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ST. MATTHEW. darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

24 No man can serve two masters for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mainmon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

a Luke 16. 13.-b Gal. 1. 10. 1 Tim. 6. 17. James 4. 4. 1 John 2. 15-e P38.55. 22. Luke 12. 22, 23. Phil. 4. 6. Pet. 5. 7.

serve two masters 264 Behold the fowls of the air; for they sow not, neither da they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can * add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raluent ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in ail Ins glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

d Job 39. 41. & 3. 19. Psa. 117. 9. Luke 12 24, &c.-e Luke 2. 52. & 12 25, -f Luke 12. 27.

The clanse what ye must eat, is omitted by two MSS, most of the ancient versions, and by many of the primitive Fathers. Griesbach has left it in the text with a note of doubtfulness. It occurs again in the 31st verse, and there is no variation in any of the MSS., in that place. Instead of Is not the life more than, &c. v. should read of more value: so the word Astor, is used in Numb. xxii. 15, and by the best Greek writers: and in the same sense it is used in chap. xxi. 37. See the note there.

26. Behold the fouls of the air.] The second reason why we should not be anxiously concerned about the future, is the example of the smaller animals, which the providence of God feeds without their own labour; though he be not their father. We never knew an earthly father take care of his fouls, and neglect his children; and shall we fear this from our heavenly Father! God forbid! That man is utterly unwor thy to have God for his father, who depends less upon his goodness, wisdom, and power, than upon a crop of corn, which may be spoiled either in the field or in the barn. H our great Creator have made us capable of knowing, loving, and enjoying himself eternally, what may we not expect from him, after so great a gift?

fused. But if a person who enjoyed this heavenly treasure, raiment! Can be who gave us our body, and breathed inta permit his simplicity of intention to deviate from heavenly it the breath of life, before we could ask them from him, reto earthly good; and his purity of affection to be contami-fuse us that which is necessary to preserve both, and when nated by worldly ambition, secular profits, and anisnal grati- we ask it in humble coufidence, fications; then the light which was in him becomes darkness, i. e. his spiritual discernment departs, and his union with God is destroyed: all is only a palpable obscure; and like a man who has totally lost his sight, he walk without direction, certainty, or comfort. This state is most forcibly intimated in our Lord's exclamation, How great a darkness! Who can adequately describe the misery and wretchedness of that soul, which has lost its union with the fountain of all good, and in losing this, has lost the possibility of happiness till the simple eye be once more given, and the straight line once more drawn. 24. No man can serve two masters.] The master of our heart may be fitly termed the love that reigns in it. We serve that only which we love supremely. A man cannot be in perfect indifference betwixt two objects which are incompatible: he is inclined to despise and hate whatever he does not love supremely, when the necessity of a choice presents itself. He will hate the one and love the other. The word hate has the same sense here, as it has in many places of Scripture; it merely signifies to love less-so Jacob loved Rachel, but hated Leah; . e. he loved I eah much less than he loved Rachel. God himself uses it precisely in the same sense, Jacob have I loved, but Esan have I hated; i. e. I have loved the posterity of Esau less than I have loved the posterity of Jacob which means no more than that God, in the course of his providence, gave the Jews greater earthly privileges than he gave to the Edomites; and chose to make them the progenitors of the Messiah, though they ultimately, through their own obstinacy, derived no more benefit from this privilege than the Edomites did. How strange is it, that with such evidence before their eyes, men will apply this loring and hating to decrees of inclusion and exclusion, in which neither the justice nor mercy of God are honoured. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.] PD mamon, is used for money in the Targum of Onkelos, Exod. xviii. 21, and in that of Jonathan, Judg. v. 19. 1 Sam. viii. 3. The Syriac word No mamona, is used in the same sense, Exod. xxi. 30. Dr. Castel deduces these words from the Hebrew 8 aman, to trust, confide; because men are apt to trust in riches. Mammon may therefore be considered, any thing a man con fides in. Augustin observes, "that mammon, in the Punic, or Carthaginian language, signified gain." Lucrum Punicè mammon dicitur. The word plainly denotes riches, Luke xvi. 9. 11. in which latter verse mention is made not only of the deceitful mammon, (709 adiko) but also of the true (ro adnAiyor.) St. Luke's phrase, paulova adiriac very exactly ander us still more unworthy of the divine care? The passage swers to the Chaldeep po mamon dishekar, which is oft en used in the Targums. See more in Wetstein and Parkhurst. Some suppose there was an idol of this name, and Kircher mentions such an one in his dip. Egyptiacus. See Castel Our blessed Lord shows here the utter impossibility of Joving the world and loving God at the same time; or, in other words, that a man of the world caunot be a truly religious character. He who gives his heart to the world, robs God of it, and in snatching at the shadow of earthly good, loses sub-nxev, a cubit, a measure of extension, to time, and the age stantial and eternal blessedness. How dangerous is it, to set our hearts upon riches, seeing it is so easy to make them our god! 25. Therefore. Sia Torre, on this account; viz. that ye may not serve mammon, but have unshaken confidence in God, I say unto you:

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They sow not, neither do they reap.] There is a saying among the Rabbins almost similar to this-"Hast thou ever seen a beast or a fowl that had a workshop? yet they are fed without labour and without anxiety. They were created for the service of man, and man was created that he might serve his Creator. Man also would have been supported without labour and anxiety, had he not corrupted his ways. Hast thou ever seen a lion carrying burthens, a stag gathering summer fruits, u for selling merchandise, or a wolf selling oil! that they might thus gain their support: and yet they are fed without care or labour. Arguing, therefore, from the less to the greater, if they which were created that they might serve me, are nourished without labour and anxiety, how much more I, who have been created that I might serve my Maker. What therefore is the cause, why I should be obliged to labour in order to get my daily bread Answer, SIN” This is a curious and important extract, and is highly worthy of the reader's attention. See Schoettgen.

