A Commentary or Exposition Upon the Four Evangelists, and the Acts of the Apostles
The four Evangelists,
and the Acts of the Apostles:
Wherein the Text is explained, some controver-
sies are discussed, divers common places are hand-
led, and many remarkable matters hinted, that had
by former interpreters been pretermitted.
Besides, divers other texts of Scripture which occasionally occur
are fully opened, and the whole so intermixed with pertinent hi-
stories, as will yeeld both pleasure and profit to the judicious Reader.
By John Trapp M. A. Pastour of Weston upon Avon in Gloucestershire .
‘Phil 1.21 Only let your conversations be as becometh the Gospel of Christ.’
Protecto aut hoc non est Evangelium, aut nos non sumus Evangelici. Thomas
Linaker Anglus. Athenienses, cum haberent xquiffima jura, sed iniquiffima ingenia: moribus
fuis, quam legibus uti mallent. Valer Maximus.
Printed by A.M . for John Bellamie , at the Sign of the three
golden-Lions near the Royall-Exchange, M.DC.XLVII.
PUBLISHED BY A.M.
PUBLISHED FOR John Bellamie
1. A COMMENTARY OR EXPOSITION Upon the Gospel according to Saint MATTHEW
That is, by any thing else besides bread, soever God think good, whatsoever he shall appoint and give power unto, to be nourishment. Therefore if bread , feed on faith, Psal. 37. 3. So Junius reads that text. Jehosaphat [...]
Chron.10.6found it soveraign, when all other help failed him. And the captive Jews lived by faith, when they had little else to live upon, and a good living of it, Habak. 2. 4. To this Text the Jews seem to allude in that fiction of theirs, that Habakkuk was carried by the hair of rhe head, by an Angel into Babylon, to carry a dinner to Daniel History of Bell
and the Bra-
[...] King 19.8
nicle.in the den. It was by faith that he stopped the mouths of Lions, and obtained promises, Heb. 11. 33. And by faith that she answered the pers cutours, If you take away my meat, I trust God [...] away my stomack. God made the ravens feed Elias that were more likely (in that famine) to have fed upon his dead car case: and, another time caused him to go fourty daies in the strength of one meal. Merlyn was nourished a fortnight together [Page 61] with one egg a day, laid by a hen that came constantly to Charissima sem
per musera sant
non o [...] dat.that hay-mow, where he lay hid, during the massacre of Paris . And who hath not read or heard, how by a miracle of his mercy, God relieved Rochel in a strait siege, by an innumerable company of fishes cast in upon them? Faith fears no famine: and although it be but small in substance and in shew (as the Manna was) yet is it great in vertue and operation. The Rabbins say, that Manna had all manner of good tastes in it: So hath faith. It drinke to a man in a cup of Nepenthes, and bids him be of good chear, God will provide for him. The Bishop of Norwich kept Robert Samuel , Martyr, without meat and drink; whereby he was unmercifully vext, saving that he had every day allowed him two or three morsels of bread, and three spoonfuls of water, to the end he might be reserved to further torment. How oft would he have drunk his own water? But his body was so dried up with long , that he was not able to make drop of water. After he had been famished with hunger two or three together, he into a sleep, as it were one half in a . At which time one cloathed in white, seemed to stand before him, which ministred comfort unto him by these words, Samuel, Samuel, be of good chear, and take a good heart unto thee: for after this day, thou shalt never be either hungry or thirsty:Acts and Mon. sol fol. 15. 47. For speedily this, he was burned: and from that time, till he should suf-fer, he felt neither hunger nor thirst. And this declared he, to the end, as he said, that all men might behold the wonderfull work of God. He likes not to be tied to the second ordinary causes, nor that (in defect of the means) we should doubt of his providence. It's true, he commonly worketh by them, when he could doe without: that we may not neglect the means, as being ordained of him.
