fire and sword is threatned, in the case of a cause clear, and not questioned by our Tea­chers.

Ver. 12. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of ma­ny shall wax cold.

The sixth temptation, or sort of exercise, is, That the godly shall be cold-rise in love one toward another, and not finde respect and credit readily one of another, and that be­cause they shall see iniquity and hypocrisie so abound in the vi­sible Church, as one shall suspect another, and not dare to trust one another; and so shall not let forth their love one to­ward another, save very coldly, as it cometh to passe in the case of mutuall suspicion one of another. Doct. 1. Honest men do suffer much in their estimation, when the hypocrisie of hy­pocrites is discovered; for iniquity abounding, breedeth mu­tuall suspicion of one anothers sincerity, a man not knowing whom to trust, when by out-breaking of much iniquity he fin­deth many to be false. 2. When abounding iniquity breedeth mutuall jealousie, as estimation and confidence mutuall is weakened, so is mutuall love diminished; Therefore saith he, Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 3. This is a sore trial, when beside the common adver­sary, the Godly do grow suspicious one of another, and dare not trust one another, and so do grow cold in their love to one another; it is a sore trial, I say, When iniquity aboundeth, and love decreaseth.

[Page 278] Ver. 13. But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall he saved.

After these temptations thus in order set before us, our Lord requireth constancy in the Faith, notwithstanding of them all. Doct. 1. All these temptations must be striven against, and o­vercome by them who purpose to go to Heaven; for, He that endureth to the end, shall be saved. 2. Whosoever for any of these temptations, or any other like, shall fall off from the Faith, and following of Jesus, he cannot be saved; for, Onely he that endureth to the end, shall be saved; no other hath the promise.

Ver. 14. And this Gospel of the Kingdome shall be preach­ed in all the world, for a witnesse unto all Nations, and then shall the end come.

Our Lord comforteth his Disciples, and sheweth, that not­withstanding of all these impediments, the Gospel should be preached. Doct. 1. Whatsoever persecution, heresies, or of­fences shall come, the Lord will have his Gospel going on to be proclaimed in the midst of wars, famine, pestilence, he­resies, &c. for this Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preach­ed and spread abroad in all the world in the midst of impedi­ments, till it go along all places of the world, whither Christ hath appointed to send it. 2. The preaching of the Gospel, where ever it cometh, proveth a Testimony to them to whom it cometh, one way or other; that is, A testimony either of their decreed blessednesse, if they receive it; or of their decreed per­dition, if they do reject it, or do not believe it; for, It shall be preached for a testimony unto all nations. 3. Till the Gospel be preached unto all Nations, so far as God hath appointed, and till he have ended his work, by preaching thereof, the end of the World shall not be; but so soon as the Lords Work by the Gospel is ended in the World, Then shall the end come.

Ver. 15. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of deso­lation spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place, (who­so readeth, let him understand.)

Christ gives his Disciples some satisfaction to their questi­on about the signes of the time of the destruction of Jerusa­lem, and of the Temple; and to this end he leads into the Pro­phesie of Daniel, Chap. 9. ver. 29. to let them know that after the Messiah should be slain, the City and Temple should be destroyed: when therefore they should see the Armies of the Gentiles, (which were abomination to the Jews) to compasse about Jerusalem, as is expounded, Luke 21.20. he forbids [Page 279] them to thinke that the Siege should be raised, or the Ci­ty should escape, as it had done in former times; for God had destinate the City and the Temple at that time to be ruined, as the diligent Reader of Daniel might perceive. Doct. 1. God hath instruments at his pleasure to destroy strongest Cities, and can make these whom men abhor most, to be the in­strument of their destruction; for, The abomination of desola­tion, the Armies of the Gentiles are at his call. 2. Lest the faithfull should still dote upon the ceremonies of the Law, and figurative shadowes, after the Messiah's coming, it was very needfull, that the City and Temple both, whereunto the sacrifices and chiefe ceremonies were astricted, should be de­stroyed and abolished, as the Prophet Daniel hath foretold. 3. For understanding of the Word of God, when it is read, careful attention, and all means of knowledge must be used; Therfore saith he, Let him that readeth understand.

Ver. 16. Then let them which be in Iudea, flee unto the moun­tains.

17. Let him which is on the house top, not come down to take [...]y thing out of his house.

18. Neither let him which is in the field, return back to take his clothes.

19. And wo unto them that are with child, and to them which give suck in those dayes.

20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath-day:

21. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22. And except those dayes shall be shortned, there should no flesh be saved: but for the Elects sake those dayes shal be shortned.

That they might know how certain and suddain the over­throw of Jerusalem should be, our Lord giveth advertisement, that all the speed any man could make, should be little enough; for escaping whereof he giveth seven signes. The first is, No place in the Countrey should be safe, where the souldier might march, and that to flie to the mountains was the fittest, ver. 16. Signe 2. He who was in the town, should make him for death, and not think to escape by flying, ver. 17, Signe 3. It should not be fit for any man in the field, and out of the town, to return to the city, to take with him any provision for the flight, but should do well to flie, as he might flee for his life, ver. 18. Signe 4. Such [Page 280] as were with child in the countrey, and giving suck in that dolefull time, should be very miserable, and full of woe, be­ing unable to flie so hastily as the need required, vers. 19. Sign [...]. It should be great mercy, if such as got occasion to flie, might so flie, as they might rest in a foul day, (when the unseasonablenesse of the weather might make the flight more grievous) and might rest on the Sabbath, when to be forced to go a long journey for fear of their life, might augment the [...]e griest, ver. 20. Sign 6. Never was, nor ever should be in any war such horrible tribulation, as God should send at the destruction of Jerusalem, ver. 21. Sign 7. The extremity of trouble should be such, that if God should not shorten the tri­bulation of those dayes, and restrain the fury of the Romans, against the rebellious Jews, the elect Seed of that Nation should be rooted out, so that no memory of a Jew might remaine thereafter; but because God was to reserve an elect Seed af­ter the rejection of the multitude, therefore the Lord should shorten the dayes of wrath against the Jewish Nation, ver. 22. Doct. 1. When the Lord is to pour out his wrath on a place, if all circumstances being considered, a man shall find it both lawfull and possible to withdraw himselfe from that place, it is wisdome to be gone; for, Let them who be in Iudea, flee un­to the mountains, is as much as, it shall be safer for them in this time, to see for their own life by flight, then to dream of re­sisting or escaping Gods judgment in that place. 2. If the judg­ment overtake a man so suddainly, as there is no time nor means given to escape, then let men lay by all thought of worldly goods, and bestow their minds and time on that which is most needfull, that is, for preparation unto death; Therefore saith he, He that is [...] the House [...]p, let him not come down. 3. In such case if a man with the losse of all he hath, can have his life for a prey, he fareth well; for, Christ saith in this case, He that is in the field, let him not return. 4. In the time of gene­rall calamities, Gods ordinary benefits make a man more mi­serable then if he wanted them; as children, riches, honour, when they must now be gone, and can give no more comfort unto us, then are they the matter of our wo; for at such a [...]me saith he, Wo unto them that are with child, &c. that is, They shall be so much the more miserable; for this W [...] is pro­nounced by way of Prophesie, and not denounced by way of indignation against women with child, more then others. [...]. Troubles may be mitigated by prayer unto God, who can [Page 281] dispose of means of delivery, and can mix the cup of our grief, so as our misery may be the more comportable; Therefore saith he, Pray that your flight be not in Winter. 6. Gods judgements upon the despisers of the Gospel, and rejecter [...] of mercy offered in Christ, are most severe; Therefore the de­struction of Jerusalem was of all calamities that ever came up­on a people most lamentable, for as the common history re­porteth, a million of people perished in the Siege, in a most fearfull manner of destruction, the Body of the Land being gathered together in it at the solemnity of the Passeover; and about fourscore and seventen thousand were made slaves, Such tribulation as was not since the beginning of the world. 7. In most confused and calamitous times the Lord hath a care of his own Elect, and remembreth mercy towards them in the midst of wrath; For the Elects cause, saith he, these days shall be short [...]ed.

Ver. 23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there▪ believe it no [...].

Our Lord returneth to direct his Disciples and the Church to beware of whatsoever might destroy their souls, as the main thing which concerned them to take heed unto. Doct. 1. As the main danger of the Church is from Seducers, who shall strive to divert men from the true Christ, so their main care should be to see that their faith misearry not; Therefore sai [...]h Christ, Believe it not, if another Christ be offered unto you. 2. As at all times, so chiefly in times of trouble, Satan stu­dies to delude men with pretences of Saviours and salvation, which are not reall, because in time of trouble men are most ready to receive anything, which doth promise reliefe or re­lease, and so to imbrace delusions in stead of divine helpe: Therefore it is said, Then (that is, when the trouble is great) will it be said, Lo, here is Christ. 3. After our Lords assenti­on, neither is another Christ to be expected, nor the true Christ to be found bodily and locally present in any place on the earth; for, If any man shall say, Lo, here is Christ, or there, believe it not ▪ so saith Christ himselfe.

Ver. 24. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signes and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very Elec [...].

Why we should be wary, he giveth a reason from the certain danger which the multitude of deceivers should bring, Doct. 1. It is possible that false deceivers pretending themselves to [Page 282] be Christ, and false prophets, drawing men away from the true Christ, may make shew of great signs and wonders, for so doth Christ foretell. 2. Whosoever do teach false doctrine, and not consonant unto the truth of scriptures, their wonders are lying wonders, and not to believed; Therfore saith he, Beleeve them not. 3. The power of delusion is great and may prevail with any who is secure, and watcheth not; for, They shall deceive, if it were possible, the very Elect. 4. The elect cannot altogether be seduced, and drawn away from the true Christ: because of the power of him who hath called them, but for any power in themselves they might be seduced; for, False prophets shall deceive [if it were pos­sible] the very elect, but divine power doth guard them against delusions of Satan, and false prophets, that they shall not always be deceived.

Ver. 25. Behold, I have told you before.

The Lord commandeth to make use of the warning. Doct. 1. The Lords forewarning of the danger from false prophets, should stirre up all to be the more watchfull, and it shall make men inexcusable, if they shall be seduced; for, Behold, I have told you before, saith he. 2. The doctrine of election doth not give warrant unto security, but should be made use of for diligence and watchfulness; therfore saith he, Behold, I have told you; for God hath decreed, as to save the Elect, so to save them by his own means. 3. This forewarning sheweth, that albeit the elect shal not bealtogether, and without recovery deceived, yet they may be so farr mistaken, as it had been good they had watched; much sin and misery may befal a man by not watching, albeit at length he may be brought forth of it; for, Behold, I have told you before, maketh the Lord free of what ill unwatchfulnesse may let in.

Ver. 26. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth: behold he is in the secret chambers, believe it not.

As before, ver. 23. So here again Christ bids them beware to believe his bodily locall presence in the earth, after his Ascensi­on, untill the day of judgment. Doct. 1. Such a Christ as is not the Son of Abraham, the Son of David; such a one as is not de­scribed to us in the scriptures, is not to be looked upon, nor be­lieved, nor esteemed of; such a Christ as is said to be locally pre­sent in the earth after Christs Ascension, a man should not go unto, nor believe any speech of such a Christ, as shal be said to be in his body in the desert, or in a chamber, or in a box, or in a [Page 283] wafer-cake, Lo here, lo there, or such like, as the Papists have their Christ, Beleeve it not, saith Christ himself.

Ver. 27. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

He giveth a reason why such imaginations of his being on the earth in his body, is not to be believed. Doct. after Christ's Ascension no other bodily presence of Christ, or coming into the World is to be beleeved, save his second coming in glory, which shall be on a sudden, (when men are not looking for it [...]) and in such evidence of glory, that all the World from the East to the West, shall be made witnesses of it; for, As the lightning, so shall the coming of the Son of man be, saith Christ.

Ver. 28. For wheresoever the carcasse is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

He meeteth with an objection, if he come in the East, or in the West, how shal those Elect persons come unto him who shal be so farr removed from that place, as is the VVest from the East? he answereth, and teacheth, that as the eagles from all quarters are shortly gathered unto the place where the carcass is▪ so shall all the Elect be swiftly gathered together to the place where Christ shall shew his bodily presence, at his second com­ing to judgment. Doct. We need not trouble our selves, about the swift dispatch of the last judgement, how or in what place of the World the convocation of the Elect shall be; this is sufficient, We shall meet with Christ where he shall be; for, Where the carcass is, there will the Eagles be gathered to­gether.

Ver. 29. Immediately after the tribulation of those dayes, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the starrs shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.

For further satisfaction of his Disciples, Our Lord giveth six signes of his second coming. Doct. 1. All the time before the second coming of our Lord, (whatsoever comforts may be mixed) shal be dayes of tribulation, and not so free of the mi­series of this life, as some do dream: for here he telleth us the se­cond coming of our Lord shal be immediatly after the tribulati­on of these days are ended, and brought toward a period. 2. When all the Churches Exercises, all her Tribulations and warfare are accomplished, then shall the comforter Jesus Christ [Page 284] come, to give full refreshment immediately. 3. Yet shall his coming be in a terrible manner to the world, with such an al­teration made upon the creatures, being (now all of them to be changed from the estate of vanity whereunto they are subject) that Sun, Moon, and Stars, obscured by the glory of Christ, shall no more be able to give comfort unto men, not to shew forth their glory, as before, but shall cease from their service, and lose their power, expressed here by, Darkning, not giving light, falling from heaven, and shaking of heaven, as a tree that casteth her fruit; for so must it be ere they be made new; this is the first signe of his coming.

Ver. 30. And then shall appear the signe of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.

The second signe or evidence of Christ's coming, i [...] the glorious shining of Christ's Person approaching, called the signe of the Son of Man, because as the light of the Sun ap­proaching, is a signe of the present appearing, or rising of the Sun, so shall the shining glory of Christ's approaching, which is more bright than the Sun, Acts 26.13, 14. be a signe of his present appearing; what other signe of the Son of Man beside this may be, we leave it till the time come of his revea­ling of it. Doct. 1. Christ shall be seen visible Judge of quick and dead at the last day, in his humane nature; [...] The signe of the Son of Man, bodily descending, shall appear in hea­ven. The third signe of Christ's coming, is, the mourning of all people, it being now manifest that the day of judgement is come, the penitent shal fall on mourning and lamenting the [...] sins with a godly sorrow, that they may be fitted for the promi­sed consolation of wiping all tears from the [...] eyes, and the wicked shall fall on weeping for the misery co [...]ing on them presently, by the sentence of their Judge. Doct. 1. Such as have mocked at the day of judgement, and s [...]offed at piety, and rejected or abused the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall then mourn a great mourning, All the tribes of the earth shall mourn. The fourth signe of his coming, is, the manifestation of his bodily down-coming in the clouds, with power and great glory. Doct. Howsoever Christ's first coming was in much infirmity, be­cause he was to suffer for us; yet his second coming being to judgment and to reward all according to their works, as here i [...] said, Shall be with power and glory.

[Page 285] Ver. 31. And he shall send his Angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four windes, from one end of heaven to the other.

The fifth signe, There shall be a great sound of a trum­pet, as it were summoning all to compear before the Tri­bunall of Christ, unto judgement, which teacheth us, That the Day of Judgement shall be no lesse terrible th [...]n the Day of Promulgation of the Law upon Mount Sinai; as for o­ther reasons, so for this, that as there was an audible Trum­pet, which sounded at the giving out of the Law, so [...] there be an audible Sound of a Trumpet at the Day of judg­ing Men for transgressing the Law. The sixth signe or e­vidence of Christ's coming is, That the Elect being raised from death, or in stead of death changed from this mortall life unto the estate of Immortality, the Angels shall be set on work to gather them from all the quarters of the earth, whence the winds do blow, or from the utmost pa [...]e [...] of the earth, where the sight of the Heavens have an end. Doct. Albet the Elect be now fat scattered one from another in sundry respects, yet then shall they all meet together, not one shal be in lacking; for the Angels shall gather Christ's Elect in unto him from one end of heaven unto another.

Ver. 32. Now learn a parable of the fig-tree [...] When [...] branch is [...]et tender, and putteth forth leaves; ye know that Summer is high.

33. So likewise ye, when ye shall see all t [...]e things, know was it is near even at the doors.

34. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not passe, will all these things be fulfilled.

35. Heaven and earth shall passe away, but my words shall not passe away.

After he hath given the signes of the destruction of Jerusa­lem, and of his own second coming, he confirmed them in the certainty of the coming of both, and draweth all this doctrine to good use: and first, he certifie [...]h them of the destruction of the Temple under the parable of a fig-tree; that when the fig-tree beginneth to bud, Summer is near. So when they should see the Jews d [...]ting on false Christs, heark [...]ing to false prophets, persecuting the preachers of the Gospel, growing tumultuous, and seditious, under hopes of a bodily liberation from the yoke of the Romans, rumours of wars arising, Armies coming in upon Judea, then let them perswade themselves, saith he, When these signs should appear, judgment was at the door upon that Nation, [Page 286] and that both these signes, and the destruction of Jerusalem with the Temple, should all come to passe in the dayes of them that were then living, vers. 33, 34, and he forbiddeth them to doubt hereof, because his words were more firm then heaven or earth, vers. 35. And so much for the destruction of the Temple and the signes and time therof. Doct. 1. When we see some part of the truth of God come to passe in our sight, it should help us to beleeve, and expect the fulfilling of the rest: as, When we see the trees bud, we know that Summer is near. 2. It is hard to our misbeleeving hearts to give that credit to Christs words where­of they are worthy: but by so much more is our Lords love to us, and care of us to be praised and admired, that he by so many meanes goeth about to confirm and perswade us; therfore saith he, Verily I say unto you, &c. 3. Whatsoever Christ doth say, shal be, or shal not be; his word is more firm then the Fabrick of heaven and earth ; for these shal be altered, but the Lords word is solid and endureth for ever: Heaven and earth shal pass rather saith, he, &c.

Ver. 36. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the Angels in heaven, but my Father only.

Concerning the precise time of his second coming, he saith, that neither man nor Angel knoweth, but only the Father, wher­by he doth not exclude the rest of the persons of the God-head, but only the creatures. Doct. 1. The peremptory time of the day of judgement [...]nd keepeth it to himself secret, and will not have it particularly known, and therefore it should not be narrowly pryed into; for, Of this day and hour knoweth no man, &c. 2. All things are not revealed, neither to the An­gels nor to men, but so much at may edifie the Church, and as concerneth us to know; for, My Father only knoweth, saith he.

Ver. 37. But as the dayes of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

38. For as in the dayes that were before the flood, they were eat­ing and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, untill the day that Noah entred into the Ark.

