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2. Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he would thrust forth labourers - For God alone can do this: he alone can qualify and commission men for this work. Matt. ix, 37.
3. Matt. x, 16.
4. Salute no man by the way - The salutations usual among the Jews took up much time. But these had so much work to do in so short a space, that they had not a moment to spare.
6. A son of peace - That is, one worthy of it.
7. Matt. x, 11.
11. The kingdom of God is at hand - Though ye will not receive it.
13. Woe to thee, Chorazin - The same declaration Christ had made some time before. By repeating it now, he warns the seventy not to lose time by going to those cities. Matt. xi, 21.
18. I beheld Satan - That is, when ye went forth, I saw the kingdom of Satan, which was highly exalted, swiftly and suddenly cast down.
19. I give you power - That is, I continue it to you: and nothing shall hurt you - Neither the power, nor the subtilty of Satan.
20. Rejoice not so much that the devils are subject to you, as that your names are written in heaven - Reader, so is thine, if thou art a true, believer. God grant it may never be blotted out!
21. Lord of heaven and earth - In both of which thy kingdom stands, and that of Satan is destroyed. That thou hast hid these things - He rejoiced not in the destruction of the wise and prudent, but in the display of the riches of God's grace to others, in such a manner as reserves to Him the entire glory of our salvation, and hides pride from man. Matt. xi, 25.
22. Who the Son is - Essentially one with the Father: who the Father is - How great, how wise, how good!
23. Matt. xiii, 16.
27. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God - That is, thou shalt unite all the faculties of thy soul to render him the most intelligent and sincere, the most affectionate and resolute service. We may safely rest in this general sense of these important words, if we are not able to fix the particular meaning of every single word. If we desire to do this, perhaps the heart, which is a general expression, may be explained by the three following, With all thy soul, with the warmest affection, with all thy strength, the most vigourous efforts of thy will, and with all thy mind or understanding, in the most wise and reasonable manner thou canst; thy understanding guiding thy will and affections. Deut. vi, 5; Lev. xix, 18.
28. Thou hast answered right; this do, and thou shalt live - Here is no irony, but a deep and weighty truth. He, and he alone, shall live forever, who thus loves God and his neighbour in the present life.
29. To justify himself - That is, to show he had done this. Lev. xviii, 5.
30. From Jerusalem to Jericho - The road from Jerusalem to Jericho (about eighteen miles from it) lay through desert and rocky places: so many robberies and murders were committed therein, that it was called the bloody way. Jericho was situated in the valley: hence the phrase of going down to it. About twelve thousand priests and Levites dwelt there, who all attended the service of the temple.
31. The common translation is, by chance - Which is full of gross improprieties. For if we speak strictly, there is no such thing in the universe as either chance or fortune. A certain priest came down that way, and passed by on the other side - And both he and the Levite no doubt could find an excuse for passing over on the other side, and might perhaps gravely thank God for their own deliverance, while they left their brother bleeding to death. Is it not an emblem of many living characters, perhaps of some who bear the sacred office? O house of Levi and of Aaron, is not the day coming, when the virtues of heathens and Samaritans will rise up in judgment against you?
33. But a certain Samaritan came where he was - It was admirably well judged to represent the distress on the side of the Jew, and the mercy on that of the Samaritan. For the case being thus proposed, self interest would make the very scribe sensible, how amiable such a conduct was, and would lay him open to our Lord's inference. Had it been put the other way, prejudice might more easily have interposed, before the heart could have been affected.
34. Pouring in oil and wine - Which when well beaten together are one of the best balsams that can be applied to a fresh wound.
36. Which of these was the neighbour to him that fell among the robbers - Which acted the part of a neighbour?
37. And he said, He that showed mercy on him - He could not for shame say otherwise, though he thereby condemned himself and overthrew his own false notion of the neighbour to whom our love is due. Go and do thou in like manner - Let us go and do likewise, regarding every man as our neighbour who needs our assistance. Let us renounce that bigotry and party zeal which would contract our hearts into an insensibility for all the human race, but a small number whose sentiments and practices are so much our own, that our love to them is but self love reflected. With an honest openness of mind let us always remember that kindred between man and man, and cultivate that happy instinct whereby, in the original constitution of our nature, God has strongly bound us to each other.
40. Martha was encumbered - The Greek word properly signifies to be drawn different ways at the same time, and admirably expresses the situation of a mind, surrounded (as Martha's then was) with so many objects of care, that it hardly knows which to attend to first.
41. Martha, Martha - There is a peculiar spirit and tenderness in the repetition of the word: thou art careful, inwardly, and hurried, outwardly.
42. Mary hath chosen the good part - To save her soul. Reader, hast thou?
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