• Text of the Four EVANGELISTS Methodized.
  • Story of the ACTS of the APOSTLES Analyzed.
  • Order of the EPISTLES Manifested.
  • Times of the REVELATION Observed.

All Illustrated, With variety of Observations upon the Chiefest Difficulties TEXTUALL & TALMUDICALL: For clearing of their Sense and Language. With an Additionall DISCOURSE CONCERNING The Fall of JERUSALEM AND THE Condition of the Jews in that Land afterward. By IOHN LIGHTFOOT D.D.

LONDON, Printed by A.M. for Simon Miller at the Starre in St Pauls Church-yard. M.DC.LV.

Dr Lightfoots Harmony on the N. Testament.



  • Text of the Four EVANGELISTS Methodized.
  • Story of the ACTS of the APOSTLES Analyzed.
  • Order of the EPISTLES Manifested.
  • Times of the REVELATION Observed.

All Illustrated, With variety of Observations upon the Chiefest Difficulties TEXTUALL & TALMUDICALL: For clearing of their Sense and Language. With an Additionall DISCOURSE CONCERNING The Fall of JERUSALEM AND THE Condition of the Jews in that Land afterward. By IOHN LIGHTFOOT D.D.

LONDON, Printed by A.M. for Simon Miller at the Starre in St Pauls Church-yard. M.DC.LV.

SERENISSIMO OLIVERO Reipub. Angl. Scot. & Hybern. &c. Domino PROTECTORI.

J. L. Devotissimus Cliens Munusculum hoc Literarium In se quidem Nihilum, At Summi Officii, omnimodaeque Observantiae Sincerum Pignus ac Indicium, Humillimè meritóque Dicat Dedicatque.


IT is not presumption that hath in­duced me to this address, but sense of duty, and of that obligation that lies upon me. For besides that ho­mage which I owe, in common with the whole Nation, to his Highness (whom the Lord hath placed over us, and raised up a Healer and Deliverer in the needfull time) a peculiar and redoubled bond of fealty obligeth me, as living in a Rectory that belongeth to his Patronage and Donation. Which tenancy and dependance, as I cannot but own, in all submissiveness, thank­fulnesse and duty; so in acknowledgement thereof and of my hearty Loyalty to his Highnesse, I have assumed the humble boldness to present this poor Tri­bute and Oblation to Him, having no better thing to offer. His Clemency and Goodness will not despise the Offering of a willing minde, though it be but mean, [Page] especially one of this nature: I dare not call the Sub­ject that I have handled, Mean, because it is the summe of the New Testament, but the failings and meannesse of the handling of it, as it is the more excusable, because aiming at so worthy a Subject (and who is sufficient for these things?) so may I hope that it will finde the more easie pardon, and some acce­ptance, for the Subjects sake.

With this most humble addresse to his Highnesse, I was desirous to leave an humble memoriall also with your Honours who stand so near Him, not only of pro­fession of that service and observance that with all the Nation I owe to your Lordships, but also of special thankefulnesse and acknowledgement of goodnesse and favour received from your Honourable Table, in a matter of mine own particular concernment. I can adde no more, but my prayers to the Father of mercies, for his gracious Protection of his Highnesse and your H.H. and that he will guide you in all your Councels and in all your waies.

Devoted to Your H. H. in all Service, I. L.


I Shall not trouble the Reader with any long di­scourse to shew how the Scripture abounds with transposition of stories; how the holy Ghost doth eminently hereby shew, the Majesty of his style and Divine wisdome; how this is equally used in both Testaments; what need the student of Scri­pture hath, carefully to observe those dislocations; and what profit he may reape, by reducing them to their proper time and order. I shall only in brief give account of what I have done in the ensuing Treatise, which refers to that way of study of the New Testament.

Some years ago I published The Harmony, Chronicle and Order of the Old Testament, observing what transpositions may be observed there, the reason of their dislocating, and where, in Chronicall ac­count, is their proper time and place: and accordingly manifesting the genuine Order of the Books, Chapters, Stories and Prophesies through the whole Book. The New Testament being Written and Composed after the very same manner of texture, requireth the like observation, and having made the Assay upon the one, I could not but do the like by the other. I have therefore first observed the proper Time and Order of the Texts of the Evangelists, and how all the four may be reduced into the current of one Story, and thereby evidences ta­ken out of them themselves. I could willingly have published the Text it self in that Order, for so I have transcribed it from end to end, and so I offered it to the Press, but found its passage difficult: So that I have been forced to give directions for the so reading of it only by naming Chapters and verses. It would have been both more easie and more plea­sant to the Reader, had the Text of the four been laid before him in seve­rall Columes, but his examining and ordering it in his own Bible by the intimations given, will cost more labour indeed, but will better confirm memory and understanding.

The Acts of the Apostles, do not much scruple the Reader with disloca­tions, but the taking up of the times of the Stories, is not of little diffi­culty, and yet in some particulars, of some necessity: These are observed where most materiall, according to what light and evidence may be had for them, either in the Text it self there, or elswhere. Especially I have indeavoured to observe the times of the writing of The Epistles, both [Page] those that fall in, in those times that the Story of The Acts of the Apostles handleth, and those that were written afterward. For the fixing of some there is so plain ground from the Text that the time is determined cer­tainly; for others, we are put to probability and conjecture, yet such ground to build conjecture on, that I hope there hath not been much roving from the mark. I must stand at the Readers censure.

I was unwilling to have medled with The Revelation, partly because I have no minde to be bold in things of that nature [I see too much daring with that Book already] and partly, because I could not go along with the common stating of the times, and matters there: yet being necessita­ted by the nature of the task, that I had undertaken, I could not but deal with the Times and Order of things spoken of in that Book: and that could not be done neither, without some speaking to the things them­selves: which I have conjectured at [referring all to better Judgements] by the best propriety of the Language and Dialect used, I could observe: where literally, and where allusively to be understood.

Now because it would have been but a tedious task for the Reader, only to study upon the meer dislocations, and the ordering of them, or only to be pondering how to lay all in their right current, I have not on­ly gone the way before him, but have shewed his way all along with variety of observations; as not obvious [for such would have but ad­ded one tediousness to another] so I hope not unprofitable, nor with­out his delight.

I have not set my self to Comment, but in a tra [...]sient way to hint the clearing of some of the most conspicuous difficulties, and that partly from the Text it self, and partly from Talmudicall collections. Of which later I have alleadged very many, and the most of them I hope not impertinently, but for usefull illustration. For though it is true indeed that there are no greater enemies to Christ, nor greater deniers of the Doctrine of the Gospel, then the Hebrew Writers; yet as Cerah's Cen­sers, and the spoils of David's enemies, were dedicated to the Sanctu­ary service, so may the Records, to be met with in these men, be of most excellent use and improvement to the explication of a world of pas­sages in the New Testament: Nay multitudes of passages not possibly to be explained, but from these Records. For since the scene of the most actings in it, was among the Jews, the speeches of Christ and his Apo­stles were to the Jews, and they Jews by birth and education that wrote the Gospels and Epistles, it is no wonder if it speak the Jews Dialect throughout, and glanceth at their Traditions, Opinions and Customs at every step. What Author in the world but he is best to be understood from the Writers and Dialect of his own Nation? What one Roman Writer can a man understandingly reade, unless he be well acquainted with their History, Customs, Propriety of phrases and common speech? So doth the New Testament, loquitur cum vulgo: Though it be penned in Greek, it speaks in the phrase of the Jewish Nation among whom it was penned all along, and there are multitudes of expressions in it which are not to be found but there and in the Jews Writings in all the vvorld. They are very much deceived that think the New Testament so very easie to be understood, because of the familiar doctrine it containeth, Faith and Repentance. It is true indeed, it is plainer as to the matter it [Page] handleth, then the Old, because it is an unfolding of the Old: but for the attaining of the understanding of the expressions that it useth in these explications, you must go two steps further then you do about the Old, namely to observe vvhere and how it useth the Septuagints Greek, as it doth very commonly, and when it useth the Jews Idiome, or reference thereunto, which indeed it doth continually: A Student well versed in their Language and Writings would finde it no great difficulty to tran­slate the New Testament into Talmudick language, almost from verse to verse, so close doth it speak all along to their common speech. The allegations that I have produced of this nature in this present Tract, I have done but cursorily, as not writing a Comment, but a running Sur­vey of the Times, Order and History of the whole New Testament: So that it may be many of them may not speak to every Reader that full intent for which they are produced, and which, would I have spent time to have been their Interpreter [but I was willing to avoid prolixity] I could have made them to have spoken plainly. What I might have done in this kinde I shall shew but by one instance [which let not the Reader think tedious here, since I have avoided tediousness in this kinde all along hereaf­ter] and this is by a Comment in the way we have been speaking of but up­on one verse, and that is the 22d verse of the 5th Chapter of Matthew, which I have picked out the rather, to make an exercitation upon, because it is generally held by all Expositors, that in it there is a plain reference to something in the Jewish Customs, which is the thing we have been mentioning.

Whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of Iudgement, &c.

The sense which is ordinarily given of this verse in the construction of many Expositors, is made to referre unto the three sorts of Judicatories among the Jews: the lowest consisting of three Judges, the middle of twenty three, and the supream of seventy one. With which allusion and explication I cannot close, upon these three Reasons: 1. Because the lowest Judicatory to which they apply the word The Iudgement, had nothing to do in capitall matters: and so the conclusion of the verse be­fore cannot be understood in this verse, The murderer shall be in danger of being judged by the Iudicatory of three, for they judged no such thing; and answerably the first clause in this verse, where the same word The Iudgement is reserved, cannot have the same application. 2. The word [...] is used only in the second clause, and it will be hard to give a rea­son why the middle Sanhedrin should only be so called [as that interpre­tation makes it to be] when all the three, and most eminently the high­est, did bear that name. 3. To apply Gehenna ignis to penalty inflicted by the highest Sanhedrins, as divers do, doth cause so hard straining [as may be observed in the severall allusions that are framed of it] that it is very farre from an easily digested and current sense. I deny not indeed that Christ in the verse alluded to something of the Jews practises, in some point of Judicature, but unto what, I shall defer to conjecture, till its course come, in the method, in which it seemeth most genuine to take the unfolding of the verse up, and that is 1. To consider of three words in it; which also are to be met in other places, and so carry a more ge­nerall [Page] concernment with them, then to be confined unto this verse, and those are, Brother, and [...], and Gehenna. 2. To consider of the three degrees of offences that are spoken of, namely causeless anger, saying Raka, and calling Thou fool. And 3. to consider of the three penalties denounced upon these offences, viz. Iudgement, The Councill, and Hell fire.

1. The word Brother, which doth so constantly wrap up all professors of the Name of Christ, in the signification of it, in the New Testament, may not unfitly be looked upon, by reflexion upon the sense of the word Neighbour in the Old Testament, as that was commonly interpreted and understood by the Jews: By using the word Neighbour [saith Rabbi Na­than] he excludeth all the Heathen, Aruch. in [...]. And let this pas­sage of Maymony be well weighed: It is all one [saith he] to slay an Is­raelite and to slay a Canaanite servant: he that doth either must be put to death for it: An Israelite that slayeth a stranger sojourner is not put to death by the Sanhedrin for it, because it is said, If a man come presumptuously upon his neighbour [Exod. 21.14.] and it is needless to say, he is not to be put to death for a Heathen. And it is all one for a man to kill another mans servant, or to kill his own servant, for he must die for either, because a servant hath taken upon him the Commandments, and is added to the possession of the Lord. In Rotseahh, &c. per. 2. By which it is apparent that they accounted all of their own Religion, and them only, to come under the title Neighbour; to which opinion how our Saviour speaketh you may observe in Luke 10.29, 30. &c. So that in the Jewish Church there were those that went un­der the notion of Brethren, that is, Israelites, who were all of one blood; and those that went under the name of Neighbours, and those were they that came in from other Nations to their Religion: They shall no more teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, Jer. 31.34, &c. Now under the Gospel, where there is no distinction of Tribes and kin­reds, the word Brother is ordinarily used to signifie in the same lati­tude that Neighbour had done: namely all that come into the profession of the Gospel, and it is so taken also, as that had been, in contradistin­ction to a Heathen: Any man that is called a Brother, 1 Cor. 5.11. If thy brother offend thee, &c. Let him be as a Heathen, Mat. 18.15, 17.

2. [...], which our English rendereth, Is in danger of, translates the word [...] and [...], which are as ordinarily used among the Jewish Writers, as any words whatsoever: as [...] Guilty of death. [...] Guilty of cutting off, &c. Every page almost in either Talmud will give you examples of this nature.

3. Gehenna: It is well known that this expression is taken from [...] The valley of Hinnom, of which, and of the filthiness and abo­minableness of which place, there is so much spoken in Scripture. There was the horrid Idol Molech to which they burnt their children in the fire: And thither, as D. Kimchi saith, was cast out all the filth and unbu­ried carcases, and there was a continuall fire to burn the filth and the bones. In Psal. 27.

From hence the Jews borrowed the word, and used it in their ordina­ry language, to betoken Hell: And the Text from which they especially translated the construction, seemeth to have been the last verse of the Prophesie of Isaiah, which by some of them is glossed thus, And they [Page] shall go forth out of Ierusalem into the valley of Hinnom, and there they shall see the carcases of those that rebelled against me, &c. Vid. Kimch. & Ab. Ezr. in loc.

It were endlesse to shew the frequency of the word in their Writers: let these few examples suffice. Chald. Paraph. in Isa. 26.15. Lord thou wilt drive all the wicked to Gehinnom. And on Isa. 33.14. The wicked shall be judged and delivered to Gehinnom the everlasting burning. And on ver. 17. Thou shalt see those that go down to the Land of Gehinnom. R. Sol. on Isa. 24.22. They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are ga­thered in the pit, and shall be shut up in prison [...], They that guilty of Ge [...]innom into Gehinnom. Targ. in Ruth 1.12. Be thou delivered from the Iudgement of Gehinnom. Mi­dras Mishle fol. 69. Do you think to be delivered from the Iudgement of Gehinnom? Baal Tur. in Gen. 1.1. Because of the Law, they are deli­vered from the Iudgement of Gehennah, &c. See the phrase, Matth. 23.33.

And now we have done with words, let us come to sentences, and consider the offences that are prohibited, which are easily acknow­ledged to be graduall, or one above another. About the first, viz. Causelesse anger, there needeth no explanation, the words and matter are plain enough.

The second is, Whosoever shall say to his brother Racha. A nickname or scornfull title usuall which they disdainfully put one upon another, and very commonly: and therefore our Saviour hath specified in this word, the rather because it was of so common use among them, and they made no bones at it. Take these few examples, A certain man sought to betake himself to repentance [and restitution.] His wife said to him Rekah if thou make restitution, even thy girdle about thee is not thine own, &c. Tanchum fol. 5. Rabbi Iochanan was teaching concerning the building of Ierusalem with Saphires and Diamonds, &c. One of his scho­lars laughed him to scorn. But afterward being convinced of the truth of the thing, he saith to him, Rabbi, Do thou expound, for it is fit for thee to expound: as thou saidest so have I seen it: He saith to him Rekah, Hadst thou not seen thou wouldest not have beleeved, &c. Midras Tillin. fol. 38. col. 4. To what is the thing like? To a King of flesh and blood who took to wife a Kings daughter: he saith to her, Wait and fill me a cup, but she would not: whereupon he was angry and put her away: She went and was married to a sordid fellow: and he saith to her, Wait and fill me a cup: She said unto him, Rekah, I am a Kings daughter, &c. Idem in Psal. 137. A Gentile saith to an Israelite, I have a dainty dish, for thee to eat of. He saith What is it? He answers Swines flesh. He saith to him, Rekah, even what you kill of clean beasts is forbidden us, much more this. Tanch. fol. 18. col. 4.

The third offence is to say to a brother, Thou fool, which how to di­stinguish from Racha, which signifies an empty fellow, were some difficul­ty, but that Solomon is a good Dictionary here for us, who takes the term continually for a wicked wretch and reprobate, and in oppositi­on to spirituall wisdom: So that in the first clause is condemned cause­lesse anger; in the second, scornfull taunting and reproaching of a brother: and in the last, calling him a reprobate and wicked, or uncharitably censu­ring [Page] his spirituall and eternall estate. And this last doth more especially hit the Scribes and Pharisees, who arrogated to themselves only to be called [...] Wisemen, but of all others had this scornfull and uncharitable opinion, This people that knoweth not the Law is cursed, Ioh. 7.49.

And now for the penalties denounced upon these offences, let us look upon them, taking notice of these two traditions of the Jews, which our Saviour seemeth to face and to contradict. 1. That they accounted the command Thou shalt not kill, to aim only at actuall mur­der. So in their collecting of the 613 precepts out of the Law, they understand that command to mean but this, That one should not kill an Israelite: Vid. trip. Targ. ibid. Sepher Chinnuch ibid. Maym. in Rotseah: per. 1. And accordingly they allotted this only violation of it to judge­ment. Against this wilde glosse and practise he speaketh in the first clause: Ye have heard it said, Thou shalt not kill, and he that killeth or committeth actuall murder, is liable to judgement, and ye extend the violation of that Command no further; but I say to you, that cause­lesse anger against thy brother is a violation of that Command, and even that maketh a man liable to judgement. 2. They allotted only that murder to be judged by the Councill or Sanhedrin, that was com­mitted by a man in propriâ personâ. Let them speak their own sense: A murderer is he that kils his neighbour with a stone, or with Iron: or that thrusts him into water or fire out of which it is not possible to get out a­gain, if the man die he is guilty, [...] [ [...].] But if he thrust him into fire or water, out of which it is possible to get out again, though he die, yet he is quit. He sets on him a dog or a serpent, he is quit: He intended to kill a stranger and kils an Israelite; To kill a little one, and kils one of stature: To hit him on the loins, and such a blow on the loins could not kill him, but it misses the loins and hits him on the heart and kils him: he is quit. He intended to hit him on the heart, and such a blow on the heart was enough to kill him, but it lights on the loins, and such a blow on the loins was not enough to kill him, yet he dies: he is quit. He intended to strike one of stature, and the blow was not enough to have killed one of stature, but it lights on a little one, and there was enough in the blow to have killed a little one, and he dies, yet he is quit, He intended to hit a little one, and there was enough in the blow to kill a little one, but it lights on one of stature, and there was not enough in the blow to kill one of stature, yet he dies: he is quit. R. Si­meon saith, Though he intended to kill one, and kils another, he is quit, &c. Talm. in Sanhedr. per. 9.

Any one that kils his neighbour with his hand, as if he strike him with a sword, or with a stone that kils him, or strangles him till he die, or burns him in the fire, seeing that he kils him any how in his own person, lo such a one must be put to death by the Sanhedrin: But he that hires another to kill his neighbour, or that sends his servants and they kill him, or that violently thrusts him before a Lion, or the like, and the beast kils him: Any one of these is a shedder of blood, and the guilt of shedding of blood is upon him, and he is liable to death by the hand of heaven, but he is not to be put to death by the Sanhedrin. And whence is the proof that it must be thus? Because it is said, He that sheds mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed. This is he that slays a man himself, and not by the hand of another. Your [Page] blood of your lives will I require: This is he that slays himself. At the hand of every beast will I require it: This is he that delivers up his neighbour before a beast to be rent in pieces. At the hand of man, even at the hand of every mans brother will I require the life of man: This is he that hires others to kill his neighbour: In this interpretation requiring is spoken of all the three, behold their judgement is delivered over to hea­ven [or God.] And all these manslayers and the like, who are not liable to death by the Sanhedrin; if the King of Israel will slay them by the Iudgement of the Kingdom and the Law of Nations, he may, &c. Maym. ubi supr. per. 2.

You may observe in these wretched traditions a twofold killing, and a twofold judgement: a mans killing another in his own person and with his own hand, and such a one liable to the judgement of the San­hedrin, to be put to death by them as a murderer: And a man that kil­led another by proxy; not with his own hand, but hiring another to kill him, or turning a beast or serpent upon him to kill him. This man not to be judged and executed by the Sanhedrin, but referred and reser­ved only to the judgement of God. So that from hence we see plainly, in what sense the word Iudgement is used in the later end of the preceding verse, and the first clause of this, namely not for the Judgement of any of the Sanhedrins, as it is commonly understood, but for the Iudgement of God. In the former verse Christ speaks their sense, and in the first clause of this, his own, in application to it. Ye have heard it said, that any man that kils is liable to the Judgement of God; But I say in you that he that is but angry with his brother without a cause, is liable to the Judgement of God. You have heard it said, That he only that com­mits murder with his own hand, is to be judged by the Councill or San­hedrin as a murderer; But I say to you, that he that but cals his brother Racha, as common a word as ye make it, and a thing of nothing, he is liable to be judged by the Sanhedrin.

Lastly, He that saith to his brother, Thou fool, wicked one, or cast­away, shall be in danger of hell fire. [...]. There are two observable things in the words. The first is the change of case from what was before: there it was said, [...], but here [...]. And hereupon S. Petit in his variae Lectiones lib. 1. cap. 1. professeth that he cannot wonder enough, that Expositors should not observe this va­riation: and what he himself maketh of the observation of it I shall not insist upon, but referre the Reader to his own words. Surely he little mindes the Greek Text that sees not this in it, and there needs not any farre fetched Exposition to satisfie about it: It is but an Emphaticall raising of the sense, to make it the more feeling and to speak home: He that saith to his brother Raka shall be in danger of the Councill, but he that saies Thou fool, he shall be in danger of a penalty even to hell fire. And thus our Saviour doth equall the sin and penalty in a very just parallel. Injust anger, with Gods just anger and judgement: Pub­lick reproach; with publick correction by the Councill: And censu­ring for a childe of hell, to the fire of hell. 2. It is no said [...], To the fire of hell, but [...], To a hell of fire: in which expres­sion he doth still set the Emphasis higher: And besides the reference to the valley of Hinnom, he seemeth to referre to that penalty used by the [Page] Sanhedrin, of burning: the most bitter death that they used to put men unto: the manner of which was thus: They set the malefactor in a dung­hill up to the knees: and they put a towell about his neck, and one pul'd one way, and another another, till by thus strangling him they forced him to open his mouth. Then did they pour scalding lead into his mouth, which went down into his belly and so burnt his bowels. Talm. in Sanhed. per. 7. Now having spoken in the clause before of being judged by the Sanhe­drin, whose terriblest penalty was this burning, he doth in this clause raise the penalty higher, namely of burning, but in hell: not a little scal­ding lead, but even with a Hell of fire, &c.

The greatest part of the New Testament might be observed to speak in such reference to something or other commonly known, or used or spo­ken among the Jews, and even the difficultest passages in it might be brought to farre more facility then they be, if these references were well observed. There [...]re divers places where Commentators, not able to clear the sense for want of this, have been bold to say the Text is corrupt, and to frame a Text of their own heads; whereas the matter skilfully handled in this way, might have been made plain: As we have given experiment in this kinde in some as we have gone along, and divers others might have been instanced, but our work was not now to write a Comment.

I. L,



SECTION I. LUKE Chap. I. Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. LUKES Preface. His warrant to write his Gospel.

IN compiling the four Evangelists into one continued current and story, this Preface that Luke prefixeth to his Gospel, may very fitly be set before them all, as a generall Proem to the whole.

If he wrote his Gospel, neer about that time, when he wrote his Acts of the Apostles, it was not till Paul had now worn out his two years imprisonment in Rome, or thereabout, Acts 28.30. which was twenty seaven years after Christs ascension: by which time the Gospel had been carried by the Apostles who were eye-witnesses of Christs actions, and by the Disci­ples, who were Ministers of the word, through the most parts of the world.

From these mens Sermons and relations, many undertook to write Gospels, partly for their own use, and partly for the benefit of others: which thing, though they did lawful­ly and with a good intent, yet because they did it not by inspiration, nor by divine war­rant; albeit, what they had written were according to truth, yet was the authority of their writings but humane, and not to be admitted into the divine Canon. But Luke had his in­telligence and instructions from above, [...], ver. 3.

SECTION II. JOHN Chap. I. from the beginning to Ver. 15. CHRISTS Divinity shewed: and the fitnesse of him, the Word, to be incarnate.

AFter the Preface, this portion doth justly challenge to be ranked first: for it not on­ly treateth of Christs Divinity, which is first to be looked after in his story, but it also sheweth, how proper it was for him the second person in the Trinity to be incarnate, ra­ther then either of the other persons: 1. He being the Word by whom the world was created, and therefore fittest by whom it should be redeemed. 2. The Word in whom the promise of life was given, ver. 4. and so most fit by whom life should be brought. 3. The substance of that word of promise, that shone as a light throughout all the old Testament, in the darknesse of the types, figures, prophesies and mysteries there, and the darknesse of those obscure dispensations comprehended it not, but that it gave light and shone in that obscurity: and they could not comprehend it, it being a light to break out in a far greater lustre th [...]n they affoarded.

SECTION III. LUKE Chap. I. from Ver. 5. to Ver. 57. The birth of Iohn the Baptist, and the birth of our Saviour foretold by the Angel Gabriel.

Year of World. 3927: Year of Rome. 753 AVGV∣STVS. 30 HEROD. 34 The Method and order of this Section, will not need much proof or [...]eering. The preceding; gave an intimation of Christs forerunner, Ioh. 1.6. and this begins to tell his story to the full.

HEROD the Great, by descent an Edomite, and placed by the Romanes King of Iudea, [compare Gen. 27.40.] among divers other plagues, in his uneven, and rugged reign, had slain the Sanhedrin, Joseph. Ant. l. 14. c. 17. and to plaster the businesse again, by the counsell of Bava ben Bara repaired the Temple, and made it incomparably more sumptuous then it was before, Iucas. fol. 19. He began this work in the 18th year of his reign, and it cost him eight years to finish it, Ios. Ant. lib. 15. c. 14. So that this new fabrick was but eight or nine years old at this year that we are upon.

In this Temple, Zacharias a Priest of the course of Abia, was offering incense in the holy place, as was used daily; and hath tidings brought him of a son, that should be forerunner to the Messias. Although Zacharias be said to have been of the course of Abia, yet can it hardly be thought that he was of his seed and posterity: for we finde mention but of four of the courses that returned out of Babylon, and Abias was none of them, Ezra 2.36, 37, 38, 39. But the whole number of those Priests that did return of those four courses, being about 4290, were cast by lot into 24 courses, according to the Primitive institution, and Zacharias was of the eight, as Abias course had been before the captivity, and which yet bare his name, as the other did their names, who had denominated the courses from their first originall. Of this ordering of the courses after the captivity, both Talmuds speak largely, in the Treatise Taanith cap. 4.

Whether Zacharias were of the seed of Abia or no, it is apparent by his serving in Abias course, that he was not high-Priest, but one of the ordinary Priests, that served by course as their turn came, and that had their particular imployment in the service, by lot. The manner of their lottery for this purpose, is mentioned at large in Tamid cap. 3. in Ioma cap. 2.

The Angel Gabriel who about 456 years ago, had given account to Daniel of the time of Messias his sufferings, doth now when that time is drawing neer, first bring tidings of his forerunners birth, and then of his own.

The Ierusalem Gemara in Ioma fol. 42. col. 3. relates a story very parallel to this of Za­chary, both of his seeing an Angel in the Temple, and of his stay there longer then was used at offering Incense. Simeon the just, say they, served Israel in the high-Priesthood four­ty years: And on the last year he saith unto them, This year I must die. They say to him, How knowest thou that? He answered. Every year hitherto, when I went into the most holy place [on the day of expiation] one like an old man cloathed in white, and vailed in white, went in with me, and came out with me. Now this year he went in with me, but came not out with me. And instantly after, The high-Priest might not stay praying in the most holy place long, lest he [Page 3] should put the people into a fear. One once staid long, and they were about to go in after him. Some say it was Simeon the Iust. They said to him, Why didst thou stay so long? He answered, I was praying for the Sanctuary of your God, that it should not be destroyed. They say to him, Though thou diddest so, yet shouldest thou not have stayed so long.

If this relation carry any truth with it, it might be looked upon, as the expiring of Vi­sion [as Prophesie had also ceased not long before that time:] for Simeon the Iust, is said to be [...] of the remnant of the men of Ezraes great Synagogue. Aboth R. Nathan cap. 4. and upon the death of Zachary and Malacy, who were of that Synagogue, the spirit of Prophesie departed: And here Vision and Prophesie is dawn­ing again.

Zacharias for not beleeving the words of the Angel is struck [...] Deaf and Dumb: and doth foresignifie the silencing of the Leviticall Priesthood ere long to be. In the Jews Ca­nons [...] is one of the five sorts of persons that they commonly exclude from all imploy­ments and matters of honour, trust, or import; and it means [...] one that can neither hear nor speak, Jerur in chegigah. fol. 75. col. 4.

His wife Elizabeth conceiving with childe, retires as a recluse for five moneths space, that she might keep her self from all defilement, she carrying as choice a Nazarite in her womb as she did, ver. 15.

Five moneths were not the whole time of her retiring for that, that urged her to keep close so long, had the same tie upon her all the time she went with childe; but five moneths are only named, by way of introduction to the story, and occurrence in the sixth moneth mentioned instantly after.

In the sixth moneth the same Angel appeareth to the Virgin Mary, and telleth her of the birth of the Messias, to be of her: which she beleeving, though by the course of na­ture so impossible, she presently goeth to her Cosen Elizabeth into the hill-countrey of Iudea [to Hebron, see Iosh. 21.11.] not only to visit her and to rejoyce with her, nor only to see the proof of those things that the Angel had told of her, but very probably, acted by the holy Ghost, that she might conceive the Messias in Hebron, where so many choice and eminent types of him, and references to him had been in ancient time.

These tidings come to the Virgin at the very latter end of the year that we are upon, or the beginning of the next, and her journey to Hebron is in the middle of winter.

SECTION IV. MATTHEW Chap. I. All the Chapter. CHRISTS Genealogy by the Line of Solomon, and by his supposed Father Joseph. His Mother in danger to be divorced upon false suspicion of Adultery.

WHether it were that Mary conceived with childe at the instant of the Angels tel­ling her of her conception, as hath been held most generally, or at the instant that she came to her Cosen Elizabeth in Hebron, by the time, that she had stayed with her three moneths, she might easily be discovered to be with childe, as Tamar was after the same space of time, Gen. 38.24. Whose case and danger of death in that story, compare with the Virgins case and danger of divorce in this. The Talmudish Decretals do allot three moneths for such a discovery. Every woman [say they] that is divorced or become a widow, behold she may not be married, nor espoused, till she have stayed 90 daies, that it may be known whether she be with childe or no; and that there may be distinguishing betwixt the seed of the first husband, and the seed of the second. Likewise a stranger and his wife which are proselytes, they keep them asunder 90 dayes, that there may be a discerning between the seed sown in holi­nesse, [that is when they are come into the true Religion out of Heathenisme. Compare 1 Cor. 7.14.] and the seed not sown in holinesse. Talm. in Jehameth cap. 4. & in Chetubeth cap. 5. Maym. in Gerushin cap. 11.

This space of time considered, in the present story, it sheweth how fitly the last verse of the preceding Section, viz. Luk. 1.56. and the 18th verse of this, do joyn together. The Genealogy interposed doth not interrupt, but illustrate the story intended: And it is not only properly, but even necessarily, set in the front of the Evangelicall history, that satis­faction might be given by it, in that main point concerning Christ, which the Scriptures do so often inculcate, and which the Jews would first of all look after, namely to prove Iesus of Nazaret, how ever so meanly born, yet to be The son of David. There were two re­markable Maxims among the Jewish Nation. 1. That there was to be no King for Israel, [Page 4] but of the house of David and line of Solomon. Talm. in Sanhedr. cap. 10. And consequently they looked for King Messias from that Line. 2. That the family of the Mother is not cal­led a family. Juchasin. fol. 55. Hereupon hath Matthew most pertinently brought this pedigree through the house of Solomon, and ended it in Ioseph a male, whom the Jews look­ed upon as the Father of Iesus.

The last verse of this Chapter, as it referreth to the demeanour of Ioseph and Mary in their mutuall society till the birth of Christ, lyeth properly in the Harmonizing of the Evangelists, in the place where it doth: But as it referreth to the birth of Christ, it is coincident with Luk. [...].7. The Reader in his thoughts will place it as he seeth cause in these severall relations.

SECTION V. LUKE Chap. I. from Ver. 57. to the end. Iohn Baptist born.

WHen Maries three moneths stay with her Cosen Elizabeth was expired, it is easi­ly guessed, that if Elizabeth by that time, were not delivered of her child, yet she was very neer it: and that consideration doth cleer the subsequence of this Section to the preceding.

Iohn Baptist born in Hebron, the place of the residence of Abraham, and of the first Royalty of David. Here Circumcision was first ordained, and here is he born, that was to bring in Baptisme instead of Circumcision. The Priests at the Temple, as they looked for break of day, used oft to say, The face of all the skie is bright even unto Hebron. Talm. in Joma. cap. 3. & in Tamid cap. 3. Compare the dawning of the Gospel now rising there, in the birth of the Baptist▪ and compare the words of Zacharias a Priest, ver. 78,

The time of the Baptists birth, will be found [by setting that clock from our Saviour] to have been in the Spring much about the time of the Passeover, about which time of the year Isaac was born.

SECTION VI. LUKE Chap. II. from Ver. 1. to Ver. 40. CHRIST Born.

World. 3928 Rome. 754 Augustus. 31 Herod. 35 LUKE maketh the coherence cleer, when he interposeth nothing betwixt the birth of the Baptist and the birth of Christ: and indeed there is nothing to be found in any of the Evangelists that can interpose.

The four Monarchies which Daniel had told should be, and should expire, before the coming of Christ, have now run their course, and a fifth is risen far more potent and fully as cruell as all the four put together, and therefore it is pictured with the badges of all the four, Rev. 13.2. compared with Dan. 7.4, 5, &c.

A Decree of Augustus given out at Rome, becomes an occasion of accomplishing a De­cree of the Lords, namely of the birth of the Messias at Bethlehem. He is born under a Roman taxation, and now that Prophesie of Chittim or Italy afflicting Heber, Numb. 24.24. beginneth livelily to take place.

The time of his birth was in the moneth Tisri [which answereth to part of our Septem­ber] and about the Feast of Tabernacles, as may be concluded upon by observing that he lived just two and thirty years old and an half, and died at Easter. That moneth was remar­kable for very many things. In it the World was created, the Tabernacle begun, and the Temple consecrated: and as the Ierusalem Gomarists well observe, In it were the Fathers [before the flood] born: In Resh hashavah fol. 56. cap. col. 4.

His birth was in the night, and attended with a Song of the whole quire of Angels [as Heb. 1.6. and compare Iob 38.7.] and with a glorious light about Bethlehem Shepheards, to whom this great Shepheard is first revealed.

At eight dayes old he is Circumcised, and made a member of the Church of Israel: At fourty dayes old, he is presented in the Temple in the east gate of the Court of Israel, cal­led the gate of Nicanor; and Maeries poverty is shewed by her Offering [compare ver. 24. with Lev. 12.6, 8,] yet her Childe is owned as the consolation and expectation of Israel.

The first year of his age and infancy Christ spent at Bethlehem: for whereas the Lord by the Prophet had appointed his birth there, Mich, 5.2. his parents had no warrant for his [Page 5] education in any place but there, till the Lord should give them an expresse for it, which he did by an Angel, Mat. 2.22. Therefore how the words of Luke in chap. 2. ver. 39. are to be understood we shall observe upon the next Section.

SECTION VII. MATTH. Chap. II. All the Chapter. CHRIST homaged by the wise men, Persecuted by Herod, flees into Egypt.

CHRIST. II THE order of this Section and Story is cleared by ver. 7. and ver. 16. by which it ap­peareth that Christ was two years old when the wise men came to him: For Herod had enquired diligently of them the time when the Star appeared, and according to the time that they had told him, he slew the male children from two years old and under. From two years old, because they had told him it was so long since the Starre appeared; And under two years old, because he would make sure work, as to that scruple that might arise, namely, whether the Star were a fore-runner, or a concomitant of the Birth of that King of the Jews that they spake of.

Now that the Star appeared at the instant of his birth, cannot but be concluded upon this consideration, if there were no more, That otherwise it left the wise man so uncer­tain of the time when he should be born, as that they could not tell whether he were born or no, no not when they were come to Ierusalem.

The appearance of the Star therefore was on the night when he was born, and they having told Herod how long it was since it appeared, he accordingly slayeth all the chil­dren of two years old; for so old according to their information did he account the childe to be for whom he sought, and yet withall he slew all the children under that age, that he might be sure to hit and not fail of his design. This considered, it sheweth that Christ was in his second year at the wise mens coming, and withall it proveth the order of this Section to be proper, and that this Story is to be laid after the story of Maries Puri­fication and not before, as many have laid it.

It may be objected indeed, that Luke having given the Story of his presenting in the Temple, concludeth, When they had performed all things according to the Law, they return­ed into Galilee: Now if they returned into Galilee when Christ was 40 daies old, how was he found at Bethlehem at two years old? Answ. Luke is to be understood in that pas­sage according to the current of his own Story. He had nothing to say about this matter of the wise men, nor of Christs journey into Egypt [because Matthew had handled that to the full before] and the next thing that he hath to relate, is his coming out of Galilee to Ierusalem, to one of the Festivals: having nothing therefore to insert between his presenting in the Temple at forty dayes old, and his coming again to the Temple at twelve years old, he maketh this brief transition between when they had performed all things ac­cording to the Law they returned into Galilee, that he might thereby bring Christ to Gali­lee, from whence he came when he shewed his wisedom at twelve years old.

[...] in Scripture is alwaies taken in the worst sense for men practising Magicall and unlawfull Arts; and if it be to be understood so in this place, it magnifieth the power and grace of Christ the more, when men that had been of such a profession become the first Professors of Christ, of any among the Gentiles: They seeing a new and uncouth Starre in the Heavens [it may be the light that shone about Bethlehem-Shepherds seemed to them at distance a new strange Star hanging over Iudaea] are informed by God two years after what it signified; and are wrought upon by his Spirit to come and homage Christ whom it pointed out.

Herod at the report of the King of the Iews born, and that with the attendance of such a glorious Starre, looks upon him as the Messiah, yet endeavours to murder him. He is sent by the direction of an Angel with his mother into Egypt, where there was at this time an infinite number of the Jewish Nation. Succah cap. 5. At Alexandria there was a great Cathedrall, double cloistered, and sometime there were there double the number of Israel, that came out of Egypt, and there were 71 golden chairs, according to the 71 Elders of the great Sanhedrin▪ And there was a Pulpit of wood in the middle, where the Minister of the Congregation stood, &c. The Babylon Talmud saith, Alexander the Great slew these mul­titudes, but the Ierusalem saith Trajanus did. And the Authour of Iuchasin will shew you a truth in both. For, In the daies of Simeon the Iust (saith he) Alexandria which was [Page 6] Amen Min Ne, was full of Israelites, double the number of those that came out of Egypt, &c. But they were all slain by Alexander. But after this it was re-peopled again from the time of Onias, who built there a great Temple, and an Altar, and all the men of Egypt went thi­ther, &c. And there was a great Congregation there, double to the number of those that came out of Egypt. Fol. 14. Of this Temple built by Onias in Egypt, Iosephus maketh mention, Antiq. lib. 13. cap. 6. And the Talmud in Menacheth, cap. 13. So that Christ being sent into Egypt was sent among his own Nation, who had filled that Countrey.

The time that he was in Egypt was not above three or four moneths, so soon the Lord smote Herod for his butchery of the innocent children, and murtherous intent against the Lord of Life. Ioseph and Mary being called out of Egypt after Herods death, intend for Iudaea again, thinking to go to Bethlehem, but the fear of Archelaus, and the warn­ing of an Angel directs them into Galilee; They knew not but that Christ was to be edu­cated in Bethlehem as he was to be born there; therefore they kept him there till he was two years old, and durst not take him thence, till fear and the warrant of an Angel dis­misseth them into Egypt; And when they come again from thence, they can think of no other place but Bethlehem again, till the like fear and warrant send them into Galilee.

CHRIST. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. There is none of the Evangelists that recordeth any thing concerning Christ, from the time of his return out of Egypt, till he come to be twelve years old, which was for the space of these years; For the better understanding of which times let us take up some few passages in Iosephus.

Antiq. lib. 17. cap. 10. Herod (saith he) reigned 34 years, from the time that Antigonus was taken away, and 37 years from the time that he was first de­cl [...]red King by the Romans.

And again in the same Book cap. 15. In the tenth year of the reign of Archelaus, the people not enduring his cruelty and tyranny, they accused Archelaus to Caesar, and he banished him to Vienna: And a little after Cyrenius was sent by Caesar to tax Syria, and to confiscate Archelaus his goods.

And lib. 18. cap. 1. Coponius was also sent with Cyrenius to be governour of Judea.

And ibid. cap. 5. Coponius returning to Rome, Marcus Ambibuchus becometh his Suc­cessor in that government. And after him succeeded Annius Rufus, in whose time died Caesar Augustus the second Emperour of the Romans.

Now when Augustus died Christ was fourteen years old, as appeareth from this, that he was 29. years old compleat, and beginning to be thirty, in the fifteenth year of Tibe­rius the Emperour next succeeding, Luke 3.1, 2. Reckon then these times that Iosephus hath mentioned between the death of Herod and the death of Augustus, namely, the ten years of Archelaus, and after them the government of Coponius, and after him Ambibu­chus, and after him Rufus, and it will necessarily follow that when Herod slew Bethlehem children, Christ being then two years old, it was the very last year of his reign.

SECTION VIII. LUKE Chap. II. from Ver. 40. to the end of the Chapter. CHRIST at twelve years old sheweth his wisedom among the Doctors: At the same age had Solomon shewed his wisedom in deciding the controversie between the two harlots. Ionic. Martyr. in Epist. ad Mignos.

World. 3939 Rome. 765 Augustus. 42 CHRIST. XII Archelaus. 10 IT is very easie to see the subsequence of this Section to that preceding: Since there is nothing recorded by any of the Evangelists concerning Christ from his infancy till he began to be thirty years old, but only this Story of his shewing his wisedom at twelve years old among the Doctors of some of the three Sanhedrins that sate at the Temple; for there sate one of 23. Judges in the East-gate of the Mountain of the house called the gate Shushan; Another of 23. in the gate of Nicanor, or the East-gate of the Court of Israel. And the great Sanhedrin of 71. Judges, that sate in the Room Gazith, not farre from the Altar.

Though Herod had slain the Sanhedrin, as is related by Iosephus and divers others, yet was not that Court, nor the judiciary thereof utterly extinguisht, but revived again, and continued till many years after the destruction of the City.

His Story about this matter is briefly thus given by the Babylon Talmud, in Bava Ba­thra [Page 7] fol. 3. facic. 2. Herod was a servant of the Armenian Family; He set his eyes upon a girl of it. One day the man heard a voice from Heaven [Bath Kol] which said, Any servant that rebelleth this year shall prosper. He riseth up, and slayeth all his Musters: but left that girl, &c. And whereas it is said, Thou shalt set a King over thee from among thy brethren [which as the glosse there tells us, their Rabbies understood, of the chiefest of thy brethren] he rose up and slew all the great ones, only he left Baba ben Bora to take counsell of him. The glosse upon this again tells us: That he slew not utterly all the great ones, for he left Hillel and the sons of Betirah remaining: and Iosephus relateth also, that he spared Shammai: to which Abraham Zaccuth addeth, that Menahim and 80 gallant men of the chief of the Nation were gone over to his service and to attend upon him. So that these of themselves, and by ordination of others, did soon repair that breach that his sword had made in the Sanhedrin, he not resisting its erection again, when he had now taken away the men of his displeasure.

Hillel was president, and sate so fourty years, and died [by the Jews computation ap­plied to the Christian account] much about this twelfth year of Christ. For they say that he lived an hundred and twenty years, the last fourty of which he spent in the Presidency of the Sanhedrin, entring upon that dignity an hundred years before the destruction of the City.

Menahem was at first Vicepresident with him, but upon his going away to Herods ser­vice, Shammai came in his room: and now two as eminent and Learned men sate in those two chairs, as ever had done since the first birth of traditions. Hillel himself was so de­serving a man, that whereas in the vacancy of the Presidentship, by the death of Shema­iah and Abtalion, R. Iudah and R. Ieshua the sons of Betirah might have taken the chairs, they preferred Hillel as the worthier person, Talm. Ierus. in Pissachin. fol. 33. col. 1. He bred many eminent scholers, to the number of fourscore, the most renowned of which by name were, Ionathan ben Vzziel the Chaldee Paraphrast, and Rabban Iocanan ben Zaccai: both probably alive at this year of Christ, and a good while after. The latter was undoub­tedly so, for he lived to see the destruction of the City and Temple, and sate President in the Sanhedrin at Iabneh afterwards. And till that time also lived the sons of Betirah men­tioned before.

Shammai was little inferiour to Hillel in learning or in breeding learned men: and their equall learning and schools, bred differences between them in point of learning, and determination about some things in their traditions. The two Masters controver­ting about a few Articles, but their Schollers about very many, and their differences ve­ry high.

This contention of the Schollers grew so very high even in the Masters time, that it is recorded that the Schollers of Shammai affronted and bandied against Hillel himself, in the Temple court. Ierus. in Iom. Tobh. fol. 61. col. 3. And the quarrellings of these Schools were so bitter, that as the same Talmud relateth, it came to effusion of blood and murdering one another, Shabb. fol. 3. col. 3. These are some of the Traditions that were made or setled in the Chamber of Hananiah the son of Ezekia, the son of Baron. The persons were numbred, and the Schollers of Shammai were more then the Schollers of Hillel. That day was a grievous day to Israel as was the day of the making of the golden Calfe. The Schollers of Shammai stood below and slew the Schollers of Hillel. Nor did these animosities cease, but they were ever crossing and jarring, till at the last the Schools of Hillel carried it, by the determination of a divine voice from Heaven, as was pretended [for to such fictions they glad to betake themselves.]

Till the divine voice [Bath Kol] came forth, it was lawfull for any one to practise accor­ding the weighty or light things of the School of Shammai, or according to the weighty or light things of the School of Hillel. There came forth a divine voice at Jabneh and said, The words of the one and of the other are the words of the living God, but the certain determination of the thing is according to the School of Hillel. And whosever transgresseth against the words of the School of Hillel, deserveth death. Ibid. in Beracoth fol. 3. col. 2.

At these times then that we are upon, their School-Learning was come to the very height, Hillel and Shammai having promoted it to a pitch incomparably transcendent above what it had been before; and accordingly now began the Titles of Rabban and Rabbi; Rabban Simeon the Son of Hillel being the first President of the Sanhedrin that bare a Title, for till these times their great and Learned men, had been called only by their bare proper names. So that now in a double seasonablenesse doth Christ the divine wisdome of God appear and set in among them, at twelve years old beginning, and all the [Page] time of his Ministry after, going on to shew them wisdome fully, and his own Word and Doctrine the divine oracles of wisdome. In a double seasonablenesse I say, when their Learning was now come to the height, and when their Traditions had to the utmost made the word of God of no effect.

This twelfth year of Christ, was the last year of the reign of Archelaus the Sonne of Herod, of whom is mention, Matth. 2.22. He is accused to Augustus for male-admini­stration, and thereupon banished by him to Vienna, as was mentioned before. And Copo­nius comes Governour of Iudaea in his stead.

CHRIST. XII. XIV. AUGUSTUS Caesar dieth this fourteenth year of Christ, on the nine­teenth day of August: duobus Sextis, Pompeio & Apuleio. Coss. Suet. in Au­gusto. cap. 10. He was 75 years, 10 moneths and 26 dayes old, having been Monarch since his victory at Actium 44 years, wanting 13 dayes. Dion Cass. lib. 56. TIBERIUS Caesar reigneth in his stead.

CHRIST. XV. XVI. XVII. XVIII. XIX. XX. XXI. XXII. XXIII. XXIV. XXV. XXVI. XXVII. XXVIII. All this space of Christs life, from his twelfth year of age, to his twenty ninth, is passed over by all the Evangelists in silence, because they were not so much to treat of his private life and imployment, as of his publike Mini­stry. And here they follow the same course that the Angel Gabriel had done, in his foretelling of the time of his appearing. Dan. 9.24, 25, &c. where speak­ing of the years that should passe, from his own time unto Messiah the Prince, he beginneth the story of Messiah, from the time of his Ministry only, or from the latter half of the last seaven years there mentioned, the time when he should confirm the Covenant with the many, &c.

These years he spent with his Parents at Nazaret, Luk. 2.51. following his Fathers trade of Carpentry, Matth. 13.55. with Mark. 6.3. And these two things were they especially, that did so mainly cloud him from the eyes of the Jews, that they could not own him for the Messias, namely because he was of so poor condition and education, and they looked for the Messias in a pompous garb, and because his first appearing in his Ministry was not from Nazaret: his birth at Bethlehem so many years ago, either having been out at all taken notice of when it was, or if it were, by this time worn out of notice and remembrance.


LUKE Chap. III. from the beginning to Ver. 18.MATTH. Chap. III. from the beginning to Ver. 13.MARK Chap. I. from the beginning to Ver. 9.

The Gospel began in JOHNS Ministry and Baptisme.

CHRIST. XXIX THe order of this Section is confirmed by all the three. Mark hath made this the be­ginning of his Gospel, because the preceding occurrences of Christs birth and Mino­itry, were committed by the holy Ghost who held his pen, to the pens of others: He calls the Ministry and Baptisme of Iohn, the beginning of the Gospel, and that deservedly, both in regard of Iohns preaching and proclaiming Christs appearing to be so neer, as also in re­gard of the great change that his Ministry introduced, both in doctrine and practise: He preaching and administring the baptisme of repentance for the remission of sins, whereas bap­tisme till that time had been used and taken up as an obligation to the performance of the Law: And he baptizing Jews into another religion then their own, whereas till then, baptizing had been used, to admit Heathens into the religion of the Jews.

Here is the standard of time that the holy Ghost hath set up in the new Testament: un­to which as unto the fullnesse of tim [...], he hath drawn up a chronicall chain from the Cre­ation: and from which as from a standing mark, we are to measure all the times of the new Testament if we would fix them to a certain date.

There are two main stories that Luke layeth down in his third Chapter: the one is Iohns baptizing, and the other is, Christ baptized by him, and he hath dated the former in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Cesar, and how to date the latter we are taught and helped by these collections. 1. He intimateth to us that Christ when he was baptised by Iohn, was but entring on his thirtee [...]th year, as the wonders that he hath used do plainly evi­dence. [Page 9] [...], He was beginning to be about thirty years of age, or after a manner, and in such a way of reckoning, as the Scripture ordinarily useth, accounting the very first day of a year, as that year. [...]: One day of the year is re­puted that year. Tal. Bab. Resh hashavah fol. 2. 2. Iohn baptized half a year before Iesus came to be baptized of him, for he was half a year younger then Iohn, Luk. 1.26. and as Christ was baptized and entred his Ministry, just when he was beginning to enter up­on his thirtieth year, so Iohn had begun his Ministry at the same age, and both according to the Law, Numb. 4. 3. Christ was baptized in September, at what time of the year he had been born: For the phrase of Luke mentioned before, doth plainly confirm, that his baptism was close to that time of the year, that had been the time of his birth. 4. For the synchronizing therefore of the year of Christ with the year of Tiberius, we must lay Ti­berius his fifteenth collaterall in Annal, accounting with Christs nine and twentieth; whether you reckon Tiberius his year from the very time of the year that he began to reign, which was the 20th of August, [and then in September when Christ was baptized, his sixteenth year was begun, and Christs thirtieth] or whether you reckon according to the common accounting of the Roman Fasti, from Iunuary to Ianuary, and then though Christ indeed spent three moneths of his thirtieth year in Tiberius his fifteenth so account­ed, yet he spent three times three moneths of it in his sixteenth.

The fifteenth year of Tiberius then and the nine and twentieth of our Saviour, was the great year of the beginning of the Gospel, in the preaching and baptizing of Iohn, who began this work about Passeover time, or in the moneth Abib, otherwise called Nisan. The time of the year that Abraham had received the Promise, Isaac was born, Israel was re­deemed out of Egypt, and the Tabernacle was erected in the wildernesse. The Jews speak more then they are aware of, when they say, that As in Nisan there had been redemption, so in Nisan there should be redemption. Tal. Bab. ubi supr. fol. 11. The Gospel began, and Christ died in that moneth.

Now whereas it may seem strange, that upon Iohns beginning to baptize, he introdu­cing so strange a practise and doctrine among them, yet the people should flock to him in so great multitudes, as the Evangelists shew they did, and receive his baptisme with so much readinesse: [besides that generall satisfaction that may be given to this, from the consideration of Gods speciall hand and work, providing entertainment for his Gospel, now setting forth,] these four things also may be pertinently observed.

1. This was the time that the Nation expected that the Messia should appear: See Luk. 19.11. Gabriels seventy in Dan. 9. had so plainly and exactly pointed to this very time, that not only the pious and the studious among the Nation, could not but observe it, but it had even raised an expectation through a great part of the world, of some great Potencie to arise among the Jewish Nation about these times, which should subdue and be Ruler of all the world. Percrebuerat oriente toto vetus & constans opinio, esse in fatis ut eo tempore Iudaea profecti rerum potirentur. Sueton. in Vesp. cap. 4. An old and a constant opi­nion had grown through the whole East, that some coming out of the East should be Master of all.

Nay so evident was the time and truth in Daniel, that the Ierusalem Gomarists that could be well content to deny that Messias was already come, as the rest of their Nation do, yet they cannot but confesse it in Beracoth. fol. 1. col. 1. in this story. Our Doctors say, the Name of King Messias is David: R. Ioshua ben Levi saith, His Name is The branch ▪ [Zech. 3.8.] R. Iudah the son of R. Ibhu saith, his Name is Menahem, [the Comforter.] And this helps to prove that which R. Iudah saith, namely this example of a certain Iew: who as he was polwing, his Ox lowed: A certain Arabian passing by and observing his Ox low, said, O Iew, O Iew, loose thine Oxen, and lay by this plow, for behold your Sanctuary is destroyed. The Ox lowed a second time. He saith to him again, O Iew, O Iew, yoke thine Oxen, and tie on thy plow, for behold King Messias is born. He saith to him, What is his Name? the other answered Menahem [the Comforter:] And what is his Fathers Name? He answered, Hezekiah [the strong God.] He saith to him, Whence is he? He answered, From the roy­all Palace of Bethlehem Iudáh. He went and sold his Oxen, and sold his plow and gears, and went about from City to City selling swadling clothes for babes. When he came to that City, all the women bought of him, but the Mother of Menahem bought not. He heard the voice of the women saying, O Mother of Menaham, thou Mother of Menahem, Bring some things sold here to thy childe. She answered, Now I pray, that all Israels enemies may be hanged, for on the day that he was born the house of the Sanctuary was destroyed. He saith to her, We hope [Page 10] as it is destroyed at his feet, so it will be built at his feet. She saith to him, I have no money. And why, saith he, doth he suffer for that? If thou have no money now, I will come again after two dayes and receive it. After the dayes he came to the City and saith to her, How does the Childe? She answered him, Since the time that thou sawest me, there came windes and storms and took him out of my hands. A cleer confession of Christs being already come, and of the poverty of his Mother.

2. They expected a great change of things when Messias should come: That Promise in the Prophet of new Heavens and a new earth, to be created, raised this expectation. Hence have they this saying, [...] The holy blessed God will renew the world for a thousand years. Aruch in [...]. [Iohn speaks their own language, when he speaks of reigning with Christ a thousand years, Rev. 20.4. which is no more to be understood of the time yet to come, then Messias is yet to be expected as not come.] Hereupon they call the dayes of the Messias [...] A new Creation, as 2 Cor. 5.17. In Midris Tillin. fol. 4. col. 3. R. Houne speaketh of three ages, and the last that he mentioneth is [...] the age of the Messias: And when that comes, saith he, the holy blessed God saith, Now it lies upon me to Create a new Creation. They likewise call at that time [...] the world to come, because of the change of things that they expected then, as if a new world were created. Tanchum. fol. 77. col. 3. In the world to come I will send my messenger speedily, and he shall prepare the way before me. Paul taketh the world to come in this sense, Heb. 2.5.

3. Baptisme had been in long and common use among them many generations before Iohn Baptist came, they using this for admission of Proselytes into the Church, and bap­tizing, men, women and children for that end.

Talm. in Jobamoth cap. 4. and Moym. in [...]ssure biah, cap. 13. A person is not a proselyte till he be both circumcised and baptized.

Id. in Chittubeth cap. 1. [...]. A little one they bap­tize, by the appointment of the Consistory. And Maym. in Avadim. cap. 8. An Israelite that takes a little Heathen childe, or that findes an Heathen infant, and baptizeth him for a pro­selyte, behold he is a proselyte.

Hence a ready reason may be given, why there is so little mention of baptizing In­fants in the new Testament, that there is neither plain precept nor example for it, as some ordinarily plead: The reason is, because there needed no such mention, baptizing of Infants having been as ordinarily used in the Church of the Jews as ever it hath been in the Christian Church: It was enough to mention that Christ establisht baptism for an Ordinance under the Gospel; and then, who should be baptized, was well enough known, by the use of this Ordinance of old. Therefore it is good plea, Because there is no cleer for­bidding of the baptizing of Infants in the Gospel, ergo they are to be baptized: for that ha­ving been in common use among the Jews, that Infants should be baptized as well as men and women, our Saviour would have given some speciall prohibition if he intended that they should have been excluded: so that silence in this case doth necessarily conclude ap­probation to have the practise continued which had been used of old before.

Iohns baptism differed from that before, only in this; that whereas that admitted pro­selytes to the Jewish religion, this admitted and translated Jews into the Gospel religion: that was a baptisme binding them over to the performance of the Law, as their Circumci­sion did, but this was a baptisme of repentance for the remission of sinnes, as was observed before.

4. Though some of the Nation expected that the Messias would come and redeem them, though they were impenitent, as some of the Gentiles plead in Talm. Bab. Sanhedr. cap. 10. & R. Samuel in articulis fidei Iudaicae: yet was it more generally held and with good reason, that the Messias would look for a repenting generation: and thereupon others of the Gomarists in the place alledged say: If Israel repent but one day, presently the Messias cometh.

Upon the consideration of these things, it will appear the lesse strange, that the people flowed in to Iohns baptisme in so great a conflux, this being the time about which the Na­tion expected the appearing of Messias, baptisme being a thing most commonly known and used among them, and this baptisme of repentance administred preparatively toward the entertainment of Christ now ready to come, being sutable to their own apprehen­sions of the necessity of repentance, against his coming.

Baptisme was [besides other tendencies of it] as a badge whereby those that received [Page 11] it and stuck to it, were marked out for safety and preservation against that destruction that was to come upon the Nation for unbelief. Therefore Iohn construes their coming to be baptized, their fleeing from the wrath to come: and Peter in the same sense, doth say, that baptisme doth now save, 1 Pet. 3.21. as the Ark had done in the destruction of the old world, so this from the destruction now coming. And Acts 2.40. to his admonition to Repent and be baptized, he addeth, Save your selves from this untoward genenation.

§ MATTH. Chap. III. from Ver. 13. to the end.§ MARK Chap. I. Ver. 9, 10, 11.§ LUKE Chap. III. Ver. 21, 22.

CHRIST. XXX CHRIST is baptized being thirty years old initiant. Iosephs age at his ap­pearing before Pharaoh, Gen. 41.46. The Priests, at their entrance into their office, Numb. 4. and Davids when he began to raign, 2 Sam. 5.4.

He hath now three years and an half to live, and to be a publike Minister of the Gospel, as the Angel Gabriel had told, Dan. 9.27. that in half of the last seaven of the years there na­med, he should confirm the Covenant: R. Iochavan saith, Three years and an half the di­vine glory stood upon the mount of Olives and cried, Seek the Lord while he may be found. Midr. Till. fol. 10. col. 4.

This space of time had been renowned before, by Elias his shutting up Heaven, Luk. 4.25. Iames 5.17. and now Heaven is opened: by the persecution of Antiochus when all religion was destroyed, Dan. 12.7, 11. and now redemption and restoring is come.

Christ therefore living three years and an half and dying at Easter, it followes that he was baptized in Tizri, about the Feast of Tabernacles, at which time of the year he had been born: and was now, when he was baptized, nine and twenty years old compleat, and just entring upon his thirtieth: to which add his three years and an half after his baptisme, and it resulteth, that he died, being two and thirty years old and an half: the exact time of Davids reign in Ierusalem, 1 King. 2.11. The dayes that David reigned over Israel, were fourty years; seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned be in Ieru­salem: that is, in Hebron seaven years and an half, 2 Sam. 5.5. and in Ierusalem two and thirty years and an half: so the Ierus. Talm. counteth well, in Rosh hashavah, fol. 1. col. 2.

As Christ by Circumcision was admitted a member of the Church of the Jews, so is he by baptisme of the Church of the Gospel: being withall installed into his Ministeriall function by baptisme, and unction of the holy Ghost, as the Priests were into theirs, by washing and annointing.

SECTION X. LUKE Chap. III. from Ver. 23. to the end of the Chapter. CHRISTS Genealogy by his Mothers side.

MATTHEWS Genealogy, and this, as they run by a different line, so they are brought in upon different ends. Matthew intends to shew, that Iesus Christ was the Son promised to David. Luke shews him the seed of the woman promised to Adam, Gen. 3.15. who in the next following Section begins to break the head of the Serpent. There­fore when that promise to Adam beginneth to take place in Christs entring upon his Mi­nistry, and in his being sealed for the Messias by the holy Ghost, this Genealogy is divine­ly woven in.

Matthew derives his line by the pedigree of Ioseph his supposed Father, and drawes it from Solomon: Luke by the pedigree of Mary his Mother, and drawes it from Nathan: For as the Jews looked on him as the Son of David, they would regard the masculine line and the line Royall, therefore Matthew giveth it at his birth. But looked on, as the seed promised to Adam, the seed of the woman, he was to be looked after, by the line of his Mo­ther. And whereas this seed of the woman was to destroy the power of Satan by the word of truth, as Satan had destroyed men by words of falshood, Luke doth properly draw up his line to Adam, now when he is to begin to preach the word.

The line on this side the captivity, for which there is no record elswhere in Scripture, Matthew and L [...]k took from some known records then extant among the Nation. R. Levi [Page 12] saith, there was found a book of genealogies at Ierusalem, in which it was written, Hillel was of the family of David. Ben Jat [...]aph of the family of Asap, &c. Tal. Ierus. in Taanith, fol. 68. col. 1. They kept the records of pedigrees and of all other, they would be sure to keep those of the family of David, because of the expectation of the Messiah from it.


MATTH. Chap. IV. from the beginning to Ver. 12.MARK Chap. I. Ver. 12, 13.LUKE Chap. IV. from the beginning to Ver. 14.

The seed of the woman and the Serpent combating.

MARK and LUKE by these words, immediatly the spirit driveth him, and Iesus, re­turned from Iordan, do make the order necessary: so that as for the subsequence of this to what preceded there can be no scruple. Only there is some difference twixt Mat­thew and Luke in relating the order of the temptations: which Matthew having laid down in their proper rank [as appeareth by these particles then, ver. 15. and again, ver. 8.] Luke in the rehearsing of them, is not so much observant of the order [that being fixed by Matthew before,] as he is carefull to give the full story, and so to give it, as might re­dound to the fullest information.

As our mother Eve was tempted by Satan to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, as 1 Joh. 2.16. [for she saw it was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and to be desired to make one wise, Gen. 3.6.] so by these, had it been possible, would the same tempter have overthrown the seed of the woman: For he tempted him to turn stones into bread, as to satisfie the longing of the flesh; to fall down and worship him upon the sight of a bewitching object to his eyes, and to fly in the aire in pride, and to get glory a­mong men. Luke for our better observing of this parallel, hath laid the order of these temptations answerable to the order of those.

Iesus being baptized about the feast of Tabernacles, toward the latter end of our Sep­tember, is presently carried into the wildernesse of Iudea, by the acting of the holy Spirit, to enter that combat with the Serpent which was designed, Gen. 3.15. Forty dayes and forty nights [He being all the while, in watching, fasting and solitude, and among the wild beasts, but safe as Adam among them in innocency] the Devill tempteth him invisibly as he doth other men, namely striving to inject sinfull suggestions into him, but he could finde nothing in him to work upon, as Ioh. 14.30. therefore at forty dayes end he taketh another course, and appeareth to him visibly in the shape of an Angel of light [and so had Eve been deceived by him, mistaking him for a good Angel] and trieth him by perswa­sion, by Scripture and by power, but in all is foiled, mastered and banished by sword.

SECTION XII. JOHN Chap. I. from Ver. 15. to the end of the Chapter. CHRIST is pointed out by Iohn and followed by some Disciples.

COnceive the continuance of the story thus: Christ newly baptized, goeth immediatly into the wildernesse, and leaveth Iohn at Iordan on Iudea side: In the time of the for­ty dayes temptation, Iohn having now gathered his harvest of Disciples on that side the River, goeth over into the country beyond Iordan, and baptizeth in Bethabara. Thither came some Pharisees by commission of the Sanhedrin, to question him about the authority whereby he baptized, making no strangenesse at baptizing, which had been so long in use among them, but questioning his authority to baptize in that tenour that he did.

The next day after their questioning of him, Christ cometh into sight, is pointed out by Iohn, and followed by some of his Disciples.

For half a year Iohn had baptized in the Name of Christ and knew him not, ver. 31, 33. Only as all the Nation expected the Messias to come in time, and Iohn had it revealed to him that he was now ready to appear, so Iohn baptized and the people came to him upon this account: He professed to all that came to him to be baptized, and so he did to the Jews Commissioners now, that he baptized only in the Name of him that was to come after him, whose shoos latchet he was not worthy to unloose, ver. 27. Let a passage in Tosaphtoth, [Page 13] comment upon these words: [...]. What is the token of a servant? He ties his Masters shoos, or looses his shoos, and bears his things after him to the bath, In Kiddushin cap. 1. And the like saith Maymony in Mekerah cap. 2. A Canaanite servant is like land as to buying: and he is bought by money, or by script, or by service in way of earnest: And what is the earnest in buy­ing servants? Namely that a man use them as they use servants before a Master. As, to loose his shooe, or to tie his shooe, or to carry his things after him to the bath, &c.

So that those that were baptized in this time, of whom there was a very great number, knew not of Iesus of Nazareth his being the Christ, nor knew they more of Christ then they had known before, but only that he was ready to come: only they were baptized in­to faith in him, and to repentance.

But when Christ himself came to be baptized, Iohn had discovery of him, and so is able now upon the sight of him to point him out to his Disciples: whereupon Peter [and pro­bably Iohn] and Andrew, and Philip, and Nathanael follow him.

SECTION XIII. JOHN Chap. II. All the Chapter. Water turned into wine. CHRISTS first Passeover after his Baptisme.

THe words, The third day in ver. 1. mean they, either the third day from Christs coming into Galilee, Joh. 1.43. or the third day from his conference with Nathanael, or the third day from the Disciples first following him, they give demonstration enough of the series, and connexion of this Chapter to the former.

It was about the middle of our November when Christ came out of the wildernesse to Iohn at Bethabara, and then there were about four moneths to the Passeover, which time he spent in going up and down Galilee, and at last comes to his own home at Capernaum. Those two passages being laid together, The day following Iesus would go forth into Gali­lee, Joh. 1.43. And After this he went down to Capernaum, and continued there not many dayes, and the Iews Passeover was at hand, Joh. 2.12. do make it evident that Iesus had now a perambulation of Galilee, which took up a good space of time. So that this first miracle of turning water into wine, was about the middle of our November, or little further.

The Jews marriages were fixed to certain dayes of the week: For a virgin was to be married on the fourth day of the week, and a widow on the fifth, Talm. in chetub. cap. 1. [The reason why, is not pertinent to produce here.] Now if this marriage at Cana, were of a virgin, and on the fourth day of the week, or our wednesday, then Christs first shewing himself to Iohn and his Disciples at Iordan, was on the first day of the week, afterward the Christian Sabbath.

These marriage feasts they held to be commanded, and thereupon they have this max­ime, It is not fit for the Schollers of the wise to eat at feasts, but only at the feasts commanded, as those of espousals and of marriages, Maym. in Deah. cap. 5.

At the Passeover, it is half a year since Christ was baptized: and thenceforward he hath three years to live, which Iohn reckoneth by three Passeovers more, viz. Ioh. 5.1. & 6.4. & 18.28. In this first half year he had gone through his forty dayes temptation, had ga­thered some Disciples, and had perambulated Galilee.

At Ierusalem at the Passeover, in the face of all the people, he acted in the evidence of the great Prophet, and purgeth his own Temple, as Mal. 3.1, 3. doth many miracles, know­eth the false hearts of many, and trusteth not himself with them.

He found in the Temple, those that sold Oxen and Sheep, ver. 14. For some illustration to this passage, take a story in Tal. Ierus. in Iom. tobh. fol. 61. col. 3. One day Baba ben Bota came into the Temple Court and found it solitary or destitute [that is, not having any beasts there for sacrifice.] He saith, Desolate be their houses who have desolated the house of our God. What did he? He sent and fetched in three thousand sheep of the sheep of Kedar, and searched them whether they were without blemish, and brought them into the mountain of the house [or the utmost court, the place where Christ found sheep and Oxen at this time] and saith, My brethren, the house of Israel, whosoever will bring a burnt-offering let him bring it, whosoever will bring a peace-offering let him bring it.

[Page 14]Among other things that Iesus did for the purging of his Temple, it is said, He powred out the changers money and overthrew the Tables. [...], and so again, Matth. 21.12. Maym. in Shekalim. cap. 1. It is an affirmative precept of the Law, that every Israelite pay yearly half a shekel: yea even the poor, that lives on almes, is bound to this, either begging so much money that he may give it, or selling his coat to get so much.

Talm. in Shekalim. cap. 1, &c. On the first day of the moneth Adar, proclamation was made about this half shekel, that they should get it ready. On the fifteenth day of that moneth, the Col­lectors sate in every City for the receiving of it; and as yet they forced none to pay. But on the five and twentieth day they began to sit in the Temple [this was some eighteen or nineteen dayes before the Passeover] and then they forced men to pay, and if any refused they di­strained. They sate with two Chests before them, into the one of which they put the money of the present year, and into the other the money that should have been paid the year before. Every one must have half a shekel to pay for himself. Therefore when he brought a shekel to change for two half shekels, he was to pay [...], some profit to the chan­ger. And when a shekel was brought for two, there was a double profit to be paid for the change.

SECTION XIV. JOHN Chap. III. All the Chapter. Nicodemus. The Disciples baptize in the Name of Iesus.

BEfore our Saviours departure from Ierusalem, Nicodemus one of the Judges of the great Sanhedrin cometh to him, and becometh his Disciple: for we cannot so pro­perly look for a member of that great Council in any place as at Ierusalem. He had ob­served in his miracles, the dawning of the dayes of Messias, or the Kingdom of Heaven, but having but grosse and erronious apprehensions concerning the Kingdom of Heaven, or of the state of those dayes [as was the generall mistake of the Nation,] he is rectified about that matter, and is taught the great doctrines of regeneration and beleeving in Christ: Christ teaching regeneration by the spirit and Water, exalteth baptisme, and closely calleth to Nicodemus to be baptized. The Talmudish records make mention of a Nicode­mus in these times, who had to do about waters, to provide sufficient for the people to drink at the festivals.

He is taught [against the great misprision of the Nation] that Messias should be a redeemer of the Gentiles as well as the Jews. The Jews in their common language, did title the Gentiles [...], The Nations of the world. The earth they divided into [...], The land of Israel, and out of the Land: and the people they parted into [...] and [...] Israel and the Nations of the world: The new Testa­ment which followes their common language exceeding much, useth both these expres­sions very often, whereby to signifie the Gentiles: sometimes calling them those that are without, and sometimes the world. Nicodemus very readily understood the word in this common sense, when Christ sayes, God so loved the world, that he gave his Sonne. And he very well perceived that Christ contradicted in these his words, their common and un­charitable errour, which held, that the Messias should be a redeemer only to Israel [and those Gentiles only, that should be proselyted to their Judaisme,] but as for the rest of the Heathen he should confound and destroy them: Examples of this their proud uncha­ritablenesse might be produced by multitudes: let these two or three suffice. The Jerus. Talm. in Taanith fol. 64. col. 1. speaking of the coming of Messias saith, and produceth these words, Isa. 21.12. The morning cometh and also the night, It shall be the morning to Israel, but night to the Nations of the world. Midr. Till. on Psal. 2. The threshing is come, the straw they cast into the fire, the chaff into the winde, but preserve the wheat in the floor; and every one that sees it, takes it and kisses it: [...] So the Nations of the world say, the world was made for our sakes, but Israel say to them, Is it not written, But the people shall be as the burning of the lime kilne, But Israel in the time to come [ [...] an ex­pression whereby they commonly mean the times of the Messias] shall be left only, as it is said, The Lord shall lead him alone, and there shall be with him no strange god. Baal turim on Numb. 24.8. on those words, He shall eat up the Nations his enemies, and shall break their bones, observeth the letter [...] in one of the words to have a speciall mark upon it, signify­ing, saith he, that he should root out the seaven Nations [of the Canaanites] and in time to come [ [...]] the other sixty three Nations, that is all the seventy Nations of the world. [Page 15] No, saith our Saviour, God loved the world or the Gentiles, and God sent not his Sonne Messias to condemn the world or the Gentiles, but that the world through him should be saved.

After this transaction with Nicodemus, Iesus departeth from Ierusalem into Iudea, and there he setteth his Disciples to baptize in his Name: that whereas Iohn had only bapti­zed in the Name of Christ, and his baptized ones did not know who Christ was, now the Disciples baptize in the Name of Iesus of Nazareth, to evidence him to be the Christ into whose Name Iohn had baptized.

Iohn himself was baptizing still in Aenon in Galilee, having traversed Iudea upon the coasts of Iordan; and Peraea or beyond Iordan, and now come thither where presently his sunne is to set.

This Chapter contains the story of half a year and somewhat more, namely from the Passeover [if the conference with Nicodemus were at that time] till after the feast of Ta­bernacles: at which time it was a whole year since Christ was baptized, and a year and an half since Iohn began to baptize.

SECTION XV. LUKE Chap. III. Ver. 18, 19, 20. JOHN Imprisoned.

FRom the last verse of the preceding Section and forward, we hear no more of Iohn in any of the four Evangelists, till you finde him in prison. Therefore this portion in Luke, which giveth the story of his imprisonment, is very fitly and properly to be sub­joyned to what precedeth: observe how aptly the first verse of this and the last of that do joyn together. Luke indeed hath used an anticipation here, laying down the story of Iohns imprisonment, before the story of Christs being baptized, because he would shew the effects of Iohns doctrine altogether. With Pharisees, Sadduces, Publicans, Souldiers, and the rest of the people, he found entertainment of his doctrine when he told them their faults, and taught them their duty; but when he reproved Herod, he would not be so com­pliant, but imprisoned him. The time of his commitment may be guessed, by what time it was that Christ slipped aside for his own safety upon the hearing how the case went with Iohn, which will appear to be about the middle of our November, and Iohn had be­gun to preach and baptize at spring was twelve moneth before, about some eighteen or nineteen moneths ago.

SECTION XVI. JOHN Chap. IV. All the Chapter. MATTH. Chap. IV. Ver. 12. CHRIST at Iacobs well: Converteth Samaritans: Healeth a sick person, &c.

CHRIST. XXXI CHRIST was in Iudea when Iohn was apprehended by Herod in Galilee. His pretend­ed quarrell was the multitude of Iohns disciples, as dangerous for innovation: but the very true cause indeed was, his and Herodias spleen for Iohns plainnesse with them about their incest. The Pharisees at Ierusalem would soon hear what was become of Iohn their eye-sore, and what Herod laid to his charge, namely the dangerousnesse of his gathering so many disciples. Now our Saviour understanding that they looked upon him, as one that had more Disciples then Iohn, and so was in equall danger from them upon that ac­count, he getteth out of Iudea out of their reach and goeth to Galilee. But was not Galilee within their reach too?

From ver. 35. may be computed the time of this journey into Galilee, namely when it was now four moneths to harvest; that is, to the Passeover, for from the second day in the Passeover week their Harvest began, Lev. 23.11, &c. And from this, there may be some reasonable conjecture concerning the time when Iohn was cast into prison. Christ was in Sychar field about the latter end of our November, when it was now four moneths to the Passeover, and he took that journey as soon as he understood of Iohns imprisonment, Mat. 4.12. He was now entred upon his one and thirtieth year of age.

When he cometh up into Galilee, he avoideth his own City Nazareth, ver. 44. because he knew he should finde no respect there in regard of the mean education that he had a­mong them: but he goeth to Cana where he had done his first miracle; and from thence with a word of his mouth he healeth one sick at Capernaum. It was the sonne [...], [Page 16] of one of the Kings party, namely of old Herods, to whom divers of the eminent and learned of the Jews had gone to be his servants, to the distast of others, and probably in a reluctan­cy to their own principles, but overcome with court-interests, Iuchasin fol. 19.

