Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Against rash and

A.M. 4061. and his righteousness; and all these

A. D. 2.

An. Olymp. things shall be added unto you.

CCI. 3.

uncharitable judgments.

A.M. 4031.
A. D. 27.

morrow: for the morrow shall take
thought for the things of itself. Suffici- An. Olymp.
34 Take therefore no thought for the ent unto the day is the evil thereof.

CCI. 3.

A. M. 4031.
A. D. 27.
An. Olymp.
CCI. 3.

a

a Mark 10. 30. Luke 12. 31. Rom. 14. 17.

ST. MATTHEW.

Verse 34. Take therefore no thought] That is, Be not future time which God would have us foresee and provide therefore anxiously careful. for, is that of judgment and eternity: and it is about this alone that we are careless!

The eighth and last reason, against this preposterous conduct, is, that carking care is not only useless in itself, but renders us miserable before hand. The future, falls under the cognisance 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 concerning the future! Let us do now what God requires of us, and trust the consequences to him. The

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

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER VII.

Our Lord warns men against rash judgment and uncharitable censures, 1-5. Shews that holy things must not be prophaned, 6; gives encouragement to fervent persevering prayer, 7—11. Shews how men should deal with each other, 12. Exhorts the people to enter in at the strait gate, 13, 14; to beware of false teachers, who are to be known by their fruits, 15-20. Shews that no man shall be saved by his mere profession of Christianity, however specious, 22, 23. The parable of 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.

not, that ye be not

UDGE

J judged.

2 For with what judgment ye judge,

Lev. 22. 30. Prov. 27. 1.- Job 14. 1. Luke 12. 20.

a Luke 6. 37. Rom. 2. 1. & 14. 3, 4, 10, 13. 1 Cor. 4. 3, 5. Jam. 4. 11, 12.

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

ye shall be judged: and with what A. M. 4031.
measure ye mete, it shall be measured
to you again.

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

Mark 4. 24. Luke 6. 38.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII.

them. His jealous and envious heart wishes that there may Verse 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.] These exhort-be no good quality found but in himself, that he alone may tations are pointed against rash, harsh, and uncharitable be esteemed. Such is the state of every unconverted man ; judgments, the thinking evil, where no evil seems, and speak- and it is from this criminal disposition, that evil surmises, rash ing of it accordingly. The Jews were highly criminal here, judgments, precipitate decisions, and all other unjust proand yet had very excellent maxims against it, as may be seen cedures against our neighbour, flow. in Schoetgen. 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

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

Directions against

CHAP. VII.

A. M. 4051.

a

A. D. 27.

3 And why beholdest thou the mote || out of thine own eye; and then shalt An. Olymp. that is in thy brother's eye, but con- thou see clearly to cast out the mote siderest not the beam that is in thine out of thy brother's eye.

CCI. 3.

own eye?
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?

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

5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam 7¶Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,

[ocr errors][merged small]

uncharitable censures.

A.M. 4031. An. Olymp.

A. D. 27.

CCI. 3.

с

Ch. 21. 22. Mark 11. 24. Luke 11. 9, 10. & 18. 1. John 14. 15. & 15. 7. & 16. 23, 24. Jam. 1. 5, 6. 1 John 3. 22. & 5. 14, 15.

Verse 3. And why beholdest thou the mote] Kagos might be translated the splinter: for splinter bears some analogy to beam, but mote does not. I should prefer this word (which has been adopted by some learned men) on the authority of Hesychius, who is a host in such matters; Kagpos, xegaia žuhou ATT, Karphos, is a thin piece of wood, a splinter. It often happens, that the faults which we consider as of the first enor-ners.' 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 us piercing eyes in respect of others. When we shall have as much 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 prævideas oculis mala lippus inunctis; Cur in amicorum vitiis tam cernis acutum, Quam aut aquila, aut serpens Epidaurius? HOR. Sat. lib. 1. sat. 3. 1. 25-27. “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.

In after times, the Jews made a very bad use of this saying: "I wonder," said Rabbi Zarphon, "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 answer, Cast out the beam that is in thine own eye." This proverbial mode of speech the Gloss interprets thus: "Cast out,

op kisim, the mote, 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.

Verse 6. Give not that which is holy] To aysor, 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 swine,
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 Kedar,

"

Comely as the curtains of Solomon."

See many proofs of this sort of writing in Mr. WAKEFIELD'S Commentary.

