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CHAPTER X.. Verses 1-4: “ And when be had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness, and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelves apostles are these

* Hitherto, Jesus had endeavoured the propagation of the doctrines he bad received from God, solely by his own preaching and his own miracles. Now he unites with himself, in this great work, twelve of his chosen followers, whom he commissions to proclaim the proximity of the reign of God, and to whom he extends a portion of that miraculous energy which Jehovah had bestowed upon himself. These twelve disciples were separated from the multitudes who then believed in Jesus, that they might be constantly about the person of their Master, the companion of his private hours, the listeners to all his teachings, the witnesses of all his miracles. This was absolutely necessary, that after the death of their Instructor, they might be qualified to place on record a faithful and accurate account of his life; that they might bear testimony to his numerous wonderful works; that they might become minutely acquainted with his doctrines and precepts, and thus capable of proclaiming them to their co-evals, and of transmitting them to posterity. So far as natural means are concerned (and God always works by natural means, when he can so accomplish his purposes), this was a most important step-a step on which depended, in no small degree, the future fate of the Gospel. The character and conduct of these men, would, no doubt, accelerate or retard the progress of that religion of which they were to become the accredited teachers. In a case of such manifest importance, Jesus acts—as every follower of his should act, when he is commencing any course of conduct which can seriously influence the best interests of himself and his neighbours-he prays to God for counsel and for blessing. This we learn from the parallel passage in the gospel of Luke, vi. 12, 13: “ And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God; and when it was day he called unto him his disciples, and out of them he chose twelve, whom also be named Apostles.”

Thus the Anointed sought an audience of his God, before selecting the twelve; he prayed the Father would direct him in his choice; he prayed the Father would bless those who should be chosen, so that their labour might be effectual in winning men to the “truth as it is in Jesus.” The chosen were distinguished by a peculiar title from the other followers of the Christ. All who believed him to be the promised Messias, were called his disciples, or scholars; and he was their Master, or Teacher. But the twelve now chosen from among the number of the disciples, and set apart for the purposes of preaching the Gospel and bearing testimony to the miracles of their Master, are styled Apostles. It would appear, that to enable a person to be an apostle, it was necessary that he should have seen Jesus. Thus, Paul writes in his first letter to the Corinthians, ix. 1: “ Am I not an apostle? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?”

This was requisite to enable them to give fuller testimony to the world; and Paul himself saw Jesus, either on the way to Damascus, or in some of the visions wherewith be was favoured. Thus he speaks of the appearance of the Christ after his resurrection: “ He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James, then of all the Apostles; and last of all, he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.” The number of the Apostles seems to have been fixed at twelve, in allusion to the twelve Patriarchs, or the twelve tribes of Israel; in like manner as he sent forth afterwards seventy disciples, in allusion to the seventy elders whom Moses associated with himself in the government of the people. In many other particulars beside these, the Author of Christianity formed his church on the model of the Jewish ecclesiastical polity, The word apostle, literally signifies “a messenger,” and is derived from a Greek verb which signifies “to send a message.” It was anciently used to designate a person commissioned by a monarch to negotiate with any other power or people. In the New Testament, it sometimes means a messenger, a person sent by another on any business. So Paul, writing to the Philippians (ii. 25), says,

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“ Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger.” In the original, it is, “your apostle;" Epaphroditus was thus the “apostle” from the church in Philippi to Paul. Its second, and mo usual signification, is, a person sent by Jesus to propagate his gospel among men; and this is what we generally mean when we speak of “the Apostles.” This title, or rather designation of office, is given to Jesus himself in the New Testament, because he was sent on a message: he was a messenger from God to man, commissioned to deliver certain tidings, In Heb. iii. 1, Jesus is styled, “ the Apostle and High Priest of our profession."

