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of thee; and of him that taketh away kind unto the unthankful and to the
These and the like precepts of our Sa- | your Father also is merciful.
The design of our blessed Saviour in all strainedly: we are thereby obliged to and every of these precepts is to recomcbarity according to others' necessities, mend unto us all sorts and kinds of mercy and our own abilities, but not bound to and charity; namely, charity in giving, give to every one that has the confidence charity in forgiving, charity in lending; to ask for what we have. Indeed every it is sometimes our duty (if we have man that really wants is the proper object || ability) to lend to such poor persons as we of our Christian charity: and we must cannot expect will ever be in a capacity, with a compassionate heart and open either to pay or to requite us. This is to hand, relieve him according to his neces- imitate the Divine bounty, which does sity, but answerable to our ability. Nor good to all, even to the unthankful and to must the second part of the verse be un. the unholy. Love for love is justice ; love derstood as forbidding Christians to seek for no love, is favour and kindness; but the recovery of their just rights, by pur-| love and charity, mercy and compassion, suing thieves, and following the law upon to all persons, even the undeserving and oppressors; but requiring us to forbeai all the ill-deserving, this is a divine goodness, acts of private revenge, as directly con a Christ-like temper, which will render us trary to the spirit and temper of Christian- | illustrious on earth, and glorious in heaven. ity. As jealousy is the rage of a man, so St. Luke says here, Be ye merciful, as your rerenge is the rage of the devil, it is the Father is merciful. St. Matihew says, very soul and spirit of the apostate nature. chap. v. verse last, Be ye perfect as your 31 And as you would that men
Father in heaven is perfect ; implying, that should do to you, do ye also to them love and mercy, charity and compassion,
is the perfection of a Christian's graces; likewise.
he that is made perfect in love, is perHere our Saviour lays down a most fect in all divine graces; in the acexcellent rule of life, for all his disciples count of God. Perfection in graces, but and followers to walk by, namely, always especially in love and charity, ought to to do as we would be done by. The be our aim in this life, and shall be our golden rule of justice and equity in all attainment in the next. our dealings with men is this, To do as we 37 Judge not, and ye shall not be would be done unto. It is a full rule, a clear rule, a most just and equitable rule, judged ; condemn not, and ye shall which the light of nature, and the law of not be condemned: forgive, and ye Christ, binds upon us
St. Matthew, chap. shall be forgiven: vii. 14. adds, that this is the law and the prophets ; that is, the sum of the Old Tes. || understood of ourselves, but our neigh
This prohibition, Judge not, is not to be tament, and the substance of the second bours. Self-judging is a great and necestable. The whole of the law is this; to love God above ourselves, and to love I sary duty; rash judging of others is an
heinous and grievous sin, which exposes our neighbours as ourselves.
to the righteous judgment of God. It is 32 For if ye love them which love | private judging and private condemning you, what thank have ye? for sinners of persons which God forbids ; it follows, also love those that love them. 33 forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Not that a
bare forgiving of others is all that God reAnd if ye do good to them which do quires in order to your forgiveness, but it good to yon, what thank have ye? for is one part of that obedience which we sinners also do even the same. 34 owe to God, without which it is in vain to And if ye lend to them of whom ye expect forgiveness from God: Forgive and hope to receive, what thank have ye? ye shall be forgiven. See the note on Matt. for sinners also lend to sinners, to re
vii. 1. ceive as much again. 35 But love ye
38 Give, and it shall be given unto your enemies, and do good, and lend, || you: good measure, pressed down, hoping for nothing again ; and your and shaken together, and running over, reward shall be great, and ye shall be shall men give into your bosom. For the children of the Highest: for he is with the same measure that ye mete
withal, it shall be measured to you || sufferings, and partly to encourage them again.
to obedience. Did they suffer hard things I think there is not one text of scripture brance of what their master suffered be
from an unkind world? The rememthat declares the bounty of God more fully in rewarding acts of charity and fore them may support them. Did they mercy than this before us. O how liberal meet with hard and difficult duties, such a paymaster is God! how sure and boun- | as loving enemies, doing good to them tiful are the returns Christ makes to us
that hate and persecute them? Their for the relief given to him in his members! Lord's example may encourage and inHe promises us here, 1. Not bare measure struct them, who loved them when they but good measure. 2. Pressed down, sha- were enemies, who prayed for his murder. ken, together, and running over ; nothing ers, and offered up his blood to God on adds more to the measure than the shaking behalf of them thai shed it. Learn hence, of the bushel, the crowding and pressing That the perfection of a Christian in this of the corn, and heaping till the measure world, consisteth in the imitation of Christ runneth over: now a measure will run Jesus, in being as our Master ; in coming over as long as you will pour. Learn
as near his example as it is possible for hence, That charities done in faith, in persons clothed with flesh and blood to obedience to God, and with an eye to the arrive at. Every one that is perfect must
be as his Master. glory of God, will produce a certain and plentiful increase. Liberality is the way 41 And why beholdest thou the to riches; giving is the best and surestmote that is in thy brother's eye, but way of thriving. A little charity from us, if we have but a little, is looked upon by perceivest not the beam that is in God as a great deal. But it is the greatest thine own eye? 42 Either how canst imprudence as well as impiety, to do but thou say to thy brother, Brother, a little when we have the ability to do let me pull out the mote that is in much; for he that soweth bountifully thine eye, when thou thyself behold shall reap bountifully: good measure, || est not the beam that is in thine own pressed down, and running over.