(David shall have victory, but by an ambush, 2 Sam. 5. 19 -24. Men shall be nourished, but by their la-bour, Psal. 128. 2,) But yet so, as that he doth all in all by means (he made grasse, corn and trees, before he made the Sunne, Moon and starres, by the influence whereof they are and grow.) Yea to shew himself chief, he can and doth work (other whiles) without means, 2 Chron. 14. 11. and against means, suspending the power and operation of the naturall causes; as when the fire burnt not, the water drowned not, the Sunne went back ten degrees, the rock gave water, the iron swam,&c. And then when he works by means, he can make them produce an effect diverse [Page 62] from their nature and disposition, or can hinder, change or mitigateJan 5.17.18. their proper effect; as when at the prayer of Elias it rained not for three years and a half: And he praied again, and the hea-ven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruits. A man would have thought that after so long drought, the roots of trees and herbs should have been utterly dried up, and the land past recovery,Hos 2.21. But God heard the heavens (petitioning to him, that they might exercise their influence for the fructifying of the earth) and the Heavens heard the earth, and the earth heard the corn, the wine and the oil, and they heard Jezreel . Let all this keep us, as it did our Saviour here, from diffidence in Gods providence; and make us possesse our souls in patience, Luk. 21. Hang upon the promise, and account it as good as present pay, though we see not how it can be effected. God loves to goe away by himself, He knows how to deliver his, saith S. Peter , 2 Epist. 2. 9. and he might speak it by experience, Act. 12. 9. if ever any man might. The King shall rejoyce in God, saith David of himself, when he was a poor in the wildernesse of Judah , Psal. 63. 11. But he had Gods word for the Kingdome, and therefore he was confident, seemed the thing never so improbable or impossible. We trust a skilfull work-man to go his own way to work: shall we not God? In 6. year of the reign of Darius Nothus was the temple fully finished. That sacred work which the husband and sonne of an Esther , shall be happily accomplished by a bastard. The Israelites thought that Moses should presently have delivered them, and he himself thought as much, and therefore began his time, to doe upon the AEgyptian, whom he slew and hid in the sand. But we see, God went another way to work: He sent Moses into a farre countrey, and the bondage was for years exceedingly encreased upon them; yet allDeut. 8.2. this tohumble and try them, and to doe them good in their later end. He crosseth many times our likeliest projects, and gives a bles-sing those times and means, whereof we despair. He breaks in pieces the ship that we think should bring us to shore, but casts us upon such boards as we did not expect. we then any particular means (saith one) it is but the scattering of a , the breaking of a bucket, when the Sunne and the fountain is the . But we the most part as Hagar did: when the bottle was spent, she fals a crying, she was undone, she and her childe should die: till the Lord opened her eyes to see the fount- [Page 63] ain.
It was neer her, but she saw it not: when she saw it, sheD Preston was well enough. If thou hadst been here (said Martha ) my brother Lazarus had not died. As if Christ could not have kept him alive, unlesse he had been present. So if Christ will come and lay his hands on Iairus his daughter, and Elisha stroke his hand over Naamans Mar.512. leprosie, they shall be cured. So the Disciples believed1. King.5.11, that Christ could feed so many thousands in the wildernesse, butMar.6.37. then he must have two hundred peny worth of bread. But our Saviour gave them, soon , an ocular demonstration of this truth, That man liveth not by bread alone, &c. Dan.11. 34 They shall be holpen with a little help. Why a little? that through weaker means we may see Gods greater strength.
Verse 20. Except your righteousnesse shall exceed the of the Scribes and Pharisees And yet they went far,
- In works of piety, for they made long prayers, &c.
- In works of charity, for they gave much almes.
- In works of equity, for they tithed , anise and cummin.
- In works of courtesie; for they invited Christ often, &c.
They were the most exact and accurate sect of that religion, as St Paul (who once was one of them) beareth them witnesse. [...]
Is 49. And so carried away the heart of the people, that there was no holy man that was not tearmed a . And therefore among the seven kindes of Pharisees in Talmud (whereof one sort was Pharisaeus Quid debeo fa-cere, & faciam illud, such a one was he, Luk. 18. 18.) they make Abraham a Pharisee of love, Job a Pharisee of fear, &c. Yea, it was commonly conceited among the Jews, that if but two of all the world were to go to heaven, the one should be a Scribe, and the other a Pharisee. And what high opinions they nourished of themselves, may be seen in that proud Pharisee, Luk. 18. Like unto whom, how many civil Justiciaries are there amongst us? who if they can keep their Church, give an alms, bow their knee, say their prayers, pay their tythes, and, once a year, receive the Sacrament (it matters not how corrupt hearts, how filthy tongues, how false hands they bear) can thanke God for their good estate to God-ward, and take up their seats, as it were, in heaven aforehand. But our Saviour sayes nay to it in this text; yea, sets a double bolt upon heaven gates, to keep out such. [...]
Ye shall not
Luk.16.15. And when they shall come knocking and bouncing, with Lord, Lord, open unto us, he shall say, discedite, depart ye: or as once he did to their fellow-Pharisees,) ye are they which justified your selves before men; that God knew your hearts. And you shall now know (to your small comfort) [Page 138] that that which is highly esteemed amongst men, is abomination in the sight of God. Civility rested in, is but a beautifull abomination, a smooth way to hell. The world highly applauds it, because somewhat better then outragious wickednesse; as a cab of doves-dung was sold in Samaria's famine at a very dear rate, &c.
