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1718. poor Man is too apt to fly from it,' and to thrink
from under its holy Stroke: The holy Baprift, Yobn, understanding our Lord's Doctrine, and being sensible of the powerful Working of Christ's Word and Spirit,
Tays, Now is the Ax laid to the Root of the Trees, ibereMar. 3. 10. yore every Tree which bringelb not forth good Fruit, is
bewn dowen, and cast into the Fire'; which Fire is nothing
The great Husband of Souls here plainly sheweth, that Husbands should be tender to their Wives ;' and
his Apostle says, Be not bilter against them; Men and 3:19. cheir Wives ought to live, cogecher in Love, and be
good Examples to their Children, and Servants'; and nor part from one another, except for the Cause of Fornication ; and that should be proved ; for fome - Men are only jealous of their Wives, and some without a Cause, and where there is a Cause (as a Man may think) it ought to be clearly proved before they part from one another ; a Man'ought to be tender of his Wife, as of his own Body i For they two are one Flesh. Men and their Wives are often too apt to magnify one another's Faults, and pur the worst Conttructions upon eagh other's Words and Actions, when they differ, which widens Breaches, instead of healing chem: Whereas Love, and true Charity, and putting
the best, and not the worst Construction on Things, - Would chafe away Wrach, Strife, and Hatred ; and I though Mofes gave the Jews that Permission of DiInorcement, for the Hardness of their Hearts'; yet
Christians ought to live so, that there should be no Need : of it amongst then). And if Christians do part upon
the Account of Fornication (for they are not permitted 1718.
Verse 33. Again ge bave beard, ibat it halb been said
Verse 34. But I say unto you, swear not at all, nei-,
Verse 35. Nor by the Earth, for it is bis Footstool :
Verse 36. Neither shalt thou swear by thy Head, because
Verse 37. But let your Communication he yea, yea ; nay, nay ; for whatsoever is more iban these, comelb of Evil.
It was allowed to the Jews to vow to the Lord, and swear by his Name, provided they perform'd their Vows, and Oaths. But here our Lord prohibits and disallows, or abolishes, all Swearing, with an I fayun. to you, swear not at all. Tho' our Twearing Christians will have it, that he here prohibits only vain Swears ing or common Swearing, which cannot be, because the Oaths he here speaks of were folemn, and to Frames se the Lord. And the Apostle James tells us, We must 12. not wear by any Oatb. Neither did the primitive Christians fwear at all; and Christians ought to be so just in their Conversations, as that their fulemn Words or Promises would give them Credit, without any Need of Oaths. If Occasion or Need be, thou hart Liberty to add Yea to chy Yea, and Nay to chy Nay, or solemn Woids equivalent to it; and if more be Evil, it must also be Evil to require more, and chas is Evil if it be more (as all Vows and O.ichs are) we have Christ for our Author, a good Foundation co build upon.
1918. Verse 38. Ve have bear.that it bath been said, an N Eye for an Eye, and a Tootb for, a Tooth.
· Verse 39. But I say unto you, tbat ye resist not Evil : But whosoever shall smite thee on thy Right Cheek, turn to bim the other allo.
Verse 40. And if any Man will sue thee at the Law, and take away thy Coat, let bim have thy Cloak alfo.
. There was Room and Liberty, by the Law of Moses for a Man to revenge himself, if he had an Injury done to him; but Christ teaches patient Suffer. ing; we are not to give any Offence, but we are to take them quietly for his Sake, in which Jesus was an
excellent Example to us, whore Sufferings was not for Tja, 30.
himfelf, but for us ; he turned his Cheek to the Smiter, and his Face to those that plucked off the Hair: But to a Man of Courage and Choler, this indeed is
no small Cross ; but he must deny himself, and take Chap. 16. up Christ's Cross daily, and follow him, if he will
be his Disciple. And as for the Law, it is better ne. ver to meddle with it, in a general Way; and it chy Coat by Law is taken away, thou had better give him thy Cloak, than stand out another Trial with hin: And it is much if thou art not a Gainer by so doing. But the Gain is not urged as the best Motive: But Obedience to Chrift, our greac Lord, and good Master ; who said, If ye love me, keep my Commandments.
