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An exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) online

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34. And went to him, and hound up his wounds, pouring in oil
and wine, and set him upon his own beast, and brought him to an
inn, and took care of him.

This Samaritan was the most unlikely person that could
be to show kindness to a Jew, because they hated one an-
other upon a religious accoimt.

35. And on the morrow when he departed, be took out two
pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him. Take care
of hiin ; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I
will repay thee.

The value of two pence was at that time more than it is
now ; and was sufficient to defray the probable expense of
his recovery.

36. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour to
him that fell among the thieves P

37. And he said, He that shewed mercy on him.

He could not help giving this answer : the parable forced
it from him. O Jesus, that we possessed all thy art of
teaching !

37. Then said .Jesus unto him. Go, and do thou likewise.

Thus he teaches him, and every one of us. Help every
man in his need, countryman or stranger, friend or foe ;
and, if thou canst, look into thine own breast, and find out
how thou hast fulfilled thy duty to thy neighbour. But
there is something more in the parable. When we read it,
let us think who is the good Samaritan to us all in our
distressed condition : who pours his oil and wine into our
wounds, and takes effectual care for our recovery. We

VEIL 2.")- 4-2.] ST. LUKE. 243

way now §ce that Christ prcaclicd tht- gospel upon this
occasion, as well as the law.

38. Now it came to pass, as they went, tliat lie entered inlo a
certain vilhige : and a certain woman named Martha received him
into her house.

39. And slie had a sister named IMary, wliicli also sat at .Jcsns'
/"eet, and heard his word.

Happy Mary ! See what we should ilo. We should
read the scripture daily, as in the presence of Jesus, and
look to him for a blessin' upon it ; and this will be sitting
at his feet.

40. But JNFartha was cumhered about much serving, and came
to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left
me to serve alone ? bid her therefore tliat she help me.

Martha thought herself well employed, and her sister
idle. Christ knew better, and that Martha was losing a
precious opportunity for her soul.

41. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Marllia, Martha,
thou art careful and troubled about many things.

Care is needful, but it becomes damnable, if it shuts out

42. But one thing is needful : and Mary hath chosen that good
part, which shall not be taken away from her.

One thing is needful, namely, a care for the soul. We
all profess to know this, and yet we care for nothing less
than for this. " And INIary hath chosen that good part."
Does Christ know what is good for us, or not .'* Where are
the babes who give up their own wills to learn of Him ?
And what should hinder any of us from making a right
choice for ourselves, if we please ?

*' Which shall not be taken from her." Everything else
will have an end ; but our choice of Christ will make
us happy for ever. Lord, open our eyes, before it be t(j()

244 ST. LUKE. [chap. xr.

Chap. xi. ver. 1 — 13.


1. AikI it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain
place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said nnto him. Lord,
teach ns to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

It was a sign they had profited under Christ, when they
came to him to teach them to pray : we may be sure the
request was well-pleasing to Christ. Lord, bring us all to
thee with this request in our hearts. Thou hast given us
a form, give us a true spirit of prayer.

2. And he said unto them. When ye pray, say, Our Father
which art in heaven. Hallowed he thy name. Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.

" When ye pray"" with the understanding, and with
hearts disposed to pray thus. But do not let us think we
say this deep prayer truly, when we do not. And till
we can, let us qualify it with another petition — Lord, make
this the prayer of our hearts.

" Our Father,"" Father of all mankind by creation and
providence; and our Father, and Lord of our hearts, in
Jesus Christ. Give us the spirit of adoption.

" Which art in heaven." The place of thy glory, but,
tlirough thy love, our home and inheritance.

" Hallowed be thy name." Be thou reverenced, adored,
and magnified by us, and all thy creatures, according to
thy excellent greatness.

" Thy kingdom come." Thy kingdom of grace in our
souls, and in all the world : and then let thy kingdom of
glory come quicklv ; that happy, happy time, when we
shall cease from sin.

" Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth." With
the same cheerfulness and love.

VEIL 1-13.] ST. LUKE. 245

3. Give us day by ilay our daily bread.

For we acknowledge it to be thy daily gift, and that
whatever we have comes to us by a continually-repeated
act of thy bounty.

4. And forgive us our sins :

For Christ's sake: in whom alone we have forgiveness.
4. For we also forgive every one that is indebted to us.

We forgive them their debts when they cannot pay, and
their trespasses always- We dare not ask forgiveness upon
any other terms.

4. And lead us not into temptation ; but deliver u.-; from evil.

Suffer us not to be overcome by it ; leave us not to our-
selves, for then we must fall by every temptation. " But
deliver us from evil." From the power and malice of
Satan, and from the evil of our own hearts.

6. And he said unto tbem, Which of you shall have a friend,
and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend
me three loaves :

6. For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I
have nothing to set before him ?

7. And he from within shall answer and sav. Trouble me not :
the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; T can-
not rise and give thee.

8. I say unto you, Though he will not rise ar.d give him, be-
cause he is his friend, yet because of bis imijorluuity be will rise
and give him as many as he ncedeth.

God is always ready to give us what he knows to be
good for us, and is not wrought upon or changed by our
importunity. But the meaning is, that truth of desire in
us, and earnestness in asking, are our fitness to receive. It
is not mere want, but want which is felt, which gets relief.
Let us learn from this whole passage that we have not
that which we think we have, if it has not been obtained
by prayer.

J). And T say unto you. Ask, ami it sliail be given vou ; seek,
and ye shall lind ; knock, and it shall be diicncd unlo \ou.

246 ST. LUKE. [chap. XI.

Let us ask for our souls, without being weary, and as
sure as God is true, it shall be given you. He gives the
good things of this world to the evil and unthankful, with-
out our asking; and why not spiritually-good things? Be-
cause they would not be a blessing to us without our desire
and free choice of them. Let us vmderstand this ; and if
we would know our state, let us think what we should ask
of God in the first place. Let us make our hearts answer
to this. Worldly, unconverted men may say the words of
a christian prayer, and think they have done some great
matter for their souls ; but in the bottom of their hearts
they cannot pray for anything but for the world.

10. For every one that asketh receiveth ; and lie that seeketh
fhideth ; and to biin that knocketh it shall be opened.

11. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will
he give him a stone ? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him
a serpent ?

12. Or if be shall ask an egg, will he offer biin a scorpion ?

13. If ye then, beuig evil, know bow to gh'e good gifts inito
your cbildren : bow much more shall your heavenly Father give
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ?

This is God's best gift, and most needful to us. Is not
this a plain direction as to what we should pray for, above
and before all other things? But how can we, if we do
not first take a measure of our work, and know it must be
done; and then see our miserable weakness, and want of
the hel}) of the Holy Spirit?

Chap. xi. ver. 14—28.


N. And be was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it
came to ])ass^ when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake, and
ibc ])ci)ple wondered.

VER. 14 — 28.] ST. LUKE. 247

15. But some of them said, lie castetli out devils through Beel-
zebub the chief of the devils.

Christ must either cast them out with the finger of God,
or by the ]io\ver of tlie devil. They would not own the
former, and therefore said the latter : not thinking how
unlikely it was that Satan should destroy himself. What
desjieratc blindness and nialice was here ! What will not
unconverted men say against the trutii .^ And if Christ met
with such treatment, what must his servants expect at all
times, but to be run down with lies and calumnies ^

16. And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from

A stubborn will is always calling for more proof.

17. But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them. Every
kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation ; and a
house divided against a house falleth.

18. If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his king-
dom stand P because ye say that I cast out devils through Beel-

19. And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your
sons cast them out ? therefore shall they be your judges.

Jesus here intimates that their sons did cast out devils
in the name of Christ. Chap. ix. 49; Mark ix. 38.