And the power. Some have Kingdoms, that yet want power to help their subjects: as that King of Israel that answered her,1 King. 6.17. that had her childe, in that sharp famine of Samaria ; where an Asses head was worth four pounds: If the Lord doe not help, whence shall I help? But the King of heaven is never at such a Non-plus, He can doe he will; and he will doe whatsoever is meet to be done, for the good of his servants and suppliants. [Page 210] [...]
[...] Peter wanted power to deliver Christ, Pilate wanted will, but God wants neither: what a comfort's that? Let us rest on his mighty arm, and cast the labouring Church into his everlasting arms. He is able to doe more then we can ask or think, and will not fail to keep that which we have committed unto him against that day , 2 Tim. 1. 14.
Verse 30. The grasse of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow cast into the oven. A fit resemblance of all outward things, the subject of our carking cares, likened (when they are at best) to the flower of grasse, Isa. 40. 6. The Sun is no sooner risen, saith S. James , with a burning heat, but it withereth the grasse, and the flower thereof falleth, and [...] the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his waies, his riches [Page 243] cannot ransom him. But as grasse, when ripe, withereth, and is carried away, either by the teeth of beasts, or hands of men: so are all, by impartiall death. And as the sithe with a few stroaks, mows down thousands of piles and forms of grasse; so do Gods judgements millions of men, Psal. 9. 17. Prov. 11. 21. And as grasse is to day a flourishing field, to morrow cast into the oven: so are the greatest into their graves (if not into that burning fiery fornace) then when they are in their prime and pride, in their greatest flourish, in the ruff of all their jollity: as the rich fool, therefore a fool, because he stuck his clothes with these flowers of the field, these fading felicities, and thought himself thereby becomeAct.8.9. (as Simon Magus ) some great one. Contrarily S. James makes it a signe of a convert, that though of high degree in theJam.1.10.
expounded. world, yet he is herein made low, that he hath low thoughts of these low things, which he seeth to be mutable and momentary, as the flower of the grasse; and bids him rejoyce in that he is exalted,Animo magna
nihil magnum. in that he is now made a greater man ever since; being converted he is become too big for these petty businesses: As a man grown up, delights to deal in lands, and laies by his Cherrystones. But we pitty that want of wit which maketh the minde run on bables, but never think on ought sub-stantiall.
O ye of little faith. Ye petty fidians, ye small faiths. Unbelief is that root of bitternesse, whence carefulnesse springeth. Hence it was, that the Heathen so abounded in it. Strive we therefore to a full assurance of faith and hope: so shall we rowl our selves upon God for all things needfull to life and godlinesse.Fides famen
Hier.ex Tert. Faith fears no famine, it quelleth and killeth fear: but awfull dread, it breedeth, feedeth, fostereth and cherisheth. When a man can say with Abraham, God will provide, he will be out of fear and doubt: when he can believe not only Gods promise, but his providence, as David , 1 Sam. 26. 10, 11.
Verse 41. He that receiveth a Prophet in the Name, &c. Though, haply, he be no Prophet. This takes away the excuse of such as say, They would do good, if they knew to whom, as worthy.
Shall receive a Prophets reward Both actively that which the Prophet shall give him, by teaching him the faith of the Gospel, casting pearls before him, &c. And passively, that reward that God gives the Prophet, the same shall he give his host. Gaius lost nothing by such guests as John ; nor the Shunamite or Sareptan by the Prophets. Of such, Christ seems to say, as Paul did of Onesimus, If he owe thee ought, put that in mine account: I will repay it: AndPhilem.13.19. he, I can tell you, is a liberall pay-master.1 Sam.9.8. Saul and his servant had but fivepence in their purse, to give the Prophet: The Prophet, after much good chear, gives him the Kingdom. Such is Gods dealing with us. Seek out therefore some of his receivers, some Mephibosheth to whom we may shew kindenesse.
He that receiveth a righteous man Though not a Minister, if for that he is righteous, and for the truths sake that dwelleth in him, 2 Joh. 2. The Kenites in Sauls time, that were born many ages after Jethro's death, receive life from his , and favour from his hospitality. Nay, the AEgyptians, for harbouring (and, at first, deallng kindely with) the Israelites, though without any respect to their righteousnesse, were preserved by Joseph in that sore famine, and kindely dealt with ever after by Gods speciall command.
Verse 19. Thou shalt love thy neighbour, &c. Which because thou doest not (as appears because thou wilt not part with thy possessions to relieve the poor,) much lesse doest thou love God, and therefore art not the man thou takest thy self for.Civil men overween themselves, and boast of their morall : yet make no conscience of the lesser breaches of the second table, nor yet of contemplative wickednesse, which yet angreth God, Gen 6. 6. and lets in the devil, 2 Cor. 10. And these are the worlds very honest men, for lack of better: as a cab of dovesdung was dear meat in the famine of Samaria , where better could not be come by.
