Matthew 11


Christ, having finished his instructions to his disciples,

departs to preach in different cities, 1.

John sends two of his disciples to him to inquire whether he

were the Christ, 2-6.

Christ's testimony concerning John, 7-15.

He upbraids the Jews with their capriciousness, 16-19.

The condemnation of Chorazin, and Bethsaida, and Capernaum, for

their unbelief and impenitence, 20-24.

Praises the Divine wisdom for revealing the Gospel to the

simple-hearted, 25, 26.

Shows that none can know God but by the revelation of his Son,


Invites the distressed to come unto him, and gives them the

promise of rest for their souls, 29-30.


Verse 1. This verse properly belongs to the preceding chapter,

from which it should on no account be separated; as with that it

has the strictest connection, but with this it has none.

To teach and to preach] To teach, to give private instructions

to as many as came unto him; and to preach, to proclaim publicly,

that the kingdom of God is at hand; two grand parts of the duty of

a Gospel minister.

Their cities] The cities of the Jews.

Verse 2. John had heard in the prison] John was cast into

prison by order of Herod Antipas, Mt 14:3, &c., (where see the

notes,) a little after our Lord began his public ministry,

Mt 4:12; and after the first passover, Joh 3:24.

Verse 3. Art thou he that should come] οερχομενος, he that

cometh, seems to have been a proper name of the Messiah; to save

or deliver is necessarily implied. See Clarke on Lu 7:19.

There is some difficulty in what is here spoken of John. Some

have thought he was utterly ignorant of our Lord's Divine mission,

and that he sent merely for his own information; but this is

certainly inconsistent with his own declaration, Lu 3:15, &c.;

Joh 1:15, 26, 33; 3:28, &c. Others suppose he sent the message

merely for the instruction of his disciples; that, as he saw his

end approaching, he wished them to have the fullest conviction

that Jesus was the Messiah, that they might attach themselves to


A third opinion takes a middle course between the two former,

and states that, though John was at first perfectly convinced that

Jesus was the Christ, yet, entertaining some hopes that he would

erect a secular kingdom in Judea, wished to know whether this was

likely to take place speedily. It is very probable that John now

began, through the length of his confinement, to entertain doubts,

relative to his kingdom, which perplexed and harassed his mind;

and he took the most reasonable way to get rid of them at once,

viz. by applying to Christ himself.

Two of his disciples] Instead of δυο, two, several excellent

MSS., with both the Syriac, Armenian, Gothic, and one copy of the

Itala, have δια, by; he sent by his disciples.

Verse 4. Go and show John the things-ye do hear and see]

Christ would have men to judge only of him and of others by their

works. This is the only safe way of judging. A man is not to be

credited because he professes to know such and such things; but

because he demonstrates by his conduct that his pretensions are

not vain.

Verse 5. The blind receive their sight, &c.] αναβλεπωσι, look

upwards, contemplating the heavens which their Lord hath made.

The lame walk] περιπατωσι, they walk about; to give the

fullest proof to the multitude that their cure was real. These

miracles were not only the most convincing proofs of the supreme

power of Christ, but were also emblematic of that work of

salvation which he effects in the souls of men. 1. Sinners are

blind; their understanding is so darkened by sin that they see not

the way of truth and salvation. 2. They are lame-not able to walk

in the path of righteousness. 3. They are leprous, their souls

are defiled with sin, the most loathsome and inveterate disease;

deepening in themselves, and infecting others. 4. They are deaf

to the voice of God, his word, and their own conscience. 5. They

are dead in trespasses and sins; God, who is the life of the soul,

being separated from it by iniquity. Nothing less than the power

of Christ can redeem from all this; and, from all this, that power

of Christ actually does redeem every penitent believing soul.

Giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead, are allowed by

the ancient rabbins to be works which the Messiah should perform,

when he should manifest himself in Israel.