27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit un to his stature ? The third reason against these carking cares, is the unprofitableness of human solicitude, unless God vouchsafe to bless it. What can our uneasiness do but renfrom distrust to apostacy is very short and easy: and a man is not fer from murmuring against Providence, who is dissatisfied with its conduct. We should depend as fully upon God for the preservation of his gifts, as for the gifts themselves. Cubit unto his stature ?] I think Aktar should be rendered age here, and so our translators have rendered the word in John ix. 21. avros Xixiav exer, he is of age. A very learned writer observes, that no difficulty can arise from applying of man, as place and time are both quantities, and capable of increase and diminution; and as no fixed material standard can be employed in the mensuratim of the feeling particles of time; it was natural and necessary in the construction of language, to apply parallel terins to the discrimination of time and place. Accordingly, we find the same words indifferently used to denote time and place in every known tongue.

Take no thought. Be not anxiously careful, un pepipvate; this is the proper meaning of the word. Meptura anxious solicitude, from REDE v rom, dividing, or distracting Lord, let me know the MEASURE of my days! Thou hast the mind. My old MS. Blisle renders it, be not hpsy to your made iny days HAND-BREADTHS. Psal. xxxix. 56. Many exan liif. Prudent care is never forbidden by our Lord, but only ples might be adduced from the Greek and Roman writers. that anrious distracting solicitude which by dividing the Besides, it is evident, that the phrase of adding one cubit. is wind, and drawing it different ways, renders it utterly inca proverbial, denoting something minute; and is therefore ap pable of attending to any solemn or important concern. Toplicable to the smallest possible portion of time; but in a litera be anxiously careful concerning the means of subsistence, is acceptation, the addition of a cubit to the stature would be n 19 lose all satisfaction and comfort in the things which God great and extraordinary accession of height. See Wakefield. gives, and to act as a mere infidel. On the other hand, to rely 28. And why take ye thought for raiment?] Or. why are so much upon providɔnce as not to use the very powers and ye anxiously careful about ruiment? The fourth reason fucnities with which the Divine. Being has endowed us, is to against such inquietudes, is the example of inanimate creaIf we labour without placing our confidence intures: The herbs and flowers of the field have their being, our labour, but expect all from the blessing of God, we obey nourishment, exquisite flavours, and beautiful hues, freis his will, co-operate with bis providence, set the springs of it God himself. They are not only without anxious care, but a-going in our behalf, and this imitate Christ and his follow- also without care or thought of every kind. Your being, its ers by a sedate cave, and an industrious confidence. excellence, and useininess, do not depend on your anxious concern: they spring as truly from the beneficence and continual superintendence of God as he flowers of the field do and were you brought into such a situation, as to be utterly incapable of contributing to your own preservation and smp¦ port, us the lilies of the field are to theirs, your heavenly

tempt God.

In this and the following verses, our Lord lays down seve ral reasons why men should not disquiet themselves about the wants of life, or concerning the future.

The Erst is, the experience of greater benefits already re ceived Is not the life more than meat, and the body than

Exhortations to trust in

CHAPTER VII.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not tnuch more clothe you, bO ye of little faith!

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat ? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?, 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek :) for your

Tuse 12-b Ch. 14. 31-e See 1 Kings J. 13. Pan. 37. 5. Mark 10. 30. Luke 4.31 1 Tim. 4 3.

Father could angment your substance, and preserve your being, when for his glory, and your own advantage.

Consider] Diligently consider this, rarauatere, lay it ear. nestly to heart, and let your confidence be unshaken in the God of infinite bounty and love.

29. Solomon in all his glory.] Some suppose, that as the robes of stute worn by the eastern kings, were usually white, as were those of the nobles among the Jews; that therefore the lily was chosen for the comparison.

30. If God so clothe the grass of the field.] Christ confounds both the luxury of the rich in their superfluitics, and the distrust of the poor as to the necessaries of life. Let man, who is made for God and eternity, learn from a flower of the field how low the care of Providence stoops. All our inquietudes and d.strusts proceed from lack of faith: that supplies all wants. The poor are not really such, but because they are destitute of faith.

heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things
the providence of God.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteous-
row shall take thought for the things of itself. f Sufficient un-
ness; d and all these things shall be added unto you.
to the day is the evil thereof.
34 Take, therefore, no thought for the morrow: for the mor-

d Mark 10. 30. Luke 12. 31. Roun. 14. 17.- Lev. 2. Pro. 27. 1.-job 14. 1 Luke 12 3.

entirely: hither, all our desires, cares, and inquiries, ought
The seventh reason against these worldly cares and fears,
to tend.
is, because the business of our salvation ought to engross us
had; if they be, they shall have heaven and earth too; for god.
Grace is the way to glory-holiness the way to
liness has the promise of both lives. 1 Tim. vi. 3.
happiness. If men be not righteous, there is no heaven to be

attention. All things shall be added. "They shall be cast
All these things shall be added unto you.] The very blunt
in as an overplus, or as small advantages to the main bar-
note of old Mr. Trapp, on this passage, is worthy of serious
gain as paper and packthread are given where we buy
spice and fruit, or an inch of measure to an ell of cloth." This
was a very common saying among the Jews: "Seek that to
which other things are necessarily connected."
said to his particular friend, Ask what thou wilt, and I will
made a general, I shall readily obtain it. I will ask something
"A king
to which all these things shall be added: he therefore said,
give it unto thee.' He thought within himself, 'If I ask to be
'Give me thy daughter to wife.'-This he did, knowing that
all the dignities of the kingdom should be added unto this
gift." See in Schoettgen.

