1And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
1 CHAPTER XVII.
NOTES ON CHAP. XVII.
Verse 1. After six days] , has the same number; but
Luke says, ,
after eight days. The reason of this difference seems to be the
following: Matthew and Mark reckon the days from that mentioned in
the preceding chapter, to that mentioned in this; Luke includes
both days, as well as the six intermediate: hence, the one makes
eight, the other six, without any contradiction.
Peter, James, and John] He chose those that they might be
witnesses of his transfiguration: two or three witnesses being
required by the Scripture to substantiate any fact. Eminent
communications of the Divine favour prepare for, and entitle to,
great services and great conflicts. The same three were made
witnesses of his agony in the garden, .
A high mountain] This was one of the mountains of Galilee; but
whether Mount Tabor or not, is uncertain. Some think it was Mount
Hermon. St. Luke says, Christ and his disciples went up into the
mountain to pray, .
2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
2 Verse 2. Was transfigured] That fulness of the Godhead, which
dwelt bodily in Christ, now shone forth through the human nature,
and manifested to his disciples not only that Divinity which Peter
had before confessed, , but also the glorious
resurrection body, in which they should exist in the presence of
God to eternity.
White as the light.] But the Cod. Bezae, some of the ancient
versions, and several of the fathers, read ωςχιων, as snow; and
this is the reading in .
3And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.
3 Verse 3. Moses and Elias] Elijah came from heaven in the same
body which he had upon earth, for he was translated, and did not
see death, . And the body of Moses was probably raised
again, as a pledge of the resurrection; and as Christ is to come
to judge the quick and the dead, for we shall not all die, but
all shall be changed, , he probably gave the full
representation of this in the person of Moses, who died, and was
thus raised to life, (or appeared now as he shall appear when
raised from the dead in the last day,) and in the person of
Elijah, who never tasted death. Both their bodies exhibit the
same appearance, to show that the bodies of glorified saints are
the same, whether the person had been translated, or whether he
had died. It was a constant and prevalent tradition among the
Jews, that both Moses and Elijah should appear in the times of the
Messiah, and to this very tradition the disciples refer,
We may conceive that the law in the person of Moses, the great
Jewish legislator, and the prophets in the person of Elijah, the
chief of the prophets, came now to do homage to Jesus Christ, and
to render up their authority into his hands; as he was the END of
the law, and the grand subject of the predictions of the prophets.
This appears more particularly from what St. Luke says, ,
that Moses and Elijah conversed with our Lord on his death, which
he was about to accomplish, (πληρουν to fulfil,) because in it,
all the rites, ceremonies, and sacrifices of the law, as well as
the predictions of the prophets, were fulfilled.
4Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
4 Verse 4. Peter said-let us make, &c.] That is, when he saw
Moses and Elijah ready to depart from the mount, , he
wished to detain them, that he might always enjoy their company
with that of his Lord and Master, still supposing that Christ
would set up a temporal kingdom upon earth.
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.
5 Verse 5. A bright cloud overshadowed them] Or as six MSS. and
Ephraim read it, a cloud of light, νεφεληφωτος; which reading
GRIESBACH has admitted into the text. As a bright cloud, or a
cloud of light could not overshadow, or cast any kind of shade,
the word επεσκιασεν should be translated, surrounded them. A
cloud was frequently the symbol of the Divine presence; but such a
cloud had always something very remarkable in its appearance.
represents it as a great cloud, and a fire unfolding itself, and a
brightness about it, and out of the midst thereof, as the colour
of amber out of the midst of the fire; and in , he tells
us that this was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of
See also , &c.; , and .
But it was generally in a thick, dark cloud, that God manifested
himself under the law; see . This might be designed
as emblematical of the old covenant, which was but the shadow of
the good things which were to come, ;
and the cloud of light mentioned here, the emblem of that glorious
display of God, in his Gospel, by which life and immortality were
brought to light, .
