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peacemakers are the eighth, or supp saints are in war these affronts and my reward in heaven: God In non ha seen that all thahed in seven Lait for great is young

Christ's Sermon

on the Mount. come transformed into peace-diffusers. God is thus passage of Luke (6. 22, 23), where every indignity trying xed reflected in them; and by the family likeness to fiesh and blood is held forth as the probable lot these peacemakers are recognised as the children of of such as were faithful to Him, the word is even God In now coming to the eighth, or supplementary stronger than here, "leap," as if He would have their batitude, it will be seen that all that the saints are inward transport to overpower and absorb the sense ** thems lres has been already described, in seven of all these affronts and sufferings ; nor will anything Leatures of character: that number indicating com. else do it. for great is your reward in heaven: for so perpleteness of delineation. The last feature, accordingly, secuted they the prophets which were before you:-9.d., is a passive one, representing the treatment that the 'You do but serve yourselves heirs to their character characters already described may expect from the and sufferings, and the reward will be common. 13-16. world. He who shall one day fix the destiny of all We have here the practical application of the foremen here pronounces certain characters "blessed;" going principles to those disciples who sat listening but He ends by forewarning them that the world's to them, and to their successors in all time. Our estimation and treatment of them will be the reverse Lord, though He began by pronouncing certain char. of His 10. Blessed are they which are persecuted for acters to be blessed-without express reference to any righteousness sake, &c. How entirely this final beati. of His hearers-does not close the beatitudes without tade bas its ground in the Old Testament, is evident intimating that such characters were in existence, from the concluding words, where the encouragement and that already they were before Him. Accordingly. beld out to endure such persecutions consists in its from characters He comes to persons possessing them, being but a continuation of what was experienced by saying, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you," bates a wonder dat daad But how it may leAnd now. cong the Old Testament servants of God. But how, it may &c. And now, continuing this mode of direct perbe asked, could such beautiful features of character sonal address, He startles those humble, unknown provoke persecution? To this the following answers men by pronouncing them the exalted benefactors of should suffice: "Every one that doeth evil bateth the | their whole species. 13. Ye are the salt of the earth-to light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds preserve it from corruption, to season its insipidity, should be reproved." "The world cannot hate you: to freshen and sweeten it. The value of salt for these bat me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works purposes is abundantly referred to by classical writers thereof are evil," "If ye were of the world, the world as well as in Scripture; and hence its symbolical sigwould love his own; but because ye are not of the nificance in the religious offerings as well of those world, but I have chosen you out of the world, there without as of those within the pale of revealed reli. fore the world hateth you." "There is yet one man gion. In Scripture, mankind, under the unrestrained

said wicked Ahab to good Jehoshaphat), by whom we workings of their own evil nature, are represented may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him; for he never as entirely corrupt. Thus, before the flood (Genesis. prophesied good unto me, but always evil” (John, 3. 6. 11, 12); after the flood (Genesis, 8. 21); in the days of # 7.7: 16. 19; 2 Chronicles, 18. 7). But more particu. David (Psalm 14. 2, 3); in the days of Isaiah (Isaiah, 1. larly, the seven characters here described are all in 6, 6): and in the days of Paul (Ephesians, 2. 1-3; see the teeth of the spirit of the world, insoinuch that | also Job, 14. 4; 16. 15, 16; John, 3. 6; compared with Rooch hearers of this Discourse as breathed that spirit mans, 8. 8; Titus, 3. 2, 3). The remedy for this, says must have been startled, and bad their whole systern our Lord here, is the active presence of His disciples of thought and action rudely dashed. Poverty of among their fellows. The character and principles spirit runs counter to the pride of men's heart; a pen- of Christians, brought into close contact with it, are sive disposition, in the view of one's universal de designed to arrest the festering corruption of humanfciences before God, is ill relished by the callous, ity and season its insipidity. But how, it may be indifferent, laughing, self-satisfied world; a meek and asked, are Christians to do this office for their fellowquiet spirit, taking wrong, is regarded as pusillani. men, if their righteousness only exasperate them, and tous, and rasps against the proud, regentful spirit of recoil, in every form of persecution, upon themselves ? the world: that craving after spiritual blessings re The answer is. That is but the first and partial effect brukes but too unpleasantly the lust of the flesh, the of their Christianity upon the world; though the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; so does a merci. great proportion would dislike and reject the truth, fal spirit the hardheartedness of the world : purity of a small but noble band would receive and hold it fast; beart contrasts painfully with painted hypocrisy; and I and in the struggle that would ensue, one and another the peacemaker cannot easily be endured by the con even of the opposing party would come over to His tentious, quarrelsome world. Thus does “righteous ranks, and at length the Gospel would carry all before tes" come to be "persecuted." But blessed are they it. but if the salt have lost his savour-become un

