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[314] Luke i. 35. “And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, also, that holy thing that shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.”

The Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ, was a type of two things: she was a type of the church, that is often in Scripture represented as Christ’s mother that travails in pain with him, and brings him forth; she brings him forth in the hearts of believers, and especially those that are ministers in the church, who (as the apostle said he did) do travail in birth with souls; and he, being brought forth, appears and lives in their lives. The church is also represented as a chaste, pure virgin, and she is often called his undefiled in the Canticles. She nourishes Christ, or grace, in the hearts of the saints by the ordinances of religion, and those means of grace that are maintained in the church. She affords the sincere milk of the word, by which believers, as new-born babes, are nourished, and do grow. And the blessed Virgin, in conceiving and bringing forth Christ, is an eminent type of every believing soul, who is Christ’s brother, and sister, and mother. As Christ was formed in her, so is he in every true convert; he was formed in her by the Holy Ghost’s coming upon, and the power of the Highest overshadowing her; which is a lively representation of the manner in which the new creature is formed in the saints. The mother of Christ was a pure virgin; so are believers represented in Scripture; they are represented as chaste virgins to Christ, they are those that are not defiled with women, for they are virgins, as is said in Revelations. The blessed Virgin brought forth Christ with pain; so is Christ commonly brought forth in the hearts of believers with that contrition, and repentance, and sorrow for sin, that self-denial and mortification, that may fitly be compared to the pains of a woman in travail. As the blessed Virgin nourished her babe with nourishment from her breast, so Christ in the heart is refreshed with the exercises of graces in the saints, and their good works, which are often represented in Scripture as food to Christ in the heart, or the principle of grace there, which is as a new-born child, and causes it to grow; and the exercises and fruits of grace that come from the hearts of the saints, do as it were nourish Christ’s interest in the world, and cause Christ’s mystical body, which is small as in infancy, to be strengthened and increased. The mother of Christ was very careful of Christ when he was an infant, tended him with great care, watched over him lest he should be hurt, and was careful to feed and nourish him, when he was wounded to heal him, to please and gratify him, and by all means to promote his health and growth, as tender mothers are wont to do their little children. So should the believer do with respect to Christ in the heart. The care that a tender mother has of her infant, is a very lively image of the love that a Christian ought to have of grace in the heart. It is a very constant care; the child must be continually looked after; it must be taken care of both day and night. When the mother wakes up in the night she has her child to look after and nourish at her breast, and it sleeps in her bosom, and it must be continually in the mother’s bosom, or arms, there to be upheld and cherished; it needs its food and nourishment much oftener than adult persons; it must be fed both day and night; it must in every thing be gratified and pleased; the mother must bear the burden of it as she goes to and fro. This is also a lively image of the care that the church, especially the ministers of the gospel, should have of the interests of Christ, committed to their care; 1 Thess. ii. 6, 7, 8, 9. “We might have been burdensome as the apostles of Christ; but we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us. For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail; for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.” That when the church is spoken of under the character of a mother, the ministers are especially meant, see Note on Cantic. ii. 11. at the latter end.

[137] Luke viii. 28, 30. The legion of devils besought Christ that he would not torment them, and that he would command them to go out into the deep. This shows that the devils had a very trembling expectation of having their punishment completed, and of being dreadfully destroyed some time or other, by the Messiah.

[28] Luke xi. 44. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites,” &c. The Jewish church was now in its apostatized state, being become a hypocritical, superstitious, corrupt, haughty, persecuting church, very much as the apostatized Christian church under antichrist, only in a far less degree, but their crimes were exactly of the same nature. It is called a generation of vipers; like as the church of Rome is called the dragon, the beast. Here it was that our Lord was crucified; and the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world, was required of this generation, verse 50. So the church of Rome is said to be the city where our Lord was crucified, Rev. xi. 8. “And that in her was found the blood of prophets, of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth;” and in innumerable things did this apostatized church agree with the church of Rome. Now the scribes and Pharisees were the teachers of the nation, and as their clergy, and were the haughtiest, most hypocritical, most covetous, deceitful, and malicious, persecuting sort of men in the whole nation; their enormities that are mentioned 789here and elsewhere, exactly to a wonder corresponding with those of the Romish clergy, and the high church; their temper and behaviour was just as this is.

