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rash and causeless anger, as coming under the first head, deserves a just punishment from God's hand; but, if that anger break forth into gestures of scorn and disgrace, it goes yet higher, and deserves a further degree of judgment; but, if it shall yet proceed further into words of reviling and contumely, it then, as a notorious offence, incurs the danger of the highest degree of punishment, such as is reserved for the heinousest malefactors.
V. 23. And there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee.
And there rememberest that thy brother hath a just quarrel against thee, and that thou hast given him cause of unkindness.
V. 25. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, &c.
And, if there be a controversy betwixt thee and thy neighbour, so as you are going to law about it; be thou so inclined to peace, as to take up the matter speedily, betwixt you two, ere ye come to a public trial of it; lest, upon the pursuit of thine adversary, thou be foiled in the cause, and the judge deliver thee into the hands of the officer, &c.
V. 28. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
But I say unto you, that adultery doth not only consist in outward act only, but in the wicked concupiscences of the heart; so as, whosoever looketh lasciviously upon a woman, with a will and desire to feed his lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.
V. 29. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, &c.
And if this be difficult for a man to avoid all lustful glances, yet it must be laboured for; and there must be a firm resolution taken up in the soul, rather to part with the dearest part or member of our bodies, than to yield it up as a weapon of unrighteousness unto sin: for it were much better for thee that one &c. So also verse 30.
V. 34. But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne: &c.
Ye do easily yield that the name of God may not be taken in vain in your oaths, but ye think it not unlawful, according to your common practice, to swear by heaven, or by earth, or by the temple, or Jerusalem, or by your head, or any such like created subject; and herein ye think ye may have liberty enough, so as these names cannot be taken in vain, nor make you liable to perjury: but I say unto you, Swear not unneces
sarily by God himself; neither swear at all by these creatures, as they are such; and if ye do swear falsely by them, as in relation to God their Maker, ye make yourselves no less guilty of perjury, for there is none of them which hath not some reference unto God: heaven is his throne, the earth his footstool, &c.
V. 38, 39. Ye have heard that it hath 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 the right cheek, turn to him the other also.
Ye have heard the gloss of the Scribes and Pharisees, warranting retaliation of injuries, even in the cases of private revenge: but I say unto you, Do not return one evil turn for another; but be so inclinable to peace and meekness, that ye rather be ready to take a second wrong, than to return the first. So also verses 40, 41.
V. 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Do ye labour and strive towards perfection; and propound unto yourselves the pattern of God your Heavenly Father: imitate ye his holiness; and, though ye may never hope to attain to a full measure thereof, yet endeavour that your holiness may be conformable to his in the manner of it, for truth and sincerity; and that it may not rest in any measure which it hath atchieved, but may still aspire unto more.
VI. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.
Do thine alms so secretly, that, if it were possible, thou mightest even hide them from thine own self.
See Luke xi. 3.
VI. 11. Give us this day our daily bread. VI. 13. Lead us not &c. See Luke xi. 4. VI. 17. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.
When thou fastest privately, upon the occasions of thine own humiliation, make no shew of it, outwardly to others; but rather compose thyself to cheerfulness in the view of thy neighbours.
VI. 22. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
As the eye is to the body, so is reason to the soul; the light and direction to all the other parts and faculties: if the eye of the body he clear, all the members of the body receive perfect direction for their motions.
VI. 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!
But if there be a blemish or defect in the eye, all the body
wants guidance: so, if the reason or understanding faculty be rightly informed, all the other powers of the soul are steered aright; but if that be corrupted, there is nothing but darkness, and disorder, and miscarriage in the soul.
VI. 24. No man can serve two masters: 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. No man can serve two opposite masters; neither can he divide himself betwixt them, to please them both: if he love the one, he must disrespect the other: if he lay to please the one, the other will be offended. So it is betwixt God and riches: if ye be the servants and vassals to your wealth, ye cannot be the servants of God.
VI. 25. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, &c.
Be ye not anxiously, distrustfully, carkingly careful for the things of this life; for your food, or apparel, or any other necessary or convenient thing for the maintenance of your present life.
VI. 34. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Every day hath trouble and care enough pertaining to the present occasions thereof: we need not burden it besides, with a sad and afflictive thoughtfulness for the affairs and events of future times.
