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Blessed are the pure in heart.-Who known by their likeness to him in are the pure in heart? They, whose this distinguishing feature of his hearts, having been purified by faith, character. Let “ labour for are honest and sincere, without hy- peace;" and let our love of truth be pocrisy or guile,--and are free from combined with a love of unity and the love and dominion of sin, that concord. Whose children are we, if source of pollution which God hates. we are ready and willing to promote
For they shall see God ;--they shall quarrels in a family, to sow divisions enjoy the manifestation of his favour in a church, or to fan the flames of and his presence.
“Not only shall discord in the state ? they see him perfectly hereafter, but, Blessed are they which are persecuas far as they can receive him, he ted for righteousness' sake ; for theirs will impart and make himself known is the kingdom of heaven.—In this unto them here. (John xiv. 23). verse, and the two following, our Whereas, on the contrary, what Lord sets forth the happiness of those makes the word obscure is, the filthy who meekly submit to sufferings at mists within. God will in just judg- the hands of worldly and wicked ment hide himself, and the saving men, on account of their religion,ruth of his word, from those that on account of their dutiful, conscienentertain sin and delight in it; the tious obedience to the known will of very sins in which they delight shall God. It is not a blessed thing to obscure and darken the light of the affect singularity, or to overstrain Gospel to them, so that though it religious observances, and so to excite shines clear as the sun at noon day, opposition against ourselves ; much they shall be as those that live in a less is it blessed to make false predungeon; they shall not discern it." tensions to personal piety, or to set -Let us dread this awful punish- up unwarranted claims on behalf of ment and loss; may ours be the religion or the church ; and then to blessedness of those who shall indeed submit to sufferings which we have, see God, see him “spiritually and in fact, deserved.
in fact, deserved. But it is a sign mediately in this life, gloriously and of
grace, and an earnest of future immediately in the life to come!" glory, to submit patiently and meekly
Blessed are the peace-makers ; for to unmerited and unprovoked wrongs, they shall be called the children of arising not from our own misconduct God.—Where there is inward purity or indiscretion, but simply from the of heart, there will be a love of out- evil dispositions of men's hearts, ward peace, unanimity, and concord; their hatred of what is good, their —the man who is at peace with God, patronage of what is false and unholy, will study and delight to be at peace —from the power of Satan in the with his neighbours, and to promote world, or the dominion of error, peace among all men upon earth. bigotry, and rancour in the professing God is the author of peace; and the Church of Christ. 1 Pet. iii. 13 children of this heavenly Father are 18; Phil. i. 29.
Bless'd are the pure, whose hearts are clean
With regard to all these particulars of a holy temper, a truly religious frame of mind and course of conduct, let us not only remember the sayings of the Lord Jesus recorded in this passage for our learning ; but let us also consider how completely they were exemplified in his own most holy life. Let us consider his humility; how he mourned over the sins of men and suffered for them; his meekness; that it was his meat and drink to do the will of the Father ; his merciful and compassionate temper; his purity of heart; his peaceable and peace-making disposition ; his meek submission to reproaches, and persecution even unto death.—And, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may the same mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus our Lord. So shall we hereafter be made partakers of his blessedness
CHAP. V. 13-20.
Who are the salt of the earth, the light of
the world, the city on an hill, the candle. That Christ came to fulfil the Law.
13 | Ye are the salt of the earth : P but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of
HYMN. Bless'd are the humble souls that see Their emptiness and poverty ; Treasures of grace to them are given, And crowns of joy laid up in heaven. Bless'd are the men of broken heart, Who mourn for sin with inward smart ; The blood of Christ divinely flows, A healing balm for all their woes. Bless'd are the meek, who stand afar From rage and passion, noise and war; God will secure their happy state, And plead their cause against the great. Bless'd are the souls who thirst for grace, Hanger and long for righteousness ; They shall be well supplied and fed With living streams and living bread. Bless'd who, instructed from above, Are fill'd with sympathy and love; From Christ the Lord they shall obtain Like sympathy and love again.
