Imágenes de páginas

sat down, and called the Twelve, and faith unto them, If any Man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and Servant of all. [luke IX. 47.—]

Mat. XVIII. 1. At the fame Time came the Disciples unt»» Jesus, saying,Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?

Christ taking up a little Child, exhorts them to Humility. 19

and observing the fame Carnality and Emulation Spct. 93*
to be still working there, when he was fate down, .rOCS-*
called all the Twelve about him (b), and fays unto ^7 *
them with great Seriousness and Earnestness, It is
Humility that is the Way to Honour in my King-
dom ; and therefore if any one would be Chief there,
let him in all the Offices of condescending Friend- r
fhip to his Brethren, be as the last of all, and the
Servant of all.

And at the fame Time (c), when the Disciples Mat.XVIII.
were thus called, they came to Jesus, and finding r"
that he knew the Subject of their late Debate,
some of them at length took the Liberty of fay-
ing, Lord, decide this Question, and tell us plainly,
who is intended to be the greatest in the Kingdom
of Heaven, and to whom wilt thou commit the
chief Management of Affairs in it?

And when he had answered the Enquiry in the 2
Manner related above, Jesus, in order to imprefe
the important Maxim yet deeper on their Minds,
having called to him a little Child, that happened
then to be in the House where they lodged, took
and set him by him in the Midst of them; and taking
him up, and embracing him in his gracious Arms,
in Token of his tender Regard, he said unto them,
I assuredly declare it to you as a most solemn and 3
important Truth, that except ye be converted and
turned from these ambitious and carnal Views, and
become like little Children in Lowliness and Meek-
ness, in a candid teachable Temper, and an In-
difference to the great Things of the present Life,
(Psal. cxxxi. 1, 2.) you will be so far from having
any distinguished Rank among my Subjects, that ye
shall by no Means so much as enter at all into the


(i) Called all the Twelve about him.] It is natural to suppose, that twelve Persons travelling together on Foot would form themselves into two or three little Companies, while some of them, no doubt, would be attending Christ, and discoursing with him: But our Lord judged it proper, as he was now in the House, that all the Twelve should hear this Admonition, tho' they might not all have been engaged in the Dispute which occasioned it.

[c) At the same Time.] By these Words Matthew expressly fixes the Connexion between tbii Story, and that which concluded his xv'uth Chapter. But Clarius seems to refine too. œuch, when he supposes, that Christ's having thus miraculously provided for paying Peter's tribute with his own, gave Umbrage to the rest: Yet this precarious Turn serves the Church As tome, as an Argument for the Supremacy os the Pope; nor is- it wonderful, that in so weak a Cause they sljould catch at such a Shadow.

C 2 (d) Enttr

2 And Jesus called a little Child unto him, and [took and] set him [Lu K. by him] in the Midst of them, [and when he had taken him in his Arms, he said unto them,] [mame IX. 36. Luke iX.-47-J

3 Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little Children, ye (hall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little Child, the fame is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

5 And [luk. whosoever shall receive this Child,] [or one of such] little [Children] in my Name, receiveth me; [and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me :] [luk. for he that is least among you all, the fame shall be great.] [mark IX. 37, Luke IX. 48.]

20 He pews the Danger of offending any of his Little Oner.

Sect. 93. Kingdom of Heaven, or be entitled to any of its

!^r^C^ final Blessings. Whoever therefore shall humble

,' 'himself even as this little Child, and act with such
Candor, Simplicity, and Modesty, as you fee in
him, He is the Person, that hereafter will be re-
garded as the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven,

5 and will stand high in its final Glories. And
•whosoever cordially pall entertain this Child, [or]
shall discover an affectionate Regard to any one of
such little Children, in my Name, and for my Sake,
as one whom I love, and recommend to his Care,
tntertaineth me; for I shall take the Kindness as
done to myself: And I would have you to re-
member, that it (hall not terminate even there,
but (as I have formerly told you, Mat. x. 40.
Vol. i. pag. 471.) -whoever thus Jhall entertain and
shew a Regard to me, entertains not me alone, but
him that sent me (d), even my Heavenly Father,
who is honoured or affronted, as I am respected
or flighted. And this Regard to the meanest of
my Servants, I must urge upon you, as of the ut-
most Importance j for (as I just now told you,)
he that by such a Condescension is as the least
among you all, He shall be eminently great in my
Esteem, and be distinguished by peculiar Marks