To-morrow is cast into the oven.] The inhabitants of the cast, to this day, make use of dry straw, withered herbs, and stubble, to heat their ovens. Some have translated the original word Bavoy, a still; and intimate, that our Lord alludes to the distillation of herbs for medicinal purposes: but this is certainly contrary to the scope of our Lord's argument, which runs thus: If God covers, with so mach glory, things of no often by Clement, Origen, and Eusebius, as the trords of further value than to serve the meanest uses; will be not | Christ : αιτείτε τα μεγάλα, και τα μικρά ύμιν προστεθησεται· To this verse, probably, belong the following words, quoted take care of his servants who are so precious in his sight, και αιτείτε τα επουράνια, και τα επιγεια προστέθήσεται ύμιν. “Ask and designed for such important services in the world. See great things, and little things shall be added unto you; ask Harmer's Observations. anxiously careful. heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added unto you." 34. Take, therefore, no thought.] That is, be not therefore

31. What shall we eat? or, What shall tre drink?] These three inquiries engross the whole attention of those who are living without God in the world. The belly and back of a worldling are his compound god; and these he worships in the Just of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and in the pride of life. 32. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek.] The fifth reason against solicitude about the future, is, that to concern ourselves about these wants, with anxiety, as if there was no such thing as a providence in the world; with great affection towards earthly enjoyments, as if we expected no other; and without praying to God or consulting his will, as if we could do any thing without him; this is to imitate the worst kind of heathens, who live without hope, and without God in the world.

duct, is, that carking care is not only useless in itself, but renders us miserable beforehand. The future falls under The eighth and last reason, against this preposterous conthe cognizance of God alone: we encroach, therefore, upon his rights, when we would fain foresee all that may happen to us, and secure ourselves from it by our cares. How much good is omitted, how many evils caused, how many duties neglected, how many innocent persons deserted, how many good works destroyed, how many truths suppressed, and how many acts of injustice authorized by those timorous forecasts, of what may happen; and those faithless apprehensions conSeek ERTEL, from En, intensive, and nrco, I seek, to and trust the consequences to him. The future time which seek intensely, earnestly, again and again. The true cha- God would have us foresce and provide for, is that of judg cerning the future! Let us do now what God requires of ns, racteristic of the worldly man: his sol is never satisfied-ment and eternity: and it is about this alone that we are give! give! is the ceaseless language of his earth-born heart. careless: Your heavenly Father knoweth, &c.] The sixth reason against this anxiety about the future, is, because God, our heavenly Father, is infinite in wisdom, and knows all our wants. It is the property of a wise and tender Father to provide necessaries, and not superfiuities, for his children. Not to expect the former is an offence to his goodness; to expect the latter, is injurious to his wisdom.

33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God.] See on Mat. iii. 7. His righteousness.] That holiness of heart and purity of life which God requires of those who profess to be subjects of that spiritual kingdom mentioned above. See on chap. v. 20.

day has its peculiar trials; we should meet thein with contiSufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.] ApreTOV Tn huepa dence in God.-As we should live but a day at a time, so we Kaxia avτns, Sufficient for each day is its own calamity. Each should take care to suffer no more evils in one day than are necessarily attached to it. He who neglects the present for interest, and to every dictate of sound wisdom. Let us live for eternity, and we shall secure all that is valuable in time. the future, is acting opposite to the order of God, his own

work, on this chapter; and from it several of the preceding There are many valuable reflections in the 1b Quesnel's have been derived.

CHAPTER VII.

Our Lord warns men against rash judgment and uncharitable censures, 1-5. Shows that holy things must not be, janed, 6; gives encouragement to fervent persevering prayer, 7-11. Shows how men should deal with each other, 12. Exhorts the people to enter in at the straight gate, 13, 14; to beware of false teachers, who are to be known by their fruits, 15-20. Shows that no man shall be saved by his mere profession of Christianity, however specious, 21-23. The parable proof the wise man who built his house upon a rock, 24, 25. Of the foolish man who built his house without a foundation, on the sand, 26, 27. Christ concludes his sermon, and the people are astonished at his doctrine, 28, 29. [A. M. 4031. A. D. 27. An. Olymp. CCI. 3.)

A

FUDGE not, that ye be not judged.

