Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

а

in the throwing of it."-Bp. Hall. Observe, devils, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, 6. The apostles' ready compliance with was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. our Saviour's call, Straightway they follow-O blessed Saviour! thy life in all instances ed him. Whom Christ calls, he calls per- was a life of universal serviceableness and suasively and effectually; whom he calls, beneficialness to all mankind. he draws, and works them to a willing 25 And there followed him great compliance

with their duty. Lastly observe, multitudes of people from Galilee, Upon their call to the ministry they leave off their trade, they forsake their ship and and from Decapolis, and from Jerutheir nets, and lie close to their ministerial salem, and from Judea, and from employment Teaching us, that the mi- beyond Jordan. nisiers of the gospel should wholly give themselves to their work, and not encumber ministry was at first: multitudes throng

Observe here,How affecting our Saviour's themselves with secular affairs : nothing after him; they come from all parts to atbutan indispensable necessity in providing tend upon his ministry, when he first befor a family can excuse a minister's entangling himself with worldly business.

gan to preach among them. His minis

ters find it thus also; at their first com23 And Jesus went about all ing amongst a people, their labours are Galilee, teaching in their syna- most acceptable, and they do most good: gogues, and preaching the gospel of our people's affections are then warmest, the kingdom, and healing all manner and our own zeal perhaps is then greatest.

Happy is that minister that improves all of sickness and all manner of disease opportunities and advantages for the good among the people.

of souls: “ for he that winneth souls is Our Saviour having called Peter, James,

wise." Andrew, and John, to be disciples in or

CHAP. V. der to their being apostles to preach the gospel, in the foregoing verses; this verse This chapter and the two next following contain acquaints us how he went himself along Christ's famous sermon upon the inount, which with them in the work: he did not send

comprehends the sum and substance both of the

Old and New Testament. Our Saviour beging them forth as his curates to labour, and lie this his sermon with a declaration who are bless. at home himself upon his couch at ease.

ed; including an exhortation to duty, and annexes

a reward to the performance of that duty. By this What shall we say to those lazy fishermen sermon the Christian world will be judged in the who can set others to the drag, and care Jast day; and by the particulars of it we must only to feed themselves with the fish, not

either stand or fall. willing to wet their hands with the net ?

A ND seeing the multitudes, he

went up into a mountain ; and his apostles, went along with them, and laboured himself as much as any of them.

when he was set, his disciples came 24 And his fame went throughout mouth, and taught them, saying,

unto him; 2 And he opened his all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with that is, Christ, the great Prophet and

Observe here, 1. The preacher; he, divers diseases and torments, and Teacher of his church. Observe, 2. The those which were possessed with place where he preached, upon a mountain; devils, and those which were lunatic, probably for convenience io himself, and and those that had the palsy; and advantage to his auditors; though some he healed them.

will have a mystery in it; that as the law

at first was given on a mountain, so Christ Observe here, 1. That although our would now explain it upon a mountain; Saviour's doctrine needed no confirmation or to show the sublimity of his doctrine beyond his own authority, yet he was gra-i and precepts. Observe, 3. The posture in ciously pleased to exert the power of his which he preached, sitting: When he was godhead in working miracles for the es- set, he taught, according to the custom tablishment of our faith. Observe, 2. of the Jewish doctors who sat, to show That the miracles which Christ wrought their authority. Observe, 4. The sermon were not judicial, but beneficial to man- itself, which begins with beatitudes and kind, Moses' miracles were as great judg. blessings, and is accompanied with proments as wonders; but Christ's miracles mises of reward. Not as the law was deli. were salubrious and healing, full of good- vered on Mount Sinai, with threatenings ness and compassion, and very advan- and thunder, with fire and earthquake, but tageous to the world: he dispossessed | in a still and soft voice. Our Lord's lips

are full of grace, they drop as the honey. our neighbour, it consists in forgiving incomb. Blessings and promises are our 'juries, bearing reproaches, and recomencouragements to obedience.