39. And knew not untill the flood came, and tooke them all away: so also shall, the coming of the Son of man be.

Our Lord draweth this doctrine unto use, to stir us up unto watchfulness, and to this end he setteth before us seven motives: the first motive is, There is no small hazard in case men be [Page 287] sound secure and not watching when Christ cometh, therefore watchfulnesse is necessary. Doct. 1. It is safer to make ready for the day of judgment, and to watch lest we be surprised, then to be curious to know the particular time of it; for As, the dayes of Noah were, &c. 2. As the old world did not beleeve judgement coming, albeit forewarned by Noah, that it was coming, so fares [...] with the world, and will be so with the multitude of the world, till the day of judgment; for, As in the dayes of Noah. 3. When men beleeve not things concerning the day of judgement and another life, no wonder they be given over unto, and drowned in the matters of this life; for, They were eating, &c. that is, This and the like was al their care. 4. Whatsoever truth men do not beleeve when it is told them, that they do not rightly know, though they conceive the meaning of the word told them; for it is said, They knew not. 5. Who so beleeve not judgment when it is threatned, shall feele judgement and be taken away with it, when it cometh; for, The flood came and tooke them all a­way.

Ver. 40. Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left.

41. Two women shal be grinding at the mil, the one shal be taken and the other left.

This second motive of watchfulnesse, teaching that at the day of judgement, they who have lived in near fellowship, shal be shed one from another; as for example, they who had been joyned in one work, Some in the field, some in the mi [...]. 2. The meanest degree of people shall be taken notice of, Even women, labourers in the field, grinding at the mill. 3. Judgement shall passe exceeding exactly, to take one and leave another, to pull up one to meet Christ in the clouds, and leave another to be punished with the damned; Therefore watchfulnesse is neces­sary.

Ver. 42. Watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

The third motive teaching us, That the Lord hath of set pur­pose kept from our knowledge the time when Christ shall come; Therfore all should watch and be ready, come when he will.

Vers. 43. But know this, that if the good man of the house had knowne in what watch the theif would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

[Page 288]The fourth motive, Set down in an example, teaching us in sense thus much, if men will watch for avoiding of tem­porall inconveniencies, much more should Christs Disci­ples watch to eschew eternall destruction: and if they do [...] not watch, then the worlds diligence in worldly things, will condemne their negligence in spirituall things.

Ver. 44. Therfore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as you think not, the Son of man cometh.

A fifth motive, Watchfulnesse maketh a man ready, albeit the Lord shall come in an hour when men thinke not; Ther­fore watch ye, that you may be ready. Doct. The solid appre­hending of the certainty of the Lords coming, and of the un­certainty of the time, is a nomble means to set us on our watch, and to make our selves ready; for, In such an hour as ye think not he shall come.

Vers. 45. Who then is a faithfull and wise servant, whom his Lord hath made ruler over his houshold, to give them mea [...] in due season?

46. Blessed is that servant, whom his Lord when he cometh, shal find so doing.

A sixth motive, especially sorting to stir up Ministers to be watchfull in their calling, as every man in his calling, so namely a Minister, (who is sa [...]-over the Lords people as a Steward to give the children the bread of life in due season) shal be blessed, if he be faithful, and found at his work, when Christ cometh: Therefore should every one watch, and the Minister in speciall, that he may be found diligence in his cal­ling, when his Master cometh. Doct. 1. The greatest ho­nour which a man can do to his servant in this world, is but a shadow, to shew forth what the Lord will bestow on his faithfull servants in the world to come; this is it which he saith, He shall make him ruler over all his goods; that is, He shall put honour upon him. 2. The so [...] of; service and trust which is put upon a Minister of the Gospel is ve­ry high, and the happinesse of a faithfull and [...]i [...]e Minister is very great; for, Who then is a faithfull and wise servant, &c. saith he.

Ver. 47. Verily I say unto you, that he shall make him ruler over all his goods.

48. But if that evill servant shall say in his bear [...] Lord de­layeth his coming.

49. And shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken.

[Page 289]The seventh and last motive, looking specially unto Mi­nisters. If any man, and especially a Minister, do not watch adoe the worke intrusted unto him, he shall be destroyed [...]rfully at the Lords coming: Therefore it is necessary a watch for the Lords coming. And here we have the portrait of an evill servant, and namely of an unfaithfull Minister: first, he hath an evill heart of mis-beliefe, he beleeveth not Christs coming unto Judgement, nor the Truth which he preacher unto others, He saith in his heart, [...]y Master delayeth his coming, that is, He looketh not for his coming. 2. He will not fail to maligne, envy, traduce and injure to his power, the more painfull and faithfull his fellow-servants be; for, He smileth his fellow servants. 3. One way or other he strengtheneth i [...]odity, and the hands of the wicked, that they should not repent, nor turne from their iniquity; for, [...] and drinketh [...] the drun­ken.

Vers. 50. The Lord of that servant shall come in [...] day; when he looketh not for him; and in an hour that he is not [...]ware [...].

51. And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his perse­ [...] with the hypocrites [...] there shall be weeping and grashing of [...]b.

This is the judgement that shall come upon all wicked ser­vants. Doct. 1. Such as do not make them ready for our Lords coming, but do follow their owne will and lusts, shall find themselves miserably mis [...]en; for the good which they injoyed or loved to have, shall be taken from them; and the evill which they feared not, shall come upon them to the full, when they least expect it; for, It shall be in [...] hour that be is not [...] of. 2. Unfaithfull Ministers who pretend to take charge of soules, and are not faithfull in that service, a [...]e ranked among the worst sort of men, that is hypocrites, and shall be of all men most severely punished; for, He shall cut them a [...]nder, saith he, and give them their portion with hy­pocrites.


In this Chapter, our Lord propoundeth two Parables, the one of the ten Virgines, to verse 14. The other of the talents, to verse 31. Both tending to prepare us for the day of his se­cond coming, and then setteth down the man­ner of the last judgement, to the end.

Ver. 1. THen shall the Kingdome of Heaven be likened unto ten Virgines, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the Bridegroom.

2. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.

3. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no [...]e with them.

4. But the wise took oyle in their vessels, with their lamps.

5. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbred and slept.

6. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bride­groom cometh, goye out to meet him.

7. Then all those Virgines arose, and trimmed their lamps.

8. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oyle, for our lamps are gone out.

9. But the wise answered, saying, Not so, lest there be not enough for us and you, but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for your selves.

10. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and they that were ready, went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.

11. Afterward came also the other Virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.

12. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

13. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day, nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

[Page 291]He scope of this Parable is set down, verse 13. to adver­tise us to watch, because we know not the hour wherein Christ shall come to judgement. To this end the visible [...] [...]a compared to ten Virgines, waiting for the Bride­ [...]rooms coming, whereof some were wise and made prepara­ [...], that whensoever the Bridegroom should come, they might [...]e ready to go with him. The other contented themselves [...]uch an outward profession of waiting for his coming, but did [...] prepare themselves, till tho time was past, and then it was [...] purpose to make a businesse; Therefore the one sort who were ready went in, and the other were excluded: and so shall [...]t come to passe with Professours in the visible Church, [...]osoever make themselves ready, and watch for the Lords [...]cond coming, shall enter into the Kingdome of Heaven, [...]hich is above; and they who do not prepare themselves, [...]o not watch for his coming, shall be excluded from Christ [...] his coming. From this Parable, in so far as it tendeth [...]o this scope, Learn, 1. Christ and his Church may well be compared to the Bridegroom and the Bride, and the spiri­ [...]all communion between them to Marriage mutually pro­ [...]ised in espousals in this life, and to be solemnized and com­plea [...]ed at the coming of our Lord. 2. As in the Parable, [...]o in the visible Church, all do professe themselves devoted [...]nto Jesus Christ the Bridegroom, and to be desirous of communion with him in Heaven, and possibly may attain to a [...]amelesse conversation, and appear Virgine-like, all waiting for the coming of our Lord in their own and others estima­tion. 3. As among the Virgines in the Parable, so in the visible Church, all are not wise Christians; but some wise, and really such as they professe themselves to be, others are counterfeit Christians and foolish. 4. As among the Vir­ [...]ines in the Parable, so in the visible Church, onely these are wise, who with the outward Lamps of open profession, labour to be furnished inwardly, with the saving graces of the holy Spirit: namely, Faith working by love, and repentance mor­tifying their sinfull lusts, that in newnesse of life they may glo­rifie God: But whoso are destitute of inward grace in their heart, they are foolish: for the Lamps of their outward profession, with­out oyle, do serve to no purpose, when matters come to a triall. 5. As in the Parable, the Bridegroom cometh when they are not aware; So will Christ come unto Judgment in a day and hour that men know not. 6. As in the Parable the wise are admitted, [Page 292] and the foolish excluded; So they who are inwardly renewed, and indued with the saving graces of the holy Spirit, shall be taken up to heaven; and they who are destitute of the oyle of the holy Spirit, void of true faith, and of the renewing vertue of Gods Grace shall be excluded. 7. As in the parable the wise could not help the foolish, nor the foolish hurt the wise; So the society of the hypocrites with the godly in the visible church, shall not be prejudiciall to the sound christians in the day of Gods judgment; not yet the society of the godly avail the hypocrites, among whom they have lived, but every man shall be judged according to that which is within him. 8. As in the parable the self-conceit of the Virgins, ver. 11, 12. hel­ped not them; so the opinion which unrenewed persons within the visible church have of their interest in Christ, their vain confidence and foolish hopes grounded upon the outward pro­fession, and their formal practises of externall duties, will not avail them before the Lord, at that day. 9. To be watchfull now, and to examine well our own case, and to see that we be sure of the inward anointing of the holy Spirit, whereby we are made indeed holy, is the only way to be certain of our sal­vation when Christ cometh to judgement; for this use Christ commandeth us to make of the parable; saying, Watch ther­fore.

Ver. 14. For the Kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods:

15. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to a­nother one; to every man according to his seuerall ability, and strait­way took his journ [...]y.

16. Th [...] he that had received the five talents [...] and traded with the same, and made them other [...] [...] ­lents.

17. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

18. But he that had received one, went and digged in the earth, and hid his lords mony.

19. After a long time, the Lord of those servants cometh and rec­koneth with them.

20. And so he that had received five talents, came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou delivered [...] unto me five talents, behold, I have gained besides them five talents more.

[Page 293]21. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and [...]full servant, thou hast been faithfull over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

22. He also that had received two talents, came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst me two talents, behold, I have gained two other ta­lents beside them.

23. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faith­ful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I wil make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.

24. Then he which had received the one talent, came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sowen, and gathering where thou hast not stra­ [...]ed.

25. And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth; [...], there thou hast that is thine.

26. His Lord answered and said unto him, thou wicked and sloth­ful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed.

27. Thou oughtest therefore to have put my mony to the exchan­gers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.

28. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

29. For unto every one that hath shal be given, and he shal have abundance: bu [...] from him that hath not, shal be taken away even that which he hath.

30. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into utter darknes, there shal be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Another parable tending to put all men on work, and in speciall the Ministers of the Gospel, for setting forth the glory of Christ, and of his Kingdome among men, according to e­very man's ability and calling, under the similitude of a ma­ster, giving to his servants mony to trade withall, for his use. Doct. 1. As the man in the parable travelling into a far coun­try, disposed of his affaires, and ordered all matters till his re­turn; So hath our Lord Jesus given exact order in his Word to all men, and specially to his Ministers, how his house shall be governed, and how every man should serve him, till his second coming again. 2. As the master in the parable giveth not the same number of talents to each servant: So the Lord [Page 294] So the Lord giveth not a like measure of gifts to every one, but to some more, to some lesse, as his heavenly Wisdom thinketh expedient. 3. As in the parable, some made use of their ta­lents, some not: So in the visible church, some imploy the gifts they have, according to their calling, to the edifying of others, and promoving of the Kingdome of Christ, other­some do misregard the Kingdome of Christ, and care not how it go with Christs matters, if their own particular go right: and therefore they make no conscience to promove Christs Kingdome in their vocation, as their duty set down in his word doth require. 4. As the master in the parable reckoned with his servants, and took an account of each mans fidelity, so shall Christ call all men, and especially Ministers to account one day, and shall search how faithfull every man hath been in his service. 5. As in the parable the faithfull servant, whether his talents were fewer or more, was accep­ted of his Master, and made partaker of his joy; So every man (who in the discharge of his calling, doth seek faith­fully the glory of Christ, and increase of his Kingdome) shall be accepted in the day of judgement, and put in ful possession of eternall life. 6. As before the Master in the parable, so also before Christ in the day of judge­ment, no excuse shall serve, to save the slothfull and un­faithfull servant (let a man deceive himselfe now as he list, and please himselfe with pretences as he will) all excu­ses shall be retorted, and made matter of his condemnation, and the unfaithfull servant shall be cast in hell. 7. As in the parable, he who had one talent, but had it not for his Masters use, is counted as if he had none, and is deprived of the possession of what he possessed, but not for his ma­sters use; So whosoever hath gifts whereby others are not profited, or Christs kingdome not promoved, what he hath is counted as if he had it not: or as if he had lost it, or put it away; and as others were not profited by his gift, so neither shall he himself be profited by it; but he that useth his gifts wel for the glory of Christ, shall be amply rewarded; the reason wherof he giveth; for, Unto every man that hath gifts, so as he hath them for his Masters use, (which is in effect to have them) It shall be given, he shall have increase of gifts, and graces, and rewards; but such as have not what they have, for the Lord's service, shall be deprived of all good which they them­selves might have of such gifts, and shall be utterly deprived [Page 295] of whatsoever good they s [...]em to have, and, They themselves also shall perish.

Ver. 31. When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.

In the rest of the chapter, the form of the day of judgement at Christs second coming is described; 1. The glorious sitting down of the Judg, ver. 31. Then the presenting of parties to be judged, and the ordering of them in their several ranks, v. 32, 33 3. The sentence of absolution of the godly, to v. 44.4. The sen­tence of condemnation of the wicked to the end: hence learn, 1. Christs humane nature assumed, is not to be laid down again, but the union of the divine and humane nature is constantly to remain, that so we may take heart and confidence, being [...] to have our Redeemer in our nature to be our judg; The Iudg shal be the Son of man. 2. His second coming shal be glorious, all infirmities being removed, He shal come in glory. 3. The glory of Christ then to be seen, shall be no borrowed glory, such as the creatures have, but his own which he had before the world be­gan for, He shal come in his own glory. 4. All the Angels in hea­ven shall attend our Lord that day, to honour him, and give ser­vice to him, as he shall imploy them; for, The holy angels shal come with him. 5. A glorious throne be [...]coming the Son of God, and the Judg of quick and dead, shal be errected in the clouds, such as none can imagine how glorious it [...] be, til they see it; for it is said, Then he shall sit upon the throne of his glory.

Ver. 32.And before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shal separate them one from another as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.

33. And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Thus the Judg is set: Now they who are to be judged are presented. 1 Doct. 1. There shall be a resurrection of the dead, and a gathering together of these that are risen, together with them who shall be then living toward the place of his appea­rance, even all that were from the beginning of the world un­to that day, without exception, all shall comp [...]r from the least to the greatest; for, All Nations shal be gathered before him. 2. Al­beit, now there be a confusion of the elect and reprobate, of the godly and the wicked; yet the [...] there shall be a separation of the one from the other, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, so shall our Lord make a perfect separation of [Page 296] the godly from the wicked, that not one of the one sort shall be in company with the other: for, He shall separate the sheep. 3. The godly and Elect (compared unto sheep for their harm­lesnesse, simplicity, obedience and attendance upon the Shep­herd) shall be placed more honourably, as it were at the right hand, which the Apostle Paul expoundeth, by being caught up off the earth unto the clouds, to meet the Lord; 1 Thes. 3.17. But the wicked and reprobate, (compared to goats, for their un­rulinese and uncleanness) shal have the place of least respects, for we hear nothing of their being list o [...] the earth, for, He shal set the sheep on his right hand, and the goats on his left, that is, He shall set the Elect in a more honourable place then the Reprobate.

Ver. 34. Then shall the king say to them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdome prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

In the pronouncing of the sentence, learn, 1. That the judg­ing of the world, is a part of the Kingly Office of Christ, wher­in he shall shew his Soveraign Authority, to give out decrees ir­revocable, and to see them executed; for, Then shall the King say. 2. Before the fearfull sentence of condemnation shall be pronounced upon the wicked, the godly shall be absolved, that without fear they may hear this dreadful doom given on the re­probate; for, Then shall he say to them on his right hand, &c. 3. The Elects compleat and nearest communion with Christ, shal not be, till they be in soul and body both translated unto Hea­ven, there to be with him for ever; for now, and not before this time, Come, saith the King. 4. The godly, in whatsoever e­state they be, are no les [...]e beloved, and blessed by the Father, than by the Son who redeemed them; for he saith, Come ye bles­sed of my Father. 5. The estate which the godly are to enjoy in Heaven, is, A Kingdom, that is, the higest honour and hap­pinesse that can be imagined; for it is said, Com [...] inherit the Kingdom. 6. This Kingdom cometh not from the Elects me­rit, but from Gods free-gift, derived from the Fathers love, an inheritance not purchased by themselves, in their own time, but Prepared for them, from the foundation of the world, that is, from eternity, wherewith we do presently meet, when we begin to think of the foundation of the world.

Ver. 35. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.

36. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

[Page 297]The manner of judging of those who are of the visible Church, where mainly intended, as the sentence of Absolution, and the sentence of Condemnation, describing the parties, do impo [...]t [...] for this concerneth us most, who are members of the visible Kirk, to take heed unto, and to make use of it. In these words our Lord doth prove the Elect to be blessed, and destinate unto the inheritance of Heaven, by the evidence of the fruits of their faith, toward himselfe. Doct. 1. The judgment of Jesus Christ shall be pronounced upon men to whom the Gospel hath come, acording to the evidence of their affection towards him: and [...] works, specially as they stand in relation to Christ, shall be then brought forth to bear witnesse, whether they have been believers or not, whether blessed of the Father, or not; for he saith here, Ye fed me, [...]lad me. 2. The godly having their sins forgiven them in this World, there shall be no mention made then of what ill was done by them, and repented of, but only of what good they did; as here, Ye clad me, fed me, visited me, doth shew. 3. Christ is so nearly conjoyned with his faithfull ser­vants, the Ministers of the Gospel, and with every faithfull per­son, that in all their afflictions he accounteth himself afflicted, and hung [...]y, thirsty, sick, and in prison, when any of his own are in that condition; for, I was an hungred, &c. saith he. 4 Love to Christ's people, especially manifested in reall [...]eeds of chari­ty, are true marks of faith in Christ, and of election unto eternal life, as here appeareth. 5. Even A visit performed unto any for Christ's cause, shall be taken notice o [...], and rewarded by Christ; for, Ye visited me, is reckoned up among other effects of love.

Ver. 37. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, whe [...] saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38. When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39. Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

This forme of speech is used by Christ, to shew us, that the righteous, and such as are justified by faith, shal wonder at their works, which they in their life time justly esteemed little of, and had no confidence in, should be so much taken notice of, and rewarded so, as at the last day they shall perceive; as also, they shall wonder that Christ findeth himselfe so much concerned in the works of love, discharged to his children for his sake; this wondering is imported and expressed in this interrogation, When saw we thee an hungred? &c.