The poor have the Gospel preached to them.] And what was this

Gospel? Why, the glad tidings that Jesus Christ came into the

world to save sinners: that he opens the eyes of the blind;

enables the lame to walk with an even, steady, and constant pace

in the way of holiness; cleanses the lepers from all the

defilement of their sins; opens the ears of the deaf to hear

his pardoning words; and raises those who were dead in trespasses

and sins to live in union with himself to all eternity.

Verse 6. Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in me.]

Or, Happy is he who will not be stumbled at me; for the word

σκανδαλιζεσθαι, in its root, signifies to hit against or stumble

over a thing, which one may meet with in the way. The Jews, as

was before remarked, expected a temporal deliverer. Many might he

tempted to reject Christ, because of his mean appearance, &c., and

so lose the benefit of salvation through him. To instruct and

caution such, our blessed Lord spoke these words. By his poverty

and meanness he condemns the pride and pomp of this world. He

who will not humble himself, and become base, and poor, and

vile in his own eyes, cannot enter into the kingdom of God. It is

the poor, in general, who hear the Gospel; the rich and the great

are either too busy, or too much gratified with temporal things,

to pay any attention to the voice of God.

Verse 7. What went ye out into the wilderness to see?] The

purport of our Lord's design, in this and the following verses, is

to convince the scribes and Pharisees of the inconsistency of

their conduct in acknowledging John Baptist for a divinely

authorized teacher, and not believing in the very Christ which he

pointed out to them. He also shows, from the excellencies of

John's character, that their confidence in him was not misplaced,

and that this was a farther argument why they should have believed

in him, whom the Baptist proclaimed as being far superior to


A reed shaken with the wind?] An emblem of an irresolute,

unsteady mind, which believes and speaks one thing to-day, and

another to-morrow. Christ asks these Jews if they had ever found

any thing in John like this: Was he not ever steady and uniform in

the testimony he bore to me? The first excellency which Christ

notices in John was his steadiness; convinced once of the truth,

he continued to believe and assert it. This is essentially

necessary to every preacher, and to every private Christian. He

who changes about from opinion to opinion, and from one sect or

party to another, is never to be depended on; there is much reason

to believe that such a person is either mentally weak, or has

never been rationally and divinely convinced of the truth.

Verse 8. A man clothed in soft raiment?] A second excellency

in John was, his sober and mortified life. A preacher of the

Gospel should have nothing about him which savours of effeminacy

and worldly pomp: he is awfully mistaken who thinks to prevail on

the world to hear him and receive the truth, by conforming himself

to its fashions and manners. Excepting the mere colour of his

clothes, we can scarcely now distinguish a preacher of the Gospel,

whether in the establishment of the country, or out of it, from

the merest worldly man. Ruffles, powder, and fribble seem

universally to prevail. Thus the Church and the world begin to

shake hands, the latter still retaining its enmity to God. How

can those who profess to preach the doctrine of the cross act in

this way? Is not a worldly-minded preacher, in the most peculiar

sense, an abomination in the eyes of the Lord?

Are in kings' houses.] A third excellency in John was, he did

not affect high things. He was contented to live in the desert,

and to announce the solemn and severe truths of his doctrine to

the simple inhabitants of the country. Let it be well observed,

that the preacher who conforms to the world in his clothing, is

never in his element but when he is frequenting the houses and

tables of the rich and great.

Verse 9. A prophet? yea-and more than a prophet] That is, one

more excellent (περισσοτερον) than a prophet; one greatly beyond

all who had come before him, being the immediate forerunner of

Christ, (see below,) and who was especially commissioned to

prepare the way of the Lord. This was a fourth excellency: he was

a prophet, a teacher, a man divinely commissioned to point out

Jesus and his salvation; and more excellent than any of the old

prophets, because he not only pointed out this Christ, but saw

him, and had the honour of dying for that sacred truth which he

steadily believed and boldly proclaimed.

