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184

Luke IX. 51.

As he went to Jerufalem, the Samaritans would not receive him. Sect. 127. dispatched the Miniftry which he was to discharge ceived up, he stedfaftly fet on Earth; notwithstanding all the painful Scenes his Face to go to Jerufalem, thro' which he was yet to pafs, his Heart was fo animated with a Regard to his Father's Honour, and the Salvation of Men, and fo cheared with the Views of his own approaching Exaltation and Glory, that in Defiance of all his most inveterate Enemies, be refolutely fet his Face to go up to Jerufalem, tho' he knew it was the last Journey he fhould take from Galilee thither, and that 52 Tortures and Death awaited him there.

And

as he was travelling thro' Samaria, being a Stranger there, he fent Messengers before his Face, who in their Progress entered into a Village of the Samaritans, to prepare Entertainment for him; and only defired to take a Lodging there, and pay 53 for their Accommodation. But the Samaritans had such a National Grudge against the Jews, that they would not receive him, nor grant him the common Rites of Hofpitality due to any Stranger, because his Face was directed towards Jerufalem; and they knew by the Seafon of the Year, that he intended that Vifit as a peculiar Honour to the Temple there (c).

And

52 And fent Messengers before his Face: and they

went, and entred into a Village of the Samaritans to make ready for him.

53 And they did not receive him, because his Face was as though he would go to Jerufalem.

which would make it no exact Date at all, but might indifferently be applied to any other Feaft. Heinfius confounds it with faois, and interprets it of his being lifted up on the Crofs; tho' it is certain, the Ideas of being lifted up to a State of Sufpenfion, and taken, or received up, are extreamly different. -A learned Friend, for whofe Judgment I have juftly a great Regard, obferving that ans fometimes fignifies a Seizure, ingeniously conjectures, that avans may fignify Chrift's being feized again; imagining it may refer to a former Seizure at Nazareth, Luke iv. 29. urging farther, that avaλap.Cava fignifies to take again, and referring (I think without fufficient Evidence,) to Acts xx. 13, 14. xxiii. 31. compared with ver. 10. and Eph. vi. 13. compared with ver. 11. in Proof of it. But I beg Leave with all due Deference to obferve, that ovaλaubava is the Word which Luke ufes for taking, in the Senfe this worthy Perfon supposes, as denoting to feize; (compare A&ts i. 16. and Luke xxii. 54.) in which he is fupported by the Authority of Ariftotle, Euripides, and the beft Greek Clafficks. And therefore fince the Word is plainly used with Reference to Chrift's Afcenfion, Mark xvi. 19. Acts i. 2, 11, 22. 1 Tim. iii. 16. as also to that of Elijah, 4 Kings ii. 10, 11. Septuag. and fince in all the Places referred to above, it may be rendered by taking up, fee Grotius on Mark xvi. 19.) I fcruple not at all, with the most antient Verfions, and the Generality of Criticks, to follow the ufual Interpretation, which refers avarms to Chrift's Afcenfion; efpecially fince no confiderable Difficulty would be removed by adimitting any of the preceding different Interpretations.That the Word Days fignifies no more than Time, and fometimes is ufed to exprefs what paffes in an Inftant, is very evident from 3 Kings ii. 1. and Gen. xxv. 24. Septuag.

(c) As a peculiar Honour to the Temple there.] None of the Feafts obferved at Jerufalem could be more remarkable in this View, as this was kept in Commemoration of the Temple's being purified, after it had been polluted by Antiochus Epiphanes, to whofe idolatrous Impo

fitions

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He rebukes the intemperate Zeal of James and John.

54 And when his Difci-'.

ples, James and John, faw this, they faid, Lord, wilt thou that we command Fire to come down from Heaven, and consume them, even as

Elias did?

55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye

know not what manner of Spirit ye are of.

56 For the Son of Man is not come to destroy Men's Lives, but to fave them. And they went to another Village.

LUKE XVII. 12. And as he entred into a certain

Village, there met him Ten
Men that were Lepers,

which ftood afar off:

185

And when his Difciples, James and John, who Sect. 127.
attended him (d), faw it, they faid, Lord, wilt
Luke IX.54.
thou that we speak for Fire to come down from Hea-
ven to destroy them, as Elijah did with regard to
his Enemies? (2 Kings i. 10, 12.) for furely one
Word in fuch a Cafe will do it, and the Artillery
of Heaven will be much more ready to avenge
fuch an Affront offered to thee, who art fo much
superior to any of the Prophets.

