Imágenes de páginas

man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love

the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye 25 cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore I say unto you: Take



more awful than the natural night, wooden and stone images were how much worse than total blind- thrown down. It is to be feared ness of the eyesight! 2 Cor. iv. 4. that thousands in Christian lands Some of the ancient sages used the offer their sincerest service, their same comparison, “as the eye in heartiest worship to Mammon, or the body, so is the reason in the some idol of the heart.-Hate the soul.” Jesus speaks of a light in one, and love the other. Which us ; that would be a positive con means, according to a common tradiction in terms, if all was origi- Hebrew idiom, to love less and love nally totally dark and depraved more, not absolute hatred and love. there. He never taught the doc - Or else. Or, at least will hold trine of Total Depravity. He as- to, obey one.-Despise. Disobey sures us that the light may become the other.— Ye cannot serve God and darkness, reason may be dethroned, Mammon. This is the inference and conscience seared, and the from the principle advanced. Mamheart hardened; but God did not mon is a Chaldaic and Syriac word, create us in that state.—Having meaning riches, and is here used as dimmed the lustre of the spirit-eye, the name of the money-god. If we shall pray with Milton :

we truly love and serve God, as de-' “ Thou celestial light,

voted, dutiful children, we shall Shine inward, and the mind through all her postpone all worldly aggrandizeIrradiate ; there plant eyes, all mist from

ment as of inferior consequence.

If rich, we shall esteem wealth of Purge and disperse.”

less value than religion. If poor, 24. The Saviour had spoken of we shall still feel that we may have the perishable nature of earthly within our possession the grandest treasures as one reason why they treasure of the universe. But on should not be pursued and laid up the other side, if we centre our deas the greatest good; he had al- sires and hopes in things earthly, luded to the darkness which over we shall inevitably defraud our spreads the covetous, worldly mind, Creator; we cannot live to this more dreadful than blindness; he world and to heaven also-give now appeals to the principle that half a heart to God, and half a man cannot serve two masters at heart to Mammon. But how many the same time, as a further motive are engaged in the futile attempt to to labor for the heavenly inherit- bring about this impossible thing ; ance in obedience God. Every and distressing their lives with the man has his ruling passion, his knotty problem, how they may be prominent object of pursuit. Two worldly and spiritually minded at objects of different natures he can the same time! not pursue with equal interest, af 25. Therefore. A conclusion fection, and unweariedness. He from the preceding verse. If one may worship and serve and love must be your master, let it be the the Pleasure-god, or the Money- rightful one, your Father in heaven. god, but he neglects his Maker. Vex not yourselves with needless All idolatry did not cease when the fears about temporal prosperity.

no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than
meat, and the body than rajment? Behold the fowls of the air, for 26
they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barps; yet your
heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature ? 27


Take no thought. An unfortunate ment. Old English for clothing.
rendering. Rather, take no undue Luke xii. 22, 23.
thought; be not anxious and solici 26. Behold the fowls of the air.
tous, distracted in mind, tossed by Observe the birds. Luke xii. 24.

Phil. iv. 6. There is no Job xxxviii. 41. The Saviour uses
countenance given here to the idle, the simple and elegant reasoning of
the improvident, and thristless. A nature, and from the birds, flying
degree of attention is necessary to around him, draws profoundest
secure a livelihood. Rom. xii. 11. truths. It is obviously not his pur-
1 Tim. v. 8. But the point is, that pose to counsel men to do as the
we should not be so much con- birds, and neither sow nor reap;
cerned about living, as to , neglect but to cast themselves on the bosom
life, to distrust Providence, and of Providence without anxiety. If
to forego heaven. Food and the bird, an irrational, insignificant,
clothing are the means, not the transient creature, “poor citizen of
ends of life. Several beautiful and the air," sings blithely, without fear
pointed illustrations enforce the of the morrow, or questioning of
doctrine through the following ver- Providence, shall not man, the lord
ses.—Is not the life more than meat, of this lower world, favorite of the
and the body than raiment ? This is skies, be taken care of ?-Are ye
the first reason for a calm, unapx not much better than they? Of nobler
ious reliance on Divine Providence, nature, more important station, and
the past experience of its care. í sublimer destiny. The poet Bryant
Peter v. 7. If God has bestowed has finely paraphrased the senti-
life and bodies, certainly he will ment of Jesus, in his address to the
not fail in providing the lesser gifts Water-fowl:-
of food and clothing. The splen-
did boon of a human, rational, hap Teaches thy way along that pathless coast,-
py existence is such a proof of his


