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Of forgiving our brethren.

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31.

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13 And lead us not into temp-| trespasses, neither will your Father
tation, but deliver us from evil: forgive your trespasses.
For thine is the kingdom, and the
power, and the glory, for ever.

Amen.

d Mark 11. 25. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you :

15 But if ye forgive not men their

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

17 But thou, when thou fastest,

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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 owe our lives, and all the support of them, not to our own cunning or industry, but to His blessing; and thereby to engage us both to rely on Him with the greater confidence, and to make those suitable returns of love, praise, and gratitude which we ought. Abp. Wake.

12. And forgive us &c.] By trespasses, which are sometimes compared with debts, Matt. xviii. 32, 35, are meant sins, by which we become indebted to the justice of God. And here we pray that God would not exact of us the penalty of sin, that He would accept of Christ's satisfaction for us, and that He would for Christ's sake discharge us from the debt. Oxford Catechism.

— as we forgive &c.] Let us ever remember, that, since we pray to be forgiven only as we forgive, as often as we use these words, we pray in effect for God's vengeance upon ourselves, not for His mercy, if we forgive not. It becomes us therefore continually to apply to Him for grace to do in earnest what we profess to do in this petition; carefully to examine our hearts and conduct, that we may not cheat ourselves, for God we cannot cheat, with false pretences of observing this duty, while indeed we transgress it. Abp. Secker.

13. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:] Herein we pray that God would neither try us Himself beyond our strength, nor suffer the devil, the world, or our own flesh to do it; that if it be His will, we may not be exposed to any great temptations at all; but if, for any ends of His wise providence, He shall think fit to suffer us to be tempted, that then He would be graciously pleased to strengthen and support us, to carry us through them with innocence and integrity, and not to suffer us to be led by them into sin. By the expression "from evil" may be meant either an evil person or an evil thing. In the first sense, it may respect all wicked men, but especially the wicked one, the tempter in the last sense, not so much the evil of sin, as the evil of temptation, to which it seems properly to refer. Abp. Wake.

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For thine is the kingdom, &c.] This is the third part of the Lord's Prayer, called the doxology, a word which means a form of giving glory and praise and honour to God, 1 Tim. i. 17; Rev. v. 12; vii. 12. Abp. Wake.

We here affirm expressly, what indeed has been implied throughout the prayer, that His is the kingdom, or the rightful authority and supreme dominion over all; His the power by which all that is just and good is brought to pass; His the glory of whatever we His creatures do or enjoy or hope for; of whatever this universe and the whole scheme of things which it comprehends, hath had, or now hath, or ever shall have in it, awful or gracious, and worthy of the admiration of men and angels. And, as all dignity, and might, and honour are His, so they are His "for ever and ever;" originally, independently, and unchangeably. "From everlasting to everlasting He is God, the same yesterday,

Amen.] This is a word of wish or approbation, denoting our assent to that to which it is subjoined, with an earnest desire of its accomplishment: it means, May God of His goodness grant what I have here prayed for, and so I trust He will do, of His mercy towards me, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Abp. Wake. See note at Deut. xxvii. 15.

The following is a paraphrase of this admirable form of prayer: 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 perfections of Thy nature be every where devoutly reverenced and glorified. Let Thy kingdom of truth and righteousness prevail to the full establishment of the Gospel of Christ. Let Thy holy will be obeyed with sincerity and constancy by men 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 support, in that state of life 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 has offended us. Suffer us not to be overcome by temptations; but deliver us from the power of Satan, and the deceitfulness and corruption of sin. 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. Bp. Mann.

14.- your heavenly Father will also forgive you :] It should be observed, that the condition of our forgiveness, here proposed singly, is not to be understood absolutely and exclusively of all others. For the two great Gospel conditions of faith and repentance are always presupposed as necessary to qualify us for any of the privileges tendered in the Gospel. Dr. Moss.

15. But if ye forgive not &c.] It is not meet that we should crave forgiveness of our great offences from God, and yet be unwilling to forgive the small trespasses of our neighbours against us. We call in vain for mercy, if we will not shew mercy to our neighbours: if we will not put wrath and displeasure forth from our hearts to our Christian brother, no more will God forgive the wrath and displeasure that our sins have deserved from Him. Church Homilies.