SECTION XVII. LUKE Chap. IV. from Ver. 14. to Ver. 31. MARK Chap. I. Ver. 14. CHRIST Preaching in Nazaret Synagogue is in danger of his life.

THus is CHRIST come up to Galilee again from Ierusalem, and out of Iudea where he had staid a good space. The Reader may observe here what a chasma [if I may so call it] there is in the story of Luke, who hath stepped from the story of Christs tem­ptation in the wildernesse, to this his coming to Galilee, and hath laid nothing between, whereas there was a whole years history intercurrent; and so we observed such another Chap. 2.39.

At his first coming up into Galilee in this voyage, he avoideth his own Town Naza­reth, because he knew a Prophet hath no honour in his own Country, but now having gone up and down the country some space, and a renown being gone of him all over those parts, he cometh at last to see what entertainment he can finde in his own Town. There he is admitted [as a member of that Synagogue] to be Maphtir, or publike reader of the second Lesson in the Prophets for that day. But preaching upon what he had read, and hinting the calling of the Gentiles, from the dealing of Elias and Elisha with some Heathens, and withall pinching close upon the wickednesse of Nazaret by that compari­son, he is in danger of his life, but delivers himself in some miraculous manner.

He preacheth thus in the Synagogues, in the authority and demonstration of a Prophet, and as he evidenced that authority elsewhere by his miracles, so doth he here in Nazaret, by reading of the Lesson in the Prophet, which being to be read in the originall Hebrew, which Language was now lost among them and only attained to by study, he sheweth his Propheticall spirit in this skill in the language, having had no education to such a pur­pose. The reader in the Law and Prophets both, had an Interpreter, that rendred what was read out of the Hebrew text into the vulgar language, and the Interpreter sometime took liberty to paraphrase upon the Text [as the Chaldee Paraphrast had done, especially upon the Prophets,] and kept not alwayes verbatim to it. The Ierusalem Gomarists give an instance of such a thing, in Sanhedr. fol. 20. col. 3. Ioseph the Maonite interpreted in the Synagogue in Tiberias these words, Hear ye this all ye people, Why do not ye labour in the Law? have not I given the Sanhedrin to you for a gift? And hearken O house of Israel, Why do you not give the Sanhedrin the gift I appointed you at Sinai? And hearken O house of the King, for the judgement is to you; I speak it to you, but the judgement is to the Priests: I will come and sit with them in judgement, and end and destroy them out of this world. So Christ in reading the Lesson out of the Prophet, becomes his own Interpreter and Paraphrast both.

SECTION XVIII. MATTH. Chap. IV. Ver. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. MARK Chap. I. Ver. 14, 15. CHRIST at Capernaum in the coasts of Zebulon and Nepthali, &c.

WHereas Matthew in the beginning of this Section, telleth that Christ left Naza­reth, Luke in the end of the preceding, shewes the reason why, namely because he was in hazard of his life there, and so the connexion is made plain.

In the coasts of Zebulon and Nepthali captivity had first begun, 2 King. 15.29. and there Christ first beginneth, more publikely and evidently to preach the neer approach of the Kingdom of Heaven and redemption. In the first plantation of the Land after the captivi­ty, Galilee escaped from being Samaritan, and was reserved for this happy priviledge, of being the first scene of Christs preaching the Gospel. And as that country was inhabited by a good part of the ten Tribes before their captity, so upon the return out of Babel in the times of Zorobabel and Ezra, it may well be held to have been planted with some of the ten Tribes again. For 1. Observe in Ezra 1. that there is a Proclamation from Cy­rus, that any of the blood of the Jews wheresoever within his dominions, should have [Page 17] liberty to go up to Ierusalem, ver. 3, 4, 5. Now undoudtedly the ten Tribes were then residing within his dominions, and it is harsh to conceive that they had all so far utterly forgot God and their country, as none of them to desire to go to their own Land again when permitted. 2. There is a summa totalis in Ezra 2. of fourty two thousand, three hundred and threescore, ver. 64. that returned out of captivity upon that Proclamation, and there are the number of severall families reckoned, as making up that summe: whereas if the totall of these particulars be summed up, it reacheth not, by sixteen thou­sond or thereabout, to that number of fourty two thousand, three hundred and three­score. Where then must we finde those sixteen thousand, since they arise not in the number of the families there named? The families there named are of Iuda and Benja­min, and then certainly those sixteen thousand can hardly be imagined any other then o [...] the ten Tribes. And 3. Whereas it is apparent that the returned of Iuda and Benja­min planted Iudaea, whom can we imagin, but some of the ten Tribes to have planted Ga­lilee? And hence their difference in language from the Jews of Iudaea, and in severall cu­stoms. And hence the reducing of some after the captivity, to the line of some of the ten Tribes: as Hannah to the Tribe of Asher, Luk. 2.36. Ben Cobisin of the line of Ahab. Talm. Jerus. in Taanith fol. 68. col. 1.

And here is the first returning of the ten Tribes, to be supposed, and it carrieth fair probability, that the most of the twelve Apostles, and many of the rest of the Disciples that were of Christs most constant retinue, were of the progeny of some of the ten Tribes returned.


LUKE Chap. V. from the beginning to Ver. 12.MATTH. Chap. IV. Ver. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.MARK Chap. I. Ver. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

Peter and Andrew, &c. called to be fishers of men.

THe method and series is confirmed by the transition of Matthew and Mark: but in the order of Luke there is some difficulty. 1. He relateth the calling of these Disci­ples differently from the relation given by the other: for they say Christ called Peter and Andrew as he walked by the sea side, but he storieth their call when Christ was with them in the ship: they say he called Iames and Iohn at some distance beyond Peter and Andrew, but he carrieth it as if he called them all together. But this is not contrariety, but for the more illustration; they all speak the same truth, but one helps to explain another. The story at full in them all is thus: As Iesus walked by the sea of Genezareth, he saw two ships standing there, the one whereof belonged to Peter and Andrew, and the other to Iames and Iohn. All these men, being partners, had been fishing all night, but had caught nothing, and were now stepped down out of their ships to wash their nets. Christ pressed with multitude on the shore, entreth into Peters ship and thence teacheth the people. And thence putting off a little into the main, he helpeth Peter to a miraculous draught of fishes, which was so unwieldy that he was glad to becken up Iames and Iohn from the shore to come and help them. The draught of fishes was got up and boated, and then Iames and Iohn return to the shore again, and fall to mending their net which was rent with helping at so great a draught. Peter seeing what was done, adoreth Christ, and he and Andrew being yet at sea, are called by him for fishers of men, and bringing their ship to shore, they leave all and follow him. Christ and they coasting a little further along the shore, came to Iames and Iohn, and he calleth them. And thus lieth the story at the full.

2. A second scruple in the order of Luke is this, that he hath laid the two miracles of casting out a Devill in Capernaum Synagogue, and the healing of Petrs mother in law, before the calling of these Disciples, which apparently by this Evangelist were after. But the reason hereof may be conceived to be, especially this. In Chap. 4. ver. 30, 31. he had related that Iesus escaping from Nazaret, came down to Capernaum, and being now in the mention of his being there, he recordeth these two miracles that he did there [though not at that very time that he hath brought them in] having an eye in that his relation, ra­ther to the place then to the time. And so we shall observe elsewhere, that the very men­tion of a place, doth sometimes occasion these holy penmen, to produce stories out of their proper time, to affix them to that their proper place.

These Disciples hitherto, were only as private men, following Christ, and here is the [Page 18] first time that they are but mentioned to the Ministeriall function, to be fishers of men: How then did they baptize before? Ioh. 3.22. with Ioh. 4.2. And the starting of this que­stion, calleth to remembrance that saying of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 1.17. Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the Gospel: Is baptisme administrable by private men, and is there any inconsistency betwixt baptizing and preaching? Answ. As baptism was in use among the Jewes for admission of proselytes under the Law, these two things were required to it, 1. [...] He that was baptized must be baptized before three: 2. [...] The thing required a consessus, or to be done by the allowing of some eldership. And because it required this [saith Maymony, whose words the for­mer are also] therefore they baptized not on the Sabbath, nor on the holy dayes, nor in the night. A man that baptized himself, and proselyted himself, although it were before two witnesses; or that came and said, I was proselyted in such a mans consessus and they baptized me, he is not permitted to come into the Congregation, till he bring witnesse. Maym. in Issure. biah. par. 13. The reason of this strictnesse was, because of their strict nicenesse about conversing or matching with a Heathen, till they were sure he was fully Israelited.

Christ and the Apostles in the administration of baptisme, followed or forsook their custom as they saw cause. In the case alledged, he followes it, he preacheth and calleth in Disciples, and they are baptized by these Disciples, but Christ chief in the action: and therefore one text tells us that he baptized, though we are taught by another text, that he baptized not. Now the Disciples are not to be looked upon as private men, since they were men of such privacy with the Messias, and not only converted by him, but called to be with him, and intended by him to be solemnly inducted into the ministeriall function when he should see time.

And answerably in that saying of the Apostle, I came not to baptize, but to preach, he set­teth not an inconsistency between these two, which were joyned by Christ in Pauls and all Ministers Commission, Matth. 28.19. but he speaketh according to this custome that we have mentioned, which the Apostles followed when disciples came in to be baptized, by multitudes, they themselves preaching and bringing in disciples to be baptized, and others baptizing them, and they not private men neither, but fellow-labourers with them in the Gospel, and Ministers of it.

Fishers of men] Maym. in Talm. Torah. par. 7. speaks of [...] Fishers of the Law.


MARK Chap. I. from Ver. 21. to Ver. 40.LUKE Chap. IV. from Ver. 31. to the end of Chapter.MATTH. Chap. VIII. Ver. 14, 15, 16, 17.

A Devill cast out in Capernaum Synagoge. Peters wives Mother and divers more healed.

IF the transition of Mark from the preceding story to this, be observed, it cleereth the order: For having declared there how Christ had called his Disciples; And they, saith he, that is Christ and his new called Disciples went into Capernaum; his own City.

There on the Sabbath day he casteth out a devill in the Synagogue, who by confessing Christ for the Messias, would have terrified the people with the dread of him, that they might not dare to entertain him. From the Synagogue they go to dinner to Peters house, and there he raiseth his wives Mother in law from a Feaver: And after Sun-set when the Sabbath was done, many more are brought to him and are healed. They began their Sab­bath from Sun-set, and at the same time of the day they ended it. Talm. Hierosolm. in Sheviith. fol. 33. col. 1. And their manner of observing it, briefly was thus: for the con­sideration of such a thing may be of some use, in some places of the Gospel as we go along, since there is so frequent mention there about their Sabbath.

The Eve of the Sabbath, or the day before, was called the day of the preparation for the Sabbath, Luk. 23.54. and from the time of the evening sacrifice and forward, they began to fit themselves for the Sabbath, and to cease from their works, so as not to go to the barbor, not to sit in Judgment, &c. nay not to eat thenceforward till the Sabbath came in. Nay thenceforward they would not set things on working, which being set awork would complete their businesse of themselves, unlesse it would be completed be­fore the Sabbath came. As, they would not put Galls and Coperas to steep to make Ink, unlesse they would be steeped while it was yet day, before the evening of the Sabbath was entred. Nor [Page 19] put wooll to dying, unlesse it would take colour whilest it was yet day: Nor put Flax into the oven, unlesse it would be dried whilest it was yet day, &c. Talm. in Sab. par. 1.

They washed their face, and hands, and feet in warm water, to make them neat against they met the Sabbath; and the ancient wise men used to gather their scholers together and to say, Come let us go meet King Sabbath, Maym. in Sab. par. 36.

Towards Sun-setting, when the Sabbath was now approaching, they lighted up their Sabbath candle. Men and women were bound to have a candle lighted up in their houses on the Sabbath, though they were never so poor, nay though they were forced to go a begging for Oyl for this purpose: and the lighting up of this candle was a part of making the Sabbath a delight: and women were especially commanded to look to this businesse, &c. Ibid.

They accounted it a matter of speciall import and command, to hallow the Sabbath with some words, because it is said, Remember the Sabbath day to hallow it: and accordingly they used a two-fold action to this purpose, namely a solemn form of words in the way of hallowing it at its coming it, and this they called [...] Kiddush, and another solemn form of words in way of parting with it at its going forth, and this they called [...] Habdalah.

The solemnity accompanying the hallowing of it at its coming in was thus. They spred and furnished the table with provision, and had the Sabbath candle burning by; and the master of the house took a cup of wine, and first rehearsed that portion of Scripture in Gen. 2. ver. 1, 2, 3. and then blessed over the wine, and then pronounced the hallowing blessing of the Sabbath, and so drank off the wine, and the rest of the company drank after him, and so they washed their hands and fell to eat. This helps to understand those verses of Persius in Satyr. 5.

—At cum
Haeredis venere dies, unct áque fenestris
Dispositae pinguem nebulam vomuere lucernae
Portantes violas, rubrumque amplexa catinum
Cauda natat thyuni, tumet alba fidelia vino:
Labra moves tacitus recutitaque Sabbata palles.

They used to eat their meals on the Sabbath, and thought they were bound to it in honour of the day, the first of which was this that they ate at the very entrance of it over night. Yea the poor that lived of alms were to eat three meals that day: and those that were of ability were to get choice provision, and alwayes better, at the least not the same that they used on the week dayes.

The morning being come, and up, they went to morning prayer in the Synagogue, and when they had done there, they went home and ate their second meal: and when they had done that, they went to some Beth Midrash, or Divinity Lecture, and there spent the time till the afternoon was well come on; and then went home and ate their third meal, and so continued eating and drinking till the Sabbath went out.

At the going out of the Sabbath, which was about Sun-setting, the master of the fami­ly again gave thanks over a cup of wine; then over his candle [for he set up a parting candle too,] and then over some spices which they used for the refreshing or reviving of any person that should faint for sorrow to part with the Sabbath [this is the reason they give themselves;] And then he pronounced the [...] separation blessing, by way of separating between the Sabbath that was now going out, and the working day that was coming in. And so he and the company drank off a cup of wine and fell to their vi­ctuals again.

But to return again to our Evangelists. The retrograde course of Lukes method at this place, appeareth more conspicuous then before. For in the beginning of the fifth Cha­pter he giveth the relation of the Disciples calling, and in the latter end of the fourth, this story of casting out the Devill in Capernaum Synagogue, which was after their cal­ling. Which he hath so placed, the rather [besides what was said upon this matter be­fore] because in the last verse of that fourth Chapter, he speaketh of Christs preach­ing all about in their Synagogues, and therefore beginneth the fifth Chapter with the story of the calling of the Disciples, that he might shew how Christ went attended with them in that perambulation. And in the same manner Matthew hath laid their call and that voyage close together for the very same intimation. Matth. 4.22, 23. although other occurrences came between which he hath laid a great way off: As the story of [Page 20] Peters wives mother, which is brought in in this Section. He had said Mat. 4.23. That [...] went about all the Synagogues of Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing all manner of sicknesse. He therefore beginneth first with his Doctrine, and layeth down the Sermon in the Mount, and then beginneth to speak of his Miracles at Chap. 8. and first giveth the story of healing a Leper, which was the first Miracle he wrought in that perambulation: and then the healing of the Centu­rions servant, which was the first Miracle he wrought after the Sermon in the Mount: and there being come into mention of one Miracle done in Capernaum, he also bringeth in another [though not done at the same time, but before] that he might dis­patch the works done in that place together. And thus the scope of his method is plain: and here again we see an example of what was said before, namely that the mention of a place doth oftentimes occasion these holy pen-men, to speak of stories out of their proper time, because they would take up the whole story of that place all at once or together.

SECTION XXI. MAT. Chap. IV. Ver. 23, 24, 25. A third perambulation of Galilee.

THe beginning of this Section, and the conclusion of the preceding, being laid toge­ther, the order appeareth plain and direct.

CHRIST had perambulated Galilee twice before, since he was baptized, but either altogether without, or else with very little retinue, but now attended with his Disciples and with great multitudes: and his fame is now spread throughout all Syria. Syria was exceeding numerously inhabited by Jews, and in divers things it is set in equall privilegiall pace and equipage with the Land of Canaan. Insomuch that there is a controversie amongst our wise men [saith R. Menahem on Deut. 11.] whether Syria which was subdued by David were of the Land of Israel or no

In three things, say they, Syria was equall with the Land of Israel, and in three things it was equall with heathen countries: The dust defiles, as heathen Countries dust doth, and he that brings a Bill of Divorce out of Syria, is as if he brought it out of a heathen Land; and he that sells his servant into Syria, is as he that sold him into a heathen country: In three things it is equall to the Land of Israel: for he that buyes Land in Syria, is as if he bought it in the suburbs of Jerusalem, and it is liable to Tithes, to the year of release, and if he can go to it in cleannesse, it is clean. Tosaphta in Kelim par. 1.


MARK Chap. I. from Ver. 40. to the end of the Chapter.LUKE Chap. V. Ver. 12, 13, 14, 15, 16.MATTH. Chap. VIII. Ver. 2, 3, 4.

A Leper healed.

MARK and Luke do assure the order: the reason why Matthew hath placed this story, as he hath done, hath been observed instantly before: which some not ha­ving taken notice of, have supposed the story in Matthew, and in the other two Evan­gelists not to have been the same▪ but conceive they speak of two severall Lepers healed at two severall times: whereas the words of the Leper, and the words and action of Christ in all the three, do assert it plainly for one story; and had the reason of Matthews dislo­cation of it been observed, it would never have been apprehended otherwise.

Lepers in Israel might not come into the Cities, till the Priests had pronounced them clean, and so restored them again to the Congregation: for the Priests could not heal, but only judge of the malady: and whom they pronounced clean, were not healed wholly of the disease, but were enlarged only from their separation: The leprosie conti­nued still, though they were absolved from their uncleannesse by the Priest [a very pregnant emblem of originall sinne,] but the danger of infection was over, and so they were restored again to humane society. If this Leper had not yet been under the Priests absolution, his faith, or his earnest desire of his recovery, or both, enforceth him to break those bounds that were set him, and he straineth courtesy to come to Christ in a City, Luk. 5.12. If he were absolved by the Priests already from his uncleannesse, yet [Page 21] seeketh he to Christ to make him clean from his disease, which the Priests could only pro­nounce him clean from: the Priests could only pronounce him clean to the Congrega­tion; Christ makes him clean to himself.


MARK Chap. II. from the beginning to Ver. 15.LUKE Chap. V. from Ver. 17, to Ver. 29.MATTH. Chap. IX. from Ver. 2. to Ver. 10.

CHRIST healeth a palsie man: forgiveth sinnes: calleth MATTHEW.

MARK and Luke do again confirm the order: but Matthews dislocation of the same story, doth breed some scruple. For the cleering of which, let us first begin at the very conclusion of this Section, and make good the order there in the end, and that will illustrate the propriety of it here in the beginning: We have parted the story of the calling of Levi, from the story of the feast that he made for Christ after his call, although all the Evangelists that handle his story have laid them close together: The warrant up­on which we have parted them, although they be so neerly joyned in the text, is from these two things: 1. From undoubted evidence, by the current of the history, and the progresse of the Evangelists hitherto, which makes it plain, that Levies calling was at that time that we are now upon, or as it is laid in the end of this Section. 2. From this evidence, that his feast was not of a good while after his call, in that Matthew saith, while he was speaking, namely about fasting, and putting new cloth into an old garment, &c. [which speech both the other Evangelists place at Levies feast or presently upon it:] Iairus came unto him. See Matth. 9.18. Mark 2.15, 18, 19. Luk. 5.29, 33, &c. Now it is plain by the processe of the history of Mark and Luke, that very many things, and a good space of time intercurred between the calling of Matthew or Levi, and the com­ing of Iairus: for Levies call is in Matth. 2.14. and Luk. 5.27. and the story of Iairus his coming is not till Matth. 5.22. and Luk. 8.41. Now in that these words that Christ was in speaking when Iairus came to him, Matth. 9.18. were spoken at Levies feast, Luk. 5.29, 33. it is apparent that his feast was a good space of time after his call: and hence have we warrant for the putting of those stories in the harmonizing of the Evangelists. The three indeed that speak of these stories do handle them together, because they would dispatch Levies story at once: and Mark and Luke do mention what occurred at his feet, but when they have done that, they return to the story and time, that properly fol­lowed in order after his calling.

Here therefore is the reason of Matthews so farre dislocating the story of the palsie man that is before us as he hath done: namely because in that ninth Chapter he pitcheth upon the time of Levies feast, and from that time goes on forward with the story suc­ceeding it: And so having pitched upon the time of his feast, he also brings in the story of his call, because he would take up his whole story in one place, as the other Evangelists have also done: and with the story of his call, he hath likewise brought in the story of the palsie man because it occurred at the same time.

Matthew is not ashamed to proclaim the basenesse of his own profession before he was called, that that grace might be magnified that had called him. He was a Publican [and as it seemeth] at the Custom-house of Capernaum, to gather custom and tribute of those that passed over the water, or that had to deal on that sea of Galilee The Ierus. Talm. hath this Canon. Demai. fol. 23 col. 1. [...]: A Pha­risee [or one of the religion] that turns Publican, they turn him out of his order, but doth he leave his Publicanisme? they restore him to his order again: so unconsistent did they repute this profession and religion. Maym. in Gezelah. par. 5. Men of whom it may be pre­sumed that they are robbers, and of whom it may be presumed that all their wealth is gotten of rapine, because their trade is a trade of robbers, as Publicans and theeves, it is unlawfull to use their wealth, &c. He becomes an Apostle and a penman of the Gospel: He wrote his Gospell first of all the four; and wrote it in Greek, though he wrote it more particularly for Hebrews: for the Hebrew tongue was so lost, that it was not ordinarily to be under­stood; and the Greek Bible was the readiest in the hands of the unlearned, to examine the quotations from the old Testament, that he or any other of the divine Penmen should alledge: The Prophets had been but very lately before Matthews time turned into the Chaldee tongue by Ionathan ben Vzziel, and the Law by Onkeles a little after; and the [Page 22] Ierusalem Talmud tells of a Targum or tradition of Iob, which Gamaliel Pauls Master had. Shabb. fol. 15. col. 3. and all this because the originall Hebrew was not commonly understood. And in the reading of the Law and Prophets in the Synagogues, they had Interpreters that rendred it into the Syriack as was said a little before, because they un­derstood not the Originall; therefore it were unreasonable that Matthew should write in Hebrew, a Language then to the most unknown.

SECTION XIV. JOHN Chap. V. All the Chapter.CHRISTS se­cond Passeover after his Baptism. An infirm man healed at Bethesda.

FOr the justifying and cleering of the order in this place, these things are to be taken into consideration. 1. That the first thing that the two Evangelists Mark and Luke, who are most exact for order, have placed after the calling of Levi, is, the Disciples plucking the ears of Corn. They have indeed interserted Levies first, and Iohns disciples questioning about fasting, but that was more for the dispatching of Levies story altoge­ther, then for the propriety of their subsequence each to other, as hath been shewed al­ready. 2. In that the story of the Disciples plucking the ears of Corn, is joyned by them next, we are to look for a Passeover between, for till the Passeover was over, and the first-fruits sheaf offered the second day after, it was not lawfull to meddle with any Corn, to use, or to eat it, Lev. 23.14. 3. Christ had said in the field of Sichem, that it was then four moneths to harvest, Joh. 4.35. that is, to the Passeover, at what time their Barley harvest began, Lev. 23.11, &c. Now, casting up the time from that place and speech, ta­ken up in the current of the story from thence hither, we cannot but conclude the four moneths to be now up, and this to be the Passeover, then thought upon in those words. And we may conceive that the Evangel [...]st hath the rather omitted to call it by its proper name, or to speak it expresly, that this feast was the Passeover, because in that speech he had given fair intimation, how to understand the next feast of the Iews that he should speak of. He mentioneth indeed a Passeover in Chap. 6.4. but we shall finde by the pro­gresse of the story in the other Evangelists, that that was yet so farre yet to come, that it cannot in the least wise be supposed to be that which was to come within four moneths after Christs being in the field of Sichem. The feast of the Iews therefore that he speaketh of in the first verse of this Chapter, must needs be that Passeover referred to Ioh. 4.35. and this considered doth cleer the order.

At this Passeover a man is healed at Bethesda, who had been diseased from seaven years before Christ was born. This was a pool first laid up by Solomon, as may be conjectured from Iosephus de Bel. lib. 5. cap. 13. compared with Nehem. 3. and at first called Solomons Pool, but now Bethesda, or the place of mercy from its beneficiall virtue. It was supplied with water from the fountain Sileam, which represented Davids and Christs Kingdom, Isa. 8 6.

The five porches about it, and the man, when healed, carrying his bed out of one of them, calls to minde the [...] Mevuo [...]h or Entries that are so much spoken of in the treatise Erubhin, the carrying of any thing out of which into the street on the Sabbath day, was to carry [...] out of a private place into a publick, and was prohibited.

He is hereupon convented before the Sanhedrin, and there he doth most openly con­fesse and prove himself to be the Messias: And he asserteth that all Power and Judgment is put into his hand, and that he hath the same authority for the dispensing of the affairs of the new Testament, that the Father had for the old. And this he doth so plainly, that he leaveth their unbelief henceforward without excuse.

The Jews speak of divers ominous things that occurred fourty years before the destru­ction of the City; As, It is a tradition that fourty years before the Sanctuary was destroyed the western Lamp went out, and the scarlet list kept its rednesse, and the Lords lot came up on the left hand. And they locked up the Temple doors at even, yet when they rose in the morning they found them open. Jerus. in Joma. fol. 43. col. 3. And, Sanhedr. fol. 18. col. 1. Fourty years before the Temple was destroyed, power of judgeng in capitall matters was taken away from Israel: Now there are some that reckon but thirty eight years between the death of Christ and the destruction of the City; and if that be so, then these ominous presages [Page 23] occurred this year that we are upon. It being just fourty years, by that account, from this Passeover at which Christ healeth the diseased man at Bethesda, to the time of Titus his pitching his Camp and siege about Ierusalem, which was at a Passeover. But of this let the Reader judge.


LUKE Chap. VI. from the beginning to Ver. 12.MARK Chap. II. from Ver. 23, to the end: and Chap. III. from the beginning to Ver. 7.MARK Chap. XII. from the beginning to Ver. 15.

The Disciples plucking ears of Corn. A withered hand healed on the Sabbath.

THe words [...] which Luke hath used ver. 1. being rightly under­stood, will help to cleer the order of this Section, and to confirm the order of the preceding.

The Law enjoyned that the next morrow after the eating of the Passeover, should be kept holy like a Sabbath, Exod. 12.16. and accordingly it is called a Sabbath, Lev. 23.7, 11. And there the Law also enjoyns, that the next day after that Sabbaticall day, they shall of­fer the sheaf of first-fruits to the Lord: and from that day they should count seaven Sab­baths to Pentecost, which was their solemn festivall, and thanksgiving for that half harvest, viz. Barley harvest which they had then inned, Lev. 23.15, 16, 17. That day therefore that they offered their first Barley sheaf, and from which they were to count the seaven Sabbaths or weeks forward, being the second day in the Passeover week, the Sabbaths that followed, did carry a memoriall of that day in their name till the seaven were run out: as the first was called [...], the first second-day Sabbath; The next [...], the second second-day Sabbath: the next [...], the third second-day Sabbath, and so the rest all the seaven through. Now let it be observed, 1. That no Corn, no not ears of Corn might be eaten till the first-fruits sheaf was offered and wa­ved before the Lord, Lev. 23.14. 2. That it was waved the second day of the Passeover week. 3. That this was the first Sabbath after that second day, when the Disciples pluckt the ears of Corn, and it will plainly evince that we must look for a Passeover before this story, and so it will shew the warranty and justnesse of taking in the fifth of Iohn next before it.

But the order of Matthew may breed some scruple, and that the rather, because that though he hath placed this story after divers occurrences that are yet to come, yet he hath prefaced it with this circumstance, At that time: Now this expression doth not alwayes center stories in the same point of time, but sometimes it hath made a transition betwixt two stories, whose times were at a good distance asunder: as Gen. 38.1. Deut. 10.8. and so likewise the phrase, In these dayes, Mat. 3.1.

The latter story about healing the man with the withered hand, is so unanimously or­dered by all the three, after the other, that there is no doubt of the method of it.

It was a speciall part of religion which the Jews used on the Sabbath, to eat good meat, and better then they did on the week dayes: yea they thought themselves bound to eat three meals on that day [as was said before,] and for this they alledge, Isa. 58.13. Nid. Kimch. ibid. & Tamh. fol. 1. Talm. & Maym. in Shab, &c. compare Phil. 3.19.

Observe how farre the Disciples are from such an observance, and from such provision, when a few ears of Barley [for that was the Corn plucked] must make a dinner.

The plucking of ears of Corn on the Sabbath was forbidden by their Canons verbatim. Talm. in Shab. par. 7. & Maymon. Shab. par. 7, & 8. He that reapeth Corn on the Sabbath, to the quantity of a fig, is guilty. And plucking Corn is as reaping: And whosoever plucketh up any thing from it growing, is guilty, under the notion of reaping.

Christ before his healing the withered hand, is questioned by them; Is it lawfull to heal on the Sabbath day? Their decretals allowed it in some cases. Tanch. fol. 9. col. 2. our Do­ctors teach the danger of life dispenseth with the Sabbath. And so doth Circumcision and the healing of that. But this is rule saith Rabbi Akibah, that that which may be done on the eve of the Sabbath, dispenseth not with the Sabbath. Talm. in Shabb. par. 19. Such was this case. Compare Luk. 13.14. They accounted that this might have been done any other day.

SECTION XXVI. MARK Chap. III. from Ver. 7, to Ver. 13. MATTH. Chap XII. from Ver. 15, to Ver. 22. Great multitudes follow Christ: who healeth all that come to him.

THe connexion that both these Evangelists have at this story, doth abundantly assert the order. The Pharisees took counsell to destroy him, but when Iesus knew it, he de­parted, &c. The Herodians joyn with them in their plotting, which seem to have been these learned and great men of the Nation who had gone into the service of Herod the Great, and now of his sonne mentioned before.


LUKE Chap. VI. from Ver. 12, to Ver. 20.MARK Chap. III. from Ver. 13. to the middle of Ver. 19.MATTH. Chap. V. Ver. 1.

The twelve Apostles chosen.

LUKE and Mark do methodize and fix the time of the Sermon in the Mount; which Matthew hath laid very early in his Gospel, because he would first treat of Christs Doctrine, and then of his Miracles.

In a mount neer Capernaum, he ordaineth a Ministry for the Church of the Gospel, and delivereth the doctrine of the Gospel, as Moses at Sinai had done the like for the Law. The number of the present Ministers appointed, whom he calleth Apostles, was twelve, agreeable to the twelve Tribes of Israel: that as they were the beginning of the Church of the Jews, so are these of the Gentiles: and to both these numbers of twelve joyned together, the number of the four and twenty Elders, the representative of the whole Church, Rev. 4. & 5, &c. hath relation, Rev. 21.12, 14.

The text allotteth these ends of their appointment: 1. That they might be with Christ, to see his glory, Ioh. 1.14. and to be witnesses of all things that he did, Acts 10.39, 41. Luk. 24.48. 2. That he might send them forth to preach. 3. To heal diseases and cast out Devils.

Before they were completed in all their divine endowments, they grew on by degrees; They were auditors a good while, and learning the doctrine of the Go­spel, that they were to preach, before they set upon that work: for though Christ chose them now, yet it is well towards a twelve moneth, before he send them a­broad a preaching, as will appear in the processe of the story. So that besides the time that they had spent before this their choosing, they also spent that in hearing and learning from the mouth of their Master, what they were to teach when he should employ them: So that even the Apostles themselves at the first setting forth into the Ministry, did not preach by the Spirit, but what they had learned and gotten by hearing, study, conference and meditation.

As the Lord under the Law, and from the first founding of that Church, did set apart a peculiar order and function of men for the service of the Sanctuary, so did he under the Gospel, a peculiar order and function for the Ministry of the Gospel; and this no more to be usurped upon, then that: Now as under the Law there were severall sorts of men within that function, as High-Priests, Chief-Priests, ordinary Priests and Levites, but all paled in with that peculiarity that no other might meddle with their function: so like­wise at the first rising of the Gospel, there were Apostles, Evangelists, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers, according to the necessity of those present times, but all hedged in with a di­stinctive ministeriall calling, that none other might nor may break in upon. All the Titles and Names that Ministers are called by throughout the new Testament, are such as denote peculiarity and distinctivenesse of order; as, Wise men and Scribes, Mat. 23.34. Now the Jews knew not, nor ever had heard of Wise men and Scribes, [...], but the learned of their Nation distinguisht for others, by peculiarity of order and ordina­tion: And if they understood not Christ in such a sense, namely men of a distinct order, they understood these Titles Wise men and Scribes, in a sense that they had never known nor heard of before: Ministers in the new Testament are called Elders, Bishops, Angels of the Churches, Pastors, Teachers: now all these were Synagogue termes, and every one of them denoted peculiarity of order, as might be shewed abundantly from their Synagogue [Page 25] antiquities: The Jews knew no Elders but men by their order and function distinguisht from other men. A Bishop translates the word [...] Chazan, An Angel of the Congrega­tion translates the title [...] Sheliach tsibbor, A Pastor translates the word [...] Parnas, And a Teacher translates [...] the Divinity Reader: Now these termes had never been known by any to signifie otherwayes then men of a peculiar function and distinct order.


MATTH. Chap. V, and VI, and VII.LUKE Chap. VI. from Ver. 20, to the end of the Chapter.

The Sermon in the Mount.

THe proof of the order doth not need to be insisted upon; Luke doth manifes [...]ly assert it. It had been foretold by the Prophet, All thy children shall be taught of God, Isa. 54.13. which if applied to the Gentiles, they had been taught by the Devill, his Oracles and Idols: If applied to the Jews, they indeed had been taught by the Lord in his Prophets, but these were but men like themselves, but this Prophecy foretells the preaching of Christ who was God himself, he teaching and conversing amongst them, he then the great teacher of the world, Isa. 2.2. and 51.4. doth from the mount Capernaum, deliver his Evangelicall Law, not for the abolishing of the Law and Prophets, but for their cleer­ing and fulfilling.

He first beginneth with pronouncing blessings, as the most proper and comfortable tenour of the Gospel: and hereby he calls us to remember Gerizim and Ebal, Deut. 27. For though Israel be enjoyned there to pronounce both blessings and curses upon those mountains, yet are the curses only specified by name and number, for the curse came by the Law, but he that was to blesse was to come: which thing taketh place very comfor­tably and harmoniously here. Luke addeth that he also denounced woes; as, Blessed be the poor: Blessed are ye that hunger now, &c. But woe unto you that are rich: Woe unto you that are fu [...], &c. according to which form the Jews conceive, the blessings and curses were pronounced by Israel from those two mountains mentioned, Talm. in Sotah. per. 7. & Tosapht. i [...]i. per. 8. How did Israel pronounce the blessings and the curses? Six Tribes went up to the [...]op of mount Gerizim, and six to the top of mount Ebal: the Priests, and the Le­vites, and the A [...]k stood below in the middest between; They turned their faces toward mount Gerizim, and began with blessing; Blessed is the man that maketh not any graven or molten Image an abomination to the Lord, &c. And both parties answered and said Amen. Then turned they their faces towards mount Ebal, and began with cursing; Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image an abomination to the Lord, &c. and both parties answered Amen: And so of the rest.

2. He proceedeth laying out the latitude of the Law, according to its full extent and intention, and sheweth the wretchednesse of their traditionall glosses, that had made the Law of no effect. They understood the Law, Thou shalt not kill, only of actuall murder, and that, committed by a mans own hand; for if he hired another to kill him, or turned a wilde beast upon him, which slew him, this they accounted not murder for which to be questioned by the Sanhedrin, though it deserved the judgement of God, Talm. in Sanhedr. per. 9. Maym. in Rets [...]a per. 2. but shews that the command extends to the prohibiting of caus­lesse anger, and that that deserves the judgement of God, that the uncharitable scornings of a brother, under their usuall word Raka, deserved the judgement of the Sanhedrin, and especially the calling him fool [in Solomons sense,] or censuring rashly his spirituall estate, deserved hell fire. They construed the command, Thou shalt not commit adultery, barely of the act of adultery, and that with another mans wife. Trip. targ. in marg. ad Exod. 20. but he tells, that it prohibits, lustfull thoughts and looks, and that looking up­on a woman to lust after her, is adultery in heart. Rabban Simeon delighted to look upon fair women, that he might take occasion by the sight of their beauty, to blesse God. [A fair excuse.] Tal. Ierus. in Baracoth. fol. 12. col. 3.

The Law had permitted divorces, only in case of fornication, Deut. 24.1. but they had extended it to any cause, and to so loose an extent, that R. Ahibah said, A man may put away his wife, if he see another woman that pleaseth him better then she. Gittin par. 9. The Law had forbidden forswearing, or swearing falsly, thereupon they had made bold to take liberty of vain swearing at pleasure, so that, what they swore were not false; as see Tal. & Maym. in Shevnoth.

[Page 26]These cursed constructions of theirs by which they had made the Law of no effect, he divinely damneth, and stateth the proper and true intent of the Law in these cases.

3. He prescribeth Christian duties, and especially rules of piety, charity and sincerity, and condemneth the hypocriticall vainglory of the Pharisees about these things. They used when they gave almes in the Synagogue, to have it openly proclaimed and publish­ed what they gave, as if a Trumpet had been sounded for every one to take notice of their charity, Ierus. in Demai, fol. 23. col. 2. And they had an open proclaiming in the streets, for the calling of the poor to gather the corner of the field that they had left them, Id. Peah. per. 4, &c. They loved to be seen praying in the streets, especially in their Phylactery prayers morning and evening, besides other occasionall Oraisons, Id. Bera­coth. per. 1, & 2. They used to pray those prayers often, and often other prayers, in the Synagogue, apart and distinct from the prayers or service that the Synagogue was then upon, and so their particular devotion was the more subject to be observed, Ib. fol. 8. col. 3, &c. They used on their fasting dayes to use such a carriage and demeanour in face and garb, that all might observe that it was fasting day with them, Piske. Tosaph. in Taanith. per. 1, &c. And in all their devotions and demeanour they hunted after the praise of men; which he condemneth, and urgeth for sincerity and care to approve the heart to God.

Throughout all this Sermon, this great oracle of divine truth, doth not only shew and hold out the sacred doctrines of faith, manners, duty and eternall life, but he evidenceth throughout, that he was throughly acquainted with all the learning, doctrines and tra­ditions of those times. And to the explication of this divine Sermon, is required quick and ready versednesse in the Jews Records, for Christ hath an eyed and reference to their language, doctrines, customes, traditions an opinions almost in every line.

SECTION XXIX. LUKE Chap. VII. from the beginning to Ver. 11. MATTH. Chap. VIII. Ver. 1. and then Ver. 5, to Ver. 14. A Centurions servant healed.

LUKES transition, When he had ended all his sayings, doth prove the order. The four verses that speak about the Leper in Matthew, were taken up before, and their order spoken to then.

A proselyte Captain that had so far affected the Jews religion that he had built a Sy­nagogue in Capernaum, having seen and heard the works and words of Christ, beleeveth him for the Messias, and beggeth of him the healing of his servant. Which that Christ could do, he concludeth from a comparison of the power of his own word and com­mand among his souldiers: for since they were ready to come, and go, or run at his command, much more doth he conclude, was the word of Christ of power to command away the disease of his servant if he pleased. Christ had often in his sermon on the Mount, asserted the authority of his own word, against and above the words of their traditiona­ries, and equalized it with that word that gave the Law. And here is a very high and seasonable confession of the authority of that word, made by this Centurion, and an evi­dence of the power of it by the healing of his servant at distance. The mans faith is justly extolled though he were a Gentile, and the casting off the Jews is cleerly foretold, which Christ had not so plainly spoken out hitherto.

SECTION XXX. LUKE Chap. VII. Ver. 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. The Widows Sonne of Naim raised.

AS Christ yesterday recovered a young man from the point of death, so doth he another to day from death it self. The words [...] ver. 11. do confirm the or­der. The day after. &c.

Ioseph. Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 5. speaks of the Village Nais, as being upon the edge of Sa­maria, in the way as the Galileans passed to Ierusalem. And it is not improbable that [Page 27] Christ was going thitherward at this time to one of the Festivals; most like to Pen­tecost.

As he comes to Naim he meets with a dead man carried out [ [...] in Talmudish Language] for they might not bury within their cities, no nor at the Levites Cities, with­in the compasse of that ground without the City that was allotted for its suburbs, Maym. in Shemittah veiobel per. 13. [If Ierusalem went parallell with the Levites Cities in this, as it did in other things, Christs Sepulchre will not prove so near the City as it hath been commonly reputed.] He raiseth this dead man openly, and in the sight of all the compa­ny there present, which was very great, and yet when afterward he raiseth Iairu [...] daugh­ter, he chargeth that those that had seen him do the miracle which were but five persons, that they should tell no man what was done, Luk. 8.56. which prohibition was given ra­ther in regard of the place where it was done, then in any other respect, it being in Ca­pernaum against which City he had denounced a curse before.

SECTION XXXI. LUKE Chap. VII. from ver. 18. to ver. 36. MATTH. Chap. II. from ver. 2. to ver. 20. JOHNS Message to Christ: Christs testimony of Iohn.

THE Transition of Luke from the Stories before, about the raising of the dead men and healing the Centurions Servant, And the Disciples of John shewed him of all these things, doth confirm the order.

JOHN from Machaerus Castle where he lay Prisoner, sendeth two of his Disciples to Christ to enquire of him, Whether he were he that should come; Not that Iohn was ignorant who he was, having had so many demonstrations of him as he had had, and having given so ample testimony of him as he had done, Ioh. 1.34, 36. & 3.29, 30. No [...] that Iohns Dis­ciples were so wilfully ignorant of him as not to be perswaded by their Ma [...]ter that he was he, but his message to him seems to this purpose; Iohn and his Disciples had heard of the great and many miracles that Christ had done, healing the sick, and raising the dead, &c. and it may be, they thought it strange that Christ amongst all his miraculous workings, would not work Iohns liberty out of thraldom, who lay a prisoner for him, and for the Go­spel he preached before him: And this, may be, was [...]he bottom of their question, Art thou he that shall come, or look we for another? as expecting somewhat more from the Messias, then they had yet obtained. They received a full answer to their question by the miracles they saw wrought, which abundantly proved that he was he that was to come. But as to their expectation of his miraculous enlargement of Iohn, his answer was, that his work was to preach the Gospel, and that it was a blessed thing not to take any offence at him, but to yeeld and submit to his wise dispensations. And accordingly when the messengers of Iohn were returned, he giveth a glorious testimony concerning him to the people, but yet sheweth how far one truly and fully acquainted and stated in the Kingdom of Heaven, went beyond him in judging of it, who looked for temporall redemption by it.

The Method of Matthew is somewhat difficult here, but he seemeth purposely to have joyned the mission of Christs Disciples and Iohns disciples together. I suppose Christ was at Ierusalem when Iohns messengers came to him: and if it were at the feast of Pentecost, Iohn had then been seven or eight moneths in prison.

SECTION XXXII. MAT. Chap. XI. from Ver. 20, to the end of the Chapter. Chorazin and Bethsaida upbraided.

BEsides Matthews continuing this portion to that that went before, the upbraiding of these Cities is so answerable to the matter contained in the end of the former Section, that it easily shews it to be spoken at the same time: See Ver. 17, 18, 19, of this Chapter.

When Christ saith, that if the things done in these Cities, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, and Sodom, and Gomorrh [...], they would have repented, and would have remained till now; he understandeth not saving grace and saving repentance in them, but such an externall humiliation as would have preserved them from ruine: As the case was with [Page 28] Nineveh, they repented and were delivered from the threatned destruction: their repen­tance was not to salvation of the persons, but to the preservation of their City: as Ahabs humbling prevented the present judgement, and not his finall condemnation.

SECTION XXXIII. LUKE Chap. VII. from Ver. 36, to the end of the Chapter. Mary Magdalen weepeth at Christs feet, and washeth them with tears, &c.

THe continuation of this portion in Luke to that in Sect. 31. will plead for its order: and the reader will easily observe, that the interposition of the preceding Section in Matthew, is so farre from interrupting the story, that it is necessarily to be taken in there, and is an illustration of it. The actings of the two severall parties in this Section, the Pharisee that invited Christ to eat with him, and the woman sinner that comes and weeps at his feet for mercy, may seem to have had some rise from, or some occasionall refe­rence to the speech of Christ in the two Sections next preceding. In the former he had said, The sonne of man came eating and drinking, and this possibly might induce the Pharisee to his invitation: and in the latter he had said, Come unto me ye that are weary and heavy laden, and that might invite the woman to her addresse.

This woman was Mary the sister of Lazarus, who was also called Mary Magdalen; of whom there is mention in the very beginning of the next Chapter. That she was Mary the sister of Lazarus, Iohn giveth us ground to assert, Ioh. 11.2. as we shall shew when we come there: where we shall evidence, that these words, It was that Mary which an­nointed the Lord with oyntment, and wiped his feet with her hair, can properly be referred to no story but this before us: And that Mary the sister of Lazarus was called Mary Magdalen, we shall prove in the next Section: Christ in the story in Sect. 31. when Iohns disciples came to him we supposed to be at Ierusalem, and answerably it may be conceived that this passage occurred at Bethany, where Simon the Pharisee may not im­probably be held to be the same with Simon the Leper, Matth. 26.6. where this very woman again annointed him.

SECTION XXXIV. LUKE Chap. VIII. Ver. 1, 2, 3. Certain women that followed Christ.

LUKE again is the warrant for the order. In the former story he had spoken of one woman that had found healing and mercy with Christ, and he speaks here of divers, and among them Mary Magdalen. Now that she was Mary the sister of Lazarus, let but these two arguments be weighed, not to insist upon more. The first is this: If Mary Magdalen were not Mary the sister of Lazarus, then Mary the sister of Lazarus gave no attendance at Christs death, nor had any thing to do about his buriall [or at least is not mentioned as an agent at either] which is a thing so incredible to conceive, that it needs not much discourse to set forth the incredibility of it. There is mention of Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of Iames and Salom, Mark. 15.40. and Ioanna, Luk. 24.10. but not a word of Mary the sister of Lazarus. She had twice annointed Christ in the compasse of that very week, she had ever been as neer and as zealous a woman disciple as any that followed him, and her residence was at Bethany hard by Ierusalem, and what is now become of her in these two great occasions of attending upon Christs death and imbalming? Had she left Christ, and neglected her attendance on him, at this time above all others? or have the Evangelists, whilest they mention the other that attended, left her out? It is so unreasonable to beleeve either of these, that even necessity inforceth us to conclude, that when they name Mary Magdalen, they mean Mary the sister of Lazarus. And Secondly take this argument of Baronius, which hath more weight in it then at first sight it doth seem to have, who in his Annals ad Annum Christi 32, goes about to prove this thing that we assert, and he shews how it also was the opinion of the Fathers, and those in former times. His words are these: We say upon the testimony of John the Evangelist, nay of Christ himself, that it plainly appears, that Mary the sister of Lazarus, and Mary Magda­len was but one and the same person. For when in Bethany the same sister of Lazarus annointed the feet of Jesus, and Judas did thereupon take offence, Jesus himself checking the boldnesse of [Page 29] the furious Disciple, said, Let her alone, that she may keep it against the day of my buriall: Now that she that brought the oyntment to the sepulcher for the annointing of the body of Jesus, was Mary Magdalen, is affirmed by Mark, and that she with Mary the mother of James and Salome did that office. When therefore neither in him, nor in any other of the Evangelists there is any mention of Mary the sister of Lazarus, who was foretold by our Saviour that she should do that office, it may easily be known that both these Maries were but one and the same. At Ioh. 12.7. we shall shew that that speech must be construed to such a sense, as he hath put on it, save only that following the vulgar Latin, he reads sine ut servet, which indeed makes his sense the fuller, but though not so read, yet will that sense be full enough.

It is to be objected indeed, that Mary was called Magdalen, from the place Magdala, of which there is mention Matth. 15.29. and in Tal. Ierus. in Maazaroth. fol. 50. col. 3. in this passage, R. Iochanan in the name of R. Simeon [...]en Iochai: He had two inclosures, one in Magdala, the other in Tiberisa, &c. And in Beracoth fol. 13. col. 1. there is mention of one [...] R. Iudah of Magdala: now Magdala being in Galilee [as some seat it] or over against Galilee beyond Iordan [as others,] it was so very farre distant from Bethany, that Mary the sister of Lazarus, whose Town was Bethany, could not possibly be called Magdalen from Magdala. To which we may first give Baronius his an­swer, who also mentioneth this objection; That though she were of Bethany by originall, and the native seat of her fathers house, yet might she also be of Magdala by marriage, or some occasionall residence otherwise. And in the second place, we may adduce what the Talmudish speak of one [...] Mary Magdalen, or Megaddala, for the word is of doubtfull pointing, whom they character for a notorious strumpet in those times that Iesus of Nazareth lived. Alphez. in Gittin. fol. 605. Some man findes a fly in his cup, and takes her out and will not drink, and this was the temper of Papus the sonne of Judah, who locked the door upon his wife whensoever he went out. The glossaries R. Solamon and Nissim, upon this passage comment thus: Papus the sonne of Judah, was husband [...] to Mary Magdala, and whensoever he went forth he locked the door upon his wife, lest she should speak with any man, which was a usage unfitting, and hereupon there arose discord between them, and she plaid the whore against him. Now they construe the latter word [...] as signifying one that broided or plaited her hair, which [...] Peter blames in wo­men, 1 Pet. 3.3. Tal. Babyl. Venet. in Sanhedr. par. 7. is speaking of one that inticed to Idolatry, and how he was brought to the Sanhedrin and stoned. And thus, say they, they did to Ben Sarda in Lydda, and hanged him on the Passeover eve. Ben Sarda was the sonne of Pandira. [They call our Saviour blasphemously by this name Ben Sarda.] And a little after. His mother was Sarda. His mother was Mary Magdalen, Mary the platter of womens hair. vid. etiam Schab. fol. 104. And in Chagigah fol. 4. The Angel of death said to his messenger, Go fetch me [...] Mary the broider of womens hair; He went and fetched Mary Magdala, or Mary the broider of hair for young men. Now whether the word [...] be read Magdela or Magdila, a Participle in Hiphil, which is most pro­per, and so warranted by Aruch in [...] and Kelim par. 15.] or Megaddela in Piel: either of them in a Greek dresse, especially the former, come so neer the sound of the word in hand, that we may very well construe Mary Magdalen in this Talmudish construction for a woman of common infamy, and that hath this nick-name of Magdila from her lasci­vious dresse and carriage. Observe Lukes expression, [...], Mary which was called Magdalen: which manner of phrase is rarely used when persons are na­med after their Country.

SECTION XXXV. MATTH. Chap. XII. from Ver. 22, to Ver. 46. MARK Chap. III. from the last clause of Ver. 19. And they went into an house: to Ver. 31. A Devil cast out: Christ called Belzebub: Blasphemy against the holy Ghost.

THe series and consequence of this Section will require some cleering. 1. The reader here seeth that Mark hath nor mentioned any thing from the ordaining of the twelve Apostles unto this place: for the holy Ghost that held all their pens, did so dispose them, that sometimes one should speak the story, sometimes another, and sometimes more or all of them together. Now though the first clause of this Section in Mark, And they went into an house, be joyned so close to the Apostles ordaining, as if that were the next [Page 30] thing done; yet the current of the story in the rest of the Evangelists, doth shew that it is not to be taken in, at that instant: and indeed the progresse of the story even in Mark himself, doth shew that this is the proper place of it, as will appear to him that shall pre­cisely observe it. 2. Matthew hath laid this story of casting out a Devil, &c. next after two stories that occurred before the Sermon in the Mount, as hath appeared in its place: the reason of which may be supposed to be, because he would take up the exceptions of the Scribes and Pharisees together: That this story in Matthew lieth in juncture to these next succeeding will readily appear in them. 3. There is a story in Luk. 11. so like this, that one would think it were the very same; for there is mention of the same miracle, ca­sting out a Devil, and the same cavill of the Pharisees, and the same answer to Christ: and yet the progresse of the history of Luke thither, and especially the coming off from that story, do perswade that it was another story. For Luke chaineth such following pas­sages to it, that cannot possibly be brought in concurrent with the current of these Evan­gelists now before us. And we shall observe hereafter, that Christ in his latter time did repeat over again very many of those things that he had spoken a good while before: as Moses his Deuteronomy was but a rehearsall of things that had been acted and spoken in his former time. The same devilishnesse was in the Scribes and Pharisees in all places, and it was accordingly to be met withall by Christ in more places then one: They had taken up a consent to beat down the dignity and authority of his miracles, by asserting that what­soever he did, he did by the power of Magick, and this corrupt blood ran up in their veins every where wheresoever he met them, and therefore it is no wonder if the same words be in their mouthes here and there, when the same rotten principle was every where in their hearts. Observe how scornfully they require a sign from Heaven, when they had but newly seen a most heavenly sign.

The word Beelzebul was taken up for the more detestation, as importing, The god of a dunghill, and the sacrificing to Idols they called dunging to an Idoll, R. Jose, ben R. Ben saith, [...] He that seeth them dunging to an Idoll, must say, He that sacrificeth to other gods must be destroyed. Talm. Jerus. Baracoth, fol. 12. col. 2.

What Christ speaketh about the unpardonablenesse of blasphemy against the holy Ghost, is in direct facing of their Tenet; which held, that blasphemy was attoned for by death though by nothing else. He [say they] by whom the name of Heaven is blasphe­med, repentance hath no power to save him from punishment, nor the day of expiation to attone for him, nor chastisements of the Iudges to acquit him. But repentance and the day of expia­tion attone for a third part, and chastisements a third part, and death a third part. And of such it is said, If this iniquity be purged till you die: Behold we learn that death acquitteth. Talm. Jerus. Sanhed. fol. 27. col. 3.

The Jews defamed the miracles done by Christ as done by Magick, as appeareth not only by this and other places in the Gospel, but even in Talm. Bab. Schabb. fol. 104. col. 2. R. Eliezer said to the wise men, Did not Ben Sarda [this is a blasphemous name they give to Iesus of Nazareth, as was said a little before] bring inchantments out of Egypt in incisions in his flesh?

But when they saw they were not able to contradict and decry the credit of the great miracles that he did, and they saw that this would not serve their turn, to say he did them by the power of the Devill; the Devill taught them to betake themselves to another shift clean contrary, and that was, to say and maintain, that when Messias came, he should do no miracles at all: which they assert in Sanhedr. per Helek. and Maym. in Melachim. per. ult.


MATTH. Chap. XII. from Ver. 46, to the end.MARK Chap. III. from Ver. 31. to the end.LUKE Chap. VIII. Ver. 19, 20, 21.

CHRISTS Mother and Brethren seek him, &c.

THe Order is cleered by the transition of Matthew, While he yet talked, &c. Luke hath set the coming of Christs mother and brethren, after the Parable of the Sower [whereas the other two Evangelists have set it before and that in its proper place] thereby intimating the end and prosecution of the errand they came upon, which was to take him up from preaching▪ with which intention and importunity they follow him from place to place. Here is an evidence of the Virgin Maries sinfullnesse, as well as other [Page 31] womens, if going about to stop Christs Ministry were a sinne, as certainly it was, pro­ceed that intention from what pretence soever. Mark 3.21. His friends went to lay hold on him, for they said [...]: signifie that word what it will, whether he is beside himself, or he is faint, or he is in a rapture, &c. their errand and intention was to take him off from the course he was in: which he knew well enough, and therefore he gives so smart an an­swer, Who is my Mother, &c? Compare Deut. 33.9.


MATTH. Chap. XIII. from the beginning to Ver. 54.MARK Chap. IV. from the beginning to Ver. 35.LUKE Chap. VIII. from Ver. 4, to Ver. 19.

The Parable of the Sower: and divers other Parables.

MATTHEWS transition doth again cleer the order here. The same day went Iesus, &c. The same day that his Mother and brethren came to him, as is apparent in the twelfth Chapter. So that this consideration helpeth to methodize the order of Luke: for whereas the other two have set the coming of Christs mother and brethren before his ut­tering of the Parable of the Sower, &c. he hath set it after; and that without contrariety though with diversity. For both the occurrences were on the same day: and he hath by this order shewed how the mother and friends of Christ having once found him, went a­long with him, whether to prosecute the intention they came upon, or better convinced to attend him and his doctrine.

CHRISTS speaking of Parables, which he doth so exceeding much through the Go­spel, was according to the stile and manner of that Nation, which were exceedingly ac­customed to this manner of Rhetorick. The Talmuds are abundantly full of this kinde of oratory, and so are generally all their ancient writers: and they commonly enter upon their Parables with this preface [...]: A Parable: To what is the thing like? which stile he also useth not seldom. And sometime they enter upon it more abruptly with such an entrance as this [...] or [...] To a man, or To a King of flesh and blood, &c. meaning, It is like to a man or like to a King, &c. I beleeve there are very many in the world, that have not been further acquainted with the writings of the Jews then what they have seen quoted by other writers, and yet are ready to censure them of lies and falshoods [which indeed they are not free from] meerly upon want of acquain­tance with their stile of Parables and hyperboles.

Very good use may be made of the Talmudish treatises, Peah, Demai and Kilaim, which treats intentionally concerning sowing and seeds, for illustration of these Para­bles. In Kilaim, they dispute of sowing [...] upon rocks and upon stones, and of mingling [...], wheat and tares, &c. cap. 1. In Peah in Tal. Ierus. fol. 20. they speak of a tree of mustardseed, that one might climbe into like other trees, &c. And in divers other passages in these Parables, some light may be fetched from those tracts: seeing Christ all along speaketh of things usuall and most particularly usuall among that Nation.


MATTH. Chap. VIII. Ver. 18, 19, 20, 21, 22.MARK. Chap. IV. Ver. 35LUKE Chap. IX. Ver. 57, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62.

A Scribe will follow CHRIST, &c.

THe story of CHRISTS preparing to go over the water, is evidenced by Mark, to come in here in its proper place; for he saith, The same day at even, &c. Matthews laying it where he hath done, may seem to be because of its neernesse to Matthews or Levies feast, as will appear in the following current of the story; which feast he hath laid at Matthews call, and so hath accordingly brought here divers stories together, though farre distinct in time; as some being neer the time of his call, some neer the time of his feast. But a greater scruple ariseth, namely, Whether this story in Matthew, of two that would follow Christ, and that in Luk. 9.57, &c. of three that would do so, be one and the same story, or two occurrences at severall times? It is well the matter is of no more chronologicall import, for it is hard to resolve which way to take it. The words of the [Page 32] persons to Christ, and his answer to them, are so much the same, that it is hard to think two severall stories should run so parallel in all circumstances: And yet Lukes laying it so far out of its place, might perswade that it is not the same story. It would be more tiresome then profitable to dispute the matter at large; therefore to make sure and quick work, both the stories may be taken in at both places. I should rather hold them to be two sto­ries: In both of them where it is said, by those that should follow Christ, Let me first go and bury my father, It argues not that their father was dead or very sick; but that they thought themselves bound not to leave their father whilest he was living.


MATTH. Chap. VIII. from Ver. 23, to the end. And Chap. IX. Ver. 1.MARK Chap. IV. from Ver. 36, to the end. And Ch. V. from beg. to V. 22.LUKE Chap. VIII. from Ver. 22, to Ver. 41.

CHRIST calmeth the sea: casteth out a Legion of Devils, &c.

THe order needeth no cleering, it is so plainly asserted by all the three: only among them in relating the story thus ordered, there seems to be some difference: 1. Mark sayes, They took him in the ship as he was, namely as he was now in it, having gone into it to preach to the people, as ver. 1. The other two speak of his entring into the ship now, as if he had not been in it before, because they continue not this story, to the story of his speaking of the Parables out of the ship as Mark do [...]h, but speak of this after other sto­ries. 2. Matthews calling of the Country beyond Iordan whither he went, the Country of the Gergasens, whereas the other two call it the Country of the Gadarens, is no great scru­ple, since it bare two names, ancient and modern. But 3. the main doubt lies in this; that whereas Mark and Luke speak but of one possessed, Matthew speaks of two. So I ob­serve that Matthew speaks of two blind men begging at Iericho, Matth. 20.30. whereas Mark speaketh but of one, Mark 10.46. And so likewise Matthew speaks of both the theeves mocking Christ, Matth. 27.44. whereas Luke speaks but of one of them so doing, Luk. 23.39, &c.

It might be answered, as to this story, that it may be that these two that Matthew speak­eth of were not alike furious, but that the impetuousnesse of the one was more then the other: and that Mark and Luke speak of him only that was in the worse case. Or for ought that Matthews Greek prohibiteth, the two might be understood for man and wife, whom the two other Evangelists treat of as one person. But by the other examples ad­duced, where Matthew speaking of two, Mark and Luke speak but of one, it is plain and satisfactory, that these two latter, writing after Matthew, and he having given the story before them, numbring the persons concerned in it, they have not been curious so much to specifie the number of persons on whom the miracles were wrought, which he had done before, as carefull to record the miracle done, that none of Christs workings might be left unrecorded, as to the nature of the thing done.

The Evangelists describe the condition of these poor possessed ones, much in the same colours that the Jews do him that they call [...], who is one of the five sorts of persons whom they seclude from all actings of import or trust. [...] say they [or a distract per­son] is he that goes out in the night and lodgeth among the graves, and tears his clothes to pieces, and spoils whatsoever men give him. Jerus. in Trumeth fol. 4. col. 2.

It is of some scrupulousnesse to cast, how so many swine should be in those parts, since swines flesh was such an abomination among the Jews, and those that kept and bred swine little lesse abominated. Their wise men said, Cursed be he that brings up dogs and swine, Maymon. in Niz. Mammon per. 5. And there is a story of a woman reviling one of their Rabbies, in these words, One of these three things is in thee, either thou art a drinker of wine, or a usurer, or one that breeds swine. Jerus. Shekalim fol. 47. col. 3. But even Pliny may help us to an Answer and resolution in this doubt, who tells us how rare dainties swines flesh is accounted of by the Romans, Neque alio ex animali numerosior materia ganiae,: quinqua­ginta prope sapores, cum caeteris singuli. Of one creature, saith he, is there made more nume­rous matter for luxury: Almost fifty severall tastes in it, whereas in other creatures there is but one. And hence those pages of the Censors Laws; Interdictaque caenis abdomina, glan­dia, testiculi, vulvae, sincipita verina, [A Roman Cook were fittest to english this. And a [Page 33] little after he tells, that Solidum aprum Romanorum primus in epulis apposuit P. Servilius Rullus: Publius Servilius Rullus first of the Romans, served in a whole Swine to the table, the father of that Rullus that promulgated the Lex Agraria in Tullies Consulship. Tam propin­qua origo nunc quotidianae rei est: A thing now in daily use, had its beginning no longer ago. Observe that it was of ordinary use among the Romans, to serve in solidum aprum at their feasts. Vid. Plin. nat. hist. lib. 8. cap. 51. Now were it granted that the Gadarens were Jews, which for the generality they were not [and to finde Swine feeding among the Heathen was no strange thing] yet when there might be such trading in Swine as the Roman coo­kery and luxury caused to be, the covetousnesse of a Jew would strain him farre for his profit, especially it being not directly against the Law to deal with these cattell alive, though so strictly forbidden to eat them dead.


LUKE Chap. V. from Ver. 29. to the end of the Chapt.MARK Chap. II. from Ver. 15. to Ver. 23.MATTH. Chap. XII. from Ver. 10. to Ver. 18.

Levies Feast: Concerning Fasting, &c.

MUch needeth not to be spoken concerning the order here. Why Levies, or Mat­thews Call and Feast are set together by all the Evangelists that speak of them, we have observed before, namely because they would dispatch the whole story of that man at once or alltogether: And that his call was at the place where we have laid it, the cur­rent of the story thither confirmeth past deniall. Likewise that his Feast must come in here, Matthews words, ver. 18. do make it plain: for he saith, that while Iesus was speak­ing those things concerning fasting, &c. Iairus came to him: whose coming the other two Evangelists have cleerly pitched in this place.

In Matthew the late Publicans house, when Christ is invited to dinner, many Publicans and sinners sit down at meat with him, a thing as far contrary to the Pharisaicall discipline as what was most contrary, for which the Pharisees callenge him and his Disciples. They looked upon Christ and his Disciples, as [...] men of religion and devotion, and there­fore that ought to separate themselves from the vulgar sort of people; especially from such as these were of an infamous stamp and character: A Scholer of the wise, by their Canons, might not eat with one of the vulgar, much lesse with Publicans and sinners, the worst sort of all the vulgar that were.


MARK Chap. V. from Ver. 22, to the end.LUKE Chap. VIII. from Ver. 41, to the end.MATTH. Chap. IX. from Ver. 18, to Ver. 27.

A bloody issue healed: Jairus daughter raised.

MATTHEW assures the order, for he saith, While Iesus was speaking: those things that are recorded in the preceding Section, concerning Fasting, and not put­ting new wine into old bottles, &c. Iairus came to him to beg the recovery of his now dying daughter.

Iairus was one of the Rulers of Capernaum Synagogue, and had seen so many miracles done by Christ there, that if he were not a Disciple already, yet he beleeves that Christ can easily recover her, though when he came away from her she was giving up the ghost. As Iesus goeth with him in Capernaum streets, a woman with a bloody issue of twelve years continuance cometh behind him and toucheth him: Her disease and Iairus daugh­ter, were born in one and the same year, for they were both twelve years old, Luk. 8. ver. 42, 43.

The malady of this woman was not only of a sad languishing, but it was also of a great uncleannesse, according to the uncleannesse mentioned in the Law. The Talmudich trea­tise Zavim, and Maymony in Issurei biah, cap. 4.5, 6. would read a dolefull Lecture upon her disease, as to this point of uncleannesse. And this it may be was one main cause that made the woman to come trembling and fearing to Christ when she saw she could not be hid, Mat. 5.33. because she had been so bold as to touch Christ in her uncleannesse.

The story of the Pictures of Christ and this woman touching him, both made in brasse [Page 34] of which the Papists have made no small ado towards their worshipping of Images] hath spoken exceeding wide and far from hitting upon the right place where this woman and Christ met. The story as it is related by Eusebius, Baronius, and others, is this. That in Cae­saria Philippi called otherwise Paneas, the house of this woman was to be seen: and before the door of the house, a brazen Image of a woman kneeling, and before her the brazen statue of a man, in a garment down to the feet, and stretching out his hand to the woman: And that there grew there a certain strange herbe, which when it grew up to touch the brazen hemme of his garment, it had the medicinall virtue of healing any disease.

But why all this at Caesaria Philippi? whereas this occurrence of the womans healing by the touch of the hemme of his garment was in Capernaum: for Matthew tells, that when Iesus came back out of the Country of the Gadarens, he came into his own City, Matth. 9.1. which was Capernaum: and there was Matthews house, in which he was when Iairus came to him. See Sect. 23.

Before he comes to Iairus his house, his daughter is dead, and there he findes minstrels and piping in a mournfull tone, for the bewailing of her. This was the custom of the Jews in such cases, as is to be seen in Talm. Ierus. in Beracoth. fol. 5. col. 4. Maymony in [...] cap. 14, &c. vid. etiam Ierus. Meed Katon. fol. 83. col. 4.

A good while ago he had denounced a sad doom against Capernaum, Matth. 11.23. at Sect. 32. O thou Capernaum which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell, &c. which was spoken as to the generality of the City, who for the things they had heard and seen, as that being Christs own City, or the place of his habitation, yet they beleeved not. And this may be some reason, why when he had raised this dead girle, he bids her parents keep the matter close: for that City had justly forfeited all such revelations of him: Yet for all the denouncing of that sad fate against her, he oft resorteth thither, and forsaketh not his habitation there; partly because he had some there, who for all the un­belief of the generality, belonged to him, and beleeved in him; and partly because he had no reason to remove his habitation for their unbelief, nor to passe off his dwelling for other mens wickednesse; for where could he go to reside, but he should reside among some of the same temper?

SECTION XLII. MATTH. Chap. IX. from Ver. 27, to Ver. 35. Two blind men, and a possessed dumbe man healed.

THe order is cleer from these two passages of connexion: When Iesus departed thence, ver. 27. And As they went out, ver. 32.

Iesus from Iairus his house returned to his own home, ver. 28. and there two blind men come to him, whose eyes he toucheth, and saith, According to your faith be it to you: ur­ging this upon them the rather, because of the generall untowardnesse and unbelief of the place where he now was, Capernaum: and because of the Pharisees that were now pre­sent, ver. 34. that he might magnifie faith.

As these blind men went out, they brought in a man possessed with a dumb devil, and he also was healed, which the Pharisees still ascribe to magick, &c.

SECTION XLIII. MARK Chap. VI. Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. MATTH. Chap. XIII. Ver. 54, 55, 56, 57, 58. CHRIST at Nazaret, and offence taken at him.

IT is said by Matthew, that when Iesus returned back out of the Land of the Gadarens, he came into his own City, Matth. 9.1. that is, to Capernaum, where he himself dwelt, and Matthew, and Iairus; and the three last Sections relate stories done in their three houses: Now Mark saith, that from thence he went out and came into his own Country, that is to Nazareth: which title is used of that City again, Ioh. 4.44.

In that Synagogue he had been abused a good while ago, and his life endangered, Luk. 4.29. and thither he is come now to try them again, and findes not much better enter­tainment then before, but only not so full of danger: therefore he did not many great works there because of their unbelief, which Mark uttereth, He could do no mighty works [Page 35] there, ver. 5. which meaneth not any want of power, but it relateth to his will, and to the rule by which he went in doing his works: such another phrase see Gen. 19.22.

When it is said by the same Evangelist, He marvelled at their unbelief: it meaneth not, that he marvelled because they had not saving saith, but he marvelled because they belee­ved no more then they did.

SECTION XLIV. MATTH. Chap. IX. Ver. 35, 36, 37, 38. Another perambulation of Galilee.

MATTHEW himself joyns this portion to the stories in Sect. 42. and the last words of Mark in the Section preceding, he went round about the villages teaching, are con­current with the first words in this, and so do assert the connexion.

CHRIST at his former rejection at Nazaret, begins to go abroad preaching through their Synagogues as in Sect. 18. and so he doth now: and so great multitudes resort unto him, that he now resolveth upon sending forth his Disciples to Preach abroad also.


MATTH. Chap. X. all the Chap. And V. 1. of Chap. IX.MARK Chap. VI. V. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.LUKE Chap. IX. Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

The twelve Apostles sent out to preach.

THe order in Matthew and Mark shews and cleers it self.

The twelve had been ordained for Apostles a great while since, and all that while, had been with Christ as probationers, to see his works and to learn his Doctrine: and since their pointing out to be Apostles it is observable, how much Christ hath applied himself to Doctrine, that they might learn the Gospel of the Kingdom, and be stored with what to preach, when he should send them forth. Hitherto they had been learners, and as for the gifts of the Spirit they as yet differed nothing from the rest that followed him, but now he gives them power of healing and casting out devils, [and now is the power of miracles restored.] So that they cured diseases by the Spirit, but they preach­ed not by the Spirit, but taught that only which they had learned from the mouth of Christ.

He sendeth them out by two and two, and so it is like the twelve spies divided themselves when they went to search the Land. It may be the Apostles went in these couples that Matthew had reckoned them in.

What Christ forbiddeth them to take with them for their journey, was 1. to inure them to depend upon his protection and not upon their own carefulnesse: And 2. He hereby intimates that they should finde such good entertainment in their Ministry, that they should finde safety and maintenance wheresoever they came. Therefore when in Luke 22.6. Now take purse and scrip, &c. he thereby would not signifie that his care of them was any whit abated of what it was now, but that they should meet with worse times and worse entertainment then they had had now.

Whereas in Matthew and Luke they are forbidden to take staves, in Mark it is said, they should take nothing for their journey save a staff only: not staves for weapons or for their defence, but a staff for their resting on for their ease in the journey: as Gen. 32.10.

They are confined to preach to Israel only, [though many Gentiles dwelt intermix­edly with them in their Cities] because the Lord would own the peculiarity of the Nati­on in the first preaching of the Gospel, as he had done all along in the Oeconomy of the Law: when they had forfeited their priviledge of being a peculiar people, by crucifying him that sent the Gospel amongst them, then is the Apostles commission inlarged to go to the Gentiles, Matth. 28.


MARK Chap. VI. from Ver. 14. to Ver. 30.MATTH. Chap. XIV. from the begin. to Ver. 13.LUKE Chap. IX. Ver. 7, 8, 9.

JOHN beheaded: His Disciples come in to Christ.

MARK and Luke do justifie the order, for both of them have laid this story next to the story of Christs sending forth his Disciples. Matthew when he saith At that time, he useth the word in its latitude, as it is often used in Scripture, not precisely or determinately for the very day or season when a thing was done, but in the current of time then in being. And yet in this expression he seemeth also to have respect to the sto­ry that he had related next before, though that were some reasonable space of time be­fore this: For there he had told that Christ coming into his own Country, was sleighted and undervalued, and they were offended in him, yet Herod was amazed at the wonders that he heard of him.

Here are two times regardable in this Section, namely the time of Iohn Baptists death, and the time of Herods hearing of the fame of Iesus: And the juncture of the stories is very close. As the Disciples were preaching up and down according to Christs mission, Herod beheaded the Baptist: and by their preaching in the name of Iesus, the fame of Iesus cometh to Herods hearing; and the Disciples again hearing of the murder of Iohn, get in to their master. So that the story of Iohns death, is related here in the proper place and time when it did occurre. And from one passage of Iohn the Evangelist in the next following Section, there is the ground of a fair conjecture of the time of his beheading: For we shall see in the beginning of the next Section, that all the [...]our do speak of Christ departing privately into a desert place: Matthew particularly gives the reason, namely because he had newly heard, by Iohns Disciples, of the death of their Master. Now Iohn the Evangelist in giving that story of Christs retiring, hath inserted this passage, And the Iews Passeover was nigh, whereby we may conclude that the Baptists death was a little before the time of the Passeover. And from hence we may take up the whole space of his Ministry and imprisonment. He began to Preach and Baptize in the year of Christ 29, at the spring of that year or about Easter. Half a year after Iesus is baptized by him, about the Feast of Tabernacles. Till after the Feast of Tabernacles come twelve moneth, viz. in the Year of Christ 30, he is still abroad baptizing in Bethabara and Aenon: About October in that Year he is imprisoned, and so lieth in restraint till almost Easter twelve moneth, which was in the Year of Christ 32. And so his story is of three years space, the better half of which he preached at liberty, and the other half he lay in prison.

Herod upon the hearing of the fame of Iesus, is struck with horrour of conscience upon thought of the murder of Iohn: and if the leaven of Herod was Sadduceism, his horrour makes him deny his Sadducaicall principles, and to think that Iohn was Risen from the dead.


MATTH. Chap. XIV. from Ver. 13. to the end of the Chapter.JOHN Chap. VI. from beginning of Chap. to Ver. 22.MARK Chap. VI. from V. 30. to the end of the Chap.LUKE IX. from V. 10. to V. 18.

Five thousand fed miraculously: Christ walketh on the Sea.

ALl the four speak the same story of Christs miraculous feeding many thousands in a Desert: Mark and Matthew do plainly link this story to the preceding, as is con­spicuous to the eye of whosoever shall view in them the last verse of the foregoing Secti­on, and the first of this.

Iohns Disciples with the tidings of their Masters death, and Iesus Disciples from their Preaching abroad, came in to Iesus much about the same time: and it may be Iohns Disci­ples cleave to him and depart no more from him. Upon the tidings Iesus withdraws into a desart place, over the sea of Galilee, Joh. 6.1. not over to the other side beyond Iordan, but he coasted by Sea from one place to another on the same shore; namely from Caper­naum to the Desert of Bethsaida: for it is said, the people followed him afoot and came up to him: and when his Disciples return by Sea again, they are said to go over to Beth­saida, [Page 37] Mark 6.45. and from thence over to Capernaum, John 6.17. coasting still upon the same side.

Iohn in this story hath made mention of the Passeover neer at hand, vers. 4. because he only of all the four hath undertaken to give account of all the Passe­overs, betwixt Christs Baptism and his death,The third PASSE­OVER since Christs Baptisme. for the better reckoning of the time of his publick Ministry. It may be the coming on of the Passeover had brought all the Apostles in, to attend their Master thi­ther. They fail him at Capernaum his own City whither it is like he had appointed them to come in at such a time.

When Christ intends to feed the multitude, he propounds to Philip among all the Di­sciples, Where shall we buy bread? for this was in the Desert of Bethsaida, which was Phi­lips City, Iohn 1.44.

SECTION XLVIII. JOHN Chap. VI. from Ver. 22. to the end of the Chapter. Iesus teacheth in Capernaum Synagogue, concerning eating his flesh, &c.

THe first words in the Section, The day following, asserts the order.

