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that time, they were sifted and purified, and came forth abundantly brighter than before, as gold that is tried in the fire. It is not Satan's end in desiring to have their that is here spoken of, but God's end in so ordering it that Satan should desire to have them. Satan's end in desiring to have the saints is not to sift them and purify the wheat from the chaff, but to destroy them.

[225] Luke xxii. 44. “ And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly." This was in his second prayer. He prayed more earnestly than in his first; but we cannot justly suppose that it is meant that he prayed more than before that this cup might pass from him, for this was after the angel appeared to him from heaven, strengthening him, as in the foregoing verse. This angel came from heaven on that errand to strengthen him with the more cheerfulness to take the cup and drink, and to go through with the sufferings that were before hiin, that were so dreadful to him; and therefore we must suppose, that in consequence of it, Christ was more strengthened in it. And though Christ seems to have had a greater sight of his sufferings given him after this strengthening than before, that caused such an agony, yet he was strengthened in order to fit him for a greater sight of them, and he had greater strength and courage to conflict and grapple with those awful apprehensions than before; bis strength to bear sufferings is increased with his suffering. And then, seeing this angel came to strengthen him with courage to go through his sufferings, and Christ knew it, we must suppose that Christ now, in answer to what he said to God in his former prayer, herein had it signified that it was the will of God that he should drink that cup; and so it is not to be supposed that, immediately upon it, he prayed inore earnestly than before that the cup might pass from him; that he should so do is utterly inconsistent with Matthew's account of this second prayer.

The account we have of this second prayer of Christ in the other evangelists, together with John xii. 27, 28, and Heb. v. 7, serve well to lead us into an understanding of the matter of this prayer. Indeed, when the evangelist Mark gives us an account of this second prayer, he says that " he spake the same words that he did before.” Mark xiv. 39. But, by what the evangelist Matthew says of it, we are not to understand this, as though he spake all the same words, but the same words with the last part of his former, viz. “ Not what I will, but what thou wilt." The account Matthew gives of it, is this; Matth. xxvi. 42, “ He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father! if this cup may not pass away from me, except I

drink it, thy will be done." By Matthew's account, he prays the second time, as if he had received a signification from God, since he prayed before, that it was bis will that the cup should not pass from him; and the evangelist Luke tells us how, viz. by the angel that came from God to strengthen him, and therefore, though he prays now more earnestly than before, yet he only prays that God's will may be done, i. e. not only in his sufferings, but in the effects and fruits of them, that God would so order it, that his end and will may be obtained by them, in that glory to his name, particularly the glory of his grace and mercy in the salvation and happiness of his chosen ones, which he intended by them. Christ's second request after it was signified and determined that it was the will of God that he should drink the cup, corresponds with his second request that was made on the same account that we have in John xii. 27, 28. The first request was the same as here, and in like trouble; “ Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour.And then after this he was determined within himself as now, that the will of God must be done, otherwise that he should not be saved from that hour. “ But, for this cause, came I to this hour ;” and then his second request after this is, Father, glorify thy name.” So this was the purport of this second request, as Matthew gives us an account of it, saying the same also the third time, ver. 44, wherein the evangelist Luke says, “ He being in an agony, prayed more earnestly," which seems to be the strong crying and tears that the apostle has respect to, Heb. v. 7, 8, “As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck : who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him who was able to save him from death, and was beard in that he feared. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things that he suffered.” The thing that he feared, and the thing that he prayed to be delivered from, in those prayers and supplications, that he offered up with such earnestness and agonies, to him that was able to save him from death, that so the Father's will might be done, and his glory attained in his sufferings was, that he might be saved from deaththat though he must drink the cup and pass through death, yet that he might not be swallowed up; that he might not fail and sink in so great a trial, but might over

As Christ is represented praying, Ps. Ixix. 14, 15. He prayed that his heart might not utterly fail in his last passion, and that it might be effectual for the obtaining of God's will and the glorious ends proposed. If he had failed, all would have failed, and the whole affair would have been entirely frus

come.

trated. The man Christ Jesus, in such an extraordinary and terrible sight of the cup he had to drink, did not trust in his own feeble human nature to support him, but looked to God for support. If he had not overcome in that sore trial and dreadful conflict, he would never have beens aved from dealh ; (for his Resurrection was our Release from the grave; was our token that he had vanquished, and fulfilled and satisfied God's will,) and then all would bave failed, and we should never have been redeemed. Our faith would have been vain, and we should have remained yet in our sins. The things which Christ prayed for, and the things in which he was heard, were those two things mentioned in Isaiah xlix. 8. When Christ prayed to be delivered from death, it was not as a private person, but as a common Head. His deliverance from death is virtually the deliverance of all the Elect. Thus this High Priest (for he is spoken of as such in that place in Hebrews, see verse foregoing) offered up prayers and supplications with his sacrifice, as ihe Jews were wont to do. He mixed strong cryings and tears with his blood that was shed out, and fell down to the ground in his agony, praying that the effect and end of that blood might be obtained. Such earnest agonizing prayers were offered with his blood, and his infinitely precious and meritorious blood was offered with his prayers. How effectual must such prayers be! And how sure may those be of salvation that have an interest in those supplications !