39 And he spake a parable unto eye? Thou hypocrite ! cast out first them : Can the blind lead the blind ? the beam out of thine own eye, and shall they not both fall into the ditch? then shalt thou see clearly to pull
Our Saviour doubtless applied these out the mote which is in thy brother's words to the scribes and Pharisees, the eye. Jewish leaders, doctors, and teachers,
By the mote in our brother's eye, is who being ignorant of the spiritual sense
meant some small and little sins discernof the law, (interpreting it only to the ed, or some sin suspected. By the beam restraining of the outward man,) were in our own eye, some greater sin undisvery unfit to instruct and lead others; cerned. Now, says our Saviour, there is for where one blind man leads another, no greater sin of hypocrisy than to be both are in danger of the ditch; that is, curious in spying out the smaller faults to run into ruin and destruction. Learn, of others, and at the same time indulge 1. That ignorant, erroneous, or unfaithful greater in ourselves. Learn hence, That ministers, are the greatest plague, and there is no such way to teach us charity sorest punishment, that can befall a peo- | in judging of others, as to exercise severiple. 1. That Christ having forewarned ty in jndging of ourselves. 2. That those us of such guides, to follow them will be who desire others should look upon an inexcusable sin and folly, and never their failings with a compassionate eve, free us from the danger of destruction, must not look upon the failings of others but rather be an aggravation of our condemnation : If the blind follow the blind, | measure we mete, it shall be measured to us
with a censoriows eye; for with what both will, inevitably yet inexcusably, fall again. into the ditch. 40 The disciple is not above his
43 For a good tree bringeth not mnaster : but every one that is perfect
forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a shail be as his master.
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. The application of these words, no 44 For every tree is known by his doubt, our Saviour intended to his own
own fruit: for of thorns men do not disciples, partly to comfort them under | gather figs, nor of a bramble-bush
gather they grapes. 45 A good man , heareth, and doeth not, is like a man out of the good treasure of his heart that without a foundation built an bringeth forth that which is good; house upon the earth : against which and an evil man out of the evil trea- the stream did beat vehemently, and sure of his heart bringeth forth that immediately it fell; and the ruin which is evil; for of the abundance of that house was great. of the heart his mouth speaketh. Our Saviour here concludes his sermon
with an elegant similitude : he compares Our Saviour here and elsewhere fre- the faithful doer of the word to a wise quently compares persons to trees; the builder, which founded his house upon a heart of man is as the root, the actions rock. Others he resembles to a foolish as the fruit; as the root is the principle builder, that bụilt his house upon the sand. from which the fruit springs, so the heart The house is the hope of heaven and eterof man is a principle from which all hu- nal life; the rock is Christ; the building man actions flow: an holy heart will be upon the sand, is resting upon the bare accompanied with an holy life, where performance of outward duties; the rain, there is a vital principle of grace within, the winds, and the floods, are all kinds of there will be the actings of grace without; afflicting evils, sufferings, and persecua good conscience will be accompanied tions, that may befall us. The sum is; with a good conversation. Observe far- men's hopes of salvation built upon any ther, A double treasure discovered in the other besides Christ, or built upon Christ heart of man. 1. An evil treasure of sin without a sincere and uniform obedi. and corruption, from whence flow evilence to him, are vain hopes, deceitful things : but why should sin be called a hopes; for when the storin arises, when treasure ? Not for the preciousness of it, aflliction or persecution comes, their conbut for the abundance of it; a little doth fidence will fail them, their foundation not make a treasure: and also for the will be shaken. Learn, 1. That the obecontinuance of it; for though sin be per- dient believer is the only wise man, that petually overflowing in the life, yet doth builds his hopes of heaven upon a sure the heart continue full
. The treasure of and abiding foundation; Christ is the original corruption in man's heart and rock that he builds upon, and one Christ nature, though by sanctifying grace it may is before a thousand creatures, one rock be drawn low, yet it is never in this life better than millions of sands to build updrawn dry. 1. Here is a good treasure on. 2. That such professors as rest in of grace discovered in a sanctified and the bare performance of outward duties, renewed man; which is the source and are foolish builders; their foundation is spring from whence all gracious actions weak and sandy, and all their hopos of do proceed and flow; namely, a sanctified salvation vain and deceitful. Lord! how and renewed heart and nature. When does the carnal world build all their hopes once the will of man is made conformable upon the sand, on the wisdom of the flesh, to the will of God, it doth will and desire, on their policies, councils, friends and choose and embrace, take pleasure and riches! They bottom their very soul delight in, what God approves, commands, upon fancies, presumptions, delusions, and loves; and it will lay an injunction and vain hopes. They expect to be hapupon all the members of the body to act py without being holy, which is to expect comformably thereunto.
