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“ to make oftentation of our virtues.” And to the same purpose, Cornelius à Lapide, Zegerus, and many other learned men ,
2. It is not at all absurd, that our Saviour should give the leper this charge of secrecy, in the presence of the multitude ; because hereby he gave them a very plain intimation, that he did not design to set up a temporal kingdom in the world; and so used a very likely means to prevent the ill consequences of their entertaining such an opinion of him. Every body knows the Jewish nation had this expectation from the Mefliah, that, when he came, he would deliver them from their subjection to the Roman power, and restore their kingdom to its antient grandeur. This is evident from abundance of passages in the New Testament b. Now it is very evident, our Lord took all possible methods to prevent the Jews from entertaining this opinion of him. As soon as he perceived their design to pro."
claim him a king, he retired, and went from them all into a mountain alone, John vi. 15. Nay it is observable, that our Lord so much declined this character; that, for this very reafon, he forbad his disciples to publish him as the Chrift: Matt. xvi. 20. Then charged he his disciples, that they should tell
2. Id juflit ad vitandam ostenta. ique étoient violens. It appears by tionem, et ut nos doceret, virtutes this petition, that the wife of Zebe dotesque noftras non jactare. Ita dee, and her sons (to whom St. Chryfoftomus. Cornel. a Lapid. ad Mark attributes this petition), were loc.
always in expectation of a teniporal Noverat quidem Dominus illos kingdom, notwithstanding all that non tacituros (he is speaking of a Jesus Christ was able to say to the like instance); verum hoc ita prae contrary, so very great were the precipiens, nobis voluit humilitatis judices of the Jewish nation. "Le contemnendæque gloriæ præbere ex- Clerc on Mait. XX. 22. This is emplum. Zeger. ad Mat. ix. 30. confirmed also by the discourse of
6 Hence it was, that the mother the two disciples, after our Lord's of Zebedee's fons came with her pe- resurrection, Luke xxiv, 21. We tition, that her fons might have the trusted that it had been be, which highest posts in his kingdom, Ilfhould have redeemed Ifrael. And paroît par cette demande, que la St. John tells us (ch. vi. 14, 15.), femme de Zebedée, et ses fils (à qui that when they were convinced by St. Marc attribue cette demande a miracle, which our Lord had ch. x. 35.) s'attendoient toujours wrought, that he was the true Mefà un regne temporel, quoique Jesus fiah, they immediately were for proChrist leur eût pu dire au contraire, claiming and making him a king, tant les préjugés de la nation Juda
XII. of St. Matthew's Gospel. no man that he was Jesus the Chrift. He knew that the idea of the Messiah, and that of a temporal prince, were almost the fame in the minds of the Jews, at least that the idea of the one implied, and was inseparable from, the other; and therefore, that he might avoid the suspicion of the latter, he would not, till after his resurrection, be publickly owned as the former. He knew, if he had indulged them in this their opinion of him, seditions, tumults, and insurrections, must necessarily have ensued. By this he had too soon drawn upon him the fufpicion of the Roman governor, and so had been hindered to go through the time of his publick ministry, which he defigned. And now by this it appears, that a caution given to the leper, not to publish what was done for him, was not unreasonable, though in the presence of the multitude. Hereby they could not but perceive, that our Saviour had no design to draw great multitudes after him; which was the most likely method to advance him to a temporal kingdom. They could not but conclude, he was against being popular, and consequently against being made a king. This undoubtedly was that, which, among other reasons, influenced our Saviour to give the leper this caution ; for we find that, the leper difobeying our Lord's commands, and publishing his cure, he was for that reason obliged to retire, and could no more enter into the city, Mark i. 45. Hence it is well observed by Mr. Le Clerc, in an instance like this, that our Saviour commanded secrecy, that “ he might not draw a great inultitude of people « after him, for fear of a suspicion, which might be enter“ tained, that he had no design but to raise a rebellion a."
3. It was not absurd for our Saviour, at this time, to give the leper a caution of secrecy; because his case and circumstances, notwithstanding the presence of the multitude, seemed neceffarily to require such a caution. Under the Jewith difpensation, a person, that had been leprous, and now supposed himself cured, was, by divine appointment, obliged to submit
. Leur defendit d'en parler, pour ne pas s'attirer plus de foule, de peur du soupçon, que l'on pouvoit torner, qu'il ne cherchât qu'à ex
citer quelque fedition. Le Clere on Matth. ix. 30. See also Dr. Hammond on Matth. viii. 4.
himself to the examination of the Priest, whether it were so or not; Levit. xiii. Now had this miraculous cure of his been spread abroad, and reached the Priest's ears, before this was done, there seems to have been danger of the two following ill consequences.
