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V. Æ. 27.
24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No " prophet is J.P. 4740. accepted in his own country.
25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel Nazareth. in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three m. Matt. xiii. years and six months, when great famine was throughout all).1 Kings xvii. the land 18 ;
26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.
27 • And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus o 2 Kings v. the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.
28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,
29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the * brow of the hill whereon their city was built, * Or, edge. that they might cast him down headlong.
30 But he passing through the midst of them went his , way.
18 Our Lord's conduct in selecting this topic is worthy of our particular consideration. In the very first address which he made to his fellow townsmen, and through them to the whole of the Jewish people, he preached the deliverance of the Gentiles from their bondage and darkness. This doctrine was for some time inexplicable, and, when understood, intolerable to his own disciples : but Christ was the Divine Being who was to redeem all his creatures, and we are assured, “ Known unto God are all his ways, from the beginning to the end;" and Christ, at the commencement of his ministry, declared at once the whole design of his coming : as Elias was sent to the widow of Zarepta, in preference to those of Israel, and as Naaman the Syrian was the only leper healed in the days of Eliseus the prophet, so was Christ, a greater than these, commissioned to heal the diseases of those people and those nations who should believe on him. The transaction here recorded affords us a sufficient explanation of the motives of one part of our Lord's conduct, which has sometimes been considered as inexplicable. He is represented as not informing the people, in various instances, of the full extent of his claims ; as not calling himself the Messiah ; as charging those who were healed “to tell no man;" as keeping back from the people, and even from the apostles, many things which they were desirous to learn. The necessity and wisdom of this caution are here made evident. On this occasion, when he declared himself to be the Messiah, we see the service of the synagogue was hastily and indecently terminated by the fury of the people, who became intent upon the destruction of their teacher. His ministry would have been repeatedly disturbed by similar interruptions, if our Lord had not adopted this conduct. In what manner Christ delivered himself from the fury of his enraged persecutors, we know not. Whether they were overawed by some supernatural glory, or whether they were paralyzed by a sudden exertion of almighty power, we are not informed. The brevity of the account given us by the Evangelist, like the teaching of our Lord himself
, only reveals to us what is essential to faith and salvation; it never satisfies an useless curiosity.
LUKE iv. 31, 32.
31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and V. Æ. 27.
taught them on the sabbath days. Capernaum. 32 And they were astonished at his doctrine : P for his p Matt. vi. 29.
word was with power.
The miraculous Draught of Fishes 20; and the calling of Andrew,
and Peter, James, and John.
MATT. iv. 18. MARK i. 17-21. LUKE v. 1-12. Sea of Galilee. q Mark i. 16. 18 9 And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two
19 The wisdom of our Lord's choice of Capernaum (after he had left Nazareth) as his fixed place of residence, is evident on many accounts. He placed himself by so doing under the protection of the nobleman whose son had been healed, John iv. 46, and whose presence was an undeniable testimony to his almighty power. Capernaum, from its situation, being surrounded with numerous and populous towns and villages, on the border of the sea of Galilee, or the lake of Tiberias, enabled him to remove with the utmost facility either by sea or land; either for the purpose of instruction, or to avoid the persecutions, the importunities, or the efforts of his adherents, to make him their king. It was here also he again met his first disciples, who, for some reason unknown to us, had resumed their former occupation. It is not improbable that they had been directed by our Lord to leave him after the miracle of Cana, in Galilee. He did not require their presence at Nazareth, as he had not purposed to work miracles at that place. By dwelling at Capernaum, he still continued to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah ix. 1, &c. as that city was situated in the tribe of Napthali.
That our Lord came to Capernaum after he left Nazareth, is expressly asserted by St. Luke, chap. iv. 30, 31. The order of this section is the same with all the harmonists.
20 This event is inserted here on the united authorities of Lightfoot, Newcome, Doddridge, and Dr. Townson, who refers also to Grotius, Hammond, Spanheim, dub Evang. par. 3, Dub. 72, p. 338, Chemnitius, Cradock, and Le Clerc, to confirm his opinion. Osiander, as he was compelled to do by his plan, which has been already given, has supposed that the transaction recorded in Lukev. 1-12, was different from that related in the parallel passages, (Mark i. 16, Matt. iv. 19, &c.) In reply to this part of his hypothesis, Spanheim remarks: Non temere multiplicandas esse historias, quæ eædem deprehenduntur, quod cum, Osiandro sine necessitate faciunt illi, qui nullas υστερώσεις, et προλήψεις apud sacros scriptores admittunt. And it is as absurd to suppose that the inspired writers never followed the example of their predecessors in the Old Testament ; and sometimes disregarded chronological order, as it would be to proceed to the
brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, cast- J. P. 4740.