to be easy without being healthy. Woe
to that man whose portion lies in the 46 And why call ye me, Lord, creature's hands, who builds all his hopes Lord, and do not the things which upon this earth; for when the earth is I say ? 47 Whoever cometh to me, shaken, his hopes are shaken, his heart and heareth my sayings, and doeth is shaken, and he is at his wits' end : them, I will shew you to whom he whereas the Christian that builds upon is like : 48 He is like a man which the Christian falls, Christ must fall with
the rock, stands firm and sure; for if ever built an house, and digged deep, and him : he shall never be disappointed of laid the foundation on a rock: and his hopes, unless faithfulness can disapwhen the flood arose, the stream beat point; he shall never be deceived, unless vehemently upon that house, and truth itself can deceive. If it be impossicould not shake it: for it was found- ble for God to lie, then it is impossible
for the obedient, holy, anıt circumspect ed upon a rock. 49 But he that | Christian finally to miscarry.
without exception; even the bloody trade
of war yields worthy clients to Christ: he The former part of this chapter relates to us a double doth not so much regard what we are, in raising the centurion's servant from his bed, the and whence we are, as with what dispoother in raising the widow's son from his bier : both sitions and desires, with what purposes of them eminent acts and instances of his divine and inclinations, we come unto him. Oband almighty power. The history of the former stands th
serve, 2. The person whom the centurion
came to Christ for: not for himself, nor sayings in the audience of the vant was sick; he doth not drive him out people, he entered into Capernaum. | of doors, nor stand gazing by his bed-side, 2 And a certain centurion's servant but looks out for help and relief for him: who was dear unto him, was sick, a worthy example of humanity! Some
masters have not so much regard to their and ready to die. 3 And when he sick servants as they have to their oren heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the and their swine. But he is not worthy of elders of the Jews, beseeching him a good servant that in a time of sickness that he would come and heal his ser- is not willing to serve his servant. Ob vant. 4 And when they came to Je-serve, 3. Unto whom the centurion seeks, sus, they besought him instantly, say seeks not to wizards and conjurers, but to
and with what zeal and application; he ing, That he was worthy for whom he the physician, for his sick servant; yea, should do this : 5 For he loveth our to Christ, the chief Physician; and this nation, and he hath built us a syna- not with a formal relation in his mouth, gogue. 6 Then Jesus went with | but with a vehement aggravation of his them. And when he was now not disease, My servant lies sick of the palsy, far from the house, the centurion sent where the master's condolency, and tender
grievously tormented, St. Matt. viii. 6. friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, sympathy, with his afflicted servant, is trouble not thyself; for I am not both matter of commendation and imitaworthy that thou shouldst enter under tion. Observe, 4. The happy mixture of my roof: 7 Wherefore neither thought | humility and faith which was found in I myself worthy to come unto thee: this centurion. See his wonderful hu
mility in not thinking himself worthy but say in a word, and my servant to come into Christ's presence, or that shall be healed. 8 For I also am a Christ should come under his roof. The man set under authority, having under best men have always the lowest thoughts me soldiers : and I say unto one, Go, | of themselves; when we esteem ourselves and he goeth: and to another, Come, unworthy of any favours, Christ accounts and he cometh ; and to my servant. Christ's divine power; he believed that
us worthy of all. See also his faith in Do this, and he doeth it. 9 When Christ was able at a distance, and by a Jesus heard these things, he mar-single word, to command off the distem. velled at him, and turned him about, per of his servant; he tells him, that dis. and said unto the people that followed eases were as much at Christ's command, him, I say unto you, I have not found as his servants were at his command. so great faith, no, not in Israel. 10 and the companion of faith. An humble
Humility, we see, is both the fruit of faith, And they that were sent, returning to soul has evermore an high esteem of the house, found the servant whole Christ's power, and a low esteem of itself. that had been sick.