b0, in spite of this, dare to be righteous. for theirs savoury' or insipid;' losing its saline or salting prouthe kingdom of heaven. As this was the reward property. The meaning is, If that Christianity on which used to the poor in spirit the leading one of these the health of the world depends, does in any age, reBeren beatitudes-of course it is the proper portion gion, or individual, exist only in name, or if it contain

sheh as are persecuted for exemplifying them. 11. not those saving elements for want of which the world Sensed are ye when men shall revile you--or abuse you languishes, wherewith shall it be salted ?-how shall w your face, in opposition to backbiting. (See Mark, the salting qualities be restored to it? (Cf. Mark, 9. a. 2) and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil 60.1 Whether salt ever does lose its saline propertyszinst you falsely, for my sake. Observe this. He had | about which there is a difference of opinion-is a quesDefore said, "for righteousness' sake." Here He iden tion of no moment here. The point of the case lies in Wes Himself and His cause with that of righteous. the supposition - that it should lose it, the consezesu, binding up the cause of righteousness in the I quence would be as here described. So with Chris. world with the reception of Himself. Would Moses, tians. The question is not, Can, or do, the saints ever e David, or Isaiah, or Panl have so expressed them totally lose that grace which makes them a blessing

tes! Never. Doubtless they suffered for right to their fellow-men? But. What is to be the issue of Wassers' sake. But to have called this * their sake," that Christianity which is found wanting in those eleWould, as every one feels, have been very unbecoming. (ments which can alone stay the corruption and season W bereas He that speaks. being Righteousness incar the tastelessness of an all-pervading carnality? The Este se Mark, 1 94: Acts, 3. 14; Revelation, 3. 7), when restoration or non-restoration of grace, or true living He so epeaks, speaks only like Himself. 12. Rejoice, Christianity, to those who have lost it, has, in our 11 be ezadine

De eroveding Indexult.' In the corresponding judgment, nothing at all to do here. The question 19

