Richard Glover’s Commentary on Matthew: A White Stone and A New Name

Richard Glover (1837-1919) minister of Tyndale Baptist Church, Bristol has a very fine devotional commentary hidden under a bad title. “A Teachers Commentary on Matthew” (also a separate volume on Mark) is misleading, sounds D.O.A., and is easily passed over for something glossy. But as far as commentaries are concerned, Glover’s title is one of his only weaknesses. Glover writes with a deceptively simple style. He meditates on the text in front of him, looks for the heart, feeling, and experimental sense, gives instructive hints primarily for meditation but is wholly quotable. In a word, he is a fine example of expository writing, similar to the Scottish minister of Perth, George Lawson (1749-1820). Here is a short reading from Matthew 26:38, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.”

i.e. all but killed with sorrow. An hour before He had prayed as only the Son of God could pray: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given Me be with Me where I am.” – Now, as only a Son of man can, He prays with a heart broken with sorrow. In ordinary deaths a glory of immortal hope will express itself amidst sighs of anguish. A more marvellous blending of strength and weakness still meets us here. What moved such sorrow? Philosophers and felons have faced death with calm; how is it that the strong Son of God shrieks? Consider: The Saviour was unprotected by any coarseness of feeling. If you can despise or hate men, their hatred will not grieve you; but if you love them their hatred wounds. In all other directions also the perfectness of Christ’s nature increased His sensibility. The vision of sin assailing Him gave Him a horror of thick darkness to His soul. He saw sin in all its forms. In the disciples it was weakness; in the multitude, perversity and indifference to salvation; in the priests, a hellish hatred of what was good; in the rulers, an indifference to all justice; to Judas, a malignant selfishness and apostasy. When the evil of men presses itself upon our hearts, it will even in our dull hearts produce a little Gethsemane. What anguish would it inflict on Christ when all the wildest sins of man turned on Him to make Him their Victim! He bore our sins by bearing the brunt of their assaults on His soul … Add to these the terrific assault of temptation to doubt God and to shirk the cross (John 14:30) and the fact that temptation pains us in proportion to our purity, and it will easily be seen that there has been “no sorrow like unto Christ’s sorrow.” Love and bless Him for it.

1 Response

  1. Peter Cane

    I actually have a copy of this commentary which I have had in my possession for
    many years. It is as the above says a good and helpful text. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised that my Google search brought such an interesting response!

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