Verse 8. All these are the beginning, &c.] q. d. There yet re-main far worse matters then warre, famine, pestilence, earthquakes. [...]. And yet warre is as a fire that feeds upon the people, Isa. 9. 19, 20. Famine is far worse then that, Lam. 49. Pestilence is Gods evil Angel, Psal. 78. 49, 50. Earthquakes are wondrous terrible, and destructive to whole cities, as to Antioch of old, and to Pleurs in Italy alate, where fifteen hundred men perished together.Anno 527-
Anno. 1018. A conflux of all these abides the contemners of [Page 546] Christs Gospel. The holy Martyrs, as Saunders, Bradford, Phil-pot , &c.Act and Mon. The Confessours also that fled for Religion in Q. Maries daies acknowledged (as Ursinus relates) that that great inundation of misery came justly upon them for their unprofitablenesse under the means of grace, which they had enjoyed in K. Edwards daies. When I first came to be Pastour at Clavenna , saith Zanchy , there fell out a grievous pestilence, that in seven-moneths-space consumed 1200. persons. Their former Pastour Mainardus ,Zaneb. Miseell.
spist ad Luntg. that man of God, had often foretold such a calamity for their Popery and profanesse: But he could never be believed, till the plague had proved him a true Prophet: and then they remembred his words, and wisht they had been warned by him.
Verse 38. They were eating, and drinking Wine, likely; because our Saviour hereupon bids his Apostles take heed to themselves lest their hearts at any time should be overcharged with surfetting and drunkennesse, &c, Luk. 21. 34. Like as some do not improbably conjecture, that Nadab and Abibu were in their drink, when they offered strange fire, because after, they were devoured by fire from the Lord. Aaron and the Priests are charged to drink no wine nor strong drink, when they go into the of the Congregation, lest they dye, Levit. 10. 12, 8, 9. St Luke delivers the matter more roundly by an elegant, Asyndeton, They ate, they drank, they married, &c. q. d. they passed without intermission, from eating, to drinking, from drinking, to marrying, &c. they followed it close, as if it had been their work, and they born for no other end. Of Ninias , second King of Assyrians, Nephew haply to these Antedihunian bellyGods, it is said, that he was old excellent at eating and drinking. [...]. And of Sardanapulus , one of the same line, Tully tells us, that his gut was his god. Summum bonum in ventre, aut sub ventre posuit: and Plutarch , that he hired men to devise new pleasures for him. See my Commonplace of Abstinence.
Untill the day] They were set upon't, and would loose no time. Their destruction was foretold them to a day; they were nothing bettered by it: no more would wicked men, should they foreknow the very instant of Christs coming to judgement. Joseph had foretold the famine of Egypt and the time when it come; but fullnesse bred forgetfullnesse; saturity, security: None observed, or provided for it.
Verse 56. That the Scriptures, &c. Which yet were no more the cause of the Jews cruelty, then Joseph was of the famine, then the Astrologer is of the eclipse, or Tenterton-steeple of the and flowing of the sea.
Then all the Disciples forsook him and fled Then, when there was no such need or danger to enforce them, Christ having capitulated with the enemy for their safety. They had leave to go free before: what staid they for then? Or why flee they now? This was the fruit and punishment of their former sleeping, vers. 43. Had they watcht and praid then, they had not now thus entred into temptation.
2. A COMMENTARY OR EXPOSITION Upon the Gospel according to Saint MARKE
2.1. CHAP. II.
Verse 1. And it was noysed
THe Sun of rightcousnesse could as little lie hid, as the Sun in Heaven.
Verse 2. Many were gathered together Erasmus observeth, that Origen , in his Sermons to the people, chideth them for no-thing more, then for their thin assemblies to hear the Word,Erasm. in vita
prefix. and for their carelesse hearing of that, which they ought to attend to with utmost diligence:recte judicans, saith he, hinc osse praxi [...] pietutis profectum aut defectum.
Verse 3. Which was borne of foure apprehensis quatuor apprehensus quavuor lecti extremitatibus, vivo cadaveri persimilis . Wicked men are living ghosts, walking Sepulchers of themselves. Bring them to Christ that they may be cured.
Verse 5. When he saw their faith By their works; as the goodnesse of the promised Land was known by the grapes and fruits, brought back by the Spyes. In all our good works, Christs eye is upon our faith, without which, it's impossible to please God.