Christ's Sermon


on the Mount. not. If a man lose his grace, how shall that grace be phrase is much better than understanding “the Lao restored to him? but, Since living Christianity is the and "the Prophets" separately, and enquiring, as only "galt of the earth." if men lose that, what else can many good critics do, in what sense our Lord could supply its place? What follows is the appalling answer be supposed to meditate the subversion of each. To to this question, it is thenceforth good for nothing. the various classes of His hearers, who might view but to be cast out-a figurative expression of indig- such supposed abrogation of the Law and the Pronant exclusion from the kingdom of God (cf. ch. 8. 12; phets with very different feelings, our Lord's an22. 13; John, 6. 37: 9. 34). and to be trodden under footnouncement would, in effect, be such as this-Ye of men-expressive of contempt and scorn. It is not who “tremble at the word of the Lord," fear not the mere want of a certain character, but the want of that I am going to sweep the foundation from under it in those whose profession and appearance were fitted your feet: Ye restless and revolutionary spirits, hope to beget expectation of finding it. 14. Ye are the light not that I am going to head any revolutionary moveof the world - This being the distinctive title which our ment: And ye who hypocritically affect great reverLord appropriates to Himself (John, 8. 12; 9. 6; and see ence for the Law and the Prophets, pretend not to John, 1. 4, 9; 3. 19; 12. 36, 36)-& title expressly said to find anything in my teaching derogatory to God's be unsuitable even to the highest of all the prophets living oracles. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. (John, 1. 8)-it must be applied here by our Lord to 'Not to subvert, abrogate, or annul, but to establish His disciples only as they shine with His light upon the Law and the Prophets-to unfold them, to the world, in virtue of His Spirit dwelling in them, embody them in living form, and to enshrine them in and the same mind being in them which was also in the reverence, affection, and character of men, am I Christ Jesus. Nor are Christians anywhere else so come.' 18. For verily I say unto yon. Here, for the called. Nay, as if to avoid the august title which the first time, does that angust expression occur in our Master has appropriated to Himself, Christians are Lord's recorded teaching, with which we have grown said to "shine" -not as "lights," as our translators so familiar as hardly to reflect on its full import. It render it, but-"as luminaries in the world" (Philip is the expression, manifestly, of supreme legislative pians, 2. 15); and the Baptist is said to have been" the authority; and as the subject in connection with burning and shining" --not "light," as in our transla- which it is uttered is the Moral Law, no higher claim tion, but'lamp" of his day (John, 6. 35). Let it be to an authority strictly divine could be advanced. observed, too, that while the two figures of salt and For when we observe how jealously Jehovah asserts sunlight both express the same function of Chris- it as His exclusive prerogative to give law to men tians--their blessed influence on their fellow-men- (Leviticus, 18, 1-5; 19. 37; 26. 1-4, 13-16, &c.), such lanthey each set this forth under a different aspect guage as this of our Lord will appear totally unsuitSalt operates internally, in the mass with which itable, and indeed abhorrent, from any creature-lips. comes in contact: the sunlight operates externally. When the Baptist's words-"I say unto you" (ch. 3. 9) irradiating all that it reaches. Hence Christians are -are compared with those of his Master here, the warily styled "the salt of the earth"-with reference difference of the two cases will be at once apparent. to the masses of mankind with whom they are ex- Till heaven and earth pass. Though even the Old pected to mix; but "the light of the worla"-with Testament announces the ultimate "perdition of reference to the vast and variegated surface which the heavens and the earth,” in contrast with the imfeels its fructifying and gladdening radiance. The mutability of Jehovah (Psalm 102. 24-27), the prevalent same distinction is observable in the second pair of representation of the heavens and the earth in Scripthose seven parables which our Lord spoke from the ture, when employed as a popular figure, is that of Galilean lake-that of the "mustard seed," which their stability (Psalm 119. 89-91; Ecclesiastes, 1. 4: Jeregrew to be a great overshadowing tree, answering to miah, 33, 25, 26). It is the enduring stability, then, of the sunlight which invests the world, and that of the the great truths and principles, moral and spiritual, "leaven," which a woman took and, like the salt, hid of the Old Testament Revelation which our Lord in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened thus expresses. one jot--the smallest of the Hebrew (ch. 13. 31-33). A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid letters--or one tittie-one of those little strokes by -nor can it be supposed to have been so built except which alone some of the Hebrew letters are disto be seen by many eyes. 15. Neither do men light a tinguished from others like them-shall in no wiso candlo-or 'lamp' and put it under a bushel-a dry pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. The meaning is, measure-but on a candlestick - rather. 'under the that not so much as the smallest loss of authority bushel, but on the lamp-stand.' The article is in- or vitality shall ever come over the law. The exserted in both cases to express the familiarity of pression, "till all be fulfilled," is much the same in every one with those bousehold utensils. and it giveth meaning as it shall be had in undiminished and light- shineth'-unto all that are in the house. 16. Let enduring honour, from its greatest to its least reyour light so shine before men, that they may see your quirements.' Again, this general way of viewing our good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Lord's words here seems far preferable to that docAs nobody lights a lamp only to cover it up, but trinal understanding of them which would require places it so conspicuqusly as to give light to all who us to determine the different kinds of "fulfilment" need light, so Christians, being the light of the world, which the moral and the ceremonial parts of it wero instead of hiding their light, are so to hold it forth to have. 19. Whosoever therefore shall break-rather, before men that they may see what a life the disciples dissolve,' 'annul,' or 'make invalid'-one of these of Christ lead, and seeing this, may glorify their least commandments-an expression equivalent to 'one Father for so redeeming, transforming, and ennobling of the least of these commandments-and shall teach earth's sinful children, and opening to themselves the men so---referring to the Pharisees and their teaching, way to like redemption and transformation.