[Page 298] Ver. 40. And the King shall answer, and say unto them, Veri­ly I say unto you, in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

In Christ's answer, learn, 1. That whosoever have believed in the Messiah, from the beginning of the World, are accoun­ted of by him, as Brethren and sisters, and he will not be asha­med to point them forth, and avow them his brethren; yea, he shall not be ashamed to call the least of them his brethren, and to esteem of the least courtesie done, or kindnesse shewn to the least of them, as if it had been done to himselfe. 2. Howso­ever we can hardly believe this, yet he will have us assured of the truth hereof, for to assure us, Verily it is so, saith he.

Ver. 41. Then shall he say also unto them upon the left hand, De­part from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the de­vil and his angels.

After the absolution of the Faithfull, the wicked shall receive the sentence of condemnation. Doct. 1. Such as were never brought unto the sense of the curse deserved for their sins, and made to flie unto Christ Jesus to be delivered from the curse, shall finde the curse of God cleave fast to them in the last day; then shall they be called, Ye cursed. 2. Such as did not in their life time seek communion with God in Christ, shall be separate and chased out of his sight with a fearfull Depart ye. 3. There is not part to go unto save hell, for them whom Christ as Judge, at the day of judgment commandeth to depart; Therefore saith he, Depart ye into everlasting fire. 4. The pain of hell is most horrible, for in respect of extremity of pain, it is called Fire, and for the indurance, it is without Ending; Therefore saith he, Depart ye into everlasting Fire. 5. Satan the prince of un­clean spirits, and all the apostate angels with him, and all the wicked of the world, who have served Satan by their ill deeds, shall be tormented together; for it shall be said to them, De­part ye into the fire prepared for the divel and his angels. 6. No question is to be made of the execution and manner of their torment; for it is ready prepared, Depart ye into the fire prepa­red, saith he, that is, Into the fore-devised most extream pain that can be imagined, for tormenting of spirits or bodies.

Ver. 42. For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43. I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not; sick and in prison, and ye visited me not.

In the reason of their condemnation, Learn, 1. That the un­repented [Page 299] ill deeds of the wicked, and namely their mis-regard­ing of the Messiah Christ, in his Person and Members, shall prove the pretence to be just; for, You did not so and so to me, saith he. 2. The omission of good deeds will serve sufficiently for a ditty against the wicked; for, Ye fed me not, clothed me not, &c. 3. The common fault of all the wicked shall be found want of love to Christ and his members; for, because they did not cherish such as did believe in Christ, it shall be said to them, Ye did it not to me: and here it appeareth that all his pro­cesse concerneth them especially to whom the Gospel cometh; for unto them to whom the Gospel never came, this cannot be said, and therefore we have not to search any further of the day of judgement, then what doth concern our selves, and what we may make use of.

Ver. 44. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45. Then shall be answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, in as much as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to m [...].

46. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternall.

In the answer which the Damned are brought in giving unto Christ, as pleading for themselves, learn, 1. That the wicked do conceive they have such excuses as will bear them out at the great day, but which will faile them altogether; Therefore, When saw we thee, &c. say they. 2. If omission of duties shal be a sufficient ditty unto condemnation, how great shall the ditty be, when all commissions shall be joyned with all omissi­ons, and all sorts of sins shall be joyned together? for here is their ditty, In as much as ye did it not to one, &c. 3. Mis­regarding of Christ's servants and children in their need of our help, shall be interpreted a mis-regarding of Christ; for so importeth, Ye did it not to me. 4. The sentence of absoluti­on shall be executed, as it is pronounced, and so shall the sen­tence of condemnation also; Everlasting life shall be the por­tion of the godly, and everlasting punishment the portion of the ungodly; for, They shall go away, &c. but the righteous into life.


Christ forewarneth his Disciples of the manner of his death, to be within three dayes, which accordingly was fulfilled: for his enemies re­solve to kill him before the feast day, verse 5. And Christ giveth warning again of his death and buriall in Simons house, by occasion of oyntment poured on him, verse 13. Then Ju­das selleth him to the Priests, verse 16. But Christ before he was apprehended, celebrateth the Passeover, and instituteth the Sacrament of his Supper that night he was betrayed, and fore­warneth his Disciples of his being betrayed that same night, verse 36. After which he goeth to the garden, and endureth horrible agonies in his soule, verse 46. Being apprehended, he endureth hard things of the Priests and Elders, and is condemned in Caiaphas hall, where Peter having denied him, is raised up again by repentance.

Ver. 1. ANd it came to passe, when Iesus ha [...] finished all these sayings, he said unto his Disciples,

2. Ye know that after two dayes is the feast of the Passeover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be cru [...]ified.

AFter Christ hath taught his Disciples, what was fit to be told them, in answer to their questions about the time of the day of judgment, he telleth them of the time of his passion, because that was most necessary. Doct. 1. The Lord hideth, and sheweth secrets to his people, as may best profit them. 2. His foretel­ling the time of his sufferings, which his enemies knew not, al­beit they longed for it, sheweth his fore-knowledge of, and re­solute willingnesse toward the work of redemption; for he saith, After two dayes the Son of man shall be betrayed.

Ver. 3. Then assembled together the chiefe Priests, and the [Page 301] Scribes; and the Elders of the people, unto the palace of the high Priest, who was called Caiphas.

4. And consulted that they might take Iesus by subtilty, and kill him.

5. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.

In this wicked assembly decreeing to kill Christ, Lehrn▪ 1. That councels may erre, and such as have the title of ru­lers and elders in the Church, may prove enemies to Christ, for such is the assembly of the chiefe rulers here. 2. Satan laboureth to have, and often findeth men of most power in Church and State, to be against Christ; as here, Elders and Scribes. 3. The craft and malice and blood-thirstinesse of Christ's enemies is great; as here, They resolve to take him by subtilty, and kill him. 4. Wicked men are wise to foresee temporall inconveniences, but blinde to foresee the danger of sinning; as here, Not on the feast day, say they, lest there be an uproar among the people [...]; but no fear of God is in their heart to kill the Innocent. 5. When the people are zealous for Christ, it muzleth the mouthes of bloody dogs; as here, Lest there be an uproar, say they, among the people, Therefore these wicked men preveened the feast day.

Ver. 6. Now when Iesus was in Bethany, in the house of Si­mon the leper.

7. There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious oyntment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

There is a remarkable passage of anointing of Christ unto his buriall observed here; In which history, learn, 1. That in little Bethany, as well as in great Jerusalem, God hath his own: as here, Simon, and this woman. 2. The man who is sensible of his cleansing by Christ, will love him all his life long after; as Simon the leper here receiveth, enter­taineth Christ and his Disciples. 3. When our by-past in­firmities may glorifie Christ, it is no shame to bear the me­morials thereof; for here the Evangelist calleth him Simon the leper, though now whole. 4. Love spares no cost; where love is hot, there nothing is dear, as is to be seen in this wo­man, who breaks an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and pours it out upon Christ.

Ver. 8. But when his Disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

[Page 302]9. For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

10. When Iesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

11. For ye have the poor alwayes with you, but me ye have not alwayes.

Judas bearing the bag, was offended that this ointment was not sold and put in his custody, and moveth the rest to mis­like the waste, as he calleth it. Doct. 1. One murmurer may infect a whole company, one Judas doth insnare in his fault other disciples; Therefore it is said, When his Disciples saw it, they had indignation. [...] 2. When men look after the manner of the world upon Christ, they account all to be losse that is be­stowed on him; To what purpose is this waste? say they. 3. Avarice wants not faire pretences; as here, It might have been sold for much, and given to the poore, say they. 4. Good mens best actions may be misconstrued, even by Christs own disci­ples: as here may be seen. 5. It is no small trouble to the godly, to find their good works mis-interpreted, especially by the godly; Therfore saith Christ, Why trouble ye the woman? 6. Albeit men mis-interpret good works, yet Christ will judge a­right of them, and take part with his owne, and defend them, as here is seen; She hath wrought a good work, saith he. 7. Such good works as offer themselves rarely, and will not readily occur again, should not be neglected, but instantly be followed, and preferred to other good works, whereof more frequent oc­casion is offered; as here, The poore you have alwaies with you, saith he.

Ver. 12. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my buriall.

13. Verily I say unto you, Whersoever this Gospel shal be prea­ched in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memoriall of her.

This holy woman foresaw his death, and doth the last duty unto him. Doct. 1. The Lord knoweth the intentions of his ho­nest servants, and sets a price on their good deeds therby; ther­fore saith he, She did it for my buriall. 2. Our Lord knew that the gospell should be preached through the world, &c what was to be preached also; for, Where this gospel shal be preached, saith be, this shall be told, &c. 3. True faith seeth afar off, for this woman seeth life in death, believeth the Lord Jesus to be the true Savi­our, worthy of all honour in his death, as well as in his life; be­lieveth [Page 303] that he should not see corruption, believeth that his death should be a sweet smelling sacrifice to God, and the savour of life unto his people; for, She did it, saith Christ, for my buriall. 4. The memorial of the just shall not go to the grave with them, but their good deeds shal be had in everlasting remembrance: In this woman we have assurance of it; for, This shall be preach­ed for a memorial of her, saith he. 5. Whosoever do any thing for Christ shall never have cause to rew, Christ accounts more of it then it is all worthy; for, She hath wrought a good work on me, saith Christ, before; and now, This shall be told of her for a me­moriall.

Ver. 14. Then one of the twelve, called Iudas Iscariot, went un­to the chief Priests,

15. And said unto them, What will you give me, and I wil deli­ver him unto you? and they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.

16. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

Iudas minding to have gain some way, seeketh opportunity first to sel, then to betray Christ. Doct. 1. When a wicked man is ingaged to do an evill turne, he never taketh rest till he act it, as is here seen in Judas, from that time he sought opportunity to be­tray Christ. 2. When men have an evil turne in their heart, and want opportunity only, they shall not want occasion long: as Judas minding to sell Christ, doth seek and find fit Merchants, the chief Priests. 3. God will suffer wicked men to follow their designes, even against himselfe, when he seeth it fit for his own glory: as here he wil not hinder a Judas to go to the high priests. 4. He that is greedy of gain, will sel his Soul and Heaven, and Christ for money, as Judas here doth. 5. He that is not Christs friend in truth, will soon turn Traitour, as Iudas here doth. 6. Hypocrites wil be found in best societies: for here a Traitour is one of the twelve. 7. The wicked shall bear their own blame and the society shall be free: as here Judas is named alone. 8. Secret enemies and open will easily agree together, and own one another, as here Judas and the high Priests make a short bar­gain▪ 9. He tha [...] [...]ell [...]th Christ knoweth not his worth; for, Wh [...] wil [...] you gi [...]e me? saith the seller. 10. He that will sin and sell Christ, will do it upon a naughty condition, ere he want all, Thirty pieces of silver, or what may be had, will make the bargain [...]all.

Ver. 17. Now the first day of the Feast of unleavened bread, [Page 304] the disciples came to Iesus, saying unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the passeover?

The doctrine of the covenant of grace, being delivered by our Lord, and confirmed abundantly by miracles, the instituti­on of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper followeth, for sealing up of this covenant unto the believer; and to this intent menti­on is made of Christs last eating of the Sacrament of the Passo­ver, unto which was subjoyned the institution & celebration of the Sacramental Supper; for the clearing of some circumstan­ces whereof, and of the duty of preparation for right receiving of it, that which is here spoken of the Passeover, doth give light, Doct. 1. It is commendable to remember Gods Ordinances in due time, and to prepare for them; as here, The first day of the Feast, the Disciples came, and make ready for it. 2. Our Lord made himself so poor, that he had not a house of his own, albeit he was Owner of all the earth; as, Where wilt thou that we pre­pare? doth import. 3. Our Lord subjected himself unto the Law, and did keep exactly both the Moral and ceremoniall Law, that he might deliver us from the yoke of the one, and from the cursefor breaking of the other, He kept the Passover. 4. The terms of Sacramental speech were wel understood by Christs disciples as to put the thing signified for the sign, namely by this phrase, To cat the Passeover, they mean, to [...]at the Lamb, the Sacramental memorial of the Angels passing over of the houses of the Isra­elites in Egypt.

Ver. 18. And be said, Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand, I will keep the Passoever at thy house with my Disciples.

19. And the Disciples did as Iesus had appointed them, and they made ready the Passeover.

Christ directeth them to a friends house, a worthy man for so holy a service. Doct. 1. The Lord wil not want friends wher­soever he is, here in Jerusalem he hath friends, as he had also in Bethany, Go into the city to such a man, saith he. 1. He hath such commandement of the spirits of men, as he can bow their will to do what service he pleaseth, for he is sure to make such a man obey. 3. Christ hath taken on him to be our Teacher, and to him only the dignity of Master is due; there­fore he calleth himself the Master. 4. It is of his own free choise that our Lord doth imploy any man more th [...]n another; for, Go to such a man, and say, importeth this. 5. The more near our time to depart this life doth draw, the more carefull should we [Page 305] be to have all things done by us which should be [...] done▪ therefore saith he, My time is at hand, I will keep the Passeover. 6. It is the part of true Disciples to follow Christs direction in all things, and being clear in the command, to go about the obedience of it; for, The Disciples did as Iesus ap­pointed.

Ver. 20. Now when the even was come, he sate down with the twelve.

For clearing of the history of the Lords Supper, which was instituted at the close of the Passeover, we have here set down the circumstances of eating of the Passeover▪ as time, place, and persons; whereby we have ground to conceive that Iudas was present at the Sacrament of the Passeover, he being one of the twelve: for first, seeing there is no question made, that as Iudas was imployed in the Apostleship with the rest, so he was admitted also with the rest unto the fellowship of all Worship and Divine Ordinances, and was present at so many former feasts of the Passeover as Christ did keep with his Disciples; there can be no inconvenience to suppose him present at the Passeover at this time also. Secondly, seeing whatsoever is said by Historiographers, concerning a common Supper, before the sacrament to be observed by the Jews (a people too much given to their own inventions, and the traditions of Elders) it is safe [...]t for us to thinke that Christ did keep the Law of the Passeover, as was written, Exodus 12. wherein was appoin­ted a whole Lambe, with unleavened bread (not prescribing how much) and soure or bitter herbes for a sauce-drink being presupposed and included, as naturally necessary, to make the Passover to be a Supper, and an holy Feast; all which making up sufficient store of meat, to be a meal to so many men, and to furnish a sop to Iudas ere he went forth, and Elements also unto the new Sacrament, after he was gone; there is no ground to make us conceive, that there was a common Supper prece­ding the Passover; but when we find Iudas to be eating with the rest, after their down-sitting to the Passover, we have good ground to think that Iudas was partaker of the Passeover Sup­per. Thirdly, seeing the Evangelist expresly saith, ver. 19. that they made ready the Passeover, and verse 20. that Christ when the even was come, sate down with the twelve, to wit, to eat the Passover, and ver. 21. That as they, that is, Christ with the twelve, were eating, he said to them, one of you shall betray me; we may without any scruple conclude, that Iudas was present at [Page 306] the Passover, and so much the more as we find, that the Evan­gelists hereafter do number only eleven Disciples, untill the time that Matthias, who used alwayes to be present with the A­postles was chosen to supply the room of Iudas, and to make up again the number of twelve, Act. 1.26. In regard of whom the Apostle Paul had just ground to say, 1 Cor. 15.6. that Christ was seen of the twelve, because Act. 1, 21.22. Matthias being present alwayes with the twelve, and so at this apparition, and reckoned with the eleven in Iudas room, doth make the number compleat. This being presupposed, we learn. 1. That neither is the Sacra­ment the worse, nor are the communicants polluted, albeit an undiscovered hypocrite be in company with them at the Lords Table; for Iudas was one of the twelve, with whom Christ sate down to eat the Passeover, and neither the ordinance, nor the rest of the Apostles were tainted with Iudas his fault, the pollution of the Sacrament was in Iudas only, and remained with him alone. 2. The Lord will not discover hypocritees, till they by their own deeds discover themselves, but wil suffer them to lurk among the Saints, till his own time come, as here he suffereth Iudas to lurk and to eat the Passeover. 3. Social sitting at table is a very sit posture for a religious Feast, for here Christ and his Disciples sit down at table together to eat the Passover.

Ver. 21. And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 And they were exceeding sorrowful: and began every one of them to say unto him, Lord, is it I?

Our Lord forwarneth the Disciples that he was to be betra­ed by one of them, and putteth each man to try themselves. Doct. 1. It is possible that a man may come to the Lords table the one day, and betray him shortly after; the like fell out in Christs own Apostles, One of you, saith he, shal betray me.. 2. The possibility that a communicant may become a Traitour, should put all men to search themselves, as here the Apostles are put to it, saying, Is it I? 3. Sincerety and charity wil make men search and suspect themselves rather than another, as here the Apostles say not, Is it Iudas? but, Is it I? 4. The sincere man dares not trust the deceitfulness of his own heart, but bringeth it to the Searcher therof, and relieth upon his testimony, as here the A­postles do, saying to Christ, Is it I?

Ver. 23, And he answered and said, he that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray [...]e.

[Page 307]24 The Son of man goeth as it is written of him, but [...]o unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed: it had been good for that [...], if he had not been born.

Christ answereth their question, and taketh away the stum­bling block of his suffering himself to be betrayed, by applicati­on of the prediction of the scripture to the present date, to let them see that the betraying of him was for [...]old in the scripture. Doct. 1. A benummed conscience, and a shamelesse face are easi­ly joyned with a resolute purpose to sin, as here the Traitour standeth not to dip his hand in the dish with Christ, when he was minded presently to betray him. 2. No kindness or good which the godly can bestow upon the wicked, will hinder the wicked to prove Enemies to the godly, when they are put to tri­al; as all Christs kind usage of Iudas, and admitting him to eat of the dish with him, stayed him not from going to betray him. 3. The known wil of God is the best remedy to save us from stumbling at the Crosse of Christs as here, It is written, saith Christ, that he may keep them from stumbling. 4. The predi­ction of Gods Word, and the foredetermination of a fact, doth not exempt the sinner, and the committer of the fact, from guilt or punishment, for not the lesse it is said, Wo to that man. 5. Sin turneth all the benefits of God into curses, and maketh them matter of misery; for, It had been better for the traitour he had ne­ver been born, saith Christ.

Ver. 25. Then Iudas, which betrayed him, answered, and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said.

Iudas seigneth himself a friend, and is loath to bewray him­self, by not saying as the rest did. Doct. 1. Hypocrites for shame will professe sincerety, as the sincere do, so saith Iudas, Is it I? 2. A seated conscience will make an affronted face, as here Iudas dares say, Is it I? 3. The more the hypocrite will hide his sin, the more is it brought forth, as here, Thou hast said it, saith Christ.

Ver. 26. And as they were eating, Iesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body.