The last two in the list of the Apostles, are, “ Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot.” The epithet “the Canaanite," does not mean an inhabitant of the land of Canaan; nor is it so spelled in the Greek as the word which does so signify. It may mean a Cananite (not a Canaanite), or citizen of the town of Cana, in Galilee, where the first miracle of Jesus was performed. Or, the title may be derived from the Hebrew word kana, which signifies zealous; and this Apostle may have been so characterised, on account of bis zeal and fervour in preaching the Gospel. This interpretation is corroborated by the parallel passage in Luke, where the same Simon is mentioned as “ Simon, called Zelotes,” or the zealous. In like manner, Judas Iscariot may mean, Judas the man of Kerioth, a city of the tribe of Judah. Or, as the Hebrew word iskara means “strangulation,” the whole name may signify, “ Judas who hanged himself.”

Verse 8: “ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils,” [demons. See, on Chap. viii. ver. 28 to end.] Here, Jesus instructs the Twelve what use they were to make of their miraculous powers. The words, raise the dead, are wanting in a great number of the most valuable MSS. and ancient versions; and Griesbach has accordingly marked them as doubtful. There is no evidence that the Apostles raised any from the dead, during the life of their Master; nor till they had received that greater portion of the “spirit of God,” or of “ power from on high,” which was given at Pentecost. In the first verse of this chapter, where the powers given to the Twelve are enumerated, this one, of “ raising the dead,” is not included.

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power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.” Neither is this power mentioned in the parallel passage in Luke ix. 1, “ Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils (demons], and to cure diseases.” For all these reasons, but particularly because they are not to be found in the oldest and best MSS., these words are probably an interpolation. That the Apostles did, after the resurrection of Christ, receive such power, is evident from the fact of Paul having raised Eutychus from the dead.

Verse 15: 56 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.” The plain in which Sodom and Gomorrha once stood, is at present covered with water; this water is usually styled in the New Testament the Dead Sea, and by other geographers, the Sea or Lake of Asphaltites. Several travellers assure us, that they have observed fragments of walls and palaces in the Dead Sea. Maundrell was not so fortunate, owing, he supposes, to the height of the waters. But he relates, that the Father-guardian and Procurator of Jerusalem, both men of sense and probity, declared that they had once actually seen one of those ruins; and that it was so near the shore, and the Lake so shallow, that they, together with some Frenchmen, went to it, and found there several pillars and other fragments of buildings. Josephus also says, that these ruins were extant in his time; for be asserts that he perceived, on the shores of the Dead Sea, “the shades of the overwhelmed cities.” Many fabulous accounts respecting the waters of the Dead Sea were propagated by early travellers, and imbibed with that love of the marvellous which characterises an age of deficient education. It was said, that human bodies would not sink in the waters, that fish would not live in them, that birds were killed in flying over them. These have all been disproved by the experiments of later and more philosophical investigators. The specific gravity of the waters of the Dead Sea, is, indeed, much greater than that of

the ocean, owing to the immense quantities of salt and bitumen which the former contains; so, it is more difficult to sink in them than elsewhere; but they afford no decided security against the accident of drowning. Fish are now to be found there, though it is true that the acrid nature of the waters would kill most fish brought thither from the neighbouring rivers; and flocks of swallows are to be seen skimming its surface with perfect impunity. As it is, the Dead Sea forms a remarkable testimony to the truth of the Mosaic narrative-that cities once stood within its area, and that they were destroyed by “ fire from heaven.”

Verse 23: “ For verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of Man be come.” The meaning of the phrase, “ till the Son of Man be come,” it is difficult to ascertain with precision. Jesus was then with them; he had come: what means the next coming? Some conceive the signification to be, “ Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the resurrection;" which was the second coming of Jesus. Others, again, refer the “ coming of the Son of Man" to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies. This is a good sense; and it is corroborated by a passage in the 24th chapter of this Gospel, where Jesus is manifestly and expressly prophesying respecting the siege and capture of the Holy City. The passage is to be found in the 27th verse of that chapter: "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” The context clearly evidences (as will be shown at length, when that chapter claims our attention), that the advance of the Roman army is the thing predicted; and which is prophetically styled the coming of the Son of Man.” Such seems to be also the meaning of the phrase in the verse under review,— Ye shall not have preached the Gospel in all the cities of Israel, till Jerusalem be destroyed by the power of Rome.


To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer. SIR,—A sort of axiom among certain learned and pious theologians, lays it down, that the greater the mys

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