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

the

As a general meaning of this passage, we may just say, "The sacrament of the Lord's supper, and other holy Verse 5. Thou hypocrite] A hypocrite, who professes ordinances which are only instituted for the genuine followers to be what he is not, (viz. a true Christian) is obliged, for of Christ, are not to be dispensed to those who are continually the support of the character he has assumed, to imitate all returning like the suarling ill-natured dog to their easily prethe dispositions and actions of a Christian; consequently he dominant sins of rash judgment, barking at and tearing the must reprove sin, and endeavour to shew an uncommon af- characters of others by evil-speaking, back-biting and slanderfection for the glory of God. Our Lord unmasks this vile ing; nor to him, who, like the swine, is frequently returnpretender to saintship, and shews him that his hidden hypo-ing to wallow in the mud of sensual gratifications and im crisy, 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.

purities."

Verse 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 thou hast no claim but what his mercy has given thee on itself.

[blocks in formation]

A. M. 4031.
A. D. 27.

An. Glymp. be opened unto you :·

CCI. 3.

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 whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a them; for this is the law and the prophets. serpent? ye in at the strait gate for wide

you,

12 Therefore all things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to

e

f

13 Enter
T

and ye shall find; knock, and it shall

a

in fervent prayer.

A. D. 27.

CCI.3.

11 If ye then, being evil, know how A. M.-4031. to give good gifts unto your children, An. Olymp. how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good things to them that ask him?

a Prov. 8. 17. Jer. 29. 12, 13.-b Luke 11. 11, 12, 13.
Gen. 6. 5. & 8. 21.

Knock: Be in earnest-be importunate: Eternity is at hand! and if thou die in thy sins, where God is thou shalt

d

d Tob. 4. 15. Luke 6. 31.- Lev. 19. 18.
Gal. 5. 14. 1 Tim. 1. 5.-

Seek: Thou hast lost thy God, thy paradise, thy soul.-Look || tional eternal damnation, any creature he has made? He who about thee, leave no stone unturned;-there is no peace, no can believe that he has, may believe any thing: but still GOD final salvation for thee till thou get thy soul restored to the favour and image of God.

ch. 22.40. Rom. 13. 8, 9, 10. Luke 13. 24.

never come.

Ask with confidence and humility.

Seek with care and application.

Knock with earnestness and perseverance.

Verse 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 faithful-you ness of the Lord Jesus are pledged for it.-Ye SHALL receive ye SHALL find-it SHALL be opened. These words are as strongly binding on the side of God, as thou shalt do no murder is on the side of man. Bring Christ's word, and Christ's sucrifice with thee, and not one of Heaven's blessings can be denied thee. See on Luke xi. 9.

IS LOVE.

Verse 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 may be misunderstood; " If the prisoner should ask the judge, whether he would be content to be hanged, were he in his case,' he would answer, 'No.' Then, says the prisoner, do as 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. None 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 mens' conduct towards each other. It seems as if God had written it upon the hearts of all men, for sayings of this kind may be found among all nations, Jewish, Christian, and Heathen. See many examples in Wetstein's notes.

Verse 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 heavenly 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, || punem lapidosum, stony bread. Hence that saying in Plautus: Altera manu, fert lapidem, panem ostentat altera.-in one hand he brings a stone, and stretches out bread in the other.

Verse 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, δια της στενής πύλης, i. e. of doing to every one as you would he should do unto you; for this alone seems to be the strait gate which our Lord alludes to.

Verse 11. If ye then, being evil] Iongo OTES, 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 more will your Father, who is in heaven, whose nature is infinite goodness, mercy, and grace, give good things-his grace and Spirit, (ua ay, 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 uncondi- || the revengeful, covetous heart of fallen man, to take every

ευρυς,

For wide is the gate] And very broad,sveuxweos, from evgus, broad, and xwgos, a place, a spacious roomy place; that leadeth forward απάγουσα into ruar destruction εις την απώλειαν, meaning eternal misery, intimating, that it is much more congenial to

χώρας,

[blocks in formation]

advantage of another, and to enrich himself at his expence, 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 controversy. That is certainly a gate and a strait one too, through which every sinner must turn to God, in order to find salvation. But the doing to every one as we would they should do unto us, is a gate extremely strait, and very difficult, to every unregenerate mind. Verse 14. Because strait is the gate] Instead of or because, I should prefer how, 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 interests to secure their everlasting salvation! and yet no interest need be abandoned, but that which is produced by injustice and unkindness. Reason, as well as God, says, such people should be excluded from a place of blessedness. He who shews no mercy (and much more he who shews no justice) shall have judgment without mercy.

