« VorigeDoorgaan »
Of forgiving our brethren,
tenance: for they disfigure their faces,
have their reward.
d Mark 11. 25.
own reasonable care in providing for our support, much and to day, and for ever,” Ps. xc. 2; Heb. xiii. 8. Abp. less to exclude our labouring for it : but to shew that Secker. we depend altogether on the providence of God, and Amen.] This is a word of wish or approbation, owe our lives, and all the support of them, not to our denoting our assent to that to which it is subjoined, own cunning or industry, but to His blessing; and with an earnest desire of its accomplishment: it means, thereby to engage us both to rely on Him with the May God of His goodness grant what I have here greater confidence, and to make those suitable returns prayed for, and so I trust He will do, of His mercy of love, praise, and gratitude which we ought. Abp. towards me, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Abp. Wake.
Wake. See note at Deut. xxvii. 15. 12. And forgive us &c.]. By trespasses, which are The following is a paraphrase of this admirable form sometimes compared with debts, Matt. xvii. 32, 35, are of
: O gracious Father, who dwellest in the light meant sins, by which we become indebted to the justice which' no man can approach unto, and yet condesof God. And here we pray that God would not exact cendest to hearken to the prayers of all the children of of us the penalty of sin, that He would accept of Christ's men ; let the adorable perfections of Thy nature be every satisfaction for us, and that He would for Christ's sake where devoutly reverenced and glorified. Let Thy kingdischarge us from the debt. Oxford Catechism. dom of truth and righteousness prevail to the full esta
- as we forgive &c.] Let us ever remember, that, blishment of the Gospel of Christ. Let Thy holy will since we pray to be forgiven only as we forgive, as often be obeyed with sincerity and constancy by men on earth, as we use these words, we pray in effect for God's ven- as it is by the blessed angels in heaven. Give us, we geance upon ourselves, not for His mercy, if we forgive beseech thee, day by day, those things that are needful not. It becomes us therefore continually to apply to for our daily support, in that state of life to which it Him for grace to do in earnest what we profess to do in hath pleased Thee to call us. And of Thy mercy forgive this petition ; carefully to examine our hearts and con- us our manifold transgressions and offences, in like duct, that we may not cheat ourselves, for God we can- manner as we are ready from our hearts to forgive every not cheat, with false pretences of observing this duty, one who has offended us. Suffer us not to be overcome while indeed we transgress it. Abp. Secker.
by temptations; but deliver us from the power of Satan, 13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from and the deceitfulness and corruption of sin. For Thy evil:] Herein we pray that God would neither try us kingdom ruleth over all things visible and invisible. Himself beyond our strength, nor suffer the devil, the Thou art the sovereign Disposer of all events, and to world, or our own flesh to do it; that if it be His will, Thee alone are due all glory, worship, and praise, we may not be exposed to any great temptations at all; throughout all ages for ever. So be it. Bp. Mann. but if, for any ends of His wise providence, He shall 14. — your heavenly Father will also forgive you :] It think fit to suffer us to be tempted, that then He would should be observed, that the condition of our forgivebe graciously pleased to strengthen and support us, to ness, here proposed singly, is not to be understood carry us through them with innocence and integrity, absolutely and exclusively of all others. For the two and not to suffer us to be led by them into sin. By the great Gospel conditions of faith and repentance are expression “from evil” may be meant either an evil always presupposed as necessary to qualify us for any person or an evil thing: In the first sense, it may of the privileges tendered in the Gospel. Dr. Moss. respect all wicked men, but especially the wicked one, 15. But if ye forgive not &c.] It is not meet that we the tempter: in the last sense, not so much the evil of should crave forgiveness of our great offences from God, sin, as the evil of temptation, to which it seems properly and yet be unwilling to forgive the small trespasses of to refer. Abp. Wake.
our neighbours against us. We call in vain for mercy, For thine is the kingdom, &c.] This is the third if we will not shew mercy to our neighbours: if we will part of the Lord's Prayer, called the doxology, a word not put wrath and displeasure forth from our hearts to which means a form of giving glory and praise and our Christian brother, no more will God forgive the honour to God, i Tim. i. 17; Rev. v. 12; vii. 12. wrath and displeasure that our sins have deserved from Abp. Wake.