Divers of those that had been fed by Christ miraculously in the Desert of Bethsaida, remained upon that ground all night, expecting Iesus to come again among them, who was departed away from them, but, as they saw, not with his Disciples; therefore they the next morning follow him to Capernaum, and there finde him. It was Synagogue day there, namely either the second or fifth day of the week, and in the Synagogue Christ speaketh of eating his flesh and drinking his blood, which seemeth a Doctrine so mon­strous to many, that divers that had followed him, do now depart from him.

What would these people have? They had been fed miraculously yesterday, and yet to day they say to him, What sign shewest thou that we may see and beleeve? ver. 30. Our fathers did eat manna in the desert, &c. ver. 31. They looked for a continued miraculous feeding as Moses fed Israel with Manna in the wildernesse: and to that the words of Christ referre, ver. 26. Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye ate of the loaves.

It is said, When they had seen the miracle that Iesus did, they said, This is of a truth the Prophet that should come into the world, and they went about to make him King, ver. 14, 15. They thought they saw in this miracle the sign of the Messias they looked for, who should feed his people miraculously as Moses had done, and therefore when they now require a sign to be still shewed in that nature, Christ tels them they must expect no other food to be provided for them by him, then his own flesh and blood: which sounds so coldly in some of their ears, that they will follow him no more.

SECTION XLIX. JOHN Chap. VII. Ver. 1. After these things Iesus walked in Galilee, for he would not walk in Iury, because the Iews sought to kill him.

BEtween the time of this Section and that preceding, we are to imagine the Passeover to have passed, of which there is mention, Iohn 6.4. So that after this passage in Capernaum Synagogue, Christ goeth up to the Passeover at Ierusalem, and there the Iews, that is the Sanhedrin sought to kill him. At the Passeover the last year they convented him before them, to answer for his violation of the Sabbath in healing the man at Be­thesda, Joh. 5. and he plainly affirms and proves himself to be the Messias, and he comes off with safety, but after what manner is not expressed.

But now the increase of his Disciples, the spreading of his fame and Doctrine by the preaching of the twelve, and it may be the example of the murdering of the Baptist, had so stirred them up to seek his life, that he perceiving it, gets away from Ierusalem into Galilee, and will not yet come into Iudea again.

SECTION L. MARK Chap. VII. all the Chapter. And Chap. VIII. from begin. to Ver. 22. MATTH. Chap. XV. all the Chap. And Ch. XVI. from the begin. to V. 13. Scribes and Pharisees impious traditions: The Woman of Canaans Daughter healed. A man Dumb and Deaf healed. Four thousand fed miraculously. Pharisees require a sign, &c. Leaven of Pharisees, &c.

THese two Evangelists joyn this portion to the end of Sect. 47. Now what we have laid between in Sect. 48. & 49. is of so plain subsequence and order, that no more needeth to be said of this or them.

Certain Scribes and Pharisees that were sent purposely from Ierusalem, [as may be conjectured, because the Sanhedrin there fought to destroy Iesus] seeking to intrap and oppose him, and to make a party against him, quarrell his Disciples for not wash­ing before meat. Their preciseness about this matter may be seen in Talmudich Treatise Iadaim, and in Maymony in his Tract Mikvaoth, and occursorily almost in every place in the Jewish Writers, where they have occasion to speak of their meales and of their manner of eating.

1. Washing of the hands or dipping of them, is of the institution of the Scribes: they are the words of Maymony in Mik [...]aoth, per. 11.

2. Hi [...]el and Sha [...]ma [...] [...]creed about washing the hands: But R. Iose the sonne of R. Ben saith, The tradition about it had come to their hands, but they had forgot it. These therefore decreed but according to the minde of those that had gone before them. Talm. Jerus. in Schabb. fol. 3. col. 4.

3. [...] The eating of their common meat in cleannesse, is very much spoken of in their Writings and most highly extolled: Insomuch that the Glosse upon Chagigah per. 2. doth define a man or Religion by this, that He eats his common meals in cleannesse: and the Gomarists in the place of the Ierusalem Talmud last cited have this say­ing, Whosoever hath his dwelling in the Land of Israel, and eats his common meals in clean­nesse, and speaks the holy tongue, and saies over his Phylacteries morning and evening, that men may be confident that he shall obtain the life of the world to come.

And again in Chal [...]ah fol. 58. col. 3. R. Iesi in the name of R. Shabeai and R. Chajash in the name of Simeon Ben Lachish say thus, A man should walk four miles to the washing of his hands. It is a tradition, that washing before meat is arbitrary, but after meat it is duty. Only that at his washing before, he saies over some prayer, but after, not. R. Iacob bar. R. Isaac, hereupon retorted, Doest thou say he washeth and saith over a prayer, and yet doest thou say that washing is arbitrary? It is said he should go four miles to the washing of his hands, and yet doest thou say it is arbitrary?

How they prized this and other traditions of the Elders above the Word of God, and so by and for them made that of no weight, may be read too numerously in them, in such like blasphemous passages as these: The words of the Scribes are more lovely then the words of the Law, and more weighty then the words of the Prophets.

And, He that saith there are no Phylacteries, and in so saying transgresseth against the words of the Law, he is not guilty: but he that saith there is five Phylacteries, and in so saying, addeth to the words of the Scribes, he is guilty. Je [...]us. Baracoth fol. 3. col. 2.

The written Law is narrow, but the traditionall is longer then the earth and broader then the sea. Tanchum. fol. 4. col. 4.

Our Saviour damning these cursed Traditions, doth instance only in that unnaturall tenet of theirs, that extinguisheth all filiall assistance to needy Parents: as if a son said to his father or mother, It is Corban, &c. Their Canons set down the duty of a son to his father, as, to give him meat and drink if he stood in need, and to cloath him, to wash his hands, feet and face, and if he needed, to lead him in and out. Tosapht. in Kiddushin per. 1. And yet with this superinduced Tradition, they destroyed all such duty. About the word Cor­ban, in the sense in which it is used here, the Talmudich Treatises, Nedarim and Nazir and the Tosaphtoth upon them, are good explications, where it is often used.

His resolving the case about meats not defiling the man, overthrew a great part of Pharisaism: for this washing before meat was meerly out of their Traditions, and it was a great part of their sanctimony. Moses indeed had forbidden divers things as unclean [Page 39] to be touched, and by the touching of which the person was legally defiled, but that with this reference, that he was unclean as to Gods service, or to the Congregation, but this pretenced uncleannesse of theirs, for which they appointed washing before meat, had re­spect simply neither to the one nor the other.

Christ to a Heathen woman that begged the dispossessing of her daughter, cals the Hea­thens Dogs, and she readily understands his meaning, as that being a common title that the Jews put upon them, Midr. Titt. fol. 6. col. 3. [...] The Nations of the world are compared to Dogs.

No sign given to the Pharisees when they demand one, but the sign of Ionah the Pro­phet: whereby Christ doth not only intimate his own buriall and resurrection, but he chiefly intendeth to hint the calling of the Gentiles after his resurrection, as the Nini­vites were after Ionahs, which was a thing the Jews could not endure to hear of.

SECTION LI. MARK Chap. VIII. Ver. 22, 23, 24, 25, 26. A blinde man restored to sight at Bethsaida.

MARKS authority warrants the connexion here: especially it being considered that in the preceding Section Christ and his Disciples are crossing over the Sea, and here they are arrived at Bethsaida. A journey by Sea thither they had, when Iesus fed the five thousand in Sect. 47. and now being come up to that place where that miracle was wrought, it was a strange construction the Disciples made of the words of their ma­ster, Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, when they thought he blamed them for not bringing bread: the very place where they were, might have confuted that misprision.

Christ openeth the eyes of a blinde man, but will not do it in Bethsaida, but leads the man out of the Town, nor will he suffer him to go into the Town when he is cured, nor to tell it there. He had a good while ago, as hath been said, denounced wo against Bethsai­da, Matth. 11.21. and for her perversnesse he will no more strive with her for her good: He had gathered out of her those that belonged to himself.


MATTH. Chap. XVI. from Ver. 13. to the end of the Chapter.MARK Chap. VIII. from Ver. 27. to the end of the Chapter. And Chap. IX. Ver. 1.LUKE Chap. IX. from Ver. 18. to Ve. 28.

The Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven given to Peter, &c.

MATTHEW and Mark establish the order.

Upon Peters confession that Iesus was The Christ the Sonne of the living God: 1. He promiseth to build his Church upon the Rock of that Truth, and the Rock confes­sed in it, from Isa. 28.16. Psal. 118.22, &c. 2. He promiseth the Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter only, of all the Apostles: meaning thereby, that he should be the man that should first unlock the door of faith, and of the Gospel unto the Gentiles, which was accomplished in Act. 10. And 3. he giveth him power of binding and loosing, and this power the other Disciples had common with him, Matth. 18.18.

Binding and loosing in the language and stile most familiarly known to the Jewish Nati­on [and it can little be doubted that Christ speaketh according to common and most fa­miliar sense of the language] did referre more properly to things then to persons: Therefore he saith, [...], and not [...]. And in Matth. 18.18. [...], not [...].

The phrase [...] To binde and to loose in their vulgar speech, meant, to pro­hibit and to permit, or to teach what is prohibited or permitted, what lawfull, what un­lawfull, as may appear by these instances; a few produced▪ whereas thousands might be alledged out of their Writings.

Talm. in Pesachim per. 4. halac. 5. Our wise men say that in Iudah they did w [...]rk on the Passeover eve till noon, but in Galilee not at all: And as for the night [...] The School of Shammai bound it ▪ that is, forbad to work on it, or taught that it was unlawfull: [...] but the School of Hillel loosed it till sun rising, or taught that it was lawfull to work till sun-rise.

[Page 40] Ierus. in Shabb. fol. 6. col. 1. They are speaking about washing in the Bathes of Tibe­rias on the Sabbath: And they determine how farre this was lawfull, in these words, [...] They bound washing to them, but they loosed sweat­ing: meaning, they taught that it was lawfull to go into the Bath to sweat, but not to bathe for pleasure.

Ibid. fol. 4. col. 1. They send not letters by the hand of a Gentile on the eve of the Sabbath, nor on the fifth day of the week: Nay on the fourth day of the week [...] The School of Shammai bound it [...] but the School of Hillel loosed it.

Ibid. fol. 7. col. 4. Women may not look in a Looking glasse on the Sabbath: But if it were fastned upon a wall [...] Rabbi loosed the looking into it, but the wise men bound it.

Id. in Jam. tobh. fol. 60. col. 1. R. Iochanan went from Tsipporis to Tiberias, he saith, Why brought ye to me this Elder [...] For what I loose he bindeth, and what I binde he looseth.

Maym. in Hhamets umatsah. per. 4. [...] The Scribes have bound leaven, that is, they have prohibited it.

Tanchum. fol. 1. col. 3. [...] They have upon ne­cessity loosed salvation on the Sabbath: that is, they have permitted it, or taught that it was lawfull.

Thousands of instances of this nature might be produced, by all which it is clear that the Jews use of the phrase was of their Doctors or learned mens teaching what was law­full and permitted, and what unlawfull and prohibited. Hence is that definition of such mens office and work, in Tosaphta ad Iebamoth per. 4. [...] A wise man that Iudgeth Iudgement, maketh unclean and maketh clean, bind­eth and looseth: that is, teacheth what is clean and unclean, what is permitted and prohi­bited. And Maymony in Sanhedr. per. 4. giving the relation of their ordaining of Elders, and to what severall imployments they were ordained, saith thus, A wise man that is fit to teach all the Law, the Consistory had power to ordain him, To Iudge, but not to teach Bound and loose, or power to teach Bound and loose, but not to judge in pecuniary matters: or power to both these, but not to judge in matters of mulct, &c. So that the Ordination of one to that Function which was more properly Ministeriall, or to teach the people their duty, as what was lawfull, what not, what they were to do, and what not to do, was to such a purpose, or in such a tenour as this, Take thou power to binde and loose, or to teach what is bound and loose, for they use both the expressions [...] and [...]

By this vulgar and onely sense of this phrase in the nation, the meaning of Christ using it thus to his Disciples, is easily understood; namely that he first doth instate them in a Ministeriall capacity to teach, what bound and loose, what to be done and what not, and this as Ministers, and thus all Ministers successively to the end of the world. But as they were Apostles of that singular and unparalleled order, as the like never in the Church again, he gives them power to binde and loose in a degree above all Ministers that were to follow: namely, that whereas some part of Moses Law was now to stand in practise, and some to be laid aside, some things under the Law prohibited, were now to be permitted, and some things then permitted, to be now prohibited, he promiseth the Apostles such assistance of his Spirit, and giveth them such power, that what they allowed to stand in practise should stand, and what to fall should fall: what they bound in earth should be bound in heaven, &c.


MATTH. Chap. XVII. from the beginning to Ver. 24.MARK Chap. IX. from Ver. 2. to Ver. 33.LUKE IX. from V. 28. to Ver. 46.

CHRIST transfigured. A devil cast out of a childe.

MATTHEW and Mark link this story to the preceding with this link, After six daies, &c. which Luke hath uttered, About an eight daies after, which is but the same in sense: Six daies compleat came between the day that Christ had spoken the words before and the day of his Transfiguration: So that the day of his Transfiguration was the eight day from the day when Christ said, There are some standing here that shall [Page 41] not taste of death till they have seen the Kingdom of God come with power.

This story o [...] Christs Transfigu [...]acion relateth to that prediction concerning the great Prophet, Deut. 18.18. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, &c. And it shall come to passe that whosoever will not hearken to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. A Prophet, that is, a succession of Prophets till the great Prophet should come who should seal Vision and Prophesie.

Christ had been sealed for the great Priest at his Baptisme, when entring into his Mini­stry at the same age that the Priests entered into their Office, he is attested from heaven, This is my wellbeloved Son in whom I am well pleased. He is sealed for the great Prophet here, by the like attestation from heaven, with the same words, This is my wellbeloved Son in whom I am well pleased, but withall it is added Hear him, answerable to those words, Who­soever will not hearken, &c. Deut. 18.19.

Moses the first Prophet had all his Oracles out of a Cloud: and the Cloud of Glory that lead Israel in the Wildernesse, departed at his death: think of that when you see a cloud here overshadowing and a Divine Oracle given out of it, at the sealing of the Pro­phet greater then he.

Moses was the first Prophet of the Jews, and Elias the first Prophet of the Gentiles, and they both now appear to attend their Master. Christ and the three Disciples were in this mount of his Transfiguration all night: for Luke saith, It came to passe the next day when they were come down, &c. ver. 37. Compare Christ transfigured and his face shining with the shining of Moses his face, and so compare that first Prophet and this great Pro­phet again together.

The Disciples that had authority and power given them over all devils, Luke 9.1. are not able here to cast one out: and their Master sheweth a double reason why, namely, because of their unbelief, and because that kinde went not out but by Fasting and Pray­er: Now, that their unbelief should be any more then it had been before [for they had cast out devils before this, Matth. 6.13.] it might seem strange, but that here were some concurrents towards that, more then they had met with before now: and that we may observe especially in these two things: 1. There were divers diseases, which in their own nature, were but naturall diseases, which yet the Jews did commonly repute as seizure and possessing by the devil, especially those that distempered the minde, or did in more speciall manner convulse the body: and according to this common language and con­ception of the Nation, the language of the Gospel doth speak exceeding frequently: Examples of this kinde of Dialect among the Jews we might produce divers: as that in Maym. in Gerushin. per. 2. A man which is troubled with an evil spirit, and saith when the sicknesse [ [...]] begins upon him, Write a bill of Divorcement to my wife, he saith as good as nothing, because he is not compos sui: And so likewise, a drunken man, when he comes neer the drunkennesse of Lot, &c. He calls this evil spirit [ [...] or] a sicknesse, and by it he means Lunacy or Distractednesse that had its lucida intervalla.

So the Jews speak of a man [...] that is possessed by Cordicus: which they interpret to be a spirit that seizeth on him that drinketh too much wine out of the winepresse. Talm in Gittin. per. 7. Vid. R. Sol. and Nissim ibi. And to spare more, because the story in hand is of a child, take but this example of an evil spirit which they conceived did seize upon children: [...] Shibta, say they, is an evil spirit that seizeth upon children by the neck, even upon the sinews behinde the neck, and drieth them up from their use and strength till it kill him. And the time of it is from the childes being two moneths old, and the danger of it is till the childe be seven years old. Aruch. in [...] Which seemeth to mean no­thing else but Convulsion fits or shrinking of sinews, or some such like thing, a naturall malady.

Now in this childe there were not only these fits of Convulsions or the Falling sickness and the like, but he was really possessed with the devil indeed. So that though the Disci­ples had healed severall persons of maladies, which the Jews in their language and con­ceptions called possessings with evil spirits, and the Evangelists speak their language, yet this is a subject to work upon of a further difficulty by far, the devil being bodily in this childe indeed. 2. Granting [for we dare not deny] that they had cast out devils in­deed before, yet this case carried some extraordinary matter in it above other times. They were then preaching up and down, and their Commission gave them power to cast out devils to confirm their Doctrine, but now they were not in that imployment. They were also now set upon by the Scribes and Pharisees, with a possessed person of an extra­ordinary [Page 42] example, as being possessed from an Infant, purposely that they might puzzle them, and that in the fairer opportunity, when their Master and three of the chief of their company, Peter and Iames and Iohn were absent. Therefore if by all these concur­rents of disadvantage, their faith were somewhat shaken, it is to be the lesse wondered at, by how much the more the case was more strange and unusuall to them, and they had not been put to such a triall before.

SECTION LIV. MATTH. Chap. XVII. Ver. 24, 25, 26, 27. CHRIST payeth money miraculously gotten.

MARKS words in the beginning of the next Section, laid to the first verse of this, will be evidence sufficient for the order of both.

Christ is demanded the half shekel that every Israelite was bound by the Law annually to pay for the redemption of his life, Exod. 30.13. The word [...] speaks that. Now the proper time of collecting that began a little before the Passeover, as we have obser­ved before out of the Treatise Shekalim. And though it were now almost half a year past the Passeover, yet is this the first time that Iesus had been at his own house in Capernaum, since the time of gathering that money had come in. This hal [...] shekel that every Israelite paid yearly, went to the repair of the Temple, and to the buying of things needfull for the service there; Christ paies his Church Duties, therefore here, though, as his own words argue, he being the Son of the great King for whom that Tribute was demanded, might have pleaded immunity: for Kings take Tribute of strangers, not of their own children. His paying it by a miraculous compassing of it out of a fishes mouth, sheweth at once his Divine power that could make all things serve his ends, and his great care to discharge his due paiments and to avoid offence; and withall, his poverty, when he is put to a Miracle for such a little summe of money, for he would not work Miracles where there was not need. His paying for Peter with him, was because he was of the same Town, and so was under the same demand of payment, and he knew that he was in the same want of money. The other Disciples were to pay in the places of their severall houses. When Ierusalem was destroyed by the Romanes, [...]. The Iewes were commanded to pay this half shekell yearly to Jupiter Capitolinus, Xiphilin. apud Dion. lib. 66. Ioseph. de Bell. lib. 7. cap. 27.


MARK Chap. IX. from V. 33. to the end of Chapt.MATTH. Chap. XVIII. all the Chapter.LUKE Chap. IX. from V. 46. to Ver. 51.

A dispute who greatest: One casting out Devils, and yet not following Christ: Dic Ecclesiae, &c.

THe order needeth no demonstration: The seeming difference between Matthew and Mark in the beginning of the Section needeth animadversion rather: Mark saith their dispute who should be greatest, was as they went in the way towards Caperna­um, and when Christ asked them at Aapernaum what their discourse had been, they held their peace. But Matthew saith, At the same time, namely while Christ was at Caper­naum, the Disciples came to him and asked him, Who is the greatest, &c. in which re­lation he briefly coucheth the two stories that Mark speaketh of into one, namely, their talking by the way who should be greatest, and this question coming before Christ.

It may be Christs so lately taking Peter and Iames and Iohn into the mount apart from the rest, gave occasion to this debate, which he determineth by setting a childe in the middest, &c. They that have held this childe to have been Ignatius in his infancy, who was afterward the Martyr, [as see Nicoph. lib. 2. c. 3. Baron. ad Annum Christi 71. Marg. de la Bign. in Ignat. in Biblioth. Patr. tom. 1.] sure did not well observe his own words, if they be his own, in his Epistle to the Church of Smyrna, [...]. And I do not only know that Christ is come in the flesh, by his being born and being cru­cified, [Page 43] but I saw him in the flesh after his resurrection. For so the Latine renders it, Vidi cum in carne: or be it, I knew him in the flesh after his resurrection, it may seem very strange, that he that was so very a childe as Christ to take him in his arms this year al­most at the feast of Tabernacles, and the next year at Easter, which was but within half a years space, to become so intelligent as to take notice of his being risen.

Upon Christs speaking of receiving those that come in his name, Iohn propounds a dubious case, of one that they had met with that went about indeed in his Name, and in his Name cast out devils, and yet would not own himself his Disciple, nor follow him: which raiseth to us a further scruple, How this man came to this miraculous power? for that it was so, and not Magicall exorcizing in the Name of Jesus, as divers enemies of the Gospel used afterward, may be gathered by Christs answer, who cals it doing a Mi­racle in his Name, and speaks of this man as not being against him but for him. Whether he did these Miracles in the Name of Messias or of Iesus we will not question: the ori­ginall of this power to him, we may resolve much into the same principle from whence Caiaphas prophesied, Ioh. 11.51. This he spake, not of himself, but being Highpriest that year he prophecied: There is an emphasis in That year: For now was the fulnesse of time, the year of expectation, and accomplishment of Vision and Prophesie, and the time of the powring out of the Spirit as never before: and if in that full meal of this provision that Christ had made for his own, some crums fell besides the table that others gathered up, or were partakers of, it doth the more magnifie the diffusion, and doth so much the more point out and give notice to observe the time. For Christ did so little leave himself without witnesse, and did give so clear evidence that this was the great and signall time spoken of by the Prophets in all generations, that Miracles wrought not only by himself and his Disciples, but even by the Jews own children, as Matth. 12.27. give abundant testimony to it.

Matthews text in this Section runs parallel with the other to ver. 10. and so farre the Reader may take them up together: then goeth he on with Christs speech and the story alone.

The number of a hundred divided into ninety nine and one, ver. 12. is according to the usuall and ordinary manner of the Jews speech, with whom this very division is very common.

Talm. in Peah. per. 4. halac. 1. & 2. When a man is dividing nuts among the poor, though ninety nine call on him to divide them, and one call on him to scatter them, to him they must hearken▪ With grapes and dates it is not so, though ninety nine call on him to scatter them, and one to divide them, to him they must hearken, &c.

Jerus. in Shab. fol. 14. col. 3. Rabh, and R. Chaiish Rabbah, both of them said, If ninety nine dye by an evil eye, and one by the hand of heaven. R. Chaninah and Samuel both of them said, If ninety nine die by cold and one by the hand of heaven, &c.

The rules that Christ giveth about dealing with an offending brother, were very well known in the Nation, and such as were practised, at least prescribed in their own Di­scipline.

1. Admonition privately betwixt the party offended and the party offending. Of such Maymony speaks in his Treatise Deah. per. 6.

2. Admonition, two witnesses being present. Jerus. in Joma fol. 45. col. 3. He that sinneth against his fellow, it is necessary that he say unto him, I have offended against thee. If he receive him, well: If not, he must bring two men and appease him before them, &c. Only Christ rai­seth his lesson to a higher charity, namely for the offended party to try the amendment of the offending. So the jealous husband admonisht his wife before two. Setah. per. 1. and the Sanhedrin by two Scholars of the wife admonished an Israelitish City that fell to Idolatry, before they made warre upon it. Maym. in Avedah Zarah. per. 4.

3. If he will not hear them, tell the Church. They used the open proclaiming of an in­corrigible person in the Synagogue, A woman that is rebellious against her husband, that she may vex him, and saies, Behold I will thus vex him because he did so and so to me: they send to her from the Iudicatory or Bench, and say to her, Know thou that if thou persist in thy rebelliousnesse, though thy Ioynture be a hundred pound, thou hast forfeited it; and after­ward they make Proclamation concerning her in the Synagogues and in the Schooles every day for four Sabbaths together, saying, Such a woman rebels against her husband, &c. May­mony in [...] per. 14. And likewise Ibid. cap. 12. If a man will not provide for his chil­dren, they rebuke him, and shame him, and are urgent with him; and if yet he will not, they [Page 44] proclaim him in the Synagogue saying, Such a one is cruell and will not nourish his children, &c. Here was telling the Church, by open Proclamation.

SECTION LVI. JOHN Chap. VII. from Ver. 2. to Ver. 10. The Feast of Tabernacles.

CHRIST. XXXIII MATTHEW and MARK both relate that when Iesus had ended these sayings, which are contained in the preceding Section, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Iudea beyond Iordan, Matth. 19.1. Mark 10.1. which is not to be understood as if he de­parted thither presently, but they say no more of his actions till his departure thither: and so passe over almost half a years story in silence, which Luke and Iohn do make up. These bring Iesus out of Galilee beyond Iordan, and presently back to Ierusalem to his passion: but these as we shall see, bring him twice to Ierusalem, before his last coming up, namely this to the feast of Tabernacles, and another to the Feast of Dedication.

The Brethren, that is, the kinsmen of Iesus urge him to go up to the feast of Tabernacles, that his Disciples in Iudea might see his works, ver. 3. remember here Ioh. 3.22. & 4.1. His brethren themselves beleeved not on him, ver. 5. and that the rather, because they thought his privacy that he desired to keep in, was not answerable to the port and state of the Messias: therefore they desire that he would appear in the power of his miracles in Iudea the center of the Nation, that if he were the Messias, he might carry it out there, as they expected the Messias should do.

SECTION LVII. LUKE Chap. IX. from Ver. 51. to the end of the Chapter. JOHN Chap. VII. Ver. 10. CHRIST going toward the Feast of Tabernacles.

THat this journey of Christ toward Ierusalem that Luke speaketh of in this Section, is the same with this in Iohn, namely his going up to the Feast of Tabernacles, is plain by this, that Luke mentioneth two journeys of his to Ierusalem more; namely in Chap. 13.22. which was to the Feast of Dedication, and Chap. 17.11. which was to the Passeover and his Passion.

The words of Luke then, When the time was come that he should be received up, he sted­fastly set his face to go to Hierusalem, mean, that now being come within half a year of the time of his death, he resolved to be more constant at Ierusalem then he had been; having avoided the place and country, once and again, because the Jews sought to kill him.

The stories of severall men in this Section, that take upon them to follow Christ, but they had something else to do first, have been spoken to before, at Sect. 38.

SECTION LVIII. LUKE Chap. X. from the beginning to Ver. 17. The seventy Disciples sent forth.

AS to the order of this story, First, It is to be observed, that Luke saith, It was after these things mentioned in the former Section; that is, after Christ was set out from Galilee towards the feast of Tabernacles. Secondly, that it is said Ioh. 7.10. That Iesus went up to that Feast, not openly, but as it were in secret, whereupon it may be concluded, that he had dispatched the seventy Disciples away before he came there. He giveth them the same instructions that he had given the twelve, and the same power to heal the sick: only whereas the twelve went at large to any of the Cities of Israel, these were to go to those places where Christ himself should come, to make way for him, and to prepare the places for the receiving of him against he came: so that now Christ disposeth for the full reveal­ing of himself for the Messias, the Seventy beforehand proclaiming him and preaching in his Name, and he afterward coming and shewing himself to be he of whom they preach­ed. The numbers 12, and 70, cannot but recall to minde the twelve Tribes and the se­venty Elders of Israel. These Seventy were but a little while abroad [for thirty five couples would soon dispatch a great deal of work:] and they return again to their [Page 45] Master before he departs from Ierusalem, Luk. 10.17, 38.

He again accuseth Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum, which he had done before at Sect. 32. for having at any time occasion to speak of contempt of the Gospel, they may justly be introduced as having the most tender of it, and yet despised it.

SECTION LIX. JOHN Chap. VII. from Ver. II, to the end of the Chapter. CHRIST, at the Feast of Tabernacles.

THe pregnancy of the order here, speaks it self: In the two preceding Sections, Iesus was in the way up to the Feast, and now he is come there.

Now is the year of the World 3960, and the year of Christ ▪ 33 begun: both entring in this very moneth in which the Feast of Tabernacles was. The great year of the world, the fullnesse of time, the year of redemption and powring down of the Spirit. It was indeed the year of Jubilee, however the Jews would jumble their account [as see Maymon. in Shemittah veiobel. per. 10.] whether ignorantly or wilfully let them look to it. For count from the 7th year of the rule of Ioshua, when the warres of Canaan ended, and Jubilees be­gan, and you have 1400 years to this present year that we are upon, just eight and twen­ty Jubilees: this year the last that Israel must ever see. It is the confession of Zohar in Lev. 25. that the Divine glory should be freedom and redemption in a year of Iubilee. Com­pare the sending out of the seventy Disciples neer upon the very instant when this Jubilee began, with the sounding of the Trumpet for the proclaiming of the Jubilee, Lev. 25.9. and there is a fair equity and unanswerablenesse to that type, in that very thing.

From this Feast of Tabernacles to the Passeover at which time Christ suffered, was that last half year, of the last half seven mentioned Dan. 9. which compare with the last half year of Israels being in Egypt, in which time Moses did his miracles, and which ended also at the Passeover.

Among the many varieties of solemnity and festivity used at the Feast of Tabernacles, of which we have given account at large in another volume, there was the powring out of water fetched out of the fountain Siloam, with the wine of the drink-offering, and at night their most transportant joyfulnesse, expressed by their singing, dancing and the like jocund gestures, for that powring out of water: which by some, in Ierus. succah, fol. 55. col. 1. is interpreted to signifie the powring out of the holy Ghost: The consideration of this illustrates ver. 37, 38. where it is said, that on the last and great day of the Feast, Iesus cried, If any thirst, &c. He that beleeveth on me, out of his belly shall flow rivers of water, &c. Upon which words many beleeved him, because they had seen already so fair evidence of the gifts of the Spirit, in the powerfull works of himself and his Disciples: and yet the text saith here, The holy Ghost was not yet given, because Iesus was not yet glorified: a far greater gift of that being yet behind.

The Sanhedrin would fain have been medling with him to have tried him for a false Prophet, as may be gathered from their words ver. 52. but his hour was not yet come.

JOHN Chap. VIII. A woman taken in Adultery, &c.

IT is said in the conclusion of the former Chapter, that every one [of the Sanhedrin] went home, and here, Iesus went into the mount of Olives: which joyns the story plain enough. Not that he lodged in mount Olivet in the open fields, but that he went to Bethany, and lodged in the house of Lazarus, of which we shall finde confirmation in the next Section.

In the morning he comes to the Temple, and in the treasury, or the Court of the wo­men, he sitteth down, and teacheth the people: For it was the custom for the Teachers of the people to sit when they taught, and those that were taught to stand about them. As he thus sits teaching, the Scribes and Pharisees bring a woman to him taken in the act of Adultery, &c.

The Syriack wants this story: and Beza doubts it [a man alwayes ready to suspect the text] because of the strangenesse of Christs action, writing with his finger on the ground. Mihi ut ingenuè loquar [saith he] vel ob hunc ipsum locum suspecta est haec historia. Whereas it speaks the style of Iohn thoroughout, and the demeanour of the Scribes and Pharisees, and of Christ most consonantly to their carriage all along the Gospel. The [Page 46] snare that they laid for him in this matter, was various. That he should condemn the adul­teresse, but where was the adulterer? why brought they not him too? If he condemned her, he seemed to assume Judiciall power: if he condemned her not, he seemed a contem­er of the Law. But he in his divine wisdom used such a mean, as condemned their base­nesse, and confounded their machination against him. His writing with his finger upon the ground, may rather be construed from allusion to Numb. 5.23. or from Ier. 17.13. or from a passage in Tal. Ierus. in Megillah. fol. 74. col. 2. or from severall other illustra­tions, then for that action toughly and rudely to deny the authenticknesse of the story. The censuring and judging of this woman, belonged to a Judiciall bench at the least of twenty three Judges, and it would have carried a fair accusation against him, had he gone about to judge in such a matter. The woman was espoused and not yet married, as see Deut. 22.24. for their Judicials punished him that lay with an espoused maid, with sto­ning, Sanhedr. per. 7 halac. 4. but him that lay with a married wife, with strangling, Ibid. per. 11. halac. 1.

Christs words at ver. 25. I am even the same that I said to you from the beginning, refer to his open and manifest asserting himself for the Messia a year and a half ago before the San­hedrin, Joh. 5.

Their words to him, ver. 57. Thou art not yet fifty years old, mean, Thou art not yet come within the compasse of old age, no not to the first skirts of it, for fifty years was the be­ginning of superannuation to the Levites at the Temple, Numb. 4. and the Jews had a common opinion, that whosoever died before fifty, or at least fifty two, died untimely, and as it were by cutting off.

SECTION LX. LUKE Ch. X. from Ver. 17. to the end of the Chapter. And Chap. XI, and XII, and XIII, to Ver. 17.

THe observing of the beginning and end of this Section, will cleer the subsequence of this to the preceding, and the order of all the stories comprehended in it. It begins with the seventy Disciples returning from the imployment upon which their Master had sent them. Now that they returned to him at Ierusalem whither he was gone to the Feast of Tabernacles, appears by this, that after they are come up to him, he is in Bethany in the house of Mary and Martha, Luk. 10.38, 39.

The Section ends with this relation, And he went through the Cities and villages teaching and journeying towards Ierusalem, Luk. 13.22. So that in Chap. 10.17. he is at Ierusalem, having come thither to the Feast of Tabernacles, And in Chap. 13.22. He hath been a­broad and is now travelling up to Ierusalem again to the Feast of Dedication. Therefore this whole Section is the story of his actions from the one Feast to the other.

Chap. X. Upon the Disciples relating that the Devils were subject to them in his Name, he answers, I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightening. Which referreth partly to his death shortly to be, by which Satan was overthrown, and partly [if Heaven mean the Church of the Iews, and the state of Religion there as it means not seldome] to the power of the Gospel this very year and forward, among them, casting him out. With these words of Christ, and the consideration of the time they refer to, we may fitly com­pare severall places which give and receive light mutually with it: As Matth. 12.45. where Satan cast out of this nation returns again, 1 Cor. 6.3. Rev. 12.9. & Rev. 20.1, 2, &c.

Unto a Lawyer Christ defineth who is a Neighbour, by the Parable of the wounded man and the good Samaritan, vastly differing from the doctrine of the Pharisees in that case. Take these two or three assertions of their own Schools for some illustration of this Parable.

1. They accounted none under the terme Brother, but an Israelite by blood, and none under the terme Neighbour, but those that were come in to their Religion. Aruch in voce [...]. By using the word Neighbour are excluded all the Heathen. Maym. in Retseah per. 2. An Israelite that slayeth a stranger sojourning among them, is not to be put to death by the Sanhedrin for it, because it is said, If a man come presumptuously upon his Neighbour: By which it is apparent they accounted not such a one a Neighbour.

2. They have this bloody and desperate tenet: Hereticks, that is, Israelites that follow Idolatry, or such as commit provoking transgressions, as to eat a carcasse, or to wear linsey-woolsey for provocation, this is an Heretick. And Epicureans, which are such Israelites as [Page 47] deny the Law and Prophets, it is commanded that a man kill them if he have power in his hand to kill them; and he may boldly kill them with the sword: but if he cannot, he shall subtilly come about them till he can compasse their death. As if he see one of them fallen into a well, and there was a ladder in the well before, let him take it up and say, I must needs use it to fetch my sonne from the top of the house, and then I will bring it thee again. But Heathens betwixt whom and us there is not warre, as also the feeders of small cattell of Israel, and such like, we may not compasse their death; but it is forbidden to deliver them, if they be in danger of death. [Observe this] As if one see one of them fall into the Sea, he shall not fetch him up, for it is said, Thou shalt not stand up against the blood of thy Neighbour. But such a one is not thy Neighbour.

3. Of all other people of the world they abhorred Samaritans, as appeareth by Ioh. 4.9 & 8.43. and by exceeding many expressions to that purpose in their own writings: and therefore our Saviour urging for cleer and free charity in this Parable, exemplifieth in a Samaritan the unlikeliest man in the world to do any charitable office for a Jew: and he a neighbour, though so remo [...]e in blood, religion and converse.

Christ is at Bethany, ver. 30. in the house of Mary and Martha. Martha was an usuall womans name in the nation Ioshua the sonne of Gamla married Martha the daughter of Baithus, Iuchas. fol. 57. Abba the sonne of Martha. Id. fol. 72. and Aruch in [...]. Isaac bar Shemuel, bar Martha. Jerus. in Shab. fol. 3. col. 4, &c. And now let the Reader cast his eye back from hence, and calculate, when or how it was, that Christ came so acquain­ted with this family, and he will finde no time or occasion so likely, as when the woman-sinner washed his feet, Luk. 7. which we proved there was Mary, the sister of Lazarus, who was also called Magdalen.

Chap. XI. ver. 2. The Lords prayer rehearsed: Christ had taught it, almost a year and a half ago, in his Sermon in the mount, and now being desired to teach them to pray, he gives the same again. They that deny this for a form of prayer to be used, either know not, or consider not, what kind of prayers the eminent men among the Jews taught them: Iohn had taught his to pray, after the same manner and use of the nation; and Christ being desired to teach his Disciples as Iohn had taught his, rehearseth this form which he had given before. They that again deny this Prayer is to be used by any but reall Saints, because, as they say, none but such can call God Our father; either know not or consider not, how usuall this compellation was among the nation in their devotions, and Christ speaketh constantly according to the common and most usuall language of the country.

At ver. 14. and forward, there is a story of casting out a Devil, so like that in Sect. 35. the Jews cavill, and our Saviours words about it are the very same: and yet the current of the history evinceth them for two severall stories: for as the Jews alwayes carried the same malicious construction of his miracles, so doth he justly alwayes return them the same answer, as hath been observed already.

At ver. 27. there is a link that chains the time and stories, As he spake these things: and another at ver. 29. if compared with ver. 16. and again at ver. 37. where his denouncing wo against the Pharisees, although it be much the same for sense with that in Matth. 23. yet that they were uttered at two severall times and upon two severall occasions, will ap­pear by that time that we come to that Chapter.

In Chap. XII. He rehearseth many things that he had spoken before: the same doctrine being needfull to be inculcated over and over, though to the same audience: much more when new auditors were still coming in. Therefore Christ towards his latter end, did like Moses, making his Deuteronomium rehearse the doctrine that he had taught before.

Chap. XIII. The first verse beareth this link of connexion, and continuance of story; There were present at that season, &c. Pilates bloody act in mingling some Galileans blood with their sacrifices, cannot be looked for so properly in any place, as at the Temple. Iose­phus his story in Antiq. lib. 18. cap. 5. is farre from it. Siloam was in the middest of the City, Ierus. in Chagigah▪ fol. 76. col. 1. a place of great concourse, where the fall of the Tower slew eigteen men.

SECTION LXI. JOHN Chap. IX, and Chap. X. all the Chapters. A blind man from his birth healed. Christ the good shepherd: The Feast of Dedication.

THat this healing of the blind man was at Ierusalem, appeareth by this, that Christ sends him to the pool of Siloam to wash, ver. 7. which lay upon the western part of the Ci­ty. For Christ was now come up to the Feast of Dedication, Chap. 10.22. so that this cleers the order and time.

He cures blind eyes on the Sabbath, by putting clay upon them made of his spittle, a ready way one would have thought to have put seeing eyes out. Maym. in Shabb. per. 21. Fasting spittle is forbidden to be put so much as upon the eye on the Sabbath.

Maladies of children that were extraordinary, the Jews did very much ascribe to some sinne of the parents: and the traditionaries used this conceit as a means to awe men to the observance of their traditions. So they conceit of this man. Chap. 9.2, 34. Thou wast altogether born in sinnes. We alledged before, their fancie about Shibta an evil spirit that seized upon children by the neck and shrunk up their sinews: And whence, say they comes this? And they give this answer. If the mother come from the house of office and give the child suck presently, &c. A fetch meerly to awe women to wash after such occasions, and to put the more repute upon their traditions about washings.

The man upon whom the miracle is wrought taketh Jesus to be a Prophet upon it, but as yet doth not know him for Messias. ver. 17. And when he saith to the Jews, Will ye al­so be his Disciples? ver. 27. he speaketh it seriously and from a good heart, urging them to own him for a Prophet as he did: And when he was vehement with them in this pious asserting, they cast him out of the Synagogue. For they had agreed already, that if any man did confesse that he was the Messias, he should be cast out of the Synagogue, ver. 22. A passage very well worth observing, both towards some discovery of the nature of their excommu­nication, and for illustration of severall matters in this divine history.

Chap. X. CHRIST from Ezek. 34. and Zech. 11. asserteth himself the great Shepherd, and condemneth the evil shepheards that undid the flock: especially the three that his soul loathed, Zech. 11.8. The Pharisees, Sadduces and Esseans: He feeding his flock with two shepherds s [...]aves, called Beauty and Bands; at the last breaketh them: His staff Beauty, dissolving the Covenant of peculiarity, once made with Israel, by which they alone were his people, but that peculiarity now gone, and the Gentiles taken in. And his staff Bands, dissolving the brotherhood twixt Israel and Iudah, that now there is a difference betwixt a true Israel [...]te and a Jew; and Israelites owning Christ, and they that own him not are no more brethren.

It was at Ierusalem the feast of the Dedication, ver. 22. Vnder the second Temple when the Grecian Kings decreed decrees against Israel, and abolished their Law, and suffered them not to practise the Law and Commandments, and laid their hands upon their goods and upon their daughters, and went into the Temple and made breaches in it, and defiled the pure things, and Israel was in exceeding great straits because of them, and they afflicted them with great affli­ction, until the Lord God of their fathers had pitty on them, and delivered them out of their hand: and the Asmenian high Priests prevailed against them, and slew them, and delivered Israel out of their hands: and set up a King of the Priests, and the Kingdom returned to Is­rael more then two hundred years, even to the second destruction: And when Israel prevailed against their enemies and slew them, it was the five and twentieth day of the moneth Cisleu: and they went into the Temple, and found not of pure oyl in the Sanctuary but only one bottle, and there was not in it so much as to light above one day: yet they lighted the lamps with it for eight dayes, until they had beaten their Olives and got pure oyl. And because of this, the wise men that were in that generation, ordained that those eight dayes, beginning from the 25th of Cisleu, should be dayes of rejoycing and thankesgiving: and they light up candles on them in the even­ing at the doors of their houses, every night of the eight, for the declaring and setting forth of that miracle: and those dayes are called The Dedication, &c. Maym. in Chanuchah. per. 1. See 1 Maccab. 4.59. These eight dayes of Cisleu fell about the middle of our December. And so by this intimation Iohn hath kept the clock of time going, that we may tell how the story goes. Since Christs being at the Feast of Tabernacles hitherto, was about two months and somewhat more.

The three last verses of this tenth Chapter, which mention Christs going beyond Iordan, [Page 49] speak the same thing with Matth. 19.1. and Mark. 10.1. and might very properly be set collaterall with those texts, but since it was somewhat long after Christs departure from Ierusalem to his arrivall beyond Iordan, these may be taken in here, and understood, as spoken of his setting forth from Ierusalem, and shewing whither he intended to go.

SECTION LXII. LUKE Chap. XIII. Ver. 23. to the end of the Chapter. And Chap. XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, to Ver. 15.

THe order here is somewhat obscure, and that especially from these two things. 1. Be­cause of the first verse of all the Section, which may seem to be linked to the time of the verse preceding it in Luke. He went thorow the Cities and villages teaching and journey­ing towards Ierusalem. Then said one to him, &c. 2. Because of that passage in Chap. 17.11. And it came to passe as he went to Ierusalem, he passed thorow the mids of Samaria and Gali­lee, which might seem to be the same journey with that Chap. 13.22. and that all the oc­currences in these Chapters were in that journey.

But for the proof and cleering of the order, to be as we have laid it, these things are to be observed. 1. That this story wherewithall this Section beginneth, One said to him Lord, Are few to be saved? &c. was on the same day that he crieth out, O Ierusalem, Ie­rusalem, &c. ver. 31, 34. Now that this was when Christ was no more to come up to Ie­rusalem till his last coming up thither, is evident from his words, ver. 35. Ye shall no more see me till the time when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the Name of the Lord: So that this was after his coming up to the Feast of Dedication. And those words were spo­ken, whilest he was yet at Ierusalem, before he went away thence from that Feast to go beyond Iordan: The word Then therefore wherewith this Section beginneth in our Eng­lish tran [...]lation, doth not enforce the necessary conjunction of the times, for in the Ori­ginall it is not [...] but [...]. 2. Whereas it is said, in Chap. 17.11. That as he went to Ieru­salem, he passed through Samaria and Galilee, it is to be understood of his last journey thither: and the manner of expression doth help to confirm our order, as we shall see there. Herod was now at Ierusalem, as compare ver. 31, & 34. and it may be, he being Ruler of Galilee, had helped forward the death of these Galileans whom Pilate had slain as they were sacrificing: and an intimation of such like danger from him is given Iesus: And this may be conceived one cause that sets him out of the City, and to go be­yond Iordan, which is recorded in the last verses of the preceding Section, Ioh. 10.40. and how the order of story is to be cast in the readers thoughts it is easie to see. Christ being at the Feast of Dedication at Ierusalem, one comes and asks him, Lord, are few to be sa­ved? Luk. 13.23. And the same day, ver. 31. some Pharisees tell him of danger from Herod. He answers, that it was true indeed that he was to die at Ierusalem, for a Prophet could not be tried but by the great Council there [Talm. in Sanhedr. per. 11.] but he had yet some time to walk and work miracles before, and so he goes away from Ierusalem.

Chap. XIV. He healeth the Dropsie on the Sabbath, and pleadeth the lawfullnesse of the action, from their own pity to their beasts, to pull them out of a pit on the Sabbath. of which Maym. in Schabb. Per. 25.

R. Abuhabh in praesat. ad Ner. 7. hath a Parable somewhat like that passage at ver. 8. and forward. Three men, saith he, were bidden to a feast, A Prince, a wise man, and an humble man: The Prince sate highest, next him the wise man, and the humble man lowest. The King observed it, and asked the Prince, why sittest thou highest? He said, Because I am a Prince. To the wise man, Why sittest thou next? He said, Because I am a wise man. And to the humble man, Why sittest thou lowest? Because I am humble. The King seated the humble man highest, and the wise man still in his place, and the Prince lowest.

Chap XV. By three eminent and feeling Parables, is set forth Gods readinesse to re­ceive sinners, &c. in the last of which is a cleer intimation of the calling of the Gentiles.

Chap. XVI. The Parable of the unjust steward, of the rich man and Lazarus, from Psal. 49. Lazer is used constantly in the Jerus. Talm. for Eleazer. The word signifies God help me, or God is my help, a fit name under which to personate a begger. Ahrahams bosome, a phrase used by the Jews. That day that Rabbi died, R. Ada ben Ahava said, This day he sits in Abrahams bosome, Juchasin fol. 77. col. 4. That the tongue of the damned in hell thirsts for water, as ver. 24. is also their conception. Talm. Ierus. in Chagigah. fol. 77. col. 4. is relating a story of a good man and a bad man that died: And the good [Page 50] man [...], had no buriall rites, but the bad man had. Afterward one in a vision saw the good man walking in gardens, and among pleasant fountains of waters: but the bad neer a river, and his tongue reach after water, but could not reach it.

Chap. XVII. At ver. 11. it is said, As he went through Ierusalem, he passed through Sama­ria and Galilee. This meaneth his last journey thither; but the expression is somewhat strange: Had it been as he went to Ierusalem he passed through Galilee and Samaria, this had set his face towards Ierusalem: but uttered as it is, it seems to set his back upon it: But by this passage the Evangelist helpeth to explain what Iohn and the other Evangelists speak of his journey from Ierusalem beyond Iordan,namely that he went not to Iericho, and so the next way to the next place beyond Iordan, but that he went through Sama­ria up into Galilee, and there crossed over Iordan to Bethabara, which was over against Galilee.

From ver. 20. and forward, there is a speech of Christ much like that in Matth. 24. which still giveth us occasion to observe how Christ rehearsed things over and over.

Chap. XVIII. By two Parables he sheweth the needfullnesse and efficacy of fervency, constancy and humility in prayer. In the Pharisees prayer ver. 11. we may observe what kinde of faith in God the Judaich faith was. He waited for good from God, but ground­ed this in himself, because of his own righteousnesse. But in the Gospel the righteousnesse of God is revealed, and that from faith to faith. In the Publicans posture in his prayer, two of their Canonicall gestures in prayer are exhibited; standing and looking downward. Maym. in Deah per. 7. [...] A scholer of the wise must look downward when he stands praying. The Pharisees fasting twice a week, may be explained from Ierus. Taanith fol. 64.3. & Maym. Taanith per. 1.

SECTION LXIII. MATTH. Chap. XIX. from the beginning to Ver. 13. MARK Chap. X. from the beginning to Ver. 13. CHRIST beyond Iordan. Concerning Divorce.

MATTHEW saith, When Iesus had finished these sayings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Iudea beyond Iordan. Which sayings that he speaketh of, were finished a long while ago, at Sect. 55. but because he setteth down nothing betwixt that time and this journey over Iordan, therefore he thus joyneth their stories together: The time and actions that he hath omitted, we have seen how Luke and Iohn have sup­plied.

Were there any Coasts of Iudea beyond Iordan? Either the conjunction And is to be un­derstood, He came into the coasts of Iudea and beyond Iordan, as it is understood Psal. 133.3. Acts 7.16, &c. or by Fines Iudaeae trans Iordanem, is meant Fines Iudaeorum, because the Syrians also dwelt in the coasts beyond Iordan.

Moses at the very same instant of time gave a Law to put an adulterous wife to death, Deut. 22.22. and a Law to divorce her, Deut. 24.1. in the former shewing the desert of the fact, in the latter permitting to mitigate of the rigour of that Law, and as our Saviour here interprets it, to prevent those cruel effects that their hardnesse of heart might have produced, had there been no mitigation. They brag of that Law of divorce as if favoured them as a peculiar priviledge. Ierus. kiddushen fol. 58.3. R. Chaijah Rabbah said, Divorces are not granted to the nations of the world, meaning not to the Gentiles as they were to the Jews: whereas truth here informs us, that it was permitted only because of the hardnesse of their hearts and to avoid greater mischief. When permission of divorce was given, after a Law to punish adultery with death, for a mitigation of it, it requires most serious weigh­ing, whether a Law to punish adultery with death should be undispensable now, after the Law of divorce given, and continued by our Saviour in case of fornication.


MATTH. Chap. XIX. from Ver. 13. to the end of the Chapt.MARK Chap. X. from Ver. 13. to Ver. 32.LUKE Chap. XVIII. from Ver. 15. to Ver. 31.

INFANTS brought to Christ. A rich man departs sorrowfull.

MATTHEW and Mark do evidence the order, and as Luke had helped out their briefnesse before, so do they now also again help us out about his order.

Whose children were these that were brought to Christ? Not unbeleevers doubtlesse, but the children of some that professed Christ: Why did they bring them? Not to be healed of any disease doubtlesse, for then the Disciples would not have been angry at their coming: for why at theirs, more then at all others, that had come for that end? Their bringing therefore must needs be concluded to be in the name of Disciples, and that Christ would so receive them and blesse them: And so he doth, and asserteth them for Disciples, and to whom the Kingdom of heaven belonged; taking the Kingdom of heaven in the common acceptation of the Gospel.

Observe Mark 10.19, &c. that mention being made by Christ of the Commandments, as if he spake of the whole Law, yet he instanceth only in the second table. And see the like again, Rom. 13.8, &c. Iames 2.8, 9, 10, &c. The demeanour of men toward the se­cond table is a sure triall how they stand to the first.

It is easier for a Camell to go through the eye of a needle. An expression common in the Nation. Talm. Bava meria fol. 38. facie 2. It may be thou art of Pumbeditha where they can bring an Elephant through the eye of a needle.

SECTION LXV. MATTH. Chap. XX. from the beginning to Ver. 17. Labourers in the Vineyard, &c.

THe first word For makes plain the order and connexion, joyning this speech to that before.

The Ierus. Talm. in Beracoth hath a Parable somewhat like to this, but wildly applied to a far different purpose: A King hired many workmen, and there was one of them hired for his work, for more then what was enough: What did the King? He took him and walked with him up and down. At the time of the evening the workmen came to receive their wages, and he also gave him his full wages with them. The workmen repined and said, We have laboured all the day and this man laboured but two hours, and thou hast given him full wages with us: The King said to them, This man hath laboured more in two hours then you have done all day. So R. Bon laboured more in the Law in twenty nine years, then another in a hun­dred, &c. fol. 5.

SECTION LXVI. JOHN Chap. XI. from the beginning to Ver. 17. Tidings come to Christ of Lazarus sicknesse.

AT Sect. 63. Christ goeth beyond Iordan: the occasion of his coming back, was the message of Mary and Martha to him, to desire his help to their sick brother: The story of this therefore is necessary to be related before the story of his coming thence, which is the next thing that the other three Evangelists fall upon, after they have done with what is set down in the preceding Sections.

The words of the second verse, It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with oynt­ment, and wiped his feet with her hair, are most generally construed as pointing to that story in the next Chapter, Ioh. 12.3. Then took Mary a pound of oyntment of Spikenard very costly, and anointed the feet of Iesus, and wiped his feet with her hair ▪ Which seemeth very improper and unconsonant upon these reasons. 1. To what purpose should Iohn use such an anticipation? It was neither materiall to the story that he was entring on, Chap. 11. to tell that Mary anoynted Christs feet a good while after he had raised her brother: [Page 52] nor was it any other then needlesse to bring in the mention of it here, since he was to give the full story of it in the next Chapter. 2. The word [...] is of such a tense as doth properly denote an action past, and is so to be rendred, if it be rendred in its just propriety, It was Mary which had anointed. 3. Whereas no reason can be given why Iohn should anticipate it here, if he meant it of an anointing that was yet to come, a plain and satisfactory reason may be given, why he speaks of it here, as referring to an anoin­ting past, namely because he would shew what acquaintance and interest Mary had with Christ, which did imbolden her to send to him about her sick brother, for she had wash­ed and anointed his feet heretofore. The words of Iohn therefore point at an action past, and indeed they point at that story of the woman-sinner washing the feet of Christ with [...]ears, and anointing them with ointment, and wiping them with her hairs, Luke 7. It is true indeed that Iohn who useth these words that we are upon, had not spoken of any such anointing before, whereunto to refer you in his own Gospel, but the passage was so well and renownedly known and recorded by Luke before, that he relateth to it as to a thing of most famous notice and memoriall.


LUKE Chap. XVIII. Ver. 31, 32, 33, 34.MARK Chap. X. Ver. 32, 33, 34.MATTH. Chap. XX. Ver. 17, 18, 19.

CHRIST foretelleth his suffering.

THe message from Mary and Martha, about their sick brother, inviteth Christ from beyond Iordan into Iudea again. He staies two daies after he had received the message in the same place where the messenger found him, and in the story of this Section he is set forward. And being now upon his last journey to Ierusalem he foretelleth to his Di­sciples what should become of him there: They followed him with fear and amazement before, foreseeing that he went upon his own danger, and yet when he had spoken the thing out to them at the full they understood him not.

SECTION LXVIII. MATTH. Chap. XX. from Ver. 20. to Ver. 29. MARK Chap. X. from Ver. 35. to Ver. 46. The request of Zebedees sons. They are told of their Martyrdom.

THe order is plain of it self: and yet the connexion is somewhat strange: for in the last words before, Christ had foretold of his death, yet the sons of Zebedee here de­sire to sit on his right hand and left in his Kingdom. Galatius resolves it thus, Discipuli in errore aliquando fuerunt, credentes Christum illicò post resurrectionem terreni regni sceptro potiturum: unde & quidam eorum, super caeteros primatum ambientes, &c. The Disciples sometimes were mistaken, conceiving that Christ presently after his resurrection should obtain the scepter of an earthly Kingdom, whereupon some of them ambitious of priority above the rest, desired to sit on his right hand and left, &c. lib. 4. cap. 1. It is true indeed that the Jewish Na­tion, and the Disciples with them erred in judging about Messias his Kingdom, Act. 1. but they erred as farre also about Messias his resurrection, till experience had informed them better. Therefore it cannot well be imagined, that the wife and sons of Zebedee thought of Christs resurrection in this their request, but conceived of his temporall Kingdom according to the notions of the rest of the Nation about it: What therefore our Saviour had spoken instantly before of his being scourged, crucified, killed, and Ri­sing again, they understood in some figurative sense or other; but the Evangelists plain­ly tell us, they understood it not in the sense that he spake it. It may be his naming these two The sons of thunder, gave them some blinde incouragement to such a request. Christ foretels his own death and their suffering Martyrdom under the title of Baptism, in which sense the Apostle also useth the word 1 Cor. 15.29. The Jewish baptizings or dippings in their purifications, was a very sharp piece of Religion, when in frost and snow and wind and weather they must over head ears in cold water, from which, the phrase was used to signifie death and the bitterest sufferings. The Ierusalem Gomarists do tell us, that the women of Galilee grew barren, by reason of the cold in their purifyings. R. Aba in the [Page 53] name of Tanchum bar R. Chaia saith, In the daies of R. Ioshua ben Levi, they sought to abolish this dipping, because of the women of Galilee which were made barren by reason of the cold. R. Ioshua ben Levi saith, Do ye seek to abolish a thing that fenceth Israel from transgression? &c. Beracoth fol. 6. col. 3.


LUKE Chap. XVIII. from Ver. 35. to the end.MATTH. Chap. XX. from Ver. 29. to the end.MARK Chap. X. from Ver. 46. to the end.

Blinde healed.

CHRIST in his journey from beyond Iordan to Bethany for the raising of Lazarùs, passeth through Iericho: and he healeth one blinde man as he entreth into Iericho, of which Luke speaketh, and another as he goeth out, of which the other two. Matthew indeed speaketh of two healed as he came out of Iericho; comprehending it may be, the story of him that was healed on the other side of the Town, and this together in one sto­ry, for briefnesse sake: Or if there were two healed on this side the Town, Mark only mentions one because he rather aimeth at shewing of the manner or kinde of the miracle, then at the number: as we have observed the like before, at Sect. 39.

SECTION LXX. LUKE Chap. XIX. from the beginning to Ver. 29. Zaccheus a Publican converted.

THe order lies plain in ver. 1. Christ was passed through Iericho before he met with Zaccheus, &c. Rabban Iochanan ben Zaccai, hath made the name Zaccai or Zacche­us renowned in Jewish Writings: His father Zaccai might very well be now alive, and for any difference of the times might well enough be the Zaccheus before us, but that some other circumstances do contradict it. Whosoever this man was, it is observable, that though his name Zaccheus speak him a Jew, yet Christ reputes him not a child of Abraham till he beleeve, ver. 19.

Ver. 11. They thought that the Kingdom of heaven should immediatly appear. Observe this: this they had learned from Dan. 9. where the time is so punctually determined, that they that looked for the consolation of Israel could not but observe it, and they that obser­ved, could not but see it now accomplished.

SECTION LXXI. JOHN Chap. XI. from Ver. 17. to the end of the Chapter. Lazarus raised. Caiaphas Prophecieth.

NOw is Christ come up to Bethany. Whether [...] mentioned by Talm. Bab. Pesachin fol. 53. facie 1. [where they speak of the figs of Bethhene, and the dates of Tubni] be the same with this Bethany, we shall not dispute here: Both a Town, and some space of ground about it was called by this name Bethany.

As he had staied in the place where he was when heard of Lazarus sicknesse, purposely that he might die before he came to him, that God might be the more glorified by his raising, ver. 15. so did he make sure to stay long enough after he was dead before he came, that the glory might be the more. He had been four daies dead, ver. 39. Compare with this these sayings of the Jews. Maym. in Gerushin. per. ult. If one look upon a dead man within three daies after his death he may know him, but after three daies his visage is changed.

Jerus. in Moed Katon fol. 82. col. 2. Three daies the soul flies about the body as if think­ing to return to it: but after it sees the visage of the countenance changed, it leaves it▪ and gets it gone.

Upon the miracle wrought, the Jews seek to kill Iesus and Lazarus both: whereupon Iesus goeth to a City called Ephraim, ver. 54. Talm. Bab. in Menachath fol. 85. fac. 1. Iuchn [...] and Mamr [...] [Iannes and Iambres] said to Moses, Dost thou bring straw to Ephraim? Gloss. [Page 54] Ibi▪ Iuch [...]e and Mamre were the chief Sorcerers of Egypt: they when Moses began to do mi­racles thought he had done them by magick: they said, Dost thou bring straw to Ephraim? Ephraim was a place that exceedingly aboundeth with corn, and darest thou bring corn thi­ther? meaning, Doest thou bring Sorceries into Egypt that abounds so with Sorceries?

Aru [...]h in [...] Ephraim was a City in the [...]nd of Israel where there was abundance of corn. Where is the chiefest provision for Offering [...] ▪ The chiefest for fine slower are Micmash and Zanoah, and next to them Ephraim in the Vale.

JOHN Chap. XII. from begin. to Ver. 12. A Supper at Bethany: Iesus his feet anointed.

THe connexion of this story to the preceding Chapter, is plainly made by the Evangelist himself: Compare ver. 55. of Chap. 11. and ver. 1. of this.

Though there were a Proclamation out against Jesus for his life, Chap. 11.57. yet com­eth he for Ierusalem, and Lazarus at Bethany is not afraid to entertain him He may well venture his life for him who had received it from him. It was their Sabbath day at night when he had this Supper, a time that they used to have extraordinary cheer. Mary who had anointed his feet before, Luke 7.38. doth the like again.

There is a groundlesse and a strange opinion of some, that the Supper in Matth. 26.6, 7. and Mark 14.3. was the same with this Supper in Ioh. 12. An imagination, that I cannot enough admire at, seeing there are so many things plainly to gainsay it: but the discussi­on of it shall be deferred till we come to those Chapters. Only one particular here may not be omitted without observation, and which will make something at present toward the confutation of that opinion, and that is our Saviours answer in the vindication of Maries act, Let her alone, against the day of my buriall hath she kept this: or rather, She hath kept it: Not that he meaneth that this anointing of his feet, was her anointing him against his buriall, but that she had kept some of this oyntment yet for that purpose here­after. Iudas repined at the expence of the oyntment that she used for the anointing of his feet, and pleaded that it had been better bestowed upon charitable uses on the poor: Why? saith Christ, she hath kept it yet and not spent all, that she may bestow it upon a charitable use, the anointing of my body to its buriall. For 1. neither the text doth any whit assert that she spent the whole pound that she brought, nor indeed in reason was so great a quantity needfull. 2. It was not so proper to apply it to his buriall now, when as he was to ride in triumph to Ierusalem to morrow, as it was two daies before the Passe­over [when the other Supper and anointing was] which was the very night when Iudas compacted for his betraying. 3. Then Christ saith she poured it upon his body, Mat. 26.12. which cannot be of the same sense with pouring it upon his feet only. She therefore six daies before the Passeover anointed his feet, which was an ordinary use among the Jews to have their feet anointed, and the Talmudists give some rules about it in Talm. Ierus. Sanhedr. fol. 21. col. 1. and this she doth in dear love and affection to him: But two daies before the Passeover, she doth not so much anoint his head, as pour the ointment upon his head that it might run all over his body, and this she did towards his buriall, not only in his construction, but in her own intention: she being the first we reade of that beleeved his death, as she was the first that law him after his resurrection. Her faith and fact he foresaw, and therefore saith now at the anointing of his feet, that she yet kept it for the anointing of his body, which when she did, he extols the fact with this encomion, that wheresoever the Gospel should be preached, that action of her, the example of the first faith in his death, should be published in memoriall of her. Thus did this Mary, [who as hath been shewed was Mary Magdalen] anoint Christ three severall times, his feet at her first conversion, and his feet again at this time, six daies before the Passeover, and his head and body two daies before the Passeover, even that night that Iudas first went about to make his bargain for betraying him.


MATTH. XXI. from the beginning to Ver. 17.MARK XI. from the begin. to the mid­dle of Ver. 11.LUKE XIX. from Ver. 29. to the end.JOHN XII. from Ver. 12. to Ver. 20.

CHRIST rideth upon an Asse into Ierusalem.

JOHN maketh the connexion plain, when he saith, On the next day ▪ &c. And sheweth that as Christ went up at this time, in the evidence and accomplishment of that Pro­phesie, Zech. 9.9. so he also went up in the equity and answering of that Type, of ta­king up the Paschall Lamb on the tenth day, Exod. 12.3. for this was on that very day: and the Lamb of God doth now go in, as giving up himself for the great Paschal.

Iohn telleth us that he lay at Bethany the night before this, and yet the other Evange­lists have related it, that when he came to Bethpage and Bethany, he sent two of his Di­sciples for the Asse, &c. The Jews Chorography will here help us out: They tell us

1. [...] Two thousand cubits was the Suburbs of a City. Maym. in Schabh. per. 27.

2. [...] Two thousand cubits were the bounds of a Sabbath, or a Sabbath daies journey. Talm. in Setah. per. 5.

3. Bethpage was of this nature: it was not a Town upon mount Olivet as it hath been very generally supposed, and accordingly placed in the most Maps, but it was some buildings and that space of ground that lay from Ierusalem wall forward towards mount Olivet, and up mount Olivet to the extent of two thousand cubits from the wall, or thereabout; and hereupon it was reputed by the Jews of the same qualification with Ie­rusalem, as a part of it, in divers respects.

Talm. Bab. Pesachin fol. 63. fac. 2. He that slayes a Thanksgiving Sacrifice within, while the bread belonging to it is without the wall, the bread is not holy. What means without the wall? R. Iochanan saith, Without the wall of Bethpage. The Glosse there saith, Beth­page was an outer place of Ierusalem. And the same Glosse useth the very same words again upon the same Tract, fol. 91. fac. 1. And again in the same Treatise, fol. 95. fac. 2. the Mishnah saith thus, The two loaves and the shewbread are allowable in the Temple Court, and they are allowable in Bethpage. Nay the Glosse in Sanhedr. fol. 14. fac. 1. saith, Bethpage was a place which was accounted as Ierusalem for all things. So that the place so called, began from Ierusalem and went onwards to and upon mount Olivet, for the space of a Sabbath daies journey or thereabout, and then began the coast that was called Be­thany. And hence it is that Luke saith that Christ when he ascended into heaven, led forth his Disciples as farre as Bethany, Luke 24.50. which elsewhere he sheweth was the space of a Sabbath daies journey, Acts 1.12. which cannot be understood of the Town Bethany, for that was fifteen furlongs, or very near two Sabbath daies jour­ney from Ierusalem, but that he led them over that space of ground which was called Bethpage, to that part of Olivet where it began to be called Bethany, and at that place it was where Christ began his triumphant riding into the City at this time.

It is very observable that he is entertained with the solemnity of the Feast of Taberna­cles: for carrying of Palm branches and crying Hosanna was never used but only at that Feast, but now translated to this occasion: which may help somewhat to the explaining of Zech. 14.16.

Count from hence the daies to the Passeover, as the Evangelists have reckoned them, and you will finde that this was the first day of the week [the Lords day afterward] and this day seven night he rose from the dead.

In the midst of his triumph he weepeth over the City, though he knew that within five daies she would be his death.

SECTION LXXIII. JOHN Chap. XII. from Ver. 20, to the end of the Chapter. Greeks would see Iesus. A voice from heaven.

THe order is plain in the Text of Iohn, and needeth no illustration.

Christ was thrice attested from heaven, according to his threefold Office, King, Priest and Prophet. At his Baptism, for the great Highpriest, when he was anointed and entred into his Ministry. At his Transfiguration for the great Prophet to whom all must hear. And now for the great King, when he had newly fulfilled that Prophecy, Rejoyce O Sion, behold thy King cometh, &c.

The Bath Kol or heavenly voice that the Jews commonly speak of, is in the most, if not all the instances that they give of it, but a fiction of their own brain, to bring their Do­ctors and their Doctrines into credit.

SECTION LXXIV. MARK Chap. XI. from the middle of Ver. 11. to Ver. 27. MATTH. Chap. XXI. from Ver. 17. to Ver. 23. The fruitlesse Figtree cursed.

THe order is clear in Mark v.11.12.

Christ after his riding into Ierusalem, having spent all the day there, goeth at even to lodge at Bethany: and in the morning going for Ierusalem again and hungring seeth a figtree, and finding no figs on it curseth it, and yet the Evangelist telleth that the time of figs was not yet.

Why then should Christ look for figs, when he knew the time of the year was not yet for them?

Answ. He looked not for any figs that he thought could be grown ripe and fit to eat, that spring, it being now at the furthest but about our April, but he looked for those that grew the last summer, and had hung on the trees all winter. It is true indeed that some trees had shot forth their fruit by Passeover time, for so Maymony tels us in Kiadush Hhodesh per. 4. but neither to ripenesse; nor was the figtree any of them. For to those words of our Saviour, Matth. 24.32. When the figtree putteth forth her leaves ye know sum­mer is nigh, lay these of Ierus. in Sheviith fol. 35. col. 4. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel saith, From the putting forth of the figtree leaf to the green figs appearing are fifty daies: and from the first appearing of the fig to the fall of the blossom fifty daies, and from thence to the ripe figs fifty daies more: five moneths in all.

There were severall kinds of figtrees in that Land, as the Jews tell us in the Treatises Demai and Sheviith, where they have speciall occasion to treat of that matter, [besides those figtrees that were in their Orchards and Vineyards.] As 1. [...] which they say were figs of the wildernesse. 2. [...] which were baser figs likewise. 3. [...] figtrees that brought their fruit to ripenesse but once in two years. And 4. [...] which they say, grew in the fields and bare white figs [...] from three years to three years. The Gomarists dispute, What? Do they bear their fruit every year, or only once in three years? They bear their fruit every year, but it is not ripe till three years end. How doth a man know its time, or what year it is with it? R. Ionah saith, by binding a list about it. It is a tradition of Samuel, that he hung some pendants upon it. The meaning of the matter is this: There was a figtree growing in the fields of this nature, that the figs that it shot forth one summer, it was two summers more before they came to ripenesse, so that they hung upon the tree [unless hands or winde hindered] three summers and two winters before their maturity: Now because the strange nature of this tree, diffe­rent from others, caused that the seventh year, or year of release could not so easily be remembred and observed concerning it as concerning other trees, therefore they tied some coards or lists about it, or hung something upon it, that might give notice, and keep in remembrance what year it was with it, and whether the fruit, if any, were of the first, second or third years growth. So likewise the figtrees mentioned before, called [...] were two summers in ripening their fruit. So that of such a tree as one of [Page 57] these Christ might well look for figs of the last years growth, old figs under new leaves, if so be the leaves were new. Yet could not this properly be called [...] [as there are that would change the reading of the originall, and instead of [...], for the time of figs was not yet, would have it read (but I question whether with the consent of any one copy in the world) [...], For where he was, was the time of figs.] For that phrase, The time of figs, meaneth the common time that generally figs were ripe, which was ordi­nary and commonly known, and which was not of well near five moneths after Passe­over time.

Christ cometh to the Temple and casteth out buyers and sellers as he had done three years before: this was four daies before the Passeover. At Even he goeth and lodgeth in Bethany.

In the morning he cometh again to Ierusalem. This was three daies before the Passe­over. As they came, the Disciples observe the figtree withered, whereupon he saith, Have faith in God, for verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed and he cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart but beleeve that those things which he saith shall come to passe, he shall have whatsoever he saith. In which words he nei­ther warranteth nor encourageth any to look for a faith that should remove mountains; but 1. He speaketh Hyperbolically for the magnifying of the power and excellency of faith, as Mark 9.23. Hyperboles, with which the Scripture abounds, are not to be taken according to the letter, but the thing intended is to be taken at the higher pitch. As to instance but in one example, and that about this very mountain that Christ pointed at, Zech. 14.4. which meaneth not literally Olivets cleaving indeed or removing, but great concussions to the people, and open way made for the enemy. 2. Christ in this expres­sion speaks the Jews own language, and by the very phrase that they ordinarily used to magnifie their own abilities by, he magnifieth faith. When they would speak of the high parts and qualities of their great ones, they used to say, He is a remover of mountains, Tal. Bab. Beracoth. fol. 64. fac. 1. Sinai and the Remover of mountains, whether of them sent first, &c. Now Rabh Ioseph was Sinai, and Rabbah was The remover of mountains. Why so named? The Glosse upon the place resolves us thus, They called Rabh Ioseph Sinai, be­cause he was most expert in deep explications. And they called Rabbah bar Nachmani A re­mover of mountains, because he was most acutely learned, &c. The same Talmud also in Erubhin fol. 29. saith thus, Rabba saith, Behold I am like ben Azzai in the streets of Tibe­rias. The Glosse thereupon saith thus, Ben Azzai taught profoundly in the streets of Tibe­rias, and there was no man in his daies that was a remover of mountains like him. By remo­ving of mountains meaning how able men they were, and how they could overcome the greatest difficulties in Divinity. Which common phrase Christ useth to face that wretched boasting of theirs of their own parts and worth, and to set up faith in its proper dignity, as that that is only able for all things.


MATTH. Chap. XXI. from Ver. 23. to the end of the Chapt.MARK Chap. XI. from Ver. 27. to the end: And Chap. XII. from the beginning to Ver. 13.LUKE Chap. XX. from the begin. to Ver. 20.

CHRIST in the Temple posing them about Johns Baptism. The parable of the Vineyard, &c.

THe continuation of the order is apparent.

CHRIST cometh again from Bethany into the Temple, and there being questi­oned by what authority he did what he did, he stops their mouth by proposing a questi­on again, What they thought of Iohns authority by which he made that great change in Religion that he did, and intraps them in such a dilemma as they are not able to get out of.

He proposeth the Parable of the Vineyard and Husbandmen, and by it sheweth the pri­viledges, and yet the perversness of the Jewish Nation, and their destruction, from Isa. 5. &c. See R. Tanchum. fol. 54. col. 4.

SECTION LXXVI. MATTH. Chap. XXII. from the beginning of the Chapter to Ver. 15. The Parable of the Wedding Supper.

THe order is plain of it self. The Parable setteth forth the Jews despising of the means of grace and evil usage of those that were sent unto them, ver. 5, 6. and for this, their destruction and ruine of their City, and the calling of the Gentiles, &c.


MATTH. Chap. XXII. from Ver. 15. to the end. And Chap. XXIII. all the Chapter.MARK Chap. XII. from Ver. 13. to Ver. 41.LUKE Chap. XX. from Ver. 26. to the end of the Chapt.

Tribute to Cesar. The resurrection asserted in the Law. The great Commandment. Christ how Davids sonne. Wo against the Scribes and Pharisees.

THe Evangelists are so clear in their order, both here and a good way forward, that there can be no scrupling in it.

The question proposed, Whether it were lawfull to give tribute to Cesar, proceeded from that old maxime among them, upon mistake of Deut. 17.15. that they ought not to be subject to any power or potentate, which was not of their own blood or Religion: the holding to which maxime, cost them the ruine of their City and Nation.

His answer from the Image of Cesar upon their coin, was according to their own con­cessions. The Ierusalem Talmud doth personate David and Abigail talking thus. Abigail said, What evil have I done or my children, or my cattell? David saith to her, Because thy husband vilified to Kingdom of David. She saith, Art thou a King then? He saith to her, Did not Samuel anoint me King? She saith to him, [...] The Coin of our Lord Saul is yet current: In Sanhedr. fol. 20. col. 2. Maym. in Gezelah per. 5. A King that cuts down the trees of any owner, and makes a bridge of them, it is lawfull to go over it, &c. How is this to be understood? Of a King whose Coin is current in these Coun­tries, for the men of the Country do thereby evidence, that they acknowledge him for their Lord and themselves his servants: But if his Coin be not current, then he is a robber, &c.

The topick from whence he argueth the resurrection against the Sadduces, is also ac­knowledged by the Writers of that Nation: Tanchum. fol. 13. col. 3. The holy blessed God doth not joyn his Name to the Saints while they are alive, but when they are dead: as it is said, To the Saints which are in the earth, &c. But behold we finde that he joyns his Name to Isaac [meaning, he cals himself the God of Isaac] while he was alive, &c. Jerus. in Be­racoth fol. 5. col. 4. Whence is there proof that the righteous are called living when they are dead, &c.

He poseth the Pharisees in their very Catechism: they used it as a common name for the Messias to call him the son of David, and yet when they are put to it to observe that David cals him Lord, they are so farre nonplust, that they have not only not what to an­swer, for the present, but this silenceth them from future disputes. Now therefore he fals upon them with their deserved character and doom, and as in Matth. 5. he had pro­nounced beatitudes, so here in Matth. 23. he denounceth woes, and curseth these men from Isa. 65.15, &c.

This Chapter as it is a speech to and of the Scribes and Pharisees, and treateth of their doctrines and demeanours, so from their own Pandects and Authors may it be explained from point to point: those speaking out their doctrines and practises to the full.

Their sitting in Moses chair, ver. 1. meaneth them as Magistrates, to whom Christ in­joyneth all lawfull obedience. Vid. Sanhedr. per. 1. halac. 6.