27 And he took the Cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it.

28 For this is my bloud of the new Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Now followeth a more particular relation of the instituti­on of the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, the whole Doctrine [Page 308] whereof is not to be found in any of the Evangelists or Apo­stles, but to be collected out of all, each contributing their part to expresse the full meaning of the Lords Spirit in this matter. Here we take up onely that which Matthew saith; and first we observe, that the celebration of the first Sacramental Supper of the Lord, was joyned in one continued supperly a­ction with the Sacrament of the passeover; our Lord herein declaring the old church and new to be one in him, and the Sacraments of both, to have himself for their signification, for the Sacrament began, as They were eating, that is, sitting s [...]ill at table, and the Supper not closed. 2. For the nature of the action, it is required there be a Table prepared, and Elements ready to be made use of: For the first Supper which is our pa­tern, was celebrated at the same Table whereat the Passeover was celebrated, wherupon there were yet remaining Elements for eating, for this much is imported in, As they were eating. 3. It is requisite also, that the Minister of the Gospel and his stock, so many of them as may communicate together at one Table at once, be assembled together, and joyntly set down together, for celebration of this holy Feast; for so was it in the patern, As they were eating, they, that is, Christ as mi­nister, and his disciples as the flock. 4. The fittest posture of the Communicants in the action of this holy Feasting, is social sitting together at the Lords Table; for this was the behaviour of the first communicants, the Lord began to give the Sacrament As they were eating, that is, as they yet con­tinued sitting together socially at the Table, materials fo [...] ea­ting not being removed, da [...]ing which time men are said to be eating. 5. The Elements of this holy Feast are only bread and wine▪ for, Christ took bread, and [...] cup. 6. The part of the Minister is to take the Elements, and by the word of Institution and Prayer to sanctifie, separate and appoint them for this holy and sacramental use, so much of them and in so far as they, shall be imployed by the communicants; for, Christ blessed the bread, blessed the cup, and gave tha [...]s to the Father. 7. The part of the Minister also is to break the bread, and give it unto the com­munity of the Communicants, with a command unto them in common, or in the plural number, to take the bread, and eat it; for Christ brake the bread, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take ye, eat ye. 8. It is the part of the Minister to expo [...]e and declare with authority in the Lords Name, what this Bread thus blessed, thus broken, thus given and taken, doth sig­nifie, [Page 309] exhibit and seal up by Christs appointment, unto the beleeving communicant; to wit, that This bread is Christs bo­dy, which speech is not to be understood physically nor mira­culously, but judicially; that is to say, in the sense that civil judgement maketh the instruments of security of any thing, to be called by the name of it, and holden in law for it; and therfore as the instrumental elements wherby men are infeoff'd in any house or land, or rent, being orderly given and taken, are by the appointment of mens law, the very house, or land, or rent, really, and truly in law made sure to the receiver, for all lawfull and profitable effects, before the Barre of civil Justice: so this bread thus given, and thus taken, is by the in­stitution and appointment of divine Ordinance, in a judicial sense, the very body of Christ suffering, judicially and truly, or really in divine Law made sure to the receiver for all profita­ble effects before the Bar of divine Justice; and as the instru­mental Elements of seising a man in a house, or land, or rent (such as are, for example cause, a piece of earth, or a stone, or a staffe, or a penny) orderly given and taken, do signifie, exhibit, and confirme in law a mans right and title unto such a house, or land, or rent more strongly, then if a man did take the house or land physically in his armes, if it were possible. So this bread by Divine Ordinance, doth signifie, exhibit, and and confirme the Beleevers right and title unto Christs body, as suffering for the beleevers redemption, more certainly and surely, then if Christs body suffering were physically imbraced by him in his armes, if it were possible: and therefore, as the instrumental elements of civill inseoffment, in the termes of humane ordinance, and institution, are rightly called by the name of the lands disponed, so the Sacramentall element of bread is rightly called Christs body, disponed in the termes of Divine Ordinance and institution, which appointeth hereby right to be given unto us unto Christs body, as suffering for our redemption. 9. To assure us of ful satisfaction and com­pleat furniture for eternall life, Christ our Lord hath not on­ly taken bread in the Sacrament, but also hath instituted a cup, that is, both meat and drink, for certifying us, that we shall have compleat nourishment in him, commanding the commu­nity of the Beleevers, or communicants, in the plurall num­ber, to drink therof; for, He also took the cup and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye al of it. 10. As it is necessary, that the people receive the sacramental bread with the exposition and [Page 310] declaration in the Lords Name, of what it giveth them right unto by Divine Institution, so it is also necessary, that the people receive all of them the Sacramentall Cup, with declaration of what it giveth them right unto by Christ's Ordinance; for this cup, or wine in the cup, is my blood, saith the Lord, to wit, Appointed of me judicially to make you truely or really sure of your right unto my death and the blood shed, and unto all benefits bought thereof. 11. There is a Covenant of Redemption past between the Father and Mediatour Christ, wherein Christ was bound to lay down his life, by the shedding of his blood to purchase to the Redeemed remission of sins: This is impo [...]ted in the words of, The blood of the Covenant for the remission of sins; shew­ing, that the Son had before promised to pour out his blood for purchasing remission, and the Father had granted remis­sion upon this condition. 12. Christ did make his Testa­ment before his death, and left remission of sins in legacy to his redeemed people, namely, to believing Communicants. This is imported in the words of a Testament, for remission of sins. 13. Christ did make his Testament two wayes, one in typicall promises under the Law, before he came in the flesh: and so also in types and figures he died, as it were, and was the Lamb slain from the beginning of the World: Again, He made his Testament after his Incarnation in plain and clear terms, after which he fulfilled the types of his death, and actually laid down his life for his Redeemed People: This is imported in the words, New Testament is my blood shed, Presupposing an Old Testament in the blood of typicall lambs, and other sacrifices. 14. Con­forme to this two-fold manner of making of a Testament, there was also a two-fold manner of making of a Covenant of Grace, between God and the Church, in her head Christ; one called, An Old Covenant, before he came, of typicall pro­mises, painfull and chargeable rites, and harder conditions to the externall Beholder; another after his Incarnation, called, A New Covenant of better promises, and more comfortable conditions, because now the dimnesse of the shadow is remo­ved, the yoke of the ceremonies is broken, and the substance of the covenant is more clearly seen, and this is imported in the word of new Covenant; for the word in the original, which signi­fieth Testament, signifieth also Covenant, and is indifferently used for either; for the Testament and Covenant, is much of the same [Page 311] articles to, and with the same persons. 15. The Sacrament of the Lords Supper, is a seal of [...]he new covenant of Righteousnesse [...] and eternal life by faith in Jesus Christ the Redeemer; this is imported in the words, This cup is my bloud of the new covenant, that is, It is the seal of the new covenant wherby I make you sure [...]ight unto my bloud, shed for remission of sins. 16. By the new covenant of righteousness, and life through faith in Christ sealed in the Sacrament, the believe [...] getteth right unto the co­venant of redemption made between God and Christ, to the be­hove of the redeemed; this is imported in the words of Testament or covenant of bloud shed, to satisfie the Father, for many, for the remis [...]ion of sins.

Ver. 29. But I say unto you, I wil not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Fathers kingdom.

That our Lord may put upon his disciples the impressio [...] of his death shortly to follow, and so both [...]ngraft the doctrine of the Sacrament more deeply in them, and prepare them the better for his death, he sheweth them, that this was the last draught of wine he was to take in a Sacramental way with them, and that the time was coming when he and his discipl [...]s should in Heaven together he partakers of the joy, and comfort signi­fied by this Sacramental wine, which he calleth, The drinking of it new, or in the newnesse of the Spirit, and not in the oldnesse of the letter; for the extern [...]l Sacrament, and Sacramental Ele­ments, are at the last to be abolished as old: But [...]he joy, and Life, and Honour signified by the Sacramental Participation of them shal never be abolished, shal never wax old, but shall be fresh and new for ever. Doc. 1. Our Lord, beside all other relations which he hath to the Sacrament, as the In­stitutor thereof, the End therof, the Thing signified therby, the Minister in the first celebration thereof, is also [...] Fellow-bangu [...] ­ter, and communi [...] with us in his own [...]ay; for he did drink of the Sacramental wine, as it signified communion of life, and joy with us in Heaven, I wil not drink henceforth of the fruit of the Vine, until I drink it new with you, &c. 2. Whatsoever change it put upon the wine in the Sacrament, by instituting that it should signifie and seal up spiritual life and joy, yet al­ter the sanctifying of it, and in the time of drinking of it by the communic [...]nts, it [...]emaineth Wine, in the own natural pro­perties, without being [...] [...]tia [...]; for, I wil not, saith he, drink of the fruit of the Vine henceforth. 3. The drink­ing [Page 312] of the Sacramental wine is a sign and pledge of our spiri­tuall and new communion in life and joy in the Kingdome of Heaven, for Christ expoundeth it, saying Untill the Day that I shal drink it new with you, in the Kingdom of my Father. 4. Christ will not be content to be without his disciples in Hea­ven; for, I wil drink it new with you in the kingdom of my Father, saith he.

Ver. 30. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives.

This is the close of the whole action. Doc. 1. It is fit that God be glorified in the Assembly of the church, by singing of Psalms; and in particular, when the Sacrament of the Lords Supper is celebrate; for, They did sing a hymn. 2. How sad hours soever the Lord send unto us, it is our part alwayes to sing his praises, for the disciples albeit they all knew that our Lord was presently to suffer, yet They did sing unto God an hymn.

Ver. 31. Then saith Iesus unto them, All ye shal be offended be­cause of me this night, for it is written, I wil smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shal be scattered abroad.

32. But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.

Christ foretelleth his disciples of their stumbling at his suffe­rings, and denying of him that night, according as was foretold, Zach. 13.7. and that he would rise again from death, and would gather them unto him, and meet them in Galilee, whether they were to fly: yea, and that he should be there before them. Doc. 1. The afflictions for the Gospel may be such, as the stoutest dis­ciples may stumble at them, and fall at a time; for, All ye shal be offended because of me, saith he. 2. The visibility of the church is not such, but that possibly open profession of the Gospel, and o­pen communion of Saints may be interrupted by persecution; for it is written, I wil smite the Shepherd, and the Sheep of the flock shal be scattered abroad. 3. Christ shall be victorious over the power of persecuters, and after a scattering, he will gather unto himself again the upright in heart: He giveth ground to us for so much saying, After I am risen again, I wil go before you into Galilee.

Ver. 33. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be of­fended.

34. Iesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, that this night be­fore the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

[Page 313]35. Peter said unto him, Though I should dy with thee, yet wil I not deny thee: likewise also said all the disciples.

Honest Peter cannot believe such weakness (at least) in him self, and therfore albeit forwarned the second time, he speaketh stou [...]ly, and so do the rest of the disciples also. Doct. 1. Unexpert christians can hardly believe themselves to be so weak and sin­ful, as the Lordsword sheweth them to be▪ but so much the more as they have an honest purpose to stand, they have fleshly confi­dence in their own strength, and do assure themselves that they shal stand in all assays, howsoever others fal beside them; Ther­fore is it that Peter saith, Though all men should be offended, yet not I, although I should dy, I wil not deny thee; and so also do the rest say. 2. He that trusteth most to his own strength, is nearest unto the most fearful fal; Therfore it is said to Peter, Ere the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Ver. 36. Then cometh Iesus with them unto a place called Geth­semane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here while I go and pray yonder.

Our Lordslast sufferings may be for memories cause distin­guished by the places wherin He suffered. First, In the Garden on moun [...] Olives, to ver. 57. and next in C [...]iphas hall, to the end of this chapter: Our Lord taketh his eleven trusty Disci­ples with him into the Garden:where he [...]new the traitour with the enemies should shortly come to apprehend him, and ac­quainteth his Disciples with his pu [...]pose of going apart to pre­pare himself by prayer, for suffering. Doc. 1. As the truth of the Gospel, so the right way of suffering for the truth must be lear­ned from Christ; Therfore our Lord tak [...]th with him his disci­ples unto Gethsemane, a Garden and place where he is to begin his last sufferings, that they might see how voluntarily and holi­ly he addressed himself unto that service. 2. As we should not make oftentation of going to private prayer, so neither need we scrupulously to conceal our purpose when it may edi­fie; for Christ saith here, Sit you here, till I go and pray yon­der.

Ver. 37. And he took with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebe­dee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, evenn unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

Out of the eleven Disciples, He chooseth three to be wit­nesses of the hardest parts of his sufferings, even the same who were lately witnesses of his glorious transfiguration. Doc. 1. Al­beit [Page 314] [...] [Page 315] [...] [Page 314] al the redeemed be alike dear to Christ, yet wil he acquaint some with more deep passages of his sufferings then others, and readily such as he hath acquainted before with clearer sight of his Glory; as here, He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee. 2. Our Lord suffered for our sins, not only in his body, but also in his soul, dolour and heaviness in a measure unspeak­able; My soul, saith he, is exceeding sorrowfull even unto death. 3. Our Lord kept back from his own humane nature the consola­tions of the personal union thereof with the Divine nature, so far, that he, as Man, did not despise the smallest mean of ease or relaxtion that could be, but calleth for the company of his slippery disciples; and hereby doth teach us in our sad perplexi­ties to take the company of some of the Saints, to whom we may reveal our mind; for, Tarry ye here, and watch with me, saith he to them.

Ver. 39. And he went a little further, and fel on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me: nevertheless, not as I wil, but as thou wilt.

Albeit their company could be of some use, yet but of smal use to him, therfore he goeth on and prayeth. Doc. 1. There is no ease to a perplexed soul, under the sense of wrath, till it be alone with God, there it may sigh & groan, utter broken words, keep silence, or freely expresse it selfe as it pleaseth, without misconstruction; Therfore He goeth a little from them, and fell on his face, and prayed. 2. The sense of the wrath of God felt by Christ, and the weight of the curse due to our sins laid upon him, was so horrible, that his holy nature looking upon it, sim­ply as it tendeth to the destruction of the creatures, could not but abhor it, and so wish to be rid of it, if it had been possible; therfore doth holy nature say, My Father, if it be possible, let this cup passe from me. 3. The love that our Lord hath to our redemp­tion, and his special covenant made with the Father, for the paying of our ransome, made him to subject his holy nature and Wil to that which otherwise is abhorred: therfore looking to the Fathers will, thus to expiate the sinnes of the Redeemed, he saith, Neverthelesse, not as I will (in an holy naturall choise) but as thou wilt, let it be, I voluntarily do choose it; that is, according to the condition past between us, for redemption of the Elect, Let me drink this cup: and here the merit of sin, th [...] strictnesse of Divine Justice, the horrour of the wrath of God, with the weight of the curse, the mercy of God towards sinners, and the unspeakable love both of God and Christ to­ward [Page 315] the Elect, is to be seen lively set forth before us in our Lords passion.

Ver. 40. And he cometh unto his disciples and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour?

41. Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Here is a short breathing time after his wrastling, wherein he cometh to his Disciples, whom no trouble could make him for­get, because for them, and for the rest of his own people these sufferings were sustained; and finding them asleep, he gently re­proveth them, and exhorteth them to watch and pray by three reasons: The first is joyned with a reproof, It is but an hour you have to watch, til you be yoked with a temptation, by occasion of my sufferings approaching; Therfore, why do you not watch this one hour with me? The second reason, Except you watch and pray, you may readily come under the power of temptation, Therfore watch and pray, lest you enter into, or begin to come under the power of temptation. The third reason is, Albeit the spirit or your renewed part be ready and willing to resist and oppose temptations, yet the flesh, your natural and unrenewed part is weak and ready to be overcome, Therefore watch and pray. Doc. 1. When we are in greatest danger, and matters most concerning us are in hand, when God calleth most for our ser­vice, and we have most need to watch, then are we readily most secure, as it fares with these disciples whom Christ called to watch with him, and now findeth them asleep. 2. Seeing we have no strength of our own to overcome temptations, the only way to prevail, is to watch, and pray to God for assistance; therefore Christ saith, Watch and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. 3. Seeing the godly are in great part flesh and unrenewed, and so are ea­sily insnared by temptations, the spirit and renewed part hath so much more need of the help of spiritual exercises; for therfore Christ bids them watch and pray upon this reason, that howsoe­ver the spirit be willing, yet the flesh is weak.

Ver 42. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not passe away from me, except I drink it, thy wil be done.

43. And he came and found them asleep again, for their eys were heavy.

44. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words,

[Page 316]Our Lord's Agony, under the sense of wrath, and weight of the curse due to our sins, is renewed again and again, while he is coming and going between his Father and his slippery Disciples, pra [...]ing to the Father the second and third time, in the same wor [...]; for understanding whereof let us consider, that it standeth with the holinesse of humane Nature, so well to be naturally and necessarily sensible of pain and griefe, as to be voluntarily patient under it; so well to tremble, and be feared for the wrath of the Creatour, as to love to have his consolation, and to have joyfull communion with him; so well naturally and necessarily to abhor, and seek to be rid of every thing which is destructive of it selfe, and separate from felt-joy in God, as to submit it selfe to whatsoever trouble or crosse which it shall please God to lay upon it; and therefore it is alike agreeable to the holinesse of humane Nature in Christ to speak one word to the Father, in the language of pure holy Nature, simply looking to what is destructive of nature, and another word from holy voluntary resolution, sub­jecting the simple desires of nature to the furthering of the supream desires of the Creatour, and so it standeth well with his holinesse to say to the Father, as the truth was, to this sense, This cup of thy Wrath is so horrible, and unspeakably terrible, that looking simply on it, I cannot be a man and not abhor it, tremble at it, and be feared for it, and seek by all lawfull means to be rid of it, and to expresse so much of the simple desires of holy humane Nature in me, Let this cup de­part from me; but seeing it is thy will, that by sufferings measu­red out to me, as in a cup, the price of Redemption of the E­lect shall be paied, Let me have it, Thy will be done, I con­sent unto it, I will the same which thou willest, give it to me; I will drink it to the dregs. Doct. 1. Christ trod the Wine­presse of the Lords Wrath alone, his own most intire Disci­ples could not so much as watch with him one hour, in his Agony: He cometh unto them thrice, and thrice findeth them asleep. 2. The measure of the felt Wrath of God, and curse due to our sins, poured forth on Christ, was such, as holy Nature could not but be astoni [...]d at it, and declare how much it was to be aborred and eschewed, if love to lost souls had not made it tolerable; for it behoved to be fearfull and horrible, above all that we can imagine, which made the Son of God thrice to pray, If it be possible, let this cup passe from me. 3. Such is the love our Lord had to the Redemption [Page 317] of the Elect, that rather then we should not be saved, he chose that the cup of Wrath due to our sins, should kill him; and therefore no other way of our salvation at this time being pos­sible, love made him submit to the condition, and say, Thy will be done.

Ver. 45. Then cometh he to his Disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest; behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.