But [Jefus] turning fhort upon them, rebuked 55
them with a becoming Severity, and faid, Ye know
not what Kind of Spirit ye are of; you neither
confider the Genius of the Gofpel, so much more
gentle than that of the Law, nor do you fuffici-
ently know your own Hearts; and if you were
more diligently to examine them, you would foon
find, that there is a great deal of perfonal Refent-
ment and Oftentation mingled with all that Zeal
for me, which you fo warmly exprefs on this Oc-
cafion. But I reject your Motion, as abfolutely 56
unfit to be complied with; for the Son of Man
came not into the World, to erect his Kingdom
by military Force, or by any other Method to
deftroy Men's Lives, but to fave them; and there-
fore will exert his miraculous Power in Works of
Mercy and Benevolence, and not of Terror and
Vengeance. And they departed from that Place,
and went on till they came to another Village.

And as he entered into a certain neighbouring Luke XVII.
Village, there met him Ten Men who were Lepers, 12.
and who on that Account were fhut out from
the Towns to which they belonged; and as in
this miferable State they could have no Society
with any but themselves, both Jews and Sama-

ritans

fitions the Samaritans had willingly offered to fubmit; as was obferved on John iv. 9. Note (g), Vol. i. pag. 172. Jofephus obferves, (Antiq. lib. xx. cap. 6. (al. 5.) §. 1. & Bell. Jud. lib. ii. cap. 12. (al. 11.) §. 3.) that the Jews going from Galilee to Jerufalem at their publick Feafts, took Samaria in their Way; and it might be refented as fomething of an Affront, confidering the Antipathy of the two Nations.

(d) James and John, who attended him.] That thefe Difciples, fo remarkably diftinguifhed by their Lord's Favour, fhould have fome diftinguished Zeal and Faith, may seem lefs wonderful, than that a Person of fo fweet a Difpofition as John fhould make fo fevere a Propofal. (Compare pag. 36.)-The Affinity which this Story has to the others, with which Luke has connected it, is (as Grotius juftly obferves,) a fufficient Reafon for his having thus transposed it.

VOL. II.

A a

186

Luke XVII.

13.

Ten Lepers are cleanfed, and but One returns to give Thanks. Sect. 127. ritans converfed promifcuoufly together. And 13 And they lifted up Standing afar off, left they fhould pollute Paffen- their Voices, and faid, Jefus gers who might come too near them, they lifted Mafter, have Mercy on us. up their Voice, and faid with great Earneftness, having heard of the Fame of Chrift, Jefus Mafter, we beseech thee to have Mercy upon us, as thou haft already extended it to others in these 14 deplorable Circumftrnces. And feeing them, be faid unto them, Go, fhew yourselves to the Priests; intimating that the Cure fhould be performed by the Way. And it came to pass, that as they were going on, they were all miraculously cleanfed by the Power of Chrift, operating at a Distance, as well as near.

15

And one of them, perceiving he was healed, was fo affected with it, that he immediately returned, glorifying GOD with a loud Voice, and made a free and open Acknowledgment of fo 16 fignal a Mercy. And prefenting himself before Jefus, he fell down on his Face at his Feet, giving the most affectionate Thanks unto him; and it is 17 remarkable, that he was a Samaritan.

And

14 And when he faw

them, he faid unto them, the Priefts. And it came to Go fhew yourselves unto pafs, that as they went, they were cleanfed.

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17 And Jefus answering faid, Were there not Ten cleanfed? but where are the

Nine?

18 There are not found:

Jefus obferving it, anfwered and faid, Were there not Ten Lepers cleaned? but where [are] the other Nine, of whom it might have been expected, as they were Jews, that they should have expreffed a greater Senfe of Piety, and have been more ready to thank GOD for their Deliver18 ance? How is it, that of all that were cleansed, none are found who have returned to give Glory that returned to give Glory. to GOD, but this poor Stranger to the Commonwealth of Ifrael? And he faid to him, Arife, go thy Way; this thy Faith in my Power bas faved thee, i. e. it has been the Means of thy Cure; and while thou perceivest these grateful Sentiments in thine Heart, thou mayeft conclude it comes in Mercy.

19

to GOD, fave this Stranger..

19 And he faid unto him, Arife, go thy Way; thy

Faith hath made thee whole..

Luke ix. 53.

W

IMPROVEMENT.

HO would not have imagined, that the Blefied Jefus fhould have been moft cordially welcome, where-ever he came, when there was Grace in all his Words, and Benevolence in all his Actions ?

Yet

Reflections on the Evil of a Perfecuting Spirit.

187

Yet these Samaritans would not receive him, because he was a Jew. And Sect. 127. thus do unhappy Prejudices, taken up on imaginary Grounds, against Men, and Things in the general, fometimes injure the best of Men, and prove much more hurtful to the Perfons themselves by whom they

are entertained.