Verse 10. Behold, I send my messenger] A fifth excellency of

the Baptist was, his preparing the way of the Lord; being the

instrument, in God's hand, of preparing the people's hearts to

receive the Lord Jesus; and it was probably through his preaching

that so many thousands attached themselves to Christ, immediately

on his appearing as a public teacher.

Verse 11. A greater than John the Baptist] A sixth excellency

of the Baptist-he was greater than any prophet from the beginning

of the world till that time:-lst. Because he was prophesied of by

them, Isa 40:3, and Mal 3:1, where Jesus Christ himself seems to

be the speaker. 2ndly. Because he had the privilege of showing

the fulfilment of their predictions, by pointing out that Christ

has now come, which they foretold should come. And 3dly. Because

he saw and enjoyed that salvation which they could only foretell.

See Quesnel.

Notwithstanding, he that is least in the kingdom of heaven] By

the kingdom of heaven in this verse is meant, the fulness of the

blessings of the Gospel of peace; which fulness was not known till

after Christ had been crucified, and had risen from the dead. Now

the least in this kingdom, the meanest preacher of a crucified,

risen, and glorified Saviour, was greater than John, who was not

permitted to live to see the plenitude of Gospel grace, in the

pouring out of the Holy Spirit. Let the reader observe, 1st. That

the kingdom of heaven here does not mean the state of future

glory. See Mt 3:2. 2dly. That it is not in holiness or

devotedness to God that the least in this kingdom is greater than

John; but 3dly. That it is merely in the difference of the

ministry. The prophets pointed out a Christ that was coming; John

showed that that Christ was then among them; and the preachers of

the Gospel prove that this Christ has suffered, and entered into

his glory, and that repentance and remission of sins are

proclaimed through his blood. There is a saying similar to this

among the Jews: "Even the servant maid that passed through the Red

Sea, saw what neither Ezekiel, nor any other of the prophets had


Verse 12. The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence] The

tax-gatherers and heathens, whom the scribes and Pharisees think

have no right to the kingdom of the Messiah, filled with holy zeal

and earnestness, seize at once on the proffered mercy of the

Gospel, and so take the kingdom as by force from those learned

doctors who claimed for themselves the chiefest places in that

kingdom. Christ himself said, The tax-gatherers and harlots go

before you into the kingdom of God. See the parallel place,

Lu 7:28-30.

He that will take, get possession of the kingdom of righteousness,

peace, and spiritual joy, must be in earnest: all hell will oppose

him in every step he takes; and if a man be not absolutely

determined to give up his sins and evil companions, and have his

soul saved at all hazards, and at every expense, he will surely

perish everlastingly. This requires a violent earnestness.

Verse 13. All the prophets and the law prophesied until John.]

I believe προεφητευσαν means here, they taught, or continued to

instruct. They were the instructers concerning the Christ who was

to come, till John came and showed that all the predictions of the

one, and the types and ceremonies of the other were now

about to be fully and finally accomplished; for Christ was now

revealed. The word is taken in this sense, Mt 7:22.

Verse 14. This is Elias, which was for to come.] This should

always be written Elijah, that as strict a conformity as possible

might be kept up between the names in the Old Testament and the

New. The Prophet Malachi, who predicted the coming of the Baptist

in the spirit and power of Elijah, gave the three following

distinct characteristics of him. First, That he should be the

forerunner and messenger of the Messiah: Behold I send my

messenger before me, Mal 3:1. Secondly, That he should appear

before the destruction of the second temple: Even the Lord whom ye

seek shall suddenly come to his temple, ibid. Thirdly, That he

should preach repentance to the Jews; and that, some time after,

the great and terrible day of the Lord should come, and the Jewish

land be smitten with a curse, Mal 4:5, 6. Now these three

characters agree perfectly with the conduct of the Baptist, and

what shortly followed his preaching, and have not been found in

any one else; which is a convincing proof that Jesus was the

promised Messiah.