14 ?Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men "light a candle, and put it under || a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, 'that they may see your good works, and 'glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 "Think not that I am example, and influence, under the come to destroy the law, or the divine blessing, they keep the world prophets: I am not come to de- from universal corruption and ruin. stroy, but to fulfil.
- May this honour be our own! 18 For verily I say unto you,
Well may we be content to be dew Till heaven and earth pass, one
spised or persecuted, if we are enabled
to be the instruments of so much jot or one tittle shall in no wise good! pass from the law, till all be ful
If the salt have lost its savour. - It filled.
is a sad and disgraceful condition to 19 Whosoever therefore bear the name of Christians without shall break one of these least having the life of Christianity within commandments, and shall teach
us, and without adorning the Gospel
by our lives and conduct. I admire men so, he shall be called the
the following apposite allusion and least in the kingdom of heaven: remark of a commentator on this pasbut whosoever shall do and sage.—Maundrell, speaking of a certeach them, the same shall be tain rock in the Valley of Salt, says, called great in the kingdom of “I broke a piece of it, of which that heaven.
part that was exposed to the rain, 20 For I say unto you, That sun, and air, though it had the sparks
and particles of salt, yet had perexcept your righteousness shall
fectly lost its savour : the inner part, exceed the righteousness of the which was connected to the rock, scribes and Pharisees, ye shall retained its savour, as I found by in no case enter into the kingdom proof.” “ A preacher, or a private of heaven.
Christian, who has lost the life of
may be likened to this salt. He may I The word in the original signifieth a measure con
have the sparks and glittering particles of true wisdom, but without its unction or comfort. Only that which
is connected with the rock, the soul READER. Ye are the salt of the that is in union with Christ Jesus by earth. Real Christians are made the Holy Spirit, can preserve its blessings to the world. Ministers, savour, and be instrumental of good by preaching sound doctrine, and all to others." believers, by making confession of Good for nothing but to be cast out the truth and by leading a godly life, and trodden under foot.—Solemn and are compared to salt, which preserves awful truth; especially when we things from putrefaction and destruc- consider it as proceeding from the tion, and renders our food savoury lips of our merciful Redeemer.and pleasant. By their prayers, It has been well said that “a wicked
p Mark ix. 50. Luke xiv. 34, 35.- Prov. iv. 18. Phil. ii. 15.- Mark iv. 21. Luke viii. 16, & xi. 33.
taining about a pint less than a peck.-s 1 Pet. ii. 12. t John xv. 8. 1 Cor. xiv. 25.-u Rom. iii. 31, & x. 4. Gal. iii. 24.-w Luke xvi. 17.-* Jam. ii. 10.--y Rom. ix. 31, & x. 3.
man is the worst of creatures; a to the glory of God,"—that is the wicked Christian is the worst of men; Christian's rule of life. May we and a wicked minister is the worst of have grace to conform ourselves to Christians."
this rule, in thought, word, and Ye are the light of the world. The work! Let the excellence of the Lord Jesus Christ is the light of the Gospel and the
Gospel and the power of divine grace world, in the highest and full sense appear in our good temper and holy of the expression. He is the sun, course of life ; and we may trust the glory of the church, from whom that, by the divine blessing, our all other light is borrowed. But all example will be made useful to those believers, who are enlightened by around us, and the great Giver of all this principal luminary, may reflect good may be glorified by means of some portion of his splendour; and the gifts of his mercy bestowed upon being themselves“light in the Lord,” ourselves.
ourselves. How delightful is this may "shine as lights in the world, thought to the mind of every disciple holding forth the word of life." Eph. of the Lord Jesus, who is duly influ1. 8; Phil. ii. 15.