J

2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: band with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

a Luke 6. 37. Rom. 2. 1. & 14. 3, 4, 10, 13. 1 Cor. 4. 3, 5. James 4. 11, 12. NOTE.-Verse 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.] These exhortations are pointed against rash, harsh, and uncharita. ble judgments, the thinking evil, where no evil seems, and speaking of it accordingly. The Jews were highly criminal here, and yet had very excellent maxims against it, as may be seen in Schoettgen. This is one of the most important exhortations in the whole of this excellent sermon. By a secret and criminal disposition of nature, man endeavours to elevate himself above others, and to do it more effectually, depresses them. His jealous and envious heart wishes that there may be no good quality found but in himself, that he alone may be esteemed. Such is the state of every unconverted man; and it is from this criminal disposition, that evil surmises, rash judgments, precipitate decisions, and all other injust procedures against our neighbour, flow.

eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the
mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
b Mark 4. 94. Luke 6. 39,-e Lake 6, 41, 42

will naturally excite their severity against himself. The cen
sures and calumnies which we have suffered, are probably
2. For with what judgment] He who is severe on others,
the just reward of those which we have dealt out to others.

lated the splinter: for splinter bears some analogy to beam,
but mote does not. I should prefer this word (which has
3. And why beholdest thou the mote] Kapdos might be trans
been adopted by some learned men) on the authority of He
sychius, who is a host in such matters; Kapdos, Kepuca Endor
Arn, Karphos, is a thin piece of wood, a splinter. It often
happens, that the faults which we consider as of the first enor
mity in others, are, to our own iniquities, as a chip is when
compared to a large beam. On one side, self-love blinds us
to ourselves; and on the other, envy and malice give as pier-
cing eyes in respect of others. When we shall have as much

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5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs; neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

71b Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

a Pro. 9, 7, 9. & 21. 9. Acts 13. 45, 46.—6 Ch. 21. 22. Mark 11. 94. Luke 11. 9, 10. 18. 1. John 14. 13. & 15. 7. & 16. 23, 24. James 1. 5, 6. 1 John 3, 22. & 6. 14, 15,'ro. S. 17. Jer. 29. 12, 13.

zeal to correct ourselves, as we have inclination to reprove and correct others, we shall know our own defects better than now we know those of our neighbour. There is a caution very similar to this of our Lord given by a heathen: Cum tua prærideas oculis mala lippus inunctis ; Cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum, Quam aut aquila, aut serpens Epidaurius! HOR. Sat. lib. 1. "When you can so readily overlook your own wickedness, why are you more clear-sighted than the eagle, or serpent of Epidaurus, in spying out the failings of your friends?" But the saying was very common among the Jews, as may be seen in Lightfoot.

4. Or how icilt thou say] That man is utterly unfit to show the way of life to others, who is himself walking in the way of death

5. Thou hypocrite] A hypocrite, who professes to be what he is not, (viz. a true Christian,) is obliged, for the support of the character he has assumed, to imitate all the dispositions and actions of a Christian; consequently he must reprove sin, and endeavour to show an uncommon affection for the glory of God. Our Lord unmasks this vile pretender to saintship, and shows him that his hidden hypocrisy, covered with the garb of external sanctity, is more abominable in the sight of God, than the openly professed and practised iniquity of the profligate. In after times, the Jews made a very bad use of this saying; "I wonder," said Rabbi Zarphion, "whether there be any in this age that will suffer reproof? If one say to another, Cast out the mote out of thine eye, he is immediately ready to an swer, Cast out the beam that is in thine own eye." This proverbial mode of speech the Gloss interprets thus: "Cast out Dop kisim, the more, that is, the little sin, that is in thy hand; to which he answered, Cast out the great sin that is in thine. So they could not reprove, because all were sinners." See Lightfoot. 6. Give not that which is holy] Todytov, the holy or sacred thing: i. e. any thing, especially of the sacrificial kind, which had been consecrated to God. The members of this sentence should be transposed thus: Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, lest they turn again and rend you: neither cast ye your pearls before sirine, lest they trample them under their feet. The propriety of this transposition is self-evident. There are many such transpositions as these, both in sacred and profane writers. The following is very remarkable: "I am black but comely; as the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon." That is, "I am black as the tents of Kedur, comely as the curtains of Solomon." See many proofs of this sort of writing in Mr. WAKEFIELD'S Commentary.

As a general meaning of this passage, we may just say, "The sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and other holy ordinances which are only instituted for the genuine followers of Christ, are not to be dispensed to those who are continually returning like the snarling ill-natured dog to their easily predominant sins of rash judgment, barking at and tearing the characters of others by evil-speaking, backbiting, and slandering; nor to him, who, like the swine, is frequently returning to wallow in the mud of sensual gratifications and impurities."

7. Ask-seek-knock] These three words include the ideas of want, loss, and earnestness. Ask: turn beggar at the door of mercy: thou art destitute of all spiritual good, and it is God alone who can give it to thee; and thon hast no claim but what his mercy has given thee on itself.

Seek: Thou hast lost thy God, thy paradise, thy soul.-Look about thee, leave no stone unturned;-there is no peace, no final salvation for thee, till thou get thy soul restored to the favour and image of God.

Knock: Be in earnest-be importunate: Eternity is at hand! and if thou die in thy sins, where God is thou shalt never come. Ask with confidence and humility. Seek with care and application. Knock with earnestness and perseverance. 8. For every one that asketh receiveth] Prayer is always heard after one manner or other. No soul can pray in vain that prays as directed above. The truth and faithfulness of the Lord Jesus are pledged for it. Ye SHALL receive-ye SHALL find-it SHALL be opened. These words are as strongly bind ing on the side of God, as thou shalt do no murder is on the side of man. Bring Christ's word, and Christ's sacrifice with thee, and not one of Heaven's blessings can be denied thee. See on Luke xi. 9.

9. Or what man is there-whom if his son] Men are exhorted to come unto God, with the persuasion that he is a most gracious and compassionate parent, who possesses all heaven.