pensing good for evil. The reward and 3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: blessing ensured to this grace and duty is,

the inheritance of the earth, where heaven is for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

not excluded, but included; yet the earth Observe here, 1. It is not said, blessed is mentioned, to show that men should be are the poor in estate, but blessed are the no losers by their meekness, as to their poor in spirit: 'tis not a poverty of purse outward estates; for Almighty God will and possession, but a poverty of spirit, make good to them whatever they lose for that entitles us to the blessing. 2. "Tis peace sake. O happy temper of mind, not said, blessed are the spiritually poor, that at once secures heaven and earth to but, blessed are the poor in spirit: he that is boot! Blessed are the meek: for they shall destitute of the grace and spirit of Christ, inherit the earth in this life, and heaven in that has no sense of his spiritual wants, he i the next. is spiritually poor, but he is not poor in

6 Blessed are they which do hun. spirit. Farther, 3. 'Tis not said, blessed are the poor-spirited, but

, the poor in spirit. ger and thirst after righteousness : Such as act below and beneath themselves for they shall be filled. as men and as christians, these are poor- Observe, 1. The character of the perspirited men; but these are not poor in sons whom Christ pronounces blessed; such spirit. 4. 'Tis not said, blessed are they that as hunger and thirst after righteousness. 2. make themselres poor, by leaving their es. Wherein their blessedness doth consist: tates and callings, and turning beggars, They shall be filled. By righteousness we are as some do among the Papists; but, bless-to understand, 1. A righteousness of justified are they whom the gospel makes poor, cation ; the righteousness of the Mediator by giving them a sight of their spiritual imputed to us, by which we stand righteous wants and necessities, and directing them in God's sight, being freed from condemna. to Christ, that they may be made rich. In tion. 2. A righteousness of sanctification, sum, not those that are poor in estate, or wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, enabling those whom the world has made poor in us to act righteously. By the former, there possession, but those whom the gospel has is a relative change in our condition ; by made poor in spirit, that is, the truly hum- the latter, a real change in our constitution. ble, lowly spirits, have a right and litle lo 1. Learn, That all and only such as do spithe kingdom of heaven. Now humility is ritually hunger and thirst after Christ and called poverty of spirit, because it is the his righteousness, are in a happy and effect and fruit of God's Spirit.

blessed condition. 2. That to hunger and 4 Blessed are they that mourn: worth of it, to be sensible of the want of it,

thirst after holiness is to apprehend the for they shall be comforted.

to be desirous of it, and restless in endeaObserve here, 1. That mourning for sin vours after it, as men usually do that are is a gospel-duty: the law allows no place pinched with hunger. Dr. Hammond's Prac. for repentance, though we seek it carefully | Catech. with tears. Observe, 2. The time and season for this duty.

7 Blessed are the merciful: for

Blessed are they that now mourn. Sorrow for sin is physic

they shall obtain

mercy. on earth, but 'tis food in hell. Repentance Here our blessed Redeemer recommends is here a grace, but there a punishment. to us a compassionate regard towards the 3. As mourning goes before comfort, so miseries of others, and that both in soul comfort shall follow after mourning. Our and body, name and estate; to be forward godly sorrow for our own and others' sins 10 pity and pardon, to relieve and help, to shall end in everlasting joy and comfort. give and forgive. And as an encourage5 Blessed are the meek: for they ment, he adds, that as we deal with others,

God will deal with us; our charity towards shall inherit the earth.

men shall be crowned with mercy from Observe here, 1. The grace and duty re- God, and that in abundance too; for our commended, meekness. 2. The wages and rivulet of charity we shall partake of an reward belonging to that grace and duty, ocean of mercy: Blessed are the merciful, the inheritance of the earth. Meekness either for they shall obtain mercy. Learn, Thai respects God, or our neighbour. As it the merciful man is a blessed man, and respects God, so it implies flexibleness to therefore blessed because he shall obtain his commanding will, and submissiveness mercy, when he most wants it, and most to his providential pleasure. As it respects | desires it. Mercy, not wages.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart :' gone for righteousness' sake. 4. That it is for they shall see God.

