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Who are happy.
those who had demons, and those who were lunatic, and those who had the palsy; and he healed them.
A. D. 31. Christ preacheth from a mountain, declaring who are happy; the excellence of his disciples, and the design of his coming; he explains the law, and inculcates love to enemies.
25 AND great multitudes followed Jesus from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and 1 from Judea, and from beyond the Jordan. And seeing the multitudes, he went up a mountain; and he sat down, and his disciples came near to him: 2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, 3 saying, "Happy are the poor in spirit; for their's 4 is the kingdom of heaven. Happy are they that 5 mourn; for they shall be comforted. Happy are the meek; for they shall inherit the land. 6 Happy are they who hunger and thirst after 7 righteousness; for they shall be filled. Happy
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER IV. 1. Let us admire the condescension of our Lord, who, when he came to save us, came to suffer for us. It could not but be painful to his pure and holy mind to be subject to such temptations as are here recorded; but in this conflict he was more than a conqueror. The second Adam overcame the serpent who seduced the first. Paul tells us why he was tempted: "For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
2. Our Lord has set us an example of holy wisdom and courage. When the tempter assailed him, with portions of scripture misapplied, his wisdom detected the misapplication, and by a reference to other
Excellence of Christ's disciples.
are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy. Happy are the pure in heart; for they shall 8 see God. Happy are the peacemakers; for they 9 shall be called the sons of God. Happy are 10 they who are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for their's is the kingdom of heaven. Happy 11 are ye, when men shall reproach and persecute you, and speak all kind of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceed 12 ingly glad; for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt 13 have lost its savour, with what shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for any thing but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot by men. Ye are the light of the world. A city 14 that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Nor do men 15 light a lamp, and put it under a measure, but on a stand; and it shineth to all who are in the
5. The meek. Comp. Ps. xxxvii. 10, 11. Those who duly govern their anger and exercise lenity and forgiveness, find friends; they enjoy health and tranquillity, and escape injuries or find support under them.
portions of the divine word, he put to silence the adversary. Thus let us endeavour to understand the genuine sense of the scriptures, that we may put to flight, with this sword of the spirit, every temptation that may assail us.
3. When John was shut up in prison, Jesus began to preach more publicly. He called some of his Apostles and laboured indefatigably in his office. Those who had sat in darkness saw his light; and those who were afflicted enjoyed the benefit of his healing power. May we ever rejoice in his light-and live and walk as the children of light; and enjoy health of soul!
6. Hunger and thirst, &c. This phrase is expressive of a holy ardour of soul after the most eminent attainments in universal goodness, which will end in complete satisfaction in a future state.
7. The merciful. Newcome, 'the compassionate;' but mercy includes compassion, and they who exercise it shall find the like mercy from God and
8. Pure in heart. Morally and spiritually pure, which far exceeds all ceremonial purity; who are without deceit, guile, evil thoughts, and designs. 9. Peace-makers. The friends of concord, amity, and benevolence. -Sons of God. To be called signifies to be really sons of God by adoption. John i. 12. and 1 John iii. 1.
10.-12. Persecuted, &c. Our Lord here prepares his disciples for what he knew would be their lot; and glances at the future condition of the Jews by referring to that of their fathers.
13. If the salt, &c. In hot countries meat cannot be preserved sweet, even for a moderate time, without salt.Lost its savour, &c. From Maundrel we learn that some rock salt, by exposure to the sun, air, and rain, becomes insipid or loses its savour; and this was used in some cases as sand to repair the roads. This shows the foundation of our Lord's remark; and as applied to teachers signifies, that if they lose their relish for spiritual things, and become insipid and foolish, what good can there be expected from them? 14. Set on a hill. Like Samaria, Bethulia, or Nazareth.
The law explained.
of the sin of adultery.
16 house. Thus let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father who is in heaven.
thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, while thou 25 art in the way with him; lest the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. Verily I say to thee, Thou shalt by no means 20 come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.
