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Alms-giving and prayer.
MATTHEW VI. Fasling and laying up treasures. otherwise ye have no reward from your Father into temptation, but preserve us from evil: [For 2 who is in heaven. When therefore thou doest thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the
thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, glory, for ever. Amen.'] For if ye forgive 14 as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will streets, that they may be honoured by men.
also forgive you;
But if ye forgive not men 15 Verily I say to you, They have their reward. their trespasses, neither will
their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand your trespasses. 4 know what thy right hand doeth ; That thine “Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypo- 16
alms may be in secret; and thy Father who crites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure
seeth in secret shall himself reward thee openly. | their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. 5 " And when thou prayest, be not like the Verily I say to you, They have their reward.
hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, 17 the synagogues and at the corners of the streets, and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men 18
that they may be seen by men. Verily I say to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret; and 6 to you, They have their reward. But thou, thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee.
when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, 19 when thou hast shut thy door, pray in secret where moth and rust consume, and where thieves
to thy Father; and thy Father, who seeth in se- break through and steal; But lay up for your- 20 7 cret, shall reward thee. But when ye pray, use selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth
not many idle words, as the Gentiles do; for they nor rust consumeth, and where thieves do not
think that they will be heard for their much break through nor steal; For where your 21 8 speaking. Be not ye therefore like them; for treasure is, there will be your heart also. The 22
your Father knoweth what things ye need, be- | lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore thine 9 fore ye ask him. In this manner therefore pray eye be clear, thy whole body will be full of light.
ye: "Our Father who art in heaven ; Hallow- But if thine eye be dim, thy whole body will be 23 10 ed be thy name. Let thy kingdom come; and full of darkness. If therefore the light that is
thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. in thee be darkness, how great must be that 1 Give us this day food sufficient for us. And for- | darkness !
give us our trespasses as we forgive those who "No man cau serve two masters; for either he 24 13 have trespasse d against us. And bring us not will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
.CHAP. VỊ. 1. dets of righteousness. Campbell renders religious duties. The reading here followed, is allowed to be genuine; and more properly introduces what follows, than the common text.
2. Do not sound a trumpet. A proverbial espression for doing a thing in the most public manner, and to express ostentation. Eastern monarchs were proclaimed in this manner : 2 Kings ix, 13.- -Hypocrites. The Scribes and Pharisees, who sought popular applause only.
6. In secret. In this construction, I am supported by the Vulgate and Arabic yersions, and tü is wanting in several mss. So Pearce renders, and Campbell to the sampe orpose. This last critic rejects ry tū pave pou at the end of the 4th, of this, and the 18th verses. These words are wanting in some of the best mss. and the most early fathers did not acknowledge them genuine. Griesbach has admitted them, but with a mark as doubtful.
7. Idle words. Repetition in prayer may often be proper, and every kind of it cannot be forbidden in these words. Whatever is vain, foolish, or idle, must be comprehended; and so far as repetition answers to this, it must be forbidden. The Heathens repeated for hours their petitions, and thought them on this account, more acceptable to their Gods : 1 Kings xviii. 26.
10. Thy kingdom come, &c. See Note, Chap. iii. 2. I consider the next clause as connected with this, and as expressing the nature of this kingdom and its governinent. The subjects of it are to do God's will as made known by Christ.
11. Food sufficient. This is allowed to be the sense; and this version avoids the tautology.
12. Our trespasses. As some readers may misunderstand the figurative sense of debts, I have followed Newcome, in giving the sense; as our Lord gives it in the 14th verse.
13. Griesbach has rejected the doxology; and there is no doubt but it was added to the text from the Greek liturgy.
18. See Note on ver. 6.
19. Moth. One part of the stores of the rich in the east, was, and yet is, garments; the form of the mantle being adapted to any one : James v. 2.
- Aud rust. Whatever eats into any valuable substance.
20. Treasures in heaven. Earthly treasures may be lost, but heavenly are secure; and for this reason it is our wisdom and interest to secure them. 22, 23.
The lamp of the body, &c. As all the members of the body depend on the eye for light, should the eye itself be dim, how dark must the other members of the body be; so, if the understanding or the eye of the soul be in darkness, and mistake the nature of objects, and lead one to prefer earthly to heavenly things, how great the darkness and finally the misery of the soul. Make therefore a right use of your understanding. Prefer heavenly treasures to earthly, and God to riches.
24. Serve two masters. Two whose wills are opposite must be meant, In this case a man will hate or love the one less than the other, if he divide his service between both; or he will attach himself to the service of one, and show his want of respect to the other by deserting him.