V. Æ. 27. ing a net into the sea : for they were fishers 21.
Sea of Ga.
lilee. opposite extreme, and to mangle the text with Whiston and Mann. The apparent differences between the Evangelists are well discussed by Townson (a).
The narrative in this section is arranged on the plan of Doddridge's division of the same history.
Eichhorn has supposed that the passages in this section do not refer to the same event, he has not inserted either the calling of Andrew, Peter, James, and John, or the miraculous draught of fishes, among the events which are related by all the three Evangelists (b).
Pilkington separates the account of the miraculous draught of fishes, from the calling of these disciples, for two reasons. One, because it is said in Mark i. 17. they forsook all, and followed him; and in Luke v. 1–11. they are represented as again pursuing their occupation—the other, because St. Peter calls our Lord Šalotára. Both these objections, however, are obviated by Newcome, Doddridge, and Townson.
The word & Thorára, which is used chap. viii. 24, 45. and ix. 33. 49. may imply only submission of the apostle to our Lord, as his master, without any actual previous obedience. It certainly is used in the sense of overseer, or superintendent, but it was also applied by St. Luke as expressing more correctly the word "37, the usual epithet of respect among the Jews. In Mark ix. 5. we read 'Pabbi, kalóv totiv nuāç wde elvaı. Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and in St. Luke ix. 33. the very same words are given, excepting that thisára is put in the place of Rabbi (c).
Michaelis has strangely placed this miraculous draught of fishes, after the raising of the widow's son at Nain ; an arrangement for which there is not the least authority that I have been able to discover, although much time has been devoted to the attempt. It appears merely arbitrary, equally inconsistent with the evangelical account, and the decision of all the harmonizers. Nain was upwards of twenty miles from the sea of Tiberias. Yet Michaelis supposes that our Lord on the same day left Capernaum, travelled to Nain, a distance of more than thirty miles, and, after raising the widow's son to life, proceeded to the sea of Tiberias, the nearest point of which is distant twenty miles froin Nain. Bishop Marsh, his learned editor, has been aware of this difficulty, as he remarks, “Our author has not assigned his reasons for each particular transposition, and the propriety of some of them may be justly questioned.” Michaelis, in his defence, I suppose, observes, there is no note of time to inform us when this event took place (d).
The narratives of the three Evangelists are thus reconciled by Dr. Townson, who observes, this account (Luke v. 1—12.) will be found on a near inspection to tally marvellously with the preceding (Matt. iv. 18-22. and Mark i. 16–20.) and to be one of the evidences that the Evangelists vary only in the number or choice of circumstances, and write from the same idea of the fact which they lay before us.
(a) Townson's Works, vol. i. p. 42, 43. (6) Marsh's Michaelis, vol. iii. part ii. p. 193. (c) Pilkington's Evang. History, &c. (d) Marsh's Michaelis, part i. p. 49. and vol. iii. part ii. p. 67.
21 See next page.
Sea of Ga. lilee,
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MARK i. 17-21.
And though St. Matthew and St. Mark do not expressly tell us, that St. Peter was in his vessel when he was called by Christ, they signify as much, in saying that he was casting a net into the sea; for this supposes him to be aboard, and our Lord in the vessel with him, as St. Luke relates. The latter does not mention St. Andrew, either here or elsewhere, except in the catalogue of the Apostles (vi. 14.) St. Luke further tells us, that James and John, the sons of Zebedee, assisted Peter in landing the fish which he had taken ; and that when they, that is, the four partners, had brought their ships to land, they forsook all and followed Christ. And here also this Evangelist harmonizes with the two others. St. Mark says, that when Christ had gone a little further thence from the place where Peter and Andrew began to follow him, he saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in a ship, as Peter had been when he was called, mending their nets, their nets being torn by the weight of fish which they had hauled to shore; and straightway be called them—and they went after him, in company with Peter and Andrew.