Verse 15. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.] As if our

Lord had said, These things are so clear and manifest that a man

has only to hear them to be convinced and fully satisfied of their

truth. But neither the Jews of that time nor of the succeeding

times to the present day, have heard or considered, these things.

When spoken to on these subjects, their common custom is to stop

their ears, spit out, and blaspheme; this shows not only a bad,

but a ruined cause. They are deeply and wilfully blind. They

will not come unto the light, lest their deeds should become

manifest, that they are not wrought in God. They have ears but

they will not hear.

Verse 16. But whereunto shall I liken this generation?] That

is, the Jewish people-τηνγενεανταυτην, this race: and so the

word γενεα is often to be understood in the evangelists.

In the markets] Or, places of concourse, αγοραις, from

αγειρω, I gather together; not a market-place only, but any place

of public resort: probably meaning here, places of public


Calling unto their fellows] Or, companions. Instead of

εταιροις, companions, many of the best MSS. have ετεροις,

others. The great similarity of the words might have easily

produced this difference.

There are some to whom every thing is useful in leading them to

God; others, to whom nothing is sufficient. Every thing is good

to an upright mind, every thing bad to a vicious heart.

Verse 17. We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced] We

have begun the music, which should have been followed by the

dance, but ye have not attended to it.

We have mourned-and ye have not lamented.] Ye have not smote

the breast: ουκεκοψασθε, from κοπτομαι, to strike, or beat

the breasts with the hands, particularly in lamentation. So used,

Na 2:7; Lu 18:13; 23:48, and by the best Greek and Roman

writers. There is an allusion here to those funeral lamentations

explained Mt 9:23.

Verse 18. For John came neither eating nor drinking] Leading a

very austere and mortified life: and yet, he did not receive him.

A sinner will not be persuaded that what he has no mind to imitate

can come from God. There are some who will rather blame holiness

itself, than esteem it in those whom they do not like.

He hath a devil.] He is a vile hypocrite, influenced by a demon

to deceive and destroy the simple.

Verse 19. The Son of man came eating and drinking] That is,

went wheresoever he was invited to eat a morsel of bread, and

observed no rigid fasts: how could he, who had no corrupt

appetites to mortify or subdue?

They say, Behold a man gluttonous, &c.] Whatever measures the

followers of God may take, they will not escape the censure of the

world: the best way is not to be concerned at them. Iniquity,

being always ready to oppose and contradict the Divine conduct,

often contradicts and exposes itself.

But wisdom is justified of her children.] Those who follow the

dictates of true wisdom ever justify, point out as excellent, the

holy maxims by which they are guided, for they find the way

pleasantness, and the path, peace. Of, here, and in many places

of our translation, ought to be written by in modern English.

Some suppose that our blessed Lord applies the epithet of η

σοφια, that Wisdom to himself; as he does that of Son of man, in

the first clause of the verse: and that this refers to the sublime

description given of wisdom in Prov. 8. Others have supposed that

by the children or sons (τεκνων) of wisdom our Lord means

John Baptist and himself, who came to preach the doctrines of true

wisdom to the people, and who were known to be teachers come from

God by all those who seriously attended to their ministry: they

recommending themselves, by the purity of their doctrines, and the

holiness of their lives, to every man's conscience in the sight of

God. It is likely, however, that by children our Lord simply

means the fruits or effects of wisdom, according to the Hebrew

idiom, which denominates the fruits or effects of a thing, its

children. So in Job 5:7,

sparks emitted by coals are termed beney resheph, the

children of the coal. It was probably this well known meaning of

the word, which led the Codex Vaticanus, one of the most ancient

MSS. in the world, together with the Syriac, Persic, Coptic, and

Ethiopic, to read εργων, works, instead of τεκνων, sons

or children. Wisdom is vindicated by her works, i.e. the good

effects prove that the cause is excellent.