Their heavy burdens ver. 4. translates their [...] of which they speak so much and so highly.

Their Tephillin are called Phylacteries, ver. 5. which meaneth not only Observatives, because they were memorials of their duty and devotions [being four portions of the Law written in two parchments, and the one worn upon their forehead and the other upon their left arm] but Preservatives, as being reputed by them a fence against evil [Page 59] spirits, Ierus. Beracoth fol. 2. A man hath need to say over his Phylacteries every evening in his house, to fright away evil spirits.

They loved to be called Rabbi Rabbi, ver. 7. R. Ahibah said to Eliezer, Rabbi Rabbi, Jerus. Meed. Ka [...]on fol. 81.1. And yet they had this rule against it, Love the work, but hate the Rabbiship, Maym. in Talm. Torah. per. 3.

Call no one father, ver. 9. in that sense as they owned their Doctors by the title [...] relying upon the authority of humane doctrines.

Their permitting and practising to swear by the Temple, ver. 16. came into a common custom, Juchas. fol. 50. col. 1. Baba ben Bota sware by the Temple, and so did Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel, and this was a custom in Israel.

Their tithing mint, annise and cummin, ver. 23. explained in the Talmudish treatises De­mai, whited sepulchers, ver. 27. Shekalim per. 1. halac. 1. In the moneth Adar they whited the sepulchers. And the reason is given by the Gomarists, that people hereby might have the better discovery of them, the better to avoid defilement by them: which well obser­ved, sets on Christs invective against these wretches the more. Gomar. utrius (que) Talm. in loc. & Ierus. in Maasar Sheni. fol. 55.3.

Their decking of Sepulchers in honour of those that lay in them, ver. 29. handled in Ie­rus. in Moed Katon fol. 80. col. 3, & 4.

He concludeth his speech with the intimation of what shame and guilt lay upon them for the blood of the former Prophets slain by their fathers, filled up by their own wic­kednesse in persecuting those that he did or should send to them. He calleth them Ser­pents from Gen. 3.15. and teacheth us to look upon them as the seed of the Serpent in an eminent degree, if any degree of that nature may be called eminent. He doomes all the Prophets to be required of that generation, because they by their transcendent abuse of those whom God sent, even of Messias himself, did justifie and exceed all the evil their fathers had done against the Prophets: Yea all the blood shed before the blood of Za­charias, and his, though they held that to have been satisfied for, by the destruction, slaughter and captivity by the Babylonians, Ierus. in Taanith fol. 69. col. 2. His changeth the name of his father, and so doth Targ. in Lament. cap. 2. ver. 20. And concludes with a sad denunciation of destruction, and that they should no more see him till they should say, Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord: which very words he had uttered also a great while before this, Luk. 13.34, 35. and the multitude had said, Blessed be he that cometh, &c. when he rode into Ierusalem upon an Asse. But the same words now uttered by him, are of somewhat doubtfull interpretation, whether they mean, their no more seeing of him till the night and time of the Passeover, [for at the Paschal meal every company rehearsed this saying, Blessed be he that cometh, &c. in their great Hallel as they called it] or that they should no more see him at all, because they had not learned to en­tertain him, as coming from God. See Joh. 5.43.

SECTION LXXVIII. MARK Chap. XII. Ver. 41, 42, 43, 44. LUKE Chap. XXI. Ver. 1, 2, 3, 4. The poor widows mites.

THe Jews before their prayers in the Temple, or their Synagogues, used to give some­thing by way of alms or offering, that Charity and piety might go together. Maym. in Mattanath Anijim. per. 6. Now in the Court of the women at the Temple [as we have observed elswhere in the description of that place] there were severall chests, which the Jews call Shoper [...]th, into which the people put the money they offered, some to buy one thing for the service of the Temple, some another, &c.


MATTH. Chap. XXIV. all the Chapter.MARK Chap. XIII. all the Chapter.LUKE Chap. XXI. from Ver. 5. to the end of the Chapter.

And after these MATTH. Chap. XXV. all the Chapter. CHRIST foretelleth the destruction of Ierusalem, the signes and miseries preceding and accompanying it.

THe Talmud tells us that there was a place upon mount Olivet, just in the face of the Temple, where the Priest slew and burnt the red Cow into the ashes of purification, and as he sprinkled the blood, he looked directly upon the Temple door. Middeth Per. 1, &c. This was the last Sermon that Christ made upon mount Olivet, and he makes it as he sits upon that mount, just facing the Temple, Matth. 13.3. And that text that he had ta­ken in tears but two or three dayes ago, weeping over the City and foretelling the destru­ction of it, Luk. 19.44. he now preacheth upon at large, declaring the misery and fore­shewing the forerunners of that destruction.

The aim of his speech, or, to what time and purpose it refers, may be discerned by the question of the Disciples, to which it is an answer. When shall these things be, viz. that one stone stone of the Temple shall not be left upon another? Mark. 13.4. Luk. 21.7. and so it relates plainly to the destruction of the Temple and City. But Mat­thew hath added; And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? from whence it is conceived by some, that the speech doth aim at the end of the world, and Christs last coming unto judgment. It is true indeed that the close of his speech in Matth. 25. doth speak plainly of the last judgment, and that many of those terrible things men­tioned, Matth. 24. may very well typifie the terrours of the last day, but the prime and proper scope of the speech in that 24th Chapter, is to set forth the destruction of Ierusa­lem, and the rejection and misery of the Jewish nation; as may be observed by these particulers.

1. Because in Matth. 24.15, 16. He points directly to time and place, when and where these things shall be, viz. when the Temple shall be profaned, then these things come, &c.

2. Especiall consider ver. 34. Verily I say unto you; This generation shall not passe till all these things be fulfilled. This generation, not meaning Generatio Evangelica, as some do harshly interpret it, but as it means in Matth. 23.36. Luk. 11.31, 32. and abundance of other places in the new Testament, the generation then in being.

3. The destruction of Ierusalem, is phrased in Scripture as the destruction of the whole world, Ier. 4.23. Isa. 65.17. and Christs coming to her in judgment, as his coming to the last judgment, Matth. 17.28. Ioh. 21.22. Matth. 19.28. Rev. 1.7, &c.

Therefore those dreadfull things spoken of in ver. 29.30, 31. are but borrowed expres­sions to set forth the terrors of that judgment the more. Ver. 29. The Sun shall be darken­ed, &c. shews the decay of all glory, excellency and prosperity in that nation, and the coming in of all sadnesse, misery and confusion: as Isa. 13.10. Ioel 2.10. Ver. 30. Then shall they see the sign of the Sonne of man, &c. Not any visible appearance of Christ, or of the crosse in the clouds [as some have imagined,] but whereas the Jews would not own Christ before for the Sonne of man, or for the Messias, then by the vengeance that he should execute upon them, they and all the world should see an evident signe, that he was so. This therefore is called his coming, and his coming in his kingdom, Matth. 17.28. be­cause this did first declare his power, glory and victory on that nation that had despised him. Ver. 31. He shall send his Angels with a great sound of a Trumpet, &c. that is, his Mi­nisters with the Trumpet of the Gospel, to fetch in his elect from among the Gentiles when the Jews were now destroyed and cast off. And the false Christs, and false Prophets that should arise, ver. 5.24. arose in that nation in those last dayes of it, as is abundantly evident both in the new Testament, and in Iosephus: And those warres and rumours of warres, and nation rising against nation, &c. ver. 6, 7. were accomplished not only in the horrid civil warres among the Jews, but also in the great concussions in the Romane Em­pire, in the warres betwixt Otho and Vitellius, and betwixt Vitellius and Vespasian, [of which the Romane Historians, especially Tacitus is very large] the like to which, there had not been before, even to the sacking of Rome it self, and the burning of the Capitoll.


MATTH. Chap. XXVI. from the beginning to Ver. 14.MARK Chap. XIV. from the beginning to Ver. 10.LUKE Chap. XXII. Ver. 1, 2.

And after these portions read JOHN Chap. XIII. from the beginning to Ver. 27. CHRISTS head annointed at a supper at Bethany two nights before the Passeover: At the same supper he washeth his Disciples feet: giveth Judas the sop and the Devil entreth into him.

THe proof of the proper order here will require some dispute, not so much in regard of any obscurity or difficulty of the order it self, but in regard of needlesse and groundlesse difficulties that are put upon it. There are two strange opinions we meet with here: The one is, that holdeth that this supper mentioned by Matthew and Mark, was the same supper which is mentioned in Ioh. 12. which was six dayes before the Passeover. And the other is, that holdeth, that this supper in Ioh. 13. was the supper on the Passeover night: so that for the shewing and asserting of the order as we have laid it, these three things are to be done.

First, It is to be proved, that the supper in Ioh. 12. and the supper in Matth. 26. and Mark 14. were not one and the same supper, but two suppers at some dayes distance. Secondly, That the supper in Ioh. 13. was not on the Passeover night, but before the Passe­over night. And thirdly, That the supper in Ioh. 13. was the same supper with that in Matth. 26.6. and Mark. 14.3. two dayes before the Passeover.

First, That the supper in Ioh. 12. and the supper in Matth. 26. and Mark 14. were two different suppers [to which something hath been said before,] appears by these observa­tions. 1. The supper in Ioh. 12. was in the house of Lazarus [unlesse we will unwarran­tably strain the construction of the story,] but the supper in Matth. 26. and Mar. 14. was in the house of Simon the Leper. 2. At the supper in Ioh. 12. Christs feet were annointed, but his head was annointed at the supper in Matth. 26. and Mark 14.3. The supper in Ion. 12. was six dayes before the Passeover, but the supper in Matth. 26. and Mark 14. was but two dayes before: For observe Mark 14.1. After two dayes was the feast of the Passeover: and then ver. 3. And Iesus being at Bethany, &c. Here they that hold the opinion that we are confuting, will not acknowledge the order of the Evangelists direct, but say there is a dislocation, so that though two dayes be mentioned before, yet the story following was six dayes before the Passeover. But the method of Matthew and Mark hath been so direct hither through the story of Christs actions, since his last coming to Ierusalem, that no reason possible can be given why they should invert the order here. They had punctually mentioned his actions, five, four, three dayes before the Passeover, and now they come to speak of two dayes before, and under that account bring in this supper, and what sense or reason can there be to surmise that it was six dayes before? They had shewed you Christ five dayes before the Passeover, at Bethany, Joh. 12.1, 12. Mark 11.1, 11. And four dayes before the Passeover, at Bethany, Mark 11.12, 15, 19, 20. And three dayes before the Passeover, at Bethany, Mark 11.20, 27. & 13.3. And then they come and speak of two dayes before the Passeover, and they speak also of Christs being at Bethany, and yet would the opinion under confutation apply the reckoning of the two dayes only to point at the high-Priests assembling: and Christs being at Bethany, to be jumped backward over all the story before, even to beyond Matth. 21. Mark. 11. An opinion that by its improbability is confutation enough to it self.

A second think to be cleered is, that the supper in Ioh. 13. was not on the Passeover night but before: which may be evidenced by these arguments instead of more. 1. Be­cause Iohn saith expresly ver. 1. that it was [...], before the festivall of the Passeover, for so the word [...] constantly signifies, not the meal of the Paschal, as some would construe it here, but the whole festivall. 2. The Disciples when Iesus said to Iudas, What thou doest, do quickly, thought he spake about buying something against the feast, ver. 29. by which it appears that the feast was not yet come.

Thirdly, Luke sheweth, that the entring of Satan into Iudas [which was at the sup­per, Ioh. 13.] was before the Passeover day came: for observe his order, Luk. 22.3. Then entred Satan into Iudas, and he went and communed with the chief Priests, &c. and then ver. 7. Then came the day of unleavened bread: Upon all which considerations, it is apparent, that this supper in Ioh. 13. at which Satan entred into Iudas [whereupon he [Page 62] went and compacted for his Masters betraying] was not on the Passeover night, but some space before the Passeover day came. There is indeed a passage in Ioh. 13.38. which may seem to bring that supper to the Passeover night, which is, when Christ saith at the supper to Peter, The Cock shall not crow till thou hast denied me thrice, which seemeth to carry it, as if this supper were on that very night when Peter denied him. For answer to which, let it be observed: 1. That Peter denied Christ but once before the Cock crew. Mark 14.68, 69, 70. and it will teach us to expound the words of Christ, Ioh. 13.38. & Matth. 26.24. not as meaning that he should deny him three times over before any Cock crew, but that he should deny him thrice in the time of Cocks crowing, which time was a fourth part of the night, Mark 13.34. And that it meaneth in such a sense is yet more apparent by Mark 14.30. where he utters it, The Cock shall not crow twice. 2. Let it be observed, that in Ioh. 13.38. it is only said, The Cock shall not crow, but in Matth. 26. Mark. 14. when the speech refers to the very night when his deniall was, it is said, This night, before the Cock crow; And, This day, even this night before the Cock crow, &c. And so it is to be understood that Christ used that speech to Peter twice over, and in it he doth twice refute his presuming upon his own strength which Peter twice shewed: First at the supper in Ioh. 13. which was two dayes before the Passeover, and there the emphasis of the speech lieth especially in the word Thrice; as if he had said to him, Art thou so confident of thy strength and standing for me? I tell thee the time will be, when thou shalt deny me thrice in the time of Cocks crowing. The second was at the Passeover supper, and then Christ puts the emphasis upon the word This night: Art thou so confident? I tell thee this night thou shalt deny me, &c.

Thus having shewed that that supper in Ioh. 13. was not on the Passeover night, but before; a third thing is to shew, that it was two dayes before the Passeover, and the same with that supper mentioned by Matthew and Mark in Bethany: And for the proof of this we need go no further then this observation: That both the Evangelists Matthew and Mark, do begin the treason of Iudas from that supper in Bethany, Matth. 26.13, 14. Mark 14.9, 10. for as soon as they have related the story of that supper, they presently tell, Then one of the twelve called Iudas went to the chief Prists, &c. Now it is apparent that he began the acting of his treason from the time of Satans entring into him with the sop which was at that supper Ioh. 13. and so it concludeth that to be the same supper with that in Matth. 26.6.

The texture of the story then lieth thus: Six dayes before the Passeover Christ suppeth and lodgeth in Bethany: five dayes before the Passeover he rideth in triumph to Ierusa­lem, and at even cometh and lodgeth in Bethany again, four dayes before the Passeover he goeth to Ierusalem again, and at night cometh to Bethany again to lodge. The third day before the Passeover he goeth again into the City; and at even cometh to Bethany again: And that night he suppeth in the house of Simon the Leper, it being now two dayes to the Passeover: As he sits at supper, Mary the sister of Lazarus, called also Mary Magdalen, annoints his head, &c. And he before the table was taken away, ariseth from the table and washeth the Disciples feet, and after sits down and gives Iudas the sop.


JOHN Chap. XIII. Ver. 27, 28, 29, 39.MATTH. Chap. XXVI. Ver. 14, 15, 16.MARK Chap. XIV. Ver. 10, 11.LUKE Chap. XXII. Ver. 3, 4, 5, 6.

Satan entreth into Judas: he compacts for the betraying of his Master.

THe continuation of the story in Iohn cleareth the connexion. He dipped the sop and gave it to Iudas, And after the sop Satan entred into him. This was at a supper in Be­thany two dayes before the Passeover, as hath been shewed: From thence, though it were night, Iudas trudgeth to Ierusalem, acted intirely by Satan, and agreeth with the Sanhe­drin for his Masters betraying. They had met purposely to contrive the apprehension and death of Christ, but had resolved, that it must not be at the feast, for fear of tumult: but Iudas coming in, undertakes to deliver him up, though at the feast, yet quietly enough in the absence of the people: And they bargain to give him thirty pieces of silver; the price of a servant, Exod. 31.22. Maym. in Nizkei Mamon per. 11. The price of servants whether great or little, whether male or female, is thirty Selas of good silver; be he a servant worth a hundred pound, or be he a servant but worth a penny. Now the same author in She­kalim per. 1. rateth Sela at 384 barly corns weight in silver.

SECTION LXXXII. JOHN Chap. XIII. from Ver. 31, to the end. and Chap. XIV. all the Chapters. CHRISTS speech to comfort his Disciples, &c.

THe first words, Therefore when he was gone out, continue the story: When Iudas was gone out about his cursed work, and the hour was now come when Christs passion was beginning, [for we may justly take his being sold, for a part of his sufferings] he gi­veth his Disciples divers lessons, some of admonition, some of instruction, some of comfort. For the better judging of the time of this speech [besides the connexion which joyns it to Iudas his going forth upon the devils entring into him with the sop] these two things are observable. 1. That the last words of the 14th Chapter are, Arise, let us go hence, by which it is plain, that the speech contained in this present Section, and the speech in Ioh. 15, & 16, and 17. were spoken at two severall times and in two severall places. That, at the Passeover supper, for Iohn tells, Chap. 18.1. that when Jesus had finished that speech, he went over the brook Kidron: but this, before, and in another place, because upon the ending of it it is plain Jesus removed to another place, by his saying, Arise let us go hence. 2. That Christ saith, Yet a little time I am with you, Chap. 13. ver. 33. Yet a little while and the world seeth me no more, Chap. 14. ver. 19. Hereafter I shall not talk much with you, ver. 30. which intimate some space of time yet to come, and not so suddain a parting, as the space was betwixt his rising from his last supper, and his apprehension. This speech therefore was spoken at Bethany after Iudas his going out: and the Section contains the summe of Christs discourse with his Disciples, while he staid there, which was the night that Iudas received the sop, and the next day and night, and till towards the evening of the day after: And the last words, Arise, let us go hence, intimate his removall from Bethany to Ierusalem on the Passeover day. Iudas either that night that he had received the sop, or the next day, layeth the plot with the high-Priests for the delivering up of his Master at the feast, and having so done, he returneth to his Master to Bethany again. And the next day which was the Passeover day, Christ sendeth Peter and Iohn from thence to prepare the Passeover for him, and when he saw time, he calls, Arise, let us go hence, and so he setteth for Ierusalem with the rest of the Disciples and Iudas in the company.


MATTH. Chap. XXVI. from Ver. 17. to Ver. 30.MARK Chap. XIV. from Ver. 12. to Ver. 26.LUKE Chap. XXII. from Ver. 7. to Ver. 24.

CHRIST eateth the Passeover: ordaineth the Lords Supper, &c.

PETER and Iohn who were sent to prepare the Passeover, had this work to do. They were to get a room fitting; to that their Master directs them by a sign. They were to get a Lamb, and to bring him into the Temple, and there to have him killed and his blood sprinkled, under the name of a Paschall for thirteen persons. For no Lamb could be eaten for a Paschall, whose blood was not first sprinkled at the Altar, and that [...] in the name of a Paschall, and [...] by count for such a number of persons as had agreed to be at the eating of him. Talm. in Pesachin. per. 5. [as Christ died but for a cer­tain number.] Which shews [had not the Evangelists done it otherwise] that Christ ate his Passeover on the same day that the Jews did theirs [which some, upon misunder­standing of Ioh. 18.28. have denied] nay that it was not possible otherwise, for how im­possible was it to get the Priests to kill a Paschall for any, upon a wrong day?

Having got the Lamb thus slain at the Temple, they were to bring him home to the house where he was to be eaten, to get him roasted, and to get bread and wine ready, and what other provision was usuall and requisite for that meal.

At Even Iesus cometh and sitteth down with the twelve: and as he ate, he gave inti­mation of the Traitour, who was now at the table and eating with him. Which might seem to make this story the same with that in Ioh. 13.21, 22. and so might argue, that this and that were but one and the same Supper. But herein is an apparent difference in the stories. 1. At the Supper in Ioh. 13. Christ giveth only a private signification of the Traitour by a token given secretly to Iohn, but here he points him out openly. 2. There [Page 64] he gives him a sop, here he only speaks of dipping with him in the dish. Only there is some diversity in the Evangelists, in relating this story: Matthew and Mark have laid this taxation and discovery of the Traytour before the administration of the Lords Sup­per, but Luke after.

And there is the like variety in their relating the time of these words of Christ, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, &c. for Luke hath brought them in as spoken before the Sacrament, but the other two after. In both which, first the main intent of the rela­tion is to be looked after, and then may we better state the time. The intent in the for­mer, is to shew Iudas at the Table, and at the Table all the time both of the Paschall and the Lords Supper, those symboles of love and communion, yet he such a wretch as to communicate in both, and yet a Traitour. The two, Matthew and Mark would shew that he was at the Table, and so the mention of that they bring in upon Christs first sit­ting down and beginning to eat: And Luke makes the story full, and shews that he was at the Table all the time, both at Passeover and Sacrament, and the words of Christ up­on the delivering of the Cup, But behold the hand of him that betrays me, &c. cannot pos­sibly be mitigated from such a construction. As to the later, the meaning of Christ in the words, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, &c. is, that the Kingdom of God was now so near, that this was the last meat and drink, or the last meal that he was to have, before that came. By the Kingdom of God, meaning his resurrection and forward, when God by him had conquered death, Satan and hell. And whereas he saith, Till I drink it n [...]w with you in the Kingdom of God, he did so, eating and drinking with them after his resurrection. This therefore being the aim of his speech, it was seasonable to say so, any time of the meal, This is the last meal I must eat with you till I be risen again from the dead. And hereupon the Evangelists have left the time of his uttering of it at that indifferency, that they have done. And indeed these two passages had such reference one to another, that the one might bring on the other, and both of them might very well be spoken by Christ twice: The observing of the direct order of Christs actions at this meal, which the Evangelists have related, will help to clear this matter.

When he was set down with them, he first saith, I have desired to eat this Passeover with you before I suffer, for this is the last I must eat with you before the Kingdom of God be come. And thereupon he taketh the first cup of wine that was to be drunk at that meal, and drinks of it and gives it them, and bids, Divide it among your selves, for I shall not drink of the fruit of the vine, &c. meaning, this is the last time I shall eat and drink with you, &c. And this speech properly brought in the other, One of you shall betray me: as paraphrased, speaking thus, I shall no more eat with you, for there is one now at the table with me, hath compassed my death. Hereupon they question who it should be, &c. After this passage they eat the Paschall Lamb after its rite, and after it, he ordaineth the Lords Supper: Bread to be his Body henceforward, in the same sense that the Paschall Lamb had been his Body hitherto, and the Cup to be the New Testament in his Blood now under the Gospel, as the blood of Bullocks had been the Old Testament in his Blood, Exod. 24. And after the administring of the Cup, he tels them again, that that was the last that he must drink, for the hand of him that betrayed him was at the Table.

SECTION LXXXIV. LUKE Chap. XXII. from Ver. 24. to Ver. 39. A contest among the Disciples about priority.

LUKE himself is a clear warrant for the order. And withall, the joynt consideration of the story before will help to confirm it. The question among themselves about the traitour, helpeth to draw on this other question about priority: An unseasonable and a very unreasonable quarrell: To which their Master giveth closely this twofold an­swer, besides proposing his own example of humility. 1. That let not them stand upon priority, for he would equally honour them in his Kingdom, &c. 2. That this was not a time to stand upon such businesse as seeking to be preferred one before another, for this was a time of sifting, and a time when all the care they could take for their safety should be little enough: therefore they had now something else to do then to look after precedency.

SECTION LXXXV. JOHN Chap. XV, XVI, XVII. CHRISTS last words to his Disciples and a Prayer for them.

JOHN in Chap. 18.1. informs us that when Iesus had spoken the words contained in these Chapters, he went over the brook Kidron: by which it appeareth that they were spoken at his last Supper instantly before he rose and went to the garden where he was apprehended. At their Passeover Suppers they used large discourses seasonable and agreeable to the occasion: and especially in commemorating what God had done for that people. Whatsoever Christ had spoken upon that subject, is not recorded, but this which was more needfull for the Disciples present condition, were agreeable to the great occasion now at hand, and most beneficiall for the Church in time to come.


MAT. Ch. XXVI. from V. 30. to the end, & Ch. XXVII. all.MAR. Ch. XIV. from Ver. 26. to the end, & Ch. XV. all.LUKE Ch. XXII. from V. 39. to the end, & Ch. XXIII. all.JOHN Ch. XVIII. & Ch. XIX. all the Chapters.

CHRISTS Apprehension, Arraignment, Death and Buriall.

THere is no difficulty in the connexion of the beginning of this Section to the prece­ding, but only this, that the rest of the Evangelists make mention of Christs singing of an hymn, as the last thing he did, before his setting out for the mount of Olives; but Iohn maketh his speech and prayer to be last, and speaketh not of his singing of a hymn at all. Which indeed is neither contrariety nor diversity of story, but only variety of relation for the holding out of the story more compleat. The three former Evangelists have recorded how Christ did celebrate the Passeover and ordain the Sacrament at the end of it, and therefore they properly speak of his singing an hymn, for that was ever an unseparable piece of service at the Passeover Supper, and constantly used at the con­clusion of that meal: But Iohn had made no mention of the Passeover Supper or Sacra­ment at all, and therefore it was not only not needfull, but also not proper, that he should mention the singing of any hymn at all: But he relateth the last speech and pray­er of Christ, which the other had omitted. And whether this speech recorded by him, or the hymn mentioned by them, were last done by Christ, is not much materiall to the or­der of the story. I suppose the speech was later. The hymn that they sung was Psal. 115. & 116. & 117. & 118. which was the later part of the great Hallel as they called it, which was constantly sung at the Passeover and their other great Solemnities, and with this later part was this Solemnity concluded.

His Prayer in the Garden.

CHRIST rising from Supper, goeth forth of the City over the brook Kidron to the mount of Olives. [Compare Davids case and journey, 2 Sam. 15.23.] Iudas when they rose from the table, slips away into the City, and there hath his cut-throats laid ready by the chief Priests, for the cursed design that they had compacted about. As Christ goeth along he telleth the eleven that were with him, of their trouble that night by his appre­hension, and their scattering from him: but he would be in Galilee before them, and there they should meet again. And so he directeth them which way to betake themselves after the Feast, and what to do when their Master should be taken from them by death. He foretelleth Peter again of his deniall of him that night: which Peter now armed with a sword cannot hear of, but promiseth great matters.

He cometh to Gethsemany, A place of Oyl presses, at the foot of Olivet, into a Garden. The Talmudists speak of the Gardens here, and tell how the Gardiners used to fatten their grounds with the scouring of the sink that carried the blood and filth of the Temple Court into that valley. Leaving eight Disciples behinde, he taketh Peter and Iames and Iohn with him, and imparteth to them the fears and sorrows that now seized upon him, and leaving them also about a stones cast behinde, charging them to watch and pray: He prayes thrice for the removall of this Cup if possible, &c. and in an Agony he sweats [Page 66] drops like blood. [Remember Adams fall in a Garden, and the first doom, In the sweat of thy brows, &c.] Now was the power of darknesse, Luke 22.23. all the power of hell being let loose against Christ, as it never was against person upon earth before or since, and that from the pitching of this field of old, Gen. 3.15. Thou shalt bruise his heel. So that it was not so much for any p [...]gs of hell that Christ felt within him, as for the assaults of hell, that he saw inlarged against him, that he was so full of sorrow and anguish. His desiring the removall of the Cup was purae humanitatis, but his submitting to the will of God purae sanctitatis: As when a gangrened member is to be cut off, pura natura relucts against it, but right reason yields to it. He prayed thrice, and after every time came to his three Disciples, and still found them sleeping.

His Apprehension.

He had scarce awakened them at the third time, when the Traytour and his Assasines are upon him to apprehend him. At their first approach Iudas according to the sign gi­ven, that his fellow-villains might know Iesus from the rest, steppeth to him and kisseth him. And thereupon the rest draw up near him. Iesus steppeth forward to meet them, and asketh, Whom seek ye? They say, Iesus of Nazareth: he saith I am he: and there­upon they went backward and fell to the ground: And his thus confounding them with a word, shewed, that none could take his life from him, unless he laid it down of himself. While they lie on the ground, and he hath them thus under him, he indents for the dis­mission of his Disciples, and having agreed for their safety and discharge, he yields him­self. So up they got, and lay hold upon him: and Peter to shew some of his promised stoutness cuts off Malchus ear, but Christ heals the wound. With this wretched crue that apprehended him, there were some of their Masters that set them on, Luke 22.52. To all together he telleth, that it was plain it was now their hour and the power of darknesse, for that they had him so oft among them in the Temple, that they were never able to lay hands on him till now: Upon these words the Disciples think it time to shift for them­selves: And one flees away naked.

His appearance before Annas.

Besides the ill account that these men could give of this nights Passeover [no sooner eaten, but their hands in blood] and besides the horrid offence they committed against the Lord and against his Christ in this fact that they were upon, they doubly transgressed against their own Canons: namely in arraigning and condemning a person upon a ho­liday, for such a day was now come in: and arraigning and judging a person by night, both which are directly forbidden by their Law. Tal. in Iom tobh per. 5. halac. 2.

They first bring Christ to Annas, And why? For he was neither chief Magistrate, but Gamaliel; nor he Highpriest, but Caiaphas: He was indeed Sagan, and father in Law to Caiaphas, but by neither of these relations had he Judiciall power as a single man. But as the chief Priests had a speciall hand in this businesse, and Annas was chief among them by his place and relation to Caiaphas, and so had had no doubt a singular stroke in con­triving this businesse that was now transacting: so upon his apprehension he is first brought thither, to shew that they had the man sure whom he so much desired to be se­cured, and to take his grave advice what further to do with him. He was brought bound to him, and so bound he sends him to Caiaphas.

His Arraignment before the Sanhedrin.

At Caiaphas his house was the Sanhedrin now assembled: Whether we take this for his lodgings in the Temple, or his house in the City it is not much materiall. Peter follows thither, and by another Disciple that was acquainted there, he is helped into the Hall, and sits with the servants by the fire. The chief Priests and Elders were busie to finde out witnesses that might accuse him, and though many false witnesses [ [...] in Talmu­dich language] come in, yet all will not do: for it was not possible to touch him of any offence. He all this while standing silent [Isa. 53.7.] Caiaphas adjures him to tell whe­ther he were the Christ or no, he confesseth it, and withall tels them that the time should come that they should finde the truth of this by experience, when he should shew his power and vengeance in his judgement against them, and their City, coming in clouds, &c. This confession and words they account blasphemy: and that they might have the surer impression of so construing them, Caiaphas rents his garments, and by that action would, [Page 67] as it were, force them to agree with him that it was so, when his garments had paid so dear, for the confirming of it. Their custom and reason of renting their cloathes upon the hearing of blasphemy, is handled in Ierus. in Sanhedr. fol. 25. col. 1. & 2. and in Maym. in Avodah Zarah. per. 2. where those two Canons being observed, Every one that hears Gods name blasphemed, is bound to rent his garments: And The Iudges hearing blasphemy must stand up upon their feet, and must rent their cloathes and may not sew them up again. It will cause us to observe something in it, that the Highpriest only rent his clothes, and not the rest of the Bench with him. Which though they did not, yet they vote with him, that it was blasphemy, and therefore he was guilty of death: which had it been executed, must have been by stoning. Sanhedr. per. 7. halac. 4. And now they begin to spit on him, to buffet him and abuse him.

Peters deniall.

Here Peter first denies him: for being challenged as he sate by the fire, by the damsell porter, for one of his company, he denies it, and shrinks away into the porch, and then the first Cock crew. Luke saith that the maid came to him as he sate by the fire: Matthew and Mark, that he was now beneath in the Palace, and without in the Palace, meaning, beneath or without from that place or room where the Bench sate. Betwixt this first deniall and the second, there was but a little while, Luke 22.55. In the space between, the Highpriest is questioning Iesus of his Disciples and Doctrine, and because he answers, Ask them that have heard me, &c. an officious Officer smites him, as if he had not answered with reverence enough. Peter this while was in the porch, where he was when the Cock crew after his first deniall: and there another maid sees him and brings him to the company that stood by the fire, and challenges him for one of his Disciples, and now he denies with an oath. And about an hour after, Luke 22.59. [which space of time the Bench took up in examining Christ about his Disciples and Doctrine] a kinsman of Malchus challengeth him, and tels the company he saw him with Iesus in the Garden, and he pleading the contrary, is discovered to all the company to be a Galilean by his Dialect, but he denies with execrations: and presently the second Cock crew: And Je­sus looking back upon him, he remembers what he had done and goes out and weeps bitterly. And so presently after the second Cock the Bench riseth and leaveth Iesus in the hands of their Officers, by whom he is taunted, stricken and shamefully used.

His being delivered up to the Roman power.

In the morning the Sanhedrin met formally in their own Council chamber, and again question Iesus [brought there before them, and they resolved to put him to death] Whether he were the Messias or no? he giveth the same answer as before, that though they would not beleeve him if he told them he was, which was the truth, yet the time was coming when they should finde it true: They question him again, Art thou the Son of God? which he not denying, they judge him a blasphemer again and deserving to die, and so deliver him up to the secular power. It is observable in both these questionings of him upon this point, both in the night, and now in the morning, how convertible terms the Son of God, and the Son of man are made. In the night they question him, Art thou the Son of God? He answers, Ye shall see the Son of man, &c. Mat. 26.63, 64. And now in the morning again he saith, Ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power: and they reply, Art thou then the Son of God? Luke 22.69, 70.

Iudas his Recantation and Ruine.

Iudas unquiet in minde for what he had done in betraying, attends the trials, and waits the issue: and when he now saw that he was condemned by the Bench to be delivered up to the Heathen power, he steps in, and offers his money again, and confesseth he had be­trayed innocent blood, and this probably as Christ stood by. Having received a surly answer again from them, he flings down his money in the Temple where they sat [Gazith or Hhavoth, it is not seasonable to question here] and departing, is snatched by the de­vil who was bodily in him, into the air, and there strangled, and flung down headlong to the earth, and all his bowels burst out. With the thirty pieces of silver, his wages of iniquity, the Priests consult to buy the Potters field. And here a quotation of Matthew hath troubled Expositors so farre, that divers have denied the purity of the Text. His words are these, Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Ieremy the Prophet, And they [Page 68] took the thirty pieces of silver, &c. Matth. 27.9. Whereas those words are not to be found in Ieremy at all, but in Zechary they are found, Zech. 11.13.

Now Matthew speaks according to an ordinary manner of speaking used among the Jews, and by them would easily and without cavil be understood, though he cited a text o [...] Zechary under the name of Ieremy: For the illustration of which matter we must first produce a record of their own. The Babylon Talmud in Bava Bathra, fol. 14. facie 2. is discoursing concerning the order in which the Books of the old Testament were ordered and ranked of old. And first they shew that there was this generall division of it, into [...] The Law, the Prophets, and the Hagiographa. By the last, meaning The Psalmes, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Iob, Ruth, Esther, &c. Then do they tell, that the Books were particularly thus ranked: The five Books of Moses, Ioshua, Iudges, Samuel, Kings: and then the Prophets, among whom Ieremy was set first, and then Ezekiel, and after him Esay, and then the twelve. But they object, was not Esay long before Ieremy and Ezekiel in time? Why should he then be set after them in order? And they give this answer, The last Book of Kings ends with destruction, and Ieremy is all destruction. Ezekiel begins with destruction and ends with comfort, and Esay is all comfort. [...] Therefore they joyned destruction and destruction together, and comfort and comfort together. And thus in their Bi­bles of old, Ieremy came next after the Book of Kings, and stood first in the volume of the Prophets. So that Matthews alleadging of a Text of Zechary, under the name of Ieremy, doth but alleadge a Text out of the volume of the Prophets, under his name that stood first in that volume: And such a manner of speech is that of Christ, Luke 24.44. All things must be fulfilled which are written of me in the Law, and the Prophets and the Psalmes: in which he follows the generall division that we have mentioned, only he calleth the whole third part, or Hagiographa, by the title the Psalmes, because the Book of Psalmes stood first of all the Books of that part. In that saying Matth. 16.14. Others say Ieremy, or one of the Prophets, there is the same reason why Ieremy alone is named by name, viz. because his name stood first in the volume of the Prophets; and so came first in their way when they were speaking of the Prophets.

CHRISTS Arraignment before Pilate.

The chief Priests and Elders bring Iesus to Pilate, but would not go into his house [the house of a Heathen] lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passeover, Ioh. 18.28. Why? They had eaten the Passeover over night, at the same time that Jesus ate his [and well they had spent the night after it.] But this day that was now come in, was [...] their day of presenting themselves in the Temple, and offering their sacri­fices and peace offerings, of which they were to keep a solemn feasting, and this Iohn cals the Passeover: In which sense Passeover bullocks are spoken of, Deut. 16.2. 2 Chron. 30.24. & 35.8, 9. The School of Shammai saith, their appearing was with two pieces of silver, and their chagigah with a Meah of silver. But the School of Hillel saith, their appearing was with a Meah of silver, and their chagigah with two pieces of silver. Their burnt offer­ings at this solemnity were taken from among common cattell, but their peace offerings from their tithes. He that keepeth not the chagigah on the first day of the feast, must keep it all the feast, &c. Chagigah per. 1.

Pilate conceives him brought to him as a common malefactor, and therefore he bids them take him back and Judge him by their own Bench and Law: and in these words he meant really and according as the truth was, that it was in their power to judge and exe­cute him, and needed not to trouble him with him. And when they answer, We may not put any man to death, Joh. 18.31. They speak truly also, and as the thing was indeed, but the words of Pilate and theirs were not ad idem: [...] It is a tradition that fourty years before the Temple was destroied capital Iudgements were taken away from them. Jerus. in Sanhedr. fol. 18 col. 1. But how? Not by the Romans, for they permitted them the use of their Religion, Laws, Magistracy, capitall and penall executions and judgements in almost all cases, as freely as ever they had: and that both in their Sanhedrins within the Land, and in their Synagogues with­out, as far as the power of the Synagogues could reach at any time: as might be proved abundantly, if it were to be insisted on here.

The words then of these men to Pilate are true indeed, That they could put no man to death, but this was not, as if the Romans had deprived the Sanhedrin of its power, but [Page 69] because theeves, murderers and malefactors of their own Nation were grown so nume­rous, strong and heady that they had overpowred the Sanhedrins power, that it could not, it durst not execute capitall penalties upon offenders as it should have done. And this their own Writings witnesse. Juchasin fol. 21. The Sanhedrin flitted fourty years before the de­struction of the Temple, namely from that time that the Temple doors opened of their own ac­cord, and Rabban Iochanan ben Zaccai rebuked them and said, O Temple, Temple, Zechary of old prophecied of thee saying, Open thy doors O Lebanon that the fire may enter, &c. And also because that murderers increased, and they were unwilling to judge Capitall matters, they flitted from place to place, even to Iabneh, &c. which also is asserted in Shabb. fol. 51. Avo­dah Zarah. fol. 8.

When they perceive that Pilate no more received the impression of their accusation of him as a malefactor like others, they then accuse him of Treason, as forbidding to pay Tribute to Cesar, and as saying that he himself was a King: and this they thought would do the businesse. Pilate hereupon takes him in into his Judgement Hall [for hitherto the Jews conference and his had been at his gate] and questions him upon this point, and Iesus plainly confesseth that he was a King, but his Kingdom not of this world [and there­fore he needed not from him to fear any prejudice to the Romane power] and so well sa­tisfies Pilate, that he brings him out to the gate again, where the Jews stood, and profes­seth that he found no fault in him at all. Then the Jews lay in fresh accusations against him, to which he answereth not a word.

Brought before Herod.

Pilate by a word that dropt from them, understanding that he was of Galilee, Herods Jurisdiction, sent him to Herod, who was now at Ierusalem: partly because he would be content to have shut his hands of him, and partly because he would court Herod, towards the reconciling of old heart-burnings between them. And now Iesus sees the monster that had murthered his forerunner. Herod was glad to see him, and had desired it a long time, and now hoped to have got some miracles from him, but he got not so much as one word: though he questioned him much, and the Jews who had followed him thither did vehemently accuse him. The old Fox had sought and threatned his death before, Luke 13.31, 32. and yet now hath him in his hands, and lets him go [only abused and mocked and gorgeously arraied] and so sends him back to Pilate, that so he might court him again, more then for any content he had that he should escape his hands. See Acts 4.27.

Before Pilate again.

Pilate at his gate again talks with the Jews, and motions the release of the Prisoner, and whether him or Barabbas: and leaves it to their thoughts and goeth to his Judgement seat again. By this time is his Lady stirring, and understanding what business was in hand, she sends to him about her dream. He goes to the gate again, inquires what is their vote about the Prisoners release: they are all for Barabbas. He puts it to the vote again, and they are the same still: he urgeth a third time, and pleadeth the innocency of Iesus, but they still urge for his crucifying. Then cals he for water, and washeth his hands, but in­stantly imbrues them in his blood.

By this time it was the third hour of the day, or about nine a clock, the time of the be­ginning of the morning Sacrifice. Hence Mark begins to count, Mark 15.25. namely, from the time that Pilate delivered him up. He is whipped by Pilate, led into the Prae­torium by the souldiers, Crowned with thorns [remember the earths first curse, Gen. 3.18.] arraied in scarlet, and a reed put into his hand for a Scepter. and in this garb Pilate brings him forth to the gate to them again, and publisheth again that he found no fault in him. They urge that he ought to die because he said he was the Sonne of God. This startles Pi­late, and in he takes him again and re-examines him, but he would give him no answer, but only, Thou couldest have no power over me, unlesse it were given thee from above, &c. Hereupon he goes out to the gate again, and urgeth for his release more then ever. They answer, Then he is no friend of Cesar, and this knocks the businesse dead. In therefore he goes again and brings out Iesus and sits down upon another Tribunal in publick, and Iesus standing before him in his scarlet Robes and thorny Crown, he tels the Jews, Here is your King: Our King? say they, Away with him, crucifie him. What? saith he, Shall I crucifie your King? They answer, We have no King but Cesar. Compare Zech. [Page 70] 11.6. where their destruction is threatned to be by their King Cesar: as it was by Vespasian.

Then he delivers him up to be crucified: and it was the Preparation of the Passeover, and about the sixth hour, Joh 19.14. Iohn seemeth the rather to have added this circum­stance, not only to state the time [which indeed was of weighty concernment] but also to brand these Jews impiety, and neglect of their Religion for the satisfying of their malice. This day was a very high day, of their appearance in Temple and their Chagigah [as we touched before] and in the morning they durst not go into Pilates Palace for fear of defiling, and lest they should be prevented of these great devotions, and yet the day is thus farre spent, and nothing done but only they have purchased the shedding of so in­nocent blood.

But Iohn in this passage laies two visible scruples before us: Quest. 1. How is it possi­ble to reconcile him and Mark together, when Mark saith, It was the third hour and they crucified him, Mark 15.25. whereas he tels us, It was the sixth hour when Pilate deli­vered him up? Answ. 1. If we cast up in our thoughts how many things were done this day before his nailing to his Crosse, it cannot be imaginable that they were all done be­fore the third hour of the day. The Sanhedrin meet, sit in Counsell, examine the Priso­ner and vote him guilty; Bring him to Pilates Palace, there have manifold canvasses with Pilate pro and contra about him; Bring him to Herod, where he is questioned about many things: his garments changed and gorgeous Robes put upon him, and sent back to Pilate again. Then a fresh canvasse about him or Barabbas to be released, and Pilate puts them to a three-times deliberation upon it. Then overcome with their importunity, washeth his hands, scourgeth him, and delivers him up to them to be abused. The souldiers lead him into the Hall, make a Crown of thorns, divest and vest him anew, and make sport with him at pleasure. Pilate again brings him forth, and anew seeks and labours his re­lease: brings him in again and enters a new serious examination of him, hearing men­tion of his being the Son of God: Goes out again and labours all he can for his deliverance, but being taxed that then he could not be Cesars friend, he goes to the Bench and for­mally passeth sentence upon him, writes the title of his Crosse, the Jews in the mean while abusing him. Then i [...] he lead forth out of the City bearing his Crosse, and brought to the place of execution, which was a good way off, stript, hath wine mingled with myrrhe given him to drink, which he refuseth, is nailed to the Crosse, his garments par­ted, and then Mark brings this in, And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. Now this great multitude of various passages can hardly be conceived possible to have been gone through by the third hour of the day or nine of the clock in the morning, no not though the Jews had bent themselves to dispatch before that time, which was farre from their thoughts. 2. Mark therefore in that calculation of the time, takes his date from the first time that Pilate gave him up to their abusings: and his phrase may be ta­ken of so comprehensive an intimation, as to speak both the time of his first giving up, at the third hour of the day, and the time of his nailing to his Crosse, the third hour from that. And much after the same manner of account that our Saviours six hours sufferings, from Pilates first giving him up, to his dying, are reckoned: So the 430 years of so­journing of the children of Israel in Egypt, Exod. 12. are computed, namely, the one half before they came into Egypt, and the other half after. Quest. 2. But it may justly move a second quaere, How Christ could be on his Crosse and darknesse begun from the sixth hour, as the other Evangelists record it, when Iohn saith that it was but about the sixth hour when Pilate delivered him up? Which words of Iohn as they raise the scruple, so they may give the answer: For it might very properly be said, and that according to the usuall speech of the Nation, that it was about the sixth hour, when the sixth hour was but now beginning, and by the time that it was compleated all that might be dispatched, that passed betwixt his sentencing and his being raised upon the Crosse.


Sentence of death was passed upon him as he stood in his scarlet Robes and thorny Crown: and when the Jews have now their desire, they mock him, suddenly strip him, & put on his own clothes. Then taking him away to the place of execution, they lay his Crosse upon him [such engines of death doubtless lay alwaies ready about the Judgement Hall] and so as Isaac in the figure, he first bare the wood, that afterward must bear him, Gen. 22.6, 9. The place of execution was without the City, [...] as the Tal­mudists [Page 71] do determine in Talm. Bab. Sanhedr. fol. 42.2. [See how the Apostle applies this to his suffering for the Gentiles, Heb. 13.12.]

By the time he was come out of the City gates, they observe that he is overburdened with his Crosse, and thereupon they force Simon a Cyrenian [some noted Disciple belike] to bear the end of it after him.

They come to the place of execution commonly called Golgotha [not the place of graves, but] the place of souls: where though there were indeed some buriall of the executed, yet was it in such a manner that the place deserved this name rather then the other: For they buried not an executed person in the grave of his fathers, but there were two places of buriall for such: one for them that were slain with the sword and strangled, and the other for them that were burnt and stoned: and when the flesh was wasted, the bones were ga­thered and buried in the graves of their fathers: Talm. ubi supr. fol. 46.1. The proper writing and pronunciation of the word had been Golgolta, but use had now brought it to be uttered Golgotha, which very pronunciation the Samaritan Version useth in Num. 1.

They first strip him, and then offer him intoxicating wine, which when he tasted he refused to drink. [...] When any person was brought forth to be put to death, they gave him to drink some frankincense in a cup of wine, that it might stupifie him: as it is said, Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts. And there is a tradition, that the Gentlewomen of Ierusalem afforded this of their good will, &c▪ Tal. Bab. ibid. fol. 43.1. And let it not be impertinent to adde that which immediatly follows in the same page: A crier went before him that was to be executed, which proclaimed, N. the son of N. is going to execution because he hath committed such a fact, and N. and N. are witnesses against him, if there be any that can clear him, let them speak. And instantly after: There is a tradition that they hanged Iesus on the eve of the Passeover, and a Crier went before him fourty daies, Such a one goes to be put to death, because he hath bewitched, deceived, and perverted Israel: if any one can say any thing for his clearing, let him come and speak: but they found no clearing of him, therefore they hanged him upon the eve of the Passeover, &c.

He is nailed to his Crosse hands and feet, and so the Jews themselves confesse Abel [his figure] to have been wounded by Cain, Tanch. fol. 3. col. 4. and Isaac to have been bound on the Altar: Idem fol. 12. col. 2. And with him are crucified two malefactors, [compare Ioseph betwixt two offendors, Gen. 40.] [...], in Iosephus his construction, will help us to understand the sense of the word here. Four souldiers part his garments and cast lots for his coat and sit down to watch him.

Over his head was his cause written, in the expression of which the variety of the E­vangelists shews their stile, and how where one speaks short another inlargeth, and what need of taking all together to make up the full story. Mark hath it, The King of the Iews. Luke, This is the King of the Iews. Matthew, This is Iesus the King of the Iews. Iohn, Iesus of Nazareth the King of the Iews: Where the main thing regarded is, that he was condemned for taking on him to be King of the Iews as they pretended, which was also pretended to be Treason against Cesar: and to this point all the Evangelists speak alike, and their variety is only in wording this for the readers understanding: and he that spake shortest spake enough to expresse the matter of his accusation: and the rest that speak larger are but a comment upon the same thing. The three tongues in which this was writ­ten, Hebrew, Greek and Latine, are thus spoken of in Midras Tillin fol. 25. col. 4. R. Iocha­nan saith, There are three tongues. The Latine tongue for warre, The Greek tongue for speech, and the Hebrew for prayer.

All sorts of people had followed him to the execution: Some openly wept for him and bewailed him, which was not a thing usuall in such cases. In the Talmudich Tract last cited fol. 46.2. there is this strange doctrine, [...] They bewailed not him that went to be executed, but only mourned inwardly for him. And what think you was the reason? The Glosse tels you thus, They bewailed him not, because his disgrace might be his expiation: meaning, that whereas they accounted, that the more shame and punishment a condemned person suffered, the more these tended to his expiation, they therefore would not openly bewail him, for that would have been some honour to him, and so would have abated of his expiation; but none lamenting for him, it was the greater disgrace, and the greater the disgrace the better was his sinne [as they thought] expiated, and atoned for. This strange custom and opinion, doth set forth [Page 72] this publick bewailing of Christ the more remarkably.

Others, when he was now raised upon his Crosse reviled him, among whom were the chief Priests, Scribes, and Elders: who had so little to do, or rather their malice so much as to attend the execution. They were at first in some hesitancy whether he would not deliver himself by miracle: but when they saw he did not, then they triumph and insult at no measure. Nay, the theeves that were crucified with him spared him not, for so Matthew and Mark tell us, but at last one of them becomes a convert and receives assu­rance of being that day with him in Paradise. [ [...] a phrase very usuall with them.] Compare the case of Iosephs fellow prisoners, Gen. 40. the one desiring him to remember him and escaping, and the other not.

It may be, the darknesse now begun, in an extraordinary and dreadfull manner, was some means of working upon this thief for his conviction that Iesus was the Messias: For instantly upon his raising upon his Crosse, it was now the sixth hour or high Noon compleat; and the darknesse began, and continued till three a clock afternoon: the very space of time of the day that Adam lay in darknesse without the promise, from the time of his Fall till God came and revealed Christ to him.

By the Crosse stood the mother of Iesus now a widow, and as it seemeth, destitute of maintenance, therefore he commendeth her to the care and charge of his beloved Disci­ple Iohn. [...] A widow was to be maintained out of the estate of her husbands heirs untill she received her dowry. Maym. in [...] per. 18. But the po­verty of Ioseph and Mary afforded neither heritage, nor dower, nor had they any chil­dren but Iesus who was now dying. If those that are called the brethren of Iesus were the sons of Ioseph by another wife, as some have thought them, they had been fittest to have been charged with the maintenance of the widow.

About the ninth hour Jesus crieth out, Eli, Eli lama sabachthani, that is, My God, my God, why hast thou left me? Not forsaken him, as to the feeling of any spirituall deser­tion, but why left to such hands and to such cruel usage? Some said hereupon he called Elias: but was this said in mockery? or indeed did they think his words Eli, Eli meant Elias? Two things might make them really think so: the unusualnesse of the word Eli or Elohi in their Syriack tongue, the word Mari being it by which they commonly ex­pressed the sense of that. And 2. the common opinion and legends that they had of Elias his coming to comfort and resolve men in distresse and perplexity, of which their Talmuds give not a few examples.

Complaining of thirst he had vinegar given him, which having tasted, and feeling the pangs of death come upon him, he saith, It is finished, and giving up a great cry, and committing his spirit to God, he dieth [at the time of the evening sacrifice.] At which instant there was an earthquake which rent the rocks: and the vail of the Temple was then also rent in the middle: The Priest that offered incense that evening sacrifice time, could bring an amazed testimony of this, when he came forth. The renting of the rocks light in such a place as where were the graves of many Saints hewen out, which now were opened [and shewed the conquest over the grave] and at another earthquake at which Christs grave was opened on the morning of his resurrection, the mouldred bodies of these graves revived, and after his rising they came out of the graves also and came into the holy City. Observe that Matthew cals Ierusalem The holy City, when it hath now murdered Christ, chap. 27.53. How great a matter must it be that must unchurch a Nation?

The Centurion and the company present, at the sight of what strange things had oc­curred, return much affected and full of thoughts about what was done: As the evening grew on, the Jews desire and obtain that the legs of them might be broken so to hasten their end, that they might not hang on the Crosse all night. This dispatcheth the peni­tent thief [howsoever it did the other] as we may conclude from the words of Christ that told him of being that day in Paradise: But Christ being dead already they brake no bone of him, but one with a spear pierceth him, and out of his side cometh water and blood distinct and discernable the one from the other.

At Even Ioseph of Aramathaea [Samuels Town, 1 Sam. 1.1.] a Priest or a Levite, one of the [...] Council-chamber of the Temple, begs the body of Iesus, which otherwise should have been buried in the common graves of malefactors, and intombs it in his own Tomb, Nicodemus joyning with him, and the women observing where he was laid, go and prepare spices for his further imbalming when the Sabbath was over: all [Page 73] shewing their love to him, but in this very action shewing their little expecting his Re­surrection.


MATTH. Chap. XXVIII. from the beginning to Ver. 16.MARK Chap. XVI. from the begin. to Ver. 12.LUKE Chap. XXIV. from the begin, to Ver. 13.JOHN Chap. XX. from the beg. to Ver. 19.

CHRISTS Resurrection, his first appearing, viz. to Mary Magdalen.

AS for the subsequence of this Section to the preceding, there can be no scruple, but it requires some heedfulnesse, to lay the story in it, in its proper currency, because of some seeming diversities in the four in their relating the story of it.

The Lord of life was under death about 36 hours: and so long was that day wherein the Sun stood still in the time of Ioshua: as Kimchi saith, it is the acknowledgement of the Jews: on Iosh. 10.

Christ himself calleth this space three daies and three nights, Matth. 12.40. whereas it was but two nights and one whole day, and two small parts of two more. And yet herein he speaketh warrantably even by the known and allowed Dialect of the Nation. Both the Talmuds in the Treatise Shabbah per. 9. do dispute about the three daies that Israel separated from their wives before the giving of the Law, Exod. 19.15. and among other things they have these passages: R. Akibah made the day a [...] and the night a [...] And so did R. Ismael. But this is a tradition, R. Eliezer ben Azariah saith, [...] A day and a night make a [...], and a part of a [...] is accounted as the whole. Observe these last words to the purpose that we are upon: Three naturall daies by this rule were three [...], and any part of any of these, was ac­counted as the whole of it.

The Evangelists seem to differ somewhat in the mention of the time of the womens coming to the sepulcher. Iohn saith Mary Magdalen came while it was yet dark. Mat­thew, when it began to dawn: whereas Mark saith, she and the other women came thither at Sunrising: All which together speak the story to the full to this tenour. That at the dawning, and while it was yet dark, the women as soon as they could see [at the least Mary Magdalen] set out to go to the Sepulchre: and that was at the very instant of Christs rising, when there was a great earthquake and an Angel came and rolled away the stone. Mary Magdalen came from Bethany, from her brother Lazarus his house [if she came from her own home] and the other women were at their severall lodgings, and to get them all together [for they were to go about this work all together] would spend some time: so that though Mary were so early stirring, yet before they were all got together to the Sepulchre it was Sunrising. These women little knew of the watch that was set over the grave, and the sealing of the stone [which was done on the morning of the Sabbath] for all their care is how to get the stone rolled away. When they come there, they finde that done already [and the watch was fled] and the Angel that had rolled it away sitting on it on the right hand of the entring in, and when they were entred in they saw another Angel, which both told them of his being risen. And thus Matthew and Mark that men­tion but one Angel, are to be reconciled to Luke who speaketh of two.

The women return and tell the Disciples what they had seen, but their words seemed to them as idle tales: yea Mary her self yet beleeved not that he was risen: It is worth stu­dying upon the faith of the Disciples: it was a saving faith in Christ, and yet they belee­ved not that he should die till he was dead, nor beleeved that he should rise again, no not when he was now risen.

Peter and Iohn runne to the Sepulchre, and Mary Magdalen follows them: They see the body gone and the clothes lying there [and Iohn proves the first that beleeves his re­surrection] and they return home, but Mary staies there weeping still: And looking in, she sees two Angels, the one at the head and the other at the feet where the body had lain [like the two Cherubins at either end of the Ark:] And looking behinde her she seeth Iesus, and thought it had been the Gardiner, but presently knew him, and comes away to bring the Disciples word. Here Matthew speaks short: for he mention­eth but one journey of the women to the grave and back, and saith that as they came back Iesus met them. Whereas Mary had two journeys, and it was she alone that met [Page 74] him, and that in her second return. As she returned now the watchmen are come into the City, and bribed to deny that he was risen, and so the chief Priests and Elders give money to hire the Nation into unbelief.

SECTION LXXXVIII. LUKE Chap. XXIV. from Ver. 13. to Ver. 36. MARK Chap. XVI. Ver. 12, 13. His second appearing: viz. to Peter and Alpheus going to Emmaus.

THe same day in the afternoon two of them went to Emmaus a Town sixty furlongs, or seven miles and a half from Ierusalem. Iosephus placeth it at the very same di­stance De Bello lib. 7. cap. 27. calling it there Ammaus, and relating how Vespasian after the destruction of Ierusalem, gave it for the habitation of some of the Roman souldiery left there. But in Antiq. lib. 17. cap. 12. he cals it Emmaus, and relates how it was fired by Varus, &c. It lay in the way towards some part of Galilee, and it may be these two men were now returning home thither, and intended to lodge at Emmaus the first night: but now they stop their journey and return thence the same night to Ierusalem. The two were Peter, and Alpheus the father of three Apostles, who also was called Cleopas. See ver. 18, & 34. of this appearance to Peter, Paul speaks, 1 Cor▪ 15.5.

And that Alpheus and Cleopas were but one and the same person, may not only be conjectured from the nearnesse of the sound, and from their being written in Hebrew with the same letters, [...] but it is made plain in Ioh. 19.25. Where she is called Mary the wife of Cleopas, who in the other Evangelists is clearly evidenced to be Mary the wife of Alpheus, the mother of Iames and Ioses, &c. Mat. 27.56. Mar. 15.40.


LUKE Chap. XXIV. from Ver. 36. to Ver. 49.JOHN Chap. XX. from Ver. 19. to Ver. 26.MARK Chap. XVI. Ver. 14.

His third appearing: viz. to the eleven.

THe connexion is plain in Iohn and Luke: for the former saith, The same day at even­ing being the first day of the week, &c. And the other, that as they were speaking of his appearing to the two at Emmaus, he came in among them. The first day of the week is an ordinary Judaich phrase [...]; and so they reckon the daies forward [...] The second day of the week. [...] The third day of the week, &c. They that are now so very punctuall to have the daies so named and no otherwise, mistake that for a phrase purely Evangelicall, which indeed is a phrase purely Judaicall.

As they sat at Supper Iesus cometh in among them: shews them his hands and side: eateth with them: openeth the Scriptures and their understandings: breatheth upon them, and saith, Receive ye the holy Ghost, &c. Whosoever sinnes ye remit, &c. This was to interest them in a power and priviledge peculiar and distinct from any they had recei­ved yet, and distinct from that they were to receive on Pentecost day, viz. this invested them in power of life and death, to inflict death, or corporall plagues miraculously upon the enemies or disgracers of the Gospel, or to spare them as they should be directed by the holy Ghost, which they here received. The death of Ananias and Saphira was a fruit of this power, as is observed at that story.

Thomas was not present at this time, and yet Mark saith, He appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat: and so Luke 24.33. Peter and Cleopas found the eleven gathered toge­ther, &c. Nay 1 Cor. 15.5. He was seen of the twelve: The title of the whole Chorus being used, though all were not present.

SECTION XC. JOHN Chap. XX. from Ver. 26. to the end. His fourth appearing: Thomas now present.

JOHN saith this was After eight daies, which [reckoning the daies current] was that day seven night, or the first day of the week again: a second establishment of that day for the Christian Sabbath. Thomas upon seeing, beleeves, but blessed are they that have not seen yet have beleeved. See 1 Pet. 1.8.

Tanchum. fol. 8. col. 1. R. Simeon ben Lachish saith, A Proselyte is more lovely in the sight of God then all that company that stood at mount Sinai: Why? Because all they if they had not seen the thunders and lightnings and fire, and the mountains trembling, and the sound of the Trumpet, they would not have received the Law: but a proselyte though he see none of these things, yet he comes and gives up himself to God, and takes upon him the Kingdom of heaven.

SECTION XCI. JOHN Chap. XXI. all the Chapter. MATTH. Chap. XXVIII. Ver. 16. Then the eleven Disciples went away into Galilee. A fifth appearing: To seven of the Apostles at the sea of Tiberias, &c.

CHRIST before his death had told them of his meeting with them in Galilee after his resurrection: and when he was risen, he appoints them to a mountain there. They are now come up into the Countrey, and while they wait the time of his appointment, Peter and six other of the Apostles go a fishing: not as their trade now, for they never had been all of them fishers before, but either for a present supply of provision for them­selves, or for present imployment till their Master should dispose of them. He had at first revealed himself to three of these seven [nay four, if Andrew were here] by a miracu­lous draught of fishes, and so he doth to them all now: and who can tell whether they had not some thoughts of that, and some expectation of the like appearing now, which did the rather urge them to this work?

At sea he helpeth them to a marvailous draught of 153 great fishes [so many thou­sands were the proselytes that wrought for the Temple, only 600 over, 2 Chron. 2.17.] and at land he had provided them a dinner against they came ashore, and dines with them. And this, saith Iohn, was the third time that he shewed himself to his Disciples: which asserts the order of this Section, and sheweth that this was before his appearing to the whole number at the mountain where he had appointed them: The two times that he had appeared to them before this, this Evangelist giveth account of before, namely one time when Thomas was not present, and another time when he was.

After dinner he putteth Peter to a threefold confession, answerable to his threefold deniall, and foretelleth his Martyrdom, but telleth that Iohn should live till he should come: meaning in that sense, as his coming and coming in glory is oft used in the Gospel, namely his coming to take vengeance of the unbelieving Jewish Nation: Peter should be Mar­tyred by them, but Iohn should live to see them receive their deserts.


MATTH. Chap. XXVIII. from Ver. 16. to the end.MARK Chap. XVI. Ver. 15, 16, 17, 18.LUKE Chap. XXIV. Ver. 49.

A sixth appearing: at the mountain in Galilee to all the eleven: and 500 more.

HIs appointing them into Galilee to such a mount [it is like to that mount neer Caper­naum where he had chosen the Apostles and made his Sermon, Matth. 5.] was not barely to appear to the eleven, for that had he done before, and that could he have done at Ierusalem, but it was an intended meeting, not only with the eleven, but with the whole multitude of his Galilean and other Disciples, and therefore he published this ap­pointment so oft, before and after his Resurrection: and we cannot so properly under­stand [Page 76] his being seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of which the Apostle speaketh, 1 Cor. 15.6. of any other time and place as of this: He had appointed the place, and the concourse argueth that he had appointed the time too, or at least this concourse waited at the place till his time should come. And here may we conceive that he kept the Lords day or the first day of the week for the Christian Sabbath with this multitude of his Disciples; revealing himself clearly to them, and preaching to them of the things that concerned the Kingdom of God.

Particularly he gives command and commission to go and disciple all Nations: For whereas hitherto he had confined them to preach only to Israel, now must they preach to every creature, Mark 16.15. [...] [See Colos. 1.23.]. [...] is the Jews or­dinary language, that is, to all men. [...] Solomon in his Pro­verbs makes known Theory and Practice to the creatures, Kafvenaki in Prov. 1. [...] He causeth the holy Ghost to dwell upon the creatures, Mid [...]. Til. in Psal. 135. Nimrod made Idols [...] and caused the creatures to erre, Tanch. fol. 8.4. The Lord requires that [...] the creatures should pray before him, Id. fol. 16.4. In which and an hundred other instances that might be given, the word Creatures signifieth only Men: and their charge and commission to preach the Gospel to every creature, means to all men, the Gentiles as well as the Jews.

Warrant then and charge is given for the fetching of them in [the great mystery, Ephes. 3.4, 6.] who had lain subject to vanity of Idolatry, and under the bondage of all manner of corruption ever since their casting off at Babel 2203 years ago. They had been taught of the devil, his oracles and delusions, &c. but now they must all be taught of God, Isa. 54.13. by the preaching of the Gospel. They had in some few numbers in this space been taught by Israel to know the Lord and proselyted into their Religion, but now such proselyting should not need, for all must come to the knowledge of God, Heb. 8.11. the Gospel carrying the knowledge of him, and it being carried through all Nations. Those of them that had come into the Church of Israel and the true Religion, had been inducted and sealed into it, by being baptized. Talm. in Iebam. per. 4. &c. And so that proselyte Sacrament [as I may so call i [...] ▪] must be carried and continued among all Na­tions, as a badge of homage and subjection to Christ to whom all power is given in hea­ven and earth; and of the profession of the true God, The Father, Sonne and holy Ghost, against all false Gods and false worship. Infants born of Christian parents are to bear this badge, though when they undertake it, they understand not what they do, because none in Christian families should continue without the note of homage to Christs sove­raignty, and this distinctive mark against Heathenism that worshippeth false Gods, as no male among Israel after eight daies old must be without the badge of Circum­cision.

Discipling was not of persons already taught, but to that end that they should be taught, and if the Disciples understood this word in Christs command after any other sense, it was different from the sense of the word, which the Nation had ever used and only used: For in their Schools a person was made [...] a Scholar or Disciple, when he gave in himself to such a Master to be taught and trained up by him: and in the Disci­pling of Proselytes to the Jews Religion, it was of the very like tenour. That sense there­fore that many put upon these words, viz. that none are to be baptized but those that are throughly taught, is such a one as the Apostles and all the Jewish Nation had never known or heard of before.

That wretched and horrid opinion that denieth the Godhead of Christ, and the God­head of the holy Ghost, little observeth, or at least will not see why the administration of Baptism among the Gentiles must be in the Name of the Father, Sonne and holy Ghost, whereas among the Jews it was only in the Name of Iesus, Act. 2.38. namely for this reason, that as by that among the Jews, Iesus was to be professed for the true Messias against all other, so by this among the Gentiles who had worshipped false Gods, The Fa­ther, Sonne and holy Ghost should be professed the only true God. And it would be but a wild, as well as an irreligious Paraphrase that that opinion would make of this passage, Go preach the Gospel to every creature, and Baptize them in the Name of the Son a creature, and the holy Ghost a creature.

He promiseth the miraculous gifts of the holy Ghost to them that should beleeve: [not to all, but to some for the confirmation of the Doctrine:] and chargeth the Disciples to return to Ierusalem and there to stay till he should pour down the holy Ghost upon them, [Page 77] to inable them for this Ministry among all Nations, to which he had designed them. Mark and Luke do briefly adde the story of his ascension, because they will dispatch his whole story, but that is related more amply, Act. 1.

A seventh appearing: To Iames.

After the appearing to above five hundred Brethren at once, which we suppose and not without ground to have been that last mentioned, the Apostle relateth that he was seen of Iames, 1 Cor. 15.7. and then of all the Apostles: which doth plainly rank this ap­pearance to Iames between that to the five hundred Brethren on the mountain in Galilee, and his coming to all the Apostles when they were come again to Ierusalem. Which Iames this was, Paul is silent of, as all the Evangelists are, of any such particular ap­pearance. It is most like he means Iames the lesse, of whom he speaks oft elsewhere, and so doth the story of the Acts of the Apostles as one of specialler note in the time of Pauls preaching among the Gentiles. We reade oft in the Gospels, of Peter and Iames and Iohn three Disciples of singular eminency in regard of the privacy that Christ vouchsafed to them at some speciall times, more then to the other Apostles, and in that he badged them with a peculiar mark of changing their names, and did not so by any of the other. But that Iames was the sonne of Zebedee: Now when he was Martyred, Act. 12. you finde that Iames the sonne of Alpheus called Iames the lesse, came to be ranked in the like dig­nity with Peter and Iohn, and was Minister of the Circumcision, in speciall manner with them, Gal. 2.9. they to the Jews scattered abroad, and he residentiary in Iudea. See Act. 15.13. & 21.18. Gal. 2.13. If we question how he of all the rest of the Apostles came in, to make up that triumvirate when the other Iames was gone, we cannot tell where so pregnantly to give an answer as from hence; in that Christ vouchsafed thus par­ticularly to appear to him, which was not only an argument, but might carry the virtue of a command, to bring him into that rank, Office and Imployment, when the other Iames had run his course.



CHRIST. XXXIII FRom Galilee where Christ had last appeared to his Disciples, he remand­eth them back to Ierusalem, and there cometh again to them. Where among other conference, they question him, Whether he would at that time restore the Kingdom to Israel? His summoning them again to that place, the Metropolis, it may be gave them occasion to move that questi­on; they as yet, with the rest of the Nation conceiting the Messias a temporal Deliverer; and possibly not fully understanding what he meant by the promise of the Father. His answer, It is not for you to know the times and seasons, intimates not that ever there should be such a restauration, but it smartly checketh their curiosity, as erroneous and needless; and sets them to look off earthly longings, to minde the busi­nesse they had to do, viz. to preach him through the world. He leadeth them out as farre on mount Olivet, as where it began to be called Bethany, and there, about the place where he had begun his triumphant riding upon an Asse into Ierusalem, he now rides triumphantly into heaven in a cloud.

The Disciples having seen his Ascension, and two Angels, that told them of his com­ing again in like manner as he went, return to Ierusalem, and there go up into an upper room, and their number is summed up an hundred and twenty. [...] An upper room was ordinarily chosen by the Learned of the Jews for their meeting place to discusse and determine matters of Learning and Religion. Schab. per. 1. halac. 4. These are the articles that the Schooles of Shammai and Hillel discussed [...] in the chamber, or upper room of Chananiah ben Hezekiah, &c. Jerus. Pesachin. fol. 30. col. 2. [...] The upper room of Beth Arum in Lydda, &c.

[Page 80]An hundred and twenty were not all the present professors in Ierusalem, but these spo­ken of were they that were of Christs constant retinue, and companied with him all the time that he went in and out among them, ver. 21. and who being constant witnesses of his acti­ons, and auditors of his doctrine, were appo [...]ed by him for the Ministry. These are they that the story meaneth all along in these passages: Chap. 2.1. They were all together. Chap. 4.21. They went to their company. Chap. 6.3. Look ye out among your selves. Chap. 8. They were all scattered abroad except the Apostles. Chap. 11.19. They which were scatter­ed abroad, preached, &c. The Jews say, Ezras great Synagogue, was of a hundred and twenty men. Avoth R. Nathan per. 4. Juchasin fol. 13. And their Canons allow not the setting up of a Sanhedrin of three and twenty Iudges, in any City; but where there were an hundred and twenty men fit, some for one Office and imployment, some for ano­ther. Talm. in Sanhedr. per. 1. and Maymony in his Treatise of the same name, per. 1.

The activity of Peter in the work of the Gospel, mentioned more along this story, then of any of the others, was not only injoyned, but also inlivened, by that saying of his Master, When thou art converted strengthen thy brethren: and he that had fallen so foul, as he had done, had need of all industry to evidence his recovery, and to get ground again.

The Phrase in ver. 25. Iudas is gone to his own place, may properly be compared with the opinion of the nation, about a traytour, He that betrayeth an Israelite, either body or goods, into the hands of the Heathen, hath no portion in the world to come, Maym. in chobel Umazzik per. 8. And with the Glosse of Baal Turim upon these words in Num. 24.25. Balaam went to his own place, They mean, saith he, that he went to hell.


THe expectation of the Nation grounded from Dan. 9. that the Messias should ap­pear about this time, Luke 19.11. had brought multitudes of Iews out of all Nati­ons to see the issue: And Pentecost having brought up also all the Country of Iudea to celebrate that Feast; in this double conflux of people, the holy Ghost is given and com­eth down upon the hundred and twenty Disciples, in the likenesse of fiery tongues: At which very time of the year, and in fire, the Law had been given 1447 years ago. The Ierus. Gomarists in Taanith. fol. 65. col. 3. have a saying, That as Ierusalem was destroyed by fire, so should it be rebuilt by fire. And in Iom tobh fol. 61. col. 3. and Chagigah fol. 78. col. 1. they say that David died at the Feast of Pentecost. Both passages regardable at this place.

As the confusion of tongues at Babel had caused the casting off of the Gentiles, by severing them from the participation of the true Religion [which was only professed and known in the Hebrew tongue] so was the gift of tongues, to be a needfull means, to bring them in to Religion again; when every one may hear of the things of God in his own language. The Disciples were doubly indowed by this gift, as to the matter of lan­guage; for they were hereby inabled to speak to every Nation in their own tongue; and not that only, but they were inabled to understand the Originals of Scripture, which they understood not before. Their birth and breeding had not allowed them so much learning as to understand any Bible that was then extant, either Hebrew or Greek, but here is the first operation of this gift of the Spirit upon them, that they are first made able to understand the Originals of Scripture, and then able to unlock them to any one in their own tongue. And here should they begin that take on them to expound the Scri­ptures by the Spirit, namely to unlock the difficulties of the Originall languages, [for therein the mainest difficulty of the Scripture lodgeth] according as was the method of the Spirits operation in the Apostles.

Pentecost was a time of rejoycing, and at all such festivities the Jews had ever good store of wine stirring: so that these men conclude that they had drunk too much and spake as men distract: which Peter confutes by telling them it was not yet the third hour of the day, or nine a clock. For upon their Sabbaths and holidaies they used not to eat or drink till their Synagogue service was done. Maym. in Schab. per. 30. which was not of a good while after nine a clock.

His alleadging of Ioel, In the last daies I will pour out my Spirit, &c. teacheth us how to construe the phrase, The last daies, in exceeding many places both of the Old Testa­ment and the New, as Isa. 2.1. 1 Tim. 4.1. & 2 Tim. 3.1. 1 Pet. 4.7. 1 Ioh. 2.19, &c. [Page 81] namely for the last daies of Ierusalem and the Jewish State. For to take his words in any other sense [as some do for the last daies of the world] is to make his allegation utterly impertinent and monstrous.

Three thousand converted, are Baptized In the Name of the Lord Iesus, ver. 38. which no whit disagreeth from the command, Baptize in the Name of the Father and of the Son, &c. Matth. 28.19. For the form of Baptism in those first daies of the Gospel, of which the New Testament giveth the story, may be considered under a threefold condition. 1. Iohn the Baptist baptized in the Name of Messias, or Christ that was then ready to come, but that Iesus of Nazareth was he, he himself knew not till he had run a good part of his course, Ioh. 1.31. as was observed before. 2. The Disciples baptizing the Jews, baptized them in the Name of Iesus: upon this reason, because the great point of con­troversie then in the Nation about Messias was, Whether Iesus of Nazareth were he or no. All the Nation acknowledged a Messias, but the most of them abominated that Iesus of Nazareth should be thought to be he: therefore those that by the preaching of the Gospel came to acknowledge him to be Messias, were baptized into his Name, as the criticall badge of their imbracing the true Messias. But 3. among the Gentiles where that question was not afoot, they baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Ghost. And so that baptizing in the Name of Iesus, was for a season for the set­ling of the evidence of his being Messias, and when that was throughly established, then it was used no more, but Baptism was in the Name of the Father, and Son, &c. Of the same cognizance were those extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, evidences of Iesus his being the Messias, and means of conveying the Gospel through the world, and when both these were well established, then those gifts ceased for ever.

All that beleeved were together and had all things common, ver. 46. The children of those that beleeved, must come under the title of Beleevers too, or they must famish. For this community of goods being for the relief of the poor, as we shall shew at the fourth Cha­pter, the children, babes and infants of beleeving parents that were poor, must be taken in under this expression, All that beleeved, &c. or how did they for support? If the com­munity of goods reacht them as well as their parents, the title must reach them too: When a Master of a family was baptized, his children were they never so young were baptized with him, and hence the mention of baptizing whole housholds, Act. 16.15.33. They that pleading against Infants Baptism, do cavill, that it may be, there were no Infants in those families that are mentioned, bewray that they little understand the manner of administring Baptism in its first use. For the stress of the business lies not in this; whether it can be proved that there were Infants in those families, where it is recorded, that whole housholds were baptized, but the case is this, that in all families whatsoever, were there never so many Infants, they were all baptized, when their parents were baptized. Thus was the constant custom among the Jews for admission of Proselytes, and thence this Canon, That a woman proselyted and baptized when she was great with child, her childe need­ed not then to be baptized when it was born. Maym. in Issure biah per. 13. For if he had been born before she was baptized, he must have been baptized with her. And the New Te­stament gives so little evidence of the altering this custom, at those first baptizings under the Gospel, that it plainly on the contrary shews the continuance of it, when it speaketh of the Apostles baptizing whole housholds.