The two accounts, that of St. Matthew and St. Mark on one side, and that of St. Luke on the other, thus concurring in the place and situation in which St. Peter was called, in the promise made to him, and the time when he was called, speak evidently of the same vocation-consequently St. Matthew and St. Mark have abridged the story (e).
This manner of considering the narrative seems preferable either to that of Newcome, Whitby, or Hammond (F).
21 The wisdom of our Lord's conduct was eminently displayed in the choice of his Apostles: they were generally chosen from the inferior ranks of life; and most of them were fishermen. If the disciples of Christ had been men of rank and distinction, of wealth or eminence ; if they had been esteemed for their knowledge, or literature, or political influence, these means, might more or less have been employed for promoting the kingdom of the Messiah, which nearly all the Jews imagined would be of an earthly nature. The success of the Gospel, too, would have been attributed, by its enemies at least, if not by the disciples, to mere human exertions. Hence Caiaphas enquired with so much solicitude of Christ, respecting his disciples, (John xviii. 19.) from whose unpretending life less opposition was made to the first beginnings of Christianity: for no danger could possibly be apprehended from the efforts of such inferior and illiterate individuals. In addition to these reasons for selecting the Apostles from the lowest occupation, it must be remembered, that men accustomed to a sterner and severer mode of life would be so habituated to dangers and anxieties, that
(e) Townson's Discourses, vol. i. p. 43, 44. (f) To prevent trouble in noting the references to the five principal harmonies, from which my authorities are principally selected, I will mention the editions referred to. Lightfoot's Works, folio edition, London, 1684. Archbishop Newcome's Harmony, large folio, Dublin, 1787. Pilkington's Evangelical History, folio, London, 1747. Doddridge's Family Expositor, 5 vols. 8vo. Baynes, London. Michaelis's Works (Marsh's) 8vo. 2nd edit. 1802.
22 See next page.
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18 And straightway they forsook their nets, and followed v.Æ. . him.
Sea of Ga. lilee.
they would not easily be daunted by them. By this choice, too, all pretence that the Gospel was advanced by mere human means was destroyed ; and it appeared from the very beginning, that not many wise, or noble, or mighty, were called.
22 ON THE TYPES OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. There is one subject in theology which has generally escaped the attention of commentators and writers; the types of the New Testament. If we consider the design of Revelation, and the plan on which the former part of the inspired pages is written, it will not appear improbable, or unreasonable, that we may discover the same union of types and prophecies in the New, as are to be found in the Old Testament.
A type is a designed resemblance between two events, one of which takes place before the other. The latter of these events is of so much importance, that it is usually the subject of prophecy. It may be observed also, respecting the types, that those circumstances recorded in the Old Testament, which are now known to be typical, were not generally understood in the complete typical sig. nification at the time they took place. Thus we cannot be assured that the offering of Isaac by Abraham was regarded by his contemporaries as typical of the sacrifice of the Son of God. It was comprehended on a future day, and the resemblance between them was so complete, that we have internal evidence, as well as the testimony of authors, that the first event was a prophetical intimation of the latter : and we well know, that the latter was the object also of a great variety of prophecies.
The design of Revelation is likewise to demonstrate to the world, that all that can or shall take place is known to God; and that every event among all the nations of the earth concurs in accomplishing his predetermined will. That will is known and declared to be, the universal happiness of the sons of Adam, accomplished by means which shall not clash with the freedom of human will, and human action.
The New Testament, like the Old, contains a great number of prophecies, many of which have already been fulfilled, many are now fulfilling, many remain to be accomplished. The same spirit of God dictated both covenants : the design of the one revelation is uniform : the plan, we may naturally conclude the same; and we may expect, therefore, that some events in the New Testament may be intended to typify those circumstances which are the subject of its prophecies.
In the instance before us, we have a plain example of a prophecy which was delivered under circumstances which may seem to typify the event foretold. Christ assured his disciples that they should become fishers of men : that is, they should be successful preachers of his Gospel. The words, in their simple meaning, must be considered only as a metaphor ; but the events which took place at the time they were spoken will possibly justify us in supposing that they are to be interpreted as an intended resemblance, or type, of the fulfilment of our Lord's prophecy. As the net drew up so great a multitude of fishes, so also should the Apostles on a future day bring many myriads into the Church of God.