1. Very probably the malice of the Priests would have carried them so far, that when they found he was cured by a person, whom they so mortally hated, they would not have pronounced him clean. This is the opinion of Grotius, Le Clerc, Dr. Whitby, &c. For the coufirmation of it, Grotius urges, that the miracle was wrought in Galilee, a great distance from Jerusalem, where the Priests were ; and that our Saviour (according to St. Mark's account, ch. i. 43.) sent him away in haste, lest the fame of the miracle should reach the Prieks' ears, before he could get there. .;
2. Had this story been told to the Priests, it is very likely it would have raised their inalice against our Saviour, and incited them to perfecute him, under the specious pretence of his having taken upon him, to do that which belonged to the office, and was the sole prerogative, of the Priests “, viz. pronouncing a leprous person clean.
From all that has been said, I think it is very reasonable to conclude, that our Saviour might give the leper a charge, not to publish what was done for bim, till he had been with the Priest, though there were several people present when the cure, was wrought; and then there seems not to be any reason, but we may conclude this history is in its proper order of time.
2. Another instance of a history, which in our prefent copies is in its due and proper order of time, and yet supposed by Mr. Whiston to be misplaced, is that of the two persons, who came to our Saviour, professing their readiness to follow him, Matth. viii. 19, &c. It is placed in St. Matthew, between our Saviour's ordering a ship to be got ready, and his entering
a Il semble que notre Seigneur ne vouloit pas s'attirer la haine des facrificateurs, à qui la Loi donnoit le droit de juger, fi un homme étoit gueri de ia lépre, ou non. It is probable, our Saviour had not a
mind to draw upon himself the hae tred of the Priests, to whom the Law had given the power of judging, whether a person was cured of his leprosy, or not. Le Clerc ad loc.
into it. And there cannot be any probable reason assigned, why it should be placed any where else; for
1. It is a history not mentioned by either of the other Evangelifts. St. Luke indeed (ch. ix. 57, &c.) has an account exceedingly like this, but Mr. Whiston himself (as well as several other harmonizers) supposes these to be two different histories; and confequently the order of time, in this instance, is not to be proved from either of the other Evangelists.
2. The circumstances of the history are all such as agree very exactly with that part of St. Matthew's history, in which it is placed in our present copies. At what time is it more likely to suppose, that persons should come to Christ, and declare their willingness to go along with him, than just then, when they had heard him give orders to get a ship ready, to go to another country? And when could our Saviour more properly make the answer, which he here does (viz. The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of man hath not where to lay his head), than at this time, when he was leaving his own habitation and city, and going to travel in a. strange country? There cannot be any place in the whole Gospel history, where it will be more agreeable to the context, than here. Mr. Whiston has however placed it after this voyage to the Gergesenes, which as, I think, no one besides him has done, so no good reason can be affigned for his doing so. The reasons which he offers for his placing it thus, are,
1. That these accounts are, in our present copies, interposed . between two verses, which are perfeetly coherent, and have a manifest connection without them. This is indeed true, but does not imply the least abfurdity in St. Matthew's present order. This branch is only a relation of something, which came to pass between our Saviour's ordering his disciples to get a ship ready, and his going into it. It is true, if it had been entirely omitted, and St. Matthew had told us of our Saviour's entering into the ship, immediately after he had given orders to prepare it, the connection had been very good and just: but if a story be told of somewhat, which happened in the mean time, it does not at all spoil the connection, as evi
dently appears by considering it. Ver. 18. our Saviour gives commandment to some of his disciples, to go down out of the city to the sea-side, to prepare a veffel to carry them over to the other side: when they were gone, and while the ship was getting ready (as Dr. Wells rightiy paraphrases the place), or preparing for their departure (as Dr. Whitby), these persons came to our Saviour; he gave them their answers; and then went on board a.
2. Mr. Whiston further argues, “ that the nature of our “ Saviour's answer to the Scribe, ver. 20. (The foxes have “ holes, and the birds of the air have nefts; but the son of man “ hath not where to lay his head) plainly shews, that these aco' « counts ought to follow the voyage to the Gergesenes. For « such an answer (says he) there could be no occasion before « this voyage; but after it, when he had been just expelled " by the Gergesenes, there was the fittest opportunity ima. « ginable for such a complaint.” Mr. Whifton will excuse me that I am forced to obferve, that he has not been so cautious, as he is wont to be, in this matter. The place, which he afligns to this branch of the history in his Harmony, does most evidently overthrow his own argument for placing it as he does. This will undeniably appear, if we consider, that the place (according to our present copies of St. Matthew) where our Saviour had this conference with the Scribe, was Capernaum, which is called Christ's own city, and lay close by the sea-side. This is manifest by the context. Now, says Mr. Whiston, at the place, where it is said to be in our present copies of St. Matthew, i. e. at Capernaum, there could be no occasion for that answer, The foxes have holes, the birds &c. (the reason of which must be, because our Saviour was then in his own city, where his habitation was); and yet in his Harmony he has himself placed this very fame history at Capernaum, when our Saviour was returned home b. A plain
2 Dumque alii ex discipulis artis nauticæ periti præeunt, ut navem parent, atque Dominum venientem suscipiant, in viâ ipsum fcriba, et imus ex discipulis adeunt, animi sui
voluntatem ipfi proponentes, et quif-