We here affirm expressly, what indeed has been im- 116. - when ye fast,jObserve that our Lord here, and plied throughout the prayer, that His is the kingdom, at chap. ix. 14, &c. does not condemn the practice of or the rightful authority and supreme dominion over fasting, but only regulates the manner of it, leaving the
His the power by which all that is just and good is frequency of fasting to publick and private discretion. brought to pass ; His the glory of whatever we His Abp. Secker. creatures do or enjoy or hope for; of whatever this - they disfigure their faces,] That is, suffer their universe and the whole scheme of things which it com- faces to remain unwashed, and their heads unanointed. prehends, hath had, or now hath, or ever shall have in Bp. Pearce. it, awful or gracious, and worthy of the admiration of 17. — anoint thine head, &c.]. The general meaning men and angels. And, as all dignity, and might, and is, Dress thyself, as on other days, according to the honour are His, so they are His “for ever and ever;" custom of the country. Oil was much used among the originally, independently, and unchangeably. “From Jews, as water is with us, for washing the face. Bp. everlasting to everlasting He is God, the same yesterday, I Pearce.
f Luke 11.34.
Where our treasure
is to be laid up. anoint thine head, and wash thy 21 For where your treasure is, DOMINI 31. face;
there will your heart be also.
19 Lay not up for yourselves whole body shall be full of darkness.
ness! e Luke 12. 33. 20 e But lay up for yourselves 24 9 8 No man can serve two mas- g Luke 16.13. I Tim. 6. 19.
treasures in heaven, where neither ters : for either he will hate the one,
Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
19. Lay not up &c.] The connexion of ideas in the 24. — Ye cannot serve God and mammon.] Mammon following part of the chapter seems to be this : our Lord is a Syriack word; it is generally interpreted to mean says, Seek not after earthly treasures, (ver. 19, 20,) for “riches” only ; but the original rather directs us to use your affections will be where your treasure is, ver. 21. it in a more general sense, as comprehending every If your understanding be so darkened as to mistake the thing which is capable of being an object of trust, or a principal object of human pursuit, and the nature of ground of confidence to men of worldly minds ; such as true happiness, by looking on wealth as the most desi- wealth, power, honour, business, sensual pleasures, gay rable of all things, your errour is desperate, (ver. 22, 23,) amusements, and all the various pursuits of the present and in vain would you hope to unite the pursuit of scene. Bp. Porteus. By the expression “mammon,” wealth with the love of heavenly things, for no man can wealth is personified, and represented as a master who serve two masters, ver. 24: on these accounts, I exhort rivals God in the hearts of men. Dr. Campbell. you not to be over-anxious in worldly matters, lest A great part of mankind most absurdly attempt to avarice get the dominion over you, ver. 25 — 34. divide themselves between God and Mammon, to com
- Lay not up for yourselves &c.] That is, Be not so promise the matter as well as they can between the solicitous for the good things of this world, as for the commands of the One and the seductions of the other ; glory and happiness of the next. It is a Hebrew manner to render a worldly life and a religious life consistent of speaking, which frequently occurs, (Luke xii. 4 ; xiv. with each other; to take as much as they can of the 26, to forbid things absolutely, when the sense is to be enjoyments and advantages of the present world, withunderstood only comparatively. Abp. Tillotson. out losing their hold on the rewards of the next. Yet,
where moth and rust doth corrupt,] Allusion is in direct contradiction to so extravagant and preposhere made to the three sorts of treasures which human terous a system, Christ Himself assures us, that we foresight was wont to store up; garments, corn and cannot serve these two masters. Our Maker expects to frwts of the earth, and gold, silver, and jewels; all of reign absolute in our hearts. He will not be served by shich are perishable and liable to be destroyed by the halves; He will not accept of a divided empire; He will Doth and caterpillar, or else by rust. Dr. Hammond. not suffer us to halt between two opinions. We must
Under the term “ treasures,” garments seem to be make our choice, and adhere to one side or the other. particularly included. It was customary for the opulent “ If the Lord be God, follow Him : but if Baal then follow n Asiatick countries, where fashions in dress were not him," i Kings xviii. 21. Bp. Porteus. iuctuating as they are with us, to have large reposi- No man can serve two masters so different as God tories of nch and splendid apparel. The term, translated and the world are; because they will give cross com“ rust,” denotes anything which corrodes, consumes, or mands, and enjoin contrary things. God calls upon us soils goods of any kind. Dr. Campbell. “ Lay not to mind the duties of His worship and service, to have up for yourselves” &c.; that is, Be not so intent on a serious regard to religion and a diligent care of our these perishing things as to neglect and forget those of souls; but the cares of the world and the importunity infinitely greater moment; but let your principal care, of business, and an eager appetite of being rich, call us and your most hearty endeavours, attend to, and provide off from these divine and spiritual employments, or for, eternity. Abp. Herring.