as is plain from the next verse, but of course embrac17-48. IDENTITY OF THESE PRINCIPLES WITH ing all similar schools and teaching in the Christian THOSE OF THE ANCIENT ECONOMY, IN CONTRAST Church-he shall be called the least in the kingdom of WITH THE REIGNING TRADITIONAL TEACHING. Ex-heaven. As the thing spoken of is not the practical position of Principles (v. 17-20). 17 Think but that I ain breaking, or disobeying, of the law, but annulling or come-' that I came'-to destroy the Law, or the Prophets enervating its obligation by a vicious system of inter

i.e., 'the authority and principles of the Old Testa-pretation, and teaching others to do the same; so the ment.' (On the phrase, see ch. 7. 12: 22. 40: Luke. I thing threatened is not exclusion from heaven, and 16. 10: Actu, 13. 16.) This general way of taking the I still less the lowest place in it, but a degraded and

Christ & Sermon

on the Mount, contemptuous position in the present stage of the brued his hands in his brother's blood, but he only. is kingdom of God. In other words, they shall be re- guilty of a breach of this commandment:' and whosoduced by the retributive providence that overtakes ever shall kill shall be in danger of liable to'-the judgthem to the same condition of dishonour to which, ment-i.e., of the sentence of those inferior courts of by their system and their teaching, they have brought judicature which were established in all the principal down those eternal principles of God's law. but who | towns, in compliance with Deuteronomy, 16. 16. Thus soever shall do and teach them--whose principles and was this commandment reduced, from a holy law of teachinz so to exalt the anthority and honour of the heart-searching God, to a mere criminal statute, God's law, in its lowest as well as highest require taking cognizance only of outward actions, such as mnents--the same shall be called great in the kingdom of that which we read in Exodus, 21. 12: Leviticus, 24. 17. heaven_shall, by that providence which watches | 22. But I say unto you. Mark the authoritative tone wer the honour of God's moral administration, be | in which-as Himself the Lawgiver and Judge-Christ naised to the same position of authority and honour | now gives the true sense, and explains the deep reach, to which they exalt the law,' 20. For I say unto you, of the commandment. That whosoever is angry with That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteous. his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgpess of the scribes and Pharisees. The superiority to ment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca! shall the Pharissic righteousness here required is plainly be in danger of the council : but whosoever shall say, Thou in kraad, not doorre: for all Scripture teaches that fool! shall be in danger of hell fire. It is unreasonable

strance into God's kingdom, whether in its present to deny, as ALEXANDER does, that three degrees of or future stage, depends, not on the degree of our ex- punishment are here meant to be expressed, and to cellence in anything, but solely on our having the say that it is but a threefold expression of one and the character itself which God demands. Our righteous same thing. But Romish expositors greatly err in takDess, then-if it is to contrast with the outward and ing the first two-"the judgment" and "the council" formed righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees --to refer to degrees of temporal punishment with must be puerd, rital, spiritual. Some, indeed, of which lesser sins were to be visited under the Gosthe scribes and Pharisees themselves might have the pel, and only the last-"hell fire"-to refer to the fuvery righteousness here demanded: but our Lord is ture life. All three clearly refer to divine retribution, peaking, not of persons, but of the system they repre and that alone, for breaches of this commandment; sented and taught. ye shall in no case enter into the though this is expressed by an allusion to Jewish kingdom of heaven. If this refer, as in the preceding tribunals. The "judgment," as already explained, Terse, rather to the earthly stage of this kingdom, the was the lowest of these : the "council," or Sanhemeaning is, that without a righteousness exceeding drim' - which sat at Jerusalem -- was the highest; that of the Pharisees, we cannot be members of it at while the word used for "hell fire" contains an allulave in name. This was no new doctrine Romans, I sion to the "valley of the son of Hinnom" (Joshua.