the will and command of Christ, that those

which suffer for him, and for righteousNote here, 1. The duty required and ness' sake, should not only be meek and called for, purity of heart and life; the patient, but joyous and cheerful; Rejoice, first expressed, the other included; for a and be exceeding glad. 5. That such a paclean heart will be accompanied with a tient and cheerful suffering of persecution clean life. Where there is a principle of for Christ in this life, shall certainly be grace within, there will be the acting of rewarded with the glory and blessedness grace without. Note, 2. The incentive to of the life that is to come.

Grcat is your this duty; the pure in heart, and holy in life, reward, &c. shall see and enjoy God; the infinitely pure and perfectly holy God. They shall

13 Ye are the salt of the earth : see him spiritually and mediately in this but if the salt have lost his savour, lise, gloriously and immediately in the life wherewith shall it be salted ? it is to come.

thenceforth good for nothing, but to 9 Blessed are the peace-makers : be cast out, and to be trodden under for they shall be called the children foot of men. of God.

Our Saviour compares christians in Observe, 1. The connection between general, and his ministers in particular, peace and purity: purity of heart and unto salt, for a double reason, First, Bepeaceableness of life accompany one an- cause it is the nature of salt to preserve other. There is no inward purity where things from corruption and putrefaction, there is not an endeavour after outward | and to render them savoury and pleasant. peace. 2. The duty exhorted to, namely, | Thus are the ministers of the gospel to lato love peace, and to labour after peace ; || bour and endeavour, by the purity of their to love it ourselves, and promote it amongst doctrine, to sweeten putrefying sinners, that others; to be not only peaceable, but peace- they may become savoury unto God and makers. Note, 4. The title of honour that man; and may be kept from being flyis here put upon such as are of this peace- || blown with errors and false doctrine. se. able and peace-making temper: they shall | condly, Because salt has a piercing power be called the children of God; that is, they in it, which subdues the whole lump, and shall be reputed and esteemed God's chil || turns it into its own nature: such a piercdren, for their likeness to him who is the ing power is there in the ministry of the God of peace. And they shall be dignified word, that it subdues the whole man to the and honoured with the privileges of God's obedience of itself. As if Christ had said, children; namely, grace here, and glory "Ye are to be preachers and patterns to the hereafter.

world; ye are appointed by your pure doc10 Blessed are they which are trine, and good conversation, to purge the persecuted for righteousness' sake:

world from that corruption in which it lies;

but if you lose either soundness of doctrine, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

or the savour of a good conversation, you 11 Blessed are ye, when men shall will be wholly useless, as to these great revile you, and persecute you, and ends, and must expect to be cast off by me, shall say all manner of evil against as unsavoury salt is cast to the dunghill.” you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, 14 Ye are the light of the world. and be exceeding glad : for great is A city that is set on a hill cannot be your reward in heaven: for so per- hid. "15 Neither do men light a cansecuted they the prophets which dle, and put it under a bushel, but were before you.

on a candlestick ; and it giveth light Note here, 1. That all the disciples and unto all that are in the house. 16 followers of Christ, live they never so Let your light so shine before men, holily and inoffensively in the world, yet that they may see your good works, must they expect suffering and persecution and glorify your Father

which is in 2. That the keenest and sharpest edge of persecution is usually turned against the