20. But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the
kingdom of God is come upon you.

21. When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his guods are
in peace :

Is this our case.'* Do we allow Satan to keep quiet pos-
session of us ?

22. But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and over-
come him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted,
and divideth his spoils.

Let us not fear, though we are weak in ourselves, and
have no power against Satan, the strong man. If we fly
to Christ for liclp, Satan has no strength against us.

248 ST. LUKE. [chap. xr.

23. He that is not with uie is against me : and he tliat gathei'cth
not with me scatleretli.

The man who is not wholly, in heart and will, to have
the devil subdued in him, is against him. There must be
no halving with Christ, nor halving between Christ and
Satan. As to any good which we do to our souls, we may
as well be against him.

24. When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh
through dry places, seeking rest ; and finding none, he saith, I
will return unto my house whence T came out.

25. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished.

26. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more
wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there : and tlie
last state of that man is worse than the first.

Satan is always watching for an advantage against us ;
and if he enters into us a second time, after being cast out,
we are in a much worse condition than ever. Let us think
how we have kept our baptism : and let us beware of fall-
ing away from our repentance.

27. And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain wo-
man of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him. Bless-
ed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps whicli thou hast

28. But he said. Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word
of God, and keep it.

There is but one kind of blessedness, and Christ here
tells us what it is. If we turn away from this, the whole
v/orld cannot help us to another.


Chap. xi. ver. 29 — 3(i.

29. And when the people were gathered thick together, he be-

VEIL 29—30.] ST. LUKE. 249

gan to say, This is an evil generation : llicy seek a sign ; and
there shall no sign he given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.

Christ would grant them no such extraordinary sign as
they looked for ; except that of the prophet Jonas, who
was a type of Christ rising from the dead, in his restoration
from the mouth of the fish, after three days.

30. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Ninevites, so shall also
the Son of man he to this generation.

31. The queen of the soudi shall rise up in the judgment with
the men of this generation, and condemn tliem : for she came from
the utmost parts of the eartii to hear the wisdom of Solomon ; and,
behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

32. The men of Nineve shall rise up in the judgment with this
generation, and shall condenni it: for they repented at the preach-
ing of Jona5 ; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.

The words of him, who is greater than Jonas, are here,
even here in this book, and they may by his Spirit, be-
come as effectual as if he had spoken them to us in person.
And if they are not, here is a heavy charge against us.

33. No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret
place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which
come in may see the light.

Christ did not liide his light; and we must not. A
Christian does not live for himself.

34. The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye
is single, thy whole body also is full of light ; but when thine eye is
evil, thy body also is lull of darkness.

3o. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not

36. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part
dark, the whole shall he full of light, as when the bright shining
of a candle doth give thee light.

The intention is to the soul what the eye is to the body.
And in order to our seeing clearly, one must be as free
from specks and blemislies as the others. All is dark, or
light within us, as we have, or have not a single aim and
intention to please God in all we do. This pure, single

250 ST. LUKE. [chap. XI.

intention in the heart is the })erfection of knowledge, and a
poor man may have it as soon as another.


Chap. xi. ver. 37 — 51.


37. And as he spake, a certain Pharisee besought him to dine
with him : and he went in, and sat down to meat.

38. And when the Pharisee saw it, he marvelled that he had
not first washed before dinner.

The Pharisees thought he ought to have washed, accord-
ing to their customs; which had eaten out the heart of
better things, and Christ therefore discountenances it by
his practice.

39. And the Lord said unto him. Now do ye Pharisees make clean
the outside of the cnp and the platter ; but your inward part is full
of ravening and wickedness.

This sect pretended to great strictness, but they were
sadly corrupt ; fair without, and foul within. They did
not think so ; they did not know so much ; but this would
not excuse them. Lord, how deceitful is the heart of
man ! Christ lays the axe there, as we shall see farther in
what follows. Let us pray that we may see our own ; and
let us not ever speak of our good hearts, till Christ has
searched them to the bottom.

40. Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make
that which is within also ?

Let us not then suppose that he looks with more plea-
sure upon clean hands, than clean hearts.

41. But rather give alms of such things as ye have ; and, behold,
all things arc clean unto you.

VEIL 37 — 54.] ST. LUKE. 251

This comes to pass by the blessing and word of God.
Not by giving ahns, as if their food would not have been
clean to them otherwise. The meaninjr is, eivinsr some
part of what was in the dish (ru erovra) to the poor,
was much better than the superstitious washing themselves
to make that clean, which was so before.

42. But woe unto you, Pliarisees ! for ye tillic mint and rue
and all manner of lierbs, and pass over judgment and the love of
God : these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other un-

They paid tithe, not only to the utmost of what was due
in everything, but of things where it was not certain whe-
ther they ought to pay tithe, or not. They however passed
over judgment, that is, the pure love of their neighbour;
judgment and justice in its whole extent. They ouo-ht in-
deed to be strict and honest, in every the smallest thing :
but they ought not to put this in the place of the love of
God and their neighbour.

43. Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye love the uppermost seals
in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets.

Christ knew the pride of their hearts. He knows what
we love in ours. Look there, if you would be proof
against his eye, for he looks nowhere else.

44. Woe unto you, scribes and Pliarisees, hypocrites ! for ye
are as graves which ajipcar not, and the men that wjilk over
them are not aware of them.

These graves were full of stench and rottenness within,
however adorned without. Was this true only of the Pha-
risees? Let the self-righteous search into his own breast.
Thou art the man, if a sense of thy own loathsomeness
never brought thee to Christ for cleansing.

45. Then answered one of the lawyers, and said unto him,
Master, tlius saying thou reproachest us also.

AVhy not ? They thought he did it unjustly. This is
what we would fain be at, when we sav, that we have good

252 ST. LUKE. [chap. XI.

hearts, and do no harm. And thinking so, keeps us from
Christ, The world is full of good meanings ; but one has
said, hell was so too.

46. And he said, Woe unto you also, ye lawyers ! for ye lade
men widi burdens grievous lo be borne, and ye yourselves touch
not the burdens with one of your fingers.

Christ is still levelling a home- stroke at their hearts.
The burden was not touched there. Their outward show
was nothing to him.

47. Woe unto you ! for ye build the sepulchres of the prophets,
and your fathers killed them.

48. Truly ye bear witness that ye allow the deeds of your fa-
thers : for they indeed killed them, and ye buibl their sepulchres.

The meaning is, that they were the true children of such
fathers, and would soon show it by their deeds; as they did
in murdering Christ, and his followers.

49. Iherelbre also said the wisdom of God, I will send them
projdiets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and perse-
cute :

60. That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the
foundation of the world, may be required of this generation ;

51. From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which
perished between the altar and the temple: verily 1 say unto you.
It shall be required of this generation.

They should be answerable for it, on account of the
same blood-thirsty disposition; more especially in crucify-
ing Christ.

52. Woe unto you, lawyers ! for yc have taken away the key of
knowledge : ye enter not in yourselves, and them that were enter-
ing in ye hindered.

They took away the key of the knowledge of Christ.
There may be such false teachers at all times. But as we
have the Bible, we have the key in our own hands, and in
spite of any man may enter into the way of salvation by
him. God grant you may be willing !

CHAP. XH.] ST. LUKE. 253

53. And us he said these things unto tliem, tlie scribes and tlie
Pliarisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to
speak of many things :

54. Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of
his mouth, that they might accusf ]ii]n.

As all do, more or less, openly, or iti their hearts, till he
has broiii-lit them to accuse themselves.

Chap. xii. ver. 1 — 12.