46. Rise, let us be going, behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.

The time of the Disciples preparation for the following temptation, being spent in sleeping, our Lord doth sharply rebuke them, for losing the time so, and goeth on with them to meet the Traitour, and the Souldiers with him, whom he knew to be approaching. In Christ's speeches we must look to his meaning, and not captiously misconstrue his words; for, Sleep on now, and take your rest, is a reproof, telling them they shall not be suffered any longer to sleep, or take rest, as that which followeth maketh plain. Doct. 1. When time granted to prepare us for triall, is mispent in slug­gishnesse and carnall rest, the triall shall come upon us on a suddain, our carnall rest shall be taken from us, and we must rancounter with the trouble and triall unprepared as we are, as it fareth with the Disciples, to whom it is said, Sleep on now, take your rest: rise, let us be going. 2. Our Lord was not surprised in his sufferings, he is God, and knew perfectly whatsoever was to befall; therfore said he, Behold, he is at hand that betrayeth me.

Ver. 47. And while he yet spake, lo, Iudas one of the Twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves from the chiefe Priests and Elders of the People.

48. Now he that betrayed him, gave them a signe, saying, Whomsoever I shall kisse, that same is he, hold him fast.

49. And forthwith he came to Iesus, and said, Haile Master, and kissed him.

The Traitour cometh, and because it was night, and Christ was not known to the Souldiers by face; therefore he giveth them a signe, whereby they should know Christ. Doct. 1. A man unrenewed, of whatsoever gifts of learning, place in the Church, or relation to Christ, may become a mortall Enemy to Christ: for not only the chief Priests and Elders do send out Souldiers to take Christ, but also one of the twelve Apostles, Iu­das turneth Traitour. 2. An Apostate from a good course, [Page 318] may readily become a Ring-leader to others in ill course; for, Iudas here one of the Twelve cometh, and with him a great multitude. 3. Dissemblers and hypocrites deale plainly a­mong their followers, but among the godly they counterfeit; for, unto the Souldiers Iudas giveth a signe whereby they shall really know Christ, that they may take him; but when he came to Christ, he saith, Hail Master, and kisseth him, in dissi­mulation.

Ver. 50. And Iesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then they came and laid hands on Iesus, and took him.

Christ speaketh so much upon the Traitour, as might make him compare his pretence of friendship to his Ma­ster, with his intention of bringing Souldiers on him, and then he suffereth himselfe to be taken and bound. Doct. 1. Hypocrites may deceive others and themselves, but cannot deceive God; for here Christ putteth his finger to this Traitour's intention, saying, Wherefore came you hi­ther? 2. To compare our profession with our practises, and our pretences with our intentions, is a mean to give us a right sight of our selves, therefore is it that Christ calleth Iudas, Friend, in respect of his profession; and as­keth him why he came, to put him to look to his intention. 3. Christ being surety for the Redeemed, who cannot defray their own debt, he behoved to answer unto justice for them, and therefore must he be laid hands on, and taken.

Ver. 51. And behold one of them which were with Iesus, stretched out his hand, and dr [...]w his sword, and struck a servant of the high Priests, and [...]more off his ear.

52. Then said Iesus unto him, Put up again thy Sword into his place: for all they that take the Sword, shall perish with the Sword.

53. Thinkest thou, that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more then twelve legions of Angels?

54. But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

One of the Disciples goeth about by the sword to rescue Christ from suffering, and is [...]ep [...]oved, 1. For doing so without a calling. 2. Because Christ could have helped [...]h [...] matter ano­ther way, if he had pleased. 3. Because the Scripture beho­ved to be fulfilled, which foretold of his sufferings. Doct. 1. Rash zeal is dangerous in Christ's matters, and glosse mis­carrieth [Page 319] men where it is followed, as here is to be seen, One of Christ's followers ingageth the rest to resist the Magistrate, with the present hazard of their life, and draweth on the blot of sedition upon Religion. 2. No man shall have thanks to fight for Christ without a warrant; for, to Peter Christ saith, Put up thy Sword. 3. They deserve to perish by the sword whosoever draws the sword, under whatsoever pretence, without Gods warrant; for it is said, They that take the sword, shall perish with the sword. 4. They do entertain wrong thoughts of God, whosoever go about to help their cause by unlawfull means, Thinkest thou that I cannot help my selfe? saith Christ. 5. When the Lord seeth it fit to glorifie himselfe, rather by the deliverance, than by the sufferings of his ser­vants, he can finde means to save them, and hath Angels in abundance ready, if men should fail; for he saith, Cannot I pray for legions of Angels? 6. Our Lord suffered most wil­lingly, with express [...] purpose to fulfill the Scriptures, which do speak of the way of our redemption; for, How, saith he, shall the Scripture be fulfilled, that thus it must be?

Ver. 55. In that same hour said Iesus to the multitudes, Are ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the Temple, and ye laid no hold on me.

56. But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the Pro­phets might be fulfilled. Then all the Disciples forsook him, and fled.

Christ cleareth himselfe, and convicteth his Enemies of an evil conscience in their apprehending of him; because albeit openly they could not challenge him, yet did they now in the night time come with armed men against him, as if he had been guilty of crimes, and a fugitive from the Law. Then after he hath thus convicted them, he yeildeth himself to them, accord­ing to the Scriptures: whereupon the Disciples flee. Doct. 1. To clear our own innocency, and to convince the adversary of wrong done to us, may stand well with readinesse to suffer; for Christ in yeilding himselfe to suffering, giveth us example in both. 2. The conscience of a man's holy conversation by-past, is comfortable in the day of suffering, as Christ here comforteth himselfe, that they could lay nothing to his charge, save care and painfulnesse to save their souls, by daily teaching in the Temple. 3. The course which Christ's enemies do follow against him, bewrayeth them to have an ill cause and conscience; for they come now in the night, as against a Thief, and yet when [Page 320] he sate daily teaching in the temple, they laid no hold on him. 4. The Scripture is a fit mean to lead us by the stumbling block of the Cross; therfore saith Christ, All this was done that the scripture might be fulfilled. 5. Resolution to suffer, wil fail in the day of triall, except God give strength, as here is to be seen, The Disciples who promised to stand fast, do all for sake Christ, and flie.

Ver. 57. And they that had laid hold on Iesus, led him away to Caiphas the high Priest, where the Scribes and the Elders were assembled.

These are Christs sufferings in the Garden: now are set down his sufferings in Caiphas Hall, together with Peters deniall; and first, an Assembly of church men are gathered at Caiphas House to judg him. Doc. 1. God disposeth of the sufferings of his Mar­tyrs as he seeth fittest for his glory; for these who are permitted to apprehend Christ, are not permitted to kil him in a tumul­tuous way, but must present him to judgment before Caiphas, and the Scribes and Elders assembled in Caiphas House. 2. It is now new thing that such as have begun to persecute Christ in any degree, go on from one degree to another, as these men who were his adversaries in affection, had spoken against him, and consulted how to take him, shall not now be rid of him, but he is taken and set before them in judgment, where his part and theirs also, his innocency and their cruelty may both be seen.

Ver. 58. But Peter followed him afar off, unto the high Priests Palace, and went in, and sate with the servants to see the end.

Peter followeth on, to wit what should befal Christ. Doc. Al­beit the evidences of love to Christ, may be cut off for a time, yet love cannot be rooted out of the heart of a sincere disciple, for though Peter fled once, yet he followeth on again; and albeit he followeth afar off, yet he seeketh to be where Christ was, that he might see the end.

Ver. 59. Now the chief Priests and Elders, and all the councel, sought false witness against Iesus to put him to death,

60. But found none:yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At last came two false witnesses.

61. And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.

This corrupt church-assembly is resolute to have his life, yet will they seek to keep a form of Justice, and to lead Wit­nesses. Doct. 1. Malice against the Innocent is so shameful [Page 321] [...]thing, that such as are most guilty of it, shun to seem guilty; [...] these men seek to have some appearance of Witnesses [...]gainst Christ; and when they have found disagreeing false Wit­nesses, they do reject them, till they find such false Witnesses [...] might agree in one, and seem true. 2. Christ his greatest E­ [...]emies could find no fault in him, but were forced to make that [...]lau [...]t which was none, to wit, His foretelling of his own death and resurrection, which was the matter of his glory and our comfort, Destroy this Temple, and I will build it in three dayes, saith Christ; that is, Do your worst against me, in destroying the Temple of this Body of mine, and I will raise it up again the third day; which words the Witnesses do alter, and repeat them, as if he had promised to destroy the Temple of Jerusa­lem, and build it again in three dayes; and therefore are these men justly called here False Witnesses.

Ver. 62. And the high Priest arose, and said unto him, An­swerest thou nothing? what is it, which these witnesse against thee?

Our Lord could have answered for himselfe, but because he stood in our room, he answered nothing, and was content to be condemned for our faults, though he was free of all sin in him­selfe; as also, the matter witnessed was not worthy to be dispu­ted; for presuppose he had said so, it was no matter of accusa­tion, he had done greater miracles than to do this, yea the raising of his own Body promised by him, in case the Witnesses had faithfully reported his words, was a greater work than the build­ing of the Temple alledged: always we learn, to his glory, and our comfort, that against our Redeemer no more than this could be alledged.

Ver. 63. But Iesus held his peace. And the high priest an­swered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living Go [...], that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ the Son of God.

The High Priest finding all matters witnessed, to be but fri­volous, adjureth our Lord to confesse, whether he were the Christ the Son of God. Doct. 1. The Messiah by the Jews own acknowledgement behoved to be the Son of God; for, Tell us, saith the High Priest, whether thou be the Christ the Son of God, importing that the promised Messiah, or Christ was to be no other than the Son of God. 2. The wicked labour to make the fear of God a trap to take the godly, when they cannot other­wayes overtake them; I adjure thee by God, to tell us, saith the High Priest. 3. Profane and crafty men stand not to take the Name of God in vain, when it may serve to their own ends; for, [Page 322] I adjure thee by the living God, saith the high priest, when he mindeth nothing but to make the answer a snare.

Vers. 64. Iesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: neverthe­lesse, I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sit­ting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of hea­ven.

Christ avoweth himself to be what the High Priest had said, and forewarneth them all, that though he was to them a despised man, yet should they see him to be the Son of God, and Judge over them at the day of judgement, and so in a manner sum­moneth them to answer at his tribunal that day. Doct. 1. That Christ is the Son of God, is a truth judicially deponed by him­selfe, being adjured to answer upon his Oath, and being now ready to die: for, Thou hast said, saith he; or, I am the same whom thou inquirest for. 2. Such as will not receive Christs wo [...]d as divine, shall be forced to acknowledge his power to be divine; for thus saith he, Nevertheless (or though ye believe me no [...]) yet Ye shal see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power: and this in part came to passe, first, in his resurrection; next, in his Spirit poured forth on the Apostles; thirdly, in the conversi­on of multitudes of soules; and fourthly, in the overthrow of the Jewish church and Nation, in their own time, not long after. 3. Such as wil not acknowledg Jesus to be the Son of God, for their salvation, shal see him come to judge them at the last day; for, You shal see me coming in the clouds of heaven, saith Christ.

Ver. 65. Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy:

66. What thinke ye? They answered and said, he is guilty of death.

67. Then did they spit it his face, and buffetted him, and others smote him with the palmes of their hands.

68. Saying, Prophesie unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee?

This good confession of Christ is counted blasphemy, and he therefore condemned, buffetted, spitted upon, and moc­ked. Doct. 1. A man given over to unbelief, though he pre­tend to desire to know truth, yet wil he not beleeve when truth is told him, (no not when it is confirmed by the oath of him who cannot lie, and when it is proved by many miracles) but h [...] will affront his own conscience in all this; as here, He hath spo­ken blaspemy said the high priest, when Christ had told the truth [Page 323] which before was proved by his workes, and was undertaken to be proved yet more. 2. Profane and gracelesse hypocrites, when it may serve their turn, will put on the mask of marvel­loos zeal to the glory of God; as here, The high priest doth rend his clothes, and saith, You have heard his blasphemy. 3. Partiali­ty and malice in Christs came especially can hardly be hid; for the high priest even when he will seem to do justice, doth first condemne Christ of blasphemy, and then asketh the voice of his councel. 4. Assemblies and councels may erre so far, as to agree in one to condemne Christ to death; for here this councell an­swered and said, He is worthy of death. 5. Albeit Christ be most free of blasphemy, and of all sin; yet because they in whose room he did stand, are guilty of it, and of all sort of sin, therfore it is provided by Divine Justice, that Christ shall be condemned for our cause; and sentence given thus, He is guilty of death. 6. What must we be worthy of, when Christ is spitted upon, buffetted, blind-folded, and mocked for our cause?

Vers. 69. Now Peter sate without in the Palace: and a Dam­sel came unto him, saying, Thou also was [...] with Iesus of Gali­lee.

70. But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.

How Peter denied Christ thrice, and then repented, is set down in the end of the chapter: wherin we learn, 1. That it is dangerous to be in the place with, and company of Christ's enemies, wi [...] hour a speciall calling; for the occasion of Peters being tempted, was his sitting in the high priests hall. 2. A smal blast of temptation is sufficient to overturn a man who is puffed up with confidence of his own strength; as here, The voyce of a Damsel [...]ver [...]rneth Peter. 3. The shifting of a confession for Christ when it is requisite, is in effect a denyal of him; for Pe­ters saying, He knew not what the damsel said, is called here, A denyall.

Ver. 71. And when he was gone into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Iesus of Nazareth.

72. And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.

The second denyall foll [...]weth: wherin learn, 1 That when temptation doth prevaill, change of place will n [...]t hinder the tempter to pursue the victory, he will follow on and pr [...]s [...]e his [Page 324] point, so long as the sicknesse and sin do [...]h adhere; for, Ano­ther Damsell is set on work by Satan to tempt Peter, when he goeth out into the porch. 2. Sin groweth by degrees, from the time that a man falleth therein, til he repent, he stil groweth worse; for, Now Peter denieth expresly, and with an oath, that he did not know Christ.

Ver. 73. And after a while came unto him them that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them, for thy speech be­wrayeth thee.

74. Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.

This is the third denyall, Wherein learn; the horrible ty­ranny of Satan, and unspeakeable weaknesse of a sinner left to himselfe, still Satan draweth men unto deeper and further sinning, and the sinner, as he is more tempted, sinneth more; for now standers by do fall on Peter, and presse him yet more, and he at last denyeth with oathes, and cursing of himselfe if be knew Christ: This was a pittifull spectacle.

Ver. 75. And Peter remembred the words of Iesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out and wept bitterly.

After this fearfull fall, the Lord raiseth Peter up again, by bringing to his remembrance the words which he did not be­leeve till now; and by this meanes he worketh repentance in him. Doct. 1. The Elect may fearfully fall but cannot fall a­way utterly; for, Peter by temptation is driven to deny the Lord, but doth not lye still in the sin. 2. As the forgetting of the Lords word, openeth the door to temptation, so the calling of it to remembrance, mixed with faith, is a meanes of repen­tance: for ere Peters repentance be mentioned, it is said, Pe­ter remembred the words of the Lord. 3. Sincere repentance weepeth seriously, and in secret: as here, Peter went out when he repented and wept bitterly.


After Christ is delivered unto Pilate, Judas han­geth himself, and leaveth the money to the priests to be disposed, ver. 10. Pilate examineth Christ, and without cause condemneth him, and delivereth him to be scourged and crucified, ver. 45. after which Christs God-head is more manifested, and he is buried with some respect.

Ver. 1. WHen the morning was come, all the chief priests and el­ders of the people took counsell against Iesus to put him to death.

2. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and deliver­ed him to Pontius Pilate the governour.

THe corrupt church-men having unjustly condemned Christ, do seek now to put him to death by the power of the civill Magistrate. Doct. 1. The wicked a [...]e exceeding watchfull and painfull to accomplish an ill turne, especially against Christ; for late at night, and early in the morning, are the chief Priests and others busie to have Christ put to death. 2. It is no new thing to see corrupt church governours abuse the civil Magistrate, in execution of their unjust and cruel conclusions; as here the chief Priests and Elders Deliver Christ bound to Pi­late the governour.

Ver. 3. Then Iudas which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himselfe, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4. Saying, I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and depar­ted, and went and hanged himself.

Now Judas his conscience is wakened, but out of time, whereupon he confesseth his sin to them who insnared him; but finding them to despise him, he casteth back the price of his [Page 326] treachery, and hangeth himself. Doct. 1. Though before a sin be committed the bait and allurement is [...]nly seen, and the conscience blindfolded, kept captive and benummed; yet after sin is committed it shall be wakened at last, and see the ugliness of sin discovered; for as Judas seeth now, and saith now, that He hath betrayed the innocent blood. 2. When the evill of sin is discovered, then is the naughtinesse of every inducement unto it discovered also; and the grief is more then any gain or plea­sure inducing unto it can counterballance; for Judas now coun­teth little of the thirty peices of silver, bringeth back the price, and casteth it down in the temple. 3. Such as sin by the induce­ment of others, need not look for comfort from the inticers of them unto it, but must bear the guiltiness of it alone; for when Judas regrateth his sin to the Priests, What is that to us? say they to him, see thou [...]e that. 4. When Justice pursueth the sinner, and he flyeth not to Gods mercy in Christ, there needeth no other Judge, or witnesse, or Burrio against him, but his own consci­ence only; it is sufficient to convict, condemn, and torture him so, as he will chuse to strangle himselfe, rather then in­dure the vexation of it: for, Judas being forsaken of those who insnared him in the sin, goeth not to God, but departeth and han­geth himself.

Ver. 6. And the chief Priests took the silver peices, and said, It is not lawful for us to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

7. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potters field to bury strangers in.

8. Wherfore that field was called, The field of blood unto this day.

This cursed mony the priests wil not bring into the Treasury of the Temple, but doe imploy it in a charitable worke, to buy a buriall place for strangers, by which meanes a prophesie of the Scripture is fulfilled in Gods providence. Doct. 1. The Lord will have no off [...]ring made unto him, of that which is not a mans own, and that in su [...]h a way, as may be free of all appearance of allowing of mens unjust or dishonourable gaine; for, It is not lawful, say they, Deut. 23.18. to put this mony unto the treasury. 2. It is no new thing to see Christs most cruel adversaries deep in hypocrisie, pretending to be feared to offend in the least things; as these men stand not to give Judas a hire to betray innocent blood, but will not meddle with the gain, when it is cast back. 3. Hypocrites, even when they are deep­est [Page 327] in a mischief, wil seek to hide their course with seeming to do some good work, as these men will be charitable to the poor, in buying a burying place to the strangers, with the price of Christs Blood. 4. The Lord can make the Mask of mens hy­pocrisie the special Means to discover them, as here these wick­ed Priests do seek to hide their cruelty against Christ, by seeming to be charitable, in buying the potters field, for burying of strangers with the price of Christs life; and in Gods providence it is turned to the contrary, that this field should in all time co­ming bear the name of their bloudy bargain made with Judas; for, the field was called, The field of bloud unto this day, saith the Evangelist.

Ver. 9. (Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Ieremiah the Prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value.