disturb us in them. God calls upon us to be charitable ?2. The light of the body is the eye:] Rather, the eye to those that are in want, to be willing to distribute, and is the lamp of the body. This whole passage is meta- ready to communicate to the necessities of our brethren ; pborical; by the body is here meant the mind, and by but our covetousness pulls us back, draws us another the eye the turn and disposition of the mind in matters way, and checks all merciful and charitable dispositions of religion. As when the eye, which is the light of the in us. God calls us to self-denial, and suffering for the body, is so vitiated as to give no light, the whole body sake of Him and His truth; and commands us to prefer - is full of darkness; so, when the reason or under the keeping of faith and a good conscience to all worldly Fanding, which is the inward light, is vitiated, the considerations whatever ; but the world inspires us with ble soul is darkened; and, the darkness being total, other thoughts, and whispers to us rather to put our 1 is therefore very great. Bp. Pearce.
immortal souls to hazard, than our bodies and estates. thine eye be single,] Entire, sound, free from Abp. Tillotson. darder. If the understanding and will be distem- Neither God nor mammon will bear a rival. Mammon pered, we can no more perceive and relish our true is imperious and crafty, and will have all or none: if we happiness than we can see clearly when our sight is de- give him one half, he will soon seize the rest. God lecture. Bp. Mann.
also requires the whole heart; and, when He takes pos
h Luke 12. 22.
Christ exhorteth not to be careful S. MATTHEW.
for worldly things. 25 Therefore I say unto you, 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the h Take no thought for your life, what grass of the field, which to day is, and ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; to morrow is cast into the oven,
31 Therefore take no thought, say-
the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly
28 And why take ye thought for 33 But seek ye first the kingdom
take thought for the things of itself.
session of it, worldly affections are extinguished, as plained the whole meaning of this part of the chapter. earthly fires die away when the sun shines upon them It is not meant by any of these expressions that we in his full strength. Dr. Jortin.
should, in a literal sense, take no thought for our life or 25.- Take no thought That is, be not anxious. Bp: the means of supporting it, but that our thoughts are Pearce. Be not anxiously careful or solicitous. The word not to be wholly or principally occupied about these in the original Greek bears a much stronger sense than things. Christianity forbids no necessary occupations, is conveyed by our expression, "Take no thought.” no reasonable indulgences, no innocent relaxations. It At the time when our English translation was made, the allows us to use the world, provided we abuse it not. phrase "to take thought” appears to have implied anx- All that it requires is, that our liberty degenerate not ious thought and carefulness. As a proof of this, it may into licentiousness, our amusements into dissipation, our be mentioned, that a Hebrew word, which undoubtedly industry into incessant toil, our carefulness into extreme denotes solicitude and anxiety, is rendered at 1 Sam. ix. anxiety and endless solicitude. Bp. Porteus. 5, by the verb "to take thought for,” and the same is - and his righteousness ;] That righteousness rendered at 1 Sam. x. 2, by “to sorrow for.” Parkhurst. which will render you acceptable in His sight. Dr.