1. In the mean time, when there were gathered together an in-
numerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon
another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all. Beware ye
of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is, where the heart does not agree with the
outward appearance. A day is coming, when all such will
be unmasked, to their everlasting confusion. We are un-
done by not looking more into our own hearts ; and so long
as they are hidden from us, we cannot take one step towards
God. It is also hypocrisy, to conceal what we know, for
fear of man. The four following verses answer to both
these kinds of hypocrisy.

2. For there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed ; nei-
ther hid, that shall not be known.

3. Therefore whatsoever ye have s])oken in darkness shall be
heard in the light ; and that which ye have s})okcn in the ear in
closets shall be pruclaimed upon the house-tops.

4. And I say unto you my friends. Be not afraid of them that
kill the body, and after that have no more that the}' can do.

We are Christ's friends, if we hear hin). Friends of
the blessed Jesus ! Who would not give the world to have
this said of him ?

2.54 ST. LUKE. [CIIAP. XU.

5. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear : Fear hiui, which
after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto
you. Fear him.

The words are plain, yet but little understood, or be-
lieved ; and are therefore repeated to strike a terror into
us : " Fear him."

G. Are not five sj)avrows sold for two farthings, and not one of
them is forgotten before God ?

7. But even die very hairs of your lie ad are all numbered. Fear
not therefore: ye are of more value lluin many sparrows.

Fear God, and you need not fear anything else. He al-
ways has you in his eye, and whatever befals you, is, by
his appointment, for your good.

8. Also I sav unto you. Whosoever shall confess me before men,
him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God.

9. But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the
angels of God.

Even those who fear God in some degree, often fear men
more, and are cowards in God's cause. Here is strong
warning to them, to consider what they will get by it, in
the end.

10. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man,
it shall be forgiven him : but unto him that blasphemeth against
the Holy Ghost it shall not be forgiven.

He who speaks against Christ, in his state of humiliation,
does not sin so dangerously, by far, as he who blasphemeth
against the Holy Ghost. Because without him none can
come to faith in Christ, and newness of life ; and therefore
speaking against, and rejecting /«w?, is sinning against our

1 I. And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and unto
magistrates, and powers, lake ye no thought how or what thing ye
shall answer, or what ye shall say :

12. For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what
ye ought to say.

Many have experienced the truth of this, as all will who

VEIL 13 — I50.J ST. LUKE. 255

are true to Christ, and trust in liis promise. If they do
not want courage thev sliall not want words.


Chap. xii. ver. 13 — 30.


13. And one of tlie company said unlo liim, JNIaster, speak to
my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.

14. And he said unto liim, ]\!an, v.ho made me a jiulire or a
divider over you ?

15. And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetous-
ness : for a man's hfe consisteth not in the abundance of the thin-'s
which he possesseth.

That is a worldly spirit, wliich sets up its rest here,
however it may be cloked over with a show of worldly pru-
dence. The happiness of man's life does not consist in
outward things of any kind. These are not our life, or
the things for which we were made, but the knowledge,
fear, and love of God.

16. And he spake aparalile unto them, saying, The ground of a
certain rich man ])rt)Ught fortli plenlifullv;

This parable is a searching one : and by God's blessing,
it may serve to enlighten our minds.

17. And lie thought witliin himself, saying, What shall I do,
becau-el have no room where to bestow mv fruils ?

18. And he said, This will f do; I will pull down my barns,
and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my

Who woidd not have thouglit and done as he did .^
Who may not, in a proper sense.'* Take notice, therefore,
that what lie did is riglic, or wrong, according to the bent

256 ST. LUKE. [chap. XII.

of his lieart. And if you would know when all is wrong
witliin, hear what he says.

19. And I will say to my son\ Soul, thou hast much goods laid
up for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be mevry.

Observe : his covetousness did not consist in this, that
he thought he could never have enough. He seems to
have been content with what he had, and was a prudent, a
very prudent man, according to the wisdom of this world.
The mischief was, it was a wisdom only for this world ; his

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