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the same punishment on hin, after a tumult might be begun.
In chapter xv. verse 11, we have the following curious piece of instruction addressed to the multitude: “ Not that which goeth “ into the mouth defileth a man; but that “ which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth
a man:” and at v. 15. this is called a parable. Surely this writer did not consider what constitutes a parable, when he called it by that name ; for here is no similitude nor allegorical allusion whatsoever, but a plain, didactic aphorism, so very perspicuous, that even the explanation of it, said to be given to the disciples, at the request of Peter, in the 17th and following verses, is not in any degree more intelligible, though much more absurd : for, with what propriety can evil thoughts, murders, and thefts, be said to proceed out of the mouth? Indeed, to say that any thing which proceeds out of the mouth, or even out of the heart of man, defileth him, is as absurd as it were to say, that the turbid stream, which flows from a polluted fountain, defileth the fountain. According to Luke, our Saviour, on the contrary, with much more reason and propriety, taught both his disciples and the multitude, c. vi. v. 45, that “a good. man, out of the good treasure of his heart,
bringeth forth that which is good ; and an “ evil man, out of the evil treasure of his
heart, bringeth forth that which is evil: for “ out of the abundance of the heart his mouth
speaketh.” We cannot wonder, however, that this writer should be found inconsistent with Luke, when he even palpably contradicts himself. We have seen above, that, in the sermon on the mount, he makes our Lord expressly declare, that he was not come to destroy one jot or one tittle of the Law of Moses. Yet that Law prohibited many unclean meats, the eating of which certainly defiled any member of that covenant: to teach, therefore, that nothing which a man eat defiled him, was at once to destroy a very considerable part of that Law, for the observance of which, Peter himself, notwithstanding this pretended early instruction to the contrary, was zealous, long after his Master's ascension, as appears from his vision in the matter of Cornelius, and of which every Jew, to this day, is particularly tenacious.
The author, chapter 18, has introduced another parable of his own composition, the obvious scope of which is an exceeding good one, viz. the enforcing the Christian doctrine
of mutual forgiveness : but he has been very far from attaining that happy propriety of figurative expression and character, which so strikingly distinguishes all the parables of our Saviour recorded by Luke. It begins with a repetition of his former solecism, the likening the kingdom to the king; and here the kingdom of heaven, instead of meaning what the kingdom of God always means in Luke, has a new signification, different even from any which he hiniself has before assigned to it; for it represents the government of the divine providence over the affairs of men : but in his endeavours to inculcate the necessity of the duty he intended to teach, he has entirely lost sight of justice and honour, in the conduct of his parabolic king. Had he represented him, as the Lord's Prayer represents the Almighty to us, forgiving his offending subject, on condition that he forgave his fellow subjects, the conclusion of the parable had been consistent both with propriety and equity ; but after an absolute, unconditional forgiveness once granted, to recant that
pardon, and enforce the payment of his debt by the severest penalties, because the man did not shew similar mercy to his own debtor, is downright tyranny and injustice. Let us suppose, that a subject had on some occasion aimed a stroke with his sword at an earthly sovereign, and that, with uncommon magnanimity and mercy, moved by liis submission and apparent penitence, the sovereign had granted him a full and free pardon ; and that, on his return from the palače, he received å blow himself from one of his fellow subjects, against whom he immediately instituted à prosecution in the courts of justice, that the offender might be legally punished for the assault; in such a case, could the sovereign, with
any shadow of equity or honour, break his own word, and cause the man to be apa prehended, tried and executed for that high treason, which he had already pardoned ? Yet such and so unjustifiable is the conduct attributed to the king in this parable !
In chap. xix. v. 12, the author; very inad: vertently, puts into the mouth of our Saviour an expression, whieh plainly betrays the age in which this spurious Gospel was written, and the particular sect of apostate Christians, which he himself favoured ; for in reply to a remark of the disciples, upon a pretended condemnation of the divorces allowed by the Mosaic Law, our Lord is made to say, that " there are some eunuchs, which were so born « from their mother's womb; and there are
some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs « of men; and there be eunuchs, which have “ made themselves eunuchs, for the kingdom of “ heaven's sake." Now the prophetic marks of the predicted antichristian apostasy given us by Paul, 1 Tim. c. iv. 2 and 3, are first, that its authors would speak lies in hypocrisy. having a seared conscience (a character, as far as I am able to judge, strongly and strikingly exemplified in this writer); and secondly, that they would forbid marridgeand abstain from meats : in conformity to the last distinguishing character of this early apostasy, this author, as I have before observed, in contradiction, not only to what Luke, but to what he himself elsewhere relates, as our Saviour's doctrine, makes him give directions for fasting; and, on another occasion, to; say, that even the miraculous power of God, in curing some kind of Demoniacs, could not be efficaciously exerted “ without prayer and fust“ ing,” on the part of the Almighty's agent ; and here he clearly discovers to us the second of these prophetic marks, pre-noticed by Paul, by making our Saviour approve of a determined, umatural abstinence from marriage, for the kingdom of heaven's sake. These