6 of the Divine Favour. But 'whoever Jhall deli-
berately do any Thing to offend, and to occasion
the Fall of one of these Little Ones who believe in
me (e)\ or of any Disciple of mine, tho* he may
seem as weak as this Infant, will expose himself
thereby to such Guilt and Punishment, that it were
better for him he should undergo the most eertain
and terrible Destruction one can imagine, even
that a huge Mill-Jlone (f) should be hanged about his


(d) Entertains not me alone, but him that sent me.'] Here Christ was interrupted By a. Speech of John, related Mark ix. 38,—4r. which is paraphrased and explained below, in St£i. 96. See Note {a) there, pag. 34.

(e) Shall offend one of these Little &net, bsc] To offend a Person generally signifies, (as was. observed before, Vol. i. pag. 234. Note (c),) laying a Stumbling-block in his Way; so that any, who mould by a scandalous Life lead others to think ill of the Christian Profession in general, or should by Persecution discourage the Weak, or by Sophistry, bad Example, or otherwise, pervert them from the Way of Truth and Goodness, would fall under the Weight of this terrible Sentence.

(f) A huge Mill-Jlone.} So I render //»*« ciocor, which (as Erasmus, Grotius, Raphelius, and many others observe,) properly signifies a Mill-Jlone too large to be turned, as some were,


6 But [whosoever] snalE offend one of these Little Ones which believe in me, it were better for him, that a Mill-stone were hanged about his Neck, and that he were [cast into the Sea, and] drowned in the Depth of the Sea. [mark. IX. 42.]

7 Wo unto the World because of Offences : for it must needs be, that Offences come : but Wo to that Man by whom the Offence com • erh.

fPoe unto the Worlds because of Offences. 21

Neck, and he should be thrown headlong into the Sect. 93.
Sea (g), [and] drowned in the Depth of [it.] V^v-^J
Woe to the Worldy because of such Offences^ or MauXVIiL
Scandals as these j for they will bring upon it the t-
most dreadful Judgments: Indeed considering the
Corruption, and Weakness of Mankind, and the
various Temptations with which they are sur-
rounded, it is humanly speaking necessary, or un-
avoidable, that Offences come; but I may well say,
Woe to that Man, by whom the Offence cometh, who-
ever he be, that by Avarice, Ambition, or any
other vicious Affection, lays a Stumbling-block in
Men's Way, and makes himself accessary to the
Ruin of immortal Souls, tempting them either to
renounce, or to despise the Gospel j for the Time
will come, when he shall bitterly repent it.

Wherefore let me renew the Exhortation,, which &
I formerly gave you, rather to submit to the severest
Mortifications, than to indulge your sinful Incli-
nations, to the Scandal of others, and to your own
Ruin: And as I then told you in my Sermon on
the Mount (b), (fee on Mat. ▼. 30. Vol. i. pag,
234.) If thy Right Hand offend thee, that is, if
any Thing dear unto thee as a Right Hand, should
be the Means of leading thee into Sin, rather than
indulge it, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee, what-
ever Pain or Deformity, or other Detriment, might
follow from foch a Loss •> for it is- much better
for thee to enter maimed into Eternal Life, than
having two Hands, to go down into the Prison of
Hell, even into that Fire which shall never be ex-
Where tinguijhed: Where their corroding and up- Mark I2E
their braiding 44-

Mark IX. 44.

8 — Wherefore is thy Hand—offend thee, [cut it off,] and cast it from thee: h is better for thee to enter into Life—maimed, rather than having two Hands, [to go into Hell, into the Fire that never (hall be quenched :] [mark IX. 43J

by the Hand, and which would' require the Force of AJJes to move it; as it seems those Animals were generally used by the "Jews on this Occasion. See Raphel. Annot. ex Xen. p. 46.