oc: Philippians. 3. 3). But our Lord's teach. 18. 16). In this valley the Jews, when steeped in ing bere stretches beyond the present scene, to that idolatry, went the length of burning their children everlasting stage of the kingdom, where without to Moloch "on the high places of Tophet"-in con. * parity of heart" nene "shall see God."

sequence of which good Josiah defiled it, to prevent The spirituality of the true righterusness, in contrast the repetition of such abominations (2 Kings, 23. 10): cite that of the Scribes and Phariseer, illustrated from and from that time forward, if we may believe the the Sith Commandment (v. 21-26. 21. Ye have heard Jewish writers, a fire was kept burning in it to conthat it was said by them of old time-or, as in the margin, sume the carrion, and all kinds of impurities, that *to them of old time.' Which of these translations collected about the capital. Certain it is, that while is the right one has been much controverted. Either the final punishment of the wicked is described in of them is grainmatically defensible, though the lat. the Old Testament by allusions to this valley of ter" to the ancients" - is more consistent with New Tophet or Hinnom (Isaiah, 30. 33; 66. 24), our Lord Testament tienge (see the Greek of Romans, 9. 12. 26: Himself describes the same by merely quoting these Revelation. 6 11 ; 9. 4); and most critics decide in terrific descriptions of the evangelical prophet (Mark, Invour of it. But it is not a question of Greek only. | 9. 43-48). What precise degrees of unholy feeling ten Xearly all who would translate to the ancients" take | wards our brother are indicated by the words "Raca" the speaker of the words quoted to be Moses in the law: and "fool" it would be as useless as it is vain to en"ibe ancients" to be the people to whom Moses gave quire. Every age and every country has its modes the law; and the intention of our Lord here to be toof expressing such things, and, no doubt, our Lord cairagt His own teaching, more or less, with that of seized on the then current phraseology of unholy disMoses: either as opposed to it--as some go the length respect and contempt, merely to express and conof afirming-or at least as modifying, enlarging, ele-demn the different degrees of such feeling when rating it But who can reasonably imagine such a brought out in words, as He had immediately before thing just after the most solemn and emphatic pro- condemned the feeling itself. In fact, so little are clamation of the perpetuity of the law, and the hon- we to make of mere words, apart from the feeling cur and glory in which it was to be held under the which they express, that as anger is expressly said to

e economy To us it seems as plain as possible have been borne by our Lord towards His enemies. that our Lord's one object is to contrast the tradi- though mixed with "grief for the hardness of their tional perversions of the law with the true sense of it hearts" (Mark, 3. 6), and as the apostle teaches us #exponded by Himself. A few of those who assent that there is an anger which is not sinful (Epheto this still think that "to the ancients" is the only sians, 4. 26); so in the Epistle of James (2.20) we find legitimate translation of the words; understanding the words, O vain" or "empty' man: and our Lord that our Lord is reporting what had been said to the Himself applies the very word "fools" twice in one ancients, not by Moses, but by the perverters of his breath to the blind guides of the people (ch. 23. 17, 19) by We do not object to this, but we incline to think - although, in both cases, it is to false reasoners Irith BEZA, and after him with FRITZSCHE, OL- rather than persons that such words are applied. MACHEN, STIER, and BLOOMFIELD) that "by the The spirit, then, of the whole statement may be thus

ciept must have been what our Lord meant here, I given-'For ages ye have been taught that the sixth referring to the corrupt teachers rather than the commandment, for example, is broken only by the Derverted people. Thou shalt not kill :-9.d., 'This murderer, to pass sentence upon wbom is the proper beraz all that tke law requires, whosoever has im- l business of the recognised tribunals: but I say unto

Christ's Sermon

on the Mount. you that it is broken even by causeless anger, which to suggest this. The concluding words_"Verily I is but hatred in the bud, as hatred is incipient mur say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out." der (1 John, 3. 15); and if by the feelings, much more &c.-manifestly show that though the language is by those words in which all ill feeling, from the | drawn from human disputes and legal procedure, He slightest to the most envenomed, are wont to be cast is dealing with a higher than any human quarrel, a upon a brotber: and just as there are gradations in higher than any human tribunal, a higher than any human courts of judicature, and in the sentences human and temporal sentence. In this view of the which they pronounce according to the degrees of words-in which nearly all critics worthy of the name criminality, so will the jndicial treatment of all the agree-the spirit of them may be thus expressed: breakers of this commandment at the divine tribunal L'In expounding the sixth commandment, I have be according to their real criminality before the spoken of offences between man and man; reminding heart-searching Judge.' O what holy teaching is you that the offender has another party to deal with this! 23. Therefore-to apply the foregoing, and show besides him whom he has wronged on earth, and its paramount importance-if thou bring thy gift to assuring you that all worship offered to the searcher of the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath hearts by one who knows that a brother has just aught-of just complaint against thee; 24. Leave there cause of complaint against him, and yet takes no thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be recon- steps to remove it, is vain; But I cannot pass from ciled to thy brother. The meaning evidently is-not. this subject without reminding you of One whose dismiss from thine own breast all ill-feeling,' but cause of complaint against you is far more deadly get thy brother to dismiss from his mind all grudge than any that man can have against man; and since against thee.' and then come and offer thy gift. "The with that Adversary you are already on the way to picture,' says THOLUCK, 'is drawn from life. It judgment, it will be your wisdom to make up the transports us to the moment when the Israelite, nav- quarrel without delay, lest sentence of condemna. ing brought his sacrifice to the court of the Israelites, tion be pronounced upon you, and then will execuawaited the instant when the priest would approach tion straightway follow, from the effects of which to receive it at his hands. He waits with his gift at you shall never escape as long as any remnant of the the rails which separate the place where he stands offence remains unexpiated.' It will be observed from the court of the priests, into which his offering that as the principle on which we are to "agree" will presently be taken, there to be slain by the with this "Adversary" is not here specified, and the priest, and by him presented upon the altar of sacri- precise nature of the retribution that is to light upon fice. It is at this solemn moment, when about to the despisers of this warning is not to be gathered cast himself upon divine mercy, and seek in his of- from the mere use of the word "prison ;" so, the fering a seal of divine forgiveness, that the offerer remedilessness of the punishment is not in so many is supposed, all at once, to remember that some words expressed, and still less is its actual cessation brother has a just cause of complaint against him taught. The language on all these points is designedly through breach of this commandment in one or I general; but it may safely be said that the unending other of the ways just indicated. What then? Is duration of future punishment-elsewhere so clearly he to say, As soon as I have offered this gift I will go and awfully expressed by our Lord Himself, as in straight to my brother, and make it up with him? . 29 and 30, and Mark, 9. 43, 48-is the only doctrine May : but before another step is taken-even before with which Hig language here quite naturally and the offering is presented--this reconciliation is to be fully accords. (Cf. ch. 18. 30, 34.) sought, though the gift have to be left unoffered be | The same subject illustrated from the Serenth Com. fore the altar. The converse of the truth here mandment (v. 27-32). 27. Ye have heard that it was said. taught is very strikingly expressed in Mark, 11. 26, The words "by," or "to them of old time," in this 26. “And when we stand praying (in the very act), verse are insufficiently supported, and probably were forgive, if ye have aught (of just complaint) against not in the original text. Thou shalt not commit any: that your Father also which is in heaven may adultery. Interpreting this seventh, as they did the forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, sixth commandment, the traditional perverters of the neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive law restricted the breach of it to acts of criminal inyon." Hence the beautiful practice of the early tercourse between, or with, married persons exChurch, to see that all differences amongst brethren clusively. Our Lord now dissipates such delusions. and sisters in Christ were made up, in the spirit of 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a wolove, before going to the Holy Communion; and the man to lust after her-with the intent to do so, as the Church of England has a rubrical direction to this same expression is used in ch. 6. 1; or, with the full effect in her Communion service. Certainly, if this consent of his will, to feed thereby his unholy be the highest act of worship on earth, such recon- desires. hath committed adultery with her already in ciliation-though obligatory on all other occasions of his heart. We are not to suppose, from the word worship-must be peculiarly so then. 25. Agree with here used-"adultery”-that our Lord means to thine adversary-thine opponent in a matter cognizable restrict the breach of this commandment to marby law, quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him- ried persons, or to criminal intercourse with such. "to the magistrate," as in Luke, 12. 58; lest at any time The expressions, “whosoever looketh," and "looketh - here, rather, 'lest at all,' or simply "lest' the ad upon a woman, " seem clearly to extend the range of versary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge-having this commandment to all forms of impurity, and the pronounced thee in the wrong, deliver thee to the counsels which follow-as they most certainly were officer-the official whose business it is to see the intended for all, whether married or unmarried-seem sentence carried into effect, and thou be cast into to confirm this. As in dealing with the sixth comprison. 26. Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no mandment our Lord first expounds it, and then in the means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost four following verses applies His exposition, so here, farthing - a fractional Roman coin, to which our He first expounds the seventh commandment, and "farthing" answers sufficiently well. That our Lord then in the four following verses applies His expomeant here merely to give a piece of prudential sition, 29. And if thy right eye--the readier and the advice to his hearers, to keep out of the hands of the dearer of the two, offend thee-be a 'trap-spring,' or, law and its officials by settling all disputes with one as in the New Testament, be 'an occasion of stumanother privately, is not for a moment to be sup-bling to thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee-impiy. posed, though there are critics of a school low enough ing a certain indignant promptitude, heedless of what