PEntecost Feast lasted eight daies, as well as their other Feasts, Passeover, Tabernacles, and Dedication did. Ierus. in Moed Katon, and Chagigah at large. The occurrences of the very day of Pentecost it self, are related already: Now whether the healing of the Creeple, and the consequences upon that, contained in the third Chapter, befell upon the same day in the afternoon, or on the next day after, which was the day when all the males appeared before the Lord in the Temple, or further in the Feast, is not certain, but that they were within the compasse of the Feast, is more then probable, by the great mul­titude that was converted at one Sermon.

Peter and Iohn go into the Temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. Talm. in Pesa­chin. per. 5. The dayly sacrifice of the evening was killed at the eight hour and a half, and offered at the ninth hour and an half. Joseph. Antiq. lib. 14. cap. 8. [...], &c. Twice a day, nvmely in the morning and about the ninth hour, they offered on the [Page 82] Altar. There, as they go in, at the East-gate, that led into the Court of the women, they finde and heal a Creeple, which had been so from his birth. The Jews looked upon this miracle, as wrought by their own holinesse, as appears by the Apostles answer to them, ver. 12. For such a conceit walked among the Nation, that extraordinary holinesse might attain to miraculous workings. R. Phinehas ben Iair saith, Industry bringeth to purity, Purity to cleannesse, Cleannesse to holinesse, Holinesse to humblenesse, Humblenesse to fear of sin, Fear of sin to partaking of the holy Ghost. Jerus. Schab. fol. 3. col. 3.

Yet are they imprisoned that night, and the next morning convented before the Coun­cill. Among others which are named of the Councill, which were Priests, Alexander and Iohn, mentioned ver. 6. seem to be Alexander Alabarcha, or his son, and Rabban Iochanan ben Zaccai, the later, Vice-president at this time under Rabban Gamaliel.

They dismissed, come to their own company, and related what had occurred, and up­on joynt prayer the place is shaken, and they are again filled with the holy Ghost. Why? What could be added to them they having been so filled with the holy Ghost before? In their prayer they petitioned these two things, That God would give them boldnesse to speak his Word, and that Healings and Signes and Wonders might be done in the Name of Iesus: And the power of both these fals now upon them: and especially, it may be conceived that Wonder of Wonders, upon the twelve, power to bestow the holy Ghost.

The community of goods, with the mention of which the second and the fourth Cha­pters conclude, may be considered under these two animadversions: 1. That although persecution as yet for the Gospel, had brought none to poverty, yet it is manifest that there were poor amongst them. And some come to the more poverty for the Gospel sake too. For if they were poor before they received the Gospel, then the Synagogue of which they were provided for them: but now they were destitute of that provision, they having forsaken the Synagogue; or at the least the Synagogue them, because of their forsaking of their Judaism. For the Evangelicall Church therefore, that was now begun, to provide for her poor, it had not only the Synagogue for an example, but would have had it for a reproach, if they had neglected so needfull a duty, which that took care for so constantly and tenderly. 2. This having of all things common therefore, was not an extinction of propriety and of meum & tuum, as if one rich man should have as good interest in another rich mans estate as himself, but it was intended mainly for the relief of the poor: Not to bring any that had estates to voluntary poverty, nor to levell estates, but to releeve those which stood in need. Chap. 2.45. & 4.35. Distribution was made to every man as he had need: To them that preached the word for their maintenance, and to the poor for their relief.


ANanias and Sapphira set up as everlasting monuments to all generations of Gods just indignation against the despisers of the Spirit of Christ. [...] The Spirit of Messias was in honourable mention and esteem in the Nation, in their common speech, though they would not know him when he was revealed. Now the sinne of this couple was first coveteousnesse, but especially presuming to play false, and yet thinking to go undiscovered of that Spirit which wrought so powerfully in the Apostles. That cur­sed opinion that denies the Godhead of the holy Ghost, runs parallel with this sinne of Ananias and Sapphira to a hair.

Peters warrant for this execution we may reade in that passage, Iohn 20.22, 23. He breathed on them and said, Receive ye the holy Ghost, whose sins ye remit they are remitted, and whose sins ye retain they are retained. How? To forgive sins absolutely? this belongs only to God. Was it to forgive them declaratively? This seems too low a construction, and too re­strained: It seemeth therefore the most proper meaning of this donation, that he now indu­ed them with power, to avenge what sins the holy Ghost [now received] should direct them, to avenge, with bodily plagues, giving up to Satan, or with death: and again to remit such penalties as they should be directed to remit, and they should be remitted. The holy Ghost whom they had received then with so peculiar a power, Ananias and Saphira do here plainly vilifie, and affront directly; therefore an execution of such power upon them was as proper and direct. But be it whether it will, that Peter took his warrant originally from thence, or had it instantly by some immediate revelation, as the judge­ment [Page 83] was fearfull, so his executing of it was remarkable, shewing at once his assurance of the pardon of his own lying against his Master, when he can and dare thus avenge a lye against the holy Ghost: and also his just zeal and activity for the honour of his Ma­ster whom he had denied.

It is said in ver. 12. They were all in Solomons porch, which was the East cloister of the mount of the Temple, and in part of it did the Sanhedrin now sit, and the Apostles not afraid to act so near them: But at last they are apprehended and imprisoned, but mira­culously inlarged, and preaching in the Temple again: and thereupon convented before the Councill. Gamaliel, Pauls master was now President, and continued in this dignity till within eighteen years of the destruction of the City. He pleadeth here for the Apostles, not out of any love to their persons or doctrine, for he lived and died a down right Pha­risee: but partly because he saw the Sadduces at present the chief agents against them, and chiefly because the miracles they wrought were so plain and convincing, that he could move no lesse then what he did. And yet for all the fairnesse of this man at this time, yet did he afterward ordain and publish that prayer called [...] The prayer against Hereticks, meaning Christians; framed indeed by Samuel Katon, but ap­proved and authorized by this man, President of the Sanhedrin [then at Iabuch] and commanded to be used constantly in their Synagogues, in which they prayed against the Gospel and the professors of it▪ Taanith. fol. 65.3. Maym. in Tephil. per. 2.


THe seven Deacons [as they are commonly called] chosen by occasion of the Helle­nists murmuring against the Hebrews about neglect of their widows. The Hebrews were Jews the inhabitants of Iudea, and the Hellenists those Jews that lived in other Countries dispersedly among the Greeks: Not only in Greece, but almost in all other Countries, which the conquests of Alexander, and the continuance of the Syrogre­cian Monarchy after him had filled with Greeks, as all Countries also were filled with Jews.

In all the Jews Synagogues there were [...] Parnasin, Deacons, or such as had care of the poor, whose work it was to gather alms for them from the Congregation, and to distribute it to them. [...] There were two that gathered alms for them and one more added to distribute it to them. Maym. in Sanhedr. per. 1. R. Chelbe in the name of R. Ba bar Zabda saith, They appoint not lesse then three Parnasin. For if judgement about pecuniary matters were judged by three, much more this matter which concerneth life is to be managed by three. Jerus. in Peah fol. 21. col. 1. That needfull office is here translated into the Christian Church: and the seven are chosen to this work out of the number of the hundred and twenty that are mentioned, chap. 1.15. and that company only was the choosers of them, and not all the Beleevers in Ierusalem. The reason why the Hebrews neglected the widows of the Hellenists may be supposed, ei­ther because they would stick to their old rule, mentioned once before, That a widow was to be maintained by her husbands children. Talm. in che [...]b. per. 11. Maym. in [...] per. 18. [compare 1 Tim. 5.4.] or because the Hebrews of Iudea had brought in more into the common stock for the poor, by sale of their Goods and Lands, then those that had come from forrain Countries had done, they not having Goods and Lands so ready to sell. All that had been brought in hitherto, had been put into the Apostles hands, and they had been burdened with the care and trouble of the disposall of it: but now they transferre that work and office to the seven, solemnly ordaining them by Imposition of hands into it, and here only, the Imposition of the Apostles hands confers not the holy Ghost, for these men were full of the holy Ghost before.

Stephen an eminent man among them, is quarrelled by certain of the Libertines, and the Hellenists Synagogue. Libertini [...] are exceeding frequently spoken of in the Jews Writings. And the Alexandrian Synagogue [one of the Hellenists] is menti­oned in Jerus. in Megillah. fol. 73. col. 4. and Juchas. fol. 26. who tell, that R. Eliezer bar Zadoc took the Synagogue of the Alexandrians that was at Ierusalem, and imployed it to his own use.

When they are notable to overpower him by argument and disputation, they take a ready way to do it, by false accusation, and conventing him before the Sanhedrin: where being accused of vilifying Moses, and speaking of the destruction of that place, he is vin­dicated, [Page 84] even miraculously, before he pleadeth his own cause, by his face shining like the face of Moses, and bearing an Angelicall aspect and Majesty; for indeed he spake but what was spoken by the Angel Gabriel, Dan. 9.26, 27.

In his Apology, he speaketh to the heads of his accusation, but somewhat abstrusely; yet so as to them to whom he spake to be well understood, his discourse being according to their own Rhetorick and Logick: To what was laid to his charge, for vilifying Moses, and saying, his customs should be changed, he rehearseth in brief the whole history of Moses, and shews he was Orthodox to him; but yet he driveth all to this, that as the times before Moses were still moving and growing on to settlement in Moses, so when Moses himself had setled all he had to do, yet he pointed them to a Prophet yet to come, to whom they should hearken as the ultimate Oracle, which was this Iesus that he preached to them. And whereas he was accused for speaking of the destruction of the Temple, he first shews, that fixednesse to this or that place, is not so much to be stood upon, as ap­pears by the flitting condition of the Patriachs [whose flittings he giveth the story of at large] and by the moving condition of the Tabernacle before the Temple was built: And when the Temple was built, it was not because God would confine himself to one place, for the most High dwelleth not in Temples made with hands, ver. 48. &c.

He inserteth two or three sharp and true accusations of them, whereas theirs of him had been but false and causelesse. As, that their fathers had persecuted those that fore­told of Christ, as they did him for now preaching him, and they followed their fathers steps; nay went further, for they had murdered Christ, whereas their fathers had but murdered his Prophets. And whereas they were so punctuall, about the Ceremo­nious rites given by Moses, they neglected the morall Law, which was given by the dispo­sition of Angels.

This cuts them to the heart, that they passe a rancourous and furious sentence of death upon him: but he hath a sight of the high bench of heaven, God and Christ at his right hand, their judge and his: A most fit prospect for the first Martyr.

They cast him out of the City and stone him for blasphemy. For these were to be stoned, He that went in to his mother, or to his fathers wife, or to his daughter in Law, or to a male, or to a beast: and he that blasphemed, or that committed Idolatry, &c. And the place of sto­ning was out from the place of Iudgement, [nay out of the City, as the Gomarists resolve it] because it is said, Bring him that cursed, out of the Camp. And A crier went before him, that was to die, proclaiming his fault. Sanhedr. per. 6. & 7.

When he was come within four cubits of the place of stoning, they stript him naked: only covered his nakednesse before. Ibid.

And being come to the very place, first the witnesses laid their hands upon him, Maym. in Avodah Zarah per. 2. and then stripping off their coats that they might be more expedite for their present work, first one of them dasheth his loins violently against a stone that lay for that purpose: if that killed him not, then the other dasheth a great stone upon his heart, as he lay on his back▪ and if that dispatched him not, then all the people fell upon him with stones. Talm. ubi sup.

Steven in the midst of all this their fury, and his own anguish, gets on his knees and prayes for them: and having so done he fell asleep. The Jews do ordinarily use the word [...] to signifie Dying, which properly signifies sleeping, especially when they speak of a fair and comfortable death: which word Luke translates here. [...] All that were stoned were also hanged up upon a tree. Talm. ubi supr. Whether Steven were so used is uncertain, but it is evident that he had a fair buriall, and not the buriall of a malefactour.


CHRIST. XXXIV A Great persecution followeth the death of Steven: in which Saul was a chief agent, scholar of Gamaliel [President of the Sanhedrin] and it may be the busier for that. In Talm. Bab. Sanhedr. fol. 43. col. 1. they say, Iesu had five Disciples, Mathai, Nakai, Netser, Boni and Thodah, and they are urging reasons there, why they should all be put to death, &c.

All the hundred and twenty Ministers mentioned, Chap. 1.15. are scattered abroad [only the twelve stay at Ierusalem as in the furnace to comfort and cherish the Church [Page 85] there in so sad a time] and they preach all along as they go, and so Satan breaks his own head by his own design, for by persecution by which he had contrived to smother▪ the Gospel, it spreads the more.

The first plantation of it mentioned, is in Samaria, and that according to Christs own direction, and foretelling, Act. 1.8. Ye shall be witnesses to me, both in Ierusalem and in all Iudea, and in Samaria, &c. He had forbidden them before, Go not into the way of the Gen­tiles, and into any City of the Samaritans do not enter, Matth. 10.5. but now that partition wall that had been between, is to be broken down. Of all Nations and people under heaven the Samaritans were the most odious to the Jews, and a main reason was, be­cause they were Jews Apostates. For though the first peopling of that place, after the Captivity of the ten Tribes, was by Heathens, 2 King. 17. yet upon the building of the Temple on mount Gerizim, such multitudes of Jews continually flocked thither, that generally Samaritanism was but a mongrell Iudaism. They called Iacob their father, ex­pected Messias, had their Temple, Priesthood, Service, Penteteuch, &c. And to spare more, take but this one passage in Talm. Jerus. Pesachin fol. 27.2. The Cuthaeans all the time that they celebrate their unleavened bread feast with Israel, they are to be beleeved con­cerning their putting away of leaven: If they do not keep their unleavened bread feast with Israel, they are not to be beleeved concerning their putting away of leaven. Rabban Gamaliel saith, All the Ordinances that the Cuthaeans use, they are more punctuall in them then Israel is. It is an unhappy obscurity that the Hebrew Writers have put upon the word Cuthaeans, for though it most properly signifie Samaritans, yet have they so commonly given this name to Christians, as the most odious name they could invent to give them, that in the most places that you meet with it, you cannot tell whether they mean the one or the other. In the place cited, it seemeth indeed most likely that it means the Samaritans, be­cause it speaks of their keeping the feast of unleavened bread, and using the Ordinances of Israel: unlesse it speak of those Jews that had received the Gospel and become Chri­stians, and were fallen to their Judaism again, and joyned that with their Christianity, which very many did, as we shall have occasion to observe hereafter.

Simon Magus taketh upon him to beleeve and is baptized: The naming of him cals to minde the mention of one Simon a Magician that Iosephus speaks of, Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 5. who was a means to intice Drusilla from her former husband to go and marry Felix the Governour of Iudea, this might very well be that man. And it mindes of a passage in Tal. Ierus. in Iebamoth fol. 13. col. 1. [...] I cannot but render it, The Simonians came to Rabbi, and said to him We pray thee give us a man to be our Expositor, Iudge, Minister, Scribe, Traditionary, and to do for us all we need. I know what [...] is in Tal. Bab. in Cholin. fol. 15. But certainly [...] means some people, but whence so named, there is no disputing here.

Philip baptized Samaria, and did great wonders among them, but could not bestow the holy Ghost upon them: that power belonged only to the Apostles; therefore Peter and Iohn are sent thither for that purpose. They laid their hands upon them and they recei­ved the holy Ghost: Not upon all, for what needed that? or what reason was there for it? The gifts of the holy Ghost that were received, were these miraculous ones, of Tongues, Prophecy, &c. Acts 10.46. & 19.6. Now of these there were but these two ends, 1. For the confirmation of the doctrine of the Gospel, such miraculous gifts at­tending it. And 2. for instruction of others: for Tongues were given indeed for a sign, 1 Cor. 14.22. but not only for a sign, but for edification and instruction, as the A­postle also sheweth at large in the same Chapter. Now both these ends were attained, though they that received the holy Ghost were not all, but only a few and set number: nay the later not conceivable of all, for if all were inabled miraculously to be Teachers, who were to be taught? The Imposition therefore of the Apostles hands, mentioned here and elsewhere, and those passages, These signes shall follow those that beleeve, they shall cast out devils, they shall speak with Tongues, &c. Mark 16.17. Repent and be bapti­zed every one of you, and ye shall receive the gift of the holy Ghost, Act. 2.38, &c. were not upon all that beleeved the Gospel, and were baptized: but upon some certain number, whom they were directed by the holy Ghost to lay their hands upon, as those men that God had appointed and determined for Preachers and Ministers to the people, and who by the Imposition of the Apostles hands, receiving the holy Ghost, were by those gifts inabled to understand the language and sense of Scripture, and to be instructers of the people, and to; build them up.

[Page 86] Candaces Eunuch, having been at Ierusalem to worship, and returning back is con­verted by Philip. [Of Candace Queen of Meroe in Aethiopia, see Strabo lib. 17.] He met with him in the way that lead from Ierusalem to Gaza the desert. Of this place Strabo again lib. 16. speaketh thus, Then is the haven of the Gazaeans: above which, some seven furlongs, is the City, once glorious, but ruined by Alexander [...] and it re­maineth desert. Diodorus Siculus cals it [...] The old Gaza, lib. 19. for another was built at the haven by the sea side, called sometimes Maiuma. Gozom. Eccles. hist. lib. 5. cap. 3. and afterward Constantia, named so by Constantine after the name of his sister: as saith Euseb. de Vit. Constant. lib. 4. cap. 28. or as Sozomon, of his sonne Con­stantius.

Whether this Eunuch were a Jew or a Proselyte is scarce worth inquiring: his devo­tion is farre more worth spending thoughts upon, which brought him so long a journey, and imployed him so well in his travail, as in reading the Scripture. He is baptized in the name of Iesus, ver. 37. and [as it may well be conceived] takes ship at Gaza, and is the first, that we finde, that carried the profession of Iesus into Africk. The mention of which, may justly call our thoughts to consider of the Temple built in Egypt by Onias, and the vast numbers of Jews that were in that and the Countries thereabouts, and yet how little intimation there is, in the New Testament Story, by whom or how the Gospel was conveyed into those parts.

Philip is rapt by the Spirit from Gaza to Azotus, which were 270 furlongs, or 34 miles asunder, as Diodor. Sicul. ubi supra, measures.

ACTS CHAP. IX. from the beginning to Ver. 23.

THe conversion of Paul: A monument of mercy, 1 Tim. 1.14.16. A Pharisee, a persecutor, a murderer, yet become a Christian, a Preacher, an Apostle.

He consented to Stevens death: and after that he gets a Commission from the chief Priests, and makes desperate havock in Ierusalem, Act. 8.2. & 22.4. & 26.10.

We finde all along this Book, that the chief Priests are not only the busiest men in per­secuting of the Gospel, but in many places it is related so, as if they were the only men and had intire power in their own hands, as a peculiar Court, to give Commissions, to judge, condemn and execute: as it hath been and is the opinion of some, that there was an Ecclesiasticall Sanhedrin distinct from the Civil.

It is true indeed that there was in the Temple a Consistory only of Priests, which sat in the room called Parhedrin, and Liscath Bulente, The Chamber of the Council: but these sate not there, as Magistrates over the people, but only as a Consistory, to take care of the service and affairs of the Temple, that nothing should be wanting, nor no­thing slacked that was required about it, or that conduced to the promoting of the ser­vice of it, and their power extended not beyond that virge. Any other Concessus or Consistory of Priests alone, then this, I beleeve cannot be shewed in any records of that Nation, and this is far from the power and constitution of a Sanhedrin. The Talmud in­deed in Chetuhboth per. 1. Halac. 5. speaketh of a Beth din, or Consistory of the Priests which required 400 zuzims in dower or joynture for a virgin: Which seemeth to assert this as a peculiar Court, invested with distinct power from the other. But the Gomarists, espe­cially the Babylonian do make it plain, that no such thing can be inferred from this acti­on: for they tell us that the Priests determined this businesse of 400 zuzims dower to their own daughters, only for the honour of their Tribe and blood: So that this was not any act of judiciall power binding others, but an act of consent among themselves to keep up the credit of their Function and Families. But here is not time and place to dis­cusse this point [a matter of no small Controversie] further then what may give illu­stration to the subject before us.

How to understand therefore this judiciall activity of the chief Priests throughout this book, the Evangelist hath given us a rule betime in the story, Chap. 4. ver. 5. Where he shews that the whole Sanhedrin is to be understood, of which the Priests were a great, if not the greatest part, and were in this cause the busiest men. In case of necessity, there might be a Sanhedrin, though never a Priest or Levite was of it, for so is their own Ca­non, namely if fit men of either rank were not to be found; but in common carriage, and experience they were the greatest and most potent number, as whose profession and Function bespake studiousnesse and pleaded honour. In all the New Testament we meet [Page 87] but with these men by name, of all the Sanhedrin. Anna [...], and Caiaphas and Iohn, and Alexander, Gamaliel, Nicodemus, and Ioseph of Arimathea. And how many of these were not Priests? Gamaliel indeed was of the Tribe of [...], and of the Progeny of David, being grandchilde of Hill [...]l ▪ But as for all the rest, some of them were undoubt­edly of the Priesthood, and the others more probably so [...] then of any other Tribe▪ Of Annas and Caiaphas there is no question▪ And if Iohn, Acts 4.6. be the eminente [...] Iohn that was then among them, it means Rabban Iochanan ben Zaccai ▪ who was now Vicepresident of the Council, and he was a Priest as Iuchusi [...] tels us. And if Nicodemus be the same with the eminentest Nicodemus of those time of whom Avoth R Mathan per. 6▪ and Talm. bab. in Cetubbeth fol. 66. make [as we have no cause to think otherwise] then was he by their plain description a Priest likewise. And so was Ioseph of Arimathea, if his stile and title [...] be to be understood according to the common speech of the Nation, as there can be no reason why it should not be so understood. And as for Alex­ander, of whom is least evidence, it is not worth spending so much time upon as to dis­cusse, since these already mentioned may be witnesse enough.

In all the busie stirring therefore of the Priests in this story of the Acts of Apostles, as chap. 7.1. & 23.2. and about this Commission of Saul, we are not to take them as a di­stinct and separate power from the Sanhedrin, but as a part of it, and such as whose Function and interest, as they thought, did most of all the other urge them to look to the prevention of this growing evil of the Gospel, as they did, as heartily, as erroni­ously repute it: and therefore the story doth more especially pitch upon them as the most stirring men. And so Paul himself doth help to interpret Lukes relation▪ For wher [...]s chap. 9.1, 2. it is said, Saul went to the high Priest and desired of him letters to Damascus [...] who best could tell how this should be understood, explains it thus, chap. 22.5. Of the High Priest, and of all the estate of the Elders I received letters to the brethren, &c. The words of all the estate of the Elders determine the point we have in hand, and the other words to the brethren, call us to the consideration of another: and that is, how farre the Sanhedrins decrees and injunctions had power and command over the Jews in forrain Lands. By producing the words of one of their Acts we shall better judge of this matter and understand the words to the brethren, both at once.

In Talm. Ierus. Sanhedr. fol. 18. col. 4. they say thus, For the three Countries they inter­calated the year for Iudea, and beyond Iordan and Galilee. For two of them together they did it, for one alone they did it not. There is a story of Rabban Gamaliel and the Elders, that they sate at the going up to the Temple, and Iochanan the Scribe sate before them: Rabban Gamaliel saith to him, Write [...] To our Brethren that dwell in the upper South Country [...] And to our Brethren that dwell in the lower South Country, Peace be multiplied to you. We give you to understand that the time of setting forth your tithes is come, &c. [...] And to our Brethren of Galilee the upper, and Galilee the lower, Peace be multiplied unto you. We give you to understand that the time of setting forth your tithes is come, &c. [...] And to our Brethren of the ca­ptivity of Babel, of Media, of Greece, and the whole captivity of Israel, Peace be multipli­ed unto you: We give you to understand, that since the Lambs are yet little, and young Pi­geons small, and the time of the first ripe ears is not yet come, that it seemeth good to me and to my fellows to adde thirty daies unto this year. And the very same is related again in Maasar shein fol. 56. col. 3. By which we see that when Luke saith, that Saul had the San­hedrins letters to the brethren, he speaks but the very language that such letters used to speak in: and by this we see also, that their letters missive to their brethren in forrain Lands, were rather Declarations then Commands: For it was not so much the awe of the Sanhedrins power reaching to those remote places, that kept the whole Nation to obedience of their decrees, as it was their innate and inured ambition to be held and kept a peculiar and distinct and conform people, and their devotednesse to their Law and Wor­ship, the great Oracle of which they held the Sanhedrin to be, in all ages. Such letters may we conceive were these to the Synagogues at Damascus, not imperious, but de­clarative and perswasive: which before Saul had delivered [who was now [...] Apostolus Synhedrii magni] he is converted and designed for an Apostle of Iesus Christ.

He saw Christ, ver. 17. 1 Cor. 9.1. though he saw him not: for as Israel at Sinai saw the Lord, not in any representation, but only his glory, so did he Christ in his glory, and a voice. And so they that travelled with him heard the voice, ver. 7. in its terrible sound, [Page 88] but they heard it not, Acts. 22.9. in its articulate utterance, so as to understand it, [the like to that in Ioh. 12.29.]

At three daies end he receiveth his sight, and Baptism, and was filled with the Holy Ghost, ver. 17, 18. but how he received the last is somewhat obscure: whether before his Baptism or upon it, by immediate infusion as they did chap. 10.45. on by imposition of Ananias his hands; which if he did, as it was extraordinary for any besides an Apostle to conferre the Holy Ghost, so could not Ananias do, or think of doing this, without an extraordinary warrant▪ Whether way it was, he is now so compleatly furnished with all accomplishments for his Ministry, that he confers not with flesh and blood, that is, not with any men, nor goes he up to Ierusalem ▪ no not to confer with the Apostles, Gal. 1.16, 17. but hath the full knowledge of the Gospel, and full assurance of his knowledge that it was right: And so he begins to preach in Damascus.

CHRIST. XXXV. XXXVI. These two years Paul spendeth in Damascus and Arabia, and Damascus again▪ Gal. 1.17.

ACTS CHAP. IX. from Ver. 23. to Ver. 32.

CHRIST. XXXVII AFter three years from his Conversion he cometh to Ierusalem, being driven from Damascus by a machination of the Iews, who had wrought with the Governour to apprehend h [...]m, but he is let over the wall in a basket, 2 Cor. 11.32, 33.

He goeth up [...] Ierusalem to see Peter, Gal. 1.18. but at his first coming thither, the Disciples are afraid of him, all Barnabas makes way for his intertainment, Act. 9.27. His going to see Peter is to confer with the Minister of the Circumcision, himself being appointed Minister to the Uncircumcised: And how Barnabas who was to be his fellow should come to be acquainted with him before any of the rest, we can hardly finde out any other way to resolve, then by conceiving he had some intimation from God of his own Apostleship among the Gentiles, and Pauls with him.

He staieth at Ierusalem but fifteen daies and seeth none of the Apostles, but Peter and Iames the lesse, Gal. 1.18, 19. He preacheth boldly there, and disputes so vehemently with the Hellenists that they go about to kill him, Act. 9.29. But why him, rather then Peter, Iames, Barnabas, and others that were now at Ierusalem? we may answer, Because he himself was a Hellenist, one once of their own Colledge, and the more zealous he was now against them, the more incensed were they against him, for an Apostate, as they ac­counted him: and now he that with them had contrived the death of Steven, is forced by them to fly for his own life.

ACTS CHAP. IX. from Ver. 32. to the end. & CHAP. X. all & CHAP. XI. to Ver. 19.

CHRIST. XXXVIII. XXXIX. XL. THe Stories succeeding to ver. 19. of Chap. 11. as they are of a doubtfull date, be­cause neither the Historian here, nor any other part of Scripture hath fixed the deter­minate time of their occurring, so is not the limiting of them to their year or time so very needfull▪ if only it be secured, that they follow in time to those preceding that we have spoken to; and that we may be assured of their order, though we cannot be of their precise time. And this is easie to resolve upon, without much debate. The last verse of the former Section, informs us of a peace and rest come to all the Churches, and the beginning of this brings in Peter [as in this calm] passing through all quarters preaching and confirming them. And that this could not be but after the times of the stories mentioned hitherto, appeareth by this, that though it is true indeed, that Peter was abroad in Samaria upon the conversion of it, yet he was returned again to Ierusalem, Chap. 8.25. and was there three years after, when Paul comes up thi­ther.

This therefore is a new voyage, in which he doth three great things, healeth Aen [...]as [Page 89] of a Palsie at Lydda: raiseth Dorcas from the dead at Ioppa; and openeth the door of the Gospel to the Gentiles in Caesarea.

Aeneas is a name that we finde in the Jewish Writers. [...] R. Sa­muel the sonne of R. Aeneas, is mentioned in Ierus. Iebamoth fol. 6.2. And Lod or Lydda they speak exceeding frequently of, and produce remarkable stories and memorials of it. And indeed the quarters of Peters present walk, compared with the Hebrews records concerning these places, may well claim some observation. For when he is at Ioppa he is in the middle, as it were, of those places which in a little time after this [nay it may be at this very time] were two of their greatest and eminentest Schools.

At Iabneh on the one hand of Ioppa did the great Sanhedrin sit long: both before the destruction of Ierusalem and after: for when it began to be unsetled and to flit up and down fourty years before the destruction of the City, its first removall from Ierusalem was hither: and here sat Gamaliel, Pauls Master, with his Sanhedrin a good space of time, and for ought can be said to the contrary, it might very well be there at this time when Peter was at Ioppa.

Now as the Jews called that place Iabneh so the Gentiles called it Iamnia, and how neer it was to Ioppa you may guesse from these words of Strabo, lib. 16. This place [speak­ing of Ioppa] was so populous that out of the neighbour Town Iamnia, and other places there­about, it was able to raise 40000 men.

At Lydda on the other hand of Ioppa, were most famous Schools, and eminent men as well as at Iabneh. [...]. It was a Town that wanted little of the bignesse of a City. Joseph. Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 5. It lay West of Ierusalem a daies journey off, as the Talmud seats it and measures, in Maasar Sheni per. 5. hal. 2. It was in Iudea: And thereupon four and twenty of the School of Rabbi came thither to intercalate the year, but an evil eye came in upon them, and they died all at one time. Jerus. Sanhedr. fol. 18. col. 3. For they might not intercalate the year but in Iudea, Maym. in Kiddush Hedesh per. 4. but upon this mischance they removed that businesse into Galilee. Here it seems the Sanhedrin sat also sometimes, or at least they had a great Bench of their own, for there is mention of stoning ben Satda at Lydda on the eve of the Passeover, Ibid. fol. 25.4. To reckon the stories and eminent men belonging to this place were endlesse, at the least it is needlesse here.

But the mention and gender of Saron which is also named with Lydda, Act. 9.35. may plead excuse if we alledge one or two Talmudich passages for the clearing of it, Jerus. in Sheviith fol. 38.4. From Bethoron to Emmaus was hilly: from Emmaus to Lydda plain, and from Lydda to the sea vale.

Idem in Sotah fol. 18.4. R. Iochanan and R. Eliezer went from Labneh to Lydda and met with R. Ioshua in [...] Bekiin.

Gittin per. 1. hal. 1. He that bringeth a bill of Divorce from a Heathen Country must be able to say, In my presence it was written and sealed in my presence: Rabban Gamaliel saith, Yea he that brings one from Rekam and Chagra. R. Eleazer saith, Yea he that brings one from Caphar Lodim to Lod. Rabbi Nissim upon the place saith thus: Caphar Lodim was out of the Land, near to Lod, which was within the Land, and it was so called because Lyddans were alwaies found there.

Jerus. in Beracoth fol. 3.1. They brought a chest full of bones from Caphar Tobi and set it openly at the entring in to Lod. Tudrus the Physician came, and all the Physicians with him, &c.

Besides observing, that Tobi is the name of a man [Rabban Gamaliels servant. Be­racoth per. 2. hal. 7.] as Tabitha is the name of a woman in the story before us; the word Saron being of the masculine gender, it plainly tels us that it is not the name of a Town, but of the plain or flat where divers Towns stood, and among others it may be these mentioned.

ACTS CHAP. X. all the Chapter.

LIttle inferiour to these places for Learned men, was Caesarea upon the Sea, and be­yond them for other eminencies. [...] The Doctors of Caesarea are of ex­ceeding frequent and exceeding renowned mention in both Talmuds: and by name R. Heshaiah the great; R. Achavah, R. Zeira, R. Ada, R. Prigori, R. Vlla, R. Tachalipha and severall others. It was anciently called [...] Stratons tower, but sumptu­ously [Page 90] built and beautified by Herod the great, in honour of Caesar, it was called Caesarea· It was mixedly inhabited by Jews and Gentiles, and much of an equal number; and most commonly well fraught with Romane souldiers, because the Governours residence was ordinarily here.

Of some of these Bands was Cornelius a Captain: a man come to an admirable pitch of piety, and it is hard to imagine how he came by it: For that he was not so much as a Proselyte, is apparent, in that they at Ierusalem cavill at Peter for going to him, as to a Heathen. And whether he were [...] A sojourning s [...]ranger as they called some, is not much materiall, since by their own judgement [...] A sojourning stranger was as a Gentile to all purposes, Jerus. Jebamoth fol. 8. col. 4. Whencesoever he learned faith in Christ, his full knowledge of Christ he learned from Peter: he having a warrant by vision to send for Peter, and he a warrant by vision to go to him.

Here the Keyes of the Kingdom of heaven committed to Peter so long ago, Mat. 16. do their work: opening the door of faith first to the Gentiles, which never was shut since, nor ever will be whilest there is a Church to be upon the earth. Ionah at Ioppa, and Simon bar Iona there, both sent to the Gentiles, compare together.

Upon Peters preaching, the Holy Ghost fals upon those Gentiles that were present, to the amazement of those of the Circumcision that had come with Peter: for they had not only not seen the like before, but had been trained up, while in their Judaism, under a maxime of a clean contrary tenour, which taught them That the Holy Ghost would dwell neither upon any Heathen, nor upon any Iew in a Heathen Country. Caesarea was [as the Jews reputed] [...] between the borders: that is, a place disputable whether to account within the Land or without, or indeed both, Iuchas fol. 74. And so were also other places upon this Western border of the Land, the great sea shore: as A [...]on or Ptolemais, Ierus. [...] [...]ol. 60. col. 2. Ascalon, Idem Sheviith fol. 36.3. and divers others, but all things computed, no fitter place in the Land could have been chosen for the beginning of this great work of bringing Jews and Gentiles together into one bound, then this: not only because this City was both Jew and Gentile, within the Land and without, but also, because here was the Roman Court the chief of the Gentiles: and the mentioning of Cornelius his being of the Italian Band, hinteth such an obser­vation.

The Holy Ghost at this its first bestowing upon the Gentiles, is given in the like man­ner as it was at its first bestowing upon the Jewish Nation, Act. 2. namely by immediate infusion: at all other times you finde mention of it, you finde mention of Imposition of hands used for it. But here it may be observed withall, that whereas the fruit of this gift of the Holy Ghost was, that they spake with tongues, ver. 46. it confirmeth that which we spake at Chap. 2. viz. that the first fruit of this gift of tongues was, that they that had it, were inabled to speak and understand the Originals of the Scrip [...]ure: And here it appeareth more plainly then there: And more plainly still in those twelve at Ephesus, Acts 19.6. And those that spake with Tongues in the Church of Corinth, 1 Cor. 14. For to what purpose was it for them to speak there with Tongues where they all understood the same Language? It was not to gibber and talk in strange Language that men might admire but not understand, but it was for edification of others, yea and for edifying of himself that so spake, 1 Cor. 14.4. He that speaketh a tongue edi­fieth himself: How? what could he speak in any strange Language to his own edificati­on, which he might not as much edifie himself by, had he spoken it in his own native tongue? But only that this is meant, his ability by the gift of tongues, to understand and speak the Originall language of the Scripture, was both for his own edification and the edification of others. Suppose one in the Church of Corinth could speak Persick, Arabick, Ethiopick, &c. and did chatter these Languages among them; he could not possibly speak any thing in those Tongues [though interpreted] that could edifie the people any more, then if he spake it in his mother tongue: But if he spake and under­stood and uttered the Originall language of Scripture, that if interpreted, would edifie: and he could not speak in his mother tongue, unlesse taken from thence, what he might speak thence.

Peter returning to Ierusalem is taken to task by some of the Circumcision for going in to the Gentiles and eating with them: a thing of unspeakable detestation to the Jews: Hence those allusions: Let him be to thee as a Heathen, Matth. 18. With such a one no not to e [...]t, 1 Cor. 5. We finde not any such quarrell at Peter and Iohn for going down [Page 91] to Samaria, though the Samaritans were as odious to the Jewish Nation as people could be, but they were neither uncircumcised, nor Idolaters: both which, especially the later, bred their detestation of the Heathen.

ACTS CHAP. XI. from Ver. 19. to the end of the Chapter.

CHRIST. XLI AS Caesarea the seat of the Roman Governour of Iudea, first seeth the door of faith opened to the Gentiles, so Antioch the feat of the Roman Governour of Syria, first heareth the name Christian. These of the hundred and twenty Ministers [menti­oned, Acts 1. [...]5.] that had sled upon the persecution raised against Steven, went preach­ing up and down first as farre as the bounds of Iudea extended: then some of them step­ped our, as farre as into Phaenice, Cyprus and Syria, but all this while dealing with the Jews only. At last some of them at Antioch [...] spake to the Hellenists, ver. 20. Here the word Hellenists is of doubtfull interpretation: only this is doubtlesse in it, that it means not Iews, as the word doth, Acts 6.1. for it is set in opposition to them, ver. 19. Doth it mean Proselytes then? That it cannot neither, for they were reputed as Jews to all purposes. Means it Heathens? Yes, that is undoubted it doth, both by the scope of the story here, and by the quarrell urging these believers at Antioch to be Cir­cumcised, Chap. 15. But why then should they be called Hellenistae rather then Hellenes? Some conceive, because they were become [...] Proselyte sojournours, meaning that they had forsaken their Idolatry: as Cornelius had done his, though he were not [...] a Proselyte circumcised: But what if these were native Syrians by pedegree and lan­guage, could they then for that be called Hellenists or Greeks? The word therefore must mean, that they were such as were Syrogrecians; Antioch it self indeed having been once the head of the Syrogrecian Empire: Hellenes or purely Greeks they could not be called [though it will not be denied they spake that Language] because they were not only no inhabitans of that Country, but not altogether of that blood: but such as were of a mixture of Syrian and Greek; the progeny of the old plantations and infranchisments of the Syrogrecian Monarchy. Whatsoever their title Hellenists includeth, they being un­doubtedly Heathens, it sheweth that these Ministers preached to them, understood of the liberty given to preach to the Gentiles, and the passage betwixt Peter and Cornelius, or they durst not have been bold to have gone beyond the partition wall without their warrant: And the readinesse of the Church at Ierusalem to send Barnabas to them, shews that they also were satisfied in this matter, and so this evidenceth that this story was after that about Cornelius.

Their sending Barnabas, and his fetching Saul to the same work with him, giveth some confirmation of that which was touched before, namely that it is very probable that Barnabas knew of his own being designed for a Minister to the uncircumcision, and of Pauls being joyned with him in that work, a great while before they were sent away from Antioch upon it: They now spend a whole year in the Church there, and there the Name Christian is first taken up, and that in a Gentile Church. Antioch of old had been called Hamath, but now it bare the name of one that had been as bloody a persecutor of the Church and truth, as the Church of Israel had ever seen, Antiochus. The very name of the place may raise a meditation.


HEre we meet with some scruple in Chronology, and about the precedency of the story in these two Chapters: for though the actions in Chap. 12. be laid first, and that very properly, that the story of Peter may be taken up together, and concluded before the story of Paul come in, which is to be followed to the end of the Book, yet there may be just question whether, the sending of Paul and Barnabas from Antioch to preach among the Gentiles, which is handled in the beginning of Chap. 13. were not be­fore some, if not all those things related in Chap. 12. And the question ariseth from these two scruples. 1. Because it is doubtfull, in what year of Claudius the famine was, that is spoken of Chap. 12.28. And 2. because it is obscure, how long Paul and Barnabas staid at Antioch after their return from Ierusalem, Chap. 12.25. before they were sent [Page 92] away among the Gentiles. But about this we need not much to trouble our selves: since as to the understanding of the stories themselves, there can be little illustration taken from their time: save only as to this, that the publick Fast in the Church of An­tioch, may seem to have some relation to some of the sad stories mentioned before, as coincident with them, or near to them; namely, either the famine through the world, Chap. 11.28. or the Persecution in the Church, Chap. 12. We shall not therefore offer to dislocate the order of the stories, from that wherein they he, the Holy Ghost by the intertexture of them rather teaching us, that some of them were contemporary; then any way incouraging us to invert their order. Only these things cannot passe unmenti­oned, toward the stating of their time and place, partly of coincidency, and partly of their succeeding one the other, and which may help us better to understand both.

1. That whereas Dion the Roman Historian lib. 60. hath placed a sore famine [at least at Rome] in the time of Claudius, in his second year: Iosephus carries it, Antiq. lib. 12. cap. 2. as if the bitternesse of it at Ierusalem, were in his fourth, which Euseb. in Chron. determines positively; both may be true; for, for famines to last severall years toge­ther is no strange thing in History, Divine or Humane, nor in experience in our own age.

2. That Herod Agrippa's murdering of Iames, and imprisoning of Peter could not be before the third year of Claudius: for Iosephus a witnesse impartiall enough in this case, informs us, that Claudius in his second Consulship, which was indeed the second year of his reign, made an Edict in behalf of the Jews, and sent it through the world, and after that sent Agrippa away into his own Kingdom: Now his Consulship beginning the first of Ianuary, it was so next impossible that those things should be done at Rome, and Agrippa provide for his journey and travell it, and come to Ierusalem, and murder Iames and apprehend Peter, and all before the Passeove, unlesse he hasted as it had been for a wager, that he that can believe Peter to have been imprisoned in Claudius his second year of Consulship and reign, must exceedingly straiten the time of these occurrences, to make room for his belief.

3. In the third year of Claudius, therefore, are those stories in Chap. 12. to be repu­ted; only the last, about Herods death, in the beginning of his fourth, for a Passeover in his fourth Herod lived not to see.

4. It may be observed that Luke hath placed the going up of Paul and Barnabas with the alms of the Church of Antioch to the poor of Iudea, before the murder of Iames, Chap. 11.30. but their return thence, not till after that, and Herods death, Chap. 12.25. not that thereupon we are necessarily to think that they staid there so long, as while all those things in Chap. 12. were acting, but that by that relation the story of Paul and Bar­nabas is begun again, and we may very well conceive, for all that postscript of Luke after the story of Iames his Martyrdom, Peters imprisonment, and Agrippa's death, their re­turn to Antioch, and going from thence among the Gentiles, Chap. 13. to have been at that time while some of the things in Chap. 12. occurred.

CHRIST. XLII CLAVDIVS. II We will therefore take the Chapters up in the order in which they lye, and only carry along with us in our thoughts, a supposall that some of the stories in either might con­curre in time. And because we have found here some need to look after the Years of the Emperour, which we have not had before, and shall have much more, forward, especially when we come up to the times of Nero, it may not be amisse to affix their Years also, as they went along concurrent with the Years of our Saviour.

The famine begun: the Church of Antioch send relief into Iudea.

ACTS CHAP. XII. from the beginning to Ver. 20. CLAVDIVS. III.

CHRIST. XLIII JAMES beheaded by Herod, for so doth the Jews Pandect help us to understand these words, He slew Iames with the sword. [...] Sanhedr. per. 7. hal. 3. They that were slain by the sword were beheaded, which also was the custom of the Kingdom; that is, of the Romans.

The ceremonious zeal of Agrippa in the Jewish way, bending it self against the Church, may be construed as a Jewish act, wicked, as upon the score of that Nations wickednesse and guilt.

The underling condition in which they had lain all the time of Caius [he having no good affection to that people] being now got loose and aloft knows no bounds: and being somewhat countenanced by the Edict of Claudius, they cannot be content with their own immunities, unlesse they seek also the suppression of the Christian Church. Though Claudius his Proclamation had this speciall clause and caveat, [...], that they should not go about to infringe the liberty of other mens Religion. This unbounded incroaching of theirs did within a little time cause the Emperour, who had now made a Decree for them, to make another against them.

Peter designed by the murderer for the like butchery, escapes by miracle: and the Ty­rant before that time twelve moneth, comes to a miraculous fearfull end.

ACTS CHAP. XIII. from beginning to Ver. 14.

THe Divine Historian having hitherto followed the Story of the Church and Gospel as both of them were dilated among the Jews, and therein pitched more especially upon the Acts of Peter and Iohn the singular Ministers of the Circumcision, more pe­culiarly Peters: he doth now turn his Pen, to follow the planting and progresse of the Gospel among the Gentiles, and here he insisteth more especially upon the Story of Paul and Barnabas the singular Ministers of the uncircumcision, more peculiarly Pauls.

There were now in the Church of Antioch five men which were both Prophets and Teachers, or which did not only instruct the people and expound the Scriptures, but had also the Prophetick spirit and were partakers of Revelations: For though Prophets and Teachers were indeed of a distinct notion, 1 Cor. 12.28. Ephes. 4.11. and their abi­lities to teach were accordingly of a distinct originall, namely the former by revelation, and the latter by study, yet [...], [which phrase may not passe without observation] according to the state of the Church then being, they not only had pro­phetick Teachers, but there was a kinde of necessity they should have such, till time and study had inabled others to be Teachers, which as yet they could not have attained unto, the Gospel having been so lately brought among them.

Among these five, the names of Barnabas and Saul are no strangers to the Reader, but the other three are more unknown.

1. Simeon who was called Niger: If the word Niger were Latine, it might then fairly be conjectured, that this was Simon of Cyrene, the Moorish complexion of his Country justly giving him the title of Simeon the black; but since the Patrionymick, Cyrenean, is applied only in the singular number to the next man Lucius, and since the word [...] was then used among the Jews in severall significations, as may be seen in Aruch, we shall rather conceive this man a Cypriot from Chap. 11.20. and as Barnabas also was, Chap. 4.36. and his surname Niger whatsoever it signified, used to distinguish him from Simon Peter, and Simon the Canani [...]e.

2. Lucius of Cyrene: Held by some and that not without some ground to be Luke the Evangelist: which it is like hath been the reason, why antiquity hath so generally held Luke to be an Antiochian: true, in regard of this his first appearing there under this name Lucius though originally a Cyrenian, and educated as it may be supposed in the Cyrenian Colledge or Synagogue in Ierusalem, Chap. 6.9. and there first receiving the Gospel. In [Page 94] Rom. 16.21. Paul salutes the Roman Church in the name of Lucius, whereas there was none then in Pauls retinue whose name sounded that way but only Luke: as we shall ob­serve there.

3. Manaen, who had been brought up with Herod the Tetrach. Iuchasin fol. 19. menti­oneth one Menahem who was once Vicepresident of the Sanhedrin under Hillel, but de­parted to the service of Herod the great, with fourscore other eminent men with him: of whom we gave some touch before: It may be this was his sonne, and was called Manaen or Menahem after the father, and as the father was a great favourite of Herod the great the father, so this brought up at Court with Herod the Tetrach the sonne.

As these holy men were at the publick ministration with fasting and prayer, the Holy Ghost gives them advertisement of the separating of Paul and Barnabas, for the Mini­stry among the Gentiles. A mission that might not be granted, but by such a divine war­rant; considering how the Gentiles had alwaies lain behind a partition wall to the Jews: For although Peter in the case of Cornelius had opened the door of the Gospel to the Heathen, yet was this a farre greater breaking down of the partition wall, when the Gospel was to be brought into their own Lands and to their own doors: When God saith, Separate them to the work whereunto I have called them, it further confirmeth that it was and had been known before that they should be Ministers of the uncir­cumcision.

The Romish glossaries would fain strain the Masse out of the word [...], and the Rhemists think they have done us a courtesie, that they have not translated it to that sense: whereas, besides that the word naturally signifieth any publick ministration, the Holy Ghost by the use of it seemeth to have a speciall aim, namely to intimate to us, that this was a publick fast, as well as another publick ministration. Publick fasts were not ordinary services, and they were not taken up but upon extraordinary occasions, and what the present occasion might be, had been a great deal better worth studying upon, then how to make the Greek word speak the Masse which it never meant.

How publick fastings and daies of humiliation were used by the Jews, and upon what occasions, there is a speciall Treatise in the Talmud upon that subject, called Taanith, and the like in Maymony, that beareth witnesse: and it was no whit unsutable to the Gospel, upon the like exigencies to use the like kinde of service and devotion: And the present famine that was upon all Countries might very well minister occasion to this Church at Antioch at this present for such a work, for we cannot but suppose that the famine was now in being.

Whatsoever the occasion was, the Lord, in the midst of their humiliation, pointeth out Paul and Barnabas, for an imployment of his own, who were but a while ago re­turned from an imployment of the Churches: And so the other three Simeon, Lucius, and Menaen, understanding what the Lord meant, and having used another solemn day in fasting in prayer, lay their hands upon them and set them apart by Ordination. Ac­cording as the ordaining of Elders among the Jews was by a Triumvirate, or by three Elders. Sanhedr. per. 1. halac. 3.

This is the second Imposition of hands since the Gospel began, which did not confer the Holy Ghost with it [for these two were full of the Holy Ghost before:] and this is the first Ordination of Elders since the Gospel, that was used out of the Land of Israel. Which rite the Jewish Canons would confine only to that Land. Maym. Sanhedr. per. 4. Which circumstances well considered, with the imployment that these two were to go about, and this manner of their sending forth, no better reason I suppose can be given of this present action, then that the Lord hereby did set down a platform of ordaining Ministers in the Church of the Gentiles to future times.

Paul and Barnabas thus designed by the Lord and ordained and sent forth by this Tri­umvirate and guided by the Holy Ghost, they first go to Seleucia: most likely Seleucia Pieriae, of which Strabo saith, that it is the first City of Syria from Cilicia, Geogr. lib. 14. to which Pliny assenteth, when he measureth the breadth of Syria, from Seleucia Pieriae to Zeugma upon Euphrates, Nat. hist. lib. 5. cap. 12. The reason of their going thither may be judged to be, that they might take ship for Cyprus, whither they intended, for that this was a Port, appeareth by what follows in Strabo, when he saith, That from Seleucia to Soli is about a thousand furlongs sail: and so it is plain in Lukes text when he saith, they departed unto Seleucin, and from thence they sailed to Cyprus: where let us now follow them.

[Page 95] Cyprus was a Country so exceeding full of Jews, that it comes in for one in that strange story that Dion Cassius relates in the life of Trajan. The Iews [saith he] that dwelt about Cyrene, choosing one Andrew for their Captain, slew the Greeks and Romans, and ate their flesh, and devoured their inwards, and besmeared themselves with their blood, and wore their [...]kins. Many they sawed asunder from the head downward: others they cast to wilde beasts: many they made to slay one another, so that there were two hundred and twenty thousand de­stroyed in this manner. There was the like slaughter made in Aegypt and Cyprus, where there also perished two hundred and fourty thousand. From whence it is that a Iew may not since come into Cyprus: and if any by storms at sea be driven in thither they are slain. But the Iews were subdued by others, but especially by Lucius whom Trajan sent thither. This was the native Country of Barnabas, Act. 4.36.

Although these two Apostles were sent to the Gentiles, yet was it so far from exclu­ding their preaching to the Jews, that they constantly began with them first in all places where they came.

They begin at Salamis, the place next their landing, and there they preached in the Syna­gogues of the Iews, having Iohn Mark for their Minister.

From thence they travailed preaching up and down in the Iland, till they come to Paphos which was at the very further part of it, toward the Southwest Angle. There they meet with a Magicall Jew called Barjesus, and commonly titled Elymas, which is the same in sense with Magus: Such Jewish deceivers as this went up and down the Coun­tries to oppose the Gospel, and to shew Magicall tricks and wonders, for the stronger confirming of their opposition. Such were the vagabond Iews exorcists, Act. 19.13. and of such our Saviour spake, Matth. 24.24. and o [...] some such we may give examples out of their own Talmudicall Writers. And here we may take notice of a threefold practice of opposition that the Jews used in these times and forward against the Gospel and the spreading of it, besides open persecution unto blood.

1. Much about these times was made the prayer that hath been mentioned which was called [...] The prayer against Hereticks, which became by injunction one of their daily prayers. Maymony speaketh the matter and intent of it in his Treatise Tephil­lah, in these words: In the daies of Rabban Gamaliel, Hereticks increased in Israel [by Hereticks he meaneth those that turned from Judaism to Christianity] and they troubled Israel, and perswaded them to turn from their Religion. He seeing this to be a matter of ex­ceeding great consequence, more then any thing else, stood up, he and his Sanhedrin, and ap­pointed a prayer, in which there was a petition to God to destroy those Hereticks: and this he se [...] among the common prayers, and appointed it to be in every mans mouth, and so their daily prayers became nineteen in number. Pereh 2. So that they daily prayed against Christians and Christianity.

2. The Jews had their emissaries every where abroad, that to the utmost in them cri­ed down the Gospel, preached against it, went about to consute it, and blasphemed it and Christ that gave it: Of this there is testimony abundant in the New Testament: and in the Jews own Writings.

And 3. they were exceeding many of them skilled in Magick, and by that did many strange things, by such false miracles seeking to outface and vilifie the Divine miracles done by Christ and his Apostles: and striving to confirm their own doctrines which op­posed the Gospel, by backing them with such strange and wondrous actings. Iuchasin speaks of Abba Chelchiah, and Chamin, and Chamina Ben Dusa, [...] men skilled in miracles, fol. 20. And the Ierus. Talmud speaks of their inchantings, and magicall tricks in Shabb. fol. 8. col. 2. & 3. Sanhedr. fol. 25. col. 4. nay even of their charm­ing in the Name of Iesu. Shabb. fol. 14. col. 4.

Paul miraculously strikes Elymas blind, and inlightens Sergius Paulus with the light of the Gospel. This was at Paphos where old superstition dreamed of the blinde God Cupid. Doting Elymas grope for thy fellow. The first miracle wrought among the Gentiles is striking a perverse Jew blinde, which thing may very well become an Allegory.

From Paphos they go to Perga in Pamphylia, and there Iohn departs from them and returns to Ierusalem: but what was the occasion is hard to conjecture. Whether it were that he heard of Peters trouble and danger that he had been in at Ierusalem, and desired to see him, for that he had some speciall interest and familiarity with Peter, may be col­lected from 1 Pet 5.14. and in that Peter was so well acquainted at his mothers house, [Page 96] Act. 12.12, &c. Or whether in regard of this his relation to Peter the Minister of the Cir­cumcision, he made it nice to go among the Gentiles into the thickest of which he saw they were coming every day more then other. For at Paphos where they had last been, was a Temple of Venus, and at Perga, where they now are, was a Temple of Diana. Strab. lib. 14. Pomp. Mela. lib. 1. cap. 14. Or whatsoever the matter was, his departure was so unwarrantable, that it made a breach betwixt him and Paul for the present, nay it occasioned a breach betwixt Paul and Barnabas afterward. And so we leave him in his journey to Ierusalem, whither when he came, he staied there till Paul and Barnabas came thither again.

ACTS CHAP. XII. from Ver. 20. to Ver. 24.

CHRIST. XLIV CLAVDIVS. IV HERODS death was in the beginning of this year, the fourth of Claudius or neer unto it, according as Iosephus helpeth us to compute, who testifieth that the third year of his reign was compleated a little before his death. Vid. Antiq. lib. 19. cap. 7. He left behinde him a sonne of seventeen years old, in regard of whose minority, and thereby unfitnesse to reign, Claudius sent Cuspius Fadus to Govern his Kingdom. His daughters were Berenice sixteen years old, married to Herod King of Chalcis her fathers brother: And Mariam ten years old, and Drusilla, six, who afterward mar­ried Felix.

ACTS CHAP. XIII. from Ver. 14. to the end of the Chapter. And CHAP. XIV.

CHRIST. XLV. XLVI. XLVII. XLVIII. XLIX. CLAVDIVS. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. AT the fifteenth Chapter we have some fastnesse of the time, viz. in what year the Council at Ierusalem, as it is commonly called, did occurre, which certainty we have not of the times of the occurrences henceforward thitherto: so that since we can­not determinately point any passage to its proper year, we must cast them in grosse un­der this grosse summe of years, and distribute them to their proper seasons by the best con­jecture we can.

From Perga in Pamphilia, Paul and Barnabas come to Antioch in Pisidia, and on the Sabbath day going into the Synagogue, are invited by the Rulers of the Synagogue, af­ter the reading of the Law and Prophets to speak a word of exhortation to the people: But how could the Rulers know that they were men fit to teach? It may be answered, By former converse with them in the City, and it is very like that the Rulers themselves had drunk in some affection to the Gospel by converse with them, which made them so ready to urge them to preach: For it is not imaginable that this was the first time that they had seen them: nor that they came to Town that very day, but that they had had some converse before.

Paul preacheth: and the Synagogue broke up, and the Jews gone out, the Gen­tiles desired that the same words might be preached to them in the week between, [...]: namely on the second and fifth daies of the week following, which were Synagogue daies, on which they met in the Synagogues as on the Sabbath day: And which daies, their traditions said, were appointed for that purpose by Ezra. Talm. in Bava Kamah. per. 7. R. Sol. and Nissim in Chetubboth per. 1. in Alphes. Their preaching on those daies had so wrought, that on the next Sabbath almost all the City was gathered together to hear the word: and many of the Gentiles receive it, but the Jews stirred up some female unbelieving proselytes against them, and some of the chief of the City, so that they drave them out of those coasts, and they shaking off the dust of their feet against [Page 97] them go to Iconium. This Ceremony injoyned them by their Master, Matth. 10.14. was not so much for any great businesse put in the thing it self, as that even from a tenet of their own, they might shew how they were to be reputed of. It was their own Maxime, That the dust of a Heathen Country or City did defile or make a person unclean. Tosaphta ad Kelim per. 1. hath this saying, In three things Syria was like unto any Heathen Land: The dust of it made a person unclean, as the dust of any other Heathen Country did, &c. So that their shaking off the dust of their feet against them, was to shew that they reputed them and their City as Heathenish.


AT Iconium they continue long, and with good effect, but at last they are in danger of stoning, and thereupon they slip away to Lystra and Derbe Cities of Lycaonia, and to the region that lieth round about: That region Strabo describeth lib. 12. where a­mong other particulars he tels that Derbe lay coasting upon Isauria, and in his time was under the dominion of Amyntas. At Lystra or Derbe Paul converteth Lois and Eunice, and Timothy, and as some will tell you, here, or at Iconium he converteth Tecla. For healing a Creeple they are first accounted Gods, but presently by perswasion of some Jews, Paul is stoned, but being reputed dead, recovereth miraculously. From thence they go to Derbe, and return to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch, and ordain Elders in those Churches. [...], ver. 24. is unproperly rendred here Per suffragia creantes Pres­byteros: for so they could not do; there not being a man in all these Churches fit to be chosen a Minister, or qualified with abilities for that Function, unlesse the Apostles by Imposition of hands bestow the holy Ghost upon them, which might inable them: For the Churches being but newly planted, and the people but lately converted, it would be hard to finde any among them so thoroughly completed in the knowledge of the Gospel as to be a Minister: but by the Apostles hands they receive the Holy Ghost, and so are inabled. It is true indeed, the Greek word in the first sense denoteth suffrages, but that is not the only sense. And so doth the word [...] in the proper sense signifie laying on of hands, yet there was [...] ordination that was without it. Maym. in Sanhedr. 4. [...] How is ordination to be for perpetuity? Not that they lay their hands on the head of the Elder, but call him Rabbi, and say, Behold thou art or­dained, &c.


CHRIST. L CLAVDIVS. X WE are now come up to the Council at Hierusalem. The occasion of which was the busie stirring of some, who would have brought the yoke of Mosaick ob­servances upon the neck of the converted Gentiles. Multitudes of the Jews that beleeved, yet were zealous of the Law, Act. 21.20. and it was hard to get them off from those Rites, in which they had been ever trained up, and which had been as it were an inheri­tance to them from their fathers: This bred this disturbance at the present, and in time an Apostacy from the Gospel of exceeding many. Antiquity hath held that Cerinthus was the chief stickler in this businesse; but whosoever it was that kindled it, it was a spark enough to have fired all had it not been timely prevented.

Paul and Barnabas who had chiefly to deal in the ministration to the Gentiles, are sent from Antioch to Ierusalem to consult the Apostles about this matter. This is the same journey and occasion that is spoken of Gal. 2. Then fourteen years after I went up again to Ierusalem with Barnabas and took Titus with me. And I went up by revelation, &c. Not but that he was sent by the Church as Luke hath asserted here, ver. 2. but that the Church was directed by revelation to take this course for the setling of the question, namely to send up to the Apostles at Ierusalem. And hence we may fix the time of this bu­siness, if it be resolved from whence the beginning of these fourteen years is to be dated, namely whether he mean fourteen years after his first conversion, or fourteen after his former journey to Ierusalem, mentioned Gal. 1.18. which he took three years after his conversion. The later is the more undoubted, upon these two observations. 1. It were [Page 98] exceeding obscure, and is exceeding unagreeable to Scripture accounting, to reckon the later summe of fourteen years from the time of his conversion, and not from the num­ber or time that went next before, which was his being at Ierusalem three years after he was converted. 2. His scope in that his discourse is, not to shew barely what journeys he took to Ierusalem after his conversion, but to shew how long he preached among the Gentiles and abroad out of Iudea time after time, and yet when he came to the Apostles to Ierusalem, they found no fault with him, nor with the course he took in his Ministry. After I was converted I went not to Ierusalem to consult the Apostles, but went into Arabia, and back again to Damascus, and so preached up and down, one utterly un­known by face to the Apostles; yet when after three years thus doing I came up to Peter the Minister of the Circumcision, he was so farre from contrarying the course that I had gone, that he gave me fifteen daies entertainment. And after that time I went through Syria and Cilicia, and abroad among the Gentiles, yet after fourteen years imployment in this kinde, when I went up to Ierusalem again, I found fair respect with the Apostles and they gave me the right hand of fellowship. This drift of the Apostle being observed in that place, which cannot be denied, if his main purpose through the whole Epistle be observed, it evidently stateth the time of this journey to Ierusalem to be seventeen years after his conversion.

When Paul and Barnabas came to Ierusalem, they applied themselves [...]. singu­larly to Peter, Iames and Iohn the Ministers of the Circumcision, and impar­ted to them the doctrine, and manner of dealing that they had used among the Gentiles, Gal. 2.2. And this they did that they might clear themselves of all false rumours, that might be laid to their charge [as if they crossed the doctrine and minde of the Apostles] and that they might have their judgement and concurrence along with them. With Paul there was Titus, who hitherto had been uncircumcised, all along in his attending and accompanying Paul: and even now at Ierusalem, though he were before the Apostles of the Circumcision, yet was he not forced to be circumcised there neither; because there were some false brethren who lay upon the catch to observe and scandall the liber­ty of the Gospel that the Apostles used, and they were unwilling to give way to them in any such condescension, least they should have wronged the Gospel. For though Paul allowed the Circumcision of Timothy, and though even these Apostles perswaded Paul to use some of the Mosaick ceremonies▪ Act. 21.24. for avoiding offence to the weak, and for the more winning of those that were well satisfied, yet would they not yield an inch in any such thing to these catchpoles that lay upon the lurch, to spy out something if it might have been whereby they might have disgraced the Gospel.

Well: the result of the Apostles conference is, that the three of the Circumsion, neither detracted from what the two of the uncircumsion had done already, nor added any more things to be done by them hereafter: But they agree that Paul and Barnabas should go to the Heathen, and they themselves to the Circumcision: desiring only that though they went among the Gentiles, yet they would remember the poor of the Circumcision, which they consented to, and all was well concluded betwixt them.

But they that urged for the imposition of Moses his yoke would not be so satisfied, but the matter must come to a publick canvasse, and so the Elders also met together with those Apostles to consider of it.

Peter would have none of Moses burdens laid upon the Gentiles, because he himself had seen them to have been partakers of the holy Ghost, in as free and full a measure, as they had been that had been most Mosaicall. Paul and Barnabas affirmed that they had seen the like, and therefore what needed the Gentiles to be troubled with these observan­ces, seeing they were so eminent in gifts of the Spirit as well as they of the Circumcision and what could these adde to them. But Iames findeth out a temper betwixt those that would have all these yokes imposed, and those that would have none, that so the Jews might have the lesse offence, and the Gentiles no burden neither. And that was, that the Gentiles might be required to refrain from eating things offered to Idols, and strangled, and blood, and fornication. The three first were now become things indifferent [how­ever strictly they had been imposed by the Law before] Christ having by his death done down the partition wall, and laid these things aside as uselesse when there was to be no distinction of meats or Nations any more: yet because the Jews were so glewed to these things that the tearing of them away suddenly, would in a manner have fetched up skin [Page 99] and flesh and all, therefore the whole Councill upon the motion of Iames think it fit that the Gentiles should thus farre Judaize, till time and fuller acquaintance with the Gospel might make both Jews and Gentiles to lay these now needlesse niceties aside.

The Jews about these things had these Canons among many others.

Avodah Zarah. per. 2. These things of Idolatry are forbidden, and their prohibition mean­eth the prohibition of their use. Wine and vinegar used in Idolatry which at first was wine, &c. And flesh that was brought in for Idolatry is permitted to be used [viz. before it was offered] but what is brought out is prohibited.

And bottles and cans used in Idolatry, and an Israelites wine put in them are prohibited to be used.

Maymon. in Avoda Zarah per. 7. A beast offered to an Idol is forbidden for any use: yea even his dung, bones, horns, hooss, skin: yea though there were only a hole cut in the beast to take out the heart, and that alone offered. Divers other things used in Idolatry are men­tioned and prohibited.

The observing of all which helpeth to clear the distinction of the words used in the text, namely [...] & [...], for these properly were not one and the same thing, for every [...] was not [...], but è contra, every [...] was [...]. For divers things were used at an Idolatrous offering, which themselves were not offered, as knives, dishes and the like, which cannot be called [...], and yet by these traditions were prophane and unclean, and prohibited to be used.

About not eating of blood, they expounded the prohibition of the Law in that point, unto this purpose, He that eats blood to the quantity of an olive, if presumptuously, he is to be cut off, and if ignorantly, he is to bring a sin offering. Talm. in Cherithut [...] per. 1. & 5. Maym. in Maacaloth Asuroth per. 6.

By things strangled their Canons understood any thing that died of it self, or that was not killed as it ought to be. And he that ate to the quantity of an olive, of the flesh of any cattell that died of it self, or of any beast, or any fowl that died of it self, was to be whipt, as it is said, Ye shall eat no carcaise: and whatsoever was not slain as was fitting, is reputed as if dying of it self. Talm. in Zevachin per. 7. Maym. ubi supr. per. 1. Therefore they had their rules about killing any beast that they were to eat, of which the Talmudick Treatise Cholin discusseth at large.

Now as concerning fornication, it is controverted, first whether it mean bodily or spi­rituall: and secondly, how it cometh to be ranked among things indifferent [as the other named were] it self being of no such indifferency, whethersoever is meant, the one or the other. The former certainly is not meant, for the words [...] reacheth that the full, and more needed not to be spoken to that point: The later there­fore is meant: but why named here with things indifferent? Not because it was indiffe­rent as well as they: Nor because it was so very offensive to the Jews as were the other: for they made but little of fornication themselves, according to the common taking of the word fornication: but fornication here seemeth to translate their word [...] that meaneth with them marriage in degrees prohibited: which the Gentiles made no matter about: and so the Apostles would bring the convert Gentiles under obedience of the Law, Levit. 18.

Before we part from this Councill, as it is commonly called, we may thus farre take notice of the nature of it as to observe, that it was not a convention premeditated, and solemnly summoned, but only occasionall and emergent, and that it was only of those Apostles and Elders that were at Ierusalem, at the instant when the matter from Antioch was brought thither, and the other Apostles that were abroad were not fetched in, nor indeed needed any such thing: for the message from Antioch required not so much the number of voices, as the resolves of those Apostles that had especially to deal with the Circumcision: and whom the Antiochian Church doubted not to finde ready at Ierusalem.

The matter being determined, Letters are dispatched, with the Decrees, unto the Churches by Paul and Barnabas, and Iudas and Silas: they come to Antioch and there abide a while: and at last go their severall waies, Iudas to Ierusalem, and Paul, Barnabas and Silas away among the Gentiles.

It was the agreement between Paul and Barnabas on the one party, and Peter, Iames and Iohn on the other, that those two should go among the Gentiles, and these three [Page 100] among the Circumcision, Gal. 2.9. Iames abode at Ierusalem as the residentiary Apostle of that Country, Gal. 2.13. Act. 21.18. and there at last he suffered Martyrdom. Peter and Iohn went abroad among the Jews dispersed in forreign parts, so that at last you have Peter at Babylon in the East, and Iohn at Patmos in the West, and by this we may guesse how they parted their imployment between them.

When Paul and Barnabas are to set forth, they disagree about Marks going with them. Barnabas being his uncle, would have had his company, but Paul denied it, be­cause of his departure from them before. Mark it seemeth was at Antioch at this time [and it may be a quaere whether Peter were not there also, Gal. 2.11.] and when the con­test twixt Paul and Barnabas was so sharp that they part asunder, Barnabas taketh Mark and Paul Silas, and go their severall waies, and it is questionable whether they ever saw one anothers faces any more. Onely Paul and Mark were reconciled again and came in­to very near society, as we shall observe afterward.


CHRIST. LI CLAVDIVS. XI PAUL and Silas having travelled through Syria and Cilicia, come to Derbe and Ly­stra: there he Circumciseth Timothy, whom he intended to take along with him and to breed him for his successor in the Ministry after his death. Timothy was a young man of very choice education, parts and hopes, and some remarkable Prophesies and predictions had been given concerning him, what an instrument he should prove in the Gospel, which made Paul to fix upon him, as one designed for him from heaven.

They set forth and travell Phrygia and Galatia, and when they would have gone into Asia and Bithynia the Spirit forbad them, because the Lord would hasten them into Macedonia unto a new work, and such a one as they had not medled withall till now, and that was to preach to a Roman plantation, for so the text doth intimate that Philippi was, ver. 12. and ver. 21. and so saith Pliny, lib. 4. cap. 11. He had indeed been alwaies in the Roman dominions, but still among other Nations, as Jews, Greeks, Syrians and the like, but we reade not that he was in any City of Romans till here. And his going to preach to that people is so remarkable, that the text seemeth to have set two or three notable badges upon it. For that Nation lieth under so many sad brands in Scripture, and lay under so great an abominating by the Jews, that the Gospels entring among them, hath these three singular circumstances to advertise of it. 1. That the Spirit diverted Paul from Asia and Bithynia to hasten him thither. 2. That he was called thither by a spe­ciall vision, the like invitation to which he had not in all his travels to any other place. 3. The Penman doth not joyn himself in the story till this very time. For hitherto ha­ving spoken in the third person, he and they, as He came to Derbe, ver. 1. They went through the Cities, ver. 4. &c. he cometh now to joyn himself, and to use the word We and Vs. After he had seen the vision immediatly we indeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us, ver. 10.

Yet was this City mixed also of abundance of Iews living among them, as that people was now dispersed and sowed in the most places of the Empire, from Rome it self Eastward, however it was on this side: On the Sabbath, by a river side where the women it seem­ed used their bathings for purification, and where was a Synagogue, they preach and convert Lydia a proselytesse, and she is instantly baptized and her houshold before she go home, for ought can be found otherwise in the text: from whence we may ob­serve what beleeving gave admission to Baptism to whole housholds. In this Roman Co­lony it is observable that the Synagogue is called Prossucha, and that it is out of the Town.

Paul casteth out a spirit of divination, and is therereupon beaten and imprisoned he and Silas, but inlarged by an earthquake, and the Jaylour is converted: and he and his family instantly baptized. After a little while Paul and Silas depart, having laid the foun­dation of a very eminent Church as it proved afterward: from which Paul in his Epistle thither, acknowledgeth as many tokens of love received, as from any Church that he had planted: and to which he made as many visits afterward. When he departeth he had [Page 101] ordained no Ministers there for ought can be gathered from the text, and it may be, he did not, till his return thither again, which was the course he had used in other Churches, Acts 14.23. He speaketh of divers fellow-labourers that he had there in the Gospel, both men and women, Philip. 4.3. which cannot be understood of preaching, but that these being converted, they used their best indeavour to perswade others to imbrace the same Religion, &c.


PAUL and Silas or Silvanus, and Timothy come to Thessalonica, where they make many converts, but withall finde very much opposition. In three weeks space, or very little more, they convert some Jews, many Proselytes, and not a few of the chief Gentiles: women of the City: which number, considered with the shortnesse of the time in which so many were brought in, and the bitternesse they indured from the unbelieving, made their piety to be exceedingly renowned all abroad, 1 Thessal. 1.6, 7, 8.

Persecution driveth the Apostles to Beraea another Town of Macedonia, Plin. lib. 4. cap. 10. there they found persons better bred and better learned then that rabble menti­oned ver. 5. that they had met withall at Thessalonica. The Jews called their learned men [...] filii nobilium: it may be Lukes [...], ver. 11. translates that: The rabble from Thessalonica brings the persecution hither also, so that Paul is glad to depart to Athens, but Silas and Timothy abide at Beraea still.

At Athens there was a Synagogue of Jews and Proselytes, ver. 17. so that it is un­doubted the scholars of the University had heard from them the report of the true God; therefore Paul is not so much cried out upon, for telling them of the true God in oppo­sition to the false, as for preaching of Iesus crucified, risen and glorified, which neither they nor even the Jews Synagogue there, had ever heard of before: for this he is con­vented before their great Court of Areopagus, where his discourse converts one of that Bench, Dionysius.


FRom Athens, Paul cometh to Corinth. Vrbs olim clara opibus, post clade notior, nunc Romana colonia, saith Pomp. M [...]la. lib. 2. cap. 3. A little view of the City may not be uselesse. It stood in the Isthmus, or that neck of Land that lay and gave passage betwixt Peloponesus and Attica: upon which Isthmus the sea pointing in, on either hand made Corinth a famous and a wealthy Mart Town, by two Havens that it had at a reasonable distance from it on either side it, the one Iochaeum, at which they took shipping for Italy and those Western parts: and the other Cenchraea, at which they took shipping for Asia: Merchandise arriving at these ports, from those severall parts of the world, were brought to Corinth which lay much in the middle between them, and so this City became the great Exchange for those parts. It lay at the foot of a high promont called Acrocorinthus, or the Pike of Corinth. The compasse of the City was some fourty furlongs or five miles about, being strongly walled. In it was a Temple of Venus, so ample a foundation, that it had above a thousand Nuns [such Nuns as Venus had] to attend upon it. The City was sacked by L. Mummius the Roman Generall, as for some other offence that it had given to that state, so more especially for some abuse shewed to the Roman Embassadors there. But it was repaired again by the Romans and made a Colony. Vid. Strabo lib. 8. Plin. lib. 4. cap. 4.

Paul coming hither findeth Priscilla and Aquila lately come from Italy, because of Claudius his Decree, which had expelled all the Iews from Rome: Of this Decree Sue­tonius speaketh, as he is generally understood, In Claudio cap. 25. Iudaeos impulsore Chri­sto assiduè tumultuantes Româ expulit. Claudius expelled the Iews out of Rome, who continu­ally tumultuated because of Christ. In some copies it is written Christo, but so generally interpreted by Christians in the sense mentioned, that we shall not at all dispute it. The same quarrell was got to Rome with the Gospel, that did attend it in all parts of the world where it came among the Jews, they still opposing it and contesting against it, and so breeding tumultuousnesse.

The Apostle here, in a strange place, and out of moneys, betaketh himself to work [Page 102] with his hands for his subsistence, as also he did in other places upon the same exigent. His work was to make Tents of skins such as the Souldiery used to lodge in when they were in the field: Hence the phrase, Esse sub pellibus. This Trade he learned before he set to his studies. It was the custom of the Jewish Nation to set their children to some trade▪ yea though they were to be students. What is commanded a father towards his son? To cir­cumcise him, to redeem him, to teach him the Law, to teach him a Trade, and to take him a wife. R. Iudah saith, He that teacheth not his sonne a trade, does as if he taught him to be a thief. Rabban Gamali [...]l saith, He that hath a trade in his hand to what is he like? He is like to a Vineyard that is fenced. Tosapht. in Kiddushin per. 1. So some of the great wise men of Israel had been cutters of wood. Maym. in Talm. Torah. per. 1. And not to instance in any others, as might be done in divers, [Rabban Iochanan ben Zaccai that was at this instant Vicepresident of the Sanhedrin, was a Merchant 4 years, and then he fell to study the Law. Iuchasin fol. 21.] Paul had power and warrant to challenge maintenance for preaching, as he intimateth many times over in his Epistles, but there was not yet any Church at Corinth to maintain him, and when there was, he would take nothing of the Gentiles for the greater honour and promotion of the Gospel. See 1 Cor. 9.6, 11, 12.