Verse 41. And whosoever Mall compel thee to go á Mile, go witb bim twain.
Ic can hardly be supposed that any would take the Pains to force or violently compel a Man to go a Mile with him, unless on some extraordinary Occasion : But many times through Over-perswalion, or much Invitation, One may be in that Sense compelled to do that which one is not inclined to, and in such Case, we are to be liberal in answering the Love and Good. will of our Friend, so compelling of us: For Love begets Love, and cannoi ealily be withstood, as in the
Parable of the Wedding, or Marriage-Supper ; they 1718. were to be compelled to come to it; we are not to understand by outward Constraint,, or Cruelty, but by 2 the Force and Power of Love ; Divine Love has a great Power, and is of a compelling Nature according to this Distinction, and Consideration ; and then we should be unkind, and ungrateful, if we did not answer with suitable Returns.
Verse 42. Give to him that asketh thee, and from bim that would borrow of thee, turn thou not away.
We are here to suppose the Asker to be in real Want and Necefliiy, and the Borrower also to stand in need, and the Asked to be in a Capacity, and of Ability to fupply and asist the Asker, and Borrower ; and then in such Case we are by no Means to refuse to give to him that asketh, nor to turn away from him that would borrow of us ; and if we are not in a Capacity to supply, then to use mild and friendly Expressió ons ; for Christians should be courteous' and kind to all, and particularly to the Diltressed. And if we think that the Askers or Borrowers are not worthy or deserving for their own Sakes, we should, if need be; give and lend for Christ's Sake, and in Obedience to him, though it cross our own Inclinations.
Verse 43. Ye bave heard that it hath been said, thou malt love thy Neighbour, and bate thine Enemy.
Verse 44. But I say unto you, love your Enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute gou.
Verse 45. That ye may be the Children of your Father which is in Heaven, for he maketh his Sun io rise upon the Evil, and on the Good, and sendeth Rain on the Just, and on the Unjuft. · The Hebrews had Liberty to hate their Enemies, buć we have not understood that ever any People, by any Dispenlation, had any Liberty to hate their Neigh. . bours or Friends: So that those that are in that State, are far beyond the Line of Truth. Buc says our holy
1718, Law-giver, I say unto you, love your Enemies. If we w love our Enemies, we can in no wise destroy them, al
though it were in our Power. Again, Bless them that curse you. But alas! how apt are Men (and even those who would think it hard to be told they are disobedi. ent to Christ) to render Railing for Railing, and Cur. sing for Cursing, instead of Blessing (Do Good to them that hate you) If we are sensible of any Body that hates us, and have real Demonstration of it (for sometimes . we imagine it, when it is not so yet are we to do them all the good Turns we can (And pray for them which despitefully use you, and perfecute you) Thus we are not to render Evil for Evil, but to overcome the
Evil with that which is good. Sweet was our Lord's Luke 23
Example to us in this, when he said, Father forgive them, for they know not what tbey do. If spiteful Persecutors did really know what they do, when they persecute the Tuft, their Damnation must needs be very great ; but if we do Good for Evil, as Christ hach caught, then are we the Children of our heavenly Father, who maketb his Sun to rise on the Evil, and on tbe Good, and fendetb Rain on the Juft, and on the Un
Verse 46. For 'if ye love them which love you, what Reward have ye? Do not even the Publicans ihe same?
Verse 47. And if ye salute your Brethren only, what de you more than others. Do not even tbe Publicans so?
Our Virtue is much more shining in loving those who do not love us, than in loving those that do ; and it is natural for us to love them that love us, and we should be ungrateful if we did not : But the Reward is greater, if we love them that do not love us, which must be manifefted in Deeds, as well as Words : For saying and doing, sometimes are two Things, which made che Apostle fay, Our Love must not be with Word, ard with Tongue only, but in Deed, and in Truth. Also Publicans (Men by the Jews ranked with Sinners,
i John 3. 18.