Christ's Sermon

on the Mount. erer cost to feeling the act may involve. Of course, condemn swearing of every kind and on every occait is not the eve simply of which our Lord speaks-assion - as the Society of Friends and some other

execution were to be done upon the bodily organ ultra-moralists allege - is not for a moment to be though there have been fanatical ascetics who have thought. For even Jehovah is said once and again both advocated and practised this, showing a very low to have sworn by Himself; and our Lord certainly apprehension of spiritual things - but the offending answered upon oath to a question put to Him by the er, or the eye considered as the occasion of sin; and high priest; and the apostle several times, and in the consequently, only the sinful exercise of the organ most solemn language, takes God to witness that he which is meant. For as one might put out his eyes spoke and wrote the truth; and it is inconceivable without in the least quenching the lust to which that our Lord should here have quoted the precept they ministered, so. "if thine eye be single, thy about not forswearing ourselves but performing to

bole body shall be full of light," and, when directed | the Lord our oaths, only to give a precept of His own by a holy mind, becomes an "instrument of right directly in the teeth of it. Evidently, it is 'swearing eousness unto God.” At the same time, just as by in common intercourse and on frivolous occasions' catting off a hand, or plucking out an eye, the power that is here meant. Frivolous oaths were indeed i acting and of seeing would be destroyed, our Lord severely condemned in the teaching of the times. certainly means that we are to strike at the root of But so narrow was the circle of them that a man och unholy dispositions, as well as cut off the occa- might swear, says LIGHTFOOT, a hundred thousand sons which tend to stimulate them for it is profitable | times and yet not be guilty of vain swearing. Hardly Ár thee that one of thy members should perish, and not anything was regarded as an oath if only the name that thy whole body shonld be cast into hell. He who of God were not in it: just as among ourselves, as despises the warning to "cast from him," with in TRENCH well remarks, a certain lingering reverence dignant promptitude, an offending member, will find for the name of God leads to cutting off portions of kes whole body "cast," with a retributive prompti- His name, or uttering sounds nearly resembling it. tode of indignation, "into hell." Sharp language or substituting the name of some heathen deity, in Chis, from the lips of Love incarnate! 30. And if profane exclamations or asseverations. Against all ay right hand--the organ of action, to which the eye this our Lord now speaks decisively: teaching His etcites, cfiend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee; for audience that every oath carries an appeal to God,

