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The nature and importance


of the herald's office.

were known, by generally carrying a caduceus. This was a rod with two spread wings at the top, and about which two serpents were entwined. The poets fabled, that this rod was given by Apollo, the god of wisdom and music, to Mercury, the god of eloquence, and the messenger of the gods. To it wonderful properties are ascribed-especially that it produces sleep, and that it raises the dead. Who does not at once see, that the caduceus and its properties clearly point out the office, honor, and influence of the herald? As persons of strong voice, and ready speech, and copious eloquence, were always chosen for heralds, they were represented as endued with wisdom and eloquence from above. They lulled men to sleep, i. e. by their persuasive powers of speech, they calmed the turbulent dispositions of an enflamed populace, when proceeding to acts of rebellion and anarchy:--or they roused the dormant zeal of the community, who, through long oppression, despairing of succour or relief, seemed carelessing to the orders they received from the general or king. about their best interests; being stupidly resolved to sink under their burdens, and expect release only in death.

heralds, and the inviolability of their persons. Agamemnon commands the heralds, Talthybius and Eurybates, his faithful ministers, to go to the tent of Achilles, seize the young Briseis, and bring her to him. They reluctantly obey; but when they come into the presence of Achilles, knowing the injustice of their master's cause, they are afraid to announce their mission. Achilles, guessing their errand, thus addresses them:

As to the caduceus itself, it was ever the emblem of peace among the ancients: the rod was the emblem of power, the two serpents of wisdom and prudence, and the two wings of diligence and dispatch. The first idea of this wonderful rod, seems to have been borrowed from the rod of Moses. See the note on Exod. iv. 17.

The word ungu kerux, or herald, here used, is evidently derived from now, to proclaim, call aloud; and this from yngue, the voice: because these persons were never employed in any business, but such only as could not be transacted, but by the powers of speech, and the energy of ratiocination.

For the derivation of the word herald, we must look to the northern languages. Its meanings in Junius, Skinner, and Minshieu, are various, but not essentially different; they all seem to point out different parts of the herald's office. 1. In the Belgic, heer signifies army. Hence heer-alt, a senior officer, or general, in the army. 2. Or heer- held, the hero of the army he who had distinguished himself most in his country's behalf. 3. Or from the Gallo-teutonic herr-haut,|| the high lord, because their persons were so universally respected, as we have already seen. 4. Or from the simple Teutonic herr-hold, he who is faithful to his lord. And lastly, according to Minshicu, from the verb hier-holden, stop here; because, in proclaiming peace, they arrested bloodshed and death, and prevented the farther progress of war.

These officers act an important part in all heroic history, and particularly in the Iliad and Odyssey, from which, as the subject is of so much importance, I shall make a few extracts. I. Their character was sacred. Homer gives them the epithet of divine, DLL.

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Χαίρετε, κηρυκες, Διος αγγελοι, ηδε και ανδρων. κ. τ. λ. "Hail, O ye heralds, messengers of God and of men! come forward. I cannot blame you-Agamemnon only is culpable, who has sent you for the beautiful Briseis. But come, O godlike Patroclus, bring forth the damsel, and deliver her to them, that they may lead her away, &c." Iliad. i. 334, &c. II. Their functions were numerous; they might enter without danger into besieged cities, or even into battles. III. They convoked the assemblies of the leaders, accord

IV. They commanded silence, when kings were to address the assembly (Iliad. xviii. 503. Knguxes d'aga hawv Egntuor. See also Iliad. ii. 280.) and delivered the sceptre into their hands, before they began their harangue.

Hy S'aça ungu

Χερσι σκήπτρον εθηκε, σιωπησαι τ' εκέλευσεν. Iliad xxiii. 567. V. They were the carriers and executors of the royal commands (Iliad. i. 320.) and went in search of those who were summoned to appear, or whose presence was desired.

VI. They were entrusted with the most important missions; and accompanied princes in the most difficult circumstances. Priam, when he went to Achilles, took no person besides a herald with him. (Iliad. xxiv. 674, 689.) When Ulysses sent two of his companions to treat with the Lestrygons, he sent a herald at the same time. (Odys. x. 102.) Agamemnon, when he wished to soften Achilles, joined Eurybates and Hodius, his heralds, to the deputation of the princes. (Iliad. ix. 170.) VII. Heralds were employed to proclaim and publish whatever was to be known by the people. (Odys. xx. 276.) VIII. They declared war and proclaimed peace. (Odys. xviii. 334.)

