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The Sermon on the Mount,-continued. UDGE not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye 2
judge ye shall be judged ; and with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote 3
out anticipating any. Do not sor- Jesus is not to be taken literally in
come thickly and quickly this declaration. He did not prohibit enough without conjuring them up judicial sentences, or the making up from “the vasty deep” of the un- and expressing of opinions in relaknown Future? Let none but the tion to the conduct and character Divine Hand draw that curtain of our fellow-men, within proper which hangs before us. Consider limitations. But the passing of the numerous, beautiful, and con- rash and rigorous judginents, and vincing reasons why we should rely indulging in a censorious, malicious calmly on Providence. “ The ir- temper, met his condemnation. He reconcilable nature of worldly so- suggests, as a motive to check them, licitude and Christian piety; the that such dispositions expose one past goodness of God; the care to similar treatment at the hands of which he takes of the lower ani- others. Rom. ii. 1. xiv. 4. James mals; the beauty with which he iv. 11. ii. 13. Allusion is made clothes the spontaneous productions probably to the censoriousness of of nature; the unprofitableness and the Scribes and Pharisees, which impiety of anxiety; the infinite per- was abundantly exhibited towards fections and paternal character of Jesus himself, and towards his folthe Supreme Being; the pain of lowers. godliness in this world ; and the 2. It is difficult to maintain charisufficiency of present evils without ty, kindness, and toleration towards adding to their number by anticipa- our fellows; as the strongest motive tion." “ If we know these things, therefore to such virtues, our treathappy are we if we do them.” ment of others is made the gauge
of others' treatment of us; and this CHAP. VII.
principle reaches even to the bar 1. Parallel with this chapter is of heaven, according to Jesus. Luke vi. 37–49.
Mat. vi. 14, 15. v. 7.-With what A variety of different topics are judgment, &c. This was a Jewish handled, more or less connected proverb. Jesus quoted many such together; yet * none of the expres- expressions in common use, in orsions are to be interpreted too lite- der to avail himself of every proper rally. But their effect on the mind means to make his views intelligiis greater than that of any literal ble, and stamp them upon the hearts expression. By his figurative mode of his auditors.—Mete. Measure. It of speaking Christ shows in the is a philosophical fact that like dispoclearest manner what dispositions sitions produce like; kindness draws we should cultivate, and this ten- forth kindness; cruelty provokes dency once communicated leads to cruelty. Others are generally to us all right conduct, without particular what we are to them. Mark iv. 24. directions.”—Judge not. Condemn 3. Beholdest. Pointest out cennot. The above rule applies here. soriously.-Mote. Any minute par
that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in 4 thine own eye? 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 5 eye? 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 broth6 er's eye..Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast
ye your pearls before swine ; lest they trample them under their feet,
One is sour,
ticle of matter. As the comparison swine. These were unclean ani. is here made between this and a mals according to the law of Moses. beam or a log of wood, -by a strong To call a man a dog was, and is, in figure of speech,-it would be bet- oriental nations, one of the strongter to translate mote, splinter or est epithets of contempt. The Jews sliver. This saying is also found applied it to the Gentiles; the Turks in various forms in the rabbinical apply it to Christians. These words writings. Uncbaritableness detects are here used as descriptive of the foibles of others, and passes by two classes of men. its own vices. But love forgets malignant, and abusive; ready not others' offences, whilst intent upon only to reject the teachings of the its own, and exclaims with Paul, Gospel, but to rend in pieces the “I am the chief of sinners."
teacher. Phil. iii. 2. The other 4. How. With what face, or class is gross, sensual, and corrupt; with what propriety, can you criti- who trample the truth under their cise and condemn an offending feet with a bestial indifference and brother, when you are yourself disdain.-- Pearls. A precious subguilty of things far worse? In this stance found in a shell-fish resemand the last verse a second reason bling an oyster. They were obis advanced, why we should not tained from the Arabian and Indian judge others : viz., our inability to The precepts of wisdom do it justly on account of our own are often compared to them. Job sins.— Brother. Jesus and his Apos- xxviii. 18. Similar symbolical saytles call mankiud by this endearing ings are found in Jewish and Classic appellation. In the eye of the Gos- authors. The connection of this pel, mankind compose one vast verse with the preceding is not perbrotherhood, and family of God. fectly clear. Some suppose that, a