heaven. ministers of Christ, and falls heaviest on Observe here, 1. Our Saviour's doctrine. the prophets of God. 3. That such suf-2. The inference which he draws from it, ferings and persecutions as will afford a by way of application. The doctrine deman solid comfort, and entitle him to real | livered is this, That christians in general, blessedness, must be endured and under-|| and the ministers of the gospel in particular, are the light of the world. But how? || tion of the moral law be dissolved. Learn, Not originally, but derivatively; not effi- 1. That the law of God is an eternal and ciently, but instrumentally. Christ himself | unchangeable rule of life and manners, and is the light of the world by way of original; is to stand in force as long as the world his ministers are lights by way of deriva- stands, and the frame of heaven and earth tion and participation from him. Farther, endures. Learn, 2. That Christianity is Christ teaches them the end why he com- not contrary to the laws by which mankind municated light unto them, namely, to en-had formerly been obliged. Christ comlighten, direct, and quicken others; even mands nothing that the natural or moral as the sun in the firmament, and a candle law had forbidden, and forbids nothing that in the house, diffuses and disperses its light they had commanded, but has perfected the to all that are within the reach of it; so law, and set it higher than any of the most should all Christians, and particularly studied doctors did think themselves forChrist's ministers, by the light of life and merly obliged by it. To suppose that Christ doctrine, direct people in their way to- has added to the moral precepts of the first wards heaven. Observe, 2. The inference table, is to suppose that he has added to which our Saviour draws from the fore- perfection ; for that required the Jew to going doctrine, ye are the light of the world ; | love God with all his heart, soul, and therefore let your light so shine before men. strength; which is the same that Christ Where noie, 1. That our good works must requireth of us Christians here. Nor has shine, but not blaze; all vain-glory and Christ added 10 the duties of the second ostentation must be avoided in the good table, since that requires us to love our works we do. 2. Although we must abound neighbour as ourselves, which St. Paul in good works, that men may see them, yet tells us, Rom. xiii. 9. is the fulfilling of the not to be seen of men. 3. That the glorify- law. ing of God, and doing good to mankind,

19 Whosoever therefore shall must be the great end we propound in all the good works which we perform. break one of these least command

17 Think not that I am come to ments, and shall teach men so, he destroy the law or the prophets: I shall be called the least in the kingam not come to destroy, but to fulfil. dom of heaven: but whosoever shall

Our Saviour here informs his followers, do and teach them, the same shall That he had no design to abrogate any be called great in the kingdom of part of the moral law, or to loose mankind heaven. froin the least measure of their duty, either

To evidence yet farther that the moral towards God or man, but that he came to law is a perfect rule of life, our Saviour fulfil it. I. By yielding a personal obe, tells his disciples, that if any of them did, dience to it. 2. By giving a fuller and either by their doctrine or practice, make stricter interpretation of it than the Pha. void any one of the least of God's comrisees were wont to give; for they taught mands, either by allowing themselves in that the law did only reach the outward the omission of any known duty, or in the man, and restrain outward actions. As if commission of any known sin, they should Christ had said, “ Though I preach a more special doctrine than is contained even in Learn, That such a professor of Chris

never enter into the kingdom of God. the letter of the moral law, yet think nottianity as allows himself in the least vothat I came to destroy or dissolve the obligation of that law, for I came to fulfil the or commission, and encourages others by

luntary transgression, either of omission types and predictions of the prophets, and his example to do the like, is certainly in to give you the full sense and spiritual im

a state of damnation. port of the moral law.” 18 For verily I say unto you, Till

20 For I say unto you, That exheaven and earth pass, one jot or one cept your righteousness shall extittle shall in no wise pass from the ceed the righteousness of the scribes law, till all be fulfilled.

and Pharisees, ye shall in no case Another reason is here given by our enter into the kingdom of heaven. Saviour why he had no intention to abro- Observe here, 1. A glorious prize or regate or abolish the law; and that is drawn ward set before the Christian as attainable, from the duration and perpetuity, the un- namely, The kingdom of heaven. Observe, changeableness and immutability, of the 2. The means required in order to our law: sooner shall heaven and earth be obtaining this prize, and laying hold of this abolished than the authority and obliga- i reward; we must be holy and righteous Vol. I.-4

с

men.