IX. They took part in all sacred ceremonies: they mingled the wine and water in the large bowls for the libations, which were made at the conclusion of treaties. They were the priests of the people in many cases; they led forth the victims, cut them in pieces, and divided them among those engaged in the sacrifices. (Odys. i. 109, &c.)

X. In Odyssey lib. xvii. a herald presents a piece of flesh to Telemachus, and pours out his wine.

XI. They sometimes waited on princes at table, and rendered them many other personal services. (Iliad. ii. 280. Odyss. i. 143, &c. 146, 153. ii. 6, 38.) In the Iliad. lib. x. 3. Eurybates carries the clothes to Ulysses. And a herald of Alcinous conducts Demodocus, the singer, into the festive hall. (Odys. viii. 470.) Many others of their functions, services, and privileges, the Reader may see, by consulting DAMM'S Homeric Lexicon, under Kęw.

Christ fasts forty days in the desart,


and is tempted by Satan.


Jesus, in the wilderness, is tempted by Satan, 1-11. He goes into Galilee, 12; and Capernaum, 13. The prophecy which was thus fulfilled, 14-16. He begins to preach publicly, 17. Calls Simon Peter, and his brother Andrew, 18-20. Calls also James and John, the sons of Zebedee, 21, 22. Preaches and works miracles throughout Galilee, 23. Becomes famous in Syria, and is followed by multitudes from various quarters, among whom he

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nights, was hungry: now as hunger naturally diminishes the strength of the body, the mind gets enfeebled, and becomes easily irritated; and if much watching and prayer be not employed, the uneasiness which is occasioned by a lack of food, may soon produce impatience, and in this state of mind the tempter has great advantages. The following advice of an Arabian philosopher to his son, is worthy of attention.

To be tempted] The first act of the ministry of Jesus Christ, was a combat with Satan. Does not this receive light" My son, never go out of the house in the morning, till from Gen. iii. 17. I will put enmity between the woman's seed and thy seed: it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his keel.

Verse 2. And when he had fasted forty days] It is remarkable, that Moses, the great law-giver of the Jews, previously to his receiving the Law from God, fasted forty days in the mount: that Elijah, the chief of the prophets, fasted also forty days: and that Christ, the giver of the New Covenant, should act in the same way. Was not all this intended to shew, that God's kingdom on earth, was to be spiritual and divine? that it should not consist in meat and drink, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost? Rom. xiv. 17. Relative to the forty days' fast of Moses, there is a beautiful saying in the Talmudists. "Is it possible, that any man can fast forty days and forty nights? To which Rabbi Meir answered, When thou takest up thy abode in any particular city, thou must live according to its customs. Moses ascended to heaven, where they neither eat nor drink, therefore he became assimilated to them. We are accustomed to eat and drink, and when angels descend to us, they eat and drink also." Moses, Elijah, and our blessed Lord could fast forty days and forty nights, because they were in communion with God, and living a heavenly life.

Verse 3. And when the tempter] This onset of Satan was made (speaking after the manner of men) judiciously: he came when Jesus, after having fasted forty days and forty

thou hast eaten something: by so doing, thy mind will be more firm; and shouldest thou be insulted by any person, thou wilt find thyself more disposed to suffer patiently for hunger dries up, and disorders the brain." Bibliot. Orient. Suppl. p. 449. The state of our bodily health and worldly circumstances, may afford our adversary many opportunities of doing us immense mischief. In such cases, the sin to which we are tempted, may be justly termed, as in Heb. xii. 1. Thy sutegiσtatov aμagtiar, the well circumstanced sin, because all the circumstances of time, place, and state of body and mind, are favourable to it.

If thou be the Son of God] Or, a son of God, vios TOU &tov. vios is here, and in Luke iv. 3. written without the article; and therefore should not be translated THE Son, as if it were ovos, which is a phrase that is applicable to Christ as the Messiah: but it is certain, whatever Satan might suspect, he did not fully know that the person he tempted was the true Messiah. Perhaps one grand object of his temptation, was to find this out.

