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which a sanction was given by the approbation and practice of the whole nation. Wherefore, while they pretended nothing but a sorrowful concern for the contempt which the disciples cast on institutions so sacred, their real intention was to make Jesus himself be detested by the people as a deceiver. Mark vii. 5." Then the Pharisees and Scribes asked him, Why wolk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, (see Antiq. Disc. i. chap. 2. $ 3.) but eat bread with unwashen hands? Hast thou taught them to despise these institutions ? --The charge of impiety which the Pharisees thus brought against Jesus and his disciples, he easily retorted upon them with tenfold strength. Notwithstanding their pretended regard to the duties of piety, they were themselves guilty of the grossest violations of the divine law. Moreover, as they thus transgressed, not through ignorance, but knowingly, they were the worst of sinners, mere hypocrites, who deserved to be abhorred by all good men; and the rather, as God had long ago testified his displeasure against them in the prophecy which Isaiah had uttered concerning them." 6. He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people hanoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me * This people talks much of religion, and makes a great shew of piety, but they have no regard for real goodness in their heart. However, alt their worship is vain and displeasing to me, while they practise themselves, and imposé upon others, as matters of divine appointa ment, a variety of frivolous precepts of mens invention, neglecta ing the eternal rules of righteousness. 7. Howbeit, in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. 8. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradio tion of men, as the washing of pots and cups; and many other such like things ye do: the traditions which ye enjoin as the precepts of God, are really matters of human invention ; for instance, your ordinances concerning the washing of pots and cups. Ne vertheless you make these trifles to be so essential in religion, and you exalt them to such a pitch, that in comparison you suffer the law of God to fie neglected and forgotten. What greater impiety or folly can there be than this ? But it was urged in favour of those traditions, that they were enjoined as fences of the divine law. Wherefore, in opposition to so specious a pretence, he affirmed, that 'the whole was mere hypocrisy, since they
* Matthew says our Lord made this citation from Isaiah at the end of his discourse. We may therefore suppose, that he cited and applied is twice; first at the begioning, as Mark tells us ; and having proved that it was truly applicable to the Scribes and Pharisees, he applied it again at the conclusion of his argument, as Matthew affirms. We have several examples of the like repeticions in the gospels. Thus, Mark x. . compara ed with Matt. xix. 4.;-Matt. xxiv. 5. compared with verses 11, 24., Luks xxii, 18. compared with Matt. xxvi. 29.
did not scruple to break the most sacred rules of morality, which are also enjoined by God, and of unchangeable obligation, in order that they might observe their own tradition. 9. And he said unto them, Full well (xahws, fairly, wholly. Or reading exercise separately, Finely done) ye reject the commandment of God, Mait. Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your own tradition?) that ye may keep * your own tradition. But lest the charge which our Lord brought against the Pharisees might have been thought without foundation, because it contained an imputation of such gross profaneness, he supported it by an instance of an atrocious kind. God, saith he, has commanded (Exod. xx. 12.) « children to honour their parents,” that is, among other things, to + maintain them when reduced; promising life to such as do so, and threatening death against those that do otherwise. Nevertheless, ye presumptuously, making light of the divine commandment, affirm that it is a more sacred duty to enrich the temple, than to nourish one's parents, though they be in the utmost necessity; pretending that what is offered to the great Parent, is better bestowed than that which is given for the support of our parents on earth; as if the interest of God was different from that of his creatures. Nay, ye impiously teach, shat a man may lawfully suffer his parents to starve, if he can say to them, It is a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; that is, it is given to the temple, which should have succoured you. Thus have ye hypocrites, by your frivolous traditions, made void the commandment of God, though of immutable and erernal obligation; and disguised with the cloke of piety the most horrid and unnatural action that a man can be guilty of. Mark vii, 10. For Moses said, (Matt. God commanded, saya ing) Honcur thy father and thy mother, and whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death. 11. But nje say, if a man (Matt. whosoever) shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, he shall be free. 12. And ye suffer him no more to do aught for his father or his mother. 13. Making the word of God of none effect, through your tradition which ye have delivered. And many such like things do ye. Matt. xv. 8. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophecy of yoll, saying, This people drawetk righ unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. 9. But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Having chus spoken, Jesus called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear
how * Ver. 9. Your own tradition. The words your own are emphatical, die stinguishing the commandments of men, the corrupt traditions of the Pha. risees, from the commandments of God, which may also be called traditions. See I Cor. xi. 2. 2 Thess. ii. 15. . + Maintain them.] Thus the word honour signifies maintenance, 1 Tim. V, 12
