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them to preach, “ that men should repent, « for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Which is the substance of what John Baptist and Jefus himself had preached before'. And as John Baptist exhorted men to repentance, by preaching remission of sins if men did repent', it is most highly probable, that the doctrine of remission of sins was then preached by the apostles also, in virtue of this commission, as the great motive to repentance; and seems to be included in what Mark shortly says, that « they preached that men « should repent.”
To give credit to what they said, Christ gave them power over all devils and diseasesu; he gives them this power and authority; or he affures them, that when they had faith, or a full persuasion, that he would cast out devils, and heal diseases, on their using his name, in confirmation of the truth of the message on which he sent them, diseases should be healed, and the devils cast out, Matthew adds to the power of the commission, “to heal the lepers w;" but that is only specifying one of the diseases to be healed, which, considering it in all its circumstances, was one of the very worst to which men were at that time subject; and which, perhaps, the Jews thought nothing but the • Matt. jji. 1. iv. 17. Luke ix, 1.
Matt. x. 8.
i Marki. 5.
power of God could heal; and which they
as Grotius and Mill observe, that is not in + many manuscripts, and seems not be a part
of the text, if we compare it with Matt. X. 1,
Mark relates how fully they executed the whole of this commission, by telling us, that
they went out and preached that men “ Thould repent: and they cast out many de“ vils, and anointed with oil many that were 6 fick, and healed them a." And St. Luke acquaints us, that “ they returned, and that o then they told him (Jesus) all that they 66 had done 6." And here this commission seems to determine, as being fully executed; for we read no more of their being sent, or their going out, or returning, or doing any Vajik Rab. on Lev. xiv, 2. Sank. ii. $ 18,
6. • Mark vi. 12, 13
Luke ix. 10.
y Matt. x. 40.
2 Ibid. ver. 5
thing but accompanying Jesus; which they were now to do, fully to answer one of the ends for which he ordained them, namely, that they might be with him “; to the intent that they might be the better acquainted with “ all that Jesus began to do and teach, until " the day in which he was taken up, after “ that he through the Holy Ghost had given “ commandments unto his apostles whom he 6 had chosen d.” and that so they might be the better qualified, by “accompanying with
Jesus all the time that he went in and out “ among them, beginning from the baptism 6 of John, unto the day that he was taken “ up from them, to be witnesses of his resur6 rection ;” as St. Peter says he must be, that was to take the place in the apostleship, from which Judas by transgression felle : therefore our Saviour bespeaks them thus, in another place, “ You have continued with me in
my “ temptations f.” And that they had then continued with him for some time, we further learn from John xvi. 32. when Jesus says, “ Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now
all shall be scattered every “ man to his own home, and ye shall leave “ me alone.”
And to the intent that they might continue with Jesus, notwithstanding
c Mark iii. 14.
Ibid. ver. 21, 22.
d Acts i. 12.
the harvest was great ; soon after their returning to Jesus, after the execution of their commission, “ the Lord appoints seventy
others (étépsf) also, and sent them two and “ two, into every city where he himself 66 would come h;" and then he keeps the twelve constantly with him. I the rather think this one reason of appointing the seventy, because the instructions and powers given them are exactly the same with those which had been before given to the apostles: for they were to preach that “the kingdom of 6 heaven is come nigh unto you (Jews) :: they were to heal the sick :" and that they
to “ cast out devils," appears from Luke x. 17. where the seventy, on their return, tell him they had cast them out. And the great agreement that there is in other particulars between these two commissions, may be seen by comparing Lukex. 3—17. Matt. x. 17. and Mark vi. 7--14.
This exact agreement between them seems to me to shew,
& The time of the apostles giving an account of the execution of their commission, was just before the third passover Jesus was at after entering on his public ministry. The seventy are appointed in his way from Galilee to the last feast of tabernacles; and seem to return to give an account of the execution of their commission at his return from the feaft. See L'abrégé de L'Histoire Evangel, par Messrs. de Beaufob. & L’Enfant, p. 253, 257, 258. si Luke x. so
i Ibid, ver. 10.
that 5. xxii.
that the commission to the seventy was to supply the place of the former to the twelve, after it was determined. Jesus also speaks to the twelve, just before his being apprehended, of this their commission, as being fully executed, and some time since determined; when he says to them, “ When I sent you 56. without purse and scrip, and shoes, lacked “ ye any thing? and they said, Nothing. " Then said he unto them, But now he that “ hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise s his fcrip: and he that hath no sword, let “ him fell his garment and buy one k.” And perhaps their being without any commission, is the reason why from the time that they returned to Jesus, to give an account of the execution of their commifsion, we never read the name apostles made use of by the evangelists in their gospels; or even the name of the twelve, till Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to suffer; and when he begins both to foretell his sufferings plainly, and to open to them their new commission they were to receive for life, and the powers which were to attend it!; and that after he had told them, they should have the power of binding and loofing, just as he was going up to Jerufalem to suffer, and then by way of distinction of them only. But in other places they are generally, if not always, mentioned under the com* Luke xxii. 35, 36. :! Ibid. xvii.