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in fervent prayer,

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?

12 Therefore all things f whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.

14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

4 Luke 11. 11, 12, 13.-e Gen. 6. 5. & 3. 21. - Tob. 4. 15. Luke 6. 4.- Lev 19 19. Ch. 92. 39, 40. Kom. 1. 8, 9, 10. Gal. 5. 11. 1 Tim. 1. 5.- Luke 13, 24i Or, How.

ly and earthly good; knows what is necessary for each of his creatures, and is infinitely ready to communicate that which they need most.

Will he give him a stone?] Will he not readily give him bread if he have it ? This was a proverb in other countries; a benefit grudgingly given by an avaricious man, is called by Seneca, panem lapidosum, stony bread. Hence that saying in Plautus: Altera manu fert lapidem, panem ostentat alte ra-in one hand he brings a stone, and stretches out bread in the other.

11. If ye then, being eri!] Пonpot orres, who are radically and diabolically depraved, yet feel yourselves led by natural affection, to give those things to your children which are necessary to support their lives: how much inore will your Fa ther, who is in heaven, whose nature is infinite goodness, mercy, and grace, give good things-his grace and Spirit, (vεna yov, the Holy Ghost, Luke xi. 13.) to them who ask him? What a picture is here given of the goodness of God! Reader, ask thy soul, could this heavenly Father reprobate to unconditional eternal damnation, any creature he has made? He who can believe that he has, may believe any thing: but still GOD 18 LOVE.

12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men] This is a most sublime precept, and highly worthy of the grandeur and beneficence of the just God who gave it. The general meaning of it is this: "Guided by justice and mercy, do unto all men as you would have them to do to you, were your circumstances and theirs reversed." Yet, this saying inay be misunderstood; "If the prisoner should ask the judge, 'whether he would be content fo be hanged, were he in his case,' he would answer, No: Then, says the prisoner, do as you would be done to:-neither of them must do as private men; but the judge must do by him, as they have publicly agreed; that is, both judge and prisoner have consented to a law, that if either of them steal, he shall be hanged."-Selden. Noue but he whose heart is filled with love to God and all mankind, can keep this precept, either in its spirit or letter. Self-love will feel itself sadly cramped when brought within the limits of this precept-but God hath spoken it: it is the spirit and design of the law and the prophets; the sum of all that is laid down in the Sacred Writings, relative to men's conduct towards each other. It seems as if God had written it upon the hearts of all men, for savings of this kind may be found among all nations, Jewish, Christian, and Heathen. See many examples in Wetstein's notes.

13. Enter ye in at the strait gate] Our Saviour seems to allude here to the distinction between the public and private ways mentioned by the Jewish lawyers. The public roads were allowed to be sixteen cubits broad, the private ways only four. The words in the original are very emphatic: Enter in (to the kingdom of heaven) through THIS Strait gate,

arns arevns Tuλns, i, e. of doing to every one as you would he should do unto you; for this alone seeins to be the strait gate which our Lord alludes to.

For ride is the gate] And very broad, svpuywons, from empre, broad, and yoons, a place, a spacious roomy place; that leadeth forward, arayovoa, into THAT destruction, &is THY ATOOAstav, meaning eternal misery; intimating, that it is much more congenial to the revengeful, covetons heart of fallen mao, to take every advantage of another, and to enrich himself at his expense, rather than to walk according to the rule laid down before by our blessed Lord, and that acting contrary to it, is the way to everlasting misery. With those who say it means repentance and forsaking sin, I can have no controver sy. That is certainly a gate and a strait one too, through which every sinner must turn to God, in order to find salvation. Eut the doing to every one as we would they should do unto us, is a gate extremely struit, and very difficult to every unregenerate mind.

14. Because strait is the gatel Instead of art, because, 1 should prefer ri, hon, which reading is supported by a great majority of the best MSS., versions, and fathers. How strait is that gate! This mode of expression more forcibly points out the difficulty of the way to the kingdom. How strange is it that men should be unwilling to give up their worldly inte. rest to secure their everlasting salvation! and yet no inte. rests need be abandoned, but that which is produced by injustice and unkindress. Reason, as well as God, says, such people should be excluded from a place of blessedness. who shows no mercy (and much more he who shows no jus tice) shall have judgment without mercy. James, ii. 13. Few there be that find it) The straft gate, orsun audy sig

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Who shall enter into

CHAPTER VII.

15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do inen gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so f every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

IS A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
Corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn
down, and cast into the fire.

h

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall en-
ter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of
my Father which is in heaven.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we i not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

a Det. 13. 3. Jer. 23. 16. Ch. 24. 4, 5, 11, 294. Mark 13. 22. Rom. 16. 17, 18. Eph. 6.5 Col. 282 Pet. 2. 1, 2, 3. 1 John 4. 1-h Mic. 3. 5. 2 Tim. 3. 5.- Acts 3). 29. - Ver. 89), Ch. 12. 33- Luke u. 41, 44.- Jen, 11, 10. Ch. 12. 33.-g Ch. 3. 10. Luke 3. 9. John 15. 2, 6.

the kingdom of Heaven. 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you. depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand;

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and grea was the fall of it.