10. And gave them for the potters field, as the Lord appointed me.)

The Evangelist doth observe the Lords over-ruling provi­dence, who by this means, fulfilled the words of the P [...]ophet Zachary, cha. [...]1. ver. 12. where the Lord complaineth of the un­gratitude of the people, who accounted less of all his personall care over them, then ordinarily men do account of their basest servants, on whom they wil, one way or other, in a short time bestow more then what they do p [...]ise all the Lords labour on them to be worth, and withall the Lord foretelleth that at length they should put no other price upon him, when he should come to be bought and sold among them, saye thirty pieces of sil­ver, with which mony should be bought the potters field, for a memoriall unto all ages of their undervaluing of him. As for the calling of the Prophet Zachary by the name of Jeremy, albeit it were presupposed that this verball mistake did creep into the T [...]xt, by the inadvertance of the first transcribers of the Evangelists Copy; yet this is no materiall depraving of the Text, but such an accident of the letter only, as an intelligent reader being acquainted with scripture, could easily satisfie himself into, calling to mind the place of Zachary, where this is written: but seeing it is noted, that the Hebrews u­sually were called by divers names, it is most reasonable to affirme that Zachary was also called Jeremy, seeing in the scripture we find him called by both their names: In the inscri­ption of the prophesie, he is called Zacharias, and in this Scrip­ture [Page 328] Jeremias; now the Spirit who dyted Scripture, knew his names best of any: As for the citation of the words, it is severall times observed before, that the Evangelist stood not upon letters and syllables, but took hold of the sense, in so far as concerned their present purpose. Doct. 1. The pastorall care which God manifested over his people by his Ministers, is of lesse value to misbeleevers, then the basest service of any [...]adesman; for Christ, and all the works done by his Ministers, are not valued above thirty pieces of silver By the children of Israel. 2. The stumbling block of the indignities done to Christ, are best removed, when we con­sider that they were all foretold in Scripture; for so doth the Evangelist ward off the offence of the crosse, by tel­ling of us, that thereby Was fulfilled what was spoken by the Prophet.

Ver. 11. And Iesus stood before the governour; and the gover­nour asked him, saying, Art thou the king of the Iews? And Iesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

What our Lord suffered before the civill Judges, is here set down, and first of what things he is accused: wherin observe, 1. That as Christ is brought before the Ecclesiastick court, so also before the civil; and as he is charged before the high Priest of blasphemy, which is the summe of all sins against the first Table; so is he charged before the civill Judge of sedition and treason, the summe of all sins against the second Table: That he might bear the imputation of, and take away all our sins, both against the first and second Table, and prevent our arraignment before the justice seat of God; for here while he [...]tood before the Governour, he is asked, Art thou the king of the Iews? as if he had usurped an earthly kingdome, to the prejudice of Cesar. 2. There was not so much as a pro­bable appearance of sedition in Christ, but a meer calumny al­ledged; Therefore Christ answered, Thou sayest, that is, so thou alledgest.

Ver. 12. And when he was accused of the chief Priests and elders, he answered nothing.

13. Then saith Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witnesse against thee?

14. And he answered him to never a word, insomuch that the go­vernour marvelled greatly.

Christ being accused of many things, answered not, part­ly because the contrary was notourly known, and the consci­ence [Page 329] of the chief Accusers did answer for him; and partly, be­cause he had taken on him to stand in our room, and to bear our sins: therefore he held his peace, as in some sense guilty, in our name of all, though free in himself. Doct. 1. Never was there such a person arraigned before any court as Christ, so innocent and willing to be condemned, as guilty of other mens faults, for he loved our Justification, more then his own repu­tation; no wonder therfore that the Governour wondred greatly. 2. There is more honesty to be expected of heathen men and pagans, then of corrupt professours, for the chiefe Priests and elders do load men with false imputations, but Ponti­us Pilate will not admit the accusation, till he hear Christs an­swer.

Ve. 15. Now at that feast the Governour was wont to release un­to the people a prisoner, whom they would.

16. And they had then a notable prisoner called Barabbas.

17. Therfore when they were gathered together, Pilate said un­to them, Whom wil ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Iesus which is called Christ?

18. For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Pilate seeketh indirectly to set Christ free, knowing in his conscience that they had delivered him for envy, and not for any fault in him: and this he doth by making use of an un­warrantable custome of releasing at the Feast some notable prisoner, whom the people should chuse. Doct. 1. It is a nota­ble providence tha [...] Christs sufferings were at the time of the Feast of the Passover; for then were all the Jews gathered toge­ther unto Jerusalem, then was a confluence of all sorts of people from all countries about, wherby Christs sufferings might be the more publick, and the type of the sacrificing of the paschall Lamb, more notably fulfilled; Therfore it is marked, that It was on the feast, to wit, of the Passeover. 2. It is no new thing to see corrupt customes, prejudiciall to Justice, to creep in among people, and to be kept for gratifying of people, as here the governour was wont to Release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. 3. Carnall men use not to resist sin directly, but to go about to shift it by, if they can, without the losse of credit or profit, or any other beloved l [...]st; for when Pilate should have expresly dealt for innocent Jesus, hee proponeth to the people their choise, whether They will have released Barabbas or Ie­sus. 4. As Avarice is one, so Envy is another of the sins which killed Christ; as avarice is ready to sell Christ, so is [Page 330] malice and envy to pursue Christ to the death: as Judas his avarice is already manifested, so now the Priests envy is made manifest also; for, Pilate knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Ver. 19. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying. Have thou nothing to doe with that just man; for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

A special warning is given to Pilate from his wife, to beware to condemn righteous Christ. Doct. 1. It was necessary that by all meanes the righteosnesse of Christ should be born witnesse unto, that in his condemnation, not for his own sins, but for ours, our justification from sin might shine the more clearly; therfore among other testimonies of Christs innocency, Pilats Wife extraordinarily moved, sent unto Pilat, saying, Have no­thing to do with that just man. 2. How natural soever dreames are, yet God hath a hand in them, and sometime in a speciall manner doth make use thereof for notable ends; as here, Pilat's Wife is troubled in her sleep, about the wrongs done to Christ, and Pilate the Judge hath advertisement hereby, so as in God's providence Pilate was moved, though not to set Christ free from suffering, yet to absolve him of all fault laid to his charge.

Vers. 20. But the chief Priests and elders perswaded the multitude that they should aske Barrabbas, and destroy Ie­sus.

21. The Governour answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barrab­bas.

22. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Iesus, which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be cruci­fied.

23. And the governour said, Why, What evill hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

The people choose Barrabbas, and refuse Christ by their ru­lers perswasion. Doct. 1. Wicked men have a greater hatred against Christ, then against the most vitious amongst them, as here they ask Barrabbas to be saved, and seek that Christ may be destroyed. 2. Wo to the people when their leaders are corrupt, for then shall they be tempted by wicked counsel; and wo unto them yet more, if they follow their wicked dire­ctions, for so might they be led with these cursed Jewes to [Page 331] preserve Barrabbas, and destroy Christ. 3. Halfe friendship, lake warme affection toward Christ, wily-working for him, so as men who are Christs adversaries, may be pleased also, may well shew the righteousnesse of Christs cause, but cannot deli­ver him or his servants from suffering, nor exempt the cold-rise friend from sin: therfore either must a man be a right down friend, plain, and frank for Christ, or nothing. Pilates wiles stri­ving to save Christ, and to please the people also, do not serve the turn, but do rather ensnare him, and inrage Christ's adversaries the more; for, They cryed out the more, Let him be crucified.

Ver. 24. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands be­fore the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person, see ye to it.

Pilat overcome with the temptation of pleasing the People, first absolveth Christ, and then yeildeth him over to the fury of his adversaries, and will have them only to be guilty of his death. Doct. 1. He that is not resolute to resist sin upon all ha­zards, will yeild to it at last, as Pilat doth here. 2. Ignorant men are easily deceived, counting themselvs free of such sins, as men, or inconveniencies from men do presse them unto, as Pilat is here; for because the people made a tumult, he wash­eth his hands, and saith, I am innocent of the blood of this just per­son. 3. Whatsoever be the fault of instruments in a wicked deed, the prime authours and instigatours have the chief guiltinesse; therefore not without ground saith Pilate to the Jews, See you to it.

Ver. 25. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

The mad people, deluded by their leaders, take on them the guilt without fear. Doct. The stupidity of a misled con­science is fearfull, when it is most deep in guiltinesse, it dare defie Gods Justice, in the opinion it hath of its owne in­nocency, as here the people answer [...]ilate, His blood be upon us, wherein their mouth doth pronounce their own doom, and Wrath is from that time come on them unto this day.

Ver. 26. Then released he Barrabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Iesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Thus is Jesus absolved from all guiltinesse in himselfe, and declared in the face of his Accusers to be a just person, and [Page 332] yet is he dealt with as a guilty man, scourged and deli­vered to be crucified, wherein we must look up unto the dispensation of a higher Judge, (who had the sins of the whole Elect in a Roll, to charge upon him, and now to exact of him, above what he had already suffered, yet more satisfa­ction to justice, for the full Redemption of his people) that so they may behold him, as he is, to wit, the eternall, and only begotten Son of God, in his humane Nature suffering, accord­ing to the paction of Redemption past between him and the Father, all that Justice could crave for the expiation of our sins, and purchase of righteousnesse and life eternall unto us: and to this end we must take along with us in all Christ's suf­ferings, 1. The consideration of the worthinesse of the per­son who is surety suffering for us, that he is the Lord God Almighty, filling the whole Earth with his Glory, the Redee­mer and holy One of Israel, personally united with our Na­ture, now upon him while he standeth before Pontius Pilate. Secondly, The consideration of the fearfull and horrible deservings of sin in us, which calleth for our everlasting tor­ments, with the curse of God upon us. Thirdly, the consi­deration of the strictnesse of Divine Justice, which will have sin punished condignly, and will neither quit the sinner without a ransome, nor the Redeemer without full satisfa­ction and punishment, equivalent to the principall Deb­ters deservings. Fourthly, the consideration of the wonder­full grace of God, who is content to take satisfaction unto justice for the sins of men from one man in the name of all those, for whom he offereth to satisfie. Fifthly, the con­sideration of the unspeakable love of God, who giveth his own eternall Son to be the man, who shall pay for the rest of the adopted children. Sixthly, the consideration of the meeknesse and patience of our dear Lord and Savi­our Jesus Christ, who loved us, and gave himselfe for us, even to the cursed Death of the crosse, yea to be made a curse for us, that we might obtain the blessing of righteousnesse and eternall life through him: if these considerations go a­long with us, we shall see our selves worthy for ever of the shame and torment which our Lord endured for a short time, and we shall see Christ in his deepest humiliation shi­ning gloriously in our eyes; our faith shall find food, and our sins shall find poison in the sufferings of our Redeemer. Doct. 1. Such as think they cannot stand, except by the good will [Page 333] of Princes or People, whensoever they are put to declare them­selves, whether they love Christ or the World better, will cer­tainly choose to please Princes or People, whatsoever may be­come of Christ; as here the People will have Barabbas set free, and Christ executed, to please their Rulers; and Pilate will both release Barabbas, and scourge Christ, to give unto the Peo­ple satisfaction. 2. It is no wonder that Christ's Servants find hard measure of men at the Bar of Justice; for, no fault is found in Christ, And yet he is scourged, and delivered to his Adversa­ries to be crucified. 3. Christ's Servants should resolve after les­ser sufferings, to endure yet more, and at last to suffer death; for Christ after suffering of many things is scourged, and then delivered to be crucified. 4. Our sins deserve to be punished with extremity of pain and torment, and with extremity of shame and disgrace; for our Redeemer behoved to be scourged and crucified also.

Ver. 27. Then the Souldiers of the Governour took Iesus into the common Hall, and gathered unto him the whole Band of souldiers.

28. And they stripped him, and put on him a Scarlet Robe.

29. And when they had platted a Crown of Thorns, they put it upon his Head, and a Reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail King of the Iews.

30. And they spit upon him, and took a Reed, and smote him on the Head.

31. And after they had mocked him, they took the Robe from off him, and put his own Raiment on him, and led him away to crucifie him.

While the crosse is making ready, the Souldiers fall on Christ, and abuse him despitefully. Doct. 1. When Gover­nours and great men are against Christ, no wonder to see their Servants against him also, and to go about to please their Masters by wronging of Christ's members; for here, The Souldiers of the Governour gathered together to take their sport in abusing Christ himself. 2. As the Doctrine of Christ's God-head is counted Blasphemy by the corrupt Church-rulers, Chap. 26.65. So is Christ's by gracelesse States-men, and Servants of civill Rulers; the Souldiers of the civill Governour here do make a laughing-stock of Christ, the King of the Jews, offering him a Soul­diers coat for a Robe, a Reed for a Scepter, Thorns for a Crown, a mocking Beck for Reverence, spitting on his Face, [Page 334] for a Kisse of love and subjection, and smiting on the head of loyalty and service; but so behoved our pride and vain glory to be punished and explate. 3. The malice of Christs enemies will not be satiate with lesse then bloud; for when they have mocked Christ, and shamefully used him, They led him away to be crucified.

Ver. 32. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his Crosse.

Our Lord was so exercised in the Garden through agony of Spirit, so tossed all the night with the Souldiers, so agitate and vexed before the judgment seat of Caiphas and Pilat; so sore spent by scourging, by buffeting, by piercing his Head with Thorns, that now there remained not so much natural strength in his body, as to bear the tree of the crosse through the way unto the place of execution; therefore they finding one Simon of Cyrene by the way, coming from his work in the field, they compel him to bear Christs crosse. Doc. 1. It was not by any hu­mane strength that Christ did bear the weight of the curse of God, due to our sins; for as his body, so also his naturall strength of body was like another mans; and here he who upon the tree of the crosse bare our sins (which are of more weight then all the mountaines, and the sand of the Sea) hath not so much naturall strength, as to bear that tree unto the place of execu­tion: for Simon, a fresh man, must bear it after him. 2. The death of the crosse was so shameful, so abhorred, and so cur­sed a death, that none of all the multitude which followed him would touch the crosse, but Simon must be compelled to bear it.

Ver. 33. And when they were come into a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skul.

Followeth that which our Lord did suffer in Golgotha, or Cal­vary, (to which place; the skuls or bones of malefactors execu­ted, there to be seen apparently, did give the name) [...] filthy place without the Town, [...]s was fore-signified by the offering of these beasts which we [...]e burnt without the camp. Doc. Our sins de­serve that punishment should be poured in upon us by the con­duit of every sense, that as we have abused all our senses unto sin, so we in every one of them should be tormented: for beside wea­rines and much pain, the place of Christs execution is Golgotha, where the sight of dead mens bones forme [...]ly executed as male­factours, and the scent of their rotten reliques might offend both his sight and smel.

[Page 335]Ver. 34. They gave him vineger to drink, mingled with gal: and when he had tasted therof, he would not drink.

A further degree of suffering, is his thi [...]st, which he could have willingly quenched with wate [...]; but they gave Him vineger and gal to drink; no wonder he was thirsty, being now spent with his bloudy swear and Agony in the Garden, being tos­sed and toiled all night, scourged and beaten, and burdened with the crosse, and such like other exe [...]ises. Doct. 1. For our a­buse of meat and drink, and to the end that liberty might be purchased unto us to eat and drink the Sweet with Gods bles­sing, Christ our Lord is put to thirst, and not so much as a cup of cold water is furnished unto him, but in stead of the common favour of some refreshful drink, usually granted even to Male­factors; the Father out of justice, and his Enemies out of malice, Give unto him to drink of vineger mixed with gall. 2. Our Lord, how great soever his pain was, was so patient in his suffe­ring, that he would not hasten his owne death by such a drink; therefore, Having tasted thereof, he would not drinke: there­by also teaching us, that no paine nor misery should make us so impatient; as to do any thing which may shorten our life.

Ver. 35. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Prophet; They parted my Garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Our Lords Enemies go on to fulfil their malice, mean-time they do nothing but what was agreed upon in the counsel of God, and was foretold in the Scripture. Doct. 1. No other death could satisfie mens cruel malice, or Gods justice, or was fit to deliver us from the curse of the Law due to us, except the cursed death of the crosse, therefore they crucified him. 2. Though the death of the crosse had in it shame abundant above all other sorts of death; yet for satisfaction of justice, for expiati­on of our abuse of apparell, and for purchasing unto us not only liberty, wi [...]h Gods blessing, to put on comely raiment, each man according to his place; but also to cover our sin­full nakednesse with righteousnesse and glory, our Lord was stript naked, and his garments parted in his sight. 3. It is neces­sary in looking upon our Lords suffe [...]ings, that we keep our eye upon the determinate counsell of God, and upon the Prophesies, and Types, foretelling the sufferings of the Messiah, that we may be kept from stumbling at [Page 336] the crosse of our Lord; for this was done, that what was typified in thespoliation of Davids goods, might be literally fulfilled in Christ, They parted my garments among them.

Ver. 36. And sitting down, they watched him there.

It was necessary, that Jesus being nailed on the crosse, should lay down his life, and that we should be certified of the com­pleat payment of our ransome, therefore malice on mens part, and divine justice and Wisdome on Gods part, do provide for a guard to secure the crosse, and to be witnesses of the certain­ty of our Lords suffering. Doct. God so disposeth of matters, that when his Enemies are doing their worst against him, they are doing most for him, contrary to their minde; therefore it is marked, that They who crucified Christ, sate down, and watched him there.

Ver. 37. And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS IESUS, THE KING OF THE IEWS.

It was ordinary to put the cause of mens crucifying over their head upon the crosse, for the clearing of Justice, and shaming of the condemned: but here is a Superscription put over Christs Head intended for shame, namely to brand him fasly with the calumny of usurpation of an earthly kingdom, yet it tended in­deed to his glory, for Christ is indeed Jesus the Saviour, indeed a King, and specially of the Iews, or the true Israelites of God. Doct. 1. All the shame which men could devise against Christ, i [...] matter of his glory, the mouths and hands of the wicked are so ruled by God, that when he pleaseth they shall honour him, nil they wil they, as the Inscription of the crosse is here a crown of glory to Christ. 2. No wonder to see Christs servants charged of treason, when we see what the wicked made to be Christs ditty. 3. Christ died for no fault in himself, for even his ditty was no fault, and Pilate absolved him.

Ver. 38. Then were there two Thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

There are here two thieves crucified, to bear Christ company, and he is set in the midst as a greater malefactour then either of them. Doc. 1. Though humane justice could not charge Christ as a sinner, yet our sins being imputed, that he might bear them on the Tree, divine justice can well put our Cationer with his own consent, in the chiefest room of sinners; for here is Christ reckoned among Thieves, Robbers, Throat-cutters, Traitours, and is executed in the midst of them. 2. No wonder that Christs Servants (how innocent soever) be accounted of, [Page 337] and used as malefactours, seeing Christ is crucified between two thieves. 3. Wonderful is our Lords love, who is contented to be used as a malefactour, that we malefactours might be set free.

Ver. 39. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads.

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three dayes, save thy self, if thou be the Son of God, come down from the crosse.