Command that these stones] The meaning of this temptation is: "Distrust the divine providence and support, and make use of illicit means to supply thy necessities." Verse 4. But by (or, upon, ) every word] Phua, in Greek, answers to dabar in Hebrew, which means not only a word spoken, but also thing, purpose, appointment, &c. Our Lord's. meaning seems to be this: God purposes the welfare of his

The devil continuing his


temptations, is defeated.


Man shall not live by bread alone, at any time thou dash thy foot against A. M.4031. An. Olymp. but by every word that proceedeth a stone.

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out of the mouth of God.

5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple,

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A. D. 27. An. Olymp. CCI. 3.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.

'c Psal. 91. 11, 12.- Deut. 6. 16.

most merciful God deals with the children of men, ever guarding them by his eye, and defending them by his Verse 7. Thou shalt not tempt] To expose myself to any danger naturally destructive, with the vain presumption that God will protect and defend me from the ruinous consequences of my imprudent conduct, is to tempt God.

creatures—all his appointments are calculated to promote this
end. Some of them may appear to man to have a contrary
tendency; but even fasting itself, when used in consequence || power.
of a divine injunction, becomes a mean of supporting that life
which it seems naturally calculated to impair or destroy.
Verse 5. Pinnacle of the temple] It is very likely that this
was what was called the roa Basının, the king's gallery;
which, as Josephus says, "deserves to be mentioned among
the most magnificent things under the sun: for upon a
stupendous depth of a valley, scarcely to be fathomed by
the eye of him that stands above, Herod erected a gallery
of a vast height, from the top of which if any looked down,
he would grow dizzy, his eyes not being able to reach so
vast a depth."-Ant. 1. xv. c. 14. See Dr. Lightfoot on this

Verse 6. Cast thyself down] Our Lord had repelled the first temptation by an act of confidence in the power and goodness of God; and now Satan solicits him to make trial of it. Through the unparalleled subtlety of Satan, the very means we make use of to repel one temptation, may be used by him as the ground-work of another. This method he often uses, in order to confound us in our confidence.

He shall give his angels charge, &c.] This is a mutilated quotation of Psal. xci. 11. The clause, to keep thee in all thy ways, Satan chose to leave out, as quite unsuitable to his design. That God has promised to protect and support his servants, admits of no dispute; but as the path of duty is the way of safety, they are entitled to no good, when they

walk out of it.

Verse 8. An exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him] If the words, all the kingdoms of the world, be taken in a literal sense, then this must have been a visionary representation, as the highest mountain on the face of the globe could not suffice to make evident even one hemisphere of the earth, and the other must of necessity be in darkness.

But if we take the world to mean only the land of Judea, and some of the surrounding nations, as it appears sometimes to signify, (see on Luke ii. 1.) then the mountain described by the Abbé Mariti (Travels through Cyprus, &c.) could have afforded the prospect in question. Speaking of it, he says, "Here we enjoyed the most beautiful prospect imaginable. This part of the mountain overlooks the mountains of Arabia, the country of Gilead, the country of the Amorites, the plains of Moab, the plains of Jericho, the river Jordan, and the whole extent of the Dead Sea. It was here that the Devil said to the Son of God, All these kingdoms will I give thee, if thou wilt full down and worship me." Probably St. Matthew, in the Hebrew original, wrote haarets, which signifies the world, the earth, and often the land of Judea only. land of Judea only. What renders this more probable, is, that at this time Judea was divided into several kingdoms, or governments, under the three sons of Herod the Great, viz. Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip; which are not only called Ethnarchs and Tetrarchs in the Gospels, but also Bohus, kings, and are said Bately, to reign, as Rosenmuller has properly remarked. See chap. ii. 22. xiv. 9. Verse 9. If thou wilt fall down and worship me.] As if he had said, "The whole of this land is now under my govern

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In their hands they shall bear thee up] This quotation from Psal. xci. 11. is a metaphor taken from a nurse's management of her child: in teaching it to walk, she guides it along plain ground; but when stones or other obstacles occur, she || lifts up the child, and carries it over them, and then sets it down to walk again. Thus she keeps it in all its ways, watching over, and guarding every step it takes. To this St. Paul seems also to allude, 1 Thess. ii. 7. We were gentlement, do me homage for it, and I will deliver it into thy among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. Thus the hand.”