(g) Thrown headlong into the Sea.] Casaukn, and Eisner, (Observ. Vol. i. pag. 85.) not to mention others, have shewn at large, that Drowning in the Sea was a Punishment frequently used among the Antients, and that the Persons condemned had sometimes heavy Stones tied' about their Kecks, or were rolled up in Sheets of Lead. It seems to have grown into a Proverb, for dreadful and inevitable Ruin.

(h) As I told you in my Sermon on the Mount.] It will, I hope, be observed^, that Matthew, who had. before so largely recorded that Sermon, gives Us again this Passage of it on the present Occasion; which is one Proof, among many others, that our Lord did not think it improper or unnecessary,, sometimes to repeat what he had then said: (See Vol. i. pag. 296. Note (e).) And considering the Importance of these Maxims, and how little many o£ bis Hearers were disposed to receive and retain them, it was a valuable Instance of his Compassion and Wisdom..

(•»') IVhtrr

2 2 Better to lose a "Foot or an Eye, than suffer them to offend us.

Sect. 93. braiding Conscience is as a Worm, which never their Worm dieth not, and ^sy^> dies (i), but with unutterable Anguish still gnaws the F,rc is not 1ucnched44? uPon l^e Heart; and where the Fire of Divine

Wrath, which shall penetrate into the very Soul

of the Sinner, is not, and shall not, be quenched

throughout all the endless Ages of Eternity.

45 And again, if thy Foot offend thee, cut it off 45 And if tny Fo°t ofwith as much Resolution, as thou wouldst part [end thee, cut it off: it is

. . »»»€./• 1 ¥1 r ' r better for thee to enter halt

with a gangrened Member for the Preservation of int0 Life> than having two

thy Life; for something yet more important is Feet, to be cast into Hell,

here concerned, and it is better for thee to enter jnto the Fire that never £hall

lame into the Regions of Eternal Life and Blessed- _lgjenc e
ness, tho' thou wast ever to continue so (k), than
having two Feet to be caji into the inextinguishable

46 Fire of Hell: Where their tormenting Worm 46 Where their Worm
dieth not, and where the Fire is not quenched, nor dieth not» and the fire is
the Violence of its Heat abated thro' all the Ages not luenched-

of Eternity.

47 And, to repeat so wholesome and necessary an 47 And if thine Eye ofAdmonition a third Time, if thine Eye offend thee, send .thf» Pluck k out' CanJ or would necessarily be the Means of leading thee £&%££Z&\^ into Sin, chuse rather with thine own Hands to Kingdom of God, [erinto tear it out of its Socket, and to cafl it away from Life,] with one Eye, [ratherj thee-as an abhorred Thing than by complying ^^flirifpÆS with the Temptation, to hazard thy far more XVIII. 9.]

precious Soul; for it is far better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of GOD, [or] into Everlasting Life and Blessedness, with but one Eye, even tho' . the other were not to be restored at the Resurrection, but the Blemish were to continue for ever, than having two Eyest and all the other


(«') Where tbeir Conscience is as a Worm, which never dies.] There may indeed be

an Allusion here to Isa. lxvi. 24. (compare Ecclus' vii. 17. and Judith xvi. 17.) but the Expression had been just and proper without it: And it is observable, that some of the Antients expressed the same Thought by saying, that the Marrow of the Back-Bone did in a wicked Man turn into a huge and fierce Serpent; thereby intimating, (by a much finer Figure, than Ælian, who reports it, understood,) that their own Thought should be their Torment, and they should be unable to disarm it by those Artifices, which had prevailed in the present Life. SeeÆlian. Hist. Anim. lib. i. cap. 51. and Gataker. Antonin. lib. viii. §. 58.