When malice hath done what it can to Christs body, now Satan in his instruments maketh assault on his mind, by mock­ing his holinesse and fellowship with God, and so wil God's justice have it, that our sins may be condignly punished in Christs person. Doct. 1. It is the top and height of affliction to be mocked in trouble; for here cruel mockings are marked as the cap-stone of the malice of Christs Enemies. 2. The affli­ction of the most vile malefactour will find more compassion and humanity from beholders, than Christ or his followers; for, They who go by, revile none of the thieves on the crosse, but Christ only. 3. How unjustly soever Christ or his Servants be condemned of men, the World wil hold all accusations of them to be true, as here, the deposition of false Witnesses is made a reproach unto Christ, Thou that destroyest the Temple ▪ say they. 4. The World doth think that the crosse and fel­lowship with God, cannot consist together; the crosse so blin­deth their eyes that they cannot see the glory of the Saints, as here they think Christ cannot be Gods Son, because he is cru­cified. No wonder that in trouble the adoption of Gods chil­dren be questioned also, If thou be the Son of God, say they. 5. No proof of the Saints interest in God, wil suffice Satan and his instruments, except they will give such evidences as he and they do prescribe, and which cannot be given without sin and offending of God; for, If thou be the Son of God, say they, come down from the crosse. 6. No temptation so, sore, no dart so poysonable as is the question of the grounds of Faith; If thou be the Son of God, is the sharpest arrow which Satan could shoot.

Ver. 41. Likewise also the chief Priests mocking him, with the Scribes and Elders, said,

42. He saved others, himselfe he cannot save: if he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the crosse, and we will beleeve him.

[Page 338]43. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

In the mocking of the chiefe Priests, and Scribes, and Elders, here marked, as a higher degree of insolent insulting over Christ, Learn, 1. That the opposition which men of place and under­standing do make unto Christ, and the Wrongs which they do, are observed of God, and agreged by the gifts, office, and place, which they have above the rest of the people; as here, such men are marked by themselves, with a speciall description of them, The chiefe Priests mocked him. 2. Present sufferings do blind worldly mens eyes so, as they can neither see the glory of the Saints by-gone, nor to come; for all Christ's Miracles and Evi­dences of his being the Saviour of others, are counted nothing of now, by these Wretches, because of his sufferings; and yet in these sufferings, Christ was doing the part of a Saviour, more than in any of his miracles: for not his miracles, but his suf­ferings, are the price of our redemption. 3. The most vile and wicked reprobates will offer to believe, upon such conditions as they themselves shall prescribe unto God, as here these men do; but they who wil not believe upon the grounds of Faith, offered unto them, shall not have any such grounds as they would be at, Come down from the Crosse, say they, and we will believe him: but Christ will not come down, till he satisfie justice for us. 4. It is the nature of misbelief to esteem little of whatsoever God hath said or done, except he satisfie present demands, and take or­ders and directions from the misbeliever, Let him come down now, and we will believe him: He saved others, himselfe he can­not save, and such like say they. 5. The world will not believe that Gods love toward a man, and the subjection of him unto trou­ble till he die, can consist together; Therefore, Let God deli­ver him, say they, if he will have him. 6. The world count faith in God, which endureth longer then prosperity lasteth, or then prosperity may be had in this life, to be but fancy; Therefore mockingly, say they, He trusted in God, let him deliver him now: as if they said, His trust is nothing, if he be suffered to die on the crosse. 7. The point of truth, which the divell and repro­bate men can least endure, is the Doctrine of the God-head of Christ, which is the Rock whereupon the Elect are builded; Therefore, say they, He said, I am the Son of God. This point among all did gall them most.

Ver. 44. The theeves also which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

[Page 339]Christ suffereth at the hands of those that were crucified with him; it is not unusuall in the Scripture, to speak indefinitely of a plurality, that which is to be instanced of any one of that sort: for the meaning is, that not onely common beholders, and formerly known enemies, did mock our Lord, but also the two theeves hanging now on the crosse beside him, justly condemned for their robbery, were not free of mocking the innocent Son of God; for one of them did cast the same scoffe in his teeth also. Doct. 1. It is no wonder to see the innocency of Christ mocked by rascals; for our Lord did suffer cruell mocking by a condemned robber. 2. Straits and torments will not tame a reprobate, even in the threshold of hell he will blaspheme God, without a cause offered, as here is to be seen.

Ver. 45. Now from the sixth hour there was darknesse over all the land, unto the ninth hour.

In the midst of this infirmity of the humane Na­ture, Christ lets forth the Glory of his God-head in shewing himselfe Lord of Heaven and Earth, as by other evidences remarked by the rest of the Evangelists, so by darkning the whole land, at the Noon-tide of the Day, for the space of three Houres; and drawing (as it were) the curtain of darknesse over his naked Body, while he hung upon the crosse, and thus not suffering the creatures to shew their glory, where their Maker is suffering the ex­tremity of Shame. Doct. Our Lord did not empty himselfe in the dayes of his humiliation, but so as he did ever let some spark of his Glory appear to such as believed in him, whereby they might discern the Divine Majesty of his Person, even in his lowest condition.

Ver. 46. And about the ninth hour Iesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama-sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Our Lord, a little before his Death, being now un­der the full weight and burden of the curse due to our sins, and finding all sensible consolation from Heaven and Earth withdrawn from his humane Spirit, breaketh forth into this heavy representation of his case, in the words of Psalm 22. wherein this agony was foretold. By which speech we understand, that howsoever the humane Nature of the Mediatour, kept constantly the same room in Gods [Page 340] estimation and love, and could no more be loosed from the incomprehensible-fervent love of God, then the Per­sonall Union of the Divine and humane Nature could be dis­solved; yet was it necessary, that it should suffer the punish­ment of our sins, and feel the effects of the wrath and curse of God due to us for sin, in as high a degree and measure, as should be equivalent to our perpetuall destruction, and be found satisfactory to Divine Justice for us: and therefore, albeit it was impossible that the humane nature could be de­serted, in regard of Gods love, or of sustaining strength, or in regard of inherent Holinesse, or any other thing else necessa­rily joyned with the stability of the Hypostaticall Union, yet in regard of sensible consolation, it was not onely possible, but also necessary, that for a time it should be deserted, and should taste of horrible bitternesse, and accompanying such a deserti­on; and this sort of torment and anguish of Spirit could as well consist with the personall Union, as the Pain and Torment of Body could consist with it: yea, as the Personall Union gave way to his death, and remained fast till the time of the sepera­tion of His Soul and body, so did it also give way to the tem­porall affliction of his humane Spirit, and to this desertion in regard of Felt comfort, and yet remained constantly fixed, and unmoveable notwithstanding; and if any should doubt how Christ his perswasion of the union of the two Natures, and of the necessity and profitablenesse of his sufferings could stand with this expression, let us consider, that no perswasion of whatsoever truth can make holy Nature senslesse of what is de­structive of it, nor hinder it to expresse how it is naturally af­fected, and what it naturally feeleth; and as perswasion of the necessity and profitableness of the searing of a bleeding wound with a hot iron, cannot hinder nature to be sensible of the pain, or to crie out in the sense thereof; so no knowledge or perswa­sion of the Personall Union of the two Natures in Christ, or certainty of the necessity and profitablenesse of his sufferings could reasonably hinder such an expression as this, wherein perswasion of love, and union with God, crieth, My God, my God; and holy nature, filled with the sense of wrath, due to our sins, and destitute of all comfortable feeling of Gods presence for the time, crieth forth, Why hast thou forsaken me? not by way of quarelling, but by way of admiring the terriblenesse, and abhorring the bitternesse of Divine Wrath now felt, to be far surpassing all humane apprehension, which could precede [Page 341] the feeling of it. Doct. 1. Christ our surety, beside all the suffe­rings which he suffered in his body, did suffer also sorrow, grief, anguish, torment, and desertion, in regard of comfort in his soul; for this and other expressions prove so much. 2. Our sins de­served that we should have been utterly forsaken of God, and it behoved our Redeemer to taste a little of the hell of being for­saken, ere we could be redeemed. 3. Heavinesse of spirit, sense of wrath, appearance of being forsaken, and want of fel con­solation, may consist with the Love of God toward a mants per­son, yea and with a mans adoption unto the state of a child of God, for here is consisteth with the personall union of the Man-hood of Christ with the Divine Nature. 4. Whensoever naturall sense doth misse the consolations of God, faith must gripe more straitly unto God, as Christ his faith doth here, cry­ing, My God, my God, when sense seeth nothing but forsaking.

Ver. 47. Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

This his speech unto God, some of the beholders did mock, and say of him as much as if he had left God, and prayed to Elias. Doct. 1. No wonder the griefs and troubles of the souls of Gods children be ridiculous to the World; for even the deep anguish of Christ, and his prayer to the Father, were mocked by some, as here we see. 2. In common reason it is a just reproach for any man to call upon any other, except God only; for even profane sinners here do make it a matter of mocking to pray to Elias, supposing that Christ had done so, This man calleth for Elias, say they.

Ver. 48. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vineger, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

Here in his thirst, as was before signified Psal. 69. vineger is given him to drink. Doct. No consolation, no not so much as a drink of water was yeilded unto our Lord, till he paied all our debt, but only what could be devised to augment his grief; as here, They gave him vineger to drink.

Ver. 49. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

They had wrested his Prayer before, as if he had prayed not to God, but to Elias: now they mock also the falsly supposed Pray­er to Elias, in this speech, importing, that there was no help for him neither from God nor Man. Doct. 1. Satan by what means he can, doth drive hard to have men despairing, when they are in [Page 342] extremity, as here speaking by his instruments, he tempteth Christ. 2. Till Christ had ended the worke of redemption, all sort of vexations did run together, and by course upon him; for now, unto all the former exercises in body and soul, he must hear his prayer unto the father wrested and mocked, he must see himself insulted over, as a man smitten and plagued of God, and as forsaken of God and man; Let us see, say they, if Elias will come to him.

Ver. 50. Iesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice yeilded up the ghost.

In this close of Christ his suffering, learn, 1. That the Son of God according to his man-hood verily died, and his soul was separate from his body; for, He yeilded up the ghost. 2. He died not by constraint, but willingly; for of his own ac­cord. He yeelded up his Spirit. 3. In dying, he was conque­rour over death; for before death could come at him, as a weakling which cannot live any longer, Christ being so strong, as To cry with a loud voice, sets upon death, and yeeldeth up the ghost.

Ver. 51. And behold, the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottome, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.

Our Lord being dead as man, letteth forth the glory of his God-head more then before in four wonders. The first wonder is, The vail of the temple, or the mid-wal of partition, which divi­ded between the Sanctuary and the body of the temple, was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, wherein Christ gave all men to understand, 1. That his death was the fulfilling, and the ac­complishment of all the Levitical rites and figures of the temple, and of all the ceremonies annexed unto it, and that now they were to be esteemed as rent, and to be done away. 2. That now by the Gospel sealed up in his death, the way unto heaven was made plain and open. 3. That the partition wall between Jew and Gentiles, to wit, The ceremonial Law, which divided them asunder, was rent, and no more to stand in force.

The second wonder, is, The earth did quake: wherby the Lord gave men to understand, 1. That as he is Lord of heaven, which had given testimony unto him, by hiding its glory, when he is suffering shame; so also he is Lord of the earth, which now doth tremble before her Lord. 2. That he was to shake the heavens and the Earth by the gospel of his sufferings, and of the redemp­tion purchased unto sinners by his sufferings.

[Page 343]The third wonder, is, The rocks rent, to shew the power of Jesus, who could subdue the greatest difficulties, and overcome the hardnesse of whatsoever obstinate hearts, upon whom he pleaseth to shew his power.

Ver. 52. And the graves were opened, and many bodies of the Saints which slept, arose,

53. And came out of their graves after his Resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The fourth wonder, is, The opening of the graves, and the resurrection of many deceased Saints after Christ's resurrection. which was done, 1. To shew that Christ died and was bu­ried, not to remain under the great power of death and the grave, but to quicken the dead, and to raise them out of their graves; and that he neither died nor rose for his own particular, but that he might redeem his own from death, and give unto them re­surrection and life. 2. To let us understand that he is the Savi­our of all those that believed in him before his Incarnation, and were deceased, who were to be saved by the Messiah, no lesse then of those who believed since; and that the former are partakers of the fruit of his death and resurrection, no lesse then the later. 3. The death of the godly is only a sleep of the body, till the morning of the Resurrection come; for it is said, The bodies of the Saints which slept. 4. Resurrection, and the rest of the effects of Christ's death and resurrection, are benefits only unto the Saints, therefore only the bodies of the Saints arose. 5. Al­beit the great Harvest of Christ's death and resurrection is not to be expected till the day of judgement, yet the first fruits of that Harvest are abundantly manifested, In that many of the bodies of the Saints arose. 6. The resurrection of the Saints de­pendeth upon the resurrection of Christ, who is their Head; for, He is the first born from the dead; The rest who arose unto an immortall life, came out of their graves after his resurrecti­on. 7. The wonders which our Lord did worke, were all able to abide the light, and wanted not sufficient witnesses; for among the rest, these Saints which were raised out of their graves, came into Ierusalem, and appeared unto many. 8. Such as did not believe in Jesus, and did not belong unto his election, were not worthy to be called to be witnesses of the blessing following upon his death and resurrection: it is sufficient that these Saints raised from death, did appear to many; for they which believe in any measure shall have confirmation abundant, that they may believe still [Page 344] more; unto them that have, it shall be given, others are worthy to be despised. 9. Albeit a visible Church be very corrupt, yet so long as there is a number of true believers in it, so long as it hath not gotten a bill of divorcement from God, it is to be e­steemed of honourably, as a Church belonging unto Christ; Therefore is Jerusalem here called, The holy City.

Ver. 54. Now when the Centurion, and they that were with him, watching Iesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truely, this was the Son of God.

These wonders wanted not their effects; for the Captain of the Guard, and the Souldiers which were with him, were convinced by these wonders, that truely Christ was the Son of God. Doct. 1. The Lords works as well as his word, do the errand for which they are sent; for when the wonders were seen, the Souldiers were afraid, and confessed the Deity of Je­sus Christ, saying, Truly, this was the Son of God. 2. Profane Souldiers are more easily gained unto Christ, then misbelieving Rabbies, for we hear thus much of the one, but nothing of the other, that they were any whit moved. 3. Christ's love is such, that when sinners are doing him all the dishonour they can, he will reveale himselfe unto them, and overcome them with free love: for here is a Centurion, and other Souldiers with him, turned Subjects to him, and confessours of his Name: even when he is hanging dead on the crosse, life springeth forth of him to open the eyes of these Souldiers to see his God-head, and giveth them courage to confesse it in his deepest humiliation.

Ver 55. And many women were there (beholding afar off) which followed Iesus from Galilee, ministring unto him.

56. Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Iames and Ioses, and the mother of Zebedees chil­dren.

When the Disciples were fled except John, It is observed here, that many women waited on, and were witnesses of Christs Death. Doct. 1. It is usuall with the Lord, to shew his power and grace most upon the weak and the de­spised; for here he giveth strength and courage to women to attend his sufferings, when men had failed. 2. What­soever grace the Lord bestoweth upon his own, it is so bestowed, as their weaknesse in themselves doth usually appear also; for these women attend, But for fear, they behold afar off. 3. The power of faith in Christ, and love to him is such, that [Page 345] it will make these that are weakest in the midst of fear and infirmities, to spare no travell nor expences, but to hazard, if need be, their life for him; Many, even women, were there, who had followed Iesus from Galilee, ministring unto him. 4. So acceptable unto Christ are the evidences of Believers love, that he will subject himselfe to the standing in need thereof, and will receive the fruit of their love, and cause to register it for the parties honour, and others edifi­cation; as here he causeth to write down, that these women mi­nistred unto him of their means, followed him out of Galilee, and attended on him at his death; The name of some of whom he causeth to be set down, to let us see, that none of them, nor such as they, are forgotten.

Ver. 57. When the even was come, there came a rich man of A­rimathea, named Ioseph, who also himself was Iesus disciple.

58. he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Iesus: then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59. And when Ioseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linnen cloth,

60. And laid it in his own tomb, which he had hewn out in the Rock; and he rolled a great stone to the door of the Sepulchre, and departed.

61. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary sit­ting over against the Sepulchre.

The manner of our Lords buriall is set down to verse 61. and the securing of the buriall place by the adversa [...]ies, to the end: Our Lord being dead, it was expedient that he should be buried, 1. That the type of Jonah, and other fi­gures in Scripture should be fulfilled. 2. That the truth of his death might be known. 3. That his buriall might be as a step lower in humiliation, so also a mid passage unto a more glorious resurrection. 4. That he might sanctifie our burials, and by following death, as it were, to its den, make a way through the grave unto our resurrection, and full victory over death and the grave. Doct. 1. When shame and sufferings are ended, some degrees of glory do begin, as God provideth here for an honourable buriall unto Christ, after the shame of the crosse is past. 2. Grace maketh no difference of rich or poor, but san­ctifieth riches and poverty to his own; for, Ioseph of Arima­thea is a rich man, and a Disciple of Iesus also. 3. Love to Christ feareth no inconveniences, neither thinketh shame of any service unto Christ, for Ioseph goeth boldly unto Pilate, [Page 346] and professeth it a favour to have liberty to take care of Christs crucified body. 4. Christ both in life and death was a friend to magistracy, he will have justice satisfied, and order kept in his taking down from the crosse, no lesse then in his cruci­fying, he will be taken down at Pilates command. 5. God provided for Christs buriall so, as it should be known, that he verily arose; for he is put in A new Tombe, hewen out of a rock, wherein never man did lie before him. 6. As persons are more zealous for Christ, so are they more particularly taken notice of by God; Therefore these women which did attend him so carefully, are specially spoken of. 7. Love will never shed with Christ, in what condition soever he be, and will bestow on him what it may; as these holy women do be­stow looks upon the place he is put into, when they can do no more.

Vers. 62. Now the next day that followed the day of the pre­paration, the chiefe Priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate.

63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three dayes I will rise again.

64. Command therfore that the sepulchre be made sure, untill the third day, left his disciples come by night and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last errour shal bee worse then the first.

65. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch, go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66. So they went and made the sepulchre sure, sealing a stone, and setting a watch.

To make the matter of our Lords buriall and resurrection yet more cleare, Divine providence makes use of the adversa­ries malice; they think to keep Christ under, and to provide against his resurrection, by setting a guard about the Se­polchre, and sealing of the stone. Doct. 1. Christs enemies are vexed about him, how to suppresse him, as here is to be seen; while he is alive, and while he is dead they can never be secure enough, for fear he shall overcome them: when they have him dead, they know not how to make the sepulcher sure. 2. They make of his words, and of his servants words, as best serveth their purpose; for when hee told them that though they destroyed the Temple of his body, yet hee would raise it again the third day, they passed by his meaning, and made it a matter of his ditty; and now they take up his meaning and [Page 347]make advantage of it against him. 3. When Christ and his cause is brought low, every wicked man wil speak as he pleaseth, as here they call the God of truth, A deceiv [...]r. 4. Hypocrites do respect religion, only for their own ends, and as it may serve their turn: They pretended to have great respect to the sabbath, that they may have Christ shortly out of the way; and now they stand not to pollute the sabbath, by making a business to secure his sepulchre. 5. Magistrates are in a dangerous condition when the rulers of the church are enemies to Christ, they will ever be insnaring them in some one thing or other against Christ, as here Pilat is used. 6. He that sets not God before his eyes, but is given to please men, will prove a slave to every mans affecti­on; such a man is Pilat, who granteth whatsoever Christs ene­mies doe require. 7. Whatsoever power of craftinesse can work for obscuring of Christs glory, his enemies will go about it carefully, albeit with ill successe; as here, They seal the grave-stone, and set a watch, thinking to keep Christ fast in the tomb.