« There is a Power whose care

[ocr errors]

The desert and illimitable air,

Lone wandering, but not lost. kind regard as to banish the fear of any inferior needed blessing

“Thou’rt gone, the abyss of heaven

Hath swallowed up thy form; yet on my being denied us. The formation of the body, with its wonderful Deeply hath sunk the lesson thou hast adaptation to the outward world,

And shall not soon depart. with its perfect senses, its capacities of labor, endurance, and enjoyment, Guides through the boundless sky thy certain is such a master-piece of Heaven, flight, as to leave us in no doubt that the

In the long way that I must tread alone,

Will lead my steps aright.” requisite garb will be provided to shelter “this little moving temple.” 27. Luke xii. 25, 26.--Add one -Meat. This name was formerly cubit unto his stature. A cubit is a given to all kinds of food.-Rai- measure, from the elbow to the tip



" He who from zone to zone

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the 29 field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin ; and yet I say

unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one

of the middle finger, of 18, or 22 lily springs up and grows spontainches. Few would desire to add neously, expands its brilliant blosthus much to their stature. It is soms, eclipsing the pomp of kings, more probable that the word here and fills the air with fragrance. translated stature would be better Does God deck with perfect beauty expressed by age, as it is actually the fragile flower, and make it the done in John ix. 21, 23, and He- glory of the vegetable kingdom, brews xi. 11. Though few wish to and is be unmindful of his own be taller, inultitudes desire to add children, his image, his heirs ? — to the length of their lives. The ar- Toil-spin. Reference is here gument is then-if we are so help- made to the employments of males less as to be unable to add one cu and females respectively.bit to our age, or prolong our life “ Flowers! When the Saviour's calm, beone moment, why should we not

nignant eye

Fell on your gentle beauty,—when from you perceive our very weakness to be a

That heavenly lesson for all hearts he drew, motive against being “ careful and Eternal, universal, as the sky,troubled about many things”? The

Then in the bosom of your purity.

A voice he set, as in a temple shrine, impotence and fruitlessness of all

That life's quick travellers ne'er might pass our solicitude, the impossibility of you by

Unwarned of that sweet oracle divine. our prolonging our existence one

And though too oft its low, celestial sound second beyond the allotted period, By the harsh notes of work-day care is is a reason why we should confide drowned,

And the loud steps of vain, unlistening Haste, cheerfully in that tender Provi

Yet, the great ocean hath no tone of dence, which takes no advantage

Mightier to reach the soul, in thought's of our weakness, but ministers as hushed hour, the gentlest nurse to our needs. Than yours, ye lilies, chosen thus and God will do for us better than our

graced?" fears, better than our hopes.

29. Even Solomon in all his glory. 28. From the fowls of the air he Solomon was the richest and most draws the conclusion that man magnificent king of Israel, and the should not be anxious for the means reference to him possesses great of supporting life. Now from the force and beauty. “ If the comlilies of the field he infers that he parison of our Saviour be to the should trust Providence for cloth- whiteness of Solomon's raiment, ing.- Consider. Survey attentively. then, certainly, it never equalled - The lilies of the field. Luke xii. the brilliant whiteness of a lily :

Flowers of this kind grew. if it be to the resplendence of colors, wild in Palestine, and probably then the mixture, the relief, the multitudes of them were in sight glow of colors, in some kinds of from the hill where Jesus was ad- lilies, exceeds whatever the manudressing the crowd. 6. The white facturers of stuffs for Solomon's lily is a flower of the field in Persia, wardrobe could compose.” How and some of its species may be field- bold, yet true, the figure that the flowers in Judea. Besides this, Jily of the field outshone the monthere is the martagon, crown impe- arch, arrayed in his imperial robes, rial, and other colored lilies.” The in his kingly glory, seated on an


of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which 30 to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he vot much more clothe


of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying: 31 What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek ;) for your 32 heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But 33

you, o



ivory throne overlaid with gold! 2 the Gentiles seek. This sentence is Chron. ix. 17.

not parenthetical, as represented in 30. Clothe. The subjunctive our Bibles, but composes a regular ought not to be employed here, for part of our Lord's reasoning. It a fact, and not a contingency, is constitutes the fifth argument why spoken of; the indicative would be we should repose implicit and the proper

mode.—The grass of the child-like confidence in the provifield. This in the original has a dence of Heaven. Luke xii. 30. wider sense than what we call Mat. v. 47. This kind of reason grass; including all kinds of plants was often made use of in the Old and herbaceous productions.-To- Testament, as if to shame the Jews day-tomorrow. Expressive of its into virtue, by comparing thern extreme frailty ; suddenly destroy with their heathen neighbors. Jeed; one day in full bloom, the next sus says it is heathenish, it is what consumed to ashes.—Cast into the Pagans, ignorant of God, bis provi