how absurd the precepts are which the scribes inculcate upon you, and understand the true differences of things. These hya pocrites, anxious about trifles, neglect the great duties of morality, which are of unchangeable obligation. They shudder with horror at hands unwashed, but are perfectly easy under the guilt of impure minds, although not that which goeth into the mouth rendereth a man impure in the sight of God, but that which cometh out of the mouth ; because in the sight of God cleanness and uncleanness are qualities, not of the body, but of the mind, which can be polluted by nothing but sin, 14. And when he had called all the people unto him, he said unto them, Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand. 15. There is nothing from without a man that entering into him (Matt. goeth into the mouth) can defile hiin; but the things which come out of him (Matt. out of the mouth) those are they that defile the man. 16. If any man have ears to hear, let him hear. Our Lord did not at all mean to overthrow the distinction which the law had established be. tween things clean and unclean, in the matter of man's food. That distinction, like all the other emblematical institutions of Moses, was wisely appointed ; being designed to teach the Israelites how carefully the familiar company and conversation of the wicked is to be avoided. He only affirmed, that in itself no kind of meat can defile the mind which is the man, though by accident it may; for instance, when taken in quantity or kind contrary to the commandment of God.
The apostles, who it seems would gladly have conciliated the good will of the Pharisees, thinking it might be of service to their cause, were sorry to find their Master had disobliged them by speaking in disparagement of their traditions. Wherefore, when the Pharisees were gone, they drew near, and insinuated that he was to blame in so doing. Matt. xv. 12. Then came his disciples, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended after they heard this saying? 13. But he answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up: Be they as angry as they will, ye need not be afraid of them, for they and their doctrine shall perish together, being neither of them from God. Matt. xv. 14. Let them alone; they be blind leaders of the blind: teachers who foolishly think to lead their disciples to perfection, by the observation of precepts wherein there is not the smallest degree of true piety, and will not be convinced of the contrary; for which cause, both the guides and the guided, who preser ignorance to knowledge, and superstition to true religion, shall fall into the ditch of eternal perdition. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. But the disciples, not understanding their Master's doctrine concerning meats, desired him, when they were cone home, to explain it. He complied, and shewed them, that meats being of a corporeal nature cannot defile the mind, or make a man a sinner in the sight of God, unless when used ima moderately, or in opposition to the commandment of God; in which case the pollution arises from the man, and not from the meat. Mark vii. 17. And when he was entered into the house from the people, his disciples (Matth. Peter) asked him concerning the parable (Match. Declare unto us this parable.) 18. And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive (Matth. understand that whatsoever thing from without entereth (Matth, in at the mouth) into the man, it cannot defile him? Are ye so stupid as not to see, that what a man eats or drinks cannot defile him in the sight of God :--19. Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, (H15 Tov ardewvee) purging all meats: being of a corporeal nature, it cannot enter into the mind, and consequently cannot pollute the soul. Whereas that which proceedeth out of a man's mouth, coming from his heart, really pollutes his mind. 20. And he said, that which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man, (Matth. But those things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and they defile the man.) 21. For from within, cut of the heart of men proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22. Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, * foolishness. 23. All these evil things + come from within, and defile the man. Matth. xv. 20. These are the things which defile a man; but to eat with unwashen hands, defileth not a man. Thus our Lord defended his disciples by a beautiful chain of reasoning, wherein he has shewed the true nature of actions, and loaded with perpetual infamy the Jewish teachers and their brood, who in every age and country may be known by features exactly resembling their parents, the main strokes of which are, that by
that * Ver. 22. Foolishness.] 10 gorurn, foolish ungovernable passion, in opposition to ow peocumn, as the critics observe. It is remarkable, that three of the crimes here mentioned, as pollutions of the mind, viz. murder, false witness, and blasphemy, were on this very occasion committed by the persons who charged our Lord with impiety, because he neglected such ceremonial precep's of religion as were of human invention. For whilst they feigned the highest reverence for the divine law, they were making void its most essential precepts. At the very time that they condemned the disciples for so small an offence as eating with unwashed hands, contrary only to the traditions of the elders, the Scribes and Pharisees were murdering Jesus by their calumnies and false witnessings, notwithstanding it was the only study of his life to do them all the good possible.