In this chapter Christs resurrection is declared by Angels, to vers. 9. By Christ himself, ver. 11. by the watch to the priests, who do corrupt the watch, and make them to lie for money, vers. 16. Christ meeteth with his disciples, and authorizeth them to teach and baptize all Nations.

Ver. 1. IN the end of the Sabbath, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week came Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre.’

OUr Lord having satisfied Justice for us to the full, in his o­bedience unto the death, could not be holden by death, but as the Son of God in Power, behoved to rise again according to the prediction of the Scriptures, that he might give Righ­teousnesse, and Resurrection unto eternall Life, to all his [Page 348] Redeemed Ones, who do flie unto him for refuge. In these two women, who are made the first witnesses of his resurre­ction, learn, 1. The Power of Love and Faith in that soul which hath found peace of conscience through Christ, will not suffer the Believer to be unmindfull of him, as appear­eth in Mary Magdalene, and that other Mary, They must know what is become of him, They come to see the Sepulchre the third day after his Buriall. 2. As any are before others in love to Christ, so are they in account in Gods books; for this is the third time, that Mary Magdalene is honourably made mention of, for her love to our Lord. 3. It is wisdome to moderate the expressions of Love and Zeal, so as com­manded duties be nor neglected; for, These holy women do observe the Sabbath, and come not forth, till it he ended.

Ver. 2. And behold there was a great earthquake, for the An­gel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.

In the manner of the Lord's Resurrection, learn, 1. That as our Lords Death was shamefull, in suffering the punishment due to our sins, so his Resurrection for our Justification was wonderfully glorious: for as Heaven sent forth an Angel for his service now, so the Earth trembled when he stirred to arise out of it, There was a great earthquake, and an Angel descended from Heaven. 2. Christ will make use of his creatures so, as he seeth most fit for his own Glory; for some base rascal [...] shall cru­cifie him, honourable Joseph of Arimathea shall bury him, an Angel shall roll the stone from the tombe. 3. Albeit all the Angels be at our Lords call, yet he will make use onely of one or two in a service, when one or two [...] sufficient for his pur­pose, as here one spoken of, is abundant to roll away the stone, and to be Porter to him at his going out of the Sepulchre; one is sufficient to affray and boast all the Priests guard set a­bout the Sepulchre; for this one Angel, when he had rolled a­way the stone, sat upon it, as a Commander.

Ver. 3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow.

4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

In the description of the Angel, learn, 1. That Angels take upon them bodily shapes, when their commission to speak to men, and to be seen of men requireth so; as here this An­gels countenance, and his garments are observed. 2. Great [Page 349] must be the Majesty of our Lord Jesus, when his servants countenance is like lightning, and his garment white as snow. 3. The plots of Christ's adversaries are turned about, as engines of war against themselves; for these keepers are sent forth to keep Christ within the tombe, and now they are made, nill they will they, witnesses of his resurrection. 4. Such as are most stout against Christ, shall be most afraid and astonished when he sheweth his Glory; for, The keepers now do shake, and become as dead men.

Ver. 5. And the Angel answered, and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Iesus which was cru­cified.

6. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay.

The Angel speaketh comfortably to these two women, and sheweth them that Christ is risen, and commandeth them to carry the news unto the Apostles. Doct. 1. By the same means the Lord can terrifie his adversaries, and comfort his people: those he suffereth to lie still in their terrour, these he comforteth; Fear not ye, saith the Angel unto the women: as much as, these keepers may look for wrath; but, Fear not ye. 2. Such as are seeking after Jesus, may take comfort, whatso­ever come; for upon this ground the Angel saith, Fear not, I know ye are seeking Iesus. 3. We have no reason to be ashamed of Christs crosse, when the Angels avow Christ crucified to be the Lord. 4. If God should use Kings and Emperours to be Preachers of Christs crosse and resurrection, it should be no disparagement to their high place; for this message is worthy of such an Angel as this [...]o be messenger, and even the Angels do not so much honour the message, as they are honoured by it: and who is he who thinketh himselfe too good to be a Preacher of the Gospel? 5. Christs body after his resurrection, retaineth the naturall properties of a body, it is in one place, and not in another, the Scripture knoweth no ubiquity of his body; for, He is not here, saith the Angel, he is risen. 6. No rest for our faith, save in our Lords word; if it be once received, then o­ther things serve to confirm faith; for first, He is risen, as he said, saith the Angel, and then biddeth them, Come see where the Lord lay. 7. It is a sufficient argument to prove that Christs body is not present in a place, if sense perceive it not present, for the Angel proveth that Christ is not in the Sepulchre by this rea­son, Come see the place where the Lord lay, he is not here.

[Page 350] Ver. 7 And go quickly, and tell his Disciples that he is risen from the dead; and behold, he goeth before you into Galilee, there shall ye see him; lo, I have told you.

The Angel sendeth away these women, to carry joyfull tidings to the scattered Apostles. Doc. 1. Albeit women be debarred from the ordinary office of preaching the Gospel, yet it may serve them sufficiently for incouragement to believe in Jesus, that beside other extraordinary passages of Christ's respect unto them, their Sex is honoured with the carrying of the first tidings of the resurrection. Go tell his Disciples, that he is risen from the dead, saith the Angel to the women. 2. What concerneth Gods glory, and others comfort in the day of griefe, should be diligently gone about without delay; Go quickly. 3. Christ is that good Shepherd who gather­eth his people unto him, after that the storm of persecution hath scattered them, and driven them from him; for here, he sendeth his Angel to his feeble Disciples, to conveen them un­to him in Galilee. 4. The Lord pitieth the infirmity of his people, and appointeth their Assemblies where they may be most secure and safe; as here, he trusteth his Disciples not at Jerusalem at the first, but in their own Countrey, Galilee. 5. The Lords order is first to crave belief of his hearers, and then to give them proof by sight and sensible experience; as here the Angel giveth command to carry the tidings of the truth delivered, and then promiseth that after that, They shall see him in Galilee. 6. It is a speciall prop to our faith, to consi­der from what Author the word of Faith cometh unto us, and by what Messenger; Therefore saith the Angel, Behold, I have told you.

Ver. 8 And they departed quickly from the Sepulchre, with fear and great joy, and did run to bring his Disciples word.

These faithfull women believe and tremble, and run a­way, and carry these good news. Doct. 1. Such as know what a heart grieved for want of Christ meaneth, will be very ready to comfort such as are in such a grief, as these holy women are glad to carry good news to the Heart-broken Disciples. 2. Mixed affections, fear and joy, at one time may well con­sist in the heart of a Believer: One may tremble at the Ma­jesty of God, and rejoyce in his Friendship, manifested by any means which he pleaseth; for thus are these godly Souls affected. 3. It is a choice good disposition to believe the Lords Word, and diligently to go about the obedience of it, in fear [Page 351] and trembling, such as here is to be seen in these Women, ha­ving believed the glad tidings, They run quickly with fear and joy, and bring the Disciples word.

Ver. 9. And as they went to tell his Disciples, behold, Iesus met them, saying, All bail. And they came, and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.

10. Then said Iesus unto them, Be not affraid: go tell my Brethren, that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

They meet with Christ as they are in the way. Doct. 1. Such [...]as obey the directions of Gods Servants, and doe use prescribed Meanes that they may meet with Christ, shall finde him ere they be aware, much sooner then they expected; as these women do meet Christ, before they looked for him; as they went his errand, Iesus met them. 2. Joyfull is the meeting which a Soul hath with Christ, as here, Christ biddeth hese women, All bail, or rejoyce, and they Lay hold on him, and worship him. 3. An hum­ble sinner may be homely with Christ, as these Women Fall down, and worship him, and hold him by the feet. 4. Such as believe Gods Word in the mouth of his Messengers, shall find confirmation of it by Christ himselfe; for here the Lord bids them do the same things, which the Angel had commanded before, To carry news to the Apostles. 5. For all that can be said unto us, our Faith is still mixed with some doubtings, which breedeth fear, and Christ only can remove them; therfore saith he here, Be not affraid. 6. The weakest of believers are much beloved and esteemed of by Christ: Oh how high love and esti­mation is this, Go tell my Brethren. 7. The place wherein Christ is most welcome to preach, shall be most honoured by his pre­sence; as here, in Galilee, saith he, shall they see me. 8. Howso­ever our Lord be purposed to give sensible satisfaction to his people in due time, yet doth he ever require some beliefe of his Word in the mouth of his Servants, and some obedience of Faith to go before it; Therefore saith he, Tell them that they go to Galilee, and addeth, There shall they see me.

Ver. 11. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chiefe Priests all the things that were done.

The Watch set by the Priests to guard the Sepulchre, come, and tell the Priests how Christ is risen. Doct. 1. The Wit­nesses of Christs Resurrection were not only Angels and holy [Page 352] men and women, but also the prophane souldiers, who were set to watch his Sepulchre; for, The watch came, and shewed the things that were done. 2. The Lord not only wil disappoint his enemies, but also triumph over them; for the watch whom the Priests sent out to obscure his glory, came back to the city, and shewed these things to the chief Priests.

Verse 12. And when they were assembled with the Elders, and had taken counsell, they gave large money unto the soul­diers.

When they know that he is risen, and so behoved to be con­vinced that he was the Son of God, powerfully manifested by resurrection from the dead, they resolve to bear down the truth. Doc. 1. Christs malicious enemies are of the divels nature, they will never cease to oppose him, though they know him to be the Son of God: as appeareth in these chief Priests and Elders. 2. The madnesse of malicious adversaries of the Gospel, and the slavery of Satans captives, is wonderfull, as here is seen; for after they are assembled, they resolve to corrupt the witnes­ses against the light of their conscience. 3. Money is a great I­doll in the world, when the Priests and elders think it may o­ver-balance the most precious Truth, and are confident for gain to make the souldiers make a lie against the resurrection of the known Messiah. 4. The more men be ingaged in a sin, they are the more forward to go on in it, and will spa [...]e no cost to gain their point; for, These Priests and Elders gave but thirty pieces of silver to have Christ crucified, but here they gave large money to keep down the report of his resurrecti­on.

Ver. 13. Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.

14. And if this come to the governours cares, we will perswade him, and secure you.

15. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Iews untill this day.

They devise a lie, and do hire the souldiers to vent it. Doct. 1. Calumnies and lies devised by Christs adversaries, are the spe­ciall Engine which they use against the gospel; when al other devises do fail, they make service to Satan by this means; such is this lie here. 2. They who are entred in service of ungod­ly masters, can hardly win out, still new and worse imploy­ment is furnished unto them; as these godlesse souldiers are [Page 353] set on, from step to step in this ungodly course of oppo­sing Christ. 3. The wicked care not what shame they do put upon themselves, and one upon another, to gain their point, in case they cannot come to their purpose another way; as these men are put to say, that they slept when they should have watched, (which was a disgrace and a capitall fault) that they might make out their devise against Christ. 4. Such as do tempt unto sin, labour to make the sinner secure from worldly inconveniences, but cannot secure them against Gods Justice: as the Priests here do undertake to secure the Souldiers at the Governours hands, but no further. 5. A profane person will make sale of conscience, and tongue, and all for money; as here, the souldiers take the money upon the condition offered. 6. Such as can be content to be silent, and to keep up truth for any earthly gain, will yeild also to speak contrary to known truth for gain; as these men took the money, and did as they were taught. 7. Such as do not apprehend any wrath from God for sin, do seek no guard against it, but do think it sufficient to be secure at mens hands; as here, Money, and Assurance to be secure at the Governours hand, suffice these souldiers; having these gran­ted unto them, They do as they were taught. 8. He that taketh the bait of sin, will also swallow the hook; for so soon as these men took the money, They did as they were taught. 9. Where truth is rejected, a lie will be received, were it never so incredi­ble, and it is righteousnesse with God so to plague those that do not receive the truth in love; for what lesse probable speech could be spoken, than that Christ's few and fearfull Disciples should hazard to open the Sepulchre, when a Guard of souldiers were about it, that all the Guard set about the Sepulchre should be sleeping at once, and be so fast asleep, as the great stone of the Sepulchre should be rolled back, and none be awake? yea, that there should be an earthquake in the mean time, and none of them for this be awaked? and yet This saying findeth credit among the misbelieving Iews.

Ver. 16. Then the eleven Disciples went away into Galilee, into a Mountain where Iesus had appointed them.

17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.

Beside sundry other meetings which Christ had with his A­postles, we have here a solemn and appointed meeting, which we judge to be that meeting wherein there were above five hundred Brethren, whereof the Apostle Paul speaketh, 1 Cor. 15.6. [Page 354] In which meeting Christ establisheth a Ministry in his church, for Preaching of the Word, Administration of the Sacraments, and exercise of Discipline for the better observation of his com­mands unto the end of the World. Doct. 1. Let the Lord shew himself to us as he pleaseth, it is our duty to attend and keep what means and meetings he hath appointed, as the ele­ven Disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where he had appointed them. 2. Christ loveth the Assembly of his Saints, and doth not disappoint the expectation of those that wait up­on him in the appointed means; for in the appointed place it is said, The Apostles saw him. 2. The Faith of believers is not alwayes alike vigorous and active, neither in comparison one of another, nor in comparison of a man with himself at di­vers times: for here are disciples who doubt nothing of Christ's Resurrection when they see him; and some also are who doubted at the first sight. 4. As Faith is clear and vigorous, so doth it see Christ to be God, and bringeth the soul down before him to worship; for such as did not doubt, When they saw him, they wor­shipped him.

Ver. 18. And Iesus came, and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19. Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost.

20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have com­manded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the World. Amen.

To remove all doubting from every man, Christ draweth nearer to them, and speaketh to the people in open audience, and giveth order for gathering and ruling his church unto the end of the World. Doc. 1. The Lord draweth near unto his own, and communicateth himselfe familiarly to them, when it is needfull, and leaveth no means unassayed which may remove doubting from his weak Disciples, as here knowing that some doubted, He came and spake in their hearing. 2. Christ not only as the Son of God, hath joynt, equal and the same Sove­raignty in Heaven and Earth with the Father, communicate unto him by eternal Generation, but also as God Incarnate, God-man, he hath supreme and absolute Authority given un­to him over all things in Heaven and Earth, to and for the church, all things, for the good therof, being put under his Feet, without exception of any thing, save of him who hath put all [Page 355] things under his Feet: and he hath supreme, sole, and abso­lute Authority, as onely Head and King of the Church, to ap­point and maintain the way and means of gathering, preser­ving and ruling his church, and all the affairs thereof unto the end of the World; for so much will these Words, being compa­red with other Scriptures, bear, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 3. Christ hath instituted a Ministry of Tea­chers and rulers of his church, to continue from his Resurre­ction unto the end of the World; for he saith, Goe ye, make Disciples, Teach them obedience unto me, I wil be with you to the end of the world. 4. The community of Ministers and Rulers of the church respective, have all the Nations of the earth un­der their charge, to gather Disciples unto Christ out of them; Go, make all nations disciples, saith he. Now these are made disci­ples whosoever are given up unto Christ, to be taught and go­verned by him, whether by themselves, or being brought by o­thers who have power of them, as Parents and Masters are de­dicate and consecrate unto Christ, who hath said of children elsewhere, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, All those may and should be taken charge of, ad­mitted into the Church as Disciples, and baptized; for hee saith, Go, make Disciples of all Nations, and baptize them. 6. The community of believers, or the body of covenanted and baptized disciples, are not the subject of this authority granted for gathering of churches, administration of doctrine, Sacra­ments, Discipline, and other publick Ordinances: but the community of the Ministers, Teachers, and Rulers, contra­distinguished from the body of Disciples, which is taught and governed; for it is said, Go ye, my Ministers; make ye Dis­ciples, Baptize yee, and Teach ye them. 7. Ministers or church-rulers in this their Ecclesiastics charge, do not derive their power and authority from any under Heaven, but from Christ, who hath made all in heaven and in earth▪ & who giveth unto them a commision to make disciples unto him out of all nations; for after he hath said, All power is given to mee, Hee subjoyneth, Goe ye therefore, and make Disciples of all Nations. 8. The commission of Christs Ministers doth extend unto the drawing Nations into subjection unto Christ, and into co­venant with him, to be his disciples, and to obey all his com­mandements, only by way of doctrine; for, Goe, saith hee, by Doctrine make all nations Disciples, this is the force of the Word Teach, in the Original. 9. The Ministers of the Gospel [Page 356] Teaching and Ruling-elders respective, are the true succes­sours of the Apostles, in the dispensation of the Doctrin, Sacraments, and Discipline appointed by Christ, for they are appointed in the same Parent with the Apostles, and spoken unto in the Person by Christ, saying, I will be with you unto the end of the world. 10. Baptisme is the seal of the covenant, made between God and all initiate Disciples, el­der and younger; for after that they are commanded to make disciples, they are commanded to baptize them, Go make Disciples, and baptize them. 11. There are three persons in the God-head distinct one from another in or­der of subsistence and Operation, the Father, the Sonne, and the Holy Ghost, for so beareth the text. 12. These three are one GOD undivided in Essence and Operation, equall and one in Authority and Power, their Name and their exercise of Authority is one; for it is said, Bap­tizing them not in the names, but in the Name of the Father, Sonne, and Holy Ghost. 13. The Covenant of Grace on both sides is made for cleansing and putting a­way sinne, according to the way and order prescribed by GOD, in whose Name Baptisme or sprinkling with wa­ter, for assuring Disciples of remission of sinnes through CHRIST, and obliging them to study Holinesse, is given and taken. 14. The Ministers and Rulers of the Church are limited unto the commands given to them from CHRIST: they may not injoyne unto the Church any thing save the commands of CHRIST; These, and all these, and only these must they teach; Teaching them, saith he, to observe whatsoever I com­manded you. 15. The baptized Disciples of Christ may not walke as they list, but must study to observe all that Christ hath commanded his Ministers to teach them; for hee saith, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. 16. Faithfull Ministers have assu­rance of Christs assistance and blessing, in whatsoever part or time of the World they fall into; I am with you, saith he, unto the end of the world. 17. People need not feare to joyne themselves in church society with any Na­tion, under such Pastors as do faithfully teach whatsoe­ver Christ hath commanded: for Christ hath promised to bee with such Teachers, and to blesse their labours to the end of the world; Behold, I am with you to the end [Page 357] of the World. 18. This whole Gospel is solid Truth, and worthy to bee imbraced, to be sealed, and to bee setled upon by all Men, according as the Evangelist gi­veth example unto us, closing the whole doctrine, and this last Promise, with AMEN.


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