- Is not the life more than meat, &c.] He that first Whitby. This expression, the kingdom of God, and gave you life and being, without your caring or giving His righteousness,” comprehends the whole business of any assistance towards it, will much more bestow upon religion; our last end, which is eternal life and happiness you things necessary for the support and preservation of in another world, and the ways and means to this end, that life. Dr. S. Clarke.
which is righteousness, that universal practice of virtue 26. Behold the fowls &c.] There is no where to be which God requires of us, and of which He Himself is found so just and so elegant a reproof of eagerness and to us a pattern and an example. When we are required anxiety in worldly pursuits, clothed with so forcible an to seek these we are required to maintain a fixed design exhortation to confidence in the goodness of the Creator, and resolution as to the end, incessant care and diligence as in this passage, ver. 26–30. S. Jenyns.
as to the means, and to display an earnest zeal and per27. Which of you by taking thought &c.] And, after severing patience in the pursuit. But we are also reall, He adds, This immoderate carefulness is useless as quired to seek these first, that is, to make them the main well as unnecessary; "for which of you,” &c. Dr. and principal design of our lives, so as to take place of Doddridge.
every thing else in our esteem and affection, in our aim 28. — Consider the lilies of the field] There is reason and endeavour ; in comparison of these, we are to mind to suppose that the “lily of the fields” mentioned by our nothing else, neither the comforts and conveniences, nor Saviour is the Amaryllis lutea, or autumnal Narcissus. even the necessaries of life. Abp. Tillotson. This flower is described by travellers, as appearing in and all these things shall be added unto you.] profusion in the fields of the countries in the Levant, From this promise we reasonably infer, that, generally and covering them in autumn with a vivid golden bril- speaking, God will bless the endeavours of the righteous, liancy; so as to admit of a peculiarly apt comparison and of those that trust in Him ; that when this happens with Solomon in all his glory. Sir J. E. Smith. otherwise, as sometimes must be the case, we may con
30.— grass] The original word comprehends flowers, clude, that what a righteous man loses on account of all that grows in the field or garden. Dr. Hammond. his religion, will, by the care of Providence, be made
is cast into the oven,] It is usual in Barbary to good to him in some other way; and that, at all events, employ the stalks of flowers, myrtle, rosemary, &c. to his reward hereafter will be so much greater for any heat their ovens. This circumstance affords a clear losses he may sustain here. Dr. S. Clarke. comment on the words of our Saviour. Dr. Shaw. 34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow :) See
Oye of little faith?] Ye that are of little faith, note at ver. 25. "By “the morrow" is not meant the if ye distrust His care in thus making provision for you. very next day only, but, according to the import of the Dr. Whitby.
Eastern phrase, any future time, at what distance soever. 33.— seek ye first &c.] We here find clearly ex- Bp. Atterbury.
a Luke 6. 37. Rom. 2. 1.
John 16. 24.
Lnke 6. 41.
Christ reproveth rash judgment. CHAP. VI, VII.
He exhorteth to prayer.
thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out
the beam out of thine own eye; and i Christ ending his sermon in the mount, re
then shalt thou see clearly to cast out
again and rend you.
7 q Ask, and it shall be given a Chap. 21. ye , ye
, Mark 11. . judged.
and it shall be opened unto you: 2 For with what judgment ye 8 For every one that asketh recei- James 1.5,6. Lideo 18.4. judge, ye shall be judged : band with veth; and he that seeketh findeth;
what measure ye mete, it shall be and to him that knocketh it shall be
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy bro- him a serpent? Sufficient unto the day &c.] Sufficient to the every action in its most advantageous light, and pouring present time are the present troubles of life, and God balm into the many bleeding reputations, which have licitousness for the future. Dr. S. Clarke. would not have us add to them by an unreasonable so- been wounded deep by artificial malice, and words which
very swords !" Thus should we best promote
peace, goodness, and charity in this world, and secure Chap. VII. ver. 1. Judge not] Severely; and with- to ourselves favour at that great and terrible day, when out charity or mercy, “that ye be not judged” accord by our words, as well as actions, we shall be justified or ingly, James ü. 13. "Dr. Whitby. That ye be not judged condemned, and when every hard uncharitable thought by other men, and by God when He comes to judgment. even shall be placed to our account. Dean Stanhope. Dr. Hammond.