This is my beloved Son] ουτοςεστινουιοςμουοαγαπητοςενω
ευδοκησα, This is my Son, the beloved one, in who I have
delighted, or, been well pleased. God adds his testimony of
approbation to what was spoken of the sufferings of Christ by
Moses and Elijah; thus showing that the sacrificial economy of the
old covenant was in itself of no worth, but as it referred to the
grand atonement which Jesus was about to make; therefore he says,
In him HAVE I delighted, (ευδοκησα,) intimating that it was in
him alone, as typified by those sacrifices, that he HAD delighted
through the whole course of the legal administration; and that it
was only in reference to the death of his Son that he accepted the
offerings and oblations made to him under the old covenant. Hear
HIM. The disciples wished to detain Moses and Elijah that they
might hear them: but God shows that the law which had been in
force, and the prophets which had prophesied, until now, must all
give place to Jesus; and he alone must now be attended to, as the
way, the truth, and the life; for no man could now come unto the
Father but through him. This voice seems also to refer to that
prediction in . The Lord shall raise up a Prophet like
unto me: HIM SHALL YE HEAR. Go no more to the law, nor to the
prophets, to seek for a coming Messiah; for behold he IS come!
Hear and obey him, and him only.
This transfiguration must have greatly confirmed the disciples
in the belief of a future state, and in the doctrine of the
resurrection; they saw Moses and Elijah still EXISTING, though
the former had been gathered to his fathers upwards of 1400 years,
and the latter had been translated nearly 900.
6And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.
6 Verse 6. Fell on their face] Dismayed by the voice, and
dazzled by the glory of the cloud. So Daniel, ,
and Saul of Tarsus, .
7And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid.
7 Verse 7. Jesus came and touched them] Exactly parallel to this
account is ,
I was in a deep sleep, i, e. (a trance) on my face towards the
ground; but he TOUCHED me, and set me upright. From Jesus alone
are we to expect Divine communications, and by his power only are
we able to bear and improve them. It is very likely that this
transfiguration took place in the night, which was a more proper
season to show forth its glory than the day time, in which a part
of the splendour must necessarily be lost by the presence of the
solar light. Besides, St. Luke, , expressly says, that it
was on the next day after the transfiguration that our Lord came
down from the mount.
8And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.
9And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, saying, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.
9 Verse 9. Tell the vision to no man] See the note on ;
and farther observe, that as this transfiguration was intended to
show forth the final abolition of the whole ceremonial law, it was
necessary that a matter which could not fail to irritate the
Jewish rulers and people should be kept secret, till Jesus had
accomplished vision and prophecy by his death and resurrection.
The whole of this emblematic transaction appears to me to be
intended to prove, 1st. The reality of the world of spirits, and
the immortality of the soul. 2dly. The resurrection of the body,
and the doctrine of future rewards and punishments, see .
3dly. The abolition of the Mosaic institutions, and, the
fulfilment of the predictions of the prophets relative to the
person, nature, sufferings, death, and resurrection of Christ, and
the glory that should follow. 4thly. The establishment of the
mild, light-bringing, and life-giving Gospel of the Son of God.
And 5thly. That as the old Jewish covenant and Mediatorship had
ended, Jesus was now to be considered as the sole Teacher, the
only availing offering for sin, and the grand Mediator between
God and man. There are many very useful remarks on this
transaction, by the late venerable Bp. Porteus.
10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?
10 Verse 10. His disciples] instead of HIS disciples, some MSS.,
with the Coptic, Armenian, Vulgate, all the Itala except two, and
Origen, read simply, οιμαθηται, THE disciples, i.e. those only
who had been with him on the mount, Peter, James, and John.
Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come?] As the
disciples saw that Elijah returned to heaven, knowing the
tradition of the elders, and the prophecy on which the tradition
was founded, ,
Behold I send you Elijah the prophet, before the great and
terrible day of the Lord shall come; and he shall turn the hearts,
&c., it was natural enough for them to inquire what the meaning of
the tradition, and the intention of the prophecy, were.
11 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.
11 Verse 11. Elias-shall first come, and restore all things.] Or
will reform, αποκαταστησει; this word our Lord quotes from the
Septuagint; who render the Hebrew vehesheb
leb aboth al banim, he will cause the heart of the fathers to turn
to the children, by, οςαποκαταστησεικαρδιανπατροςπροςυιον,
ωηοωιλλχονςερτ, or ρεστορετηεηεαρτοφτηεφατηερτοτηεσον.