"Ye have heard that it was said to the ancients, 27 Thou shalt not commit adultery. But I say 28 to you, That whosoever looketh on the wife of another in order to desire her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Now 29 if thy right eye cause thee to offend, pluck it
"Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but 18 to fulfil them. For verily I say to you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall by no means pass away from the law, till all 19 be accomplished. Whosoever therefore shall violate one of the least of these commandments, or shall teach men so, shall be of no esteem in the kingdom of heaven; but whosoever shall do and teach them, shall be highly esteemed in 20 the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, That unless your righteousness shall excel the right-out, and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if 30 thy right hand cause thee to offend, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for it is better for thee that one of thy members perish, than that thy whole body should be cast into hell. It hath 31 been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce. But I say 32 to you, That whosoever shall divorce his wife, except on account of whoredom, causeth her to commit adultery; and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery,
"Again, ye have heard that it hath been said 22 to the ancients, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform to the Lord thine oaths.
eousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall by no means enter into the kingdom of heaven.
"Ye have heard that it was said to the ancients, Thou shalt not commit murder; and whosoever shall commit murder shall be liable to the judg22 ment. But I say to you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be liable to the judgment; and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, [VILE MAN] shall be liable to the council; but whosoever shall say, Moreh, [MISCREANT] shall be liable to hell-fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother hath matter of 24 complaint against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go; first be reconciled to
To destroy, &c. Campbell renders, to subvert,' others, disannul. The sense is, abolish or set aside. Jesus came not to do this, but to fulfil them, to answer the types, accomplish the predictions, and enforce the precepts of the old covenant.
19. One of the least, &c. I construe with Campbell and as our translators have done, Chap. xxv. 40, 45.
20. Righteousness of the scribes, &c. The Jews had a proverb that if but two were admitted into the kingdom of heaven, the one would be a pharisee, and the other a scribe. How awfully were they mistaken: From what our Lord here and in other places asserts, it appears they taught, that the precepts of the law extended only to outward actions, and that a zeal for ceremonies would atone for moral defects.
22. Liable to the judgment. There is a reference to the Jewish Court of twenty-three, and to the sanhedrim, or great council of seventy-two; but our Lord, I conceive refers to the different degrees of punishment God will inflict on causeless sneer, reproach and reviling. I have retained the Hebrew word Moreh, as our translators had done Raca; and the sense given is more agreeable to the context, than fool. See Campbell's preface to Gospel of Mark.
23-26. Bring thy gift, &c. Thy free-will-offering: evit. vii. 16. -Thy brother, &c. No gift will be accepted, while he who presents it is injuring his neighbour; and if it be prudent when we have done an injury to one, to make it up with him rather than go to law and suffer all the rigours of
justice, it must be more so to repent lest our case should be infinitely more deplorable in the prison of hell.
28. The wife of another. The Greek word means unquestionably a wife, as well as a woman and the Arabic supports this sense here. Most of our old versions, so rendered, as those of Coverdale, Matthewe, Crainer; and Purver, Campbell, and others have followed them. Wakefield contends, that εν τη καρδια ought to be construed with επιθυμήσαι, and supposes that the Persic translator so construed. It is certainly our Lord's design to state, that intentional wickedness is criminal as well as the actual deel; and the spirit of the divine command is as much violated in the one case as in the other.
29. Cause thee to offend. So the Geneva, and the marginal rendering of our common version. A man is not apt to be offended at his own scuses or limbs; but if these lead him to offend, and endanger his existence, it is better to lose an eye or an hand, than that the whole body should perish. The moral sense is equally plain with the natural; and our Lord meant that se ductions from duty should be avoided at all events.
32. To commit adultery. Such a man commits adultery, if he marry again while his wife is living; and he causes her to commit adultery, if she marry again, while he is living; and in this case her second husband is an adulterer.
33-36. Forswear thyself, &c. Comp. Levit. xix. 12. Deut. xxiii. 21. From these verses it appears that the Jews thought no oath binding, unless
Of common swearing.
34 But I say to you; Swear not at all; neither 35 by heaven; for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem; 36 for it is the city of the great King.
shalt thou swear by thine head, because thou 37 canst not make one hair white or black. But let your yea be yea, and your no, no; for whatsoever is more than these proceedeth from evil.
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, An 39 eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I
say to you, That ye resist not the injurious man; but whosoever shall smite thee on thy 40 right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man choose to sue thee at law, and to take away thy vest, let him have thy mantle also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go one 42 mile go with him two. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not away.
"Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER V. 1. What holy dispositions does our Lord require! Humility, meekness, gentleness, and an ardent desire after universal goodness and righteousness. The possession of these graces not only exalt and adorn our nature, but constitute the genuine sources of peace and happiness in this life. Let us diligently cultivate them, that being made pure in heart, we may hereafter die, and for ever enjoy God.
2. How awful the degeneracy of that man, who can revile, persecute, and injuriously treat those who are the excellent of the earth. Yet so were the prophets treated; and so Jesus and his disciples. Let those who suffer in like manner remember, that it is their glory to suffer for righteousness' sake; and that great shall be their reward in heaven. Let them ever maintain their usefulness as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, by the communication of divine truth, and the influence of a holy conduct.
they used the name of God: See Deut. vi. 13, 19, 20. They might swear by heaven, or earth, or Jerusalem, or their head, and though they did not perform their oaths, they considered themselves guiltless. Our Lord evidently refers to swearing in common conversation; as in a court no oaths of this kind would be admitted.
37. Your yea be yea, &c. I have followed Pearce and Campbell, and cannot but think this version more forcible and perspicuous. Our Lord inculcates an invariable adherence to truth, so that a man's simple affirmation or denial of a thing, may be believed. The Jews had a saying, The yea of the just is yea, and their no is no.' Comp. James v. 12.
38. Comp. Exod. xxi. 24. Levit. xxiv. 20. and Deut. xix. 21. refers to the person, who So Doddridge, Pearce, and
39. The injurious man. That To Tovego
is mentioned in the next words, is to me certain. VOL. III. PART XIX.
Love to enemies.
shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless 44 them that curse you, do good to them who hate you, and pray for them who injuriously treat you, and persecute you; That ye may be the 45 sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if ye love them who love 46 you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute you 47 brethren only, in what do ye excel? do not even the Gentiles" so? Be ye therefore perfect, 48 even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect.
A. D. 31. Christ treateth on alms, prayer and fasting; exhorteth to seek the kingdom of God, and not to be anxiously careful concerning the things of the world.
"TAKE heed that ye do not your acts of righ- 1 teousness before men, in order to be seen by them:
47. Mss. aud Fathers.
3. The divine law as explained by our Lord, condemns not only the outward deed, but the sinful desire and the criminal intention. God requireth truth in the inward parts; and will not hear the prayer of one who regards iniquity in his heart. O let us keep our hearts with all diligence, least they should be polluted, by causeless anger, or unhallowed desire! In social life let justice and chastity be maintained as constituting the bonds of social union!
4. How disgraceful is common swearing; and how ingenious are men in inventing new forms of it, and yet deeming themselves guiltless. It reflects on the veracity of him who uses it; for what need would there be for any kind of oath, if a man were accustomed to speak nothing but the truth? If we are to be judged for idle words, much more for vain and sinful oaths. Let those who profess to be the children of God, keep the door of their lips, that they sin not in this manner with their tongues. Let us love and not curse even our enemies.
Campbell render. Pearce considers that such persons are meant as the Roman soldiers, publicans, and couriers usually were: Luke iii. 12, 14. Our Lord recommends patience under trying injuries, rather than resistance; and a disposition rather to sustain the loss of what is of small value, than to go to law. To extend these precepts further, would be to authorize every villain to seize the property of his pious neighbour, and to destroy all the principles of natural equity and justice.
41. Compel thee, &c. This kind of compulsion was used by public officers, who seized persons or carriages, as they had occasion.
43. Hate thine enemy. Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 21, 22. Our Lord refers to the comments of the Jews on their law as well as to the law itself.
44. Love your enemies. By blessing them who curse you, &c.
46. Publicans. See Introd. Vol. 1. p. 54. and comp. Luke iii. 13. vii. 34, 9
Alms-giving and prayer.
otherwise ye have no reward from your Father 2 who is in heaven. When therefore thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be honoured by men. Verily I say to you, They have their reward. 3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand 4 know what thy right hand doeth; That thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret shall himself reward thee openly. "And when thou prayest, be not like the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and at the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say 6 to you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray in secret to thy Father; and thy Father, who seeth in se7 cret, shall reward thee. But when ye pray, use not many idle words, as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their much 8 speaking. Be not ye therefore like them; for your Father knoweth what things ye need, be9 fore ye ask him. ask him. In this manner therefore pray Our Father who art in heaven; Hallow10 ed be thy name. Let thy kingdom come; and thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day food sufficient for us. And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who 13 have trespassed against us. And bring us not
.CHAP. VỊ. 1. Acts 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 expression 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 is wanting in several mss. So Pearce renders, and apbell to the same purpose. This last critic rejects & Tw pavεpy 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 government, The subjects of it are to do God's will as made known by Christ.