On account of the scarcity dence, and a future state, do, to be of wood in the east, it is usual to chiefly solicitous to secure earthly employ dried grass, or the leaves goods and pleasures, and to tremble and stalks of plants for fuel. A for the future as if they were to betraveller tells us that in Barbary come orphans in the world. We myrtle and rosemary are used to need not be surprised that they heat ovens. The Jews had various should be distracted and anxious, methods of baking their bread: in lest their wants should not be met. the ashes, on the hearth, upon cop- But how unbecoming in those enper plates, in pans, and stoves. But lightened with a true knowledge of the common kind of oriental oven, the love and care of the Father, to and the one no doubt referred to doubt and question his providence here, consists of a round hole in towards man !-Seek. To seek the ground, with the bottom cover- earnestly, to strive after intensely, ed with stones, and heated by fuel is the force of the Greek word. cast into it. When the stones are For your heavenly Father knoweth hot enough, the ashes are removed, that ye have need of all these things. and the dough is placed on the bot- Another motive to banish all slavish tom of the oven, and turned whilst solicitude about the circumstances baking.-ye of little faith. Dis- of life. The argument is from trustful. Luke xii. 28.

God's knowledge to his goodness. 31. Luke xii. 29. The injunc- He knows our wants, therefore he tion of verse 25 is reiterated.—Take will supply thein. He who gave no thought. Take no undue thought, lite knows how carefully its fitful be not over anxious and troubled taper must be guarded to prevent about food, or drink, or clothing. its being extinguished. He who

32. For after all these things do created the frail body knows its





seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all 34 these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought

for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.


need of constant reinforcements to and thrifty. Other things equal, its strength, and shelter and cloth- the good man prospers better in ing to its tenderness. The vital air, worldly affairs than the bad man. the pure water, the comfortable fire, Shrewd calculators never miss it the warm garment, the cheerful more than when they live and labor light, the wholesome food, the quiet for temporal good alone. They home, the welcome sleep, the grate- overshoot their mark. Seeking the ful rotation of the seasons, -and all world solely, they lose both the the thousand glorious and wonder- world and heaven. In cases withful ministrations of Nature, testify out number, their unrighteous polithat our Great Friend, conscious of cy overleaps itself, and crushes to our necessities, is most kind and atoms their false and godless hopes. liberal in supplying them.- Virtue first, Virtue last, Virtue "Oh, mighty love! Man is one world, and

midst, should be the motto of every

human creature; and then all other Another to attend him."

needful inferior goods will be ours. 33. Seek ye first the kingdom of Said David: “I have been young, God, and his righteousness. Luke and now am old; yet have I not xii. 31. The kingdom of God is seen the righteous forsaken, nor his spiritual blessings; the influences seed begging bread.” of Christianity; the promises of 34. Take therefore no thought. heaven.--His righteousness means This injunction has been thrice rethe righteousness he enjoins and peated, showing its importance; requires. Micah vi. 5–8. Put re- and each tirne has been reinforced ligion forward, as the high, bril- by some fresh and cogent argument, liant, blissful aim of your being. though without the formality, and Call that primary, and every thing ceremony of reasoning:—The morelse secondary. Other things are row. The future. --Shall take thought good ; this is an essential good; it for the things of itself. Will bring iş our life. And all these things its own cares and anxieties along shall be added unto you. Another with it, and the needed strength to reason for a serene reliance upon meet them. This is the summing the care of Heaven. Let religion up of the whole. Do your present be the first thing in our affections, duties, unanxious about futurity. and in our labors, and Providence With wants and trials coming to will be our mighty partner and beset you, there will also spring up helper in business. As an addition a present help in every time of to this verse, the following words need.-Sufficient unto the day is the are quoted by early Christian au- evil thereof.

Still another reason thors : “ Ask great things, and little why we should not harass ourselves things shall be added unto you; with imaginary troubles. Every ask heavenly things, and earthly day has its appropriate load of care, things shall be added unto you.” and it is injustice to borrow from All the vices are expensive and los- the morrow to increase that load. ing, as all the virtues are gainful We always have evils enough with

« AnteriorContinuar »