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Verse 10. Get thee hence] Or, behind me, ozow μov. This is thee, and to prove thee, TO KNOW WHAT WAS IN THY HEART: added by a multitude of the best MSS. VERSIONS, and linesteca, ugaon σ, Lxx. that he might bore thee FATHERS. This temptation, savouring of nothing but diabolic through. The quality and goodness of many things are || impudence, Jesus did not treat it as the others; but, with proved by piercing or boring through; for this shews what divine authority, commanded the tempter to return to his is in the heart. Perhaps nothing tends so much to discover own place. what we are, as trials either from inen or devils.

In the course of this trial, it appears that our blessed Shalt thou serve, or pay religious veneration, λargeons. This' Lord was tempted, 1st. To DISTRust. Command these stones is Mr. Wakefield's translation, and I think cannot be mended. to become bread. 2dly. To PRESUMPTION. Cast thyself down. Aargua comes from xa, very much, and TREW', I tremble. When 3dly. To worldly AMBITION. All these will I give. 4thly. a sinner approaches the presence of God, conscious of HIS To IDOLATRY. Fall down and worship me, or, do me homage.infinite holiness and justice, and of his own vileness, he will There is probably not a temptation of Satan, but is reducible to one or other of these four articles.

From the whole we may learn:

First. No man, howsoever holy, is exempted from temptation: for God manifested in the flesh, was tempted by the Devil.

Secondly. That the best way to foil the adversary, is by the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, Eph. vi. 17. Thirdly. That to be tempted even to the greatest abominations, (while a person resists) is not sin: for Christ was tempted to worship the DEVIL.

Fourthly. That there is no temptation which is from its own nature, or favouring circumstances, irresistible. God has promised to bruise even Satan under our feet.

As I wish to speak what I think most necessary on every subject when I first meet it, and once for all, I would observe, first, That the fear of being tempted, may become, a most dangerous snare.

Secondly, That when God permits a temptation or trial to come, he will give grace to bear or overcome it.

Thirdly, That our spiritual interests shall be always advanced, in proportion to our trials and faithful resistance, Fourthly, That a more than ordinary measure of divine consolation shall be the consequence of every victory.

Verse 11. Behold, angels came and ministered unto him.] That is, brought that food which was necessary to support


The name given to Satan in the third verse is very emphatic, o zuga, the tempter, or trier, from ag, to pierce through. To this import of the name, there seems to be an allusion Eph. vi, 16. The fiery PARTS of the wicked one. This is the precise idea of the word in Deut. viii. 2. To humble

then fully comprehend what this word means.
See this re-
ligious reverence exemplified in the case of Moses, when in
the presence of God: I exceedingly fear, said he, and tremble,
Heb. xii. 21. And yet this fear of God is the beginning of
wisdom. See the observations at the end of the chapter.

Verse 13. And leaving Nazareth] Or, entirely leaving Nacureth, και καταλιπων την Ναξαρετ, from κατα, intensive, and Aur, I leave. It seems that, from this time, our blessed Lord made Capernaum his ordinary place of residence; and utterly forsook Nazareth, because they had wholly rejected his word, and even attempted to take away his life. See Luke iv. 29.

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Galilee was bounded by mount Lebanon on the north, by the river Jordan and the sea of Galilee on the east, by Chison on the south, and by the Mediterranean on the


Nazareth, a little city in the tribe of Zebulon, in lower Galilee, with Tabor on the west, and Ptolemais on the east. It is supposed that this city was the usual residence of our Lord for the first thirty years of his life. It was here he became incarnate, lived in subjection to Joseph and Mary, and from which he took the name of a Nazorean.

Capernaum, a city famous in the New Testament, but never mentioned in the Old. Probably it was one of those cities which the Jews built after their return from Babylon. It stood on the sea-coast of Galilee, on the borders of Zabulon and Nephthalim, as mentioned in the text. This was called his own city, chap. ix. 1, &c. and here, as a citizen, he paid the half shekel, chap. xvii. 24. Among the Jews, if a man became a resident in any city for twelve months, he thereby became a citizen, and paid his proportion of dues and taxes. See Lightfoot. Capernaum is well known to


Christ enters on

A. D. 27.

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A. D. 27.