is profitable, &c. See on v. 29. The repetition, in whether named or not. neither by heaven; for it is Identical terms, of such stern truths and awful lessons God's throne: 35. Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool

emas ebaracteristic of our Lord's manner of teach- (quoting Isaiah, 06. 1): neither by Jerusalem ; for it is inz. Ci. Mark, 9. 43-48. 31. It hath been said. This the city of the great King (quoting Psalm 48. 2). 36. shortened form was perhaps intentional, to mark a Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou transition from the commandments of the Decalogue canst not make one hair white or black. In the other to a civil enactment on the subject of Divorce, quoted oaths specified, God's name was profaned quite as from Deuteronomy, 24. 1. The law of Divorce-ac really as if His name had been uttered, because it ording to its strictness or laxity-has so intimate a was instantly suggested by the mention of His bearing upon purity in the married life, that nothing | "throne." His “footstool." His "city." But in could be inore natural than to pass from the seventh swearing by our own head and the like, the objection enmandment to the loose views on that subject lies in their being beyond our control,' and therefore then current. Whosoever shall put away his wife, let profanely assumed to have a stability which they have Ein give her a writing of divorcement - & legal check 1 not. 37. But let your communication your word,' in upon reckless and tyrannical separation. The one ordinary intercourse, be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay:- Let & legitimate ground of divorce allowed by the enact- simple Yes and No suffice, in affirming the truth or meat just quoted was ** some uncleanness"-in other the untruth of anything.' (See James, 6. 12, and words, conjugal infidelity. But while one school of 2 Corinthians, 1. 17, 18.) for whatsoever is more than interpreters (that of Shammai) explained this quite these cometh of evil - not of the evil One;' though an correctly, as prohibiting divorce in every case save equally correct rendering of the words, and one which that of adultery. another school (that of Hillel) some expositors prefer. It is true that all evil in our stretched the expression so far as to include every world is originally of the devil, that it forms a kingtačng in the wife offensive or disagreeable to the hus-dom at the head of which he sits, and that, in every band-a view of the law too well fitted to minister to manifestation of it he has an active part. But any emprice and depraved inclination not to find ex- reference to this here seems unnatural, and the leasive favour. And, indeed, to this day the Jews allusion to this passage in the Epistle of James (5. 12) dow divorces on the most frivolous pretexts. It was seems to show that this is not the sense of itto meet this that our Lord uttered what follows: 32. "Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay: lest ye fall Bu I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his into condemnation." The untruthfulness of our wie, taving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to corrupt nature shows itself not only in the tendency wait adultery-ke., drives her into it, in case she to deviate from the strict truth, but in the digmarries again; and whosoever shall marry her that is position to suspect others of doing the same; and as

0 - for anything short of conjugal infidelity, this is not diminished, but rather aggravated, by mitteth adultery - for if the commandment is habit of confirming what we say by an oath, we thus oken by the one party, it must be by the other run the risk of having all reverence for God's holy 115. Ent see on ch. 19. 4-9. Whether the innocent name, and even for strict truth, destroyed in our purty, after a just divorce, may lawfully marry again,

bearts, and so "fall into condemnation.The pracof treated of here. The Church of Rome says, No; tice of going beyond Yes and No, in affirmations and out the Greek and Protestant Churches allow it. denials-as if our word for it were not enough, and some rubject illustrated from the Third Command we expected others to question it-springs from that as ir. *337 33. Arrain, ye have heard that it hath vicious root of untruthfulness which is only aggrabeta said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear vated by the very effort to clear ourselves of the sugtagall. These are not the precise words of Exodus, picion of it. And just as swearing to the truth of 2,7; but they express all that it was currently under what we say begets the disposition it is designed to stood to condemnn, tis., false swearing (Leviticus, 19. remove, so the love and reign of truth in the breasts IL &c.). This is plain from what follows. But I say of Christ's disciples reveals itself so plainly even to uuta you, Smear not at all. That this was ineant to l those wbo themselves cannot be trusted, that their

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