Verse 6. But there were certain of the Scribes Little do know when they preach, what hearers sit before them.Ara-neo fel est, quod apim [...] l. Some of our hearers carry fel in aure, as its said of some creatures, they carry their gall in their ears.
Verse 7. Who forgive sinnes, &c? Man may remit the [...] passe, God only the transgression.
Verse 8. Perceived in his spirit That is, by his Deity, as 1 Tim. 3. 16. Heb. 9. 14. Or, by his own spirit, as 1 Pet. 3. 8. not by in-spiration, as 2 Pet 1. 21.
Verse 10. Hath power on earth Christus divino omnia fa-cicbat, non injustâ aliqua virtute ac tyrannicâ. Christ did in his Fathers right, and not perforce.
Verse 11. I say unto thee, arise See here our Saviours letters testimoniall, whereby he approves his authority and power to be authentick. Ye are our Epistle saith the Apostle, 1 Cor. 3. 2.
Verse 13. And he taught them To teach us, that nothing can be better and more usefull to the Church, then wholsome teach-ing; which therefore our Saviour never neglected. It was grown to a Proverb at Constantinople, Better the Sun should not shine, then Chrysostome not preach.
Verse 14. And as he passed by he saw Levi Our calling is of free grace, Ezeck. 16. 6. Esay 65. 1. The Scribes and Pharisees are let alone, and this Publican called to the work.
And he arose and followed him Leaving his gainfull trade, and following his own ignominy, ruine, death. Nihil hic disputat vivere debeat: faith fears no famine: Christ is an universall Good, an All in all.
Verse 15. Many Publicans and sate also All at Mat-thewes charge; and he thought it well bestowed, to bring them to Christ. So Paul, being himself assured of salvation, could do or suffer any thing for the salvation of his poor countrymen, Rom. 8. 38, 39. with Rom. 9. 1, 2.
Verse 16. They said unto his Disciples They durst not say itHorat de Arte.
Poet. to Him: Where the hedge is lowest the beast breaks over. The Devill, as the Poet - quae desperat reniteseere posse, relinquit . What he hopes not to effect he never attempts.
Verse 17. He saith unto them] Though not for their sakes (for hee knew it was to no purpose) yet for his other hearers sakes, he makes Apology, Jer. 3. 14, 15. God oft gives a Pastour after his own heart, for a few that are to be converted.
Verse 18. The Disciples of John and of the Pharisoes Beza notes that onely here and Matth. 22. 16. Luke 5. 24. is mention made in the Gospel of the Pharisees Disciples; unhappy doubtlesse in such perverse Tutors, somewhat a kin to Protagoras of whom Plato writeth that he bragged of this, that whereas he had lived [Page 8] threescore years, he had spent forty of them in corrupting of youth. Plato in Menone
Verse 19. While the Bridegroom is with them? Christ is mel in ore, melos in aure, jubilum in corde. There cannot be but musick in his Temple.
Verse 20. Then shall they fast Novices are not to be tied to the austerity of Religion. The Pharisees are revived in the Anabaptists, qui initiatis Christo ne risum quidem mediocrem admittunt, saith Calvin .Calvin in Mat.
9.15. Capistranus the Minorite, sent by the Pope into Germany and other Countries Anno 1453. to preach obedience to the See of Rome, gat a great deale of credit to his corrupt do-ctrine, by such a Pharisaicall severity.Funccius in
Chronolog. Sed tales Doctores meretur mundus suo fastidio veritatis, saith one, they that wil not receive the truth in love, are left to the efficacy of error. 16, 17.
Verse 21. No man seweth See the Notes on Matthew 9. 16, 17.
Verse 25. Have ye never read? Satis salse q. d. Ignorat is adhuc, quod adeo notum & tritum. Miror ego vestram vel inscitiam, vel ignaviam. Its a shame for you, that you are yet so stupid, or so stubborn.
Verse 26. And to them that, &c. Though meaner men David.
Verse 27. The Sabbath was made for man That is, for mans safety and advantage. As he would be undone without it, hee would grow wild, and forget God: so, if it stand in the way of his safety, it is not to be observed; as if an enemy then assault us,Vio Cassius. we may fight with him. Pompey could never have taken Jerusalem , but that the superstitious Jewes refused to defend themselves on the Sabbath: which when he observed, he then, on that day most feircely assaulted them and took their City.
Verse 28. Therefore the Son of man This Lordship taking beginning in Christ, seems to be, from him, derived to all that are in Christ. As Psal. 8. 4, 5. compared with Heb. 2. 6, 7. Whatever David speaks of man, is applied to Christ, and so is proper to the Saints, by vertue of their union with Christ.