VII. 1. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Do not presume to pass a rash and uncharitable judgment upon others, that God may not enter into a severe judgment with you.
VII. 6. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.
Do not impart the holy things of God, the divine mysteries of salvation, unto profane and irreligious and malicious scorners; neither do ye cast away the most precious counsels and ordinances of God upon filthy persons, who are resolved to wallow in their known uncleanness; lest they do both contemn those sacred institutions, and return unto you scoffs, indignities, persecutions.
VII. 19. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. See chap. iii. 10.
VII. 23. I never knew you.
I never took any approving knowledge of you: ye may perhaps have made formal professions of me, but I never gave allowance either to you or them.
VII. 29. For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the Scribes.
And he taught them with much power, and evidence of the
Spirit; stirring their hearts with his effectual and heavenly doctrine, which he delivered; and inclining them to believe and embrace what he taught them; and not in that fashionable, cold, and heartless fashion, which the Scribes used in their expositions of the law.
VIII. 4. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
It is not yet seasonable for thee to divulge this cure, that I have wrought upon thee; and therefore I do, for the time, enjoin thee silence: but, in the mean time, neglect no duty that the law requireth of thee, though thy healing have been thus extraordinary; yet do not think that it exempteth thee from that charge, which God by Moses imposeth upon thee: go therefore, and shew thyself to the priest, that he may pass his allowance of thy full recovery: and offer thou the gift prescribed in the law, that, by this act of thine, my very enemies may be convinced of the truth and certainty of this miracle.
VIII. 9. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
If I, that am a man under the authority of another, viz. the tribune of my band, have yet this power, that my word can be obeyed by those that are under my command; so as, if I say to my servant, Go, he goeth; if I bid him come, he cometh: how much more shall thy word alone, who art so powerful and absolute, be prevalent to effect that which thou commandest! Do thou therefore but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
VIII. 10. Verily, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
This Centurion, ye see, is a Gentile; yet hath he shewed, in this suit of his, such a marvellous strength of faith, that I have not found the like, even in Israel, which should have more reason to believe.
VIII. 11. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
But thus it shall be, as in him, so in others also, that are yet strangers and aliens from the Church of God; for I say unto you, that beyond and out of the bounds of Judea, from all the remote regions of the world, there shall many be called into my Church; who, from the east and west, shall be admitted into the participation of the same glory, with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the holy Patriarchs of my ancient Church, in the kingdom of heaven.
VIII. 12. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into utter darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
But many of those, who, by their privilege and profession, are my selected people, even the Jews, to whom the Church of God seems now to be confined, shall be utterly disclaimed and rejected; and, in the end, shall be cast down into hell, where there is nothing but horror, and extremity of sorrow, and pain, and torment.
VIII. 17. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.
That, even in this sense also, might be fulfilled that word of Isaias the prophet; viz. That, as he did in his own person undertake to bear our sorrows and infirmities; so also, by his divine power, he removed and took away the bodily complaints and sicknesses of men, as he did away their sins, which are the causes of their sufferings, so also their diseases and infirmities, which are the effects of their sin.
VIII. 20. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head.
And Jesus saith unto him, If, in the purpose of following me, thou hast any aim at thine own ease or honour in the world, thou shalt be much mistaken; for, though I be the true Son of God, yet now I have taken upon me the form and estate of a Servant; and, in this humbled condition of mine, I do not so much as provide a set house room for myself and my family, wherein I have willingly abased myself below the very fowls of the air and the meanest beasts upon earth: the foxes have holes, &c.
VIII. 22. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.
But Jesus said unto him, Those, that are truly called by me, must not delay their answerable obedience; no, not for a day; but must presently address themselves to my service: as for that excuse, which thou makest of burying the dead, it is a work needful indeed to be done; but there are enough besides fit for this business; even those, which lie still dead in their sins, and have not entertained any good purposes of betaking themselves to the seeking and following the means of salvation.
VIII. 29. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
O thou Jesus, the Son of the Everliving God, it is our great misery, that we are fallen into thine hands: what wilt thou now do with us? dost thou mean now to accomplish our full torment before the day of final judgment?