6. Give not that which is holy &c.] That is, continue This precept is directed against the practice of private not to preach the Gospel to those whom you find refracpersons judging one another in thought or in word, tory, and pertinaciously confirmed in their infidelity, without reason, without grounds, without evidence, and and so addicted to their evil habits, that they will rather perhaps against it, unadvisedly, unjustly, and unchari- revile and persecute you on that account, than hearken tably; charging men with faults which they have never unto you. Dr. Whitby. really committed, and magnifying what they have; ag- 7. Ask, and it shall be given you ; &c.] Apply yourmravating every inconsiderable blemish, and spreading selves to God in hearty prayer for His assistance ; which if a little blot over a whole character. Dr. J. Balguy. ye do with faith, constancy, and importunity, ye shall cer2. For with what judgment &c.] For, in this respect, tainly obtain what you desire ; at least so far, and in such He adds, ye will find, that, according to the judgment manner and degree as is needful for you. Dr. S. Clarke. with which ye judge others, ye shall be judged; and by What a fund of encouragement is here for all manner that very measure which ye mete to them, it shall be of virtue, and particularly for devotion, that we may be measured back to you. God and man will make great fit objects of God's gracious care and providence; when allowances to the character of the candid and benevolent; we reflect that every petition of a good man is heard but those, who have shewed no mercy, must expect and regarded by Him, who holds the reins of nature in judgment without mercy; nor can they deny the equity His hand. When God, from His throne of celestial d such treatment, Jam, ii. 13. Dr. Doddridge. glory, issues out that uncontrollable command, to which
3.- why beholdest thou the mote &c.] This expres- all events are subject, the desires of humble pious son is taken from a proverb common among the Jews Christians are not overlooked by Him. The good man's as that time. Dr. Hammond. By “mote” is represented prayer is among the reasons by which the Omnipotent & snall fault; by“ beam," a great one. Bp. Pearce.
is moved in the administration of the universe. How 4-hou wilt thou say] How, without shame and little is all earthly greatness! How low and impotent self-condemnation, wilt thou say, &c. Dr. Whitby. the proudest monarchs, if compared with the poorest By these expressions of our Lord, it is most plainly in person in the world, who leads but a good life! For tukated that men, who themselves are grievous sinners, their influence, even in their highest prosperity, is only are by no means proper persons to be hasty and severe among weak men like themselves ; but the poor man's la reproving those who at the worst are but their own prayer pierceth the clouds ; and, weak and contemptible resemblance ; and that the true way to reform mankind as he seems, he can draw down the host of heaven, and is for each man to look at home, and begin with re- arm the Almighty in his defence, so long as he can but burning himself
. How much better were it to employ utter his wants, or turn the thoughts of his heart to ourselves in publishing the praises of God, and vindi- God. Dr. Ogden. eating the innocence of our abused brethren ; in setting 9.- what man is there of you,] There is an emphasis
e Luke 6, 31.
Christ exhorteth to enter
in at the strait gate.
thorns, or figs of thistles ?
18 A good tree cannot bring forth f Luke 13.24. 13 g'Enter ye in at the strait gate: evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree
for wide is the gate, and broad is the bring forth good fruit.
in thereat: forth good fruit is hewn down, and
which leadeth 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye unto life, and few there be that find it. shall know them.