We are not therefore to understand the version of the Septuagint
quoted by our Lord in any other sense than the Hebrew will allow.
No fanciful restoration of all men, devils and damned spirits, is
spoken of as either being done, or begun, by the ministry of John;
but merely that he should preach a doctrine tending to universal
reformation of manners, and should be greatly successful: see
, and especially , where we find that a general
reformation had taken place, 1. among the common people; 2. among
the tax-gatherers; and 3. among the soldiers. And as John
announced the coming Christ, who was to baptize with the Holy
Ghost, i.e. to enlighten, change, and purify the heart, that the
reform might be complete, both outward and inward, he may be said,
in the strictest sense of the word, to have fulfilled the
prophecy: and that he was the Elijah mentioned by Malachi, the
words of Gabriel to the virgin Mary prove; .
And he (John) shall go before him (Christ) in the spirit and power
of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and
the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, &c.; and that his
ministry was powerfully effectual for this purpose, we have
12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.
12 Verse 12. Knew him not] Or, ουκεπιγνωσαναυτον, They have not
acknowledged him. That is, the Jewish rulers have not
acknowledged him, did not receive him as the forerunner of the
Messiah. But it appears that all the rest acknowledged him as
such; and some, from the power and demonstration of his preaching,
were inclined to think he was more, even the Messiah himself: see
13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist.
13 Verse 13. Then the disciples understood] When he spoke of the
sufferings of this prophetic Elijah, and also of his own, which
had been the subject of the conversation on the mount, during the
transfiguration, they clearly apprehended that he spoke of John
14 ¶ And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying,
14 Verse 14. When they were come to the multitude] It appears
that a congregation had been collected during our Lord's stay on
the mount: how great must have been the desire of these people to
hear the words of Christ! The assembly is self-collected, and no
delay on the preacher's side discourages them-they continue to
wait for him. In the present day how rare is this zeal! How few
by the most pathetic invitation can be brought together, even at
the most convenient times, to hear the same doctrines, and to get
their souls healed by the same wonder-working Christ!
Kneeling down to him] Or falling at his knees, γονυπετων. The
ancients consecrated the EAR to memory; the FOREHEAD to genius;
the RIGHT HAND to faith; and the KNEES to mercy: hence those who
entreated favour fell at and touched the knees of the person
whose kindness they supplicated. See Wakefield's Commentary; and
see the note on ; where the subject is largely
15Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
15 Verse 15. My son-is lunatic] σεληνιαζεται. One who was most
affected with this disorder at the change and full of the moon.
. But this lunacy was occasioned by a demon, see
, and ; . In this case, the devil
intended to hide himself under the appearance of a natural
disorder, that no supernatural means might be resorted to for his
expulsion. See a remarkable account on .
Falleth ofttimes into the fire, and oft into the water.] The
paroxysms of his disorder frequently recurred; and among his
numerous falls, some were into the fire and some into the water:
so that, on this account, his life was in continual danger. Those
who are under the influence of the devil are often driven to
extremes in every thing. Such are often driven into the fire of
presumption, or the waters of despair. Satan takes advantage of
our natural temper, state of health, and outward circumstances, to
plague and ruin our souls.
16And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.
16 Verse 16. Thy disciples could not cure him.] No wonder, when
the cure must be effected by supernatural agency, and they had not
faith enough to interest the power of God in their behalf,
. A spiritual disorder must have a spiritual remedy:
natural means, in such cases, signify just-nothing.
17Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
17 Verse 17. O faithless and perverse generation!] These and the
following words may be considered as spoken: 1. To the disciples,
because of their unbelief, . 2. To the father of the
possessed, who should have brought his son to Christ. 3. To the
whole multitude, who were slow of heart to believe in him as the
Messiah, notwithstanding the miracles which he wrought. See
Perverse, διεστραμμενη, signifies-1. Such as are influenced by
perverse opinions, which hinder them from receiving the truth:
and, 2. Such as are profligate in their manners. KYPKE. This
last expression could not have been addressed to the disciples,
who were certainly saved from the corruption of the world, and
whose minds had been lately divinely illuminated by what passed at
and after the transfiguration: but at all times the expression was
applicable to the Jewish people.