The children of true wisdom can justify all God's ways in their

salvation; as they know that all the dispensations of Providence

work together for the good of those who love and fear God. See on

Lu 7:35.

Verse 20. Then began he to upbraid the cities] The more God

has done to draw men unto himself, the less excusable are they if

they continue in iniquity. If our blessed Lord had not done every

thing that was necessary for the salvation of these people, he

could not have reproached them for their impenitence.

Verse 21. Wo unto thee, Chorazin-Bethsaida!] It would be

better to translate the word ουαισοι, alas for thee, than wo to

thee. The former is an exclamation of pity; the latter a

denunciation of wrath. It is evident that our Lord used it in the

former sense. It is not known precisely where Chorazin was

situated; but as Christ joins it in the same censure with

Bethsaida, which was in Upper Galilee, beyond the sea, Mr 6:45,

it is likely that Chorazin was in the same quarter. Though the

people in these cities were (generally) impenitent, yet there is

little doubt that several received the word of life. Indeed,

Bethsaida itself furnished not less than three of the twelve

apostles, Philip, Andrew, and Peter. See Joh 1:44.

Tyre and Sidon] Were two heathen cities, situated on the shore

of the Mediterranean Sea, into which it does not appear that

Christ ever went, though he was often very nigh to them; see

Mt 15:21.

They would have repented long ago] παλαι, formerly, seems here

to refer to the time of Ezekiel, who denounced destruction against

Tyre and Sidon, Eze 26, 27, and 28. Our Lord, then, intimates

that, if Ezekiel had done as many miracles in those cities as

himself had in Chorazin and Bethsaida, the inhabitants would have

repented in sackcloth and ashes, with the deepest and most genuine


A Hindoo who renounces the secular life, and becomes a religious

mendicant, often covers himself with a coarse cloth sprinkled over

with ashes. This is the sackcloth and ashes which our Lord

refers to; and this covering was the outward sign of deep

repentance, and forsaking of sin.

Verse 22. But-it shall be more tolerable] Every thing will

help to overwhelm the impenitent at the tribunal of God-the

benefits and favours which they have received, as well as the sins

which they have committed.

Verse 23. Thou, Capernaum-exalted unto heaven] A Hebrew

metaphor, expressive of the utmost prosperity, and the enjoyment

of the greatest privileges. This was properly spoken of this

city, because that in it our Lord dwelt, and wrought many of his

miraculous works.

Shalt be brought down to hell] Perhaps not meaning, here, the

place of torment, but rather a state of desolation. The original

word is Hades, αδης, from α, not, and ιδειν, to see;

the invisible receptacle or mansion of the dead, answering to

sheol, in Hebrew; and implying often, 1st. the grave; 2dly. the

state of separate souls, or unseen world of spirits, whether of

torment, Lu 16:23,

or, in general, Re 1:18; 6:8; 20:13, 14.

The word hell, used in the common translation, conveys now an

improper meaning of the original word; because hell is only used

to signify the place of the damned. But, as the word hell comes

from the Anglo-Saxon, helan, to cover, or hide, hence the tiling

or slating of a house is called, in some parts of England

(particularly Cornwall) heling, to this day; and the covers of

books (in Lancashire) by the same name: so the literal import of

the original word αδης was formerly well expressed by it.

Here it means a state of the utmost wo, and ruin, and desolation,

to which these impenitent cities should be reduced. This

prediction of our Lord was literally fulfilled; for, in the wars

between the Romans and the Jews, these cities were totally

destroyed, so that no traces are now found of Bethsaida, Chorazin,

or Capernaum. See Bp. PEARCE.

Verse 24. But-it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom]

γησοδομων, the land of the Sodomites; i.e. the ancient

inhabitants of that city and its neighbourhood.