enced by love towards Him who first Let your light so shine before men. loved us ! Or, thus let your light shine before I am not come to destroy, but to men.-As a candle gives light to all | fulfil.—Our Lord Jesus Christ, by that are in a room where it is burn
his ministry and work, so far from ing, so should your religion be known, casting any discredit upon the law by its effects, by all those among whom of Moses or the sayings of the proyou dwell, and should contribute to phets, did really complete, fill up, the dissemination of the truth.
and carry out the design of the whole A spirit of ostentation and vain volume of existing revelation. Himglory is alien from the nature of true self and his Gospel were in substance religion deeply seated in the heart; what the Law was in shadow or outbut, at the same time, it is one cha- line. As to the moral law, he perracteristic of genuine piety that it fectly fulfilled it in his most holy manifests itself, and becomes evident, life ;-he endured in his own person by its fruits. Our love to God and the penalty of transgressions which devotion to his service are to be others had committed ;—he expoundmade known not by a loud and for- ed its meaning and spirituality, and ward profession, but by our good vindicated its obligation, in opworks. Even these are not to be position to the false glosses of performed for the purpose of display, human traditions and mistakes ;—and but in obedience to the will of God. he continues to complete it, by his And our object—the noble and ani-Spirit, in his people, giving them mating object at which we are con- grace and power to obey it from the tinually to aim-is, not our own heart, by loving God above all things praise, but the glory of our heavenly and their neighbour as themselves. Father. “Whatsoever ye do, do all | It is to this latter portion of his office,
--the true exposition of the law, and Except your righteousness shall era provision for its fulfilment by his ceed the righteousness of the scribes disciples, not only in the letter but in and Pharisees.-It must exceed their spirit,—that our Lord more especially righteousness in its aim and end, its refers in the positive assertions now principles and motives, being hobefore us.
Let us be thankful that nestly directed to the glory of God; we are permitted to see what many -in its extent, bearing respect to all righteous men desired in vain to commandments and injunctions of witness, “ Christ, the end of the law the moral law ;-and in its spirituality, for righteousness to every one that being not a mere outward demonbelieveth." Let us rejoice that in stration, but an internal quality or him types and prophecies have been disposition of the heart, a det fulfilled; that he has blotted out the tion of the will, a bias of the affechandwriting of ordinances which was tions, tending towards God.-Such against us; and that he has enforced righteousness, and such alone, is the and beautified the eternal and royal genuine fruit and proof of faith in law of love, and has given his people Christ. power to obey it.
Ye shall in no case enter into the One jot or one tittle; the smallest kingdom of heaven.- What words can vowel or the mere corner or orna more forcibly express to us the great ment of a consonant,-a proverbial and unalterable truth that holiness expression denoting the smallest of heart and life--a holiness which part,-shall in no wise pass from the is the work of God himself within the law, till all be fulfilled.—As to the soul-is invariably and indispensably mere ritual or ceremonial parts of necessary to salvation! Not thatour the Mosaic law, they point to the good works contribute to save us; Gospel, and in its establishment they but that the will and power to per are finally fulfilled. The moral law, form them is an integral part of our which was from the beginning, must union with Christ by faith, and an remain in force for ever; not as a indispensable preparation for our covenant, yet as a declaration of the admission into the regions of perfect divine will, and a rule of human
rule of human purity and bliss. duty ;-—"as not depending either on
HYMN. time or place, or any other circum Great Teacher of thy Church, we own stances liable to change, but on the
Thy precepts all divinely wise ;
Oh may thy mighty power be shown nature of God, and the nature of
To fix them still before our eyes. man, and their unchangeable relation
Deep on our hearts thy law engrave, to each other.”
And fill our hearts with heav'nly zeal ; And hence we may understand that That, while we trust thy power to save, heavy woe, pronounced in the nine We may that sacred law fulfil. teenth verse, against all who wilfully
Adorned with ev'ry heav'nly grace,
May our example brightly shine; and habitually violate the least of
And the sweet lustre of thy face, God's commandments !
Reflected beam from each of thine.