15 | Beware of false prophets, 2] 9 Not every one that saith unto which come to you in sheep's cloth-me, 'Lord, Lord, shall enter into the jaroes: 2.12.
l| Or, How
here in the word “man,” illustrating with greater energy the whole object of the Law and the Prophets, as far the goodness of the heavenly Father from the conduct as they concern our conduct towards others, was to inof even human fathers with all their imperfections. Dr. culcate that same equitable behaviour towards our breCampbell.
thren, which our Saviour here recommended. We must 12. Therefore] The word translated "therefore" not interpret this expression as if it implied, that relidoes not necessarily connect these words with the for- gion consists wholly in behaving justly and kindly to mer : it is often merely an expletive, and marks the our fellow creatures, and that, beyond this, no other passing from one subject to another. Dr. Whitby. duty was required at our hands. We have, besides this,
all things whatsoever &c.] This is that great duties owing to our Creator and Redeemer, of love, rerule wherein is contained our whole duty towards our verence, and obedience, of affection, faith, and gratitude; neighbour. Dr. S. Clarke.
duties to ourselves, of discipline and self-government This precept contains the concentrated essence of all over our corrupt propensities and irregular desires. Bp. ethicks; it is the vigorous root from which every branch Porteus. of moral duty towards each other may be derived. Bp. 13.— strait gate :] This metaphor seems taken from Watson.
the custom which prevailed at marriage feasts, of having To the end that all Christians may steer with inno- a gate designedly made narrow, through which those who cence through all the dangers of social life, it is greatly were bidden might enter, but which might exclude those incumbent on them to regulate their conduct by this who were not bidden. Dr. Whitby. precept in their continual intercourse with each other, Our Lord here represents, by figurative expressions, to apply it in their daily self-examinations, in the solemn how much the generality of men are disposed to follow preparations of their hearts for the Lord's supper, beg- errour, and how small a portion pursue truth, and attach ging of God, as our Redeemer has commanded, that themselves to it in spite of the difficulties which it is pardon for their many transgressions of this, and all necessary to surmount. Beausobre. His holy laws, and that grace to observe it better for 15. Beware of false prophets,] You will be in danthe future, which their failures and weakness render so ger, He says, of being seduced from the way to life, by needful; giving glory to Him, and humbly taking com- the designing craftiness of some bad men, who, perfort to themselves, when their endeavours have proved sonating teachers and promoters of truth and virtue, do successful. We must all resolve to obey this precept in reality design the overthrow of both. Dean Stanhope. conscientiously, if we regard our present and future hap- 16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.] But in time piness, if we desire to avoid the bad opinion of those their own wicked practices, and the pernicious consearound us, who will unanimously censure our transgres- quences of their principles, will discover what they are. sion of so plain a rule, the reproaches of our own hearts, Dean Stanhope. of which it is an obvious dictate, or the final condem- 18. A good tree cannot &c.] That is, while it contination of Him, who “is greater than our heart, and nues such; but both the bad and the good admit of knoweth all things," i John iii. 20. Abp. Secker. future change. From this verse some persons have
This rule, which makes what we desire of other men made two false inferences, both equally false, and remote the measure of our dealing towards them, is to be un- from our Saviour's true meaning: the one that a person derstood not of vicious and excessive desires, but of who is once in a peculiar sense) regenerate can never such only as are fit and reasonable: such requests as cease to be so; the other, that a person who is not rewe can, in our calmest thoughts, justify to ourselves ; generate can do nothing that is good. Dr. Whitby. such as, we are sure, may be made without indecency, 21. Not every one &c.] It is not the bare profession and cannot be refused without inhumanity. Under or the teaching of My Gospel that shall carry any man this necessary limitation, the precept of the text may to heaven, but the conscientious and diligent observance thus be understood, Put thyself into such a man's con- of the rules of life laid down here. Dean Stanhope. No dition, and consider what treatment, what favours, in hopes are to be built on profession alone ; good practice that case, thou mightest fairly and justly expect from is the only foundation that can support us, chap. viii. 12. him; and be thou fair to deal with him according to Bp. Mann. those thy just and regular expectations. Bp. Atterbury. Our Lord promises blessedness to none but those who
-for this is the law and the prophets.] That is, I actually live in the practice of those Christian graces and