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, "the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

h Hos. 82. Ch. 25. 11, 12. Luke 6. 46. & 13. 25. Acts 19. 13. Rom. 2. 13. James 1.2-1 Num. 21. 4. John 11. 51. 1 Cor. 13. 2-k Ch. 25. 12. Luke 13. 25, 27. 2 Tim. 2. 19.-1 Ps. 5. 5. & 6, 8. Ch. 2.41m Luke 6. 47, &c.-n Ch. 13. 54. Mark 1. 22. & 6. 2. Luke 1. 32-0 John 7. 46.

nifies literally what we call a wicket, i, e. a little door in a large not ALL of the gods, i. e. not ANY of the gods. Hoм. Odyss. Z. gate. Gate, among the Jews, signifies inctaphorically, the 240. So TERENCE: Sine omni periclo, without ALL danger, entrance, introduction or means of acquiring any thing. So i. e. without ANY danger. And JUVENAL: Sine omni labe, with they talk of the gate of repentance, the gate of prayers, and out ALL imperfection, i. e. without ANY. See more in Mr. the gate of tears. When God, say they, shut the gate of para Wakefield. The sense of this verse seems to be this: No per dise against Adam, He opened to him the gate of repentance. son, by merely acknowledging my authority, believing in the The way to the kingdom of God is made sufficiently manifest divinity of my nature, professing faith in the perfection of my -the completest assistance is promised in the way, and the righteousness, and infinite merit of my atonement, shall enter greatest encouragement to persevere to the end, is held out in into the kingdom of heaven-shall have any part with God the everlasting Gospel. But men are so wedded to their own in glory; but he who doeth the will of my Father-he who gets passions, and so determined to follow the imaginations of their the bad tree rooted up, the good tree planted, and continues own hearts, that still it may be said: There are few who find to bring forth fruit to the glory and praise of God. There is a the way to heaven: fewer yet who abide any time in it; few-good saying among the rabbins on this subject. "A man er still who walk in it; and fewest of all who persevere unto should be as rigorous as a panther, as swift as an cagle, as the end. Nothing renders this way either narrow or difficult fleet as a stag, and as strong as a lion, to do the will of his to any person, but Sin. Let all the world leave their sins, Creator." and all the world may walk abreast in this good way.

15. Beware of false prophets] By false prophets we are to understand teachers of erroneous doctrines, who come professing a commission from God, but whose aim is not to bring the heavenly treasure to the people, but rather to rob them of their earthly good. Teachers who preach for hire, having no motive to entering into the ministry but to get a living, as it is ominously called by some, however they may bear the garb and appearance of the innocent useful sheep, the true pastors commissioned by the Lord Jesus: or to whatever name, class, or party they may belong, are, in the sight of the heart searching God, no other than ravenous wolves, whose design is to feed themselves with the fat, and clothe theinselves with the fleece, and thus ruin, instead of save the flock.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits] Fruit, in the Scripture, and Jewish phraseology, are taken for works of any kind. "A man's works," says one, "are the tongue of his heart, and tell honestly whether he is inwardly corrupt or pure." By these works you may distinguish (ɛntyvwocode) | these ravenous wolves from true pastors. The judgment form. ed of a man by his general conduct is a safe one: if the judg. ment be not favourable to the person, that is his fault, as you have your opinion of him from his works, i. e. the confession of his own heart.

17. So every good tree] As the thorn can only produce thorns, not grapes; and the thistle, not figs, but prickles: so an unregenerate heart will produce fruits of degeneracy. As we perfectly know that a good tree will not produce bad fruit, and the bad tree will not, cannot produce good fruit; so we may know that the profession of godliness, while the life is ungodly, is imposture, hypocrisy, and deceit. A man cannot be a saint and a sinner at the same time. Let us remember, that as the good tree means a good heart, and the good fruit a holy life, and that every heart is naturally vicious; so there is none but God who can pluck up the vicious tree, create a good heart, plant, cultivate, water, and make it continually fruit. ful in righteousness and true holiness.

18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit] Lor: to God and man is the root of the good tree; and from this principle all its fruit is found. To teach as some have done, that a state of salvation may be consistent with the greatest crimes, (such as murder and adultery in David) or that the righteous necessarily sin in all their best works; is really to make the good tree bring forth bad fruit, and to give the lie to the Author of Eternal Truth.

19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit] What a terrible sentence is this against Christless pastors, and Christless hearers! Every tree that produceth not good fruit, EKKOR real, is to be now cut down, the act of excision is now taking place: the curse of the Lord is even now on the head and the heart of every false teacher, and impenitent hearer.

22. Many will say to me in that day] Exɛin τη hμepa, in that very day, viz. the day of judgment-have we not prophesied, taught, publicly preached, in thy name; acknow. ledging thee to be the only Saviour, and proclaiming thee as such to others: cast out demons, impure spirits, who had ta ken possession of the bodies of men; done many miracles, being assisted by supernatural agency to invert even the course of nature, and thus prove the truth of the doctrine we preached.

23. Will I profess] Quoλoynow, I will fully and plainly tell them, I never knew you-I never approved of you: for so the word is used in many places, both in the Old and New Testaments. You held the truth in unrighteousness, while you preached my pure and holy doctrine: and for the sake of my own truth, and through my love to the souls of men, I blessed your preaching; but yourselves I could never esteem, because ye were destitute of the spirit of my Gospel, unholy in your hearts, and unrighteous in your conduct. Alas! alas! how many preachers are there who appear prophets in their pulpits; how many writers, and other evangelical workmen, the miracles of whose labour, learning and doctrine, we admire, who are nothing, and worse than nothing, before God; because they perform not his will, but their own! What an awful consideration, that a man of eminent gifts, whose talents are a source of public utility, should be only as a way mark or finger-post in the way to eternal bliss, pointing out the road to others, without walking in it himself!