In Jude, Jude 1:7,

we are told that these persons are suffering the vengeance of

eternal fire. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah happened

A. M. 2107, which was 1897 years before the incarnation. What a

terrible thought is this! It will be more tolerable for certain

sinners, who have already been damned nearly four thousand years,

than for those who, live and die infidels under the Gospel! There

are various degrees of punishments in hell, answerable to various

degrees of guilt, and the contempt manifested to, and the abuse

made of; the preaching of the Gospel, will rank semi-infidel

Christians in the highest list of transgressors, and purchase them

the hottest place in hell! Great God! save the reader from this


Day of judgment] May either refer to that particular time in

which God visits for iniquity, or to that great day in which he

will judge the world by the Lord Jesus Christ. The day of Sodom's

judgment was that in which it was destroyed by fire and brimstone

from heaven, Ge 19:24;

and the day of judgment to Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum, was

the time in which they were destroyed by the Romans, Mt 11:23.

But there is a day of final judgment, when Hades itself, (sinners

in a state of partial punishment in the invisible world) shall be

cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, which is the second

death. See Re 20:14.

Verse 25. I thank thee] εξομολογουμαισοι, I fully agree with

thee-I am perfectly of the same mind. Thou hast acted in all

things according to the strictest holiness, justice, mercy, and


Wise and prudent] The scribes and Pharisees, vainly puffed up

by their fleshly minds, and having their foolish hearts darkened,

refusing to submit to the righteousness of God (God's method of

saving man by Christ) and going about to establish their own

righteousness, (their own method of saving themselves,) they

rejected God's counsel, and God sent the peace and salvation of

the Gospel to others, called here babes, (his disciples,)

simple-hearted persons, who submitted to be instructed and saved

in God's own way. Let it be observed, that our Lord does not

thank the Father that he had hidden these things from the wise and

prudent, but that, seeing they were hidden from them, he had

revealed them to the others.

There is a remarkable saying in the Talmudists, which casts

light upon this: "Rab. Jochanan said: 'From the time in which the

temple was destroyed, wisdom was taken away from the prophets, and

give a to fools and children.' Bava Bathra, fol. 12. Again: 'In

the days of the Messiah, every species of wisdom, even the most

profound, shall, be revealed; and this even to children.'" Synop.

Sohar. fol. 10.

Verse 26. Even so, Father] ναιοπατηρ. An emphatical

ratification of the preceding address.

It was right that the heavenly wisdom, despised, rejected, and

persecuted by the scribes and Pharisees, should be offered to the

simple people, and afterwards to the foolish people, the Gentiles,

who are the children of wisdom, and justify God in his ways, by

bringing forth that fruit of the Gospel of which the Pharisees

refused to receive even the seed.

Verse 27. All things are delivered unto me of my Father] This

is a great truth, and the key of the science of salvation. The

man Christ Jesus receives from the Father, and in consequence of

his union with the eternal Godhead becomes the Lord and sovereign

Dispenser of all things. All the springs of the Divine favour are

in the hands of Christ, as Priest of God, and atoning Sacrifice

for men: all good proceeds from him, as Saviour, Mediator, Head,

Pattern, Pastor, and sovereign Judge of the whole world.

No man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man,

&c.] None can fully comprehend the nature and attributes of God,

but Christ; and none can fully comprehend the nature, incarnation,

&c., of Christ, but the Father. The full comprehension and

acknowledgment of the Godhead, and the mystery of the Trinity,

belong to God alone.

Verse 28. Come unto me] This phrase in the new covenant

implies simply, believing in Christ, and becoming his disciple, or


All ye that labour and are heavy laden] The metaphor here

appears to be taken from a man who has a great load laid upon him,

which he must carry to a certain place: every step he takes

reduces his strength, and renders his load the more oppressive.

However, it must be carried on; and he labours, uses his utmost

exertions, to reach the place where it is to be laid down. A kind

person passing by, and, seeing his distress, offers to ease him of

his load, that he may enjoy rest.