+ Ver. 23. Come from within.] Matthew, ver. 18. represents these evil things as proceeding out of the mouth, not so much by way of contrast to neats which enter by the mouth into a man, as because some of them are committed with the faculty of speech, such as false witness and blas. phemy; and others of them are helped forward by its assistance, namely, adultery, deceit, &c.
their frivolous superstitions they weaken, and sometimes destroy the eternal and immutable rules of righteousness. SLXV. Jesus in the country of Tyre and Sidon cures a Canann
itish woman's daughter, who was vexed with a devil. Matth. xv. 21,-28. Mark vii. 24,—30. It may easily be believed, that the Pharisees were highly offended at the liberty which Jesus took in the preceding discourse, for he had plucked off from them the mask where with they com vered their ugliness, and rendered themselves so venerable in the eyes of the vulgar. Accordingly, their plots being levelled against his reputation and life, he judged it proper to retire with his disciples into the remote region, which lay betwe-n the cities of Tyre and Sidon *, proposing to conceal himself a while.
• Sidon was a very ancient city, having been built by Sidon the eldestr son of Chanaan, the son of Ham, the son of Noah. The patriarch Jacob mentions it, Gen. xlix. 13. In the days of Joshua, it was a large city, for chap, xix. 28. it is called Great Zidon. Its inhabitants were the first re." markable merchants in the world, and were very early noted for their luxury. For in the days of the Judges, the inhabitants of Laish are said to have dwelt careless and secure, after the manner of the Sidonians, Judges Xviji. 3. Sırabo, the Greek geographer, tells us, that the poets have cele... brated Sidon more than Tyre, and that Homer hath not mentioned Tyre, though he speaks of Sido and the Sidonians in several places, Strabo, lib. 16. Tyre was built by a colony from Sidon. For Isaiah says to her, ch. xxiii. 2. Tbou, whom the merchants of Zidon that pass over the sen, have plenished. Hence, ver. 12. he calls Tyre the daughter of Zidon. The antiquity of Tyre may be learned from Isaiah xxiii. 7. Is this your joyous city whose an. tiquity is of ancient days? Even in Joshua's time it was strongly fortified Por it is called (Josh. xix. 29.) the strong city Tyre. Justin, the epitomizer of Trogus, tells us, that the Sidonians being besieged by the king of As-, calon, went in ships and built Tyre, lib. xviii. cap. 3. $. In process of time, Tyre excelled Sidon, and became the most celebratert place in the world for its trade and navigation, being the seat of commerce, and the center of riches. Hence it is called (Isa. xxiij. 3.) a mart of nations, and (ver 8.) the crowning city, whose merchants are princes, whose traffickers are tbe honourable of the earth. An idea of the trade and luxury of 'Tyre may be formed by reading Ezek. xxvii. The account which Justin gives from Trogus of the peopling of Tyre, implies that the insular Tyre was built before Tyre on the continent. Accordingly, isaiah who wrote many years before Nebuchadnezzar hesieged Tyre on the continent, and by so doing, occasioned, as is supposed, the building of the insular Tyre, in his prophecy of the destruction of yre, calls the Tyrians twice inhabitants of the isle, xxiii 2, 6. and the city itself the sea and the strength of the sea, ver. 4, J. Mr Maundrell describes the present state of Tyre as follows, Travels, pag. 48.-" This city standing in the sea upon a peninsula, promiscs at a distance something very magnificent. But when you come to it, you find no similitude of that glory for which it was so renowned in ancient times, and which the prophet Ezekiel describes chapters xxvi. xxvii. Xxviii. On the north it has an old Turkish castle, besides which you see nothing here but a mere babel of broken walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as one entire house left. Its present inhabitants are only a few poor wretches, harbouring themselves in the vaults, and sub