16.- when ye fast,] Observe that our Lord here, and at chap. ix. 14, &c. does not condemn the practice of fasting, but only regulates the manner of it, leaving the frequency of fasting to publick and private discretion. Abp. Secker.

-they disfigure their faces,] That is, suffer their faces to remain unwashed, and their heads unanointed. Bp. Pearce.

17.- anoint thine head, &c.] The general meaning is, Dress thyself, as on other days, according to the custom of the country. Oil was much used among the Jews, as water is with us, for washing the face. Bp. Pearce.

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19. Lay not up &c.] The connexion of ideas in the following part of the chapter seems to be this: our Lord says, Seek not after earthly treasures, (ver. 19, 20,) for your affections will be where your treasure is, ver. 21. If your understanding be so darkened as to mistake the principal object of human pursuit, and the nature of true happiness, by looking on wealth as the most desirable of all things, your errour is desperate, (ver. 22, 23,) and in vain would you hope to unite the pursuit of wealth with the love of heavenly things, for no man can serve two masters, ver. 24: on these accounts, I exhort you not to be over-anxious in worldly matters, lest avarice get the dominion over you, ver. 25-34.

-Lay not up for yourselves &c.]. That is, Be not so solicitous for the good things of this world, as for the glory and happiness of the next. It is a Hebrew manner of speaking, which frequently occurs, (Luke xii. 4; xiv. 26,) to forbid things absolutely, when the sense is to be understood only comparatively. Abp. Tillotson.

—where moth and rust doth corrupt,] Allusion is here made to the three sorts of treasures which human foresight was wont to store up; garments, corn and fruits of the earth, and gold, silver, and jewels; all of which are perishable and liable to be destroyed by the moth and caterpillar, or else by rust. Dr. Hammond.

Under the term "treasures," garments seem to be particularly included. It was customary for the opulent in Asiatick countries, where fashions in dress were not ductuating as they are with us, to have large repositories of rich and splendid apparel. The term, translated "rust," denotes anything which corrodes, consumes, or spoils goods of any kind. Dr. Campbell. Lay not up for yourselves" &c.; that is, Be not so intent on these perishing things as to neglect and forget those of infinitely greater moment; but let your principal care, and your most hearty endeavours, attend to, and provide for, eternity. Abp. Herring.

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22. The light of the body is the eye:] Rather, the eye is the lamp of the body. This whole passage is metaphorical; by the body is here meant the mind, and by the eye the turn and disposition of the mind in matters of religion. As when the eye, which is the light of the body, is so vitiated as to give no light, the whole body is full of darkness; so, when the reason or understanding, which is the inward light, is vitiated, the whole soul is darkened; and, the darkness being total, 1 is therefore very great. Bp. Pearce.

thine eye be single,] Entire, sound, free from disorder. If the understanding and will be distempered, we can no more perceive and relish our true happiness than we can see clearly when our sight is defective. Bp. Mann.

is to be laid up.

DOMINI

21 For where your treasure is, Anno there will your heart be also.

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22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

31..

f Luke 11.34.

24 No man can serve two mas- g Luke 16. 13. ters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

24. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.] Mammon is a Syriack word; it is generally interpreted to mean "riches" only; but the original rather directs us to use it in a more general sense, as comprehending every thing which is capable of being an object of trust, or a ground of confidence to men of worldly minds; such as wealth, power, honour, business, sensual pleasures, gay amusements, and all the various pursuits of the present scene. Bp. Porteus. By the expression "mammon," wealth is personified, and represented as a master who rivals God in the hearts of men. Dr. Campbell.

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A great part of mankind most absurdly attempt to divide themselves between God and Mammon, to compromise the matter as well as they can between the commands of the One and the seductions of the other; to render a worldly life and a religious life consistent with each other; to take as much as they can of the enjoyments and advantages of the present world, without losing their hold on the rewards of the next. Yet, in direct contradiction to so extravagant and preposterous a system, Christ Himself assures us, that we cannot serve these two masters. Our Maker expects to reign absolute in our hearts. He will not be served by halves; He will not accept of a divided empire; He will not suffer us to halt between two opinions. We must make our choice, and adhere to one side or the other. "If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal then follow him," 1 Kings xviii. 21. Bp. Porteus.