5. Hypocrite. Uncharitable, un- wholly new topic is introduced. candid man.
One who overlooks But the better view is this: that, as his own larger sins, in searching out our Master had cautioned them his neighbor's smaller ones, is guilty against censorious judgments, he of a species of hypocrisy. If we here points out, lest all liberty of first clear our own moral vision of forming an opinion of others' conits mists and impurities, we shall duct might seem to be taken away, then see our brother's character in another extreme to be avoided; a truer light, be more charitable to that of dealing with all men indisbim, and more competent to show criminately. The emphasis is then him the way of penitence, reforma- upon dogs and swine. Some men tion and spiritual life.
are so gross and violent as not to be 6. Holy. That which was offer- mistaken. Give not your reproofs, ed in sacrifice to God.-Dogs- your instructions, promiscuously,
and turn again and rend you. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, ad it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fis' will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall
else you might fall into the mistake 9. Luke xi. 11-13. What force of one who should cast the holy and beauty in this mode of reasonsacrifice before ravenous dogs, and ing! It has been observed that the pearls under the feet of swine. word man is emphatic here. Who The lesson is one therefore respect- of you men? Which of a fallible ing a charitable discrimination of race of creatures could treat their character, and an adaptation of in- offspring with such hard-heartedstructions to the wants and condi
ness as to give a stone for bread ? tions of mankind.
How much less would the Divine 7. Prayer is necessary to the for- Parent be guilty of such unnatural mation of such a bland, but dis- treatment !Whom. Should be who, criminating spirit as has just been grammatically. recommended. We must drink at 10. Luke, in xi. 12, adds yet anthe fountain of Divine Love to im- other illustration: “Or if he shall bue ourselves with the same senti- ask an egg, will he offer him a scorment. Ask-seek—knock. Three pion?” Such metaphors were comdifferent forms to inculcate the same general idea, and make it 11. Being evil. The imperfecmore emphatic. The successive tion of earthly parents is contrasted terms express increased earnest with the perfection of our Heavenly
The idea is, that in our Father. Parents may be selfish, prayers we should be urgent, per- unfeeling, partial, fickle, or passionsevering, and engaged, and then ate, but God is absolute, unchangewe shall be heard and answered. able, wise, and kind. Is. xlix. 15. Luke xi. 5-8. xviii. 1-8.
Good gifts. In the parallel place 8. In temporal affairs those who in Luke xi. 13, the expression is, wish for any thing ask or seek for the Holy Spirit. This is an intimait, and as a general rule they obtain tion that the best things we can ask, what they want. So in spiritual or God bestow, are spiritual blessconcerns, if we pray aright, our ings. The Holy Spirit, as used in requests are granted. But it is of the New Testament, often signifies course implied that we ask in a miraculous powers and influences. proper spirit, sincerely, humbly, Though these are not shed abroad and devoutly. And also that we now, as they were upon Jesus and ask what is consistent with God's his Apostles, yet the natural workwill to bestow, and best adapted to ings of the Holy Spirit of God our good on the whole to receive. upon us are a proper subject of The prayer of filial faith and sub
What touching persuamission, which sums up all by say.. sives our Master addresses to us to ing, “Not my will, but thine be be constant and persevering in our done,” is never breathed in vain. devotions—to supplicate for spirit
12 which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? There
fore all things, whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye 13 even so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.- Enter ye
ual blessings, and to resign our- avarice, envy, false conduct, treachselves trustfully into the arms of a ery, unkindness, slander, theft, adulFather, so mighty and so good, who, tery, and murder.”—This is the law though he denies us the exact things and the prophets. This is not to be we ask, will grant us what we really cut to the quick, as interpreters say, need !
