« AnteriorContinuar »
wise pass from the Law till all [in this sense) be punctually fulfilled. And I have begun to fulfil it (as a righteous Judge) in this sense already. They who refuse my Gospel, to them it is a favour of death unco deain. They are not only cursed to death by the Law, but damned to death, as infidels, by the Gospel: “He that believeth not shall be damned. " He that believes not my word, hath one that * judgech bim : the word that I have spoken, the “ same shall judge him in the great day.—They that “ mock, their bands all be made strong.-They are « bound on earth, and in heaven they are bound. • They that believe not are condemned already, “ and the wrath of God abideth on them.-This is e che condemnation, that light is come into the « world, and men love darkness rather than light, " because their deeds are evil.-Yea, for judgment CF I am come into this world, that those which see « nor might see, and that those that. see might be “ made blind.” As a Judge, I have begun to fulfil (in the souls of mine enemies) the penal sanction of the Law already; and my Gospel shall be preached in all the world, for a witness against such, and then shall the end come. All my disciples shall love their brethren, and froin their heart forgive every one his brother their trespasses; otherwise my heavenly Father shall never forgive them. Righteousness will I lay to the line of the precept, and judgment to the plummet of the sentence; the hail fhall sweep away the refuges of lyes, and the floods of wrath shall overflow the hiding-places. For till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wife pass from the Law till all be punctually fulfilled. But I will send the Holy Spirit into the hearts of my dear disciples, which shall say such envy, make them forget anger, and forgive and love their brethren, as I have loved them. The Law worketh wrath ; but the love of the Spirit worketh no ill to a neighbour, much less to a brother in faith. The kingdom of heaven within them shall deliver them from such evils. They shall be angry at fin, and at sinners; at evil doctrines, and evil practices. Thus “they shall be angry, and sin not." But anger against a brother shall not rest in them; for they are not fools, but the children of Wisdom.
Moses and Elias shall both resign their offices to me; and my people shall have one Prophet, one Lawgiver, one Mediator, and one Shepherd. They
all all be taught of their God, Ifa. liv. 13. Anda Law shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgment to rest for a light to them, Ifa. li. 4. I will be their Day’s-man, Mediator, Intercessor, and Advo. cate; and they shall be the humble sheep of my fold, under one Shepherd. They shall pass from the mi. nistration of death to the promise of everlasting life, I will deliver them from the yoke, “ Do and live;" and from the dreadful burden of “ Cursed is he that “ continueth not.” And they shall cake my yoke upon
them, “and learn of me, who am meek and lowly; " and find my yoke to be easy, and my burden light. “The Law and the Prophets were until John, Luke “ xvi. Yea, all the Prophets and the Law prophened “ until John, Matt. xi. 13. Since that time, the *c Kingdom of Heaven is preached, and every man « preffeth into it.” Luke, xvi. 16. And none Ihall enter into that kingdom that do not receive it as a little child. The subjects of my kingdom shall be kept by my power; none shall pluck them out of my hand,' nor shall the gates of hell prevail against them. I will deliver them from that anger that rests in the bosom of fools, and from that envy that says the filly one. The murderer fhall not reign and rule in their hearts. “I will give them power to tread “ on serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of * the enemy; and nothing shall by any means hurt rs them."
Whosoever therefore shall break one of the least of these commandments. The Saviour having said this, he goes on to Mew what his meaning is.
1. 'That whosoever is angry with his brother with out cause, shall be in danger of the judgment, Ver. 22. He shall be in danger of the judgment of Zion, who fhould judge him unworthy of communion; or rather, in danger of being arraigned at the bar of the Law,, and left in bondage to it, and to the buffet, ings of Satan.
2. Wkofoever 2. Whosoever shall say unto his brother, “ Raca," or, “Vain, empty fellow,” shall be in danger of the Council. By the Jewish laws, and by the counsel of God, it is deemed an offence or scandal, and woe be to him through whom the scandal cometh! Or, Whosoever faith unto his brother, “ Thou fool,” ball be in danger of bell-fire. It doth not mean an idiot, but calling him a wicked reprobate, judging his inmost soul, and fixing his final doom. And he that thus judges, shall doubtlefs be judged; for it is the judgment of a child of the devil. For, first, he is angry with his brother without a cause, which is murder. Secondly, his malice breaks out into words: he calls him empty and vain fellow; and then proceeds to try his reins, and at lait to fix him in hell. “ If thou bring thy gift before the altar, and thy 66 brother hath aught against thee; go and reconcile " thyself first to him, and then offer thy gift. The
« facrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how - " much more when he bringeth it with a wicked • mind!”
It is easy to see that the Lord, in this discourse, ftrikes hard at the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees. *This appears plain, by the gift, or free-will offering, being left at the altar, till the offerer had reconciled himself to his brother; which alcar and offerings the saints are delivered from. And terribly must this discourse have cut those who were so desperately angry and envious at Christ and his followers, who,
according to the Aesh, were their brethren. And they were angry without a cause; and had not only called them Raca, and Fools, but they judged them. They called the Lord a Fellow, and a Deceiver; yea,
Beelzebub. And cursed all his followers: This people, · that know not the Law, are accursed. Yea, they cast
them out, excommunicated them, reprobated them, and passed the curse of the Law on them.
2dly, The Lord here handles the Law lawfully; and shews the spiritual meaning of it, it's unfathom. able reach to the inmost soul, and it's unlimited demands; so as to make every sensible finner for ever despair of help from it, or any falvation by it. He doth not dress it up as an evangelized Covenant, nor call it the believer's only Rule of Life; but tells the sinner, that a mouthful of malice fpit at a fellowcreature, does by this Law expose a man to the danger of bell-fire.
3dly, The Saviour strikes hard, in this discourse, ar the hypocrite also, who gets into the church before his first husband be dead. This appears from the breakers of these commandments being called least in the kingdom of heaven. If they were not in the church, they could not be said to be in the kingdom of beaven at all. These cares getting among the wheat, are the children of the wicked one geting among the children of the king dum; and being in bondage to the Law, which worketh wrath, and destituse of saving grace, they are the most desperate at