No man can serve two masters so different as God and the world are; because they will give cross commands, and enjoin contrary things. God calls upon us to mind the duties of His worship and service, to have a serious regard to religion and a diligent care of our souls; but the cares of the world and the importunity of business, and an eager appetite of being rich, call us off from these divine and spiritual employments, or disturb us in them. God calls upon us to be charitable to those that are in want, to be willing to distribute, and ready to communicate to the necessities of our brethren; but our covetousness pulls us back, draws us another way, and checks all merciful and charitable dispositions in us. God calls us to self-denial, and suffering for the sake of Him and His truth; and commands us to prefer the keeping of faith and a good conscience to all worldly considerations whatever; but the world inspires us with other thoughts, and whispers to us rather to put our immortal souls to hazard, than our bodies and estates. Abp. Tillotson.

Neither God nor mammon will bear a rival. Mammon is imperious and crafty, and will have all or none: if we give him one half, he will soon seize the rest. God also requires the whole heart; and, when He takes pos

Christ exhorteth not to be careful

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h Luke 12. 22. Ps. 55. 22.

1 Pet. 5. 7.

S. MATTHEW.

25 Therefore I say unto you, h Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

session of it, worldly affections are extinguished, as earthly fires die away when the sun shines upon them in his full strength. Dr. Jortin.

25.- Take no thought] That is, be not anxious. Bp. Pearce. Be not anxiously careful or solicitous. The word in the original Greek bears a much stronger sense than is conveyed by our expression, "Take no thought." At the time when our English translation was made, the phrase "to take thought" appears to have implied anxious thought and carefulness. As a proof of this, it may be mentioned, that a Hebrew word, which undoubtedly denotes solicitude and anxiety, is rendered at 1 Sam. ix. 5, by the verb "to take thought for," and the same is rendered at 1 Sam. x. 2, by "to sorrow for." Parkhurst. Is not the life more than meat, &c.] He that first gave you life and being, without your caring or giving any assistance towards it, will much more bestow upon you things necessary for the support and preservation of that life. Dr. S. Clarke.

26. Behold the fowls &c.] There is no where to be found so just and so elegant a reproof of eagerness and anxiety in worldly pursuits, clothed with so forcible an exhortation to confidence in the goodness of the Creator, as in this passage, ver. 26-30. S. Jenyns.

27. Which of you by taking thought &c.] And, after all, He adds, This immoderate carefulness is useless as well as unnecessary; "for which of you," &c. Dr. Doddridge.

28.

Consider the lilies of the field,] There is reason to suppose that the "lily of the fields" mentioned by our Saviour is the Amaryllis lutea, or autumnal Narcissus. This flower is described by travellers, as appearing in profusion in the fields of the countries in the Levant, and covering them in autumn with a vivid golden brilliancy; so as to admit of a peculiarly apt comparison with Solomon in all his glory. Sir J. E. Smith.

30.-grass] The original word comprehends flowers, all that grows in the field or garden. Dr. Hammond.

is cast into the oven,] It is usual in Barbary to employ the stalks of flowers, myrtle, rosemary, &c. to heat their ovens. This circumstance affords a clear comment on the words of our Saviour. Dr. Shaw.

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for worldly things.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto

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plained the whole meaning of this part of the chapter. It is not meant by any of these expressions that we should, in a literal sense, take no thought for our life or the means of supporting it, but that our thoughts are not to be wholly or principally occupied about these things. Christianity forbids no necessary occupations, no reasonable indulgences, no innocent relaxations. It allows us to use the world, provided we abuse it not. All that it requires is, that our liberty degenerate not into licentiousness, our amusements into dissipation, our industry into incessant toil, our carefulness into extreme anxiety and endless solicitude. Bp. Porteus.

and his righteousness ;] That righteousness which will render you acceptable in His sight. Dr. Whitby. This expression, "the kingdom of God, and His righteousness," comprehends the whole business of religion; our last end, which is eternal life and happiness in another world, and the ways and means to this end, which is righteousness, that universal practice of virtue which God requires of us, and of which He Himself is to us a pattern and an example. When we are required to seek these we are required to maintain a fixed design and resolution as to the end, incessant care and diligence as to the means, and to display an earnest zeal and persevering patience in the pursuit. But we are also required to seek these first, that is, to make them the main and principal design of our lives, so as to take place of every thing else in our esteem and affection, in our aim and endeavour; in comparison of these, we are to mind nothing else, neither the comforts and conveniences, nor even the necessaries of life. Abp. Tillotson.

and all these things shall be added unto you.] From this promise we reasonably infer, that, generally speaking, God will bless the endeavours of the righteous, and of those that trust in Him; that when this happens otherwise, as sometimes must be the case, we may conclude, that what a righteous man loses on account of his religion, will, by the care of Providence, be made good to him in some other way; and that, at all events, his reward hereafter will be so much greater for any losses he may sustain here. Dr. S. Clarke.

34. Take therefore no thought for the morrow:] See note at ver. 25. By "the morrow" is not meant the very next day only, but, according to the import of the Eastern phrase, any future time, at what distance soever. Bp. Atterbury.

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4 Or how wilt thou say to thy bro-him a serpent?

·Sufficient unto the day &c.] Sufficient to the present time are the present troubles of life, and God would not have us add to them by an unreasonable solicitousness for the future. Dr. S. Clarke.

Mark 11.24.

Luke 11.9.
John 16. 24.

James 1. 5, 6.

every action in its most advantageous light, and pouring balm into the many bleeding reputations, which have been wounded deep by artificial malice, and words which are "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 ii. 13. Dr. Whitby. That ye be not judged by other men, and by God when He comes to judgment. Dr. Hammond.

This precept is directed against the practice of private persons judging one another in thought or in word, without reason, without grounds, without evidence, and perhaps against it, unadvisedly, unjustly, and uncharitably; charging men with faults which they have never really committed, and magnifying what they have; aggravating every inconsiderable blemish, and spreading a little blot over a whole character. Dr. J. Balguy.

2. For with what judgment &c.] For, in this respect, He adds, ye will find, that, according to the judgment with which ye judge others, ye shall be judged; and by that very measure which ye mete to them, it shall be measured back to you. God and man will make great allowances to the character of the candid and benevolent; but those, who have shewed no mercy, must expect judgment without mercy; nor can they deny the equity of such treatment, Jam. ii. 13. Dr. Doddridge.

condemned, and when every hard uncharitable thought even shall be placed to our account. Dean Stanhope.

6. Give not that which is holy &c.] That is, continue not to preach the Gospel to those whom you find refractory, and pertinaciously confirmed in their infidelity, and so addicted to their evil habits, that they will rather revile and persecute you on that account, than hearken unto you. Dr. Whitby.

7. Ask, and it shall be given you; &c.] Apply yourselves to God in hearty prayer for His assistance; which if ye do with faith, constancy, and importunity, ye shall certainly obtain what you desire; at least so far, and in such manner and degree as is needful for you. Dr. S. Clarke.

What a fund of encouragement is here for all manner of virtue, and particularly for devotion, that we may be fit objects of God's gracious care and providence; when we reflect that every petition of a good man is heard and regarded by Him, who holds the reins of nature in His hand. When God, from His throne of celestial glory, issues out that uncontrollable command, to which all events are subject, the desires of humble pious Christians are not overlooked by Him. The good man's prayer is among the reasons by which the Omnipotent

3.- why beholdest thou the mote &c.] This expression is taken from a proverb common among the Jews at that time. Dr. Hammond. By "mote" is represented snall fault; by "beam," a great one. Bp. Pearce. is moved in the administration of the universe. How 4-how 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 mated 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 in 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 for each man to look at home, and begin with re- arm the Almighty in his defence, so long as he can but forming 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. ating the innocence of our abused brethren; in setting

9.- what man is there of you,] There is an emphasis

Christ exhorteth to enter

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31.

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11 If ye then, being evil, knowing, but inwardly they are ravening how to give good gifts unto your wolves. children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

ever ye

e Luke 6, 31. 12 Therefore all things whatsowould that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

f Luke 13. 24.

Or, How.

13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

14 | Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. 15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's cloth

here in the word "man," illustrating with greater energy the goodness of the heavenly Father from the conduct of even human fathers with all their imperfections. Dr. Campbell.

12. Therefore] The word translated "therefore" does not necessarily connect these words with the former it is often merely an expletive, and marks the passing from one subject to another. Dr. Whitby.

- all things whatsoever &c.] This is that great rule wherein is contained our whole duty towards our neighbour. Dr. S. Clarke.

This precept contains the concentrated essence of all ethicks; it is the vigorous root from which every branch of moral duty towards each other may be derived. Bp. Watson.

To the end that all Christians may steer with innocence through all the dangers of social life, it is greatly incumbent on them to regulate their conduct by this precept in their continual intercourse with each other, to apply it in their daily self-examinations, in the solemn preparations of their hearts for the Lord's supper, begging of God, as our Redeemer has commanded, that pardon for their many transgressions of this, and all His holy laws, and that grace to observe it better for the future, which their failures and weakness render so needful; giving glory to Him, and humbly taking comfort to themselves, when their endeavours have proved successful. We must all resolve to obey this precept conscientiously, if we regard our present and future happiness, if we desire to avoid the bad opinion of those around us, who will unanimously censure our transgression of so plain a rule, the reproaches of our own hearts, of which it is an obvious dictate, or the final condemnation of Him, who "is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things," 1 John iii. 20. Abp. Secker.

This rule, which makes what we desire of other men the measure of our dealing towards them, is to be understood not of vicious and excessive desires, but of such only as are fit and reasonable: such requests as we can, in our calmest thoughts, justify to ourselves; such as, we are sure, may be made without indecency, and cannot be refused without inhumanity. Under this necessary limitation, the precept of the text may thus be understood, Put thyself into such a man's condition, and consider what treatment, what favours, in that case, thou mightest fairly and justly expect from him; and be thou fair to deal with him according to those thy just and regular expectations. Bp. Atterbury.

-for this is the law and the prophets.] That is,

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16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of 8 Luke 6. 43. thorns, or figs of thistles?

17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

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19h Every tree that bringeth not h Chap. 3. 10. forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

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the whole object of the Law and the Prophets, as far as they concern our conduct towards others, was to inculcate that same equitable behaviour towards our brethren, which our Saviour here recommended. We must not interpret this expression as if it implied, that religion consists wholly in behaving justly and kindly to our fellow creatures, and that, beyond this, no other duty was required at our hands. We have, besides this, duties owing to our Creator and Redeemer, of love, reverence, and obedience, of affection, faith, and gratitude; duties to ourselves, of discipline and self-government over our corrupt propensities and irregular desires. Bp. Porteus.

13.- strait gate:] This metaphor seems taken from the custom which prevailed at marriage feasts, of having a gate designedly made narrow, through which those who were bidden might enter, but which might exclude those who were not bidden. Dr. Whitby.

Our Lord here represents, by figurative expressions, how much the generality of men are disposed to follow errour, and how small a portion pursue truth, and attach themselves to it in spite of the difficulties which it is necessary to surmount. Beausobre.

15. Beware of false prophets,] You will be in danger, He says, of being seduced from the way to life, by the designing craftiness of some bad men, who, personating teachers and promoters of truth and virtue, do in reality design the overthrow of both. Dean Stanhope.

16. Ye shall know them by their fruits.] But in time their own wicked practices, and the pernicious consequences of their principles, will discover what they are. Dean Stanhope.

18. A good tree cannot &c.] That is, while it continues such; but both the bad and the good admit of future change. From this verse some persons have made two false inferences, both equally false, and remote from our Saviour's true meaning: the one, that a person who is once (in a peculiar sense) regenerate can never cease to be so; the other, that a person who is not regenerate can do nothing that is good. Dr. Whitby.

21. Not every one &c.] It is not the bare profession or the teaching of My Gospel that shall carry any man to heaven, but the conscientious and diligent observance of the rules of life laid down here. Dean Stanhope. No hopes are to be built on profession alone; good practice is the only foundation that can support us, chap. viii. 12. Bp. Mann.

Our Lord promises blessedness to none but those who actually live in the practice of those Christian graces and

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