18And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
18 Verse 18. Jesus rebuked the devil] Deprived him of all power
to torment the child; and obliged him to abandon his present
There are some souls whose cure God reserves to himself alone,
and to whom all the applications of his ministers appear to be
utterly ineffectual. He sometimes does all without them, that
they may know they can never do any good without him. QUESNEL.
19Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?
19 Verse 19. Why could not we cast him out?] They were confounded
at their want of success-but not at their want of faith, which was
the cause of their miscarriage! When the ministers of the Gospel
find their endeavours, with respect to some places or persons,
ineffectual, they should come, by private prayer, to Christ,
humble themselves before him, and beg to be informed whether some
evil in themselves have not been the cause of the unfruitfulness
of their labours.
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
20 Verse 20. Because of your unbelief] Are we preachers of the
Gospel? Do the things of God rest upon our minds with a deep and
steady conviction? Can we expect that a doctrine which we do not,
from conviction, credit ourselves, can be instrumental in our
hands of begetting faith in others? So we preached, end so ye
believed. The word preached generally begets in the people the
same spirit which the preacher possesses. Instead of απιστιαν,
unbelief, the famous Vatican MS. and Cod. Cyprius, six others,
Coptic, Ethiopic, Armenian, and Arabic, Origen, and Chrysostom,
read ολιγοπιστιαν, littleness of faith. The disciples had some
faith, but not enough-they believed, but not fully.
As a grain of mustard seed] Some eminent critics think this a
proverbial expression, intimating a GREAT DEGREE of faith, because
removing mountains, which St. Paul, , attributes to ALL
FAITH; i.e. the greatest possible degree of faith, is attributed
here, by our Lord, to that faith which is as a grain of mustard
seed. However this may be, there can be no doubt that our Lord
means, as BISHOP PEARCE well remarks, a thriving and increasing
faith; which like the grain of mustard seed, from being the least
of seeds, becomes the greatest of all herbs; even a tree in whose
branches the fowls of the air take shelter. See WAKEFIELD'S
Comment, and .
21Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.
21 Verse 21. This kind goeth not out but by prayer, &c.] τουτοτο
γενος, this kind, some apply to the faith which should be
exercised on the occasion, which goeth not out, doth not exert
itself, but by prayer and fasting; but this interpretation is, in
my opinion, far from solid. However, there is great difficulty in
the text. The whole verse is wanting in the famous Vatican MS.,
one of the most ancient and most authentic perhaps in the world;
and in another one of Colbert's, written in the 11th or 12th
century. It is wanting also in the Coptic, Ethiopic, Syriac,
Hieros., and in one copy of the Itala. But all the MSS.
acknowledge it in the parallel place, ,
only the Vatican MS. leaves out νηστεια, fasting. I strongly
suspect it to be an interpolation; but, if it be, it is very
ancient, as Origen, Chrysostom, and others of the primitive
fathers, acknowledged it. But while candour obliges me to
acknowledge that I cannot account for the fact here alleged, that
a certain class or genus of demons cannot be expelled but by
prayer and fasting, while others may be ejected without them, I
can give a sense to the passage which all my readers will easily
understand: viz. that there are certain evil propensities, in some
persons, which pampering the flesh tends to nourish and
strengthen; and that self-denial and fasting, accompanied by
prayer to God, are the most likely means, not only to mortify such
propensities, but also to destroy them. For other remarkable
circumstances relative to this case,
22 ¶ And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
22 Verse 22. They abode in Galilee] Lower Galilee, where the city
of Capernaum was.
The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men]
μελλειπαραδιδοσθαιειςχειρας-The Son of man is about to be
delivered into the hands, &c. I am fully of the mind of two
eminent critics, Grotius and Wakefield, that παραδιδοσθαι should
be here translated delivered, or delivered up, not betrayed; and
that the agency, in this case, should be referred to God, not to
Judas. Jesus was delivered up, by the counsel of God, to be an
atonement for the sin of the world. See .
Against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed to do what
thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done, Herod and
Pontius Pilate-were gathered together.
23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry.
23 Verse 23. They were exceeding sorry] Since the conversation on
the mount, with Moses and Elijah; Peter, James, and John could
have no doubt that their Lord and Master must suffer, and that it
was for this end he came into the world; but, while they submitted
to the counsel of God, their affection for him caused them to feel
24 ¶ And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute?
24 Verse 24. They that received tribute] This was not a tax to be
paid to the Roman government; but a tax for the support of the
temple. The law, , obliged every male among the Jews to
pay half a shekel yearly; for the support of the temple; and this
was continued by them wherever dispersed, till after the time of
Vespasian, see Josephus, WAR, book 7. c. 6, who ordered it
afterwards to be paid into the Roman treasury. The word in the
text, which is generally translated tribute-ταδιδραχμα, signifies
the didrachma, or two drachms. This piece of money was about the
value of two Attic drachms, each equal to fifteen pence of our
money. The didrachma of the Septuagint, mentioned , was
twice as heavy as the Attic, for it was equal to a whole shekel,
this being the value of that piece of money at Alexandrina, the
place where the Septuagint translation was made; for the half
shekel mentioned in the above passage, they render ημισυτου
διδαχμου, the half of a didrachma.
25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
25 Verse 25. He saith, Yes.] From this reply of Peter, it is
evident that our Lord customarily paid all taxes, tributes, &c.,
which were common among the people wherever he came. The children
of God are subject to all civil laws in the places where they live
-and should pay the taxes levied on them by public authority; and
though any of these should be found unjust, THEY rebel not, as
their business is not to reform the politics of nations, but the
morals of the world.
26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
26 Verse 26. Then are the children free] As this money is levied
for the support of that temple of which I am the Lord, then I am
not obliged to pay the tax; and my disciples, like the priests
that minister, should be exempted from the necessity of paying.
27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
27 Verse 27. Lest we-offend them] Be a stumbling-block to the
priests, or rulers of the Jews, I will pay the tribute-go thou to
the sea-cast a hook, and take the first fish-thou shalt find a
piece of money, στατηρα, a stater. This piece of money was equal
in value to four drachms, or two shekels, (five shillings of our
money,) and consequently was sufficient to pay the tribute for our
Lord and Peter, which amounted to about half-a-crown each. If the
stater was in the mouth or belly of the fish before, who can help
admiring the wisdom of Christ, that discovered it there? If it
was not before in the mouth of the fish, who can help admiring the
power of Christ, that impelled the fish to go where the stater had
been lost in the bottom of the sea, take it up, come towards the
shore where Peter was fishing, and, with the stater in its mouth
or stomach, catch hold of the hook that was to draw it out of the
water? But suppose there was no stater there, which is as likely
as otherwise, then Jesus created it for the purpose, and here his
omnipotence was shown; for to make a thing exist that did not
exist before is an act of unlimited power, however small the thing
itself may be. Some suppose that the haddock was the fish caught
by Peter, because this fish has a blackish mark on each side of
its neck or shoulders, as seems to exhibit the impression of a
finger and thumb. The haddock is the gadus eglesinus. But this
being a sea fish, could not be a native of the sea of Galilee or
Tiberias, &c., for the river Jordan runs through the sea of
Galilee, and falls into the Dead Sea, which has no outlet to the
ocean: no sea fish of any kind can be found there; and we may add
to this, that Belzoni, a learned traveller, who examined the
produce of the lake of Tiberias, found only trouts, pikes,
chevins, and tenches. That it may, besides these, have some
fishes peculiar to itself, as most extensive fresh water lakes
have, need not be denied; but it could have no sea fish.
THE account of the transfiguration, the peculiar case of the
lunatic, with his cure, and the miracle wrought to pay the tribute
money, render this one of the most interesting and instructive
chapters in the New Testament.
1. To what has already been said on the subject of the
transfiguration, nothing need be added: I have given that sense to
it which the circumstances of the case, the construction of the
words, and the analogy of faith warrant. That others have
understood the whole transaction differently, is readily granted.
Some of the foreign critics, who are also called divines, have
stripped it, by their mode of interpretation, of all its strength,
use, and meaning. With them, it is thus to be understood:-"Jesus,
with his disciples, Peter, James, and John, went by night into a
mountain, for the purpose of prayer and meditation; while thus
engaged, the animal spirits of the disciples were overcome by
watching and fatigue, and they fell asleep: in this sleep they
dreamed, or Peter only dreamed, that he saw his Master encompassed
with a glorious light, and that Moses and Elijah were conversing
with him. That early in the morning, just as the sun was rising,
there happened some electric or thunder-like explosions (a thing
not unfrequent near some mountains) by which the disciples were
suddenly awoke; that Peter, whose mind was strongly impressed with
his dream, seeing the rising sun shine gloriously upon his Master,
and his strongly impressed senses calling to remembrance his late
vision, he for a moment imagined he saw, not only the glory of
which he had dreamed, but the persons also-Moses and Elijah, still
standing on the mount with Christ; that not being as yet
sufficiently awake, finding the images impressed on his
imagination fleeting away with his returning exercise of reason,
he cried out, before he was aware, Lord! it is good for its to be
here, let us make three tabernacles, &c.; but in a short time,
having recovered the regular use of his senses, he perceived that
it was a dream; and, having told it to our Lord and his brother
disciples, lest the Jews might take occasion of jealousy from it,
he was desired to tell the vision to no man." This is the
substance of that strange explanation given by those learned men
to this extraordinary transaction; a mode of interpretation only
calculated to support that system which makes it an important
point to deny and decry all supernatural and miraculous influence,
and to explain away all the spirituality of the New Testament.
Whatever ingenuity may be in this pretended elucidation, every
unprejudiced person must see that it can never be brought to
accord with the letter and concomitant circumstances of this most
2. The cure of the deaf and dumb lunatic has been treated, by the
same critics, in nearly the same way, and for the same obvious
design, namely, to exclude from the world all supernatural agency;
and could they succeed in this, of what value, or, indeed,
utility, could the whole New Testament be to mankind? We might be
well astonished to find such a history, with such a great variety
of curious and apparently interesting circumstances:-a wondrous
person, labouring, preaching, suffering, dying, &c., &c., without
having scarcely any thing in view, but a sort of merely moral
reformation of the outward man! Truly, this:-
But the truth of God's miraculous interpositions, the miracles of
the New Testament, demoniacal possessions and influence, the
atonement, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the regeneration of
the corrupted human heart, &c., &c,, must not be given up to
please a certain description of persons, who have no commerce with
God themselves, and cannot bear that others should either have or
pretend to it.
3. The miracle wrought for the paying of the temple tribute
money, is exceedingly remarkable. ,
which brings this particularly to view. To what is there said, it
may be added, that our Lord seems to have wrought this miracle for
the following purposes:-
1. More forcibly to impress the minds of his disciples, and his
followers in general, with the necessity and propriety of being
subject to all the laws of the different states, kingdoms, &c.,
wheresoever the providence of God might cast their lot.
2. To show forth his own unlimited power and knowledge, that they
might be fully convinced that he knew all things, even to the most
minute; and could do whatsoever he pleased; and that both his
wisdom and power were continually interested in behalf of his true
3. To teach all believers a firm trust and reliance on Divine
Providence, the sources of which can never be exhausted; and
which, directed by infinite wisdom and love, will make every
provision essentially requisite for the comfort and support, of
life. How many of the poor followers of Christ have been enabled
to discern his kind hand, even in the means furnished them to
discharge the taxes laid on them by the state! The profane and
the unprincipled may deride, and mock on, but the people of God
know it to be their duty, and their interest, to be subject to
every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake; and, while his grace
and providence render this obedience, in things both spiritual and
secular, possible, his love, which their hearts feel, renders
their duty their delight. The accomplishment of such ends as
these is worthy both of the wisdom and benevolence of Christ.