He frequenteth the Synagogue every Sabbath, and there reasoneth and perswadeth divers both Jews and Greeks. But when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, he was pressed in spirit and testified to the Iews that Iesus was the Christ, they having brought him tidings of the great proficiency and piety of Macedonian Churches, namely the Phi­lippian and Thessalonian. See Act. 17.14. 1 Thess. 1.8. & 3.6. upon whose example he was the more earnest to bring the Jews of Corinth on; but they oppose and blaspheam: whereupon he and Silas and Timothy set to work to build up the Gentiles there. The converts in this place were Crispus and Gaius, and the houshold of Stephanas, 1 Cor. 1.14, &c. and Epenetus, Rom. 16.5. He is called the first fruits of Achaia, and so is the houshold of Stephanas, 1 Cor. 16.15. converted at his first coming thither. He now sets upon a new task having the Lords incouragement by a vision by night, and so he staieth at Corinth a year and an half.

In the time of this his abode there, he writeth


which was the first Epistle that he wrote.

The postscript affixed to that Epistle doth date it from Athens [as it seemeth] because of that passage in Chap. 3.1. We thought it good to be left at Athens alone: whereas 1. There was a Church in Achaia when Paul wrote this Epistle, Chap. 1.7. now there was none there while Paul was at Athens, for from thence he went to Achaia, and began to plant the Church at Corinth. 2. Timothy and Silas were joynt Writers with the Apostle of this Epistle, Chap. 1.1. now if they were with him at Athens whilst he abode there, which it may be they were, at the least one of them, 1 Thess. 3.1. yet was not the Epistle then written, for it is questionable whether Silas was there, and Timothy went a messenger thither, and returned again before this was written, Chap. 3.6. The time of its writing therefore was when Timothy and Silas with him returned from Macedonia and came to Paul at Corinth, Act. 18.5. and Timothy who had been sent thither purposely, gives a comfortable account of their faith and constancy. So that this Epistle was written from Corinth, somewhat within the beginning of the first year of Pauls abode there.

In it, among other things, he characterizeth the condition of the unbeleeving Jews, Chap. 2.15, 16. for the Thessalonian Church from its first planting had been exceedingly molested with them.

He saith, The wrath is come upon them to the utmost: which whether it mean passively, that the wrath of God lay so heavy upon them, or actively, that in their vexation and anger against the Gentiles, that was come upon them, that was foretold for a plague to them, Deut. 32.21. it sheweth that that Nation was now become unrecoverable: and so he looks upon it as the Antichrist in the next Epistle, as we shall observe there.

Paul abiding still at Corinth, a tumult is raised against him, and he is brought before the tribunall of Gallio the Proconsull, who refusing to judge in matters of that nature, [because the Jews themselves had power to judge such matters in their own Synagogue] the people become their own carvers, and beat Sosthenes even before the Tribunall. This [Page 103] Gallio was brother of Seneca the famous Court Philosopher, N [...]ro's Tutor: and of him Seneca giveth this high Encomion in the Preface to his fourth Book of naturall Questions. I used to tell thee [saith he to his friend Lucius] that my brother Gallio, whom no man loves not a little if he can love no more, is not acquainted with other vices, but this of flattery he hates. Thou hast tried him on all hands. Thou hast begun to praise his disposition—He would go away. Thou hast begun to praise his frugality, He would presently cut thee off at the first words: Thou hast begun to admire his affability and unaffected sweetnesse—For there is no mortall man so dear to any, as he to all—And here also he withstood thy flatteries, insomuch that thou criedst out, that thou hadst found a man impregnable, against those snares that every one takes into his bosom. And again in Epist. 104. Gallio, saith he, when he was in Achaia and began to have a fever, he presently took ship, crying out, that it was not the disease of his body but of the place. To him he Dedicates his Treatise de Beatâ Vitâ. See more of this Gallio, Tacit. Annal. 15. Sect. 11.

From Corinth in the time of his present abode there [but whether before this tumult before Gallio or after, is not much materiall] Paul writeth


whilest he and Sylvanus and Timotheus were there together, Chap. 1.1. as they had been at the writing of the first.

The exceeding much trouble and persecution that this Church had suffered from the unbelieving Jews from its first planting, Act. 17.5, &c. 1 Thess. 1.6. & 2.14. & 2 Thess. 1.4. gave the Apostle just occasion whilest he was present with them to discourse with them, and to inform them, concerning the condition and carriage and end of that Nati­on: that they might be setled and resolved to bear all whatsoever they should suffer from that accursed people and generation: and here he taketh up the same discourse again for their further establishment.

Besides outward molestation and affliction of their bodies, there were false teachers that troubled their mindes, and especially with these two puzzles. 1. To make them to doubt what became of them that died in the faith and profession of Iesus: for whereas the Apostle handles the matter of the resurrection in the former Epistle, Chap. 4.14. I cannot suppose that he doth it to them as to men of the Sadducee opinion, denying the resurrection, or as to men that had never heard of the resurrection before, for all the Jews, set the Sadduces aside, did assuredly believe it: but because that the opposers of the Gospel had buzzed to them their lost condition after death, for their revolting from the Jewish Religion, and becoming Apostates [as they reputed it] to the Gospel. The tenth Chapter of the Treatise Sanhedrin that names certain sorts of people that must not inherit the world to come, gives us good cause to suppose that this was no small terrour that those envious opposers would perplex the mindes of those withall, who had forsaken the Jewish Religion, and betaken themselves to the profession of Christ. The Talmudich place cited speaketh thus, All Israel hath a share in the world to come, as it is said, Thy people shall all of them be righteous: But these have no share in the world to come, He that saith, The resurrection is not taught in the Law, and that the Law is not from God, and Epi­curus. Now by Epicurus they mean not luxurious one, as the word Epicure is com­monly used by us, but as the Gemara explains it there [...] One that despiseth their Doctors: and elsewhere they yoke it with [...] Apostates. [...] Apostates and Epicures. Resh. hashanah per. 1. and so they brought all that started from the vain doctrine of their traditionaries under this title, and under that ter­rour of having no share in the world to come. 2. They went about to perplex the mind of these converts with urging how near the day of the Lord was. The Scripture, and the Apostl [...] had spoken of the day of the Lords coming, when he should come to take vengeance of the Jewish Nation for their wickednesse and unbelief: and these would terrifie this Church with inculcating the nearnesse of it, pretending for this, partly revelation, and partly the words or writing of the Apostle. The aim in this terrour was to amaze the new beleevers and to puzzle them about what to hold, and what to do in that sad time, which they pretended was ready to fall upon their heads. The Apostle resolves that there was some good space of time to be before, for there was to be a falling away, and the man of sin to be revealed.

The phrase The man of sin and childe of perdition, is plainly taken from that place, Isa. 11.4. With the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked one: and the Apostle makes it clear [Page 104] that he referreth to that place, by using the very words of the Prophet, at ver. 8. Whom the Lord shall consume with the breath of his mouth. The Jews put an Emphasis upon that word in the Prophet, The wicked one, as it appeareth by the Chaldee Paraphrast, who hath uttered it [...] He shall destroy the wicked Roman: And so the Apostle puts an Emphasis upon it, and translates it the Man of sin: And in that Christ is intro­duced in the Prophet, as having a speciall quarrell and vengeance against him, he is called the son of perdition, or he that is so certainly and remarkably to be destroyed. It is true, this meaneth the Roman, as the Chaldee, and our Protestant Divines by the warrant of Iohn in the Revelation do interpret it▪ but in the first place and sense it meaneth the Jew­ish Nation, which proved Antichrist, as well as Rome ever did, and as far as Rome ever did, and before Rome ever did, and as long and longer then Rome hath yet done. As Iews and Rome joyned in the murder of Christ, so are they joyned in this character of Antichrist, but the Jews to be understood first: See ver. 7. the mystery of iniquity was already working when the Apostle wrote this Epistle, which cannot possibly be understood but of the Jewish Na­tion, and so it is explained again and again, 1 Iohn 2.18. & 4.3. & 2 Ioh. v. 7, &c.

The severall characters that the Apostle gives of the Man of sinne, agree most throughly to that generation and Nation, and so the Scripture plainly applies them to it.

1. There was a falling away in that Nation of multitudes that had imbraced the Gos­pel. See Matth. 24.12. Christ foretelling it, and Paul from thence, 1 Tim. 4.1. by the later times that he there speaks of, meaning the last daies of Ierusalem and the Jewish state, as the phrase is used in that sense abundantly. Such apostacy may be observed hinted in the Epistle to the Galatians, to the Hebrews, Colossians, Rev. 2.4. 2 Tim. 1.15. and to spare more, observe the conclusion of that Parable, Matth. 12.43, 44, 45. So shall it be with this wicked generation. The devil once cast out of it by the Gospel, but returned by their Apostacy.

2. How this Nation was the [...], the great opposer of the Gospel, need­eth no instance to any that hath read the new Testament. And he that reades the Jew­ish Records, shall finde evidence enough of it, of which we have given some brief ac­count at Chap. 13.

3. [...]. Which exalts himself against every thing that is called God or worshipped: were it [...], Against God, it were most true, to the very letter, their Scribes in the Temple of God it self, sitting and setting up their tra­ditions above the commands of God, Mat. 15.6. But how they exalted themselves a­gainst every thing called God, or the Magistracy and those that were set over them, we may observe in such passages as these, 2 Pet. 2.10. They despise government, &c. Iude v.8. They despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities, &c. and in their own stories to endlesse examples.

4. As for the fourth mark mentioned, ver. 9. namely his coming after the working of Satan with all Magicall power and delusion, our Saviour had foretold is of that genera­tion, Matth. 24.24. compared with ver. 34. of that Chapter: and it is abundantly asser­ted by Scripture, by Iosephus, and other of their own Writers, as we have given some examples before.

Now what the Apostle meaneth when he speaketh of one that letted [ver. 6. And now ye know what withholdeth, and ver. 7. He who now letteth will let] is of some obscurity; we may without offence give this conjecture. As the term The day of the Lord, is taken in Scripture especially in this double sense, for his day of judging the Iewish Nation, and for his day of judging all the world; so are we to understand a falling away, and a Man of sin of the Jewish Nation before the former, and a falling away and Antichrist, betwixt the former and the later. This last is readily concluded upon, to be the Papacy, and he that letted▪ to mean the Imperiall power: but what was he that letted in the former, that the Antichrist among the Jews was not revealed sooner? I should divide this stake betwixt Claudius the Emperour [who by his decree against the Jews in Rome, Act. 18.2. give a check by the appearance of his displeasure, to all the Jews elsewhere that they durst not tyrannize against the Gospel whilest he lived as they had done.] And Paul himself who by his uncessant travelling in the Gospel, and combatting by the truth every where against the Jews, did keep down very much their delusions and Apostacy whilest he was at liberty and abroad, but when he was once laid up, then all went to ruine, as see Act. 20.29. 2 Tim. 1.15, &c.

[Page 105] Paul when he departs from Corinth, leaves a Church fairly planted there, but how soon and how miserably it grew degenerate, we shall meet vvith cause to observe before it be long. He cometh to Ephesus, & striving to get up to one of the feasts at Ierusalem, he leaves Priscilla and Aquila there. Thither, ere long, cometh Apollos, an excellent Scripture-man, but one that knew only the baptism of Iohn, but they instruct him better. Not that these Tent-makers turned Preachers, but that having had so much converse with Paul, they were able in private conference to inform him better then yet he knew, from what they had learned from Paul.

ACTS CHAP. XIX. from Ver. 1, to Ver. 19.

OThers at Ephesus there were, that were no further gone in Christianity neither, then the knowledge of the Baptisme of Iohn: Paul asks them, Have ye received the holy Ghost? they answer, We have not yet so much as heard whether the holy Ghost be: In which words they refer to a common and a true tenet of the Nation, which was, that after the death of Ezra, Haggai, Zachary and Malachy, the holy Ghost departed from Israel and went up: Iuchas. fol. 15. and they professe they had never yet heard of his restoring. And it is very probable, that they had never heard of Iesus; whom when Paul had preached to them, they imbrace; and the text saith, they were then baptized in the Name of the Lord Iesus. Not that they were rebaptized, but that now coming to the knowledge of the proper end of Iohns baptisme, namely to beleeve in Iesus as ver. 4. they own their baptisme to such an end and construction. For 1. What need had they to be rebaptized, when in that first baptisme they had had taken, they had come in to the profession of the Gospel and of Christ, as farre as the doctrine that had brought them in could teach them? It was the change of their profession from Iudaisme to Evangelisme, that required their being bap­tized, and not the degrees of their growth in the knowledge of the Gospel, into the pro­fession of which they had been baptized already. How many baptismes must the Apostles have undergone, if every signall degree of their coming on to the perfect knowledge of the mystery of Christ, might have required, nay might have admitted a new baptizing? 2. If these men were rebaptized, then must the same be concluded of all that had recei­ved the baptisme of Iohn, when they came to the knowledge of Iesus: which as it is in­credible, because there is not the least tittle of mention of such a thing, so is it unimagin­able in the case of those of the Apostles that were baptized by Iohn; for who should bap­tize them again in the name of Iesus, since Iesus himself baptized none? Ioh. 4.3. 3. These men had taken on them the baptisme of repentance, and the profession of Christ, in the bap­tisme of Iohn, that they had received: therefore unlesse we will suppose a baptisme of faith, different from the baptisme of repentance, and a baptisme in the name of Iesus diffe­rent from the baptisme in the name of Christ, it will be hard to finde a reason, why these men should undergo a new baptizing.

And if it should be granted [which is against reason to grant,] that these men were re­ally rebaptized, yet were not this a warrantable ground for rebaptization now, in regard of these main differences betwixt the case then and now. 1. That great controversie then on foot, about, Whether Iesus were the true Messias or no, which caused their rebaptiza­tion, if they were rebaptized. 2. The visible conferring of the holy Ghost upon them, upon their baptisme if they were rebaptized: as being a main induction of such a thing, if such a thing were, that the name of Iesus might be so apparently glorified, upon their being baptized in the name of Iesus: which indeed was equally glorified, when they re­ceived those gifts upon their acknowledging of Iesus, and owning their baptisme that they had of old been baptized with, as a badge of that acknowledgment, though not baptized again.

ACTS CHAP. XIX. from Ver. 9. to Ver. 21.

CHRIST. LIII. LIV. CLAVDIVS. XIII. XIV. THe Apostle hath a long time to stay at Ephesus: in which he first begins for the space of a quarter of a year to dispute in the Synagogue: and then when divers were har­dened and beleeved not, he separated the Disciples, and disputed daily in the School of Tyrannus: Hitherto what converts there were to the Gospel, they resorted still to the [Page 106] publick service in the Synagogue, where Paul reasoned daily for the truth of the Gospel: but finding dangerous opposition, he gets away the Disciples from thence, and in the School of one Tyrannus they are a particular Congregation.

In these great Towns where there were many Jews, both in Iudea and elswhere, they had a Synagogue and a Divinity-School: This Divinity-School they called Beth Mi­drash, and thither they used to go every Sabbath day, after they had been at the Syna­gogue: whereupon they had this for a common proverb, [...]: From the Synagogue to the Divinity-School. In the Synagogue they had prayers and read­ing of the Law, and plain Sermons of Doctrine, exhortation and comfort: In the Divini­ty-School were discussed and taught, dogmaticall and controversall points concerning the difficulties of the Law, and other high matters. And hence it be those different titles and administrations of Pastor and Teacher, Ephes. 4.11. and He that teacheth, and he that ex­horteth, Rom. 12.7, 8. took their pattern: if Pastor mean one of the Ministerial function.

In the time of this stay of Paul at Ephesus, He fought with beasts there after the manner of men, 1 Cor. 15.32. which seemeth to be understood, of a proper [...] or fighting with wild beasts in the Theater, as was the barbarous and bestiall custom of the R [...]mans and those times. For 1. Observe in the hubbub of Demetrius, Pauls compa­nions are haled presently into the Theater, ver. 29. as if there the people had that that would take a course with them. 2. Observe that the Asiarchae or Theater-Officers are Pauls friends, as having knowledge and acquaintance of him and with him before. 3. De­metrius his uproar which was the greatest danger that Luke hath mentioned of him, was not till after he had written his Epistle to Corinth, in which, he speaks of fighting with beasts, and therefore that could not be meant. 4. The phrase [...] doth seem cleerly to distinguish it from any combate in a borrowed sense. 5. The trouble that befell him in Asia, by which he was pressed above measure, and even despaired of life, 2 Cor. 1.8, 9. cannot be understood so well of the tumult of Demetrius, for we read not of any hand laid upon Paul in it, as of some other danger neerer dearth.

In the latter year of these two above written, which was part of Pauls last year at Ephe­sus, on the 13th day of October of that year, Claudius the Emperour dieth, and Nero suc­ceedeth him: a wretch whose memory is not worth looking after, unlesse it be for dete­testation: yet must we in our further progresse of viewing the actions of Paul, and rank­ing his Epistles, be beholden to the Chronicall observation of his years.

Paul himself saith to the Elders of Ephesus, By the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one, Acts 20.31. And yet Luke in this Chapter specifieth only two years and a quarter, ver. 8.10. The comparing of which two summes together, doth help us to mea­sure the time of his abode there mentioned from ver. 20. and forward. Namely that he spent three moneths in disputing in the Jews Synagogue: and two years in the School of Tyrannus: and three quarters of a year after, in going up and down Asia. The expiration of his three years was about Pentecost in the first year of Nero.


After these things were ended, Paul purposed in spirit when he had passed thorow Macedonia and Achaia to go to Ierusalem, saying, When I have been there, I must also see Rome.

22. So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministred to him, Timotheus and Erastus, but he himself staid in Asia for a season.

PAuls thoughts of going to Rome, do argue the death of Claudius, who had banished all the Jews from thence, Acts 18.2. and that by the coming in of Nero, a new Emperour, that Decree was extinct, and freedom of access to Rome opened to them again: For it can be little conceived that Paul should think of going thither, when he could neither finde any of his nation there, nor he himself come thither without certain hazzard of his life: as the case would have been if Claudius and his Decree were yet alive. It is therefore a­greeable to all reason, that the death of Claudius, and the succession of Nero was now divulged, and Paul thereupon knowing that it was now lawfull again for a Jew to go to Rome, intendeth to take a farewell journey and visit to Macedonia, Achaiah and Ierusa­lem, and then to go and preach there.

[Page 107] Claudius died the 13th day of October, as was said before, and Nero instantly succeeded him. A Prince of so much clemency and mansuetude in the beginning of his reign, that Titus the Emperour afterward used to say, that the best Princes exceeded not the first five years of Nero in goodnesse. And Seneca, if he flatter not the Prince, or his own tu­torage of him, gives him this among many other Encomiums of him, Lib. de Clementia, which he dedicates to him: Potes hoc Caesar praedicare audacter, omnium quae in fidem tute­lám (que) tuam venerunt, nihil per te, neque vi, neque clam, reipublicae ereptum. Rarissimam laudem, & nulli adhuc principum concessam concupisti, innocentiam: Nemo unus homo uni homini tam charus unquam fuit quam tu populo Romano, magnum longum (que) ejus bonum.

It must be some space of time before Claudius death could come to be reported at Ephe­sus: it is like, the new year after the Romane account, might be stept in. Whensoever it was that Paul heard the news, and that a door of access to Rome was opened for the Jews again, he sets down his determination to stay at Ephesus till Pentecost, and then to set for Macedon, and back to Ierusalem, and then to Rome. Upon this resolution he sendeth Timothy and Erastus into Macedon before him: appointeth them to call at Corinth in the way, and intends himself to stay at Ephesus till they should come thither again to him, 1 Cor. 16.10, 11.

Between Ver. 22. and Ver. 23. of this XIX CHAP. of the ACTS, falleth in the time of Pauls writing


He being now at Ephesus, and having set down the time of his removing thence, name­ly at Pentecost coming, 1 Cor. 16.8. He had now been at Ephesus well towards three years, and had met with many difficulties; yet had so prevailed by the power of the Gospel, that not only all along hitherto many people were continually converted, but even now alate, many conjurers, and such as used magicall arts, devoted themselves to the Gospel and their books to the fire, and became the renewed monuments of the power and prevalen­cy of the divine truth. This was that great and effectuall door opened to him, of which he speaketh, 1 Cor. 16.9. and which occasioned his stay at Ephesus still, when he had sent Timothy and Erastus into Macedonia, Acts 19.21. In the time of which stay there, Ste­phanas, and Fortunatus and Achaicus, come from Corinth, 1 Cor. 16.17. with Letters from the Church to Paul, 1 Cor. 7.1. and he upon their return, returns his answer in this Epi­stle sent by Titus and another, 2 Cor. 12.18. Some Postscripts have named Timothy for the bearer, antedating his journey to Corinth, which was not in his going to Mecedon, but in his return back, and when this Epistle had already given them notice of his coming that way, 1 Cor. 16.10.

Apollos when Paul wrote this Epistle was with him at Ephesus, and was desired by Paul to have gone along with the brethren to Corinth, but he would not, 1 Cor. 16.11. it may be because he would not countenance a faction there by his presence, which was begun under his name. The Church was exceedingly broken into divisions, which produced very dole­full effects among them. These severall enormities raged in that Church, though so late­ly and so nobly planted, and all originally derived from this first mischief of faction and schisme.

1. A member of the Church had married his fathers wife, yea as it seemeth 2 Cor. 7.12. his father yet living: which crime by their own Law and Canons deserved death: For he that went in to his fathers wife was doubly liable to be stoned, both because she was his fathers wife, and because she was another mans wife, whether he lay with her in his fathers life time, or after his death, Talm. in Sanhed. per. 7. & Maym, in Issure biah. per 1. & 2. And yet they in the height of the contestings they had among themselves, did not only, not take away such a wreth from among them, nor mourn for the miscarriage, but he had got a party that bolstered him up and abetted him: and so while they should have mourned they were puffed up. His own party in triumph that they could bear him out against the ad­verse, and the other in rejoycing that in the contrary faction there was befallen such a scandall. Or both as taking this Libertinism as a new liberty of the Gospel. The Apo­stle adviseth his giving up to Satan, by a power of miracles which was then in being. So likewise did he give up Hymeneus and Alexander, 1 Tim. 1.20. The derivation of this power we conceived at Act 5. [in the case of Ananias and Saphira] to be from that passage of Christ to the Disciples, Ioh. 20.22. He breathed on them and said, whose sinnes ye retain they are retained, &c. and so were the Apostles indued with a miraculous power [Page 108] of a contrary effect or operation. They could heal diseases and bestow the holy Ghost, and they could inflict death or diseases, and give up to Satan. Now though it may be questioned, whether any in the Church of Corinth had this power, yet when Pauls spirit with the power of the Lord Iesus Christ went along in the action, as Chap. 5.4. there can be no doubt of the effect.

2. Their animosities were so great, that they not only instigated them to common suits at Law, but to suits before the tribunals of the Heathen, which as it was contrary to the peace and honour of the doctrine of the Gospel, so was it even contrary to their Judaick traditions: which required their subjection and appeals, only to men of their own blood, or of their own Religion. The Apostle to rectifie this misdemeanour, first cals them to remember, that the Saints should judge the world, and this he mentioneth as a thing known to them, Chap. 6.2. and it was known to them from Dan. 7.18, 27. And the Kingdom and Dominion, and the greatnesse of the Kingdom shall be given to the people of the Saints of the most high. How miserably this is misconstrued by too many of a fifth Mo­narchy, when Saints shall only Rule, is to be read in too many miseries that have fol­lowed that opinion. The Apostles meaning is no more but this, Do you not know that there shall be a Christian Magistracy? or that Christians shall be Rulers and [...] the world, and therefore why should you be so fearfull or carelesse to judge in your ow [...] matters? Observe in what sense he had taken the word Saints in the former verse, name [...]ly for Christians in the largest sense, as set in opposition to the Heathen. And he speaks in the tenour of Daniel from whence his words are taken, that though the world and Church had been ruled and judged and domineered over, by the four Monarchies which were Heathen, yet under the Kingdom of Christ under the Gospel, they should be ruled and judged by Christian Kings, Magistrates and Rulers. Secondly, he minds them, Know ye not that we shall judge Angels? ver. 3. Observe that he saies not as before, Know ye not that the Saints shall judge Angels? but we. By Angels it is uncontrovertedly granted that he meaneth evil Angels the Devils: Now the Saints, that is all Christians that pro­fessed the Gospel were not to judge Devils, but we, saith he, that is the Apostles and Preachers of the Gospel; who by the power of their Ministry ruined his Oracles, Idols, delusions and worship, &c. Therefore he argueth, since there is to be a Gospel Magi­stracy to rule and judge the world, and a Gospel Ministry that should judge and destroy the Devils, they should not account themselves so utterly uncapable of judging in things of their civil converse, as upon every controversie to go to the Bench of the Heathens to the great dishonour of the Gospel. And withall adviseth them, to set them to judge who were lesse esteemed in the Church, ver. 4. Not that he denieth subjection to the Heathen Magistrate which now was over them, or incourageth them to the usurpation of his power: but that he asserteth the profession of the Gospel, capable of judging in such things, and by improving of that capacity, as farre as fell within their line, he would have them provide for their own peace, and the Gospels credit. We observed before, that though the Jews were under the Roman power, yet they permitted them to live in their own Religion, and by their own Laws to maintain their Religion: and it may not be impertinent to take up and inlarge that matter a little here. As the Jews under the Roman subjection had their great Sanhedrin, and their lesse of three and twenty Judges, as appears both in Scripture, and in their Records, so were not these bare names, or civil bodies without a foul, but they were inlivened by their juridicall, executive power, in which they were instated of old: So that though they were at the disposall of the Ro­man Power, and Religion, and Laws, and all went to wrack when the Emperour was offended at them, as it was in the time of Caligula, yet for the most part, from the time of the Romans power first coming over them, to the time of their own last Rebellion, which was their ruine, the authority of their Sanhedrins and Judicatories was preserved in a good measure intire, and they had administration of justice of their own Magistracy, as they injoyed their own Religion. And this both within the Land and without, yea even after Ierusalem was destroyed, as we shall shew in its due place. And as it was thus in the free actings of their Sanhedrins, so also was it in the actings of their Synagogues, both in matters of Religion and of civil interest: For in every Synagogue as there were Rulers of the Synagogue in reference to matters of Religion and Divine worship, so were there Rulers or Magistrates in reference to Civil affairs, which judged in such matters. Every Synagogue had Beth din shel sheleshah, a Consistory or Judicatory, or what you will call it, of three Rulers or Magistrates, to whom belonged to judge between party [Page 109] and party in matters of money, stealth, damage, restitution, penalties, and divers o­ther things which are mentioned and handled in both Talmuds in the Treatise Sanhedrin per. 1. Who had not power indeed of capitall punishments, but they had of corporall, namely of scourging to fourty stripes save one. Hence it is that Christ foretels his Disci­ples, In the Synagogues you shall be beaten, Mark 13.9. and hence had Paul his five scourg­ings, 2 Cor. 11.24. So that in every Synagogue there were Elders that ruled in Civil af­fairs, and Elders that laboured in the Word and Doctrine. And all things well considered, it may not be so monstrous, as it seems to some, to say it might very well be so in those times in Christian Congregations. For since, as it might be shewed, that Christ and his Apostles in platforming of the modell of Christian Churches in those times, did keep very close to the platform of the Synagogues: and since the Romans in those times made no difference betwixt Jews in Judaism, and Jews that were turned Christians, nor betwixt those Religions: for as yet there was no persecution raised against Christianity, why might not Christian Congregations have and exercise that double Function of Ministry and Magistracy in them as well as the Jewish Synagogues? And if that much controver­ted place, 1 Tim. 5.17. should be interpreted according to such a sense, it were neither irrationall, nor improbable. Nor to interpret Paul speaking to such a tenour here. Only his appointing of [...], the lesse esteemed in the Church ▪ to be appointed for that work is of some scruple: what if it allude to [...] A Committee of private men? of which there is frequent mention among the Hebrew Do­ctors. See Maymon. in [...] fol. 253. col. 1.

3. It was the old Jewish garb, when they went to pray, to hide head and face, with a vail, to betoken their ashamednesse and confusion of face wherewithall they appeared before God: And hence is the conjunction of these two words so common in their Wri­tings [...] He vailed himself and prayed. And this for a current rule, The wise men and their schollars may not pray, unlesse they be vailed. Maymon. in Tephillah per. 5. To which let us adde that of Sueton. in Vitell. cap. 2. Lucius Vitellius, saith he, had an ex­cellent faculty in flattering: he first set afoot the worshipping of Caius Caesar for a God: when returning out of Syria, he durst not go to him but with his head vailed, and then turning him­self about, he fell prostrate.

Again it was the custom of the Jewish women, to go vailed, or their faces covered, whensoever they went into publick. A woman, saith Maymony, may not go into publick [...] if she have not a vail on. In [...] per. 24. And this the Talmudists call this [...] The Iewish Law: and [...] The garb of modesty. Che­tubboth per. 7. and Alphes. ibid. Where they say that those women transgresse the Iewish Law that go forth unvailed, or that spin in the streets, or that talk with every man.

Now in this Church of Corinth, the men retained the Jewish custom that they prayed vailed, or with their head and face covered, but the women transgressed their Jewish Law, for they went unvailed and bare faced into the publick Congregation, and their reason was, as it seemeth by the Apostles discourse, because they, in regard of their beau­ty and comely feature, needed lesse to be ashamed before God in his worship then the men. The Apostle reproves both, and argues that if the man pray vailed, who is the Image and glory of God, then much more should the woman, who is but the glory of the man. But he cries down the mans praying vailed, as dishonouring his head; and ex­horts that the woman have power on her head, because of the Angels, cap. 11.10. The word [...] which we observed instantly before, out of Maymony signified a womans vail, doth also signifie power or dominion: and accordingly the Apostle speaketh, Let the woman have power on her head: But what means he by, Because of the Angels? I should answer, Because of the devils: for these he had called Angels also, a few Chapters before, viz. Chap. 6.3. And his words may be construed to this sense, that women should not expose their faces openly in the Congregation, lest the devil make a bait of their beauty, and thereby intangle the eyes and hearts of the men, who should be then better imployed, then gazing and longing after beauty. There are, that by Angels understand the Mini­sters, and interpret it, that women should be vailed lest the Ministers eyes should be in­tangled by their faces: which exposition if it be admitted, it may speak for the admission of that also which we give, which provides for the eyes of the whole Congregation as well as of the Ministers.

4. In the same eleventh Chapter he also blameth their disorder in receiving the Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper in the height of their heats and contestations. Wherein they [Page 110] did not only not discern the Lords Body, a Symbole and tie of communion, but they even transgressed that rule now Christians, which those of them that were Jews would not have done in their Judaism. It was then a Canon current, and binding amongst them, that none should eat and drink in their Synagogues, and none should sleep, Jerus. in Megilla fol. 74. col. 1. Maym. in Tephillah per. 11. and Gloss. in Maym. in Shabb. 30. But now as they ate and drank the Bread and the Cup in the Sacrament, in their Church­es, and that warrantably, so did they also presume unwarrantably to eat their own common suppers there, and that only in defiance one of another, the rich to outface the poor, and one party another with their good commons; some banketing and feasting to the full, whilest others sat hungry by and looked on. [See how [...], ver. 21. sig­nifies in the LXX, Gen. 43.34. Cant. 5.1.] Thus did they eat and drink judgement to themselves in the Sacrament, whilest they would receive the symbole of communion and yet shew such signs and evidences of disunion at the very instant: And the Lord accord­ingly overtook some of them with evident judgements, weaknesse, sicknesse and death, avenging at once upon them the indignity done to his Sacrament, and the indignity done to their brethren. Much like surfeting Nabals case and end.

5. And as the people were thus irregular in this part of worship in their publick assem­blies, so were their Ministers faulty in others, namely about the managing of spirituall gifts there. The pretence to the spirit [where indeed it was not] hath alwaies been the great usherer in of all errour and delusion: And to this the very unbeleeving Jews pre­tended, and often backed their pretences with magicall impostures: and of this the Apo­stle speaks, Chap. 12.3. No man speaking by the Spirit of God, as these men took on them to do, can call Iesus accursed, as they called him. And on the other hand, some that had spirituall gifts indeed, failed in the using of them to the edification of the Church, but put them forth sometime for their own vainglory: and such was their miscarriage which he taxeth, Chap. 14. They that from that Chapter would ground a preaching by the Spirit now, sure do little observe what they do to build upon an example which the Apostle reproveth: and they inferre from a place much mistaken.

There were indeed the extraordinary gifts of tongues and prophecying in the Church of Corinth, but who had them, and what had they in having them, and how used they them? 1. It was not every or indeed any private member of the Congregation that had them, but the Ministers only, and by these very gifts and imposition of the Apostles hands by which these gifts were conferred, they were inducted into the Ministry and in­abled to it. The learned Reader will observe the difference that in ver. 16. is made be­twixt him that spake with the tongues, and [...] A private man, that sat by. 2. It was not to gabble with any tongue that is called speaking with a tongue [for to what edification possible could it be for any Minister in Corinth to speak Persick, Coptick, Gallick or any other strange language in that Congregation where all of them under­stood one and the same language?] but it was to understand and speak the Originals of Scriptures, as was touched before, and to be able to unfold them, and so to prophesie or preach to the people. Observe these passages in the Chapter: He that speaketh with a strange tongue edifieth himself, ver. 4. And, I would you all spake with tongues: Now how could a man edifie himself by speaking in some strange remote language, when he might speak or understand the very same thing in his own mother tongue? And what were they better, if they all so spake, unlesse it were, that thereby they were the fitter to look into all humane learning? But he or all of them that were able to understand and speak the originall language of Scripture, might thereby edifie themselves, and therein speak and understand what they could not in their mother tongue. 3. It appears by the Apostles discourse that these men used these gifts irregularly, confusedly and for their own vain­glory, which he rebukes and rectifies.

6. There were also in or crept into this Church, those that were either down right Sadduces in denying the resurrection, or that though with the Pharisees they acknow­ledged it, yet denied it of those that had forsaken their Judaisme, and so would exclude all Christians from it: Upon this the fifteenth Chapter discourseth so fully and divinely that nothing can be more.

Those that this Church sent to visit Paul at Ephesus, brought with them a Letter from the Church, in the which they desired to be resolved about some doubts: as

1. About marriage, and a single life; what they should do in that case, since their Judaick Laws had alwaies laied marriage upon them as a binding command. This they [Page 111] reckon the first command of the 613. Vid. marg. ad tripl. Targ. ad Gen. 1. And this their Canons did so strictly binde on as a duty, that they say that he that lives to such an age and marries not transgresseth, a preceptive Law. Maym. in [...] per. 1. In this case the Apo­stle saith, Praeceptum non habeo; that he accounted it no such command, but every one was left to his liberty: according as he could contain, or not contain. And in his stating this case, how he speaks the language of his Nation, and how far he comes towards their opinions, or goes from them, the learned may observe, by comparing the beginning of this Chapter, with Maymony in his Treatise [...] especially fol. [apud me] 251. & 248. & 249.

2. About cohabitation of man and wife, when the one party was a Beleever or a Chri­stian, and the other party an unbeliever or a Heathen. And here he concludes that the children, if either parent were a Christian, were holy, ver. 14. that is, Christians, and not to be reputed as Heathen children. It is the very phrase that his Nation used about the children of Proselytes, that were born after they were proselyted; they were said to be born [...] in holinesse, that is within the Religion, not in Hea­thenisme.

3. About eating things sacrificed to Idols, and communicating in such things; a dan­gerous stumbling block of old, and particularly forbidden by the Councill at Iorusalem: Of this he speaketh at large, and from the nature of Idol-sacrifices, and from the nature of the Sacraments he sheweth how farre they should be separate from such communion with Idolatry. He speaketh of all Israels being baptized unto Moses in the cloud and sea, and so separate from all Egyptian and other Idolatry and prophannesse; and our baptism speaks the like separation. The Jews say Moses was sanctified by the cloud, Jerus. in Joma fol. 38. col. 2. and Paul speaks here the same of all Israel, Chap. 10.2.

4. About Ministers maintenance under the Gospel, Chap. 9. which he confirmeth, and sheweth that Peter and the rest of the Apostles and their wives and families were so main­tained, Chap. 9.5, &c.

He concludes the Epistle with a sad execration upon Whosoever loveth not the Lord Iesus Christ, let such a one be Anathema Maran Atha, Chap. 16.22. that is, let him be accursed or destroyed: Our Lord cometh. In which that he in the first aim and intention meaneth the unbelieving Jews, may be observed upon these four considerations. 1. Because the Jews of all men under heaven were and are the greatest haters of Christ. Pagans indeed do not love the Lord Iesus, because they know him not, but again because they know him not they hate him not. The Turks love not Christ as Christians love him, but again they hate not Christ as the Jews hate him. The word Iesus here carries the Emphasis to levell this execration at them: they pretended to love Messias or a Christ, but openly professe hatred of Iesus. 2. Because the Apostle here useth such Dialect, as that he speaketh in the very Jews language in the words Maran atha. He had spoken in Greek all along the Epistle, and Greek all along his Epistles, and that here alone he should use a Syriack phrase and not translate it, it doth evidently shew, that his speech referreth more especially to the Jewish Nation. So Ieremy in Chap. 10. v. 11. threatning and cur­sing the Chaldean Idolatry, doth it in the Chaldean language; one clause of which he useth not throughout his Prophesie beside. 3. The Jews of all men did chiefly or only call Jesus Anathema, as Chap. 12▪3. and as they are not ashamed openly to confesse in their Talmud; therefore against them of all men first and chiefly is this Anathema aimed. 4. This is agreeable to what the Scripture speaks copiously in other places: as Isa. 65.15. You shall leave your name for a curse to my chosen, &c. Malac. 4.6. Lest I come and smite the Land with a curse, &c. The most pious and charitable Apostle could wish himself to be Anathema for that Nation, on condition that they might beleeve and be saved, Rom. 9.3. but since they will not beleeve, and do refuse salvation, and hate the Saviour, he forgets consanguinity for the love of Christ, and dooming and devoting all whomsoever, that loved not the Lord Iesus Christ to destruction, he intends them in the first place who were his chief haters.

The words Maran-atha are held by some to be of the form of the highest excommu­nication; Sic signatur, say they, species extremi Anathematis, ac si diceretur, Male­dictus esto ad adventum & in adventu Domini: And withall that Maran atha is the same in sense with Shammatha: but this utterly without the warrant of any Jewish antiquity [whose language it is] at all. I beleeve it is impossible to shew Maran atha for a form of Excommunication or execration in any of their Writings, nay very hard if not next [Page 112] impossible to shew the words Maran atha in their Writings at all in any sense.

The phrase in the Apostle refers first to Christs coming in vengeance against Ierusalem and the Jewish Nation, as the execration is first to be pitched upon them: Maran atha, Our Lord cometh. Many and dreadfull things are spoken of this his coming in the Scri­pture, of which we have spoken in severall places as we have come along. So that in this sentence he doth both justly doom this unbelieving and wretched Nation to their deserved curse, and doth withall in this phrase intimate that the doomed curse was near approach­ing, in the Lords coming in vengeance against them. Now though we construe the words in such an application to the Jews, it is not exclusively, but that their sense reacheth also to every one that loveth not the Lord Iesus of what Nation soever, and the Lord will come in time to make him an Anathema.

There is some obscurity in a passage in Chap. 5.9. both of sense and history: I wrote unto you in an Epistle not to company with fornicators: 10. Yet not altogether with the for­nicators of this world, &c. Where first we have to inquire what it is that the Apostle doth here forbid them, and then, when it was that he wrote this Epistle that he speaketh of. There are two things that are here prohibited; one, when he wrote that which he speaketh of, namely, that they should not company with fornicators; and the other now when he writes this Epistle, viz. that they should not eat with such: the later he had permitted till now, though he prohibited the former, which let them well observe that understand by eating the receiving of the Sacrament.

Besides what communion was among the Jews in sacris, there was a twofold compa­nying or communicating among them in civil things; the one more common, the other more neer and peculiar: Their more common was, eating together at the same common table: For even such eating they accounted of, as of a communion, under a rule: and hence no eating with Gentiles for any Jew, Act. 11.3. nor with Publicans and sinners for any that were of the stricter sort of Religions: therefore Christ is cavilled at for it so oft in the Gospel. The other was that communion or associating, which they called [...] and [...] the former of which comprehended their near joyning in partnership, deputations and the like, of the which the triple Talmudick, Tract Bava, and Maymo­nies of Shittuphin and Shilluchin, do treat at large. The later comprehended their com­bining in joynt interest and association, in the use of any common Court or Cloister where many dwelt together: of which the Treatise Erubhin is a large discourse and ob­scure enough. Now the Apostle in the former prohibition [...], seems to forbid this nearer communion: that if any that is called a brother or a Christian, be a for­nicator, &c. they should not associate with him in any such conjunction as partnership, deputation, imployment, cohabitation or common interest, &c. But upon the hearing of this horrid fact and example of the incestuous person, he heightens his prohibition, and now forbids, that they should not use so much as that common society with them, as to eat with them at common tables: which was to set them at the utmost distance, even at the same that the Jews did the very Heathens, for with them they might not eat.

Now how to understand [...], is of some difficulty. Some conceive it means an Epistle, which was sent before this, and which was lost. Which is an expo­sition somewhat hard to digest. Certainly it is gentler and more warrantable, yea even by the rules of grammar to render [...] to such a sense as this, I wrote, or had written, or was writing in this Epistle that you should not company with fornicators, &c. but now hearing and weighing this high offence of the incestuous person, and the danger of such an example, I sharpen my style, and now forbid not only your near associating with such, but even the common fellowship of eating together at common tables, which was as much as that which is spoken, Matth. 18.17. Let him be to thee as an heathen man.

ACTS CHAP. XIX. from Ver. 23. to the end of the Chapter.

PAUL had determined to stay at Ephesus till Pentecost, because of a great and effectu­all door that was opened to him, and he was earnest to imbrace that opportunity, 1 Cor. 16.9. but before his determined time of departure thence came, and as it seemeth not long before, Demetrius, with the rest of the Silversmiths raise a tumult against him as the great impairer of their profit, by crying down the worship of Diana and other Idols. These men used to make silver Temples of Diana, [...], or little models, as [Page 113] it seemeth, made after that Temple fashion; which they that came to Ephesus to wor­ship, bought, either to consecrate to the Goddesse, and to leave there in her Temple, or rather to take away with them home in memoriall of that Goddesse. Tully in Verrem speaks of Aedes Minervae posita in fano Apollinis. And Dion Cassius lib. 36. of [...], &c. A little Temple of Iuno set upon a table looking toward the East, did of it self turn toward the North. And in lib. 40. [...] [ [...], &c.] The Eagle [saith he, meaning the Roman ensign] was a little Tem­ple, and in it was set a golden Eagle: such a one pitched in every one of the Roman Legions, and it never stir'd out of the winter quarters, till the whole Camp did remove: this Eagle fixed on the top of a spear one man carried: the lower end of the spear being sharp that it might be stuck into the ground. So that it seems the Roman Eagles were not flying Colours like ours, but a golden Eagle meddall wise inclosed in a little fabrick like a Temple: Of such a kinde were these silver Temples of Diana of, namely a little silver shrine made after the fashion of the Temple, and the Goddesse in it.

The great Temple was reputed one of the seven wonderous fabricks of the world: It was hundreds of years in building at the charge of all Asia, before it came to its last ex­cellency and perfection. And as hither had been the conflux of the cost of all Asia to­ward the building of it, so when it was built, hither was the conflux of all Asia's super­stition. And as from hence it may be gathered how great a work it was to plant the Gos­pel in this center of Idolatry, so doth Demetrius readily observe, how great a detriment is like to accrew to him and his fellows by the Gospels destroying that Idolatry, as daily it did. Hereupon they raise a tumult against Paul, which is not only promoted by the Idolatrous Heathen, but by the Jews also, though upon another score. In the hubbub there is mention of Alexander, whom they drew out of the multitude the Iews putting him forward. And he beckened with the hand and would have made his defence unto the people, but when they knew he was a Iew, they would not hear him, ver. 33, 34. And Paul in his se­cond Epistle to Timothy, who was at Ephesus when he wrote to him, saith, Alexander the Coppersmith did me much evil, 2 Tim. 4.14. I think there is little question to be made but that Alexander mentioned in both places is one and the same man: especially if we con­sider that he that Paul speaks of was of Demetrius his Profession a Coppersmith. Now whereas Luke saith the Jews put him forward, and he would fain have made a speech in his defence to the people: it is easie to guesse what the subject of this speech would have been: Namely that whereas the Heathens every where looked upon the Jews as the great opposers and enemies of their Idolatry, and the Jews and Alexander were very apprehensive, that the eyes of the Ephesians was on that Nation as the enemy of their Diana, and so they feared the tumult might have fallen upon them, they put forward Alexander to make their Apology, who if he had had liberty to have spoken would have laid load upon Paul and his company, and have excused the Jews: but thus it pleased God to provide for the Apostles safety, that the tumultuous people would not hear what Alexander would have said: which would have laid all the blame on Paul.


Ver. 1. And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the Disciples, and imbraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia.

2. And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece,

3. And abode there three moneths: and when the Iews laid wait for him as he was about to sayl into Syria, he purposed to return thorow Macedonia.

IT was his resolution to have staied at Ephesus till Pentecost, had he had no disquieture or disturbance there, 1 Cor. 16.8. Now though it be not certain how long it was before the time that he had fixed for his departure, that the tumult there did pack him away; yet this is apparent, that when he came thence, he had the whole summer before him, and in that summer he travelled these journeys, and thus was his progresse.

1. From Ephesus he setteth for Macedonia, ver. 1. & 1 Cor. 16.5. from whence though he had been driven some five years ago by persecution, Act. 16. as he is now from Ephesus, yet had he received so many evidences of the Macedonians faith towards God, and [Page 114] pledges of their tendernesse and love towards himself, Philip. 4.15, 16. that he is not only resolved to venture himself again amongst them, but he holds himself ingaged to revisit them, and to bestow his pains again among them for their further proficiency in the Go­spel. At his departure from Ephesus he leaveth Timothy there behinde him, though in a dangerous place and time, yet necessity by reason of false teachers that were ready to break out, so requiring it, 1 Tim. 1.3, 4.

2. By the way as he goes he makes some stay at Troas: where though he had fair suc­cesse in his Ministry, yet not finding Titus whom he expected to have met withall from Corinth, he makes not long stay there, but sets away again speedily for Macedonia, 2 Cor. 2.12, 13.

3. It was in his thoughts whilest he was at Ephesus, to have touched at Corinth in this his journey, and to have made some stay there, 2 Cor. 1.15, 16. but thus missing of Titus at Troas, and neither from him, nor yet from any other receiving intelligence how his Epistle that he had written thither took with them, he thought it best to go by, and not to call there at this time, because he doubted he should have a heavy and comfortlesse meet­ing with them, 2 Cor. 2.1, 2.

4. Being come into Macedonia he findes some troubles there: fightings without, ei­ther from false brethren, or from open enemies: and fears and unquietnesse within, lest all should continue at Corinth, as he had heard of it: but at the last Titus cometh and refresheth him with the desired and welcome tidings that all was well there, and that his Epistle had had that happy issue and effect among them that he longed for, 2 Cor. 7.5, 6.

5. Whilest he staieth in Macedonia and those parts, he preacheth especially in those places where he had been before, namely Thessalonica and Philippi; and now was the time also that he dispersed the Gospel as far as to Illyricum, of which he speaketh in Rom. 15.19.

6. At this time whilest he was imployed in these Macedonian climates, he writeth


as may be concluded upon these observations.

1. It is apparent from 1 Tim. 1.3. & 3.15. that that Epistle was written after Pauls setting out from Ephesus for Macedonia, and yet when he was in some thoughts of re­turning shortly for Ephesus again.

2. Now it cannot be conceived to have been written when he was going towards Ma­cedonia, for then was he but newly parted from Timothy, and it is not likely he would so write to him when he was but newly come from him.

3. Nor can it be conceived to be written when he was coming back again from Ma­cedonia into Greece, for then he was going to Ephesus in his own determination, and might have been his own messenger, and had needed no Epistle sending at all. And besides he intimates in Chap. 3.16. that it might be, he might stay a little long before he came to him: Therefore it cannot but be concluded that this Epistle was written whilest he was in Macedonia or the parts thereabouts, at this time that we are upon.

It is something strange that there should be so various and roving conjectures about the time and place of the writing of this Epistle where there is so plain a demonstration thereof in the Epistle it self, i [...] studiously compared with these times and voyages of Paul that are before us. The Arabick dateth it from Athens: supposing it, belike, at the time of his perambulation of Greece, of which there is mention in ver. 3. of this Chapter: the Syriack from Laodicea: some Greek copies adde from Laodicea Paca­tiana: which mistake belike grew, because there is mention of an Epistle from Lao­dicea, Coloss. 4.16. of which we shall speak and shew the mistake when we come to the time of that Epistle. The Rhemists suppose this Epistle to Timothy was written at Pauls first imprisonment in Rome, when he was dismissed and set at liberty, but how erroniously, will appear when we come to observe the time of the second Epistle.

Paul had bestowed much pains and a long time with the Church of Ephesus being pre­sent with it: and he takes much care of it now he is gone thence: partly because of the eminency of the place, and partly because of the ficklenesse of some, who were ready to warp from the sound truth and doctrine received, to heresie and foolish opi­nions. For the keeping down of these therefore that they should not overgrow the [Page 115] Church, he leaveth Timothy there, when himself departeth; choosing him for that imployment above all other his followers, because [as was said before] some prophetick predictions had sealed him for a singular and extraordinary instrument in the Gospel, 1 Tim. 2.14.

He had two works to do in that City: first to prevent rising Error [...] and Heterodoxies, and secondly to direct and order the Orthodox aright in Worship and Discipline: not as any Diocesan Bishop [for he staid but a while there, and what he did, he did but by the Apostles direction,] but as one that Paul had found sound, bold, blamelesse, painfull and faithfull.

Among the Jewish Churches that received the Gospel, there grew in time a very epidemicall and dangerous Apostacy, either totally from the Doctrine of the Gospel, or partially from the purity of it, as we have frequent occasion to observe upon seve­rall passages that we meet withall as we go along: And this backsliding from the Doctrine and Profession of Christ once received, was the topping up of the iniquity of that Nation, and was a forerunner and a hastener of their destruction and ca­sting off.

The first principles whereby their false teachers did poison them toward this recidiva­tion, were, puzzling them with idle fables, intricate genealogies, and especially nice curiosities, and needlesse obligations of the Law: Their fables that were likeliest to serve their turn for this purpose [as near as one may guesse upon view of the whole heap in their Talmudick records] may be supposed to have been those strange legends that they related of the wondrous sanctity, devotion and facts of some of their Pharisai­call and legall righteous ones, and the wondrous gallantry and golden daies that they conceited in a carnall construction of the times of Messias.

Their endlesse genealogies which the Apostle speaketh of Tit. 3.9. and mentioneth together with these fables, 1 Tim. 1.4. were not any of the genealogies of Scripture, holy and divine, but their long and intricate pedigrees that they stood upon, to prove themselves Jews, Levites, Priests and the like, thereby to interest themselves in chain to all those brave things that they perswaded themselves belonged to a Jew as a Jew, upon that very account: And to these we may adde the long genealogy and pedigree of their traditions which they derived by a long line of succession through the hands of I know not how many Doctors: of which the Talmudick Treatise Avoth, is as a Herald. And if we will construe the word [...] Iuchasin, Genealogies, in the [...] Aserah Iu­chasin Ten linages, that they speak of that came out of Babel at the return of the captivity, I am sure we may finde endlesse questions wherewithall they puzzled mens mindes about them; as Vid. Talm. in Kiddushin per. 4. Alphes. ibid, &c.

And as for their making their baits of the Law for the catching and withdrawing of simple souls either totally from the acknowledging, or at least from the simplicity of the Gospel, it is very obvious in the Epistles of Paul and the other Epistles how they wrought, and how they prevailed: the witchery of old customs and long use, and the gawdinesse of a Ceremonious Religion, helping them to speed in their designes, and for­warding their deceivings.

Such canker began to break out in the Church of Ephesus: whose creeping and infe­cting, it is the first and great work of Timothy to prevent, and to fill the ears of his hear­ers with sound doctrine and admonitions, which might keep such deceit and infection out. And answerably it must be his care to settle the Church in such a salubrious consti­tution of Worship, Ministry and Government, as that it should not be ready to sway and incline to such dangerous seductions. Hereupon doth the Apostle lay a divine Di­rectory before him, concerning their manner of praying, choosing and ordaining Mini­sters, approving Deacons, admitting widows, and regulating the people, that nothing could be wanting to the healthfull temper of that Church if they receive and imbrace these applications: In the most of which prescriptions he useth exceeding much of their Synagogue language, that he may be the better understood, and reflecteth upon divers of their own Laws and customs, that what he prescribeth may imprint upon them with the more conviction. He calleth the Minister Episcopus, from the common and known title The Chazan or Overseer in the Synagogue: Aruch in [...]. He prescribeth rules and qualifications for his choice, in most things sutable to their own cautions in choosing of an Elder: Maym. in Sanhedr. per. 4. He speaketh of Elders ruling only, and Elders ru­ling and labouring in the Word and Doctrine: meaning in this distinction, that same that [Page 116] he had spoken of in Chap. 3. Bishops and Deacons. Both these in the common language then best known, were called Elders, and both owned as Rulers. Yea the very title that they usually tearmed Deacons by [Parnasin] was the common word that was used to sig­nifie a Ruler. The Ierusalem Talmud in Peah. fol. 21.1. speaking of the three Parnasin or Deacons that were in every Synagogue, hath these two passages, which may be some illustration to two passages in this Epistle. They appoint not lesse then three Parnasin in the Congregation: for if matters of money were judged by three, matters of life much more re­quire three to manage them. Observe that the Deacons Office was accounted as an Office that concerned this life, namely in taking care for the subsistence of the poor. Accord­ing to this may that in Chap. 3.12. be understood. For they that have used the Office of a Deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree. A good degree towards being intrusted with souls, when they have been faithfull in discharge of their trust concerning the life of the body. The other passage is this, R. Haggai whensoever he appointed Parnasin [Dea­cons] he urged the Law upon the people, saying, All rule that is given, is given from the Law, &c. And here you may likewise observe, that Deaconship is called Rule.

We observed before, that it were not so monstrous as it might seem, if by Elders that ruled only we should understand a Civil Magistracy or Bench in every Congregation, as there was in every Synagogue; but since the Apostle nameth only Bishops and D [...]cons, his interpretation here is best taken from and within himself; and to understand the [...]l­ders that ruled only of the Deacons, which were called both Elders and Rulers, as well as the Ministers: and in the Jews Synagogues were professed Scholars: The Talmudick place now cited tell us that R. Eliezer one of their greatest Rabbins was a Parnas, or Deacon in a Synagogue. The Episcopi or Ministers are titled [...], that laboured in the Word and Doctrine: which most properly is to be understood distinctly thus, which laboured in the Word, and which laboured in teaching: and the former to denote their laboriousnesse in study to inable them to teach, and the later their laboriousnesse in teaching. [...] is but the common phrase of the Jews turn­ed into Greek [...] [See the Syriack here] by which they mean a great student in the Law. Among multitudes of instances that might be alledged, I shall produce but this one out of Ierus. in Maasar sheni fol. 56. col. 2. R. Ionah paid his tithes to R. Acha bar Vlla, not because he was a Priest [...] but because he laboured in the Law, that is, was a great student and an able teacher. They that suppose that the tithes under the Law were paid only at the Temple, and to maintain the Priests in the ceremonious worship there, and upon this conceit look upon them only as Leviti­call, are farre deceived: for as some were indeed paid at the Temple upon such an ac­count, so others and that the greatest part, we paid to the Priests and Levites in their 48 Universities, Iosh. 21. to maintain them whilest they were studying there, to inable them for the Ministry, and to teach the people, for which they were designed, Deut. 33.10. Mal. 2.7. and when they were dispersed through the Land, into the severall Synagogues to be Ministers in them, tithes were also paid for their maintenance there.

He speaketh of provision to be made for poor widows, even much according to the Jews own rules, that they went by in their Synagogues, which herein were good. The Talmudick Treatise Ievamoth speaketh of this matter at large, and see Maym. in [...] per. 18. & 20. The widows he allows to be taken in, to be maintained of the publick stock, he would have not to be widows by divorce, nor widows young; but of 60 years of age, and of grave and holy qualifications: Not that these were to vow the vow of continency [as see what a miserable ado the Rhemists make upon this place] but that they must be such as were likely to bring no more charge then themselves upon the Church, nor bring any shame or reproach by the lightnesse of their lives to it, and might be serviceable in their places, to attend upon strangers, to wash their feet, &c. But as for younger widows, their age and those times were dangerous, when the Nico­laitan doctrine without [which taught communicating with things of Idolatry and forni­cation, and mixing and marriage indifferently with heathen] meeting with the heat of youth within, might make such to wax wanton against Christ, and deny the faith and marry with Heathens: or at least to bring charge upon the Church if they continued in it.

He injoyns prayers to be made for all sorts of men, whereas the Jewish custom was, to curse the Heathen, and to pray for none but themselves and their own Nation. He cals [Page 117] the Church the pillar and ground of truth, Chap. 3.15. the very title by which the great Sanhedrin was ordinarily stiled. Vid. Maym. in Mamrin. per. 1. the observing of which may be of good use for the explanation of it here.

After some stay in Macedonia, and preaching up and down in those parts, Paul turns back again, and goes for Greece, Act. 20.2. and by the way visiteth Creete and there lea­veth Titus, Tit. 1.5. thinking that he should presently after a little stay in Greece, have set towards Ierusalem, and that Titus should have staied there till further time: For if what hath been spoken lately concerning Titus be considered, how Paul sent him with his first Epistle to the Corinthians, and that after their parting at Ephesus upon that occa­sion, they never met till Titus cometh up to him, when he was come from Ephesus to Macedonia, 2 Cor. 7.5, 6. it will readily resolve, that in that first journey to Macedonia he left him not in Creet, for Titus and he were not yet met again since their parting at Ephesus. And that he left him not there at his second coming up to Macedonia [namely after his travelling in Greece, and when he was prevented of his intended journey into Syria, Act. 20.2, 3.] it is apparent also by this, that instantly upon his return from Greece and from his prevented journey, he sendeth for Titus to come to him upon warning, Tit. 3.12. which two particulars joyntly observed do make it plain that he left Titus in Creet when he came back from Macedonia in his journey into Greece, and when he inten­ded after his perambulation of Greece to have gone for Syria, but the lying in wait of some Jews for his life, turned him again to Macedonia.

In his return thither, or upon his coming there, he writeth


It is not much materiall to controvert whether he sent this Epistle in the way as he went towards Macedonia, or when he was come up into Macedonia; it is enough to know, that it was in this scantling of time, either in his journey thither, or instantly upon his coming there. The postscript hath dated it from Nicopolis, because of his words in Chap. 3.12. Come unto me to Nicopolis, for there I have determined to winter: from which words, as the affixer of the postscript hath gathered some ground to date it thence, so others have gathered better ground, to hold that it was not dated thence, because he saith not [...] Here, but [...] There I have determined to winter: as if he were not yet come thither.

Who first planted the Gospel in Creete may he an endlesse inquiry: certain it is that some Cretans were present at the first powring out of the holy Ghost in the gift of tongues, Acts 2.8. but whether they embraced the Gospel and returned with it into their own Country, is an inquiry as endlesse: Whether Barnabas ever preached there we may question also, but when we have done all we can never resolve. It is more then pro­bable that Paul was there himself, from that expression I left thee in Creete, but his stay there when he left Titus could not be long, as is easily cleared from the time of his jour­neys lately mentioned.

Whether he had been there some time before, or whether he had sent the Gospel thither by some of his Ministers, or however it came there, there wanted something to the constituting of the Church, which he leaveth Titus to accomplish: And his work is just the same that he left Timothy at Ephesus for, as is easily seen by laying together the two Epistles, viz. to stop the mouth of the Heterodox, and to direct and advise the Ortho­dox in Doctrine and Discipline, and to ordain Elders or Ministers in the Churches.

This matter of ordaining Elders hath made the postscripts of the Epistles to these two men to intitle them Bishops, the one of Ephesus, and the other of Creete, who how little they stayed or setled in either of these places, he readeth but dimly that seeth not.

The Apostle in this Epistle urgeth him to dispatch the businesse that lay before him, that upon notice from him, he might be ready to come up to him to Nicopolis: a City that bare the name and badge of the victory that Augustus obtained against Antony. Dion. Cass. pag. 426. & 443.

Titus according to his appointment came to him, and when winter began to draw over, and Paul began now to think of journying ere it were very long, he sends him upon an imployment to another place: which because it was when winter was going off, we must place it in another year.


CHRIST. LVI NERO. II A New year being now entred, and Paul intending for Syria as soon as the Spring was a little up, he sendeth Titus before hand to Corinth, to hasten their collections for the Saints in Iudea, that they might be ready against Paul should come thither. And with Titus he sendeth two other brethren, and by them all he sendeth


The proof that it was written and sent at this time and in this manner, is plain by these places and passages in it: Chap. 9.2, 3, 4. I know the forwardnesse of your minde▪ for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia: Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain; left haply they of Macedonia come with me, &c. Chap. 12.14. Behold the third time I am coming to you. Chap. 13.1. This is the third time I am coming to you. And Chap. 8.16. But thanks be unto God who put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 17. Being more forward of his own accord he went unto you. 18. And with him we have sent the brother whose praise is in the Gospel. 22. And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, &c.

Who these two namelesse persons should be, will require some inquiry. The later I suppose was Erastus, both because his diligence had been approved before, Acts 19.22, &c. and also because it is said Erastus abode at Corinth, 2 Tim. 4. yet he not named among Pauls retinue when he set out for Asia, Act. 20.4. because he was gone to Co­rinth before.

As for the other brother whose praise is said to be in the Gospel, that very phrase and expression hath caused many to conceive, that it was Luke, and that the words mean, Who is famous in all the Churches for the Gospel he hath written: whereas [besides that groundlesse strictnesse that is put upon the words, limiting them to the writing of a Gospel, which according to that most usuall manner of speech, are rather to be under­stood of his renown in preaching the Gospel] it is apparent by the words of Luke himself, that he went not either before Paul to Corinth, as this brother spoken of did, nor did he go before Paul to Troas as the rest that are named by him did, but he went in Pauls company: for observe his speech, These tarried for us at Troas: And we sailed away from Philippi, &c. The words Vs and We do plainly associate the penman himself with Paul at his setting out, and shew that he was none of those that were sent before.

Others therefore do guesse that this brother that went along with Titus, was Silas, because it is said, Who also was chosen by the Churches to travell with us, &c. Which very thing which they use for an argument to prove it Silas, proves against it, for Silas was not chosen by the Churches to go with Paul, any more then Timothy or Titus were; but he was chosen by Paul alone, as they also were. See Act. 15.40.

That clause then, Who was also chosen of the Churches to travell with us, doth deal the matter betwixt Barnabas and Mark, for none other can be named, to whom the words can be so properly applied as to one of them: and of the [...]wo, most properly to Mark; and he I doubt not, is the man that is here intended: For 1. the words with us, joyn Paul and Barnabas together in their travell, and the third man who was chosen to travell with them was none but Mark. For 2. he was chosen by the Church at Ierusalem for that purpose, Act. 12.25. and by the Church at Antioch, Act. 13 5. as these words he was chosen by the Churches do well explain those verses. 3. It is true indeed that Paul had taken distast at Mark, and so bitter, that Barnabas and he had parted upon it, Act. 15.39. yet in his second Epistle to Timothy he desires Timothy to bring Mark to him, for that he is profitable to him for the Ministry, 2 Tim. 4. by which it appears that he was not only reconciled to him, but also that he had made use of him and found him usefull▪ When it was that they knit into amity and imployment again, is not discoverable, but that they had done so, the passage newly alledged, doth make past deniall; and if his imployment of Mark were not now, or before, he can no more imploy him, before he himself become a prisoner. When we come to the time and order of the second Epistle to Timothy, we shall have occasion to speak to this matter again, and shall finde something [Page 119] there to help the confirmation of this assertion, nay to raise it higher then yet it hath spoken, namely, that Mark was not only sent by Paul to Corinth at this time, but also that he was at Corinth when Paul sent for him to come to him to Rome. And thus if these words, Whose praise is in the Gospel, were to be understood of one that had written a Go­spel, here is a subject to apply them to in that sense, for this Mark wrote a Gospel as well as Luke.

The Apostle in this second Epistle to Corinth, doth first excuse his not coming to them according as he had promised in his first Epistle, 1 Cor. 16.5. clearing himself from all lightnesse in making, and from all unfaithfulnesse in breaking that promise, and pitch­ing the main reason upon themselves and their present condition: because he had not yet intelligence when he went first into Macedonia, of any reformation among them of those enormities that he had reproved in his first Epistle, therefore he was unwilling to come to them in heavinesse, and with a scourge. This his failing to come according to his promise, had opened the mouths of divers in his disgrace, and false teachers took any other occasion to vilifie him, which he copiously satisfies and vindicates himself all along the Epistle.

His exceeding zealous plainnesse with them, and dealing so home and throughly a­gainst their misdemeanours as he did, was one advantage that false teachers and his ill-willers took to open their mouth against him, and to withdraw hearts from him: and withall and mainly, because he was so urgent against the works of the Law as to Justifi­cation, and those rites which the Jews, even the most that were converted to the Go­spel, too much doted on. About the former, their taunt and scorn against him was, His Letters are weighty and powerfull, but his bodily presence is weak and speech contemptible, Chap. 10.10. A poor contemptible fellow [say they] to be so sharp and supercilious in his Letters, this is more then he durst speak if he were here! &c. But let such know, saies he, that what I am by Letters in absence, I will be by words and in deed in presence. Concerning both this and the latter named, they passed Festus his censure upon him, as Act. 26.24. that he was besides himself. This he mentions and answers, Chap. 5.13. Whe­ther we are besides our selves it is for God, or whether we be sober it is for your cause. For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge: that if one died for all, then were all dead, &c. Since Christ died for all, that is, for Jews and Gentiles both, he could not but conclude that all were dead, the Jew as well as the Gentile; therefore he could not but so urgently call upon the Jew to look off his own righteousnesse, and the works of the Law, and to look for Justification by faith in Christ. Another scandalous opinion and reproach they also took up of him, That he walked after the flesh [a strange slander of Paul] Chap. 10.2. but this was but an appendix to that before: because he was not Pha­risaically precise about their triviall rites of the Law [which too many of them mixed with the Gospel,] but cried them down, therefore they cried him up for carnall. His answer to this is, that his Ministry may witnesse the contrary for him, ver. 3.4, 5. the end of which and the abundant effect of which was to beat down such carnall affections and actions as were such indeed: His expression of the weapons of his warfare being strong to pull down strong holds, expounds that Num. 24.17. of Christ smiting the cor­ners of Moab, and destroying all the sons of Seth. And he gives this for a second answer, that if they would be but obedient, they should see how his Apostolick power was ready to avenge disobedience.

Since he hath such back friends and open enemies in this Church, it is no wonder if he write so doubtingly of them how he should finde them: and that he staid no longer with them when he came to them, as his stay was very little. His former Epistle, as it is ap­parent by severall passages in this, had wrought them into a reasonable good temper: but mischief now was crept on them again, at least there were some that were tampering to bring it on. In regard therefore of that vilifying that these false teachers, enemies of him and God, did set him at, and sought to make him odious and contemptible in the eyes of the Church, he is put to it to make his vindication, and that, as the matter requi­red with much largenesse and earnestnesse. He therefore copiously discourseth, what God had done by him, what he had suffered for God, and what he had done for the Churches; in any of which things let any of these that reviled him, come near him if they could. In relating the passages of his life, he mentioneth many things, of which there is no mention in his story in the Acts of the Apostles: and frequenly in his dis­course, he speaketh of his folly in boasting, as Chap. 11.1. Bear with me a little in my [Page 120] folly, and see ver. 16, 17. because indeed mans boasting of himself is folly, and they would be ready to censure his so, therefore he styles his by that title, though it were not folly in him, but a needfull and an holy vindication of himself and of his Ministry.

After he had sent away this Epistle, by Titus, Erastus and Mark, if our conjecture fail not, and had given notice to the Corinthians of his speedy coming to them, and warn­ing to get their collections ready against he came, he provideth for his journey into Syria, which he had intended so long: partly to visit the Churches in these parts, and partly to bring up the collections that he had got for the poor of Iudea: which he had promised to the three Ministers of the Circumision, Peter, Iames and Iohn that he would be carefull of, Gal. 2.10.


Ver. 4. And there accompanied him into Asia Sopater of Berea: and of the Thessalonians, Aristarchus and Secundus: and Gaius of Derbe, and Timotheus: and of Asia, Tychichus and Trophimus.

5. These going before tarried for us at Troas.

6. And we set from Philippi, after the daies of unleavened bread.

CHRIST. LVI NERO. II THe story, as hath been said, hath brought us to another year, the beginning of which, that is, from the entrance of Ianuary and forward, even till Easter, Paul spent in Macedonia, still wintering there, viz. in Nicopolis, Philippi, &c. and after Easter he sets for Ierusalem, ver. 6. Therefore we have superscribed it, The 2d of Nero, and of Christ the 56th.

When we come to speak of the Epistle to the Romans, which we shall meet with in our way very shortly, we shall say something of the names of these men [for many of them will meet us there:] only we cannot misse Timotheus here without some notice taken of him, and some quaere how he came here. The last year Paul left him at Ephesus when himself came thence, and being come thence into Macedonia he sends him an Epistle with his earnest desire in it, that he would stay there still upon that needfull imployment upon which he was left, 1 Tim. 1. how then is Timothy now got to him into Macedonia, so that he is with him at his setting away from Philippi? We have not indeed any intimation that Paul sent for him away, as we have of his sending for Titus whom he left in Creete, in­tendedly for a longer time: but it is very probable that Paul designing to have sailed for Syria, came near to him: and there discovering the danger that was laid in his way by the Jews, which might also have infolded Timothy, he brought him away back again with him, and so both returned into Macedonia, and now winter is over, they are setting for Asia again.

But when Paul and this his company are all going for Asia together, why should they not set out together, but these go before and tarry at Troas, and Paul and some other of his company come after? Nay they were all to meet at Troas as it appeareth, ver. 6. why might they not then have gone all together to Troas?

The reason of this was, because Paul himself was to go by Corinth: and not minding to stay there but very little, because he hastened to Ierusalem, he would not take his whole train thither, but sends them away the next way they could go to Troas, himself promising and resolving to be speedily with them there. He had promised a long time to the Church of Corinth to come unto them, and he had newly sent word in that Epistle that he had lately sent, that now his coming would be speedy, 2 Cor. 12.14. Behold the third time I am ready to come to you: and Chap. 13.1. This is the third time that I am com­ing to you: Not that he had been there twice before, for since his first departing thence [when he had staied there a long time together, at his first planting of the Gospel in that place] there is neither mention nor probability of his being there again, but this was the third time that he was in coming, having promised and intended a journey thither once before, but was prevented, 2 Cor. 1.15, 16, 17. But now he not only promiseth by the Epi­stle that he will come, but staketh the three Brethren that he had sent thither, for witnesses and sureties of that promise, 2 Cor. 13.1, 2. that in the mouth of those witnesses his pro­mise might be established and assured.

[Page 121]Now the time is come that he makes good his promise, and whilest the rest of his com­pany go directly the next cut to Troas, he himself and Luke, and whom else he thought good to retain with him, go about by Corinth.

And now to look a little further into the reason of their thus parting company, and of Pauls short stay at Corinth when he came there, we may take into thoughts [besides how much he hastned to Ierusalem] the jealousie that he had that he should not finde all things at Corinth so comfortable to himself, and so creditable to them, before those that should come with him, as he desired. He hath many passages in the second Epistle that he wrote to them, that glance that way: For though as to the generall there was Re­formation wrought among them upon the receiving of his first Epistle, and thereupon he speaketh very excellent things of them, yet were there not a few that thought basely of him, 2 Cor. 10.1, 2. and traduced him and his Doctrine, Chap. 11. & 12. and gave him cause to suspect that his boasting of that Church to the Churches of Macedonia might come off but indifferently, if the Macedonians should come with him to see how all things were there, 2 Cor. 9.4. And therefore it was but the good policy of just fear, grief, and prudence to send them by another way, and he had very just cause to stay but a while when he came there.

From Corinth in his short stay there, he writeth


as hath been well supposed by some of the Ancients, is asserted by the postscript, and may be concluded from these observations.

1. That he saith, that he is now going to Ierusalem to bring to the Saints that benevo­lence that they of Macedonia and Achaia had collected for them, Rom. 15.26. The word Achaia tels us that he now was sure of the Corinthian contribution, which he was not sure of, till he came there.

2. That he commendeth to the Romans, Phaebe a servant of the Church of Cenchraea, Rom. 16.1. which Cenchraea was a place belonging to Corinth, as was observed before, though at some few miles distance.

3. That he calleth Erastus, Chamberlain of the City, Rom. 16.23. of whom it is said Erastus abode at Corinth, 2 Tim. 4.

4. That he calleth Gaius his host, or the man with whom he lodged, and the host of the whole Church, or in whose house strangers had their intertainment, Rom. 16.23. who was a Corinthian, 1 Cor. 1.14. And hence it appeareth that Gaius of Derbe, who was one of those that were gone before to Troas, was one man, and Gaius of Corinth was another.

It is true indeed that the greetings of some men were sent in this Epistle which were not with Paul at this present in Corinth, as Timothies, Rom. 16.20. who was gone to Troas: and Sosipaters, who was gone thither also [for he I suppose is the same with Sopater of Berea, Act. 20.4.] and this might seem to infringe the truth of this opinion that holdeth that this Epistle was written from Corinth: But when it is considered how lately Paul and these men parted, and that it is past doubt that he would acquaint them before their parting of his intentions to send to Rome, it is no difficulty to conceive how their saluta­tions inserted into that Epistle.

There are indeed some that confesse that it was written from Corinth, but not at this time but at another, namely in that time when Paul travelled Greece, of which journey there is mention Act. 20. in which time, among other places, they conceive he came to Corinth and there wrote this Epistle. But 1. it may very well be questioned whether he were at Corinth in these three moneths travels or no. For whereas he had promised to call on them as he went to Ierusalem, 1 Cor. 16.7. [which he intended when he travelled those three moneths, but that he discovered that the Jews lay in wait for him] he excu­seth himself for not coming according to that promise, 2 Cor. 1.16, 17. And if it were granted that he was at Corinth at that time, yet 2. he could not write this Epistle at that time, because when he wrote it, he knew the contribution of the Corinthian Church was then ready, Rom. 15.26. which when he travelled Greece, either indeed was not so, or at least he knew not that it was, as appeareth copiously in his second Epistle to that Church.

The Apostle in this most sublime Epistle, clears fully and divinely, the two great my­steries of the Gospel, Righteousnesse by faith, and the calling of the Gentiles. And in the [Page 122] handling of these he handles the great points Originall sin, Election, and casting off of the Jews. He laies this position down concerning the first, Chap. 1.17. That in the Gospel is revealed the Righteousnesse of God [justifying, as in the Law was revealed his righteous­nesse or justice condemning] and that from faith [of immediate innixion upon God as was Adams before his fall, and as was that which the Jews owned in God] to faith, in the righteousnesse of another: namely Christ. This way of justification he proveth first by shewing how far all men both by nature and action are from possibility of being ju­stified of or by themselves, which he cleareth by the horrid sinfulnesse of the heathen, Chap. 1. [a large proof of which might be read at Rome at that very instant:] and little lesse sinfulnesse of the Jews though they had the Law, Chap. 2. & 3. and therefore con­cludeth, Chap. 3.30. that God justifieth the circumcision by faith [and not by works, as they stood upon it] and the uncircumcision through faith [for all their works that had been so abominable, and that seemed so contrary to justification.] In Chap. 4. he taketh up the example of Abraham, whom the Jews reputed most highly justified by his works, for they had this saying of him [...] Abraham perform­ed all the Law every whit: but he proveth that he found nothing by his own works, but by beleeving he found all. In Chap. 5. he proves the imputation of Christs righteousnesse for Justification, by the parallel of the imputation of Adams sin for condemnation: Not at all intending to assert that as many as were condemned by Adam, were freed from that condemnation by the death of Christ, but purposely and only to prove the one im­putation by the other.

It was a strange doctrine in the ears of a Jew to hear of being justified by the righ­teousnesse of another, therefore he proves it by the like, mens being condemned for and by the unrighteousnesse of another. Two close couched passages clear what he aimeth at: The first is in ver. 12. [...], &c. Wherefore as by one man sinne entred into the world, &c. The word [...] As, properly requireth a So to follow it, as you may observe it doth, in ver. 15, 18, 19. but here there is no such thing expressed, therefore it is so to be under­stood: and the Apostles words to be construed to this sense. Wherefore it is, or the case is here as it was in Adam, as by one man sin entered into the world, &c. there imputation, so here. The second is ver. 18. in the Originall verbatim thus. As by the transgression of one, upon all men to condemnation, so by the righteousnesse of one, upon all men to justification of life. What, upon all men? Our Translation hath added some words to clear the sense, but the shortnesse of the Apostles style doth better clear his intent: namely to intimate imputation: as speaking to this purpose, As by the transgression of one there was that that redounded to all to condemnation, so by the righteousnesse of one there is that that redoundeth to all to justification of life: And to clear that he meaneth not that all that were condemned by Adams Fall were redeemed by Christ, he at once sheweth the descent of Originall sin, and the descent of it for all the death and righteousnesse of Christ, Quae tamen profuerunt antequam fuerunt. Ver. 13. For till the Law sinne was in the world: but sinne is not impu­ted where there is no Law. Neverthelesse death reigned from Adam to Moses. By what Law was sinne sinne and did death reign, when the Law was not yet given? Namely by that Law that was given to Adam, and he brake, the guilt of which violation descends to all.