Worldly anxious care.
On rash judgment. will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye | (For after all these things the Gentiles seek :) 32 25 cannot serve God and wealth. Therefore I say for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need
to you, Take no anxious thought for your life, all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom 33 what
ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor of God, and his righteousness; and all these for your body, with what ye shall be clothed. things shall be added to you. Take therefore 34
Is not your life more than food, and your body no anxious thought for the morrow; for the 26 than clothing? Behold the fowls of the air; morrow shall take anxious thought for the things
that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into of itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil.
barns; yet your heavenly Father seedeth them. 27 Are ye not much better than they? Now which
CHAPTER VII. of you hy taking anxious thought, can add one
A. D. 31. Christ reproveth rash judgment, exhorteth to prayer, and to enter 28 cubit to his stature? And why take ye anxious the strait gate; he cautions against fulse prophets, and admonishes. not
to be heurers only, but doers of the word. thought for clothing ? Consider the lilies of the
field ; how do they grow? they neither toil nor “ Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with ; 29 spin; And yet I say to you, That even Solomon what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged;
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. and with what measure ye deał out, it shall be 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the herb of the field, measured to you again. And why beholdest 3
which flourisheth to day, and to-morrow is cast thou the splinter which is in thy brother's eye, into the oven, will he not much more clothe you,
, but observest not the beam which is in thine 31 ( ye of little faith? Therefore take no anxious own eye? Or how canst thou say to thy brother, 4
thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What Let me pull out the splinter from thine eye; shall we drink? or, What shall we put on? and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou 5
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER vi. 1. We learn from our prayers and duties will be amply rewarded; often in this world by Lord's language the genuine principle of religious duties is a desire to conscious peace and spiritual prosperity, and assuredly in the next, by approve ourselves to God therein. When we are influenced by the the final decision of the supreme judge.mere desire of human applause, we may gain this as our reward, but 3. Though short, how comprehensive the prayer our Lord taught cannot expect any other. Whatever proceeds from such a principle is his followers. With what pleasure should we approach God as our destitute of all moral worth, and cannot be acceptable to God; for in
father in Christ; and how zealous should we be for the honour of his this case he is not supremely regarded.
name, the glory of his kingdom, and the accomplishment of his will. 2. Our Lord takes it for granted that his disciples will be ready Fully convinced of his paternal care and kindness, we ought to mainto distribute according to their ability, to the necessitous, and will tain a cheerful dependance on him for food sufficient for us; most anxiousboth fast and pray. In the discharge of these duties, let them guard ly seeking the forgiveness of our trespasses, and deliverance from, against vanity and ostentation. When they give, let them do it as or support under those temptations, which may belal us. unto God; and let not their right hand know what their left hand 4. Let us not give to the world our hearts. What anxious cares doeth. In the excercises of fasting and prayer, seek privacy.
Here and what piercing sorrows do many experience, while the moth is the mind enjoys freedom; and uninfluenced by outward circumstances, devouring and the rust is corrupting their treasures. Happy Christian! can consess its most secret sins, and fervently seek for remission. A whose treasures are in heaven; and, who relying on God in the use of thousand things may be proper in secret, which would be the reverse proper means, for food and clothing, seeks first the kingdom of God in public prayer.
How encouraging the thought, that our secret and his righteousness, and things needful will be added.
25. Anrious thought. So as to make this anxiety an evil, by distrusting providence. Some of the ancients omit the words, what ye shall drink; but as they occur, ver. 31. I would retain them here.
26 -30. How simple, yet how forcible this reasoning of our Lord's. Oye of little faith. Campbell renders, distrustful; and there can be no doubt but some degree of mistrust is implied.
32. Ye need all, &c. This shows that a reasonable care for such things is proper, where special interposition of providence is not promised. 33. But first seek, 8c. Seck to share in the blessings of the gospel,
and especially submit to that method of acceptance which God has revealed and appointed.
CHAP. VII. 1, 2. Judge not, gr. Our Lord immediately attacks the spirit of the Scribes and Pharisees, who placed much of their own religion in censuring and condemning others. Such as are guilty of this sin, are generally repaid in the same manner.
3. Splinter-beam. Small and great faults are meant by this proverbial language.
6. In order to give the sense more clearly, I have transposed the last clause. Wakefeld has followed the order of the text, but supplied the nominatives to each clause. -Holy. That part of the sacrifice which the priest only was to eat. The meaning is, that some persons are so obstinate, and so brutish, that they will persecute those who attempt to instruct and reform them.
Encouragements to prayer.