(i) Tho' thou wast ever to continue so.] It is certain, no Man will enter into Life halt, maimed, or blind, as the Bodies of the Saints will be restored in the greatest Perfection. I know indeed, that, with some Latitude in the Expression, he may be said to enter halt, or maimed, into Life, whose Spirit passes from a dismembered Body into the Regions of the Blefled; but it seems to me, that the Propriety of the Phrase is most exactly preserved, by taking it as in the Paraphrase, and the Spirit of the Thought is greatly increased by that Interpretation.

(/; Shall

48 Where their diech not, and the not quenched.


Fire is

49 For every one {hall be salted with Fire, and every Sacrifice shall be salted with Salt.

Offenders /hall be salted with Fire, and not be confirmed. 23

Members of thy Body in the greatest Perfection, Sect. 93..
to be cast into Hell, where they will all be full of L^/>J
unutterable Anguish, being tormented with ever-
lasting Fire, In that dreadful Prison of Divine Mark IX.
Vengeance, where (as I have told you again and 48.
again,) their Worm dieth not, and the Fire is not
quenched nor abated, but preys perpetually on the
miserable Sinner that is condemned to it. For 49
as the Flesh burnt on the Altar has Salt rubbed
upon it, in Consequence of which it burns so
much the more fiercely, so every one of those un-
happy Creatures, the Victims of Divine Justice,
shall be (as it were) salted with Fire (I), and in-
stead of being consumed by it, shall in those
wretched Abodes continue immortal in the Midst
of their Flames; whereas every acceptable Sacri-
Jice Jhall be seasoned with another Kind of Salt (m),
even that of Divine Grace, which purifies the
Soul, and preserves it from Corruption.

In Allusion to this, I have formerly called you, 50
my Disciples, the Salt of the Earth; (Mat. v. 13.


50 Salt is good

but if


(I) Shall be salted with Fire.} Grotius, Spanheim, Gataker, LeClere, and Dr. Mill, have abundantly answered the favourite Criticism of Scaliger, by which he would here read <avftx instead of wfi, that it might be rendered, Every Offering made by Fire Jhall be salted. The learned and laborious Wolfiut has proposed a multitude of Interpretations on this Text. He, and Mms. L'Enfant, think it refers to the fiery Trial, thro' which Christians must expect to safe: But this neither seems a natural Sense of the Phrase itself, nor does it so well suit the Context, by which it should seem to be a Reason why the Infernal Fire is never quenched, I know it may be answered, that it is however a Reason why the Disciples should practise the Mtrtificatim required above: But it seems desirable, where it can be done, to interpret the Particles in their most usual Sense, thor sometimes it is necessary (as we have elsewhere observed, Vol. i. pag. 307. Note (»'J,) to recede from it. To suppose, as Dr. Clarke, and feme others do, that here is a Reference to the Ambiguity of the Hebrew Word n^DJ, which signifies either to be salted, or consumed, seems very unwarrantable; since ttki&noiliu has no such Ambiguity; not to say, how much it would impair the Force of the Sentence, leading to an Tdea, the very contrary to what Christ had suggested above, no less than three Times.

(m) Every Sacrifice Jhall be seasonedwith Salt.] It is well known, that the Mosaic Law

required this. See Lev. ii. 13. Heinfius thinks, that as Salt contracts and binds, it was>

therefore used as an Emblem of Friendjhip, which he supposes our Lord afterwards to refer to; and that it was the Foundation of the Figure, by which a perpetual Engagement is called a Covenant of Salt. Numb, xviii. 19. I should rather think it intended, as a Circumstance of Decency, that the Meat of G o D's Table should be salted; and conclude, that if it had any Emblematical Meaning, it was to recommend to the Worshipper an incorrupt Heart seasoned;

with savoury Sentiments of Wisdom and Piety. Sinners are elsewhere represented, as

the Victims of Divine Justice: [Isa. xxxiv. 6. Jet. xii. 3. xlvi. 10. E%ek. xxi. 9, 10. and" xxxix. 17.) And good Men, (as in the End of this Verse,) are represented in another View,, with regard to their Consecration to G 0 D, as acceptable Sacrifices. Rom. xii. 1. xv. 16. Compare 1 Pet. ii. 5.

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