[311] Christ, in these strong cries and tears, wherein he wrestled with God in a bloody sweat for the success of his sufferings in the salvation of the elect, hath given us example how we should seek our own salvation, and the salvation of others, whose souls are committed to our care ; viz. as striving, wrestling, and agonizing with God. See Prov. ii. at the beginning. When Christ says, Luke xiii. 24, “Strive to enter in at the strait gate, the word in the original for strive is aywvi2850s, agonize.

[122] John i. 16. “ And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace; that is, he has a fullness of grace," and we receive grace from him, answerable to his grace-grace for grace, that is grace answerable to grace. The word arti, trans. lated for, signifies so. Christ has many gifts from the Father, and we have gift for gift.

[446] John i. 31. “And I knew him not; but that he should be made manifest to Israel,” &c. This may seem strange that John did not know Jesus, seeing the families were so related ; Elizabeth, his mother, being cousin to the Virgin Mary, and they were intimately acquainted one with another, and at the very

time of their pregnancy, when the child of each had been already conceived, and both were thoroughly acquainted with the miraculous circumstances of each other's conception, and what the children were that they bad conceived, and to what end they were to come into the world; and conversed together of these things. Soon after Christ's birth, he was conveyed away privately by his parents into Egypt, for fear of Herod, and probably nobody knew where they were gone, or what was become of them. There it is supposed that he remained in Egypt until the death of Herod ; and Archelaus his son, reigning in his stead in the province of Judea, and manifesting by some bloody acts in the beginning of his reign, the like tyrannical disposition with his father; Joseph and Mary returned from Egypt, we may suppose as privately as they could, into Nazareth, an obscure city in Galilee; the province of Herod Antipas. And as to John the Baptist, when Herod massacred the infants at Bethlehem, his malice proceeded as far as the hill country; for having beard great things of John, the son of Zechariah, he sent one of his messengers of death to dispatch him. The care of his mother prevented the design, by flying with himn into the wilderness, or unfrequented parts of the country, on the south side of the river Jordan. It is recorded by Nicephorus, lib. i. cap. 14, that he was about eighteen months old when he was conveyed into this sanctuary, that forty days after his mother died, and near the same time his father Zechariah, was killed in the court of the temple. [There is an account of these things in Reading's Evangelical History of Christ, chap. vii. viii. ix. x.] However, thus much seems manifest from the scripture, that John's parents were both old when he was born, and therefore we may well

suppose that they did not live long aster, so that he could not be led by them into personal acquaintance with Jesus, and it is also manifest that John was from his infancy in the desert, in a hidden secret state of life, even unto the day when he began his public ministry ;(Luke i. 80.) and that there he lived so much separated from the rest of the Jews, and from the society of mankind, that he lived on the spontaneous productions of the uncultivated desert, his meat being locusts and wild honey, and his garment nothing but camels' hair, girt about him with a girdle of skin, Mauh. iii. 4; Mark i. 6. And so when he began to preach it was in the borders of the wilderness, where he had lived all his days. Matth. ii. 1.3; Mark i. 4; Luke iii. 2. 4; Therefore Christ says to the multitudes concerning Jobn, “ What went ye out into the wilderness for to see?” Ratih. xi. 7; Luke vii. 24.

Things being thus, it is not to be wondered at that John bad never seen Jesus, who lived obscurely so remote from him, and VOL. IX.

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that he knew not where he was, or how to find him till God showed him to hiin.

[368] John ii. 1, 2. Concerning the marriage at Cana of Galilee. The company here at this wedding may represent the church of Christ, who are often represented as the guests called together to a marriage feast. Jesus, and his mother, and his disciples were there ; thus it is in the church. The former circumstances of the marriage, wherein they wanted wine, represent the state of the church before Christ came, or rather before the evangelical dispensation was established. The latter state of the wedding, wherein they had plenty of wine, represents the latter state of the church after the glorious pouring out of the Spirit at Pentecost, and especially after the fall of Antichrist. The wine represents the spiritual supplies of his church, the grace and comforts of the Bloly Spirit, which are often represented by wine in scripture. Their wine ran low and was just out; so formerly the Old Testament church had a supply of wine ; but when Christ came into the world it was just out, they had in a manner no wine. But when Christ came and ascended up to heaven, he soon gave his church plenty of wine, and much better wine than ever the Jewish church had enjoyed, as it is said, “ Thou hast kept the best wine until now.” So again, before the glorious times of the church commence, the church's wine runs very low, and is almost out; what they allay with is water : human learning, sapless speculations and disputations, and dead morality. Formerly the Christinn church had wine, as in the times of the primitive church, and in the times of the Reformation, but now their wine is just gone. But after the beginning of these glorious times their water shall be turned into wine, and much better wine than ever they had before. The mother of Jesus may represent the more eminent ministers of the gospel, or the public ecclesiastical authority as exercised in synods, public schools, &c. They in a dark and dead time of the church complain to Christ of their unsuccessfulness, of the want of wine in the church, and look to him for a supply, but must not expect an answer till Christ's time is come; their prayers are not answered till then, and then they shall be fully answered; their prayers are not rejected, they are offered up with incense, the cries of the souls under the alter that cry" How long, Lord, Holy and true!” are not rejected; but yet it is said to them that they should wait till God's time comes. The servants represent gospel ministers, they have a command from Jesus' mother, i. e. from the church in her public authority, to do whatsoever Jesus commands. Whence we may note that the way to have a plentiful effusion

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