Depart from me] What a terrible word! What a dreadful separation! Depart from ME! from the very Jesus whom you have proclaimed, in union with whom alone eternal life is to be found. For, united to Christ, all is heaven; separated from him, all is hell.

24. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine)— That is, the excellent doctrines laid down before in this and the two preceding chapters. There are several parables or similitudes like to this in the rabbins. I shall quote but the two following.

Rabbi Eleasar said, "The man whose knowledge exceeds his works, to whom is he like? He is like a tree which had many branches, and only a tew roots and when the stormy winds came it was plucked up and eradicated. But he whose good works are greater than his knowledge, to what is he like? He is like a tree which had few branches and many roots: so that all the winds of heaven could not move it from its place."-Pirke Aboth.

Elisha, the son of Abuja, said, "The man who studies much in the law, and maintains good works, is like to a man who built a house, laying stones at the foundation, and building brick upon them: and though many waters come against it, they cannot move it from its place. But the man who studies much in the law, and does not maintain good works, is like a man, who, in building his house, put brick at the foundation, and laid stones upon them, so that even gentle waters shali

20. Wherefore by their fruits, &c.] This truth is often repeated, because our eternal interests depend so much upon it. Not to have good fruit, is to have eril: there can be no inno-overthrow that house." Aboth. Rab. Nath. cent sterility in the invisible tree of the heart. He that brings forth no fruit, and he that brings forth bad fruit, are both only ût for the fire.

21. Not every one] Ov ras, a Hebraism, say some, for no person. It is u Græcism and a Latinism too : ovπAVTOV OCWV,

Probably our Lord had this or some parable in his eye: but how amazingly improved in passing through his hands! In our Lord's parable there is dignity, majesty, and point, which we seek for in vain in the Jewish archetype.

I will liken him unto a wise man) Tó a prudent man

A leper applies to Christ

ST. MATTHEW.

avdor dooipw, to a prudent man, man of sense and understanding, who, foreseeing the evil, hideth himself, who proposes to himself the best end, and makes use of the proper means to accomplish it. True wisdom consists in getting the building of our salvation completed: to this end, we must build on the Rock, CHRIST JESUS, and make the building firm, by keeping close to the maxims of his Gospel, and having our tempers and lives conformed to its word and spirit: and when, in order to this, we lean on nothing but the grace of Christ, we then build upon a solid Rock.

to be healed. because it is too strict and impossible to be observed; and tha the Gospel was brought in to liberate us from its obligations; but let all such know, that in the whole of the old covenant nothing can be found so exceedingly strict and hay as this sermon, which Christ lays down as the rule by which we are to walk. "Then, the fulfilling of these precepts is the purchase of glory." No, it is the WAY only to that glory which has already been purchased by the blood of the Lamb. To hini that believes, all things are possible.

28. The people were astonished.] Oi oxλot, the multitudes; for vast crowds attended the ministry of this most popular and faithful of all preachers. They were astonished at his doctrine. They heard the law defined in such a manner as they had never thought of before: and this sacred system of morality urged home on their consciences with such clearness and authority, as they had never felt under the teaching of their scribes and Pharisees. Here is the grand difference be tween the teaching of scribes and Pharisees, the self-created or men-made ministers, and those whom God sends. The first may preach what is called very good and very sound doctrine; but it comes with no authority from God to the souls of the people; therefore, the unholy is unholy still: because preachunction of the Holy Spirit is in it; and as these are not sent by the Lord, therefore they shall not profit the people at all. Jer. xxiii. 32.

25. And the rain descended-floods came-winds blew] l *Judea, and in all countries in the neighbourhood of the tropics, the rain sometimes falls in great torrents, producing rivers, which sweep away the soil from the rocky hills; and the houses, which are built of brick only dried in the sun, of which there are whole villages in the east, literally melt away before those rains, and the land-floods occasioned by them. There are three general kinds of trials to which the followers of God are exposed; and to which some think, our Lord alludes here: first, those of temporal afflictions, coming in the course of divine providence: these may be likened to the torrents of rain. Secondly, those which come from the passions of men, and which may be likened to the impetuous rivers.ing can only be effectual to the conversion of inen, when the Thirdly, those which come from Satan and his angels, and which, like tempestuous whirlwinds, threaten to carry every thing before them. He alone, whose soul is built on the Rock of Ages, stands all these shocks; and not only stands in, but profits by them.

26. And every one that heareth-and doeth them no!] Was there ever a stricter system of morality delivered by God to man, than in this sermon? He who reads or hears it, and does not look to God to conform his soul and life to it, and notwithstanding is hoping to enter into the kingdom of heaven, is like the fool who built his house on the sand.-When the rain, the rivers, and the winds come, his building must fall, and his soul be crushed into the nethermost pit by its ruins. Talking about Christ, his righteousness, merits, and atonement, while the person is not conformed to his word and spirit, is no other than solemn self-deception.

29. Having authority] They felt a commanding power and authority in his word, his doctrine. His statements were per spicuous, his exhortations persuasive, his doctrine sound and rational, and his arguments irresistible. These they never felt in the trifling teachings of their most celebrated doctors, who consumed their own time and that of their disciples and hearers, with frivolous cases of conscience, ridiculous distinctions, and puerile splittings of controversial hairs-questions not calculated to minister grace to the hearers.