The rafh Difciples would have called for Fire from Heaven; and Ver. 54. let us obferve how Chrift treated the Propofal. He treated it like himfelf; like the kind compaflionate Friend of Human Nature; and also like one, who well knew what was in Man, (John ii. 25.) and how little Human Terrors and Severities can do towards producing a real Converfion. Yet Fire from Heaven might have carried along with it fome rational Ground of Conviction, which penal Laws and fanguinary Executions can never produce. What then would Chrift have faid to these Difciples, if they had themselves propofed to fmite with the Sword, or to caft Fire-brands into the Houfes of these unhofpitable Men? Little do they know their own Spirit; little do they understand, either the Ver. 55. true Genius, or the true Intereft of the Gofpel, who have Recourfe to fuch Methods as thefe, to extirpate Herefy, and to propagate Truth, Let us bless Go D, that neither the Guilt, nor the Mifery of fuch a Conduct, is ours.

Let us learn to fearch our own Hearts, that we may form a thorough Acquaintance with ourselves; which will greatly promote, both the Comfort, and Usefulness of Life. Efpecially let us attend to our Aims and Intentions, and be greatly jealous over our own Hearts, left we indulge our irregular Paffions under Religious Pretences, and fet up the Standards of Malice and Pride in the Name of the Lord.

From the Story of the Ten Lepers let us learn, importunately to feek Luke xvii. the Influences of Chrift, to purge us from that far more odious and 12,---16. fatal Disease, which Sin has fpread over our whole Nature; and after the Example of the Samaritan, let us own the Mercy we have received. Have we not Reason to fear, that of the Multitudes who are indebted

to the Divine Goodness, there is not One in Ten who has a becoming Ver. 17, 18. Sense of it? Let us labour to imprefs our Hearts deeply with fuch a Senfe. Let us remember what it is that God expects of us; and let us farther confider, that as the Exercise of Gratitude towards fuch a Benefactor is most reasonable, fo alfo in Proportion it is moft delightful to the Soul; it is indeed (as One well expreffes it,) like the Incense of the Jewish Priest, which while it did an Honour to Go D, did likewife regale with its own Fragrancy the Perfon by whom it was offered,

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188

Sect. 128.

20.

The Pharifees enquire, when the Kingdom of GOD will come.

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Our LORD cautions the Jews, against expecting a pompous Kingdom of the Meffiah, and warns them of the approaching National Deftruction, which would be the Confequence of rejecting him. Luke XVII. 20, to the End.

T

LUKE XVII. 20.

HUS our Lord went on in his Journey, and at length came to Jerufalem. And it Luke XVII. was about this Time, that being asked by fome of the Pharifees (a), when the Kingdom of GOD, which he had so often mentioned as approaching, fhould actually come; he answered them, and faid, The Kingdom of GOD cometh not with that external Pomp and Obfervation of Men which you 21 expect. Neither hall they point to this, or that remarkable Place, and fay, Behold [it is] here, or, behold [it is] there. For behold, and obferve it attentively, the Kingdom of GOD is already among you (b); tho', because it is an inward and fpiritual Kingdom, erected in Men's Hearts, and not attended with outward Grandeur, you overlook it as unworthy your Regards.

22

And he afterwards faid to the Disciples apart, Tho' you do indeed undergo fome prefent Difficulties, in Confequence of your Adherence to me, yet you have fo much greater Extremities before you, that the Time will come, when you shall wish to fee one of thefe Days of the Son of Man, and fhall not fee it; and the whole Jewish Nation having rejected Me the true Meffiah, fhall yet long for the Appearance of him, whom they expect under that Character, and eagerly listen to every one

that

LUKE XVII. 20.

AND when he was de

manded of the Pharifees, when the Kingdom of

GOD fhould come; he anfwered them, and faid, The Kingdom of GoD cometh

not with Observation.

21 Neither fhall they fay, Lo here, or, lo there: for behold, the Kingdom of GOD

is within you.

22 And he faid unto the

Difciples, The Days will

come when ye shall defire to fee one of the Days of the Son of Man, and ye fhall not fee it.

(a) Being afked by fome of the Pharifees.] I pretend not to fay, whether this was at Jeru falem, or fome neighbouring Place; nor is it any way material to determine it.

(b) The Kingdom of GOD is among you.] So I render os vwv, referring the Reader to thofe exact Criticks in the Greek Language, Beza, and Raphelius, (Annot. ex Xen. pag. 109, 110.) for a more particular Vindication of it. It is certain, our Lord could not properly fay, the Kingdom of GOD was in the Pharifees to whom he spoke, whofe Temper was entirely alienated from the Nature and Defign of it.

(c) In

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