Christ endeth his discourse hypocrite, first take the beam out of thine own forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth eye; and then thou wilt see clearly to take the forth bad fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth 18 splinter out of thy brother's eye.
bad fruit, nor can a corrupt tree bring forth good “Give not that which is holy to the dogs, lest fruit. (Every tree that bringeth not forth good 19 they turn again and tear you; nor cast your fruit is cut down, and cast into the fire.) Where- 20 pearls before swine, lest they trample them fore by their fruits ye shall know them. under their feet.
“Not every one that saith to me, Master, Mas- 21 17 “Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and yeter, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to that doeth the will of my Father who is in heaven.'
For every one that asketh receiveth ; | Many will say to me in that day, Master, Master, 22 and that seeketh findeth; and to him that have we not taught in thy name? and in thy 9 knocketh it shall be opened, Or what man is name cast out demons? and in thy name done
there among you, who, if his son ask bread, will many wonderful works? But I will then de- 23 10 give him a stone ? Or if he ask a fish, will clare to them, I never knew you ; depart from 11 give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, me, ye that work’iniquity.
know how to give good gifts to your children, “ Whosoever therefore heareth these words of 24 how much more shall your Father who is in mine, and doeth them, I will liken him to a wise
heaven, give good things to those who ask him; man, who built his house upon a rock.; And 25 12 In all things, therefore, whatsoever ye would the rain descended, and the streams came, and
that men should do to you, do ye even so unto the winds blew, and beat upon that house ; and
them; for this is the law and the prophets. it fell not ; for it was founded upon a rock, 13 “Enter in at the strait gate: for wide is the And whosoever heareth these words of mine, and 26
gate, and broad the way, that leadeth to destruc- doeth them not, shall be likened to a foolish 14 tion, and many are they who enter by it. How" man, who built his house upon the sand ; And 27
strait is the gate, and narrow the way which the rain descended, and the streams came, and
leadeth to life, and how few are they who find the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and 15 it! But beware of false teachers, who come to it fell: and the fall of it was great.” And it 28
you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are came to pass, when Jesus had ended these words, 16 ravenous wolves. By their fruits ye shall know the multitudes were astonished at his teaching;
them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs For he taught them as having authority, and not 29 17 from thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth as the Scribes.
14. "Mss. Griesbach.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VII. 1. Our Lord inculcates a spirit of candour and charity. He, who is truly sensible of his own
faults, and penitent for them, will be ready to think better of others than of himself; and instead of condemning others, for their frailties,
7-11. Some would confine what is here said to the disciples. I cannot but think, that these encouragements belong to all christians; and the appeal to parental affection, (notwithstanding human depravity,) and the inference drawn from it, strongly, and to me evidently prove it.
12. The law, &c. Nothing can be more clear than that this clause means, that this is what the law and the prophets inculcate, regarding several duties. Propriety requires this limitation.
13. Strait gate. By a gate the Jews understand that which leads men into the sense and knowledge of any doctrine. Comp. Acts xiv. 27. I Corin. xvi. 9. and Colos. iv. 3.
14. How strait, &c. The reading here followed is doubtless genuine, and as Wetstein remarks, expresses admiration. 15. False teachers. When the term apopytns is used in the plural
with the article, and refers to those of former times, it means prophets in the strictest sense. On most other occasions it denotes a teacher of religious truths, and the compound, a false teacher. Pearce has proved that the Greeks used the noun and the verb in the same sense. False teachers, instead of explaining and establishing the truth, and direeting their hearers to the strait gate, and conducting them in the narrow way, would lead them into errors in sentiment, and into unholy and sinful practices.
19. Wakefield would reject this verse as interrupting our Lord's reasoning, and as inserted from Chap. iii. 10. All the versions and manuscripts contain it; and our Lord repeats the words which the baptist had used : Chap. iv. 17. This awful admonition is thrown in very naturally, and if included in a parenthisis, is in the style of our Lord.
21–23. · From these verses it is clear that some who received the gifts of the spirit, were in reality wicked men, and workers of iniquity. Though
A leper cleansed.