#1

Jam. ii. 13.

good and evil fruits, &c.

A. D. 27.

16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. A. M. 4031. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or Au. Olymp. figs of thistles?

CCI. 3.

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

Few there be that find it.] The strait gate, or van, signifies literally what we call a wicket, i. e. a little door in a large gate. Gate, among the Jews, signifies, metaphorically, the entrance, introduction, or means of acquiring any thing. So they talk of the gate of repentance, the gate of prayers, and the gate of tears. When God, say they, shut the gate of paradise against Adam, He opened to him the gate of repentance. The way to the kingdom of God is made sufficiently manifest-the completest assistance is promised in the way, and the greatest encouragement to persevere to the end, is held out in the everlasting gospel. But men are so wedded || to their own passions, and so determined to follow the imaginations of their own hearts, that still it may be said: There are few who find the way to heaven; fewer yet who abide any time in it; fewer still who walk in it; and fewest of all who persevere unto the end. Nothing renders this way either narrow or difficult to any person, but Sin. Let

|

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good

fruit.

Mic. 3. 5. 2 Tim. 3. 5.- Acts 20. 29, 30.-
f Luke 6. 43, 44.

Jer. 11. 19. ch. 12. 33.

e ver. 20. ch. 12. 33.

all the world leave their sins, and all the world may walk abreast in this good way.

Verse 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 enter 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 themselves with the fleece, and thus ruin, instead of save, the flock. Verse 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.] Fruits, 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 (#1ywoodt) these ravenous wolves from true pastors. The judgment formed of a man by his general conduct is a safe one: if the judgment 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.

"

Verse 17. So every good tree] As the thorn can only produce thorns, not grupes; 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 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 fruitful in righteousness and true holiness.

Verse 18. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit] Love

L

Who shall enter into

ST. MATTHEW.

A.M.4031.
A. D. 27.

19

Every tree that bringeth not || Lord, have we not prophesied in thy

A. M. 4031.
A. D. 27.

Cci.3.

An. Olymp. forth good fruit is hewn down, and name? and in thy name have cast out An. Olymp. cast into the fire. devils? and in thy name done many

CCI.3.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know wonderful works?

them.

a

b

21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that docth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Ch. 3. 10. Luke 3. 9. John 15. 2, 6.- Hos. 8. 2. ch. 25. 11, 12. Luke 6. 46. & 13. 25. Acts 19. 13. Rom. 2. 13. James 1. 22.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these say ings of mine,and doeth them, I will liken him unto

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

||

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.

||

||

Verse 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, EXXOTTET, 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.

||

Verse 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 evil: there can be no innocent sterility in the invisible tree of the heart. He that brings forth no fruit, and he that brings forth bad fruit, are both only fit for the fire.

the kingdom of heaven.

Verse 21. Not every one] Ov nas, a Hebraism, say some, for no person. It is a Græcism and a Latinism too: ου TavTwv Dewv, not ALL of the gods, i. e. not ANY of the gods. HOм. Odyss. Z. 240. So TERENCE: Sine omni periclo, without ALL danger, i. e. without ANY danger. And JUVENAL: Sine omni labe, without ALL imperfection, i. e. without ANY. See more in Mr. Wakefield. The sense of this verse seems to be this; No person, by merely acknowledging my authority, believing in the divinity of my nature, professing faith in the perfection of my righteousness, and infinite merit of my atonement, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven-shall have any part with God in glory; but he who doeth the will of my Father-he who gets the bad tree rooted up, the good tree planted, and continues to bring forth fruit to the glory and praise of God. There is a good saying among the Rabbins on this subject. "A man should be as vigorous as a panther, as swift as an eagle, as fleet as a stag, and as strong as a lion, to do the will of his Creator."

d

e

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

Verse 22. Many will say to me in that day] Exavn on nμspæ, in that very day, viz. the day of judgment--have we not prophesied, taught, publicly preached, in thy name; acknowledging thee to be the only Saviour, and proclaiming thee as such to others; cast out damons, impure spirits, who had taken 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?

|

Verse 23. Will I profess] Opoñoynow, 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!

Numb. 24. 4. John 11. 51. 1 Cor. 13. 2.- dch. 25. 12. Luke 13. 25, 27. 2 Tim. 2. 19. Ps. 5. 5. & 6. 8. ch. 25. 41.- f Luke 6. 47, &c.

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.

Verse 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 pa, rables or similitudes like to this in the Rabbins. I shall quote but the two following:

« AnteriorContinuar »