not to be taken too literally. Simi12. Luke vi. 31. He had been lar phrases occur in liom. xiii. 8– alluding to the kindness of parents 10. Gal. v. 14. 1 Tim. i. 5. The to their children. But he now says, same language was used by our Let what is right be done to all men. Lord, Mat. xxii. 37–40. Love to In all circumstances, everywhere, God and man is the substance of to every person, do as you would law, prophets, and, we may add, reasonably desire to be done by. Gospel
. “And where one prevails The sense is, not that our wishes, in its vigor, the other can hardly be however unjust, should be the wanting ; so that, in a free sense, measure of our conduct towards either love to man, or love to God, others; but that we should act to might be called the fulfilling of the others as we might properly wish law, and the sum of the prophets. them to conduct towards us. Right- It is related in the Jewish Talmud, ly construed, the precept is of that a Pagan came to Hillel, a great universal obligation and applica- Rabbi, and offered to become a tion. It is an abridgment of social proselyte, provided he would teach duty. The common iron rule is, to him the whole law while he stood do to others as others do to us. But on one foot. The Rabbi took him this go
den one of our Saviour is at his word, and made him a prosemore noble—to do to others as we lyte by saying—“Do not to another would that others should do to us. what is odious to thyself: this is It is said to be a rule found exten- the whole law; the rest is but exsively in classic and rabbinical planation; go away perfect.” “The writings, Tobit iv, 15: “Do that to ten commandments,” said Luther, no man which thou hatest.” And “are the measuring lines of God; the idea is so consonant to truth they are written in our flesh and and justice that almost all lan- blood; the meaning of them is : guages contain it. • We can better What thou wouldst have done to learn our duty in this way, because thyself, the same thou oughtest also we see more clearly what is just to do to another. God presseth and right, when we reflect what upon that point, and saith: Such others owe to us, than by asking measure as thou metest, the same what we owe to them. By chang- shall be measured to thee again. ing places, our judgments are recti With this measuring line he hath fied. It has been well said, “that marked the whole world.” this law is what the balance wheel 13. This verse is connected with is to machinery. It would prevent the foregoing rule of social conall irregularity of movement in the duct, which is hard of observance to moral world, as that does in the thoughtless, sinful man. The figsteam engine. It would destroy ures of the gate and the road are
in at the strait gate ; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that
taken from the ancient cities, some have to seek after it. But this way of whose passages and entrances is something to be found, to be were broad and thronged, and oth- sought after; it does not come of ers narrow and unfrequented. The itself. Holiness, piety, benevolence, cultivation of a true, disinterested, are not the result of chance, but self-renouncing love, and its con of choice. The two verses have stant exercise under all circumstan- been paraphrased thus :-“ Aim at ces, is difficult indeed. How few entering in at the strait gate: though walk in the strait path of love! there be a gate that is wide, and How many hurry along the broad the way to it is broad, and many road of selfishness! The lesson are travelling along it; yet it leads conveyed in general is, that virtue to perdition; therefore take it not. requires choice, care, and effort. And though there be a gate that is -Enter. It must be an act of strait
, and the way to it narrow, choice and preference.—Strait gate. and few are they that travel thereto, Close, narrow, difficult of entrance. yet take it, for it leads to life and Caution will be demanded eternal happiness.” walk in it_uprightly.—Broad is 15. The gate is narrow and difthe
way. The temptations to a ficult; beware therefore of false thoughtless, worldly life are nu- guides.-False prophets. The term merous and obvious; widely thrown prophet is used with considerable open are the facilities to_vice.- latitude of signification in the ScripLeadeth to destruction. But the tures, meaning sometimes simply a course is a dangerous one, and will teacher of religion, That such lead to the most fatal consequences. teachers and false pretenders would -Many go in thereat. Yet, strange arise, Christ and his disciples preand sad to say, it is the very way dicted, Mat. xxiv. 11, 24; and demultitudes are flocking, and it will scribed, Acts xx. 29. Rom. xvi. 18. require resolution not to be borne 2 Peter ji. 1,3. 1 John iv. 1. If away into the heedless crowd, any character of distinguished exyielding to the seduction of their cellence in any pursuit or art arise, example. But we must not follow there is usually a school of imitaa multitude to do evil.
tors and sciolists who spring up af14. Because strait is the gate. ter him. In this respect religion The reading of Griesbach is-How holds an analogy with other things. strait is the gate! This exclama- .-Sheep's clothing. In the garb of tion more energetically expresses innocence, and fair appearance; the difficulty of the way of virtue. not literally a dress of sheepskins, -Leadeth unto life. Čonducts to though some have supposed that that goodness which is the life and reference was made to the dress of happiness of the soul, in this and the prophets, but in the aspect of all future states of being.–Find goodness and meekness. Heb. xi. it. It is said of the broad way, 37.-But inwardly ravening wolves. many go in thereat. They do not A wolf in sheep's clothing is a