Having to the end of the fifth Chapter stated and proved Justification by faith, in Chap. 6, & 7, & 8. he speaks of the state of persons justified, which though they be not with­out sinne, yet their state compared with Adams, even whilest he was sinnelesse, it is farre better then his: He invested in a created, finite, changeable humane righteous­nesse; they in the righteousnesse of God uncreate, infinite, unchangeable. He having the principles of his holinesse and righteousnesse in his own nature, they theirs conveyed from Christ: He having neither Christ nor the Spirit, but left to himself and his naturall pu­rity; they having both. See Chap. 8.1, 2, 9, 10, &c.

At the nineteenth verse of Chap. 8. he begins upon the second mystery that he hath to treat upon, the calling of the Gentiles, whom he cals [...] The whole Creation, or Every creature: by which title they also are called, Mark 16.15. Coloss. 1▪ 23. and he shews how they were subject to vanity of Idolatry and the delusions of the devil, but must in time be delivered from this bondage, for which deliverance they now groaned: and not they only, but they of the Jews also, which had received the first-fruits of the Spirit, longed for their coming in, waiting for the adoption that is, the redemption of their whole body: for the Church of the Jews was but the child-like body, and accor­dingly [Page 123] their Ordinances were according to child-like age of the Church▪ but the stature of the fulnesse of Christs mysticall Body, was in the bringing in of the Gentiles. Being to handle this great point of the Calling of the Gentiles and Rejection of the Jews, he begins at the bottome, at the great doctrine of Predestination, which he handles from ver. 29. of Chap 8. to Chap. 9.24. and then he fals upon the other. That Israel stum­bled at Messias and fell, se [...]king indeed after righteousnesse, but not his, but their own: and that they are cast away, but not all; A remnant to be saved, that belonged to the Election of Grace: As it was in the time when the world was Heathen, some of them that belonged to the Election, came in and were proselyted to the worship of the true God; so some of these, while all the rest of their Nation lie in unbelief. And in this unbelief must they lie till the fulnesse of the Gentiles be come in, and then all Gods Israel is compleated.

The most that he salutes in the last Chapter, appear to have been of the Jewish Nati­on, and the most of them [though now at Rome] yet sometime to have been of Pauls company and acquaintance in some other place. The expulsion of the Jews out of Rome by Claudius Decree, might very well bring many of them into his converse, as well as it did Priscilla and Aquila whom he names first among them. Epenetus was one of his own converts of Achaia; Mary had bestowed much labour on him, yet he hitherto had ne­ver been near Rome. He that would dispute the point of the first planter of the Gospel at Rome, might do well to make the first muster of his thoughts here: And whereas the Apostle speaks of the saith of the Roman Church as spoken of throughout the world, Chap. 1. ver. 8. it is very questionable whether he look to the times before the Decree of Claudius, or those since Claudius death, when all the scattered were returned a­gain, and many of those that had come out unbeleeving Jews had returned Christi­ans thither; as I beleeve the case was of Aquila and Priscilla: and some converted in other places had now taken up their residence there, as Epenetus, Andronicus, and Iunia, &c.

Those whose salutations he sendeth thither, may be the better judged of, who they were, by observing who were of his retinue at this time, which are named, Act. 20.4. as 1. Timothy. 2. Lucius, who seemeth to be Luke, called now by a Latine name, in an Epistle to the Latines. He was with Paul at Corinth at the sending away of the Epistle: for having mentioned the others that were gone to Troas, these saith he staied for us, joyning himself in Pauls company going now to Corinth. 3. Iason seemeth to be he that is called Secundus, Act. 20.4. the one his Hebrew name, and the other the same in Latine, for Secundus is said to be a Thessalonian, and so was Iason, Acts 17.7. 4. Sosi­pater here in all probability, he that is called Sopater of Berea there. 5. Tertius that wrote out the Epistle, it may be was Silas: an Hebrician will see a fair likelihood of the one name in the other, it being written in Hebrew letters [...]: and the Hebrew names to the Romans are rendred in the Roman Idiome. 6. Gaius, the same in Greek with the ordinary Latine name Cai [...]s: it appears that he was a Corinthian, 1 Cor. 1.13. and in that Paul here cals him, Mine host, and the host of the whole Church: to the understanding of which, the observing of a custom of the Jews may give some illustration. Maymony in his Treatise concerning the Sabbath, speaketh about that rite that they used of hallowing the Sabbath with a se [...] form of words at his coming in, per. 30. hath this saying: This hallowing of the Sabbath may not be used, but only in the place where they eat: as for example, he may not use the hallowing words in one house, and eat in another. Why then do they use the hallowing words in the Synagogue? Because of travellers that do eat and drink there. Where the Glosse upon the place comments thus, It is evident that they did not eat in their Syna­gogues at all, as it is apparent in the eleventh Chapter of Maymonies Treatise of prayer, but in a house near the Synagogue: and there they sate at the hearing of the hallowing of the Sab­bath, &c. It may be observed from hence, that strangers and travellers were intertained in a place near the Synagogue [compare Act. 18.7.] which was as a publick Xenodo­chion or receptacle of strangers, at the charge of the Congregation: which laudable cu­stome is almost apparent was transplanted into the Christian Churches in those times: as compare such passages as those, Heb. 13.2. Acts 15.4. And possibly those Agapae or feasts of charity spoken of in the Epistles of the Apostles, are to be understood of these loving and charitable intertainment of strangers. Iude v. 12. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear. False teachers tra­velling [Page 124] abroad undiscovered, and being intertained in these publick receptacles for strangers, and at the publick charge, would finde there a fit opportunity for themselves to vent their errors and deceptions. In this sense may Gaius very properly be under­stood the Host of the whole Church, as being the officer or chief overseer imployed by the Corinthian Church for these intertainments: In which also it was almost inevitable but some women should have their imployment: according to which custom we may best understand such places as these, Phaebe a servant of the Church at Cene [...]rea, she hath been a succourer of many. Ver. 6. Mary bestowed much labour on us. And see 1 Tim. 5.9, 10, &c. He speaketh also of other women of whom he giveth this testimony, that they laboured much in the Lord, as Tryphena and Tryphosa and Persis, ver. 12. which may either be understood in the like sense: or if not so, of their great pains some other way for the honour and promotion of the Gospel, and benefit of the Saints and themselves: as by visiting and relieving the poor and sick, taking pains in following the Ministers of the Gospel, and venturing themselves with them: hiding and cherishing them in times of danger, and so venturing themselves for them: and so he saith Priscilla and Aquila for his life laid down their own necks, &c. He salutes three of his own kinsmen Andronicus and Iunia and Herodion: the two first were converted before him, and were of note a­mong the Apostles: either being of the number of the 70 Disciples, or eminent con­verts and close followers of Christ, or of the Apostles in those first times. He cals them his fellow prisoners: but if he had called them his prisoners, it had been easier to have told when and how. For they were in Christ, whilst he was a persecutor: but when they were imprisoned with him, after his conversion, is hard to finde out. Among all that he salutes so kindly, where is Peter? If he were now at Rome how was he forgotten?

ACTS CHAP. XX. Ver. 6. And we came to them to Troas in five daies: Where we abode seven daies. And so to Ver. 17. of CHAP. XXI.

FRom Philippi after Easter, he setteth away for Corinth, where he staied so little, that he came to Troas within five daies after the company was come thither which had gone before: for so are the five daies to be understood: not that Paul in five daies went from Philippi to Corinth and Troas, but that his company which was set out with him, but set directly for Troas, had staied but five daies at Troas, before he came up to them.

There he celebrates the Lords day and the Lords Supper, and preacheth and dis­courseth all night [a thing not altogether strange in the Jewish customs, Ierus. S [...]tah fol. 16.4. R. Meir was teaching profoundly all the night of the Sabbaths in the Synagogue of Chamath.] So that Eutychus sleeps and sals and is taken up dead, but recovered by miracle. The change and beginning and end of the Christian Sabbath may be obser­ved here.

When he goes now from thence, it is most likely it was the time when he left his Cloak, Books and Parchments with Carpus, 2 Tim. 4.13. His Cloak: for he was now going among his own Nation in Iudea: and there he was to wear his Jewish habit, and he left his Roman garb here, till he should come into those Roman quarters again. It may be, the Parchments were the Originals of those Epistles that he had already written: for that he sent transcripts, and reserved the Originall copies, may be collected from these passages, I Tertius who wrote out this Epistle, Rom. 16.22. The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand, 1 Cor. 16.21. Col. 4.18. which was the token in every Epistle, 2. Thess. 3.17. for all the Epistle beside was written with another hand.

From Troas by severall journeys he cometh to Miletum: and thither he sends for the Elders of the Church of Ephesus, which City was near at hand: But who were these? Not Timothy and Trophimus, for they were in his company already, and had been with him in his journey hither, but these twelve men upon whom he had laid his hands, and bestowed on them the holy Ghost, and so fitted them for the Ministry, Act. 19.6. and whomsoever besides Timothy had ordained into the Ministry whilest he was there.

[Page 125]Although the Ephesian and the rest of the Asian Churches, were but in an ill case at this time in regard of false doctrines and much Apostacy that had corrupted and can­kered them, yet doth the Apostle foresee that the case will be worse and worse with them still, and that grievous Wolves should yet break in upon them: And this he concludeth, not only from the boldnesse that he was assured false teachers would use and assume to themselves when he was gone, but from those predictions of Christ that had foretold what sad Apostacy should occurre, and what false teach­ers should arise before the great day of Ierusalem came, which was now coming on apace.

ACTS CHAP. XXI. Ver. 17. And when we were come to Ierusalem the Brethren received us gladly, &c.

PAUL is now got to Ierusalem: And the first thing that we have to do about his story there, is to calculate the time and consider what Year it was when he came thither: and to prove, if we can, that it was the second Year of Nero, according as we have super­scribed that Year: for this is of import, as to the fixing of those chronicall observations that we are to take up hereafter.

The common consent in all times, hath fixed his coming to Ierusalem and apprehen­sion there to this Year, and yet amongst all that have so concluded upon it, there is none that hath given any one clear proof or evidence at all for such an assertion. Euse­bius, Ado, Cassiodore, Baronius, Lorinus, and divers others are of this minde, yet where­upon they grounded their opinion is hard to finde, nay it is hard to finde among many of them, any that goeth about to shew any groundwork for it at all. It would therefore save a great deal of labour to take their consent without any more ado, and it might car­ry good credit with it, to go along with so generall a tenet upon the word of so many Learned men: yet that we may not go altogether led blindfold by others, let these things towards the proof of it be taken into consideration. And first let us draw a Chronicle of Nero's time.

  • I.
  • II.
  • III.
  • IV. Poppaea becomes Nero's Paramour.
  • V. Nero slaies his mother Agrippina.
  • VI.
  • VII.
  • VIII. Poppaea becomes Nero's Wife. Pallas dieth.
  • IX.
  • X. Albinus is Governour of Iudaea.
  • XI. Florus cometh in Governour instead of Albinus.
  • XII. The first beginning of the Warres of the Jews.
  • XIII.
  • XIV.

Although these things affixed to the severall Years of Nero, may seem very Heteroge­neall to the thing we have in hand, yet we shall finde them of good use when we have first cleared their truth and certainty.

1. That Poppaea became Nero's Minion in his 4th Year is apparent by Tacitus Annal. lib. 13. Sect. 12. where he placeth the beginning of their adulterous acquaintance A.V.C. 811. under the Consulship of Nero III. and Valerius Masella.

2. That Nero slew his mother Agrippina in his fifth Year, the same Tacitus also asser­teth, lib. 14. Sect. 1. placing that fact A.V.C. 812. under the Consulship of C. Vipsanius, and Fonteius Capito.

3. The marrying of Poppaea to Nero, as his Wife, he placeth in his eighth Year. Annal. lib. 14. Sect. 9. viz. A. V. C. 815. under the Consulship of P. Marius, and [Page 126] L. Asinius: and in the same Year he placeth the death of Pallas.

4. The beginning of the Warres of the Jews in Nero's 12th, and the entrance of Gessius Florus into the Government, the Year before, is confirmed under this testimony of Iosephus, Antiq. lib. 20. cap. ult. [...]. Out of which how Baronius can bring the beginning of Florus his Government to be in the tenth of Nero, as he doth, I under­stand not: for if the twelfth Year of Nero were Florus his second, then the eleventh was his first.

And now let us take in some things more, which we must apply to these times mention­ed, to help us in the inquest we are about.

1. Iosephus saith, that when Portius Festus came into Felix room in the Government of Iudea, the chief of the Iews of Caesarea went to Rome to accuse Felix; and he had been cer­tainly punished for his unjust dealing with the Iews, had not Nero been very favourable to him, at the intreaty of his brother Pallas, who was then very much in Caesars esteem. Antiq. lib. 20 cap. 7.

2. The same Iosephus also speaking of the Government of Festus in Iudea, he first mentioneth how he found the Country infested with rebels and robbers whom he over­threw: then he relateth how King Agrippa built his Palace so at Hierusalem, as that it overtopt the Temple Courts: which the Jews disliking built a counterwall to hinder the prospect, that it should not view their service and actions in the Temple. At this Agrip­pa and Festus took distast, and Festus commanded that the wall should be pulled down: but the Jews desired they might send Agents to Rome about this matter, which they did. And when Nero heard the case, [...]. He did not only pardon the thing done: but he also consented to suffer the building so to stand: vouchsafing this at the intreaty of his wife Poppaea, for she was devout, &c. Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 8. Observe the last words, At the intreaty of his wife Poppaea.

3. The same Iosephus again relateth a journey of his own to Rome in these words: When I was six and twenty years old I went to Rome upon this occasion. When Felix was Governour of Iudea, he sent certain Priests my neer acquaintance, and very good men for a small cause to Rome to appear before Caesar. For whose deliverance I desiring to finde some means went to Rome, and there by the means of a certain Iew, [...]. I came to be known to Poppaea Caesars Wife.

Baronius doth revile Iosephus here as if he had forgot his own age: Videas in his [saith he] quae suae aetatis sunt, suo ipsius testimonio convinci, annorum sex turpiter errant [...]m. And wherein? Quia affirmat se agentem suum supra vigesimum sextum sub Faelice Iudaeae praeside Romam venisse. But Iosephus saith no such word. He saith indeed that he went to Rome to labour the deliverance of some men that Felix had sent thither in the time of his Government, but that Felix was in his Government when he went thither he saith not at all.

And now to take up what we have to observe upon these things that have been spoken.

1. It is true indeed, as Tacitus witnesseth, that Pallas the brother of Felix, who had been Claudius his great favourite, and so Nero's also in Claudius time, did wane and decrease somewhat in his favour in a very short time after his entrance into his reign: but he was not utterly laid flat, and out at all, till after Poppaea came into favour and amorousnesse, who forwarded the death of Agrippina, and the bringing down of those that were of her party as Pallas was. Therefore the power of Pallas with the Emperour seemeth to be expired in Nero's fifth year, in which Agrippina was slain. And by this account we cannot extend Felix his escape for his brother Pallas his sake, beyond Nero's fourth Year. For considering Poppaeas prevalency with the Emperour, when once she became his Paramour, and considering her detestation of Agrippina and her faction of which Pallas was the chief, we cannot cast Felix his discharge for Pallas his sake, beyond Nero's fourth.

2. Paul lay two years prisoner at Caesarea under Felix: Act. 24.27. After two years Porti [...]s Festus c [...]me into Felix room. Many are the conjectures about these two years. Baronius saith, it was Expleto biennio Neronis. Magister Historiae Scholasticae, saith it was Biennium ab accusatione Felicis a Iudaeis. A Lapide cares not to think that Biennium hoc [Page 127] inchoandum a praefectura Felicis in Iudea, nam ante illud praefuerat Trachonitidi Batanaeae & Gandanitidi, &c. But it is most proper to hold, that these two years mean the time of Pauls being a prisoner under Felix from the time of his apprehension under Lysias the chief Captain, till Felix his going out of his Government: and so it is held by Beda, Beza, Salmeron, Onuphrius and others. And this is so proper and sutable to the intent and discourse of Luke, that it needeth no illustration or proof of it: and it is most agreeable to the Scriptures manner of accounting in all other places.

These two things then being thus concluded on, it will follow that Pauls apprehension was in Nero's second, and Felix went out of Office in Nero's fourth, before Poppaea was yet got into her potency. And the accounting of Pauls to years imprisonment under Felix to be thus. At Pentecost in Nero's second he is apprehended, and at Pentecost in Nero's third he had been a year prisoner: and at Peneecost in Nero's fourth his two years are up: and that spring it was that Felix went out of Office, and went to Rome to make his answer, and Pallas his brother not yet utterly out of favour makes his peace. And now let us draw up the Chronology of Nero's time to the full, according to these eviden­ces, and as referreth to our occasion.

CHRIST.NERO. Paul at Ephesus: Goeth to Macedonia, Creet, Greece, to Macedonia again, and wintereth in Nicopolis.

Paul at Macedonia till Easter: then goeth up to Ierusalem, and is ap­prehended at Pentecost, and from that time till the year go out, is a prisoner.

Paul a prisoner all this year under Felix.

Felix removed. Festus cometh in: Paul shipped towards Rome, but wintereth by the way.

Poppaea in Nero's eye, and becomes his Minion.

Festus Governour of Iudea. Paul after wintering in his journey, com­eth to Rome, and this is the first year of his imprisonment there. Nero killeth his mother Agrippina.

Festus Governour of Iudea. Pauls second year imprisonment at Rome.

Festus Governour of Iudea.

Festus Governour of Iudea. Nero marrieth Poppaea.

Festus Governour: It may be Albinus came in sometime this year: and then was Iames the lesse slain this year.

Albinus Governour of Iudea.

Florus Governour of Iudea.

Florus Governour of Iudea. The Warres begin.

Nero dieth, having reigned 13 years and 8 moneths.

ACTS CHAP. XXI. from Ver. 17. to the end of the Chapter.

PAul cometh to Ierusalem at the feast of Pentecost, when the City was now full of conflux to that festivall. He resorteth instantly to Iames the residentiary Apostle of the Circumcision, for holding correspondency sake; and there he shews him the man­ner and fruit of his Ministry among the Gentiles. Which both by Iames and the Elders that were with him is well approved of, as to the thing it self: but they certifie him of what complaints they heard from the Jews against him, for crying down of the rites of Moses, especially Circumcision, That thou teachest all the Iews which are among the Gen­tiles to forsake Moses, saying, that they ought not to circumcise their children, ver. 21. Now because thousands of the Jews which beleeved were yet zealous of the Law, this gave much offence. But did Paul teach thus or not? No doubt he did, and it behoved him so to do: nor does, nor can Iames except against the doctrine: for though it is true that he and Paul and the other Apostles permitted compliance with some of the Jewish rites for peace sake for a while, as there is an example in this very place, yea Paul himself cir­cumcised [Page 128] Timothy upon that reason; yet the use of Circumcision, as these that stood upon it, used it, was utterly inconsistent with the Gospel. Hear this Apostles Doctrine, Behold I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testifie again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtour to the whole Law, Gal. 5.2. A converted Jew would have his sonne circumcised: Paul asks him a reason; what can he answer, but it looks after some justification by it? as their own Authors speak their thoughts: He that is circumcised is perfect. And, He that is circumcised shall not go to Gehinnom. And, I said unto thee, in thy blood live, Ezek. 16.6. This is the blood of Circum­cision, &c. Tanchum. in Gen. 17. & 18, &c.

They looked indeed upon Circumcision notion as an admission into the Covenant: and thereupon the father of the child at his Circumcision constantly used these words, Blessed be thou O Lord our God who hast sanctified us by his Commandments, and commanded us to bring the child into the Covenant of our father Abraham. And they that stood by said, As thou hast brought him into the Covenant, so bring him into the Law and into the Bride­chamber. Jerus. in Beracoth. fol. 13. col. 1. But withall they looked upon this Covenant as a Covenant of works, for, as we observed before, they reputed Abraham himself so justified. Good cause therefore had Paul to stand out against the convert Jews circum­cising their children, as whereby the Doctrine of Justification by faith was utterly ener­vated and made of no effect. And here by the way let us conceive we heard Paul and one of these parents disputing upon this point. Circumcise not thy child, saith Paul, for if thou doest thou laiest an obligation upon him to observe the whole Law: and this may note to us that the Sacrament carried an obligation with it, and obliged an Infant, though he knew not what Law or obligation meant: Baptism is for obligation as well as this, and a childe capable of the obligation though he understand not what it means. I, but saies the Parent, I will not look upon it, as in way to Justification, I will only use it for the childes admission into the Covenant of grace. If Infants Baptism were not now in use for such a purpose, let one that denies it, tell me, what Paul had to answer.

Iames urgeth not Paul at all to any publick recantation of his Doctrine, but adviseth him, by purifying himself and Judaizing a little in the Temple, to give some publick te­stimony for their satisfaction, [...]at he was not such an enemy to Moses as he was repor­ted: which he agreeth to. For the Temple rites might have better plea, while the Tem­ple stood, then Circumcision, which was none of them. On the second or third day of his Purification, some Asian Jews raise a tumult against him. It is not so properly ren­dred, And when the seven daies were almost ended, ver. 27. as rather, And as the seven daies were to have been accomplished, the computing of these twelve daies mentioned chap. 24.11. inforce that they should be so interpreted.

They found him in the second Court of the Temple the Court of the women, whither no Heathen came [though they might come into the outer Court, called the mountain of the House] and thither they supposed and pretended that he had brought a Gentile, Tro­phimus an Ephesian: For which he is fallen upon with that they called [...] The rebels beaten, stripes without number, the people falling pell mell upon him. Which was the way [as the Jews records inform us] that the Priests were dealt withall, that came into the next court above this, when any of them was deprehended there in their uncleannesse: they never stood upon it, to bring him to judiciall triall, but his fellows fell upon him, with the fagot sticks of the Altar, or what came to hand, and mawled him with blows without measure even unto death: And so had Paul been served now had not the Roman Commander come and been his rescue. Yet did he suppose him an offender, and questions him whether he were not that Egyptian that not long before that time had made an insurrection. Iosephus giveth his story, Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 6. thus. At that time there cometh one to Ierusalem out of Aegypt, pretending himself to be a Prophet: and he counselled the common people, that they should go with him to Mount Olivet, and that there he would shew them how at his command the walls of Ierusalem would fall: But Felix understanding this, sent some horse and foot against them, and slew 400 of them [our text here saies 4000] and took two hundred prisoners.


PAUL Apologizeth to the people: telleth his Education, Conversation and Con­version: and relating how by a Divine Vision he was appointed to go to the Gen­tiles, they begin a new commotion, which the chief Captain again pacifieth; but yet thinks Paul some notable villain, or else that there would never have been so terrible cries against him: He would now have scourged him, but that he understood he was a Romane: therefore he turns to another course, and the next day brings him before the Sanhedrin. The sitting of that Bench was little at Ierusalem now: For as we have observed, they were unnested from Ierusalem divers years ago, and their most constant residence at present was at Iabneh: only they were now come up to the Festivall.

ACTS CHAP. XXIII. & XXIV. to Ver. 27.

RAbban Simeon the sonne of Rabban Gamaliel, Pauls Master, was President of the great Councill at this time, for Gamaliel was dead some two or t [...]ree yeares ago. Of him the Jewes have this saying in Sotah per. 9. From the time that old Rabban Gamaliel died, the honour of the Law ceased; for till then they read and learned the Law standing, but after his death sitting. Onkelos the Targumist of the Law burne a great quantity of frankincense for him at his Obsequies. Iuchasin fol. 53. Whether Rabban Simeon the President were present at this Session or no, Ananias the Highpriest is as busie as if he had been chief President himself: But Paul cares for him as little, as he busied himself much. He cals him whited wall, or arrant painted hypocrite: And when he was checked for reviling Gods Highpriest, I knew not bre­thren, saith he, that he is Highpriest: for if I took him for such a one, I would not [...]o have spoken to him, since it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the Ruler of my people. It is not possible that Paul should not know who and what Ananias was: but [...] is very indifferent, whether we understand this, as not owning this man for a lawfull Highpriest, or not owning any lawfull Highpriesthood now at all. The man base and usurping; and the Function of the Highpriesthood disanulled by the great Highpriest, who had accomplished all that it typified, and the place of the Highpriest­hood being become a common Merchandise, obtained by money and favour and dis­ [...]ching one another.

By a holy policy he divides the Councill, and professing himself by education a Pharisee, and of that belief in the point of the Resurrection, he not only sets Pha­rise [...] ▪ and Sadduces to a hot contestation between themselves, but he makes the Pha­ris [...]s, so farre as to that opinion, to take his part: It had been possible to have set the Hil [...]elian and Shammaean party together by the ears, by a bone handsomly cast [...] them, for the Councill had these factions in it, and their feud was as deadly; b [...]t Paul could own no article of their divisions, that was worth his owning, they were so [...] and below his cognisance. It is the confession of the Ierusalem Gomarists in I [...]ma fol 38. col. 3. That the fault of their great ones under the second Temple was love of money, and hatred one of another.

Paul in the hubbub is rescued again by the Souldiery, and that night by revelation is warranted to appeal to Caesar, by being informed he must go to Rome. A Conspira­cy of a pack of cut-throats to murder him, is prevented, and he is sent to Caesarea to Felix, where he lies prisoner two years. By such packing and combining of murde­rers, it may easily be conjectured what temper the Nation was now in. Iosephus his character of it at these times is, That the affairs of the Iews grew daily worse and worse, [...] that the Country was full of theeves and sorcerers, but Felix was daily picking them up to penalty after their desert; the greater thief, the lesse; for his character yields [...] no better. Tacitus saies enough of him, when he speaks but this, Antonius Fe­lix, per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem jus regium servili ingenio exercuit: Histor. lib. 5. cap. 2. Upon which Iosephus will give you a large comment of his intolerable cove­tousnesse, [Page 130] polling, cruelty, sacriledge, murderings, and all manner of wickednesse. His injuriousnesse to Paul in the story before us, and the very naming [...] wife Drusilla may be brand enough upon him: for her, by inticements and magicall [...], he allured to himself from her husband and married her. And him he kept prisoner two years wrongfully because he would not bribe him. In his pleading before him, he makes him tremble, but it is but a qualm and away.

CHRIST. LVII NERO. III PAUL is a prisoner this year at Caesarea under Felix. A great City of Jews and Greeks mixtly: the place where the first spark of Jews Warres kindled afterward. A famous University of Jews in time, if so be it was not so at this time.


CHRIST. LVIII NERO. IV PAUL still a prisoner at Caesarea under Felix for the first part of this year: Then cometh Festus into the Government, and Felix packeth to Rome to answer for his misdemeanours.


PAUL answereth for himself, first before Festus alone: then before Agrippa and his sister Bernice: this Agrippa was his sonne whose death is related Acts 12. he by the favour of Claudius the Emperour succeeded his brother in Law-Uncle Herod [for such relations did that Incestuous family finde out] in the Kingdom of Chalcis. For Berenice his sister had married Herod King of Chalcis her Uncle and his, who was now dead, and this Agrippa succeeded him in his Kingdom, being also King of Iudea. Of this Agrippa, as it is most probable, there is frequent mention among the Hebrew Writers: as particularly this, that King Agrippa reading the Law in the later end of the year of release, as it was injoyned, and coming to those words, Deut. 17.15. Thou shalt not set a stranger King over thee which is not of thy brethren, the tears ran down his cheeks [for he was not of the seed of Israel] which the Congregation observing, cried out, Be of good comfort O King Agrippa, thou art our brother. He was of their Religion though not of their blood, and well versed in all the Laws and customs as Paul speaks, chap. 26.3.

Berenice his sister, now a widow, lived with him, and that in more familiarity then was for their credit: afterward she fell into the like familiarity with Titus the sonne of Vespasian, when he came up to the Jews Warres. There is mention in Ierus. in Ta­anith. fol. 66. col. 1. and again in Megillah fol. 70. col. 3. of the Scribes or learned Iews of Chalcis, against whom the people rose and tumultuated. [In the one place it is written [...] in the other [...].] It may be they were of this Agrippa's planting there.

As Paul pleads for himself, Festus takes him to be beside himself: but Agrippa bet­ter acquainted with those kinde of things that he spake of, was much moved: and concludes that had he not appealed to Caesar, he might have been quit. What he did in this appeal was not a small thing, and it is very questionable whether ever Jew had appealed from their own Sanhedrin, to the Heathen Tribunall before. But for this he had a Divine warrant.


PAUL shipped for Rome: and Luke with him, and Aristarchus a Thessalonian. Paul cals him his fellow prisoner, Col [...]ss. 4.10. whether now or not till he came to Rome is a question: Trophimus an Ephesian is also now with him, Acts 21.29. whom he leaves sick at Miletum, as he passeth by those coasts of Asia, Act. 27.2. 2 Tim. 4.20. and there likew [...]se he leaves Timothy. Who else of those that went with him to Ierusalem, Act. 20 4. were now with him, is uncertain. It was now farre in the year, and winter entring, for the feast of expiation was over, so that they meet with a tempestuous journey, and at last suffer shipwrack and swim for their lives, and do all escape. The Reader by the time of the writing of the se­cond Epistle to the Corinthians, which he hath passed, will easily see that what he speaks there, A day and a night I have been in the deep, 2 Cor. 11.25. cannot be understood of his shipwrack now, but referres to some time a good while ago.

ACTS CHAP. XXVIII. from the beginning to Ver. 30.

CHRIST. LIX NERO. V PAUL and his company are the three winter moneths in Malta: where he doth some miracles. And when winter was now drawing over, they put to sea a­gain, in an Alexandrian bottom, whose badge was Castor and Pollux: or the picture of two young men on white horses, with either of them a javelin in his hand, and by him half an egge and a starre: whom Heathenish folly and superstition con­ceited to have been twins begotten by Iupiter, and Deities favourable to those that sailed on the sea. And this seemeth to have been the reason why Luke doth men­tion this circumstance, because he would intimate the mens superstition, as expecting better sailing under this badge then they had had.

From Melita they sail to Syracuse in Sicilie, and there abide three daies. From thence to Rhegium in Italy, and from thence to Puteoli: there they finde Christi­ans and stay with them seven daies: and then set away for Rome. At Appii Forum aboue 50 miles from the City, some of the Roman Christians hearing of their com­ing, come [...]o meet them: and at the Tres Tabernae, 33 from the City, they meet with [...] and so they injoy the society of one another some space together as they tr [...]vell along, which was no small refreshing to Paul, who had desired so much and so long to see them.


Ver. 30. And Paul dwelt two whole years in his hired house, and received all that came to him.

31. Preaching the Kingdom of God and teaching those things which concern the Lord Iesus Christ with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

JULIUS the Centurion that had brought him and the rest of the prisoners from Iudea, had been his friend and favourer, from their first setting out, Chap. 27.3. and so continued, even to the time of his setling in Rome: obtaining him this liberty, that he might take lodgings of his own, and there he was kept under a restraintlesse restraint: After three daies he sends for the chief of the Jews, and laies open his case before them, and upon a day appointed he asserteth and expoun­deth the truth and doctrine of the Gospel, whereupon some beleeve, but others do the rather become his enemies.

[Page 132]His accusers that were come from Iudea to lay in his charge against him [for we can hardly suppose otherwise, but that some such were come] would be urgent to get their businesse dispatched that they might be returning to their own homes again; and so would bring him to triall as soon as they could: and that his tr [...]all was reasonable early this year, it appeareth by his own words in his second Epistle to Timothy, where he speaketh of his Answer that he had been at, and requireth Timothy to come to him before winter, 2 Tim. 4.16, 21.

As he appealed to Nero himself, so Nero himself heard his cause, Philip. 1.13. 2 Tim. 4.16. [and here it was possible Paul and Seneca might see each other] at which time all that had owned him before, withdrew themselves for fear, and durst not stand by him, or appear with him in this danger.

Tacitus mentioneth a case much like his, which had been tried two years before, namely of Pomponia Graecina a noble Lady of Rome, concerning a strange Reli­gion. Superstitionis externae rea, mariti judicio permissa. I [...]que prisco instituto, pro­pinquis coram, de capite famáque conjugis cognovit, & inson [...]em nuntiavi [...]. This that he calleth externa superstitio, cannot well be understood of any Religion, but ei­ther Judaism or Christianity: for any Heathen superstition did relish so well with them, that it could hardly have brought her into danger. If her perill of l [...]fe then were because of Christianity, as very well it might, it was a terrible example that lay before the Christians there: and if it were not, then this triall of Paul being of a doubtfull issue and consequent and full of danger, it made poor Pauls friends to shrink aside in this his extremity, and to be to seek when he had most need of them. At my first answer, saith he, none stood with me, but all forsook me. In which words he doth not so much referre to what or how many more Answers he was called to [as the postscript of that Epistle seemeth to construe it] as he doth intimate, that even at the very first pinch and appearance of danger, all that should have been his assistants started from him. It may be Demas his imbracing of the present world, 2 Tim. 4.10. signifieth in this sense, that he forsook Paul, and shifted for himself and sculked to avoid the danger: or if it be taken, that he returned to his worldly imployments again, or that he returned to his Judaism again: mean it what it will, we shall see in the story of the next year, that he re­turned to Paul and to his station again. So that his failing was but as Peters de­niall of his Master, repented of and recovered. It was a hard case and a great triall with the Apostle, when in so signall an incounter, and so imminent danger of his life, none of the Church that was at Rome, nor any of those that were of his own retinue, durst own him, or stand by him in his exigent: but the Lord was with him, and brought him off safe from the Lions mouth: He being assured by this providence of God to him, and for him, in his great danger, that he was reserved for the further benefit of the Church and propagating of the Gospel, applieth himself to that work the best way he can, considering his condition o [...] imprisonment; and whereas he cannot travell up and down to the Churches to preach to them as he done, he visiteth divers of them by his Epistles: And first he writeth


and sendeth it by Crescens, as may be conceived from 2 Tim. 4.10. For though Demas, and Crescens, and Titus their departure from Paul be reckoned altoge­ther in that verse, yet the reason of the [...]r departure cannot be judged to have been alike: for however Demas started upon some carnall respect, yet Crescens and Titus are not so branded, nor will the eminent piety of the later suffer us to have any such opinion of him, and the judging of him doth also help us to judge of Crescens who is joyned with him. The postscript of this Epistle both in the Greek, Syriack, Arabick, and divers other Translations, doth generally date it from Rome: Beza from Antioch: Erasmus from Ephesus, but all upon conjecture: for there is no intimation in the Epistle it self of the time or place of its writing: Beza upon these words in Chap. 1. ver. 2. And all the brethren which are with me, saith thus, Puto sic totum Antiochenae Ecclesiae Presbyterium significari, & inde scri­ptam [Page 133] hanc Epistolam, &c. I think by this he meaneth the whole Presbytery of the Church of Antioch, and that this Epistle was written from thence, at that time that passed between Paul and Barnabas their return into Asia from their first journey forth, and the coming of those troubles to Antioch, Acts 14.28. But that Apostacy in the Church­es which the Apostle crieth out against in this Epistle and in others, was not then begun; and moreover it may well be questioned whether the Churches of Galatia were then planted. And the former answer, may likewise be given to the opinion that this Epistle was written from Ephesus: namely that at the time of Pauls being at Ephesus, the Apostacy which ere long did sorely and almost Epidemically in­fest the Churches, was but then beginning. And this is one reason why I suppose it written from Rome, at this time that we are upon, because that gangrene in the Eastern Churches was now come to ripenesse, as it appears by the second Epistle to Timothy, which was written this same year: See 2 Tim. 1.15.

False teachers had brought back the Galatians from the simplicity of the Gospel, to their old Ceremonious performances again, and to reliance upon the works of the Law for Justification: which miscarriage the Apostle taketh sharply to task in this Epistle. And first he vindicates his Apostleship as no whit inferiour to Peter and Iames and Iohn the Ministers of the Circumcision, and those that chief­ly seemed to be pillars, and he shews how these approved of him and it: And then he most divinely states the nature of the Law, at which was the great stumbling; and especially speaks to that point that they most stood upon, their living in it.

The Lord had laid a stone in Sion, which the Jews could not step over, but stum­ble at, even to this day: and that is that which is said in Levit. 18.5. Ezek. 20.11. and in other places, which the Apostle also toucheth in this Epistle, Chap. 3.12. from whence they concluded that no living, no justification but by the works of the Law. The Apostle in the third Chapter of this Epistle laies down two conclu­sions that determine the case, and resolves all into faith. The first is in ver. 17. namely that the Law was not given to crosse the Covenant of grace, but to be subservient to it. The second in ver. 10. that the Law did plainly shew of it self that no man could perform it, but it left a man under the curse. Observe that he saith not, As many as fail of the works of the Law, but As many as are of the works of the Law: shewing that the Law did not only denounce a curse upon all that performed it not, but plainly demonstrated that none could perform it, and so left all under a curse: and these words, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things, &c. conclude both. So that the Law was not given for justification, but to be subservient to the Covenant of Justification: not to crosse the Covenant but to serve it, not purposely to leave under the curse, but to shew the curse, and to drive men to get from under it. So that men might live in it, but not by it. It was the way in which men were to go to seek for Justification, but it was not the cause or means whereby they were justified. See Gal. 3.5. The Jews made the Morall Law crosse to the Covenant of grace, whilest they sought to be justified by works: and they made the Ceremoniall Law crosse the Morall, whilest they resolved all duty into Ceremony: and so the Law which in it self was holy and pure and good, they turned to death unto themselves by their abuse. They might have lived in the Morall Law [had they used it aright,] though not by it: for the more a man sets himself to the exact performance of it, the more he sees he cannot perform it, and therefore he is driven the more to Christ: But they resolved all into Ceremonious performance, and so lost sincerity toward the Morall, and here­upon the Ceremoniall Law good in it self, became to them Statutes not good, and Iudgements wherein they could not live, Ezek. 20.25.

From Rome also, and reasonable early in this year, Paul wrote


and in it urgeth Timothy to come to him before Winter.

Timothy was now at Ephesus when this Epistle was directed to him, as may be observed out of the Epistle it self by these collections.

[Page 134]1. In that he willeth him to salute the houshold of Onisephorus, Chap. 4.19. who was an Ephesian, Chap. 1.16, 18.

2. In that he biddeth him take Troas in [...]is way as he comes to him, Chap. 4.13. which had been the way that Paul himself had gone from Ephesus, 2 Cor. 2.22. and to Ephesus again, Act. 20.5.

3. In that he warneth him of Alexander, Chap. 4.14. who was an Ephesian, 1 Tim. 1.20. Act. 19.33.

There is one passage in this Epistle, which hath caused some to doubt about the time of its writing [for about the place there is no doubt] and that is, what he saith, Chap. 4 6. I am now ready to be offered up, and the time of my departure is at hand: which would make one think, that he was now ready to be martyred, and taken away, and it hath made some beleeve that this was the last Epistle that ever he wrote: but when we compare his own words again in ver. 17, 18. and Philip. 1 25. and Philem. ver. 22. it maketh it past controversie that he speaketh not of his sudden Martyrdom, but that he is to be understood in some other sense. But what is that? Baroniu [...] giveth this gl [...]sse, The words of Paul concerning his speedy death, seem not possib [...]y otherwise to be understood, then that God had revealed to him, that he should s [...]ffer death under Nero. For that time might very well seem near which was to be fulfilled under the same Prince. I, but Nero for his age might have reigned 50 o [...] [...]0 years after the Apostles writi [...]g of this Epistle, and so the last words of this glosse, are but a very poor salving: And indeed the resolution of the difficul­ty lieth open and conspicuous in the text it self. Paul looked upon Timothy as the prime and choice man that was to succeed him in the work of the Gospel, when he himself should be dead and gone▪ as being a young man, not only of singular qualifications for that work, but of whom there had been speciall Prophesies and predictions to such a purpose, 1 Tim. 1.18. as was observed before. He exhorts him therefore in this place, to improve all his pains and parts to the utmost, to do the work of an Evangelist, and to make proof of his Ministry to the full, for that he himself could not last long, being now grown old and worn with tra­vell, and besides all this, in bonds at present, and so in continuall danger: there­fore must Timothy be sitting himself daily to take his work up when he was gone.

With Timothy he desires that Mark may come along with him to Rome, whom we observed to be at Corinth at Pauls last coming thither: and one clause in this Epistle seemeth also to speak to that matter: Chap. 4.20. Erasius abode at Corinth, but Trophimus I left at Miletum sick. Erasius abode at Corinth; Why? that Ti­mothy k [...]ew without any information, for he was with Paul all along that journey when Erasius went to Corinth and staid there. And Trophimus I left at Miletum s [...]ck: Why? Timothy could not but know that too, without Pauls telling him so from Rome, Miletum and Ephesus were so very near together, nay it is more then pr [...]bab [...]e that Timothy was left at Miletum too when Trophimus was left there. But when was he le [...]t? Not when Paul went towards Ierusalem, and sent for the El­ders of Ephesus to Miletum, Acts 20. for Trophimus went, and was with him at Ierusalem, Acts 21.19. But it was when Paul returned from Ierusalem in bonds to Rome, [...]s hath been said, though it be not particularly mentioned that he touched there. Some would have the word Miletum to be read Melita, among whom is Beza, who is ever one of the forwardest to tax the Text for corrupt, when he ca [...]not clear it. Potius con [...]icio leg [...]ndum [...] [saith he] quod vocabulum fa­cile suit in [...] depravare. Luke saith plainly, that at Pauls coming away from Iudea in his voyage to Rome, it was their resolution to sail by the coasts of Asia, Acts 27 2. which had been a farre fairer ground to have concluded upon, that Paul was at Miletum in that voyage, since that was a part of those Asian coasts, then to change Miletum into Melita upon no ground at all. And certainly the very scope of the Apostle in that passage will not admit of that change: for he is not telling Timothy of Erastus his abode at Corinth, or of Trophimus his sick stay at Miletum, as things unknown to him, but as things very well known, yet men­tioned to him as making to the Apostles present purpose: He had sent for Timothy and Mark to come away to him to Rome, and to forward them to that journey, [Page 135] he doth these two things. 1. He sheweth how all his company was scattered from him, ver. 9, 10. and therefore he had need of them in that destitution. 2. He tel­leth how supply might be made in their places though they came away, for though Mark should come from Corinth, yet Erastus might be a supply, for Erastus abode there. And Timothy come away from Ephesus, yet Trophimus is there ready to supply his place, for Trophimus I left at Miletum sick.

By Tychicus who was the bearer of this Epistle to Timothy, Chap. 4.12. Paul also sendeth


for it is apparent that he was in bonds when he sent that Epistle, Chap. 3.1. and that he sent it by Tychichus, Chap. 6.21. That ye may know mine affairs and how I do, Tychicus a beloved brother, and faithfull Minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things, whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose.

In this Epistle he addresseth himself more especially to the convert Gentiles of the Ephesian Church, to establish and settle them in the truth, against that warping and wavering that was now too common: and he setteth himself to unfold the my­stery of the Gospel in its full luster, and discovery in a more speciall manner, and that especially in the two first Chapters, as he himself professeth in the third. By revelation God made known unto me the mystery, as I wrote afore in few words, whereby when ye reade ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ, ver. 3, 4.

He speaketh much of the mystery of the Gentiles calling, and calleth the Jews and Gentiles knit in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Sonne of God, A perfect man, and the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ, Chap. 4.13. In Chap. 5.26, 27. speaking of Christs washing the Church, that he might present it to himself without spot or wrinkle, &c. he seemeth to allude to the Jews exceeding great curiousnesse in their washings for purification. Maym. in Mik­vaoth per. 1. There must be nothing to interpose between the person that is washed and the water: for if there be any thing interposing betwixt him and the water, as if any clay or dough stick to his flesh, he is unclean as he was, and his washing profits him no­thing. And a little after: If there be upon the flesh of a man or upon a vessel, any of those things that may interpose, as dough, pitch or the like, though it be no more then a grain of mustardseed, and he take it to thought, his washing profits him nothing.

Wh [...]t he saith in ver. 29. So ought men to love their wives even as their own bodies, is agreed [...] even by the Jews doctrine. Our Doctors teach, He that loves his wife as his own body, and he that honours her more then his own body, and he that maketh his sons to walk in a right way, &c. of such a one the Scripture saith, Thou shalt know that peace shall be in thy tabernacle, &c. Alphes. in Gittin per. ult.

CHRIST. LX NERO. VI WE are now come to the second year of Pauls imprisonment: in which he had the changeable and different occurrences, of loving visits and salutes from some Churches abroad, and crosse dealing from some ill-willed at home: some sadnesse of heart by the sicknesse of Epaphroditus near unto death, but com­fort and reviving again by his recovery. The Church of Philippi had sent him to visit Paul in their name, and to bring him some tokens of their love for his support and maintenance in his imprisonment: and the good man fell sick in Rome very like to die: upon his recovery and return home again, Paul sendeth by him


[Page 136] written in his name, and in the name of Timothy, who according to his appoint­ment was now come to him. He sheweth in this Epistle, that as there were some which preached the Gospel of sincerity, so were there others that preached of envy and contention, and so added affliction to his bonds: He was yet in bonds, but in some good hopes of deliverance, as he sheweth in Chap. 2.24. for he saith he hoped ere long to send Timothy to them, and himself to come with him: but we shall observe ere long, that when Paul hath got his liberty, Timothy is got into prison, and so his journey for the present stopt.

He saluteth no Church in the platform of Bishops and Deacons, but only this: not but that there were Bishops and Deacons in other Churches as well as here, but it may be, he doth it here the rather, because of the contribution that the Bishops and Deacons had gathered for him and sent to him: or because he would shew the plat­form of office and order in this Church of Philippi, which was purely Gentile, agree­able to that of the beleeving Jews Churches.

He giveth warning to beware of the hereticall and unbeleeving Jews, whom he cals dogs and the concision: and now the name they used to give to the Gentiles [Dogs] is light upon themselves. The very Talmudists speak as evil of that ge­neration in which Messias should come as the Scripture doth, 2 Tim. 3.1, &c. and among other things they say thus: When the sonne of David cometh, the Synagogues shall become stews: Galilee shall be destroyed: Gablan shall be desolate [the Samaritan Version of the Pentateuch doth constantly render Seir, Gablah] and the men of the border of Israel shall go from City to City, and the wisdome of the Scribes shall be abo­minated, and Religious persons shall be scorned: And the faces of that generation shall be as dogs. Talm. Bab. in Sanhedr. fol. 97. He cals them [...] The concision: The word signifies such superstitious and vain and impious cuttings in the flesh as Heathens used: as 2 King. 18.28, &c. No more doth he make of their Circumcisi­on: the Greek word is used by the LXX Levit. 21.5.

He speaketh of one in Philippi whom he calleth his true yokefellow: alluding it may be either to the word [...] by which the Jews did ordinarily expresse great professors of Religion: [...] a most ordinary phrase in the Ierusalem Talmud: Or the word [...] yokes or couples whereby they expressed the Pre­sident and Vicepresident of the Sanhedrin, those famous couples Shemaiah and Ab­talion, Hillel and Shammai, &c. Of whom it is that he speaketh, is undetermi­nable. Barnabas or Silas might best bear the title. Whosoever it was, it seemeth it was some worthy person who was at this time in that Church, whom he intreats to compose some differences that were then afoot; and to be helpfull in som [...] oc­casions and cases that he knew needfull. It is not to be doubted but Epaphroditus, had acquainted him particularly with the state of the Church, and he applies his ex­hortations accordingly.

As the Church of Philippi had sent Epaphroditus to visit him, so did the Church of Colossi send Epaphras one of their Ministers to do the like, Colos. 1.7, 8. where­upon, by Tychicus, who had been the last year at Ephesus to fetch Timothy, and returned with him to Rome, Col. 4.7. and by Onesimus a Colossian, Col. 4.9. Paul and Timothy send


The naming of Mark now with him, Chap. 4.10. doth state the time of writing this Epistle, and fixeth it to this year; or else it would be easier for Tychicus his tra­vell, to have supposed that he brought it the last year when he came to Timothy to Ephesus, and Colosse was not farre off: but the observing of Marks being now at Rome, puts the matter out of doubt. And whereas it might be thought more likely, that Epaphras that came with the visit from the Church, should bring this return of Paul back again, it appeareth by Chap. 4.12. that he staid still with Paul and was fellow-prisoner now with him, Philem. ver. 23.

The Colossians had never seen Pauls face, no more had the Laodiceans; for no lesse can be gathered from his own words, Chap. 2.1. yet had he been a means by some of his agents to plant these Churches, or at least to afford them plen­tifull [Page 137] watering. The Apostles had subordinate Ministers under them that they im­ployed to this purpose. I know not how the word Helps, 1 Cor. 12.28. can be bet­ter understood.

The Laodiceans had sent him an Epistle [as the Corinthians had also done, 1 Cor. 7.1.] and this is that Epistle that he speaketh of, Chap. 4.16. See that ye reade like­wise the Epistle from Laodicea. Not that he had written any Epistle from thence which is now lost, as is conceived by some, for he was never there, but it meaneth that Epistle which the Laodiceans had sent to him: Not that he would have it read, as of equall Divine authority with his own, but as a good copy and example to the Colossians. If any be not satisfied with this construction, we shall offer another when we come to the Epistles of Iohn, rather then conceive, that any Epistle of Paul is lost, that was once read in the Churches.

Among those whose salutations he sends, he nameth Demas: who the last year was departed from him, and imbraced, as he thought, the present world, 2 Tim. 4.10. but now is come in a good man again. The sparks of grace once kindled, can never be quenched, yea though not discernable to the eye of a Paul: which how­ever raked up under the ashes by vehement temptation or corruption, yet covered with an everlasting decree, of everlasting love, are unextinguishable. The act of grace, it is true, may be in a swone, and seem dead to the eyes of a Paul himself, whilest yet there is the habit in life: I mean that gracious changednesse, which by regeneration is wrought in the soul, the stony heart turned into flesh, which though it may congeal into ice again, yet can never again congeal into the stone it was. Fides quà apprehendens, its hand may slip, but fides quà apprehensa, his hand cannot slip that hath laid hold upon it.

By these same bearers Tychicus and Onesimus, by whom he sends the Epistle to the Colossians, he also sends


For he was a Colossian, as appeareth by this that Paul cals Onesimus his servant one of the Colossians, Col. 4.9. and Archippus which was Minister at Colosse, Col. 4.17. seemeth to have been Philemons sonne, or at least to have sojourned in his house, Philem. ver. 2. In this Epistle he sendeth salutations from the persons he did in the Epistle to the Colossians. Epaphras, Marcus, Aristarchus, Demas, Lucas: only there is this difference about two of them, that here he cals Epaphras his fellow-prisoner, which there he did not, and there Aristarchus his fellow-prisoner which here he doth not: This doing of the Apostle needeth to breed no scruple, but it may rather justly be inquired how these men came prisoners. Aristarchus set out with Paul from Ierusalem, and he only is named of all his company, Act. 27.2. either because he was a prisoner then as Paul was, or because the rest with Paul were his attendants and Ministers constantly with him, and therefore needed not to be named. Or if Aristarchus were not committed to prison till now, the con­sideration of Epaphras his case will include his: Epaphras came from Colosse but very lately, Col. 1.7, 8. and how, and for what, is he now got into prison? For answer to this we may properly take in something out of the Roman story▪ Sueto­nius in the Life of Nero speaking of those times of his that carried some modera­tion, in which he was not broke out to his extream wickednesse: and mentioning some things that he did and enacted that looked somewhat like a Reformation, he saith thus: Mul [...]a sub eo & animadversa severè, & coercita, nec minus instituta: Adhibitus sumptibus modus: Publicae caenae ad sportulas redactae: Interdictum ne quid in popinis cocti, praeter legumina, aut olera veniret, cum antea nullum non opsonii genus proponeretur. Afflicti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae & maleficae. This last particular is it that we have to deal with; The Chri­stians were put to punishment, a sort of men of a new Religion, &c. Suet. in Ne­rone cap. 16.

Tacitus in the Life of the same tyrant telleth of a dreadfull fire that befell in Rome in the tenth year of his reign, [of which we shall speak when we come there] which common report buzzed and rumored up and down that he had [Page 138] kindled. Abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos, & quaesitissimis paenis affecit, quos per flagitia invisos, vulgus Christianos appellat. Nero to stop that report, brought in as guilty those who were called Christians, and tortured them with exquisite torments. The author of that name was Christ, who in the reign of Tiberius was put to death by Pontius Pilate. Repressaque in praesens exitiabilis superstitio, rursus erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem ejus mali, sed per urbem etiam; quò cuncta undique a­rocia aut pudenda confluunt, celebranturque. Igitur primò correpti qui fatebantur, &c. For the Englishing of this, the words repressa in praesens will breed some dispute; as doubtfull, whether they mean that the Christian Religion was suppressed by Nero at that time when he inflicted those tortures upon them, pretending them guilty for firing the City, which was in his tenth year, but it brake out again after, for all that suppression; or that they mean, that that Religion had been suppres­sed in former time, but now by that tenth year of Nero was broken out again, and he fals upon it anew. The words you may winde to whether construction you will, construing them either, That dangerous superstition suppressed for the present broke out again: or That dangerous superstition having been suppressed for a time, was broke out again; or, that had been suppressed till the present: Now though there be this dubiousnesse in that phrase, yet the observation of these things may state it, that there was some such suppression of Christianity before that open persecution that broke out in his tenth year. 1. Because Sueton speaks of his afflicting the Christians, a [...] done in his way of Reformation of Religion, and that in his good times when he was not grown a monster, and not by way of crimina­tion of them, or for the salving of his own credit as he did in his tenth year. 2. There is mention of Pomponia Graecina tried for her life, about the beginning of Nero's reign, for matter of Religion as we mentioned before. 3. This imprison­ment of Epaphras, and it may be of Aristarchus, at this time, and certainly of Timothy presently after, may also confirm it: for what should these men be im­prisoned for but for Religion? It is very probable therefore that Nero had by some Act or Edict suppressed Christianity, not only at Rome, but also in Iudaea, as it seemeth by that clause in Tacitus, Rursus erumpebat non modò per Iudaeam, &c. and if so, that might be a forwarder of that defection that was so generall in the Churches of the Jews that had received the Gospel; they falling to Moses again, or joyning the adhesion to the Law with the profession of the Gospel: for thus hiding their Christianity, they might retain their liberty of their Christianity such as it was, the Religion of the Jews not being at all suppressed by him: However, if there were such a suppression at Rome, as it is very like there was, Pauls deli­verance from the Lions mouth, was the more remarkable, since he was to answer not only to his accusers about his profession, but before a judge that was prejudi­ced against it so deeply.

But since we have heard of no stirring at Rome of all this time to such a time, nor any mention of any imprisoning but only of Paul, how comes the matter to wax so hot now, since Nero's heat against Christianity seemeth to have been some years, or at least a good while ago? Here we cannot but remember that passage in the Epistle to the Philippians so lately written: Philip 1.15, 16. Some preach Christ even of envy and strife, and some also of good will. The one preach Christ of contention not sincerity, supposing to adde affliction to my bonds. By which it may be conjectured, that some enemies of Pauls and his companies, taking oppor­tunity of Nero's declaration against Christianity did bussle and make ado in preach­ing the Gospel, aiming at nothing more then this, that hereby the ringleaders in the Gospel Paul and his company [as no doubt they were noted so to be] might be the more narrowly looked after: and this might well be some occasion of the imprisonment of Epaphras and Timothy at this time, and of Aristarchus, if so be he were not a prisoner before.

CHRIST. LXI NERO▪ VII THis year is Timothy a prisoner, and Paul himself at liberty, for his two years imprisonment expired the later end of the last year or the beginning of this. You have intimation of this, Heb. 13.23. where he saith, Know ye, that our bro­ther Timothy is set at liberty: with whom if he come shortly I will see you: For I can­not interpret the word [...] otherwise then in reference to restraint; and then we may out of this passage observe that Timothy had been a prisoner, and that the Hebrews had known of his imprisonment, but now he was at liberty, and Paul too, ready to come away with him when he should come. He had written to the Philippians that he hoped shortly to send Timothy to them, Philip. 2.19. and to Philemon to provide a lodging for him, for he hoped ere long to come into those parts, Philem. ver. 22. By which we may conclude, that upon his inlargement he intended not to have staied long at Rome, or that Timothy at the least should not have been long from them, but that his imprisonment, as it proved, hindred them both. Therefore we may not cast his commitment beyound this year; but how long he lay under restraint we cannot tell, only we may conceive him at li­berty the next, for in that year we suppose the writing of the Epistle to the Hebrews which speaks of his inlargement.

In our thoughts about Nero's suppressing Christianity, and these mens bonds thereabout, we may also look with admiration at the wondrous workings of God: observe, that even at these times there was Christianity in Nero's houshold, Philip. 4.22.

This year some occurrences befalling in this our own Country of England, though they are besides the argument that we are upon, yet may they not unfitly be taken into mention for Countries sake. Suetonius Paulinus was now Generall for the Romans here. He assails to take the Ile of Man, Incolis validam & recepta­culum perfugarum, saith Tacitus: Strong in the inhabitants and a refuge for fugi­tives. He bringing on his men near the shore, findes an Army guarding and ready to forbid his landing. Among the men, there were women running up and down; In modum furiarum, veste ferali, crinibus dejectis faces praeferebant. Like furies in a dreery garb, with their hair about their ears, and they carried torches. The Roman souldiers for a while stood amazed at such a sight, but at last falling on, they enter and destroy them, and possesse and Garrison the Iland. Excisique luci saevis superstitionibus sacri; Nam cruore captivo adolere aras, & fibris hominum con­sulere Deo fas habebant. And they cut down the groves that were devoted to bloody su­perstition: For they used to sacrifice captives at their Altars, and to look into their in­wards by way of auguration.

It is a remarkable and true saying of Pliny concerning Italy or Rome, That it was a Country Quae sparsa congregaret imperia, ritusque molliret, & tot populorum discordes ferasque linguas sermonis commercio contraheret ad colloquia, & humanita­tem homini daret. Nat. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 5. which in short is this, that it civilized the world, and taught barbarous Nations humanity. A strange assertion, if we consi­der the barbarous bloudinesse and superstitions of the Romans themselves; yet if we look upon the thing it self, it is very true, they being a people of Learning, Discipline and Education, and planting these wheresoever they got footing. And this was one means in the Lords providence, whose waies are past finding out, to harrow the worlds ruggednesse, and to fit it the better for the sowing of the Go­spel. In what temper our Land of Brittain was, as to civility, before they came in, may be guessed by this garb of the Ile of Man, so near relating to it, if we had no more evidence.

Whilest Suetonius was thus busied here, he hears of a revolt and rebellion in Brittain, caused partly by the cruell exaction of Decimus Catus the Governour, who revived some impositions that Claudius the Emperour had remitted, partly by the grinding usury and exaction of Seneca, who having put them, even unwil­ling, [Page 140] to take vast summes of money of his, to most unsufferable usury, he now called it and the use in, with all extremity and mercilesnesse: And partly by an unhappy obsequiousnesse of Prasutagus King of the Iceni, or at least by an un­happy abusing of his obsequiousnesse: For he dying, and leaving Nero and his own two daughters his heirs by Will, the Roman Centurions as in claim to Nero's Legacy, ransack and catch all they can, and pull his Kingdom all to pieces, and abuse his wife and two daughters barbarously and inhumanely: and spare not ei­ther his friends, kindred or Nobles. This stirres all to commotion, which is ea­gerly prosecuted by Bondicea or Bunduica the widow of the King deceased, in so much that they destroy the Colony at Camalodunum, the Roman Garrison and asso­ciates at London, and the like at Verulam: in all to the number of 70000 persons: Suetonius at last comes in, and fights them, they being near upon 230000 in armes under Bunduica, he routeth them, slayes upon 80000 of them: Bunduica for vexation poisons her self: and the Roman destroyes with fire and sword all the Towns before him that were of the adverse party, or adhered to it: Divers pro­degies are mentioned by the Historians, that relate these bloody occurrences as presages of it: as the sea bloody, strange voices and howlings heard, sights seen in the Thames, of houses under water, as a Colony overturned, &c.

CHRIST. LXII NERO. VIII PAUL in the Epistle to the Colossians, Chap. 4.10. intimateth that Mark, who was then with him at Rome, was likely ere long to come to them into the East, and he willeth them to receive him as from him, though there had once been dis­agreement betwixt Mark and him. Whether Timothy's imprisonment delayed Mark's journey, may be some question: for Paul having sent for them two to come to him together, 2 Tim. 4.11. it is like he could ill part with the one, when the other was made uselesse to him by restraint: and so we have some cause to suppose, that while Timothy was in prison, Mark remained with Paul. However, whensoever it was that he went for the East, we have this reason to think that Paul wrote and sent by him


and that he having delivered it where Paul had appointed him, went away to Peter to Babylon in Chaldaea, because Peter there, mentioneth Mark now with him, 1 Pet. 3.15. And this Epistle, 2 Pet. 3.15.

It is observable that these two great Apostles Peter and Paul the severall Mini­sters of the Circumcision and Uncircumcision, had their interchanged agents: Sylvanus or Silas, Pauls Minister, residen [...] with Peter, and imployed by him to carry his first Epistle: 1 Pet. 5.12. And Mark, Peters Minister, resident with Paul, 2 Tim. 4.11. Col. 4.10. and, very probably, imployed by him to carry this Epistle to the Hebrews. And thus in the interchanged agencies of their Ministers, the parties with whom they had to deal, might own the joynt agreement of both the Apostles.

Although we dare not punctually assert either the bearer of this Epistle, or the exact time of its writing, yet that it was written and sent about these times that we are upon, may be observed by these two boundaries that shut it up within some reasonable compasse of the time hereabout. First, A parte ante, or that it could not be written much sooner then this, may be concluded by this, that Timothy had gone through his imprisonment and was now inlarged be­fore its writing, Heb. 13.23. And secondly, A parte post, or that it could not be written much after this time, may be observed from that passage Chap. 12.4. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood. For presently after this bloody times came on.

[Page 141]That it was written by Paul, hath not only the concurrent consent of all Copies and Translations, but even this proof for it, That none can be na­med A prisoner, Chap. 10.34. and in Italy, Chap. 13.24. and in so near con­verse with Timothy, Chap. 13.25. [as the Authour of this Epistle was] so likely as Paul.

His not affixing his name to this, as he had done to his other Epistles, doth no more deny it to be his, then the first Epistle of Iohns is denied to be Iohns upon the same account: especially considering that the name of the Apostle of the un­circumcision, would not sound so well before an Epistle to the Circumcised: and yet the more still, because he sent it by Mark [for so we cannot but suppose] who was a Minister of the Minister of the Circumcision, and who could easily inform them of the Writer.

Unto what part of the Jewish Nation he sendeth the Epistle under the indorse­ment To the Hebrews, and why that indorsement To the Hebrews rather then To the Iews, may be a usefull and a needfull Quaere. It cannot be imagined but that he sendeth it to be delivered at a certain place within some reasonable compasse, because it was impossible for the bearer, whosoever he was, to deliver it to all the Jews dispersion, and because in Chap. 13.23. he saith that when Timothy came, he would come with him, and see them. Therefore the title The Hebrews must de­termine the place, since there is nothing else to determine it. A double reason may be given why he so stileth them rather then Iews: namely, either because the name Iew was now beginning to become odious; or rather because he would point out the Jews that dwelt in Iudaea, or the Land of Israel. And this sense doth the holy Ghost put upon the title the Hebrews, Act. 6.1. where it is said, There was a murmuring of the Hellenists against the Hebrews: By The Hellenists meaning the Jews that dwelt in forreign Countries among the Greeks, and by The Hebrews those that dwelt in Iudea. And so it is most proper to understand the inscription of this Epistle, namely that Paul directs, and sends it to the beleeving Jews of Iudea: a people that had been much ingaged to him for his care of their poor, getting collections for them all along his travels, and Mark [whom we suppose the bearer of this Epistle] had come in to his attendance, and to the attendance of his Uncle Barnabas, when they had been in Iudea to bring almes unto those Churches, Act. 11. & 12.

It is not to be doubted indeed that he intendeth the discourse and matter of this Epistle to all the Jews throughout all their dispersion [and therefore Peter wri­ting to the Jews of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia and Asia, applies it as written to them, 2 Pet. 3.15.] yet doth he indorse it, and send it chiefly to The Hebrews or the Jews of Iudaea, the principall seat of the Circumcision, as the properest center whither to direct it, and from whence it might best diffuse in time to the whole cir­cumference of their dispersion.

He hath to deal in it mainly with those things that the Jewish writers commonly call [...] Ordinances affixed to the Land, or such Ceremoni­ous part of their Religion, as while it stood, was confined to the Land, as Temple, Sacrifice, Priesthood, &c. Therefore it was most proper to direct his speech in its first bent, to those that dwelt in the Land, and were most near to those things, and who in those Apostatizing times that then were, had the nearest occa­sion and temptation to draw them back from the purity of the Gospel to those rites again.

Unto that doubtfulnesse that some have taken up about the Originall tongue of this Epistle, as thinking it very improper that he should write in the Greek tongue to the Hebrews, especially to the Hebrews in Iudaea, we need no better sa­tisfaction then what the Hebrews themselves, yea the Hebrews of Iudaea may give to us, I mean the Ierusalem Gomarists, from severall-passages that they have about the Greek language.

In Megillah, fol. 71. col. 2. they say thus, There is a tradition from ben Kaphra, God shall inlarge Iaphet, and he shall dwell in the tents of Sem: For they shall speak the language of Iaphet in the tents of Sem. The Babylon Gomara on the same Trea­tise fol. 9. col. 2. resolves us, what tongue of Iaphet is meant; for having spoken all [Page 142] along before, of the excellency and dignity of the Greek tongue it concludes [...] The very beauty of Iaphet shall be in the tents of Sem.

Our men first named, say further thus: Rabbi Ionathan of Beth Gubrin saith, There are four Languages brave for the world to use, and they are these: The Vulgar, the Roman, the Syrian, and the Hebrew, and some also add the Assyrian: Now the question is, What Tongue he means by the Vulgar? Reason will name the Greek as soon as any; and Midras Tillin, makes it plain that this is meant; for fol. 25. col. 4. speaking of this very passage [but alledging it in somewhat different termes] he nameth the Greek which is not here named. Observe then that the Hebrews call the Greek the Vulgar tongue.

They proceed, ibid. col. 3. It is a tradition. Rabban Simeon ben Gamaliel saith, In books they permitted not, that they should write, but only in Greek. They searched, and found. that the Law cannot be interpreted compleatly but only in the Greek. One once expounded to them, in the Syriack, out of the Greek R. Ieremiah in the name of R. Chaiith ben Ba saith, Aquila the proselyte interpreted the Law, before R. Eliezer and before R. Ioshua. And they extolled him and said, Thou art fairer then the children of men.

And the same Talmud in Sotah fol. 21. col. 2. hath this record. Rabbi Levi went to Caesarea, and heard them [...] rehearsing their Phylacteries Hel­lenisticè, or, in the Greek tongue. A passage very well worth observing: For if in Caesarea were as learned Schools as any were in the Nation; And if their Phyla­cteries [pickt sentences out of the Law] might above all things have challenged their rehearsall in the Hebrew tongue, as their own writers shew, yet they say them over in Greek, Paul might very well write to the Hebrews in Iudaea in the Greek tongue, when that tongue was in so common a use even in an University of Iudaea it self.

To these testimonies for the Greek tongue, might be added, that which is spo­ken in the Treatise Shekalin, per. 3. halac. 2. Vpon the three Treasure Chests of the Temple were written Aleph, Beth, Gimel. But Rabbi Ismael saith, It was written upon them in Greek, Alpha, Beta, Gamma: They that hold that this Epistle, and the Gospel of Matthew were written in Hebrew, should consider how that tongue was now a stranger to all but Scholers, and how God in his providence had dis­persed and planted the Greek tongue throughout all the world, by the conquest of Alexander, and the Grecian Monarchy; and had brought the old Testament into Greek by the Septuagint.

As this Apostle in all his Epistles useth exceeding much of the Jews Dialect, Lan­guage, Learning, allusion and reference to their opinions, traditions and customs; so doth he more singularly in this, and he doth moreover in a more peculiar man­ner apply himself, to their manner of argumentation and discourse. For his intent is, if he can, to argue them into establishment, against that grievous Apostacy that was now afoot: so many revolting from the purity of the Gospel, either to a totall betaking themselves to Moses again, or at least mixing the Ceremonious rites of the Law with the profession of the Gospel. Comparing his style here, with his style of discourse and arguing in the Talmuds, Zohar and Rabboth, and such like older writings of the Jews, you might easily tell with whom he is dealing though the Epistle were not inscribed in syllables, To the Hebrews: and the very stile of it may argue a Scholer of Gamaliel, but now better taught and better improving his learn­ing then that master could teach him,

He first begins to prove the Messiah to be God, and Iesus to be he: about the former of which, the Jews mistook, and about the latter they blasphemed. In pro­ving the former, he among other places of Scripture, produceth that of Psal. 102.25. Thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, &c. To which a Jew would be ready to answer, I but this is to be understood of God the Father; and how could this objection be answered? Yes, even by their own concessions, upon which he argueth in this place. For they understood that in Gen. 1.2. The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, of the Spirit of Christ, and so do they interpret it [...] This is the Spirit of Messias: as their mind is [Page 143] spoken in that point by Zohar, Berishith Rabba, and divers others. If the Spirit of Christ then, was the great agent in the Creation, by their own grant, they could not but grant this alligation to be proper.

He sheweth Christ therefore greater then Angels, as in other regards, so into whose hands was put the world to come, chap. 2.5. and here the phrase is used in the Jews dialect, for the Kingdom of Messias, as we mentioned before.

He proveth him a greater Lawgiver then Moses, a greater Priest then Aaron, and a greater King and Priest then Melchizedek: He sheweth all the Leviticall oeconomy but a shadow, and Christ the substance, and the old Covenant to be a­bolished, by the coming in o [...] a better: By the old or first Covenant meaning the Covenant of peculiarity, or the administration of the Covenant of Grace so, as whereby Israel was made a peculiar and distinct people. This Covenant of pecu­liarity they brake as soon almost as they had obtained it, by making the golden Calf, and thereupon followes the breaking of the two Tables in sign of it: for though the Law written in the two Tables was Moral, and so concerned all the world, yet their writing in Tables of stones for Israel, and committing them to their keeping, referreth to their peculiarity. To his handling of the fabrick and utensils of the Tabernacle and contexts of the Ark, Chap. Talm. Ierus. in Shekalim. fol. 49. col. 3, 4. and Sotah fol. 22. col. 3. may be usefully applied, for illustration. He hinteth the Apostasie now afoot, which was no small induction to him of the writing of this Epistle, and sheweth the desperate danger of it, Chap. 6.4, 5, &c. and Chap. 10.26, 27, &c. In which his touching of it, we may see how farre some had gone in the Gospel, and yet so miserably far fallen from it, as that some of them had had the extraordinary gifts of the holy Ghost, and yet now sinned wil­lingly and wilfully against it. In describing their guilt, one of his passages that he useth, is but harshly applied by some, Chap. 10.29. [Hath trodden under foot the Sonne of God, and hath counted the blood of the Covenant wherewith he was sanctified an unholy thing:] when they say that this horrid Apostate wretch, that treads Christ under foot, was once sanctified by the blood of Christ: whereas the words mean, Christs being sanctified by the blood of the Covenant, according to the same sense that Christ is said to be brought again from the dead, by the blood of the Cove­nant, in this same Epistle, Chap. 13.20. And the Apostle doth set forth the horrid impiety of accounting the blood of the Covenant a common thing, by this, be­cause even the Sonne of God himself was sanctified by it or set apart as Mediator: And so should I understand the words, He hath trodden under foot that Sonne of God, and counted the blood of the Covenant by which he the Sonne of God was sanctified, an unholy thing. He magnifieth faith, against those works that they stood upon and sought to be justified by, and sheweth that this was the all in all with all the holy men both before the Law and under it. When he gives them cau­tion, Lest there be any fornicatour or profane person as Esau, &c. Chap. 12.16. he doth not only speak according to the common tenet of the Nation, that Esau was a fornicator, as see Targ. Ierus. in Gen. 25. but he seemeth to have his eye upon the Nicolaitan doctrine that was now rife, that taught fornication: to which he seemeth also to refer, in those words, Chap. 13.4. Marriage is honoura­ble, &c.

And now henceforward you have no more story of this Apostle: what became of him after the writing of this Epistle it is impossible to finde out, by any light that the Scripture holdeth out in this matter. The two last verses but one of this Epistle, trace him as far forward as we can any way else see him, and that is but a little way neither. Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty, with whom if he come shortly I will see you. By which words these things may be conjectured. 1. That after his inlargement out of bonds, he left Rome, and preached in Italy. He men­tioneth in his Epistle to the Romans, his desire and intent to go preach in Spain, Rom, 15.24. but that was so long ago, that he had now found some just cause [so much time intervening] to steer his course another way. For 2. It appears that when he wrote this Epistle to the Hebrews, he intended very shortly to set for Iu­daea, if so be he sent the Epistle to the Jews of Iudaea as hath been shewed most pro­bable he did. So that trace him in his intentions and hopes, and you finde him pur­posing [Page 144] to go to Philippi, Phil. 2.23, 24. Nay yet further, to Colosse, Philem. ver. 22. Nay yet further into Iudaea. It is like that the Apostacy and wavering that he heard of in the Eastern Churches, shewed him more need to hasten thither then to go westward. 3. He waited a little to see whether Timothy now inlarged would come to him in that place of Italy where he now was: which if he did, he intended to bring him along with him: but whether they met and travelled together, or what further became of either of them, we shall not go about to trace, lest seeking after them we lose our selves.

CHRIST. LXIII NERO. IX IT hath been observed before, how probable it is that Albinus came into the go­vernment of Iudea in Festus room, in this ninth year of Nero. And if so, then was Iames the Apostle who was called Iames the lesse martyred this year; Iosephus gives the story of this, Antiq. lib. 20. cap. 8. Caesar, saith he, understanding the death of Festus, sendeth Albinus governour into Iudea. And the King [Agrippa] put Ioseph from the Highpriesthood, and conferred it upon Ananus the sonne of Ananus. Now this Ananus junior was extreme bold and daring, and he was of the sect of the Sa­duces, which in judging are most cruell of any of the Iews. Ananus therefore being such a [...]one, and thinking he had got a fit opportunity, because Festus was dead and Albinus was not yet come; he gets together a Councill, and bringing before it Iames the brother of Iesus, who was called Christ, and some others, as transgressors, he delivered them up to be stoned: But those in the City that were more moderate, and best skilled in the Laws, took this ill, and sent to the King privately, beseeching him to charge Ananus that he should do so no more. And some of them met Albinus as he came from Alexan­dria, and shewed him how it was not lawfull for Ananus to call a Councill without his consent. Whereupon he writeth a threatning Letter to Ananus. And King Agrippa for this fact put him from the Highpriesthood when he had held it but three moneths, and placed Iesus the sonne of Damneas in his room.


Although therefore, the certain time of his writing this Epistle cannot be dis­covered, yet since he died in the year that we are upon, we may, not unproperly, look upon it as written not very long before his death. And that the rather, because by an expression or two he intimates the vengeance of Ierusalem drawing very near. Chap. 5.8, 9. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh; and, Behold the Iudge standeth before the door. He being the Apostle residentiary of the Circumcision in Iudea, could not but of all others be chiefly in the eyes of those that maliced the Gospel there, and the Ministers of it: So it could not but be in his eye, to observe those tokens growing on apace that his Master had spoken of, as the forerunners and for­warders of that destruction coming: False Prophets, Iniquity abounding, Love waxing cold, betraying and undoing one another, that he could not but very sure­ly conclude, that the Judge and judgement was not far from the door.

Among other things that our Saviour foretelleth should precede that destru­ction, this was one. Matth. 24.14. This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witnesse unto all Nations, and then shall the end come. And so did the Gospel reach all the twelve Tribes, as well as other Nations, even the ten Tribes, as well as the other two. Therefore Iames a Minister of the Circumcision, doth properly direct this Epistle to all the twelve Tribes scattered abroad.

The whole Nation was at this time, some at the very height of unbelief and crossenesse against the Gospel, and others at the very depth of suffering for it: therefore he comforts the one, Chap. 1. and denounceth their just doom against the other, Chap. 4, and 5. He striveth to beat down four things especially, which [Page 145] were not only unbecoming the Christian profession, but even enemies against it. The first was, estimating men according to their gorgeous outside, and so the poor preachers and professors of the Gospel were contemned. Secondly, Their having many masters or teachers, whereby errours and schismes were easily scat­tered and planted among them, and much mischief done by unbridled tongues. Thirdly, Their reliance upon their historicall faith, they thinking that enough, and neglecting to bring forth the fruits of a faith saving and lively. And lastly, Their common and vain oaths, to which the Jewish nation, and that by the lenity, and to­leration of their own Canons, was exceeding loose.

In the close of the Epistle, he speaketh of the Elders anointing the sick with oyl, Chap. 5.14. which may receive some explication from these things observed in their own writings.

1. That anointing with oyl was an ordinary medicinall application to the sick. Talm. Jerus. in Baracoth. fol. 3. col. 1. R. Simeon the sonne of Eleazar permitted R. Meir to mingle wine and oyl, and to anoint the sick on the Sabbath. And he was once sick, and we sought to do so to him, but he suffered us not.

Id. in Maasar Sheni. fol. 53. col. 3. A tradition. Anointing on the Sabbath is per­mitted. If his headake, or if a scall come upon it, he anoints with oyl.

Talm. Bab. in Joma fol. 77.2. If he be sick, or scall be upon his head, he anoints ac­cording to his manner, &c.

Now if we take the Apostles counsell as referring to this medicinall practice, we may construe it, that he would have this Physicall administration to be improved to the best advantage, namely that whereas Anointing with oyl was ordinarily used to the sick, by way of Physick, he adviseth that they should send for the Elders of the Church to do it; not that the anointing was any more in their hand then in anothers, as to the thing it self, for it was still but a Physicall application, but that they with the applying of this corporall Physick, might also pray with and for the patient, and apply the spirituall Physick of good admonition and comforts to him. Which is much the same, as if in our Nation, where this physicall anointing is not so in use, a sick person should send for the Minister at taking of any Physick, that he might pray with him and counsell and comfort him: Or

2. It was very common among the Jews to use charming and anointing toge­ther, of persons that were sick of certain maladies: of this the Ierus. Talm. speak­eth in Schab. fol. 14. col. 3. [...] A man that one charmeth, he putteth oyl upon his head and charmeth. And a little after, is related what they charmed for, as for an evil eye, serpents, scorpions, &c. And in col. 4. is mentioned how one charmed over a sick person in the name of Iesu Pandira. Now this being a common wretched custom to anoint some that were sick and to use charming with the anointing, this Apostle [seeing anointing was an ordinary and good Physick, and the good use of it not to be extinguisht for that abuse] directs them better, namely to get the Elders or Ministers of the Church to come to the sick, and to adde to the medicinall anointing of him, their godly and fervent prayers for him, far more available and comfortable then all charming and inchanting, as well a far more warrantable and Christian.

CHRIST. LXIV NERO. X THis year [C. Lecanius and M. Licinius being Consuls] befell that sore fire in Rome, [of which some touch was given before] the forest that ever had befallen the City, and which made such desolation, That whereas the City was di­vided into fourteen great Wards [they are the words of Tacitus] only four of the fourteen stood sound: For three were clean burnt down to the ground: and as for the other seven they were all tattered and half consumed, and but a few reliques of houses remained.

It was commonly thought and talked, that Nero himself had the chief hand in [Page 146] kindling and carrying on of this mischief; instigated thereunto either by his own inhumane and barbarous temper, which delighted in nothing more, then in de­stroying; or by a tickling humour he had, to build the City anew, that it might bear his name. He to stop the mouth of the clamour, and to salve his credit, brought the Christians that were in the City, to examination and execution, as if they had been the only, and the all, in the breeding of this mishap. Igitur primò correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum, haut perinde in crimine incendii, quam odio humani generis, convicti sunt, &c. Therefore they were first laid hold on, that confessed themselves Christians: and then by their discovery a vast multitude was con­victed, not so much for reall guilt of kindling that fire, as because of the generall hate of men against them. And moreover there were scorns added to their deaths, for they were cast, wrapped in beasts skins to be devoured of dogs, or they were crucified, or burnt, and served for lights by night, when the day was gone. Whereupon they were pitied, seeing that they were thus destroyed, not for the publick benefit, but only for one mans cruelty. Thus Tacitus.

What havock may we think this dolefull persecution made? as among other Christians at Rome, so particularly among those eminent ones, that Paul in his Epistle thither, saluteth by name, Rom. 16. of whom many, no doubt, were alive till now, and now dispatched. He himself, and Timothy and Luke, with other of his retinue, may well be supposed to have been got away before this storm came, because in severall places of his Epistles written a good while ago, as we have observed, he speaketh of his setting away with what speed possible and convenient. How escaped Peter if he now sate Bishop at Rome, as Rome asserteth?

Whether this persecution were circumscribed within the bounds of Rome or Italy, or whether it was carried by the command of the tyrant through all other Coun­tries [as Vid. Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 2. c. 24. Oros. lib. 7. &c.] we need not to be much solicitous to go about to decide▪ certainly, though it were not inforced by any Edict or command, yet such a copy would be taken for a warrant, especially by those that without either command or copy, had been forward enough to do mischief to the professors of the Gospel already, and had taken, nay had made any occasion to undo, or destroy them. The Jews at this mastery were the busiest men of any, and that mystery of iniquity was ever working, but could not strike their full stroke, because something hindred, 2 Thess. 2.6, 7. If he that hindred were Claudius, who by his expulsion of the Jews out of Rome, shewed a frown upon the whole Nation, and suffered them not to rage as they would have done, he was taken away about ten years ago; and they felt their chain much slackned at the coming in of Nero: who in his best years, though he broke not out to destroy all before him, as he did afterward, yet was he destructive enough to Christianity, as we have observed, and loose and carelesse of the administration of affairs, and regarded not how things went, so that he might have his ease, luxury and plea­sure, which his Tutors Seneca and Burrhus made but unworthy advantage of. But now that he himself hath given so visible, bloody and cursed an example, the Jews that stood barking at their chain-end all this while, finding themselves so far let loose as such an example might loose them, which was too farre, would fall on without mercy. They had been mischievous enough alwaies against the profes­sors of the Gospel, but from hence forward they exceeded, and the more they grew toward their desolation, the more did the devil make them bestirre themselves, knowing the shortnesse of his time there.

This tenth of Nero there was a blazing starre, horrid lightnings and thunders, and divers monstrous births.

CHRIST. LXV NERO. XI THis year [the eleventh of Nero, Silius Nerva and Atticus Vestinus, being Consuls] very many eminent and gallant men of Rome were cut off by the Tyrant, as the last year he had cut off many eminent and worthy Christians. The Christians he destroyed, by a plot laid against them by himself; the Romans for a plot laid by them against him. The names of those that perished, now best known among us, were Seneca the Philosopher, Nero's Tutor, and his nephew the Poet Lucan. Both of them very renowned for their Writings, but both of them very ignominious for a severall miscarriage. Seneca for unparalleled covetousnesse, usury and oppression mentioned before: and Lucan for betraying his own mo­ther. Let him bear Tacitus his brand: Lucanus, Quinctianus, & Senecio diu ab­nuere. Post, promissa impunitate corrupti, quo tarditatem excusarent, Lucanus Atil­lam matrem suam, [observe that] Quinctianus Glicium Gallum, Senecio Annium Pollionem amicorum praecipuos nominavere. Lucan, Quinctianus & Senecio, were long before they would confesse any thing: But at last, being corrupted by the promise of impunity, that they might make amends for their slownesse, Lucan accused his mother Atilla, &c. Hereupon Atilla was wracked one day; and would confesse no­thing: and the next day being carried to the wrack again [for she was so dis­joynted that she could not go] she made a shift as she sate in the cart to strangle her self: choosing so to dye rather then either to endure the wrack again, or to im­peach any. An indeleble blot to her son Lucan for ever. Nor did his base shift serve his turn, for he suffered death too, by having his veins cut and so bleeding to death; which was the end of his Uncle Seneca also.

The Warres of the Jews are now drawing on apace [for they began the next year] and the horrid Civil Warres of the Romans are not farre off. So that here we may properly take notice of that prediction ready now to take place. Matth. 24.7, 8, 9. Nation shall rise against Nation, and Kingdom against Kingdom, &c. All these are the beginnings of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and then shall they kill you: which Luke hath expressed, But before all these, shall th [...]y lay their hands upon you, and persecute you, Luk. 21.12. which seemeth to carry some difference, as if the one Evangelist shewed, that the persecution of the Disci­ples to death, should be before these troubles; and the other, as if they should not be till these troubles were begun: But they may be well reconciled by observing that in the words that Christ is there speaking in both Evangelists, there is the in­tertexture of two stories, namely what miseries should befall the Jewish Nation before their ruine, and what miseries should befall the Disciples in the middest of those miseries: and so the word Then in Matthew, and Before in Luke, are but as a transition from the one history to the other: and yet they are not unsignificant neither, as to the pointing out of the time, the one speaking the beginning of that persecution foretold, and the other the continuance.

A fitter period of time whence to begin the punctuall taking place of that pre­diction, we can hardly point out, then this very year that we are upon, a center between two criticall years: the year before beginning the persecution of Christians at Rome, and the year following beginning the Warres of the Jews in Iudaea.

Although therefore we cannot positively assert the very time of the writing of


yet observing the Chronicall hint of some passages in it, this year may as fairly lay claim thereunto, as any other year that can be asserted. For, to omit that clause Chap. 4.7. The end of all things is at hand [referring to the desolating of the Jewish Commonwealth and Nation] the mention of the fiery triall, ver. 12. and the time now come when Iudgement must begin at the house of God, ver. 17. is but as a com­ment [Page 148] and accomplishment of that prediction before alledged, Then s [...]all they deliver up to be afflicted, &c. It is true indeed, that the Church had never wanted perse­cution since the Gospel arose, and some for its sake had suffered death, as Steven and some at that time, the two Iameses, and some at the time of both their deaths; but in the Countries out of Iudaea, where the stroke of their Sanhedrin could not reach so well, nor light so heavy, there was tumultuousnesse indeed enough, and beating and bitternesse against it, but rare effusion of blood, till the cursed example set last year by the Tyrant at Rome, and now forward in the confusions of the Jewish Nation; when a madnesse was come upon them among themselves, and a desperate fury against all that would not be as they were. And that noc only in Iudea the seat of the Warre, but even through the whole world as farre as they durst, and were able to stirre. Those words of Dion are very remarkable, when speaking of the siege of Ierusalem by Titus, he saith, That the Iews that were in forraign Countries, not onely within the Roman Empire, but also without, did send help to their brethren in Iudaea. lib. 66.

When Cyrus gave leave to the Jews after the 70 years captivity to return to their own Country, multitudes of them found themselves so pleasingly seated, and by continuance of time rooted in Babylonia, that they would not remove the [...]r habitation, but fixed there. There, in time they grew to so great a Nation, and distinct a people, that they had [...] A Prince of the Captivity or their own blood over them, and three famous Universities, Nehardea, Pom­beditha and Soria, which yielded very many eminent Scholars in the Judaick Language.

In the division of the imployment of the three Ministers of the Circumcision, Peter, Iames and Iohn, Peter's lot sell here, and from Babylon it self the very Center of those parts he sends this Epistle. He directs it to the dispersed Jews in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia, in which parts the Apostacy from the faith had been exceeding prevalent, and accordingly the trouble of those that stuck to the faith, the most bitter. And in his inscribing it to the Elect, he seem­eth to have his eye upon those words of his Master about this Apostasie, Mat. 24.24. They shall deceive, if it were possible, the very Elect.

Among the many divine lessons that he reades to them, he teaches them and us who is the Rock upon which the Church is built, Chap. 2.4, &c. and how according­ly to understand super hanc Petram, Mat. 16. He exhorts them with all earnestnesse to yield obedience to superiour powers, Chap. 2.13, 14. and that the rather because of that spirit of the Zelotae, that walking among the Nation in all parts, urged them not to submit to any Heathen power.

He magnifieth Baptism as a badge and pledge of preservation of those that had received it, and stuck to it, from that vengeance that was coming upon that wick­ed Nation, Chap. 3.21. It is something a strange recoyling that he makes, leaping back from mention of the death of Christ, ver. 18. over all the story of the Old Testament, and lighteth on the generation that was swept away by the flood: and sheweth how Christs spirit preached unto them. Why? had not the same spirit preached in all the times between? Why are not those times named then as well as these? Because the Apostle doth purposely intend to compare that old world then destroyed, with the destruction of the Jewish Nation shortly coming: and to shew that as Noah and his family were then saved by water, ver. 20. so, [...], they that had received Baptism were the Antitype to that, and Baptism was a pledge and means of their deliverance now, they sticking closely to it. And this very thing Iohn Baptist taught in that question, Who hath forewarned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore when he cals [...]. An asking of a good Conscience towards or after God, he makes not this its definition, as if none but those so qualified were to be baptized, but he characters its difference from Circumcision, which put away the filth of the flesh in one sense; and Legall and Pharisaicall washings, which did it in another. His whole comparison runnes to this tenour: The old world was disobedient to the spirit of Christ preaching in the mouth of Noah, and therefore they perished. The Jews [whose state the Scripture also calleth an old world] were disobedient to Christ preaching by his [Page 149] Spirit in the mouth of his Apostles, and even visibly and audibly in his own per­son, therefore they must needs perish: But Noah and his family that hearkeneth after God [whilest others said to the Lord Depart from us, Job 22.16, 17.] were preserved by water: Even so doth Baptism now preserve us, the Antitype of that figure. For Baptism was not barely a washing of the body from filth, as the common Le­gall washings were, but it was an owning and asking after God, conscienciously, out from a perverse and wicked generation: and therefore not to be started or re­volted from. This then being one end of Baptism, and that end taught to them that assumed it, viz. to badge and mark to safety from the approaching vengeance, it may very well raise an argument for Infants Baptism [whereas this text is com­monly produced against it:] for if these parents that came in to be baptized, sought hereby to flee from the wrath to come, they would be carefull to bring their children under the same badge of security.

When he judgeth those that perished in the waters of Noah to be now in prison, ver. 19. he knew he had the consent of his Nation in it: for thus they say in San­hedr. per. 10. halac. 3. The generation of the flood have no portion in the world to come: neither shall they stand up in Iudgement; for it is said, My spirit shall no more judge with man, Gen. 6.3. Peter teacheth us that the Spirit that strove with the old world, was the Spirit of Messias.

He sends this Epistle by Sylvanus, Pauls old attendant, but now with Peter: He stiles him, A faithfull brother to you, as I suppose: not as doubting but assured. He was to bring this Epistle to the Circumcision, who himself had been a Minister of the uncircumcision: therefore this attestation is the more needfull and material, [...], I repute him a faithfull brother to you of the Circumcision, and do you also so repute him.

His naming of Mark with him, cals our thoughts back to what hath been men­tioned of Mark heretofore: his being with Paul at Rome, and his coming from him into the East. To suppose two Marks, one with Peter and another with Paul, is to breed confusion where there needeth not, and to conceive that for which the Scripture hath not only no ground, but is plain enough to the contrary: It is ea­sily seen how Iohn Mark came into familiarity both with Paul and Peter, and other Mark we can finde none in the New Testament, unless of our own invention: His being in these later times with Peter and Paul, may turn our thoughts to con­sider how his Uncle Barnabas and he parted, since Paul and Barnabas parted about him. He it was that wrote the Gospel, it may be being with Petor, as Luke did the like being with Paul. In his Gospel he is most exact of all the four in observing the proper time and series of the stories recorded.

CHRIST. LXVI NERO. XII [...]. The warres of the Iews began in the twelfth year of the reign of Nero, in the moneth of May. Joseph. de Bell. lib. 2. cap. 25.

If we take a view of the Nation, as it was at the present, and as it had been for thirty or fourty years backward, we shall finde that besides the ordinary and com­mon wickednesse that was among them, they had these four additions of iniquity monstrous and unparalleled, and in which they did, as it were, exceed themselves. 1. In regard that the appearance of the Messias was expected to be about the time that Christ appeared indeed, very many taking advantage of the time and of that expectation, took upon them, some to be Christ, others to be Prophets attending, and relating to his coming, Matth. 24.24. Upon which Iosephus and other Wri­ters of that Nation will give us a very full commentary of experiences. 2. There were multitudes of the Zelotae, and of the sect of Iudas the Galilean, which would not yield any homage or subjection to be due to the Roman power which was now over them: and neither would they now themselves, nor would they suffer others, [Page 150] as farre as they could hinder, to submit unto them. 3. The unbeleeving Jews were generally sworn enemies and persecutors of those that beleeved. And 4. which we have observed before, multitudes of those that had beleeved and imbraced the Gospel fell away, and became either seduced or the greatest sedu­cers, and brought in horrid heresies and pollutions. So that in these various and malignant distempers of men, there had been continuall confusions, tu­mults, firings, murderings and plunderings among them for many years, and they had been the unquietest and most tumultuous Nation that had been under hea­ven, and they had often provoked the Roman power against themselves, yet till this year had they never so visibly and professedly taken up Arms and open Warre a­gainst that power.

The first spark kindled in Caesarea upon the sea, about an incroachment that a Gentile there made upon the way that went to the Jews Synagogue; and from thence it grew into a flame so fast through the whole Country [Florus the Gover­nour helping it on] that by the 16th day of May, his souldiers by his Commission have plundered Ierusalem, slain 3600 persons: and even Berenice sister to King Agrippa escaped very narrowly with her life.

The Jews and Romans have divers skirmishes: Massada Castle taken and the Roman Garrison put to the sword. The Temple and severall parts of the Cities made Garrisons for severall parties, and suffer much by fire and battery. Twen­ty thousand Jews slain in Caesarea on a Sabbath: whereupon all the Nation rise all about to avenge this slaughter, and in Syria, Phaenicia, Samaria, Peraea and all round about, destroy Towns, Cities and persons all before them. Cestius the Governour of Syria rises with his forces, and destroys the Jews again, and their Towns all before him, and on the 30th of October enters Ierusalem and fires a good part of the City.

Yet do the Jews give him a brush upon his march away, and cut off above 4000 of his men: with which successe they are so fleshed, that they resolve to fight it out, and accordingly platform themselves into the modell and posture of a long Warre: and the Country is only full of Fire, Sword, Warre and de­struction.

The abomination of desolation had now begun to stand in the holy place, Matth. 24.15. when the Temple is made a Garrison, and filled with slaughter; Antonia, the Castle of the Temple, besieged, taken, and the Roman Garrison put to the sword. The [...] Tabernae, or part of the buildings at the East wall of the mountain of the House [the place where the Sanhedrin had once sitten,] fi­red and burnt down. Ierus. in Peah. fol. 16. col. 3. And in a word, the Temple from this time forward, never but a Garrison, and full of slaughter and confusion till it be raked up in ashes.

Now it was time for those that were in Iudaea, who beleeved Christs prediction, to get into the mountains, and to shift for themselves, for now begins the tribula­tion beyond parallel, such as was not since the beginning of the world, nor ever must again, Matth. 24.21. It is commonly asserted that the Christians fled to Pella a City beyond Iordan: Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 3. cap. 5. which how to recon­cile with Iosephus, who saith Pella was one of the Cities that the Jews destroyed in avengement of the slaughter of the 20000 in Caesarea, De Bell. lib. 2. cap. 33. let the Learned finde.

About these times therefore we may well conceive to have been the wri­ting of


And that the rather from what he speaks in Chap 1. v. 14. I know that I must shortly put off this tabernacle, as our Lord Iesus Christ hath shewed me. In which words, his thoughts reflect upon what Christ had spoken to Iohn and him about their ends, Iohn 21. where he not only gave intimation to Peter that he should be Martyred, ver. 18. but that he should be so, before his coming in Judgement against Ierusa­lem, which Iohn must live to see, but he must not, ver. 22. He therefore in Babylon, [Page 151] understanding how affairs went in Iudaea and with the Jewish Nation all thereabout, and reading therein, from the words of his Master, Matth. 24. that the desola­tion was drawing on apace, concludes that his time was not long: and therefore improves the time he hath remaining the best he can, not only in teaching those amongst whom he was, but by writing this Epistle instructeth those that were re­mote and at distance from him; in which he doth more especially give them cauti­on against false teachers: and characters the terrour of the judgement coming, and exhorts to vigilancy and holinesse.

The first character that he gives of the false teachers is, that they bring in dam­nable Heresies, denying the Lord that bought them, Chap. 2.1. which he speaketh from Deut. 32. from whence also he useth other expressions, ver. 6. Is not he thy Father that hath bought thee? not meaning that these wretches were redeemed by Christ, yet became such wretches, as some would interpret it; but by buying is meant his buying out of Egypt this people for a peculiar people: which these wretches boasted and stood upon, yet by their introducing and practising the prophane principles they did, of fornication and communicating with Idols, they denied the true God which bought that people for his peculiar. He cals them spots, ver. 13. from Deut. 32.5. and parallels them with the old world, Sodom, Balaam, nay the very fallen Angels.

He sets forth the destruction of that cursed Nation and their City in those terms that Christ had done, Matth. 24. and that the Scripture doth elsewhere, Deut. 32.22, 23, 24. Ier. 4.23. namely as the destruction of the whole world, The hea­vens passing away, the elements melting, and the earth burnt up, &c. And according­ly he speaks of a new heaven and a new earth, from Isa. 65.17. a new state of the Church under the Gospel among the Gentiles, when this old world of the Jews state should be dissolved.

He citeth Pauls Epistle to the Hebrews, and giveth an honourable testimony to that, and to the rest of his Epistles: but acknowledgeth that in some places they are hard to be understood, and were misconstrued by some unlearned and un­stable ones to their own ruine; yet neither doth he, nor Paul who was yet alive, and well knew of this wresting of his Epistles, clear or amend those difficulties, but let them alone as they were: for the holy Ghost hath so penned Scripture as to set men to study.

And here is the last that we hear in Scripture of this great Apostle Peter. His Martyrdom he apprehends to be near, and it was to be before Ierusalem was de­stroyed, which was not now full four years to come. We may well conceive him to have been put to death by the Jews in Babylonia where he now was: a madnesse having come upon that Nation in all parts: and a singular raging a­gainst the Gospel, the devil bestirring himself in them, now he knew their time was so short.


As the second Epistle of Peter and this of Iude are very near akin, in style, matter and subject, so it is fairly conjecturable in them that they were not farre removed in time, speaking both of wicked ones and wickednesse at the same height and ripenesse. They are one to another as the Prophesie of Obadiah, and Ierem. 49.14, &c. speaking the same thing, using the same manner of arguing, and oftentimes almost the same words. It may be Iude stands up in his brother Iames his charge among the Circumcision of Iudaea, and directs his Epistle to all those that were sanctified and preserved in those Apostatizing times, as his brother had done to all the twelve Tribes in generall.

In citing the story of Michael the Archangel contending with the devil about the body of Moses, ver. 9. he doth but the same that Paul doth in naming Iannes and Iambres, namely alledge a story which was current and owned among the Nation, though there were no such thing in Scripture; and so he argueth with them from their own Authors and concessions. It is harsh to strain Zech. 3.1, 2. to speak [Page 152] such a story; when neither the name Michael is mentioned, nor any thing like the body of Moses or akin to it. But among the Talmudicks there seems to be some­thing like the relicks of such a matter, viz. of Michael and the Angel of death disputing or discoursing about fetching away the soul of Moses.

His alledging the Prophesie of Enoch, is an arguing of the very like nature, as citing and referring to some known and common tradition that they had among them to this purpose. [The Book Sepher Iesher an Hebrew Writer speaketh of Enoch after such a tenour.] And in both these he useth their own testimonies a­gainst themselves: as if he should thus have spoken at large: These men speak evil of dignities, whereas they have and own a story for current, that even Michael the Archangel did not speak evil of the devil, when he was striving with him about the body of Moses, &c. And whereas they shew and own a Prophesie of Enoch, of God coming in judgement, &c. why these are the very men to whom such a matter is to be applied, &c. It is no strange thing in the New Testament, for Christ and the Apostles to deal and argue with the Jews upon their own con­cessions.


Among all the Apostolick Epistles there is none about whose time of writing we are so farre to seek as we are about these. And it is neither satisfactory to re­move their place, nor is it satisfactory to take their time according to their place; or to conceive them to be written after the Epistles of Peter, because they are pla­ced after them. Any conjecture that is to be had of them may best be taken from the third Epistle.

Gaius, to whom that Epistle is directed, by that encomiastick character that Iohn giveth of him, seemeth to be Gaius the Corinthian, the host of the whole Church, Rom. 16.23. for since he is commended for entertainment and charity both to the Church and strangers, particularly to those who had preached among the Gen­tiles, taking nothing of them, we know not where to finde any other Gaius to whom to affix this character but only this, and we have no reason to look after any other. And upon this probability we may observe these other.

I. That that third Epistle was written when those that preached to the Gentiles and took nothing of them, were still abroad upon that imployment, for he ur­geth him to bring them forward on their journey, ver. 6. Now under that ex­pression, of taking nothing of the Gentiles, we can understand none but Paul and Barnabas and those that were of their severall companies, for the Scripture hath named none other. And if it referre to Paul and his company [for we finde not that Barnabas had any thing to do with Gaius] then we must conclude that it was written a good while before this time that we are upon: unlesse we will suppose Paul after his freedom from imprisonment at Rome, was got travelling and preach­ing in those parts again. But I should rather suppose that Iohn sent this third Epi­stle to Gaius to Corinth, by Timothy from Ephesus, who was setting away thence for Rome, upon Pauls sending for him to come to him thither, 2 Tim. 4.9, 11, 21. In which journey as we have shewed before, he was to call at Corinth, and to take Mark along with him, who was there. And of them may Iohns advice to Gaius be well understood, Whom if thou bring forward on their journey thou shalt do well: For for his sake they went out taking nothing of the Gentiles; Mark with Barnabas, and Timothy with Paul.

II. Before Iohn wrote this Epistle to Gaius, he had written another Epistle, to some Church, it may be that of Corinth, of which Gaius was. I wrote, saith he, unto the Church, but Diotrephes who loveth to have the preminence, receiveth us not. This must needs be understood of The first Epistle of Iohn: unlesse we will conceive, unwarrantably [that I may say no worse,] that any of Iohns Writings are lost.

III. Upon and with the forementioned supposall that Iohn sent his Epistle to Gaius by Timothy from Ephesus; we cannot but also suppose that Iohn spent some [Page 153] time in the Asian Churches, to which afterward from Patmos he writes his Epistles: And if any one be not satisfied with that interpretation that was given before, about the Epistle written from Laodicea, Coloss. 4.16. let him rather understand it of The first Epistle of Iohn as written by him from Laodicea, then think it was an Epistle written by Paul from Laodicea, and that that Epistle is lost: In both his later Epistles he intimateth his hopes and purpose shortly to come to them: from which we may construe that his intention was to travell from Asia the lesse where he now was, and from whence he wrote all his three Epistles westward into Greece, and in this journey you have him got into Patmos, Rev. 1. from whence he writes back to Asia again.

In all his Epistles he exhorteth to love, and constancy in the truth, a lesson most needfull in those divided and Apostatizing times. He giveth notice of many An­tichrists now abroad, and these he sheweth to have been such as had once profes­sed the truth, but were Apostatized from it: They went out from us, but they were not of us, &c. And this Apostacy he calleth The sinne unto death. To such he ad­viseth they should not so much as say God speed: [...] in their vulgar language. Jerus. Taamith fol. 64. col. 2. The Rabbins saw a holy man of Caphar Immi, and went to him and said [...] God speed, But he answered them nothing. Id. in She­viith fol. 35. [...]. & 36.1. R. Chinna bar Papa & R. Samuel bar Nachman, went by a man that was plowing on the seventh year [the year of release,] R. Samuel saith to him [...] God speed. R. Chinna saith, Our master did not teach us thus: for it is forbidden to say God speed, to one that is plowing on the s [...]venth year.

Iohn stileth himself an Elder, and so doth Peter, 1 Pet. 5.1. not as laying aside their Apostolicall power, but as dealing with those to whom they write in a Mini­steriall way: and by this very title that they assume to themselves, they closely intimate that thenceforward the extraordinary Function and gifts Apostolick must not be expected, but the Ministeriall, in the ordinary way of Elders or Mini­sters, as the title had been long and vulgarly known. And yet when he speaks of Diotrephes and his abusivenesse, he then threatens to shew his Apostolick power, and himself A son of thunder against him.


AS it will be easily admitted to place this Book last of all the New Testament, because it stands so in all Bibles, so on the other hand it will be cavilled at, that I have brought in the writing of it so soon, as before the fall of Ierusalem, since it hath been of old and commonly held, that it was penned in the reign of Domitian, farre after these times that we are upon: But the reasons by which I have been induced thereunto, will appear out of some passages in the Book it self as we go through it.

As God revealed to Daniel the man greatly beloved, the state of his people, and the Monarchies that afflicted them, from his own time, till the coming of Christ; so doth Christ to Iohn the beloved Disciple, the state of the Church, and story in brief of her chief afflicters, from thence to the end of the world. So that where Daniel ends the Revelation begins, and Iohn hath nothing to do with any of the four Monarchies that he speaketh of, but deals with a fifth [the Roman] that rose as it were out of the ashes of those four, and swallowed them all up.

The composure of the Book is much like Daniels in this, that it repeats one story over and over again, in varied and inlarged expressions: and exceeding like Ezekiel's in method and things spoken. The style is very Propheticall, as to the [Page 154] things spoken; and very Hebraizing, as to the speaking of them. Exceeding much of the old Prophets language and matter adduced to intimate new stories▪ and exceeding much of the Jews language, and allusion to their customs and opi­nions, thereby to speak the things more familiarly to be understood. And as Ezekiel wrote concerning the ruine of Ierusalem, when the ruining of it was now begun, so I suppose doth Iohn of the finall destruction of it, when the Warres and miseries were now begun, which bred its destruction.


THe three first Chapters referre to that present time when Iohn wrote: and they contain the story of his obtaining this Revelation, and of the condi­tion of the seven Churches of Asia at that time: declared in the Epistles directed to them.

Iohn travelling in the Ministry of the Gospel up and down from Asia Westward, cometh into the Ile Patmos, in the Icarian sea [Vid. Strab. lib. 10.] an Iland about thirty miles compasse [Plin. lib. 4. cap. 12.] and there on the Lords day he hath these visions, and an Angel interprets to him all he saw.

He seeth Christ clothed like a Priest, [...], ver. 13. [See the LXX in Exod. 28.4.] and girded over the paps, as the Priests used to be, with the curious girdle. His appearance full of Majesty and gloriousnesse, described in the terms of Daniel, Chap. 7.9. & 10.5, 6. Amongst other his Divine title, he is called Alpha and Omega, terms ordinarily used by the Jews [only uttered in their Hebrew tongue] to to signifie the beginning and the end, or the first and the last. Midr. Tillin. fol. 47.2. Abraham and Sarah performed all the Law from Aleph to Tau. Marg. tripl. targ in Deut. 18.13. He that walks in integrity is as if he performed all the Law from Aleph to Tau.

He directs Epistles to be sent to the seven Churches of Asia: who are golden Can­dlesticks though very full of corruptions [it is not a small thing that unchurches a Church] and inscribed to the Angels of the Churches: This phrase translates [...] Sheliahh Tsibbor, the title of the Minister in every Synagogue, who took care for the publick reading and expounding of the Law and Prophets: And these Epistles are sent accordingly to the Ministers of the severall Churches, that they might be read openly in their Congregations.

There are seven severall Epistles to the severall Churches, dictated immediatly and sent by Christ, and another generall one from Iohn to them all, in which he shews the warrant and way of writing those seven.

He terms the holy Ghost, the seven Spirits, according to the Jews common speech, who from Isa. 11.2. speak much of the seven Spirits of Messias: and speaking of Christs coming with clouds, Chap 1.7. from Dan. 7.13. and from the words of Christ himself, Matth. 24.30. He at once teacheth that he takes at Daniel, and speaks of Christs coming and reigning, when the four Monarchies were destroyed, and especially referreth to the first most visible evidence of his power and domi­nion, in coming to destroy his enemies the Jewish Nation, and their City. And here is one reason that induceth me to suppose this Book written, before that City was destroyed.

Coming to reade the present condition of these Asian Churches in the Epistles written to them, we may pertinently think of that saying of Paul, 2 Tim. 1.15. This thou knowest that all they that are in Asia are turned from me: A great Apo­stacy: of which there is too much evidence in these Churches, as also mention of some sad fruits of it, and means and instruments inducing to it. As 1. un­beleeving Jews which the holy Ghost all along cals A Synagogue of Satan: with these the Church of Smyrna was pestered, and more especially Pergamus, where their mischievousnesse is stiled the very throne or seat of Satan: and where they had murdered Antipas a faithfull Martyr already. 2. False Apostles and sedu­cers: some that pretended Apostolick power and commission, and it may be co­loured their pretences with Magicall wonders, that they might act more Apostle-like. [Page 155] These the Church of Ephesus was troubled with, but had discovered their delusions and found them liars. 3. Other seducers that, it may be, came not in the demonstration of such devilish power, but answered that by their horrid de­vilish doctrines, the doctrines of the Nicolaitans, which taught to eat things sa­crificed to Idols, and to commit fornication. In Thyatira a woman seducer, cri­ed up this doctrine, a whore and witch, a Iezabel: wherefore she and her children, that is, her Disciples, are threatned to be destroyed by the plague: the vengeance upon the fornicators with Baal P [...]or.


NOw cometh a second vision. That before was of things then being, see Chap. 1.19. but this and forward of things to come, Chap. 4.1. A door open in hea­ven, and the voice of a trumpet talking with Iohn out of it.

The scene of Iohns visions said to be in heaven, is according to the scheme of the Temple and the Divine glory there. And hence you have mention of the Altar, Candlesticks, Sea of glasse [the brazen laver made of the womens looking glasses] the Ark of the Covenant, and the like. And as at the opening of the Temple doors, a Trumpet sounded, so is the allusion here. The door in Heaven opened, and a Trumpet cals Iohn to come in and see what there. And immediatly he was in the Spirit, ver. 2. Why? was he not in the Spirit before? Chap. 1.10. and was he not in the Spirit, in seeing the door in heaven opened? &c. But we may ob­serve a double degree in rapture: as inspired men may be considered under a double notion: viz. Those that were inspired with Prophesie or to be Prophets and to preach, and those that were inspired to be Penmen of Divine Writ, which was higher. Iohn hath both inspirations or revelations to both ends, both in the Vision before, and this: then he was in the Spirit and saw the vision, and was in the Spirit and inspired to pen what he saw, and what to be sent to the Churches. And in the first verse of this Chapter he is in the Spirit or hath a revelation, and in ver. 2. he is in the Spirit, he is inspired so as to take impression and remembrance of these things to write them also.

He seeth Christ inthroned in the middle of his Church, in the same Prophetick and visionary Embleme that Ezekiel had seen, Ezek. 1. & 10. and this is a com­mentary and fulfilling of that scene that Daniel speaketh of, Dan. 7.9, 10, 22. In Ezekiel, the Lord, when Ierusalem was now to be destroyed, and the glory of the Lord that used to be there, and the people were to flit into another Land, ap­peareth so inthroned, as sitting in Judgement and flitting away by degrees to ano­ther place: as compare Ezek. 1. & 10. well together. So Christ here; when the destruction of Ierusalem was now near at hand, and his glory and presence to remove from that Nation, now given up to unbelief and obduration, to reside among the Gentiles, he is seated upon his throne as Judge and King with glorious attendance, to judge that Nation for their sinnes and unbelief, and stating the affairs of his Church whither his glory was now removing.

The scheme is platformed according to the modell of Israels Camp. 1. The Tabernacle was in the middle there, so is the throne here. 2. There the four squadrons of the Camp of Levi next the Tabernacle, so here the four living creatures. 3. Then the whole Camp of Israel, so here twenty four Elders Representatives of the whole Church, built from twelve Tribes and twelve Apostles.

In the hand of him that sate on the Throne was a Book sealed which no creature could open. This justly cals us back to Dan. 12. v. 4. where words are shut up and a Book sealed unto the time of the end: and now that that is near drawing on, the Book is here opened.


THe opening of the six Seals in this Chapter, speaks the ruine and rejection of the Jewish Nation, and the desolation of their City; which is now very near at hand.

The first Seal opened ver. 2. shews Christ setting forth in Battell array and a­vengement against them, as Psal. 45.4, 5. And this the New Testament speaketh very much and very highly of, one while calling it his coming in clouds, another while his coming in his Kingdome, and sometime his coming in Power and great Glory, and the like. Because his plagueing and destroying of the Nation that cru­cified him, and that so much opposed and wrought mischief against the Gospel, was the first evidence that he gave in sight of all the world of his being Christ: for till then, he and his Gospel had been in humility, as I may say, as to the eyes of men, he persecuted whilest he was on earth, and they persecuted after him, and no course taken with them that so used both, but now he awakes, shews himself, and makes himself known by the Judgement that he exe­cuteth.

The three next Seals opening, shew the means by which he did destroy, namely those three sad plagues that had been threatned so oft and so sore by the Prophets, Sword, Famine and Pestilence. For

The second Seal opened sends out one upon a red Horse to take Peace from the earth, and that men should destroy one another; he carried a great Sword, ver. 4.

The third Seals opening speaks of Famine, when Corn for scarcity should be weighed like spicery in a pair of ballances, ver. 5, 6.

The fourth Seal sends out one on a pale Horse whose name was Death [the Chaldee very often expresseth the Plague or Pestilence by that word [...]: and so it' is to be taken Revel. 2.22.] and Hell or Hades comes after him, ver. 8.

The opening of the fifth Seal reveals a main cause of the vengeance, namely the blood of the Saints which had been shed, crying, and which was to be requi­red of that generation, Matth. 23.35, 36. These souls are said to cry from under the Altar, either in allusion to the blood of creatures sacrificed, poured at the foot of the Altar, or according to the Jews tenet, that all just soules depar­ted are under the Throne of Glory. Answer to their cry is given, that the number of their Brethren that were to be slain was not yet fulfilled, and they must rest till that should be, and then avengement in their behalf should come. This speakes sutable to that which we observed lately, that now times were begun of bitter persecution, an hour of temptation, Rev. 2.10. & 3.10. the Jews and devil raging, till the Lord should something cool that fury by the ruine of that people.

The opening of the sixth Seal, ver. 12, 13. shews the destruction it self in those borrowed termes that the Scripture useth to expresse it by, namely as if it were the destruction of the whole world: as Matth. 24.29, 30. The sunne darkened, the starres falling, the heaven departing and the earth dissolved: and that con­clusion ver. 16. They shall say to the rocks fall on us, &c. doth not only warrant, but even inforce us to understand and construe these things in the sense that we do: for Christ applies these very words to the very same thing, Luke 23.30. And here is another, and, to me, a very satisfactory reason, why to place the shewing of these visions to Iohn, and his wring of this Book before the desolation of Ierusalem.


IN the end of the former Chapter was contained the intimation of the desolation of Ierusalem, and in the beginning of this, the ceasing of Prophesie, under [Page 157] the similitude of the four windes restrained from blowing upon the earth. Com­pare Cant. 4.16. Ezek. 37.9. only a remnant of Israel are sealed unto salvation, and not to perish by that restraint, and with them innumerable Gentiles. Ezekiel helpeth here to confirm the explication that we have given of the Chapter before: for he hath the very like passage, upon the first destruction of the City, Ezek. 9. & 10. & 11. Compare the marking in the foreheads here, with Exod. 28.38. Dan not mentioned among the Tribes in this place: Idolatry first began in that Tribe, Iudg. 18. 1 King. 12.


THe opening of the seventh Seal lands us upon a new scene: as a new world began when Ierusalem was destroyed and the Jews cast off. The six Seals in the two former Chapters, have shewed their ruine, and the appearing of the Church of the Gentiles, and now the seven Trumpets under the seventh Seal give us a prospect in generall of the times thence forward to the end of all things. I say in generall, for from the beginning of the twelfth Chapter and forward to the end of the nineteenth they are handled more particularly.

Silence in heaven for a while, and seven Angels with seven Trumpets may call our thoughts to Ioshua 6.4, 10. and intimate that the Prophetick story is now en­tred upon a new Canaan, or a new stage of the Church, as that businesse at Ie­richo was at Israels first entring on the old: Or it may very properly be looked upon as referring and alluding to the carriage of things at the Temple, since this Book doth represent things so much according to the scheme and scene of the Tem­ple all along.

And in this very place there is mention of the Altar and Incense and Trumpets, which were all Temple appurtenances. It was therefore the custom at the Temple that when the Priest went in to the Holy place, the people drew downward from the Porch of the Temple, and there was▪ a silence whilest he was there, [yea though the people were then praying] incomparably beyond what there was at other times of the service, for the Priests were blowing with Trumpets or the Le­vites singing: The allusion then here is plain. When the sacrifice was laid on the Altar, a Priest took coals from the Altar, went in to the Holy place, and offered incense upon the Golden Altar that stood before vail, that was before the Ark, and this being done, the Trumpets sounded over the sacrifice. Here then is first intimation of Christs being offered upon the Altar; then his going into the Holy place as Mediatour for his people: and then the Trumpets sound­ing and declaring his disposals in the world. His taking fire off the Altar and casting it upon the earth, ver. 5. is a thing not used at the Temple, but spoken from Ezek. 10.2. which betokeneth the sending of judgement, which the Trumpets speak out.

These seven Trumpets, and the seven Vials in Chap. 16. in many things runne very parallel, how farre they Synchronize, will be best considered when we come there.

The first Trumpet sounding, brings hail and fire and blood upon the earth, and destroys grasse and trees a third part of them. Fire and hail was the plague of Egypt, Exod. 9.23. but fire and blood, with hail, is a new plague. By these seemeth to be intimated what plagues should be brought upon the world, by fire, sword, dreadfull tempest, unnaturall seasons and the like.

The second Trumpet sounds, and a great burning mountain is cast into the sea, and the third part of it becomes blood. The sea in the Prophetick lan­guage, doth signifie multitudes of people: as Ierem. 51.36.42. And Babylon that was Monarch was a burning mountain in the same Chapter, ver. 35. So that the Imperiall power seemeth to be the mountain here; which made bloody and mischievous work, not only by the persecution of Christians, but even among their own people. As Nero at present, Vitellius instantly after, Domi­tian, Commodus, and indeed generally all of them either bloodily destroy their [Page 158] own people, or at least for their covetousnesse, ambition, revenge or humour, bring disquietnesse, oppression, misery, Warres and blood, upon all the world, in one place or other.

The third Trumpet, brings the starre Wormwood upon the rivers and fountains of waters: which seemeth to denote the grievous Heresies that should be in the Church, which should corrupt and imbitter the pure springs of the Scripture and fountains of Truth. A starre in the language of this Book is a Church-man, Chap. 1.20. [Ben Cochab was such a Wormwood starre among the Jews, called most properly Ben cozba the lier.] And the phrase, A starre falling from heaven, alludes to Isa. 14.12. How art thou fallen from heaven O Lucifer! &c.

The fourth Trumpet shews the darkning of the Sunne and Moon and Starres for a third part.

By which seems to be understood the wane and decay, both in the glory of the Church, by superstition, and of the Empire, by its divisions within, and enemies from without, and this before the rising of the Papacy, which appears under the next Trumpet: and these things were great advantages to its rising. The dark­ning of the heavenly luminaries in the Prophets language signifieth the eclipsing of the glory and prosperity of a Kingdom or people, Isa. 13.9, 10. Ioel 2.10. How it was with the Church and Empire in these respects, before that time that the Pa­pacy appeared, he is a stranger to History, both Ecclesiasticall and Civil, that re­membreth not upon this very hint.

The three Trumpets coming are the Trumpets of Wo, wo, wo: though these things past were very wofull; but those much more that are to come.


A Description of the Papacy under the fifth Trumpet. Another starre falling from heaven, and that a notable one indeed, the He that hath the Key of the bottomlesse pit committed to him. A vast difference from the Keys given Peter, The Keys of the Kingdom of heaven: The setting of these in their just distance and opposition will illustrate the matter before us. When the world is to come out of darknesse and Heathenism to the knowledge of the Gospel, Christ gives Peter the Keyes of the Kingdom of Heaven, to open the door and let light come in among them: for he first preached to the Gentiles, Act. 10. & 15.7. The world under the Papacy returns, as it were, to Heathenism again [and not undeservedly for its contempt of the Gospel and unproficiency under it] which is very fitly descri­bed by hell opened, by the Keys of the bottomlesse pit, and darknesse coming and clouding all. The Claviger or Turnkey is The childe of perdition, Abaddon and Apollyon, a destroyer and one that is surely and sorely to be destroyed. Chittim [Italy or Rome] afflicting and perishing for ever, Num. 24.24. Antichrist of the second edition, much augmented and inlarged. The Jews the first, as we observed at the second Epistle to the Thessalonians, and this the second, Antichrist at his full stature. It is true indeed that Rome Heathen is one part of him, but observe how little a part reputed in comparison of Rome Papish, the starre fallen from heaven. So that though that did wofull things, yet you see the first wo is fixed here.

The way of his bringing wo upon the earth, is by filling the world with smoke and darknesse of ignorance and humane traditions and inventions: and out of this smoke come his locusts, of his votary orders. The locusts described much like those in Ioel 1. for their terrour and destroying: only their having the faces of men speaks them men-caterpillers: and their Nazarite-like hair long as the hair of women, speaks them votaries; or such as take on them vowed Religion. Their trading is not with grasse or the green things of the earth as other locusts do, but with men, and they are locusts in name, but scorpions in action, wounding with the sting of their tailes [the teacher of lies is the tail, Isa. 9.15.] but not killing: leaving men indeed in a Religion and a profession of Christ, but no better then a venomed and dying one. The time of their tormenting is five moneths, the [Page 159] time of locusts ravening ordinarily, from the spring well shot forth, to harvest.

This is the first wo.

These locusts stings, minde me of a story or two in the Roman History: which let me mention here, though I cannot apply them hither. Dion, in his story of the life of Domitian saith thus, About that time divers began to prick many whom they pleased, with poysoned needles, whereof many died, hardly feeling what was done to them. And this was practised not only at Rome, but almost through all the world.

And again in the life of Commodus. About that time, saith he, there was so great a mortality, that oft times there died two thousand in Rome in one day. And many, not only in the City, but also through the whole Roman Empire, were killed by mischievous men, who poysoning needles pricked others with them: as also it had been in Domiti­ans time, and so innumerable people died by this means. But there was no greater plague then Commodus himself, &c.

The sounding of the sixth Trumpet begins another wo. Four Angels loosed, which were bound in Euphrates, and come with a terrible Army, and horses breathing fire and smoke and brimstone, and having stings in their tailes, &c. The Turks and Mahumetans coming as a plague upon the Eastern part of the world, as the Papacy on the Western. These hurt with their tailes [false doctrine] as well as the other did in the former Trumpet: but these have also heads in their tailes, which the other had not, for these hold out another Head and Sa­viour, Mahomet.


A Little Book in the hand of Christ, speaketh the restoring of Religion, and Truth, after all the darknesse and confusions mentioned before. The words in ver. 6, 7. do help to state the intent of this Vision. He sware by him that liveth for ever, that there should be delay of time no longer, but in the daies of the seventh Trumpet the mystery of God should be fulfilled. The mystery of God is his gathering in of his Elect, more especially of the Gentiles, Rom. 16.25, 26. Ephes. 3.5, 6. and hitherto there had been great hinderance by Rome Heathen, by Heresies, Papacy, Turcism, but at last Christ swears, that there should be no more delay: the word [...] must be taken so here: and not unconsonant to the signification of the word, and very consonant to the context, and to the place from whence this verse is ta­ken: That is Dan. 12.7. where the Angel is brought in swearing, as here, that the trouble of Antiochus and his persecution and hindrance should be so long, and there should be no delay further, but there should be a restoring. That place laid to this, and Antiochus looked upon as a figure of Antichrist, the construction of this place is easie. Only the great Angel would have the speech of the seven thunders, which referre to these times, to be concealed. The Prophesie in generall intimates the restoring of the Gospel in these later times, which is handled in the next Cha­pter, but very generally, and very briefly. Iohns eating of the little Book, as Ezek. 2.8. and the words to him, Thou must Prophesie again before many Peoples and Nations and Tongues and Kings, do not so much inferre Iohns going abroad after this to preach to many Nations himself, as it doth the progresse of the truth that he preached, through Nations and People, which had been supprest so long: aiming at these times when the Gospel last broke out from under Popery. The passage is parallel to the last words in the Book of Daniel, Go thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in the lot, at the end of daies. Not that Daniel should live till the end of those miseries by Antiochus, but that his doctrine, and the truth should stand up and be restored in those times. The phrase is such another as when Christ telleth his Disciples that they should sit on twelve Thrones judging the twelve Tribes of Israel, which is not meant of their personall sitting to judge, but that their doctrine should judge and condemn that unbeleeving Nation.


THe Vision of this Chapter is in order to the accomplishing of the mystery of God, which was spoken of Chap. 10.7. As Ezekiels measuring of a new Tem­ple, shewed the restoring of Religion and of the Lords people, and foretold of the new Ierusalem and calling of the Gentiles: To the same purpose is the mea­suring of the Temple here. The Church was under the mysticall Babylon, Chap. 9. as the Jews were under the Eastern, when Ezekiel wrote those things; now as that description of the measures of the Temple, was a prediction and pledge of their coming forth, so this speaketh to the same tenour. Iohn is commanded to leave the Court which is without the Temple, forth, and not to measure it, Because it was given to the Gentiles, and they should tread the holy City fourty and two moneths. Not in an hostile way, but as the flock of the Lord tread his Courts, there wor­shipping him: as see the phrase, Isa. 1.12. Psal. 122.2. and the meaning seemeth to be this; Measure not the Court of the Gentiles, for their multitudes that come to attend upon the Lord shall be boundlesse and numberlesse.

The two and fourty moneths: and a thousand two hundred and sixty daies, ver. 3. and Chap. 12.6. and a time and times and half a time, Chap. 12.14. are but bor­rowed phrases from Daniel: who so expresseth the three years and an half of An­tiochus his persecution, and treading down Religion, Dan. 7.25. & 12.7, 11. and they mean times of trouble, and are used to expresse that, but not any fixed time. The Jews themselves have learned to make the same construction of it, when they say Advianus besieged Bitter three years and an half, Jerus. Taanith fol. 68. col. 4. And this also [that comfort might stand up against misery] was the time of our Saviours Ministry, when he restored decaied and ruined Religion, in so happy a manner, Dan. 9.27. And this the Jews also have observed in that saying we have mentioned before, The divine glory shall stand upon mount Olivet three years and an half, and shall preach, &c. So that according to this interpretation of the num­bers, the things they are applied unto are facil. The Gentiles shall tread the Lords Courts fourty two moneths, and the two Witnesses shall Prophesie a thousand two hundred and sixty daies clothed in sackcloth: Meaning that the Gentiles shall worship God and attend upon him in a Gospel Ministry [and for that, allusion is made to the space of time that Christ administred the Gospel] but this ministring and attending shall not be without persecution and trouble [and for intimation of that, allusion is made to the bitter times of Antiochus.]

Two Witnesses, is a phrase taken from the Law. [In the mouth of two or of three witnesses every word shall stand] and it means all that should bear witnesse to the truth in the times spoken of. But more especially the Ministry, which is character­ed by the picture of Moses and Elias, the two great Reformers in their severall times: the former, the first Minister of the Jews, the later of the Gentiles. These are two Olive trees [See Zech. 4.3. Rom. 11.17, 24.] and two Candlesticks [See Chap. 1.20.] gracious in themselves, and having light, and holding it out to others. They must finish and accomplish their work that they had to do, and then be overcome by Antichrist and slain.

Their case is clearly paralleled with Christ their Masters; by comparing it with which, it is best understood: He preached three years and six moneths in trou­ble and sorrow, so they in sackcloth: He having finished his Ministry was slain, so they. He revived and ascended, so they likewise. Now this that especially states the case, and the counting of the progresse of procedings intended here, is this: That as Christ laid the foundation of the Gospel, and when he having finished his Ministry was slain, risen and ascended, the Gospel was not extinct with him, but increased more and more by the Ministry that followed after: So seems this that alludes thereunto to be understood: As, that the two Witnesses should mean the first Ministry, and bearing witnesse to the truth at the first breaking of it out of Popery, which was followed with horrid persecutions and multitudes of Mar­tyrdoms: but these first Witnesses having so done their Testimony, and vast numbers of them having sealed it with their blood, and being gone to heaven, [Page 161] yet the Gospel increased and shook down a part of Rome even at these first be­ginnings.

Their dead bodies must be cast in the streets of the great City where our Lord was crucified. The term The great City resolves that Rome is meant, if there were no other evidence: which see explained, Chap. 17.18. And by her power and sen­tence our Lord was crucified, and for a quarrell of hers, being accused and condemned by Pilate as a traytour to the Roman power, for saying he was a King. This is the rather mentioned, now there is speech of Romes last bloodinesse against Christs Witnesses: that it might be shewed that it perseve­red the same, to his, that it had been to him, and that to the last, and that these Witnesses drunk but of the same cup that their Master had drunk before them.

She is called spiritually [ [...] as the Jews speak] Sodom and Egypt: Sodom for filthinesse: and Egypt for Idolatry and mercilesnesse, Never did place under heaven wallow in fleshly filthinesse, and particularly in the Sodomitick bestiality, as Rome did about those times that Iohn wrote: and how little it hath been mended under the Papacy there are Records plain enough that speak to her shame. He that reades Martiall and Iuvenal [to name no more] may stand and wonder that men should become such beasts: and it had been better that those Books had been for ever smothered in obscurity then that they should have come to light, were it not only for this, that they and others of the like stamp, do give that place her due character, and help us the better to understand her description. It is obser­vable what Paul saith, Rom. 1.21, 22, 23, 24. that because the Heathen had brutish conceptions concerning God, abasing him, he gave them over to brutish abasing their own bodies by bestiality, or indeed by what was above bestiall. And so he shews plainly, that Gods giving up men to such filthinesse, especially Sodomy, was a direct plague for their Idolatrous conceptions of God, and their Idolatry. And to this purpose it may be observed that when the Holy Ghost hath given the story of the worlds becoming Heathenish at Babel for and by Idolatry, Gen. 11. he is not long before he brings in mention of this sin among the Heathen, and fearfull vengeance upon it, Gen. 19. Apply this matter to the case of Rome and it may be of good information.

The casting their dead bodies in the streets, speaks the higher spite and dete­station against them: and in this particular they are described different from their Master. And as they had prophesied three years and an half, so they lay unbu­ried three daies and an half: till there was no apparent possibility of their recovery. But they revive and go to heaven: and a tenth part of the City fals by an Earth­quake, and seven thousand perish: but the rest of that part of the City that fell, who perished not, gave glory to God. Nine parts of the City left standing still: whose ruine is working still from henceforward, by the Gospel that these Wit­nesses had set on foot: which brings in the Kingdomes to become the King­domes of Christ, &c.


AS Daniel, Chap. 2. giveth a generall view of the times, from his own daies, to the coming of Christ, in the mention of the four Monarchies [in the four parts of Nebuchadnezzers Visionary Image] which should runne their date and decay, and come to nothing, before his coming: and then in Chap. 7. han­dles the very same thing again in another kinde of scheme, and something plainer: And then in Chap. 8. & 10. & 11. & 12. doth explain at large, and more particu­larly, some of the most materiall things that he had touched in those generals: So doth our Apocalyptick here, and forward. He hath hitherto given a generall survey of the times from his own daies to the end: and now he goes over some of the chief heads again with explanation.

And first he begins with the birth of Christ, and the Christian Church: and the machination of the devil to destroy both. The Church of the Jews bringeth [Page 162] forth her chief childe, and the devil seeketh to destroy him. He is pictured 1. A great red Dragon. Old Pharaoh who sought to devour new born Israel is much of the like character, Isa. 27.7. Psal. 74.13, &c. 2. With seven heads: So many had the persecuting Monarchies, Dan. 7. the Lion one, the Bear one, the Leopard four, and the fourth beast one. 3. And ten horns, Parallel to the Syrogrecian persecutors, Dan. 7.7, &c. 4. With his tayl he drew and cast down the third part of the starres; As the Tyrant Antiochus had done, Dan. 8.10. So that by these allu­sive descriptions, phrases of old stories fetched to expresse new, is shewed the acting of the devil now, by his mischievous and tyrannicall instruments, with as much bitternesse and bloody-mindednesse as he had done in those. The womans fleeing into the wildernesse, alludes to Israels getting away into the wildernesse from the Dragon Pharaoh, Exod. 14. &c. And her nourishing there a thousand two hundred and sixty daies, speaks Christs preservation of that Church in the bitterest danger and daies, like the daies of Antiochus. This Vision aims at the great opposition and oppression the Church and Gospel underwent from the first rising of it, to the ruine of Ierusalem: and their preservation in all that ex­tremity.

The battel betwixt Michael and the Dragon, is of the same aim and time with the former; but it speaks thus much further, that the Church is not only preser­ved, but the Dragon conquered and cast to the earth. Heaven all along in this Book is the Church, the earth therefore may be properly understood of the world, and here more especially of that part of worldly ones, the unbeleeving Jews; and that the rather, because the Gentiles here are called the wildernesse, as they be also in severall other places in Scripture. The devil therefore is cast out of the Church by the power of Michael, the Lord Christ, that he cannot nestle there, and he goes into the rest of the Nation that did not beleeve: much like the tenour of that parable, Matth. 12.43, 44, 45. The Woman hath Eagles wings [alluding to Exod. 19.4.] and gets into the wildernesse, the persecuted Church and Gospel gets among the Gentiles: The devil casts venom as a flood after the Woman-Church, and the earth swallows it up: the unbeleeving Jews do as it were drink up all the poyson of the devil, and together with raging against the Church they grow inraged one against another, and against the Romans, till they become their own destroyers. And indeed though it were a most bitter time with the Church while she was among the combustions that that Nation had within it self, yet their raging one against another the more is increased in their particular quarrels, the more it avenged her quarrell, and turned their edge from off her, upon themselves. The devil seeing this, betakes himself to fight against the Wo­mans seed, the Church of the Gentiles: and the Treatise of that begins in the next Chapter.


When Rome hath slain Christ, and destroyed Ierusalem, Satan gives up his Power and Throne to it; and that deservedly, as to one most like to be his chief and most able agent to act his fury. She is described here, a Beast bear­ing the shape of all the four bloody Monarchies, Dan. 7. in power and cruelty matching, nay incomparably exceeding them all. There is but little reason to take Rome for the fourth Monarchy in Daniel; and the so taking it, bringeth much disjoynting and confusion, into the interpreting of that Book and this, and into the stating of affairs and times spoken of in them. The Jews like such a glosse well, as whereby they do conclude, that the Messias is not yet come, because the fourth Monarchy the Romane, say they, is not yet utterly destroyed. And truly I see not how they can conclude lesse, upon such a concession. For it is plain in Daniel, that the four Kingdoms there spoken of, must come to nothing before the first appearing of Messias; and that the Romane is not, is most plain, since this Book makes Rome Heathen and Papal but as one.

The Holy Ghost by Daniel shews the four Monarchies, the afflicters of the [Page 163] Church of the Jews▪ till Messias his first coming, The Babylonian, The Mede-Persian, The Grecian, and The Syrogrecian: and Iohn now takes at him, and shews a fifth Monarchy the afflicter of the Church of Jews and Gentiles till his second coming. Daniel indeed gives a hint of the Romane, but he clearly distin­guisheth him from the other four, when he cals him the Prince that was to come, Dan 9.26. beyond and after those four that he had spoken of before. Him Iohn describes here, as carrying the character of all those four. A Beast with ten horns, such a one had been the Syrogrecian, Dan. 7.7. like a Leopard, as the Grecian was, ver. 6. his feet as a Bears, such the Persian, ver. 5. his mouth like a Lion, such the Babylonian, ver. 4. This therefore could not be any of those, when it was all: and by this description of it by characters of them all, it shews the vast power and in­comparable cruelty and oppression of it equalling them all: nay it infinitely went beyond them put all together, in extent of Dominions, Power, Continuance and Cruelty, both to the Church and to the world: Balaam long before Rome was in being doth set it out for the great afflicter, Num. 24.24. Ships shall come from the coasts of Chittim, and shall afflict Assur, and shall afflict Eber: That Chittim means Italy or Rome, is granted even by some Romanists themselves, it is asserted by the Jews, and confirmed by other places of Scripture, and even proved by the very sense and truth of that place. It afflicts both the afflicted and the afflicter Eber and Assur: and that hath been the garb of it since its first being. How may this be read in her own stories? in her bloody Conquests over all the world: in the titles of honour [but which speak oppression] Britannicus, Germanicus, Africanus, and the like? And to take up all in Epitome, and that you may conjecture ex un­gue Leonem, what whole Rome hath done in all her time for slaughter, oppression and destroying, take but the brief of one of her Commanders Pompey the Great; of whom Pliny speaks to this purpose, Nat. Hist. lib. 7. cap. 26. He recovered Sicily, subdued Africk: subjected 876 Towns about the Alpes and coasts of Spain: routed and slew 2183000 men. Sunk and took 846 Ships: took in 1538 fortified places; and triumphed from his Conquest of Asia, Pontus, Armenia, Paphlagonia, Cappa­docia, Cilicia, Syria, Iudaea, Albania, Iberia, Creet and Basterna. What hath Rome done by all her agents in all her time? And she is this year 1654, two thousand four hundred and eight years old.

She is described here, with seven heads and ten horns, as the Dragon whose de­puted she is, is pictured Chap. 12.3. the horns crowned with power, and the heads with blasphemies.

One of his heads had been wounded to death, but his deadly wound was healed: This seemeth to mean her Monarchicall or Kingly power, which was extinguisht with the Tarquins, but revived in the Caesars: and hereby is given intimation from whence to account the beginning of this fifth Monarchy: namely from Romes be­ginning again to be Monarchicall: and we may well take a hint of this from Luk. 2. where at the birth of Christ all the world is taxed by Caesar Augustus. Not that Monarchicall Government is therefore the worse because thus abused by Rome Hea­then, no more then Religion is the worse for being abused by Rome Papall.

Another Beast ariseth, like this for power and cruelty, but farre beyond him in consonage and delusion. Rome Heathen dealt alwaies openly and in down right tearms of bloodinesse; professedly setting it self to destroy Religion: But Rome Papall is a mystery of iniquity: it goes to work by deceiving, and carrying fair pre­tences: therefore it is said that it spake as a Dragon, but had horns like a Lamb. It revives the tyranny of Rome Heathen and Imperiall, and none must thrive be­fore it that will not bear its badge: either some mark, or its name, or the number of its name: which number was the number of a man, and his number is 666. In Hebrew numerals, Sethur the name of a man in Num. 13.13. comes just to this number: and which being interpreted signifies Hidden or Mystery: the very in­scription of Rome it self, Chap. 17.5. In Greek [...] fits it, which is the old name of the Roman. And in Genealogicall Arithmetick the number of Adonikams family suits with it, Ezra 5.13. which mans name signifies, A Lord rising up.


THe warring twixt Michael and his Angels, and the Dragon and his Angels, and the Dragons making warre with seed of the Woman, Chap. 12. receiveth illustration in the thirteenth Chapter, and in the beginning of this. For in Chap. 13. he resignes his Power and Throne to the Beast Rome, and makes him chief leader in his Warres; and his Angels are men that receive his mark. Here the Lamb upon mount Zion is Michael, and his Angels and followers are marked with his Fathers Name in their foreheads, as Chap. 7.

And now as in the eight, ninth, tenth and eleventh Chapters the relation is con­cerning those things that should be against the Church, from henceforth the Pro­phesie is more especially of things that make for the Church, and against her ene­mies. As 1. The preaching of the Gospel to the Gentiles, ver. 6, 7. 2. The proclaiming of the ruine of the mysticall Babylon: proclaimed even from its first rising up a persecutor: as Isaiah did Prophesie against the Eastern, even before its tyrannicall being. 3. The Ministry of the Word giving caution, against joyn­ing with the Beast and his Image, and the danger and damnation that should fol­low upon joyning with him, and the torments described, ver. 9, 10, 11. Here the patience of the Saints tried, ver. 12. and Iohn by a voice from heaven commanded to write them blessed that die in the Lord from thenceforth, ver. 13. at once shewing the bitternesse of the persecution caused by the Beast, that even death should be de­sirable to deliver the Saints from that trouble; and incouraging to stand out against the Beast and his Image even to the death.

These bitter dealings against the Church, ripen the sinnes of the world ready for cutting down: and thereupon Christ is described coming as against Egypt, Isa. 19.1. riding upon a cloud, and with a sickle in his hand to reap the earth. As Ioel 3.13. betokening his vengeance against his enemies: So the earth is reaped Harvest and Vintage and all: This is a generall intimation of Gods judgement and vengeance, which is more particularly handled in the pouring out of the Vials, Chap. 16.

It is observable that the word for reaping of the earth comes out from the Tem­ple: yea though Christ have the sickle in his hand, yet an Angel out of the Tem­ple cals to him to reap: and another Angel comes out of the Temple with a sickle, and a third out of the Temple cals to him to reap: As this may be understood to Doctrinall information, that the cries and urgencies of the Church to Christ stirre him up to avenge them on their enemies, Luke 18.7. so the expressions may be explained by allusive application. The putting in of the first sickle, to reap the first corn in Iudaea, was by the word and warrant of the Priests and Rulers sitting in the Temple, and they that were to reap, when they were come to the corn, put not in the sickle, till the word was given, Reap. The manner and managing of this businesse, viz. the reaping of the first sheaf is recorded and related by the Talmud: Menachoth per. 10. and in Tosaphta. ibid. These three men, say they, that were ap­pointed by the Sanhedrin to reap, went out into the valley of Kidron, with a great com­pany following them on the first day of the Passeover week when now it grew towards evening, with three sickles and three baskets. One when they came to the place said to them, On this Sabbath, on this Sabbath, on this Sabbath, In this basket, in this basket, in this basket, With this sickle, with this sickle, with this sickle, Reap: to whom the three answer, Well, well, well, I will reap. The other saies, Reap then. Then they reap, &c. Thus phrases taken from known customs, do speak the plainer.

And so is the expression taken from common speech and opinion, when it is said in ver. 30. The wine-presse was troden without the City, and blood came out of the wine-presse even to the horse bridles. Here is treading a wine presse of blood, a [...] Christ treadeth in Edom, Isa. 63.1, 3. [Edom is the common name by which the Hebrew Writers call the Romans.] The wine-presse was without the City: alluding to the wine and oyl presses which were without Ierusalem at the foot of mount Olivet. Blood came up to the horse bridles: An hyperbole by which they expressed [Page 165] great slaughter and effusion of blood. So Talm. Ierus. in Taanith fol. 69. col. 1. describing the wofull slaughter that Hadrian made of the Jews at the destruction of the City Bitter saith [...] The horses waded in blood up to the nostrils, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. Of that space and extent doth R. Menahem. on gen. fol. 60. reckon the largenesse of the Land of Israel.


WHat was spoken in generall, in the conclusion of the preceding Chapter, concerning the treading of the wine presse of Gods wrath, is here more particularly prosecuted in the story of the seven Vials. At the beginning of which Iohn again cals us to reflect upon the scheme of the Temple in heaven: which all along speaks according to the platform of the Temple at Hierusalem. Here is a sea of glasse mingled with fire, and harpers harping by it, &c. singing the song of Mo­ses: which as it cals to minde Moses and the peoples singing upon the red sea shore upon their delivery from Egypt, Exod. 15. so doth it plainly allude to the musick at the Temple, by the laver or sea, and which standing near the Altar was as a sea of glasse mingled with fire.

Moses and Israel sing after the destruction of Egypt; for their deliverance was by her destruction, but those here that have got victory over the Beast, sing before he is destroyed, for they are delivered from him and prevail a­gainst him though he stand in his strength, and his destruction be not yet come. The Gospel grew, and Sanguis Martyrum was semen Ecclesiae, do Satan and Anti­christ what they can.

After this song The Temple of the Tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was open­ed, ver. 5. All the whole building upon Mount Moriah was called the Temple, the Courts and Cloisters and Chambers, &c. but the very house it self, The Holy and Holy of Holies was only and properly The Temple of the Tabernacle of Testimony: And the song mentioned before, ver. 2. is represented as being in the Court, near the Altar and laver, but now the very House it self is opened: Parallel to what is spoken Chap. 11.19. The Temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his Temple, the Ark of his Covenant: The Lord in pouring out vengeance up­on Antichrist, will manifest his judgements, as ver. 4. and open his Counsels and Covenant: for while the enemy raged, and raved, and destroyed those that would not worship him, and when even all the world in a manner did worship him, the Lords judgements were hid, and his Covenant with his people, as it were out of sight, or as if no such thing had been, but when this vengeance shall come, then all will be plain.

The seven Angels that pour out the seven Vials are charactered in the garb of Priests, coming out of the Temple, in white linen, and girded over the breasts, as the Priests were. One of the living creatures gives the Vials into their hands: the very same sense and carriage with that Ezek. 10.7.


WEre the Stage where the things of this Book were to be acted, and the time of their acting of as little compasse as was that of the things of Daniel, one might with more probability allot the severall things mentioned, to their severall times, as the things in him may be done: But since the scene here is as large as all the world where the Gospel was to come, and the time as long as time shall be; [1600 years past already, and how much behinde none knoweth] to undertake to apply every thing in this Book to its particular time, place and oc­casion, is to runne a hazardous undertaking. In some places indeed the things are so plain, that they speak themselves, but in many so obscure that he that will venture to bring them to particular application, doth it more upon his own ven­ture, [Page 166] then upon any good textuall warrant: And amongst those obscurities, these Vials are not the least. Take them in a generall interpretation [as I beleeve they are intended] and their meaning is easie to be understood, but to come to allot them severally to this or that time or place, is but to do that, that when ye have done all you can, will come to no surer bottom to rest upon, then your own con­ceit and supposall.

The matter of them is expressed as to the most part, by allusion to the plagues of Egypt, as boils, blood, darknesse, and so it clears the thing intended, namely in generall to shew how the mysticall Egypt, Chap. 11.8. after all her oppression and persecution of the Israel of God, should at last come to receive her just re­ward, as old Egypt had done: and that God would follow her with plagues till he had destroyed her. They are somewhat like the plagues of the seven Trumpets, some of which, as we observed, did in generall speak the state of the world till the rising of Antichrist: and those Vials may be understood as the generall de­scription of his plagues and ruine. We observed in Chap. 6. and that upon good Scripture ground, that the six Seals did all but speak one effect, namely the destructi­on of the Jewish Nation, but brought to passe by severall judgements; and the like interpretation may be made here.

The first Viall brings a noisom Boyl upon the worshippers of the Beast: this was the sixth plague of Egypt, but here the first: for that plague in Egypt came home to Iannes and Iambers the Magicians, that they could not stand before Mo­ses, Exod. 9.11. And that both this and all the rest might be shewed to reach home, even to the veriest deceivers and ringleaders of mischief in Antichristian Egypt, this is justly set in the first rank.

The second and third here, referre to the one plague of blood in Egypt, and these exceed that: For there all the rivers and ponds were indeed turned into blood, but the Egyptians digged for water about the river to drink, Exod. 7.24. and found it and it was not turned into blood: The question and answer of Aben Ezra is pertinent. It is said, there was blood throughout all the Land of Egypt: And the Magicians did so with their inchantments. Now how could the Magicians turn water into blood, when there was no water left, but all was blood? And he answers, Aaron only turned the waters that were above ground into blood, not those that were un­der ground: but here sea and rivers and fountains, and all are become blood: still to shew how throughly the plagues should come home.

At these plagues there is mention of the Angel of the waters, ver. 5. which, since all the Angels here are characted in the garb of Priests, as hath been said, may also be understood as alluding to that Priest whose office it was to have care of the waters, and to look that there should be water enough and fitting for the people to drink, that came up to the three Festivals: Among the offices of the Priests at the Temple this was one. Maym. in Kele Mikdash per. 7. and Nicodemus whom the Talmud speaks of was of this office, Aboth R. Nathan per. 6.

The fourth Viall poured into the sunne brings scorching heat; this seems to al­lude to Ioshua's or Deborah's day, when the starres from heaven fought: the sunne standing still so long did not only give light to Israel, but probably heat and faintnesse to the Canaanites, and Psal. 121 6 seems to referre thither, The sun shall not smite thee by day.

As in the fourth they are plagued by the sun, so in the fifth, by want of it. The seat of the Beast darkened as Pharoahs Throne and Kingdome was: and this dark­nesse bringing horrour and pains; as Egypts did through dreadfull apparitions in the dark.

The drying up of Euphrates for the Kings of the East, under the sixth Viall, seems to speak much to the tenour of the sixth Trumpet, the loosing of the four Angels which were bound at Euphrates. Those we conceived the Turks to plague Christendom; these we may conceive enemies to plague Antichrist. The allusion in the former seems to be to the four Kings from beyond Euphrates, that came to scourge Canaan, Gen. 14. this to the draining of Euphrates for Cyrus and Darius to take Babylon. For having to treat here of a Babylon, as ver. 19. the scene is best represented, as being laid at the old Babylon. Now the Historians that mention the [Page 167] taking of Babylon by Cyrus, tell us it was by draining the great stream of Euphrates, by cutting it into many little channels.

The Egyptian plague of frogs is here translated into another tenour, and that more dangerous; three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dra­gon, Beast, and false Prophet: spirits of devils working miracles, &c. This is na­med betwixt the sixth and seventh Viall [though the acting of the delusions by miracles were all the time of the Beast and false Prophet] because of the judgement now coming: for though all deluders and deluded received their judgements in their severall ages, yet being here speaking of the last judgements of Antichrist, they are all summed together. He is here called the false Prophet, as being the great deluder of all. The fruit of all these delusions is to set men to fight against God: whose end is set forth by allusion to the Army of Iabin King of Canaan, Iudg. 5.19. broken at the waters of Megiddo. The word Armageddon signifies a mountain of men cut in pieces. Here that solemn caution is inserted, Behold I come as a thief: Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments: The Priest that walked the round of the Temple guards by night, had torches born before him, and if he found any asleep upon the guard he burnt his cloathes with the torches, Mid­doth per. 1. halac. 2.

The seventh Viall concludes the Beasts destruction. The great City is said to be divided into three parts: either as Ierusalem was, Ezek. 5.11, 12. a third part to pestilence, a third part to the sword, and a third part to dispersion, and destructi­on in it: or because there is mention of an Earthquake, this speaks its ruining in generall, as Zech. 14.4, 5. A tenth part of it fell before, Chap. 11.13. and now the nine parts remaining fall in a tripartite ruine.


MYSTICAL Babylon pictured with the colours of the old Babylon, Rome so called, as being the mother of Idolatry, as Babel was the beginning of Hea­thenism: and the mother of persecution, Babylon destroyed Ierusalem, so did Rome, and made havock of the Church continually.

She is resembled to a woman dockt with gold, &c. as Isa. 14.4. sitting upon a seven-headed and ten-horned Beast; as Chap. 13.1. Which Beast was and is not and yet is, it shall ascend out of the bottomlesse pit, and shall go to perdition. Rome under the Papacy was not the same Rome it had been, and yet it was: Not Rome Heathen and Imperiall as it had been before, and yet for all evil, Idolatry, persecution, &c. the same Rome to all purposes. It is plainly described as sitting upon seven hils, up­on which there is hardly a Roman Poet or Historian, but makes a clear comment. The seven heads denoted also seven Kings or kindes of Government that had pas­sed in that City: Five are fallen, ver. 10. Kings, Consuls, Tribunes, Dictators, Triumvirs: and one then was when Iohn wrote, namely Emperours: And one not yet come, Christian Emperours, which continued but a short space before the Beast came which was and is not. He is the eight and he of the seven: They that hold Rome to be the fourth Monarchy in Daniel, cannot but also hold from this place, that that Monarchy is not yet extinct. The ten horns upon the Beast in Dan. 7.24. are ten Kings arising and succeeding one another in the same Kingdom: but here at ver. 12. they are ten severall Kingdoms, all subject to the Beasts both Imperiall and Papall, but at last shall rise up against the mysticall Whore and de­stroy her. It is like there must yet be conversion of some Kingdoms from the Pa­pacy, before it fall.

REVEL. CHAP. XVIII, XIX. to Ver. 11.

AN Elegy and a Triumph upon the fall of Babylon: The former Chap. 18. al­most verbatim from Isa. 13. & 14. & 21. & 34. & Ier. 51. & Ezek. 27. The later also, Chap. 19. the phrase taken from the old Testament almost every word. [Page 168] The triumphant Song begins with Halleluja severall times over. The word is first used at the later end of Psal. 104. where destruction of the wicked being first pray­ed for, Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth, and let the wicked be no more, he concludes with, Blesse thou the Lord O my soul. Hallelujah.

The observation of the peoples saying over the great Hallel at the Temple [or their great Song of praise] doth illustrate this. The Hallel consisted of severall Psalms, viz. from the 113th to the end of the 118th, and at very many passages in that Song, as the Pr