MATTHEW VIII. A centurion's servant healed, CHAPTER VIII.
healed. For I also am a man under authority, 9 A. D. 31. Christ cleanseth the leper, healeth the centurion's servant , Peter's
who have soldiers under me; and I say to this mother-in-law and others; showeth how he is to be followed, stilleth a
man, Go, and he goeth ; and to another, Come, tempest, and expelleth demons.
and he cometh ; and to my servant, Do this, and 1 Now when Jesus had come down from the he doeth it.”
he doeth it.” When Jesus heard this, he won- 10 2 mountain, great multitudes followed bim. And, dered, and said to those who followed, “Verily I
behold, there came a leper, and did him homage, say to you, I have not found so great faith,
saying, “ Master, if thou wilt, thou canst make even in Israel. And I say to you, That many 11 3 me clean.” And Jesus put forth his hand, and shall come from the east and the west, and be
touched him, saying, “I will; be thou made placed at table with Abraham, and Isaac, and
clean !” And imwediately his leprosy was made Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the 12 4 clean. . And Jesus saith to him, “See thou tell heirs of the kingdom shall be cast out into the
no man ; but go, show thyself to the priest, and outer darkness: there shall be weeping and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a tes- gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the cen- 13 timony to them.”
turion, “Go; and according as thou hast beAnd when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, lieved, so be it done to thee.” And his servant there came to him a centurion, beseeching him, was healed in that very hour. 6 And saying, “Master, my servant lieth at home And when Jesus came into Peter's house, he 14 7 sick of the palsy, grievously afflicted.” And Jesus saw his wife's mother lying on a couch, and sick 8 said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The of a fever; And he touched her hand, and the 15
centurion auswered and said, “Master, I am uot fever left ber; and she arose, and ministered to: worthy that tbou shouldst come under my roof; them. but speak the word only, and my servant will be When the evening had come, they brought 16
he will be disposed to make every allowance, and to leave them to the 3. Let us not mistake the nature of religion. It does not consist mercy of God. How justly are those denominated hypocrites, who in profession, or in the possession of gifts; but in the genuine knowledge are eagle-eyed in discovering, censuring, and spreading the least
and practice of divine truth. We must strive to enter in by the faults of others, but are conscious of, or are guilty of attempting to hide strait-gate of self-denial, and walk in the narrow, holy path, if we their own greater and more aggravated faults. Let us do to others as would enter into life. . Our Lord does not consider himself honoured we would, &c.
by words, but by deeds. Holy actions are the genuine fruits of that 2. Let us admire the promises here given. Under a sense of our
faith and love which he requireth ; and happy the man who abounds in necessities, let us ask that we may receive; seek that we may find, them. Amid the storms and tempests of life and death he will be and knock that the door of mercy inay be opened to us.
secure; his hope firm, and his soul safe ; but the hypocrite, the profeel the operation of parental tenderness toward our offspring, let us
fane professor, will then find the vanity of his hopes, and experience consider it as the emblem and proof of our heavenly father's tenderness the most awful destruction, The righteous hath hope in his death, but and readiness to pity, help, and relieve us.
the hope of the hypocrite perisheth.
they professed the name, and taught the doctrine of our Lord, yet he never approved of them.
29. Having authority, 8c. There was seriousness, dignity, and majesty in his manner of teaching.
CHAP. VIII. 2. Clean. The Leper was legally unclean: Levit. xiii. 44. and Numb. v. 2, 3.
3. Touched him. To show whence the power of healing proceeded. Our Lord thus contracted legal uncleanness; but miraculous works were exempt from ritual precepts.
4. Offer the gift. See Levit. xiv. 4. This was to be done for a testimony that the cure was perfected, and that the priests, the judges of the cure, might be witnesses of it.
5. A centurion, &c. Comp. Luke vii. 3,-10. As the centurion was a Gentile, though a worthy man, it is probable that as the Jews would not eat with him, he conceived that he was not worthy of the honour of a personal visit from so great a prophet as our Lord. He argues in the following verses
from the less to the greater, and if he could command, and be obeyed, much more could Jesus. He had only to speak the word, &c.
11, 12. The calling of the Gentiles, and the rejection of the Jews, are here foretold. Be placed at table with Abraham. The gospel dispensation is often compared to a feast, of which the people partook, reclined on couches. Those who by faith, receive the Saviour, are the spiritual children of Abraham, and are said to sit at table with him and the other Patriarchs and prophets, to whom the promise of this kingdom was made; while his natural sced, the upbelieving Jews, should be put forth into the outer darkness.' As there is a connexion between faith and salvation, and unbelief and condemnation, I would not exclude a reference to the future state of happiness and misery.
13. The manner in which our Lord answered the confidence reposed in him, proves equally his grace, and his power.
16. The eveniny had core, &c. The preceeding day was the sabbath, on which the Jews did not think it lawful to carry out their sick, or even that miracles should be wrought,
Christ stilleth a tempest.
MATTHEW ' VIII.