Fasting and laying up treasures.
into temptation, but preserve us from evil: [For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.'] For if ye forgive 14 men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; But if ye forgive not men 15 their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
"Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypo- 16 crites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily I say to you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, 17 and wash thy face; That thou appear not to men 18 to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret shall reward thee.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, 19 where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; But lay up for your- 20 selves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumeth, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; For where where your 21 treasure is, there will be your heart also. The 22 lamp of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be clear, thy whole body will be full of light. But if thine eye be dim, thy whole body will be 23 full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great must be that darkness!
"No man can serve two masters; for either he 24 will hate the one, and love the other; or else he
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, ments the form of the mantle being adapted to any one: James v. 2. -And 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
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 to you, Take no anxious thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor for your body, with what ye shall be clothed. Is not your life more than food, and your body 26 than clothing? Behold the fowls of the air;
that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. 27 Are ye not much better than they? Now which
of you by taking anxious thought, can add one 28 cubit to his stature? And why take ye anxious thought for clothing? Consider the lilies of the field; how do they grow? they neither toil nor 29 spin; And yet I say to you, That even Solomon
in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the herb of the field, which flourisheth to day, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, 31 O ye of little faith? Therefore take no anxious thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, What shall we put on?
REFLECTIONS UPON CHAPTER VI. 1. We learn from our Lord's language the genuine principle of religious duties is a desire to approve ourselves to God therein. When we are influenced by the mere desire of human applause, we may gain this as our reward, but cannot expect any other. Whatever proceeds from such a principle is destitute of all moral worth, and cannot be acceptable to God; for in this case he is not supremely regarded.
2. Our Lord takes it for granted that his disciples will be ready. to distribute according to their ability, to the necessitous, and will both fast and pray. In the discharge of these duties, let them guard against vanity and ostentation. When they give, let them do it as unto God; and let not their right hand know what their left hand doeth. In the excercises of fasting and prayer, seek privacy. Here the mind enjoys freedom; and uninfluenced by outward circumstances, can confess its most secret sins, and fervently seek for remission. A thousand things may be proper in secret, which would be the reverse in public prayer. How encouraging the thought, that our secret
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.
25. Anxious 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. O ye 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, &c. Seek to share in the blessings of the gospel,
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye need
A. D. 31. Christ reproveth rash judgment, exhorteth to prayer, and to enter the strait gate; he cautions against false prophets, and admonishes not to be heurers only, but doers of the word.
"JUDGE not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye deal out, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest 3 thou the splinter which is in thy brother's eye, but observest not the beam which is in thine own eye? Or how canst thou say to thy brother, 4 Let me pull out the splinter from thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou 5
prayers and duties will be amply rewarded; often in this world by conscious peace and spiritual prosperity, and assuredly in the next, by the final decision of the supreme judge.
3. Though short, how comprehensive the prayer our Lord taught his followers. With what pleasure should we approach God as our father in Christ; and how zealous should we be for the honour of his name, the glory of his kingdom, and the accomplishment of his will. Fully convinced of his paternal care and kindness, we ought to maintain a cheerful dependance on him for food sufficient for us; most anxiously seeking the forgiveness of our trespasses, and deliverance from, or support under those temptations, which may befal us.
4. Let us not give to the world our hearts. What anxious cares and what piercing sorrows do many experience, while the moth is devouring and the rust is corrupting their treasures. Happy Christian! whose treasures are in heaven; and, who relying on God in the use of proper means, for food and clothing, seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteou-ness, and things needful will be added.
and especially submit to that method of acceptance which God has revealed and appointed.
CHAP. VII. 1, 2. Judge not, &c. 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. Wakefield has followed the order of the text, but supplied the nominatives to each clause.- Holy. That part of the sacrifice which the priest