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Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 Ye have heard, that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill: and whosoever shall kill,
22 shall be in danger of the judgment. But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgments/): and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca (m), shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell-fire.
23 Therefore, if thou bring thy gist to the altar, and there rememberedst that thy brother hath ought
24 against thee (n); Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way, first be reconciled to thy bro
25 ther, and then come and ofser thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him: lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the
26 ossicer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say unto thee, thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost sarthing (0).
27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time,
28 Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say unto
cording to their respective guilt,with the utmost rigour; and, how» ever they nay escape al! temporal punishment, are certainly in danger of the more dreadful judgment of God, who trieth the heart.
(/) All groundless and immoderate anger and resentment, all scornful and provoking language, proceed from ill-will and a rancour of spirit, and are therefore within the intent and meaning of the sixth commandment.
(m) Raca is a term of contempt, signifying an empty senseless wretch. Fool in Scripture language, signifies a wicked impious person. Let us learn from hence to beware of the sin of pride, and especially of that great corrupter of the human heart, spiritual pride; and let us be careful to do our own duty with dt-ep humility towards Go'd, and Christian compassion and charity to others.
(«) It Is in vain to expect that God wifcMiccept any of our services, or restore us to his savour, unless we do all in our power to regain the good-will of those whom we have injured, or ofsended.
(») See Luki \n. 58.
you, you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already
29 in his heart. And if thy right-eye offend thee (p)+ pluck it out, and cast it from thee (q): for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into
30 hell. And if thy right-hand offend thee, cut it oflv and cast it from thee: for it is prositable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that
31 thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wise, let him
32 give .her a writing of divorcement." But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wise, saving for the caule of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced, committeth adultery (r).
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt
34 perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it rs"
'35 God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool i neither by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the
36 great King: Neither shalt thou swear by thy head; because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay (s): for whatsoever is more than these, cometh of evil.
(ji) If it cause thee to offend, or be an hindrance to thee in thy duty.
(y) By the right hand and right eye, are here meant men's savourite vices, which having been long indulged, become, as it were, part of their very frame; but as every wise man will consent to suffer the most painful operation, or even to lose a limb, if necessary, to save his lise; so every good Christian will subdue his lusts and passions, and part with whatever is dearest to him, rather than forseit his hope of everlasting happiness in the lise to come.
(r) See Mark x. 11.
(i) Your common conversation and discourse must be sincere and simple, without oaths of any kind; for oaths are only to be used! when they are required by lawful authority. See Chat. xxvi. 63..
38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for
39 an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. But I say unto you, (t) that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take
41 away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with
42 him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away (u).
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy (w):
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
45 you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven; for he maketh his fun to rise on the evil and. on the good, and sendeth
46 rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not
47 even the publicans (x) the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do you more than others P
48 do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore persect (y), even as your Father which is in heaven is perscct.
(r) That ye render not evil for evil.
(«) The foregoing precepts are not meant to be confined to these particular instances, or to be understood in a literal, but in a general and moral, sense; as designed to guard against passion and resentment under any provocation, and to promote a meek and humble temper on all occasions in our whole behaviour.
(w) No where in Scripture were the Jews permitted, much less commanded, to hate their enemies; that was the perverse interpretation, or licence, of the old Jewish Rabbies only.
(x) Publicans were officers who collected the public taxes for the Roman emperors, and were hated by the Jews pn that account.
(y) Remember that it is your highest persection and glory to resemble your heavenly Father, as much as you possibly can, in acts ©f goodness and mercy.
C H A P. VI.
1 "TAKE heed that ye do not your alms before men,
.*' (a) to be seen of them : otherwise ye have no re
2 ward of your Father whicji is in heaven. Therefore, when thou doest thine alms do not found a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may have glory of mm.
3 Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward (b). But' when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know
4 what thy right hand doeth (r): That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret (d), himself shall reward thee openly.
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in
. the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say unto
6 you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret,
h shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray,
(a) Take heed of hypocrisy and vanity in performing any religious fluty i for the very.best actions cannot be pleasing to God, if the motives of them be corrupt and unworthy.
(i) They may perhaps obtain their wish; but they will have no other reward.
(c) This is a proverbial expression, importing the greatest caution and secrecy. The application of it in this place is, to check the principle, as well as the suspicion, of vain-glory, or a desire of the 'iiaise of men. Alms may indeed sometimes require to be public;
ut the heart must likewise in that case be free from ostentation and vanity.
(d) Thy Father, though he cannot be seen by any mortal eye, seeth and observeth all things, and will reward the sincerity and goodness of thy heart, if not in this world, yet certainly in the moil public and glorious manner in the world to come.
use nc* vain repetitions (e), as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their
8 much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye
g have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye (f): Our Father which art
10 in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom
11 come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
12 Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive
13 us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
14 glory, for ever. Amen. For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive
15 you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
16 Moreover, when ye sast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to sast. Verily, I
17 say unto you, they huve their reward. But thou,
(t) It is not by the number of our prayers, but the devotion of our hearts, that we can recommend ourselves to God.
(_/) O Gracious Father, who dwellest in the light which no man can approach unto, and yet condescendest to hearken to the prayers of all the children of men.
Let the adorable persections of thy nature be every where de»voutly reverenced and glorified..
Let thy kingdom of truth and righteousness prevail to the full establishment of the gospel of Chrilt.
Let thy holy will be obeyed with sincerity and constancy by met* on earth, as it is by the blessed angels in heaven.
Give us, we beseech thee, day by day those things that are needful for our daily liipport, in that ilate of lise to which it hath pleased thee to call us.
And of thy mercy forgive us our manifold transgressions and offences, in like manner as.we are ready from our hearts to forgive every one who hath ofsended us.
Sufser us not to be overcome bv temptations: But deliver us from. the power of Satan, and the deceitfulnefs and corruption of fin.
For thy kingdom ruleth over all things, visible and invisible. Thou art the sovereign disposer of all events. And to thee alone are due all glory, worship, and praise, throughout all ages for ever.' So be it.