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tious display of them. First: Because he had no desire of vain glory about him. Secondly: He did not wish to give any unnecessary provocation to his enemies, which might have hindered him in the execution of his work. Thirdly: Where there was no danger from cnemies, yet such was the eagerness of the people to see his miracles that they flocked together from all parts of the country, thronging, and hindering him in preaching the gospel. To the two first of these causes the injunction of secrecy seems to be attributed in Matt. xii. 13-20; and to the last in Mark i. 4, which is the case in question, as related by Mark. We are there informed that, owing to the leper having "blazed abroad the matter, Jesus could no more openly enter into the city; but was without in desert places," which was a serious injury to that work which his miracles were intended to subserve.
But in the country of the Gadarenes, the case was different. He was there in no danger of being hindered from his great work by the thronging of the people: on the contrary, they were afraid, "prayed him to depart" out of the coasts; and he did depart. In such circumstances let not the story of the destruction of the swine be the only one in circulation: let the deliverance of the poor demoniac also be told; and let him be the person who should tell it. Let him leave these people who wanted to get rid of the Savior, and go home to his friends, and tell how great things the Lord had done for him, and had had compassion upon him. Luke tells us that he published it throughout the whole city, chap. viii. 39.
Matt. xi. 14. This is Elias who was to come.
John i. 21. Art thou Elias? And he saith I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.
JOHN the Baptist was not literally the person of Elias; and it was proper for him to say he was not, in order to correct the gross notions of the Jews on that subject. Had he answered in the affirmative, and they believed him, he would have confirmed them in a gross falsehood.
Yet John the Baptist was that Elias of whom the prophet Malachi spake; (ch. iv. 5.) that is, as Luke expresses it, he came in the spirit and power of Elias; (ch. i. 17.) and so was, as it were, another Elias.
Matt. xxi. 38. This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
1 Cor. ii. 8. Which none of the princes of this world knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
IT is difficult to decide whether the Jewish rulers acted directly against the light of their consciences in crucifying the Lord of glory; or whether they did it ignorantly and in unbelief, as Saul persecuted the church. Several passages seem to favor the first of these hypotheses. They who took counsel to put Lazarus to death, because that through him many believed in Jesus; (John xii. 10, 11.) and they who replied to Judas, "What is that to us? See thou to it," (Matt.
xxvii. 4.) do not seem to have acted ignorantly. The counsel of Caiaphas to which the rest agreed, did not proceed upon the ground of Christ's being an impostor, but merely that of expediency, John xi. 50. That is, policy required that he should be made a sacrifice; for the Jewish church was in danger. With this agrees the first of the above passages; This is the heir, come, let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours. With this also agrees the intimation, that some of them had committed the sin against the Holy Spirit, which should never be forgiven, by ascribing his casting out devils to Beelzebub the prince of devils, when in their consciences they knew better, Matt. xii. 24-32. Finally: perhaps with this also agrees such language as the following: If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloak for their sin. He that hateth me, hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen, and kated, both me and my Father, John xv. 22-24.
On the other hand, there are several passages which seem to maintain the contrary. Among these, some have reckoned the last of the above passages, namely, 1 Cor. ii. 3. "Had they known, &c." But, I apprehend, the term known in this passage is put for that spiritual discernment which is peculiar to true Christians. The knowledge which the princes, or great ones of this world, had not, is said to be revealed to believers by the Holy Spirit, which proves it to be spiritual. Had the murderers of our Lord been possessed of this, they would not, they could not, have crucified him. But whatever light they had in their consciences, they were
blind to the real glory of his character, and such is every unregenerate sinner.
But though this passage be easily reconciled with the foregoing hypothesis yet there are others more difficult; particularly the words of Peter, in Acts iii. 17; and of Paul, in Acts xiii. 27, And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they know him not, nor yet the voices of their prophets, which are read every Sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.
I know of no way to reconcile these things, but by supposing, what indeed is very probable, That there were some of each description; and that the former passages refer to the one, and the latter to the other.
Luke i. 38. He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 1 Cor. xv. 24. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority and power.
WHEN the kingdom of Christ is said to have no end, it may mean that it shall never be overturned, or succeed. ed by any rival power, as all the kingdoms of this world have been, or shall be. Such is the interpretation given of the phrase in Dan. vii. 14; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which SHALL NOT PASS AWAY, and his kingdom that which SHALL NOT BE DESTROYED.
But this need not be alleged in order to account for the phraseology, which will be found to be literally true. The end, of which Paul speaks, does not mean the end of Christ's kingdom; but of the world, and the things thereof. The delivering up of the kingdom to the Father will not put an end to it, but eternally establish it in a new and more glorious form. Christ shall not cease to reign, though the mode of his administration be different. As a Divine Person he will always be one with the Father: and though his Mediatorial Kingdom shall cease, yet the effects of it will remain for ever. There will never be a period in duration in which the Redeemer of sinners will be thrown into the shade, or become of less account than he now is, or in which honor and glory and blessing will cease to be ascribed to him by the whole creation.
Luke x. 23.
John xx. 29.
Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see.
Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
THE first of these passages pronounces a blessing upon tho se ho saw the fulfilment of what others had believed; the last, of those who should believe the gospel upon the ground of their testimony, without having witnessed the facts with their own eyes.
A correct explanation is given of this passage in a former part of this work. The reader must examine and judge for himself which is the most correct. The former sense certainly sets forth the mediation of Christ in a very striking manner, and it is always safe to ex plain Scripture in that way which exalts the character and work of God manifested in the flesh. Editor.