[295] Luke x. 38,. to the end. Concerning Mary’s and Martha’s different ways of showing their respect to Christ. Martha and Mary seem to be types of different churches, or rather different parts of the Christian church: the one showing their respect to Christ by much external service and ceremony, as Martha was cumbered about much serving; the other that part of the church that is more pure and spiritual in their worship, as Mary sat at his feet, and heard his word. Particularly Martha represents the Jewish Christian church in the apostles’ days, made up of Jews and judaizing Christians, who were fond of the ceremonies of the Jewish worship. Mary represents the Gentile church; they were more spiritual in their worship. What is signified in this type is also exemplified in the church of England, that is cumbered about much serving; their worship consisting much in external form and ceremony: and the church of Scotland, and the dissenters in England, are like Mary, who worship Christ according to his own institutions, without the pomp and cumbrance of outward forms. Martha was the elder sister, so the Jewish church was the elder sister with respect to the Gentiles; so the church of England is the elder sister, and has the ascendant over the other, and has the chief government of the house, as the house that Christ was in is called Martha’s house, ver. 38. Martha complains of Mary that she did not join with her in her external service, and would have Christ oblige her to help her; so those churches that are ceremonious in their worship, are commonly impatient of others, who dissent from them, and are of an imposing spirit, and are desirous of having others being obliged to conformity. So was it with the Jewish-Christian church in the primitive times with respect to the Gentile church, and so it is with the church of England. Christ declares that Mary’s way of showing respect to him was far the most necessary and most acceptable; so is that worship that is pure and spiritual.

[3] Luke xiv. 22, 23. In this parable is represented, 1st, The rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles, 22d verse. But in the 23rd there is manifestly another general calling of the Gentiles spoken of; the first is that which is called the calling of the Gentiles; the next, that which is called in Scripture, the bringing in of the fulness of the Gentiles. It is manifest, therefore, by this text, that there remains yet another calling of the Gentiles than hath yet been.

[40] Luke xv. 21, 22. “And the father said to the servant, Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet, and bring hither the fatted calf,” &c. As Christ’s eating with the publicans and sinners, was figurative of the calling of the Gentiles, so are the parables of the lost sheep, the lost piece of money, and the prodigal son, especially the last, agreeing in all circumstances.

[41] Luke xvii. 20. “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” This clears up any difficulties that might be raised from any speeches of Christ, or the apostles, that seem to speak of a bodily descent of Christ from heaven, to receive his kingdom, in a very short time.

[42] Luke xvii. 30, to the end. “Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed;” and the following verses, especially the last, may convince us that the coming or revealing of Christ, so often spoken of by Christ and his apostles that was to be so suddenly, was at the destruction of Jerusalem.

[233] Luke xviii. 35. “And it came to pass that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way-side begging.” Here this is said to be as he came nigh unto the city, in the original it is said, <v ™ enifeiv, in his approaching to the city. And we have an account afterwards in the first verse of the next chapter of Jesus’s entering and passing through Jericho. And yet it is said in Matt. xx. 29. that it was as they departed from Jericho, or as it is in the original, exvopfuontm* ouron-, they going out of Jericho; and in Mark, the same is said, and there we have an account before of his coming to Jericho, Mark x. 46. “And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho, with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimeus,” &c. It seems to me the difficulty and seeming inconsistency is thus to be solved, viz. That Jesus passed near the Jordan the day before from the other side, where he had been, John x. 40, 41, 42. Matt. xix. 1, 2. Mark x. 1. and came to the suburbs of Jericho that night, and that this is what is meant by Mark, when it is said they came to Jericho, in the first words of chap. x. 46. now mentioned; and that Christ did not go into the main city that night, but lodged in the suburbs for the comfort of lodging, and to avoid the crowd and throng of people, for it is evident that the people were now in a great disposition to flock after him and throng him, by the whole context of these places. If he had gone into the midst of so populous a city as Jericho that evening, the multitude would necessarily have greatly distressed him that night; and that Christ did lodge somewhere after he came over the Jordan into Judea, before he entered the main city of Jericho, seems evident by this, that otherwise we shall not find room for the four days that Lazarus had been dead before he came to Bethany, if we suppose the day that he was raised to be the fourth day; for we are told that, when Christ heard he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was, even beyond the Jordan, John xi.6. compared with the next verse, and the 40th verse of the foregoing chapter. Lazarus died before Christ heard this news, as is evident by what Christ said, verse 11. It was when Christ was going out of that place into Judea, that he said to his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep;” by this we cannot rationally suppose that he died sooner than the day before he went over the Jordan, which may be reckoned one day of his being dead, and when he came over the Jordan and lodged in the suburbs of it, there was two days, and the next day he passed through Jericho and lodged at the house of Zaccheus, Luke xix. 5., &c. and the next day he came to Bethany, which is four days. There is a necessity of supposing that Christ lodged somewhere on this side of the Jordan before he came to the house of Zaccheus; but it seems evident that he did not lodge at all in the old city of Jericho, but passed directly through it, and came to Zaccheus’s house the same day that he entered and passed through the city, by Luke xix. 1,2. “And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho, and behold, there was a man named Zaccheus,” &c.