Observe, 5. How our blessed Saviour er
ceeds not only the centurion's desires, but In our Saviour's miraculous cure of his expectations, also, St. Matt. viii. 7. the centurion's servant, we have several Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heel particulars very observable; as, 1. The him. O wonderful condescension. In St. person applying himself to our blessed John iv. 47. we read of a certain nobleSaviour for help and healing: he was a man and ruler that twice entreated our Gentile, an Heathen, a Roman soldier, an Saviour to come to his house and heal officer and commander; yet he believes his son, but our Lord refused. Here in, and relies upon the power of Christ. the centurion doth but barely tell Christ Note, That such is the freeness of divine of his poor servant's sickness, and Christ, grace, that it extends itself to all sorts and | both unasked and undesired, says, I will ranks, to all orders and degrees of men, ll come and heal him. O how far is Christ
from seeming in the least to honour riches , ed his people.
17 And this rumour and despise poverty! He that came in of him went forth throughout all Juthe form of a servant goes down to visit a dea, and throughout all the region sick servant upon his poor pallet-bed,
There were three persons raised from and observation which our Saviour takes | death to life by the powerful word of of the centurion's faith: he wondered at Christ's mouth; namely, Jairus's daughit from him. Admiration agreed not to ter, mentioned by St. Matthew ; Lazarus Christ as God, but as man it did. Christ recorded by St. John; and here the wrought faith as God, and wondered at it widow's son, only taken notice of by St.
What can be more wonderful Luke. The place where the miracle was than to see Christ wonder? We find wrought was the city of Nain; out of not our Saviour wondering at worldly their cities, and not within them, the Jews pomp and greatness : when the disciples were wont to bury their dead. Our Sawondered at the magnificence and stately) viour at the gate of the city meets with buildings of the temple, Christ rather re the sad pomp of a funeral, a sorrowful buked them than wondered with them ; // widow attended with her mournful neighbut when he sees the gracious act and bours, following her only son to the grave. exercise of faith, he is ravished with Where note, 1. The doleful and distressed wonder. Let it teach us to place nur ad-condition of the widow : there were many miration where Christ fixes his; let us be heart-piercing circumstances in her afilicmore affected with the least measure of tion. 1. It was the death of a son. Το grace in a good man, than with all the bury a child rends the heart of a parent; gaities and glories of a great man; let us for what are children but the parent mulnot envy the one, but admire and imitate tiplied ! But to lay a son in the grave, the other. Observe, lastly, Christ doth which continues the name, and supports not only admire the centurion's faith, but the family, is a sore affliction. 2. This was publishes it: Verily I have not found so a young man in the strength and flower of great faith, no, not in Israel ; that is, his age, not carried from the cradle to the amongst the generality of the Jewish coffin. Had he died an infant, he had not nation. For, as to particular persons, been so much lamented; but then when several had showed a greater faith than the mother's expectations were highest, this, as Joseph and Mary. This expres- and the endearments greatest, even in the sion lets us know, that where the means flower of his age, he is cut off. 3. He of faith are but small, the noble act and was not only a son, but an only son; one exercise of faith are wonderful and soul in whom all his mother's hopes and comamazing.
forts were bound up. The death of one 11 And it came to pass the day af- out of many, is much more tolerable than ter, that he went into a city called of all in one. The loss of that one admits
of no consolation. 4. Still to heighten the Nain; and many of his disciples went afiliction, it is added that she was a widow; with him, and much people, 12 Now she wanted the counsel and support of a when he came nigh to the gate of the loving yoke-fellow. Had the root been city, behold, there was a dead man lest entire, she might better have spared carried out, the only son of his mother, the branch; now both are cut down, and and she was a widow: and much she has none left to comfort her in her
comfortless state of widowhood. In this people of the city was with her. 13 distressed condition, Christ, the God of And when the Lord saw her, he had comfort, meets her, pities her, relieves her. compassion on her, and said unto her, Observe, 2. The compassion of Christ toWeep not.
14 And he came and wards this distressed widow: He saw her, touched the bier; and they that bare her, she did not speak to him; no tears,
and had compassion on her. Christ saw him stod still. And he said, Young no prayers, can move Christ so much as man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And our afflictions and his own compassion. he that was dead sat up, and began 10 Christ's heart pitied her, his tongue said speak. And he delivered him to his to her, Weep not ; his feet went to the bier, mother. 16 And there came a fear his hand touched the coffin, and the power
of his Godhead raised the dead. But how on all : and they glorified God, say- strange doth Christ's counsel seem! To ing, 'That a great prophet is risen up bid a woman not to weep for such a loss among us; and, That God hath visit-ll was to persuade her to be miserable, and