26
ST. MATTHEW.

persons; heaven is the reward of righteous- | actual taking away of life, a person may
ness, a reward conferred only upon right violate that command; 1. By rash anger.
eous persons. Observe, 3. Here is the 2. By disgraceful and reviling words.
special qualification of that righteousness Thence learn, That every evil motion of
expressed which will entitle us to heaven our hearts consented to against our neigh-
and salvation : it must be a righteousness bour, all unjust anger towards him, all
which exceeds the righteousness of the terms of contempt put upon him, are for.
scribes and Pharisees, and that these three bidden by the law of God, no less than the
ways : 1. In its principle and motive; love gross act of murder itself. Learn, 2. That
to God, and obedience to his command ; wrath and anger without just cause hath
not the applause and commendation of its degrees; and accordingly to the degrees

2. In its aim and end. The Pharic of the sin will the degrees of punishment be sees made themselves, their own credit and proportioned in the next world. Learn, 3. esteem, their worldly gain and interest, That self-murder is here forbidden, and in their ultimate end; and not God's glory no case lawful, man having no more power their supreme aim. 3. In the manner of over his own life than over another's : performance; the Pharisees' duty wanted though life be never so miserable and painthat purity and spirituality which the law ful, yet must we wait God's time for our of God required. They had respect only dismission and release. to the outward action, without any regard to the inward intention, and to that purity

23 Therefore, if thou bring thy of heart which God required. Quest. In gift to the altar, and there rememberwhat things are we to exceed the scribes est that thy brother hath ought and Pharisees ? Answ. In sincerity, or by against thee, 24 Leave there thy being that within which we seem to be with gift before the altar, and go thy way; out. In simplicity, or having holy ends in first be reconciled to thy brother, our religious actions. In humility, or having low and humble thoughts of ourselves and then come and offer thy gift. 25 and our best performances. In charity, or Agree with thine adversary quickly, having compassion on all distressed per-whiles thou art in the way with him ; sons. In universality of obedience to all lest at any time the adversary deliver commands. Learn, That holiness heart, and righteousness of life, which God's law liver thee to the officer, and thou be

thee to the judge, and the judge derequires of us, is absolutely and indispensably necessary to salvation.

cast into prison. 26 Verily I say 21 Ye have heard that it was said unto thee, Thou shalt by no means by them of old time, Thou shalt not

come out thence, till thou hast paid kill: and whosoever shall kill shall

the uttermost farthing. be in danger of the judgment. 22 For preventing the sin of rash anger, But I say unto you, That whosoever which in our Saviour's account is a degree is angry with his brother without a followers to brotherly agreement, and to

of murder, he exhorts all his disciples and cause shall be in danger of the judg- | seek mutual reconciliation with each other. ment: and whosoever shall say to | Agree with thine adversary, that is, thy his brother, Raca, shall be in dan- offended or offending brother; agree with ger of the council ; but whosoever him, as becomes a man; quickly, as beshall say, Thou fool, shall be in dan- comes a Christian; implying, that it is a

necessary duty for every Christian to seek ger of hell-fire.

reconciliation sincerely and speedily with Here our blessed Saviour begins to such as have offended him, or have been expound the spiritual sense and meaning offended by him. Observe, 2. The arguof the law, and to vindicate it from the cor- | mentor motive with which Christ enforces rupt glosses of the Pharisees; where ob- his exhortation to brotherly reconciliation, serve, Christ doth not deliver a new law, drawn from the peril and danger of the but expounds the old ; doth not enjoin new neglect; and this is two-fold : The first reduties, but enforces the old ones. The spects our present duties and services, law of God was always perfect, requiring when we wait upon God at his altar, and the sons of men to love God with all their attend upon him in holy offices. None of hearts, and their neighbour as themselves. our performances will find acceptance with In this exposition of the law, Christ begins God, if there be found malice and hatred, with the sixth commandment, Thou shalt anger and ill-will, against our brother. not kill: where he shows, that besides the Learn, that no sacrifice we can offer will

:

:

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »