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punishment: Cbrist says, 66 Ye have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth : but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil : but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at law and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also.” What we are taught here is, evidently, not only that we must encourage no desire to revenge any injury we may receive, or to inflict pain and suffering on those who injure us, but that we must be willing to do a kindness or service of any kind even to an enemy: and how completely Jesus set us the example of so doing, is shewn throughout his whole history.
“ Ye have heard it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy: But I say unto you,
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate
pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you : that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven : for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust : For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others ? Do not even the publicans do so ?”
Jesus directs his followers, when they give alms or pray, not to make a display of it, in order to gain the approbation of men, but to perform their acts of charity and devotion in secret. He says, “ When thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward : But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth : And when thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men : But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do, for they think that they shall be heard for their much-speaking : Be not ye therefore like unto them : for your Father knows what things ye have
need of, before ye ask him : After this manner therefore pray ye:
“ Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name : Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread : And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors: And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil : For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.”
“ For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Jesus says again, “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
“ Judge not, that ye be not judged: For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged ; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to
you again : And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's
but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye! Thou hypocrite, first cast the beam out of thine own eye: and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.”
What a reproach and rebuke to those of us (and I fear there are but few exceptions) who are apt to point out and magnify the faults of our neighbours, while we are blind to our own.
Each one of us if we will, can understand our own character ; can watch and check our own faults and failings, and do something by example at least, towards making others better ; but when we begin to judge and correct others, we are generally working quite in the dark, having no power to know accurately all the motives which may influence another, and being therefore in danger of blaming that which proceeds from the best of motives, and applauding that which proceeds from the very worst ;-to be blind leaders of the blind.
Jesus directs his disciples to use frequent prayer : he says “ Ask, and it shall be given unto you: seek, and ye shall find : knock, and it shall be opened to you."
For “ what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread will he give him a stone ? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven, give good gifts to them which ask him ? Therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them, for this is the law and the prophets.”
Jesus ends with these remarkable words, “ Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house on a rock : and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon
that house ; and it fell not: for it was founded
upon a rock.”
“ And every one that heareth not these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand : And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house : and it fell : and great was the fall of it."