He cureih treo demoniacs. to him many that had demons; and he cast out a great calm. But the men wondered, saying, 27
the spirits with a word, and healed all that were “What kind of man is this, that even the winds 17 sick: So that it was fulfilled which was spoken and the sea obey him!”
by Isaiah the prophet, saying, “Himself took And when he had come to the other side into 28 our infirmities, and bore our sicknesses."
the country of the 'Gadarenes," there met him 18 Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about two who had demons, coming out of the tombs,
· bim, he gave commandment to depart unto the exceedingly fierce, so that no man could pass by 19 other side of the lake. And a certain Scribe that way. And, behold, they cryed out, saying, 29
came, and said to him, “ Teacher, I will follow “ What hast thou to do with us, thou Son 20 thee whithersoever thou goest.” And Jesus saith of God? Art thou come hither to torment us
to him, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of before the time?” Now there was feeding at a 30
the air have roosts, but the Son of man hath not distance from them, a great herd of swine. So 31 21 where to lay his head.” And another of bis disci- the demons besought him, saying, “ If thou
ples said to him, “ Master, suffer me first to go cast us out, "send" us into the herd of swine.” 22 and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, And he said unto them, “Go." And when they 32
6.Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.” had come out, they went into the herd of swine; 23 And when he had entered into a ship, his and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran vio24 disciples followed him. And, behold, there
And, behold, there lently down a steep place into the lake, and arose a great tempest, in the sea, so that the perished in the waters. And those who kept 33
ship. was covered with the waves; but 'he was them fed ; and went away into the city, and 25 asleep. And his disciples cane near, and told every thing; and what had been done to
awoke him, saying, “ Master, save us! we per- those who had the demons. And, behold, the 34 26 ishi!” And he saith to them, “Why are ye fear- whole city came out to meet Jesus; and when
ful, ye of little faith?” Then he arose, and they saw him, they besought him that he would rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was depart out of their borders.
CHAP. VIII. 28. Mss.
29. o Jesus. Griesbach.
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VIII. 1. Let the healing of would be healed. Well might Jesus commend such a noble instance the leper remind us of the leprosy of sin, and the power of the Saviour of faith ; and foretel how many remote Gentiles would be admitted to remove it. Such was his compassion, that no appeal was ever made to his kingdom; while the unbelieving race of Abraham, would abide to him in vain. The leper did not question his power, but seems
in the outer darkness. doubtsul of his willingness. Master, if thou wilt, &c. The answer 3. What kind of man is this! said the astonished disciples. shows that Jesus was as willing as he was able. Let us keep this in Jesus had called himself the son of man, who had not where to lay his mind, and apply :o him who is a very present lielp in time of need. head. This is indeed humble language for one whom the winds and
2. In the centurion, we have an example of an affectionate master, the waves obeyed. He refers to Dan. vii. 13. Comp. Matt. xxvi. and of a faith great and distinguishing. It reflects honour on the 64. Who can view him in the form of a servant, and in the likeness sensibility, sympathy, and compassion of his heart, that the favour he of sinful man, yet, exercising such amazing power, without crying out, 'sought was not for bimsell, but for a servant. From the obedience My Lord! and my God! Let us follow him with constancy, and paid to his will, by those under him, he inferred the power of Jesus. without reserve! and say to him, as sinners, Save Lord, or we He had only to speak the word, and the centurion believed his servant perish! In thee only do we confide.
17. Our infirmities, &c. See Note, Isa. liii. 4. Peter in his first Epistle, Chap. ji. 24. refers to Isa. liii. 13.
19. Pearce remarks this, as the first instance of a Scribe offering to fol. low Jesus; and from the answer he received, it is probable he soon went away.
21. And bury my father. He meant that he would, after his father's death and burial, become our Lord's constant follower.
22. The dead bury, 8c. Those spiritually dead, bury those naturally dead. The term dead, is used in its natural and figurative sense.
26. A great calm. The surface of the sea became still and smooth, as moon as the wind was laid. This shows the full force of the miraculous power
then exerted, as the sea is usually much agitated for a long time after a tempest: Comp. Mark iv. 39. Luke viii. 24.
28. Gadarenes. This is admitted by Wetstein, as the genuine reading. Origen introduced the common one on conjecture only. Gadara was the metropolis of Peræa, a part of which district seems to have reached to the sea of Tiberias.-Two who had demons, or two demoniacs.
32. And perished in, &c. A punitive miracle may be allowed in this destruction of the swine; the keeping of which by Jews, was a breach of the law; and by Gentiles, within the confines of Palestine, might be a snare to the Jews, as it was a contempt of their religion.