Several excellent MSS. and almost all the ancient versions read kat of Papiralot, and the Pharisees. He taught them as one having authority, like the most eminent and distinguished teacher, and not as the scribes-and Pharisees, who had no part of that unction, which he in its plenitude possessed. Thus ends a sermon, the most strict, pure, holy, profound, and sublime, ever delivered to man; and yet so amazingly simple is the whole, that almost a child may apprehend it! Lord, write all these thy sayings upon our hearts, we beseech thee! Amen. CHAPTER VIII.

Let it be observed, that it is not the man who hears or be lieves these sayings of Christ, whose building shall stand when the earth and its works are burnt up; but the man who DOES them.

Many suppose that the law of Moses is abolished, merely

Great multitudes follow Christ, 1. Be heals a leper, 2-4. Heals the Centurion's servant, 5-13. Heals Peter's wife's mother, 14, 15, and several other diseased persons, 16, 17. Departs from that place, 18. Two persons offer to be his disciples, 19-22. He and his disciples are overtaken with a tempest, which he miraculously stills, 23-27. He cures De moniacs, and the Demons which were cast out, enter into a herd of swine, which, rushing into the sea, perish, 28-32 The swine herds announce the miracle to the Gergesenes, who request Christ to depart from their country, 33, 34. [A. M. 4031. A. D. 27. An. Olymp. CCI. 3.]

THEN he was come down from the mountain, great | will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was multitudes followed him.

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2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

cleansed.

4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that

3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, Id Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

Ch. 5. 1. Luke 7. 1.-b Mark 1. 40, &e. Luke 5. 12, &c.

Ch. 9. 30. Mark 5, 43-d Lev. 14. 3, 4, 10. Luke 5, 14.

NOTES.-Verse 1. From the mountain] That mountain on of snow; and as the furfuraceous or bran-like scales were which he had delivered the preceding inimitable sermon. daily rubbed off, the flesh appeared quick or raw underneath." Great multitudes followed him.] Having been deeply im-See the Doctor's Medica Sacra, chap. it. It was probably on pressed with the glorious doctrines which they had just heard. account of its tendency to produce this disorder in that warmn 2. And behold there came a leper] The leprosy, Anpa, from climate, that God forbad the use of swine's flesh to the Jews. Asmis, a scale, was an inveterate cutaneous disease, appearing The use of this bad aliment, in union with ardent spirits, is in dry, thin, white scurfy scales or scabs, either on the whole in all likelihood, the grand cause of the scurry, which is so body, or on some part of it, usually attended with violent itch- common in the British nations, and which would probably asing, and often with great pain. The eastern leprosy was a dis-sume the form and virulence of a leprosy, were our climate temper of the most loathsome kind, highly contagious, so as as hot as that of Judea. See the notes on Ex. iv. 6. and on Lev. to infect garments, (Lev. xiii. 47, &c.) and houses, (Lev. xiv. xiii. and xiv. 34, &c.) and was deemed incurable by any human means. Among the Jews, GoD alone was applied to for its removal; and the cure was ever attributed to his sovereign power.

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Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.] As this leper may be considered as a fit emblem of the corruption of man by sin; so may his cure, of the redemption of the soul by Christ. A sinner truly penitent, seeks God with a respectful faith; approaches him in the spirit of adoration, humbles himself under his mighty hand, acknowledging the greatness of his fall, and the vileness of his sin; his prayer, like that of the leper, should be humble, plain, and full of confidence in that God, who can do all things, and of dependance upon his culiar to God that he need only will what he intends to perform. His power is his will. The ability of God to do what is necessary to be done, and his willingness to make his creatures happy, should be deeply considered by all those who approach him in prayer. The leper had no doubt of the former, but he was far from being equally satisfied in respect of the latter.

The various symptoms of this dreadful disorder, which was a striking emblem of sin, may be seen in Lev. xiii. and xiv. where also may be read the legal ordinances concerning it; which, as on the one hand, they set forth how odious sin is to God, so, on the other, they represent the cleansing of our pollutions by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ, by the sprinkling and application of his blood, and by the sanctify-will or mercy from which all good must be derived. It is peing and healing influences of the Holy Spirit. The Greek name Arpa, seems to have been given to this distemper, on account of the thin, white SCALES (Aerides) with which the bodies of the leprous were sometimes so covered, as to give them the appearance of snow, Exod. iv. 6. Num. xii. 10. 2 Kings v. 27.

Herodotns, lib. 1. mentions this disorder as existing, in his time, among the Persians. He calls it Avkny, the white scab; and says, that those who were affected with it, were prohibited from mingling with the other citizens; and so dreadful was this malady esteemed among them, that they considered it a punishment on the person, from their great god the Sun, for some evil committed against him. Dr. Mead mentions a remarkable case of this kind which came under his own observation. "A countryman whose whole body was so miserably seized with it that his skin was shining as covered with flakes

3. Jesus put forth his hand-I will; be thou clean] The most sovereign authority is assumed in this speech of our blessed Lord-I WILL, there is here no supplication of any power superior to his own: and the event proved to the fullest conviction, and by the clearest demonstration, that his authority was absolute, and his power unlimited. Be thou cleansed, kalapio0nri; a single word is enough.

And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.] What an astonishing sight! A man whose whole body was covered over

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