The Jews, heavily laden with the burdensome rites of the Mosaic

institution, rendered still more oppressive by the additions made

by the scribes and Pharisees, who, our Lord says, (Mt 23:4,)

bound on heavy burdens; and labouring, by their observance of the

law, to make themselves pleasing to God, are here invited to lay

down their load, and receive the salvation procured for them by


Sinners, wearied in the ways of iniquity, are also invited to

come to this Christ, and find speedy relief.

Penitents, burdened with the guilt of their crimes, may come to

this Sacrifice, and find instant pardon.

Believers, sorely tempted, and oppressed by the remains of the

carnal mind, may come to this blood, that cleanseth from all

unrighteousness; and, purified from all sin, and powerfully

succoured in every temptation, they shall find uninterrupted rest

in this complete Saviour.

All are invited to come, and all are promised rest. If few

find rest from sin and vile affections, it is because few come to

Christ to receive it.

Verse 29. Take my yoke upon you] Strange paradox! that a man

already weary and overloaded must take a new weight upon him, in

order to be eased and find rest! But this advice is similar to

that saying, Ps 55:22.

Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee; i.e.

trust thy soul and concerns to him, and he will carry both thyself

and thy load.

I am meek and lowly in heart] Wherever pride and anger dwell,

there is nothing but mental labour and agony; but, where the

meekness and humility of Christ dwell, all is smooth, even,

peaceable, and quiet; for the work of righteousness is peace, and

the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever.

Isa 32:17.

Verse 30. For my yoke is easy] My Gospel imposes nothing that

is difficult; on the contrary, it provides for the complete

removal of all that which oppresses and renders man miserable,

viz. sin. The commandments of Christ are not grievous. Hear the

whole: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and

thy neighbour as thyself. Can any thing be more congenial to the

nature of man than love?-such a love as is inspired by God, and in

which the soul rests supremely satisfied and infinitely happy?

Taste, and know, by experience, how good the Lord is, and how

worthy his yoke is to be taken, borne, and loved. This most

tender invitation of the compassionate Jesus is sufficient to

inspire the most diffident soul with confidence.

See Clarke on Mr 8:34.

Creeshna, the incarnate God of the Hindoos, is represented in

the Geeta addressing one of his beloved disciples thus: "I am the

creator of all things, and all things proceed from me. Those who

are endued with spiritual wisdom, believe this, and worship me:

their very hearts and minds are in me; they rejoice among

themselves, and delight in speaking of my name, and teaching one

another my doctrine. I gladly inspire those who are constantly

employed in my service with that use of reason by which they come

unto me; and, in compassion, I stand in my own nature, and

dissipate the darkness of their ignorance with the light of the

lamp of wisdom." Bhagvat Geeta, p. 84.

The word aval, among the Jews, which we properly enough

translate yoke, signified not only that sort of neck-harness by

which bullocks drew in wagons, carts, or in the plough; but also

any kind of bond, or obligation, to do some particular thing, or

to do some particular work. By them it is applied to the

following things:-

1. The yoke of the KINGDOM of heaven, -obedience

to the revealed will of God.

2. The yoke of the LAW, -the necessity of obeying all

the rites, ceremonies, &c., of the Mosaic institution.

3. The yoke of the PRECEPT, -the necessity of performing

that particular obligation by which any person had bound himself,

such as that of the Nazarite, &c.

4. The yoke of REPENTANCE, -without which, they

knew, they could not enter into the kingdom of heaven. With the

Jews, repentance not only implied forsaking sin, but fasting,

mortification, &c.

5. The yoke of FAITH, -the necessity of believing in

the promised Messiah.

6. The DIVINE yoke, -the obligation to live a

spiritual life; a life of thanksgiving and gratitude unto God.

In Shemoth Rabba it is said: "Because the ten tribes did not

take the yoke of the holy and blessed God upon them, therefore

Sennacherib led them into captivity."

CHRIST's yoke means, the obligation to receive him as the

MESSIAH, to believe his doctrine, and to be in all things

conformed to his Word and to his Spirit.

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