Another thing further strengthens the probability that Christ had lodged a night on this side of the Jordan before that day that he passed through the city and came to the house of Zaccheus, viz. that if he went through the city to his house, the same day that he came near the Jordan, it is not at all likely there would have been gathered such a multitude to him, there would not have been time for it. The multitude was exceedingly great, as appears from the blind man’s taking so much notice of the noise they made as they passed, Luke xviii. 36. and by Zaccheus’s being forced to climb a sycamore-tree to see him; and therefore thus the seeming inconsistency between the evangelists is solved.

Jesus’s coming from beyond the Jordan to the suburbs of Jericho, and lodging there, Mark calls his coming to Jericho, chap. x. 46.; and when Christ set out on his journey the next morning to go from Jericho further towards Jerusalem, Mark calls his setting out from Jericho as his going forth from that city, though the main city was in his way, and he passed through it in his journey, which is not disagreeable to our customary way of speaking. If a man that belongs to a certain town, suppose the town of Northampton, then living in the outskirts of it on the north side, sets out to go a journey to another town south of Northampton, supposing Hartford, and any one at his journey’s end should ask him at what time it was that he set out from Northampton, such a question would be understood to mean at what time he began his journey from his own home at Northampton, though he after that passed through the main body of the town; or if he was on a journey before, and lodged at Northampton for a night, at a house in the utmost northern skirts of it, and so went forward on his journey to Hartford the next morning, this does not alter the case. The case seems to have been thus, that Jesus 790lodging in the eastern suburbs of Jericho, the people flocked to him in the morning before he set out on his journey, and when he set forth on his journey forwards to leave that town, on the borders of which he then was, Mark and Matthew speaking of him as then going out of Jericho, but between the place where he lodged and the walls of the main city, which he must pass through in his way; the blind man cried for mercy, and therefore Luke says it was as he was entering into the city.

Note, that the supposition of his coming over the Jordan is not agreeable to Doddridge’s Harmony.

[338] Luke xxii. 31. “And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.” The true meaning of these words seems to be this. It is ordered in providence that Satan should at this time extraordinarily seek and hope to have you, and it is so ordered to that end, that by his temptations he might sift you as wheat; that is, that there might be a separation made between you and your corruptions, your pride and self-confidence, as wheat is separated from chaff by sifting; which proved to be the effect of those trials that Peter and the rest of the disciples had at 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 them 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 his 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 him, 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; his 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 more 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; Matt. 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 his 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 shalt 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 Melchizedek: 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 heard 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 death that 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 overcome. As Christ is represented praying, Psal. lxix. 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 frustrated. 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 been saved from death; (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 have 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 Isa. 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 the 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 <n«».i?»<rt)«, agonize.

[122] “And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace;” that is, he has a fulness of grace, and we receive grace from him, answerable to his 791grace for grace, that is grace answerable to grace. The word uv™, translated for, signifies so. Christ has many gifts from the Father, arid we have gift for gift.

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