A. M. 4031. 14 That it might be fulfilled which great light; and to them which sat in
An. Olymp. was spoken by Esaias the prophet, the region and shadow of death, light is An. Olymp.

CCI. 3.



15 The land of Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles :

16 The people which sat in darkness, saw

■ Isai. 9. 1, 2.- Isai. 42. 7. Luke 2. 32.

sprung up.



17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

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have been the principal scene of our Lord's miracles during this glorious time, when Jesus Christ, the true Light, shone the three years of his public ministry.

Zabulon, the country of this tribe, in which Nazareth and Capernaum were situated, bordered on the lake of Gennesareth, stretching to the frontiers of Sidon, Gen. xlix. 13. Nephthalim was contiguous to it, and both were on the east side of Jordan, Josh. xix. 34.

forth in the beauty of holiness and truth. Christ began his ministry in Galilee, and frequented this uncultivated place more than he did Jerusalem and other parts of Judea: here his preaching was peculiarly needful; and by this was the prophecy fulfilled.

Verse 17. Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent] See -Verse 15. Galilee of the Gentiles] Or of the nations. Soon chap. iii. 1, 2. Every preacher commissioned by God to called, because it was inhabited by Egyptians, Arabians, and proclaim salvation to a lost world, begins his work with Phanicians, according to the testimony of Strabo and others. preaching the doctrine of repentance. This was the case The Hebrew goyim, and the Greek tv, signify na- with all the Prophets, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ, all the tions; and in the Old and New Testaments, mean those Apostles, and all their genuine successors in the Christian people who were not descendants of any of the twelve tribes. || ministry. The reasons are evident in the notes already reThe word Gentiles, from gens, a nation, signifies the same. ferred to; and for the explanation of the word κηρύσσειν, It is worthy of remark, that it was a regular tradition among preaching, or proclaiming as a herald, see at the end of the ancient Jews, that the Messiah should begin his ministry chap. iii. in Galilee. See the proofs in Schoetgen.

Verse 16. The people which sat in darkness] This is quoted from Isa. ix. 2. where, instead of sitting, the prophet used the word walked. The Evangelist might on purpose change the term, to point out the increased misery of the state of these persons. Sitting in darkness, expresses a greater degree of intellectual blindness, than walking in darkness does. In the time of Christ's appearing, the people were in a much worse state, than in the time of the prophet, which was nearly 700 years before; as, during all this period, they were grow ing more ignorant and sinful.

The region and shadow of death] These words are amazingly descriptive. A region of death-DEATH'S country, where, in a peculiar manner, Death lived, reigned, and triumphed, subjecting all the people to his sway,

Shadow of death] Exia Javarov, used only here and in Luke i. 79. but often in the Old Covenant, where the Hebrew is pip by tsal maveth. It is not easy to enter fully into the ideal meaning of this term. As in the former clause, Death is personified, so here. A shadow is that darkness cast upon a place by a body raised between it and the light or sun. Death is here represented as standing between the land above- || mentioned, and the Light of Life, or Sun of Righteousness; in consequence of which, all the inhabitants were involved in a continual cloud of intellectual darkness, misery, and sin. The heavenly Sun was continually eclipsed to them, till

Verse 18. Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother] Why did not Jesus Christ call some of the eminent scribes or Pharisees to publish his gospel, and not poor unlearned fishermen, without credit or authority? Because it was the kingdom of heaven they were to preach, and their teaching inust come from above: besides, the conversion of sinners, though it be effected instrumentally by the preaching of the gospel, yet the grand agent in it is the Spirit of God. As the instruments were comparatively mean, and the work which was accomplished by them, was grand and glorious, the excellency of the power at once appeared to be of God, and not of man; and thus the glory, due alone to his name, was secured, and the great Operator of all good had the deserved praise. Seminaries of learning, in the order of God's providence and grace, have great and important uses; and in reference to such uses, they should be treated with great respect: but to make preachers of the gospel, is a matter to which they are utterly inadequate; it is a prerogative that God never did, and never will, delegate to man.

Where the seed of the kingdom of God is sowed, and a dispensation of the gospel is committed to a man, a good education may be of great and general use: but it no more follows, because a man has had a good education, that therefore he is qualified to preach the gospel, than it does, that because he has not had that, therefore he is unqualified; for there may be much ignorance of divine things where there

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