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are the salt of the earth: but 'if the salt have lost his sa-1 Ls's^m, vour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. 14 0 Ye are the light of the world. A city j J

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that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 T Neither do men xi,.u."""I°!

water by means of salt (2 Kiugs ii. 20), and the ordinary nse of salt for culinary purposes is to prevent putrefaction: so (see Gen. xviii. 23—33) are the righteous, the people of God, in this corrupt world.

It hardly seems necessary to find instances of the actual occurrence of salt losing its savour, for this is merely hypothetical. Yet it is perhaps worth noticing, that Maundrell, in his travels, found salt in the Valley of Salt, near Gehul, which had the appearance, but not the taste, having lost it by exposure to the elements (see the citation below);—and that SchiSttgen maintains that a kind of bitumen from the Dead Sea was called 1 salt of Sodom,' and was used to sprinkle the sacrifices in the temple; which salt was used, when its savour was gone, to strew the temple pavement, that the priests might not slip. This, however, is but poorly made out by him. Dr. Thomson, 'The Land and the Book,' p. 381, mentions a case which came under his own observation: where a merchant of Sidon had stored up a quantity of salt in cottages with earthern floors, in consequence of which the salt was spoiled, and Dr. T. saw "large quantities of it literally thrown into the street, to be trodden under foot of men and beasts." He adds, " It is a well-known fact that the salt of this country, when in contact with the ground, or exposed to rain and sun, does become insipid and useless. From the manner in which it is gathered, much earth and other impurities are necessarily collected with it. Not a little of it is so impure that it cannot be used at all: and such salt soon effloresces and turns to dust— not to fruitful soil, however. It is not only good for nothing itself, but it actually destroys all fertility wherever it is thrown: and this is the reason why it is cast into the street." the earth means mankind, and all creation: but with a more inward reference, as to the working of the salt, than in "the world," vcr. 14, where the light is something outwardly shewn.

■hall it be salted] it, i.e. the salt. The sense is: 'If you become nntrne to your high calling, and spiritually effete and corrupted, there are no ordinary means by which you can be re-converted and brought back to your former state, inasmuch as you have no teachers and guides over you, but ought yourselves to

be teachers and guides to others.' But we must not from this suppose that our Lord denies all repentance to those who have thus fallen: the scope of His saying must be taken into account, which is not to crush the fallen, but to quicken the sense of duty, and cause His disciples to walk worthily of their culling. (See Heb. vi. 4—6, and note on Mark ix. 49, 50.)

The salt in the sacrifice is the type of God's covenant of sanctificalion, whereby this earth shall be again hallowed for Him: His people are the instruments, in His hand, of this wholesome salting: all His servants in general, but the teachers and ministers of His covenant in particular. There docs not appear to be any allusion to ecclesiastical excommunication. 14. the light of the world] And yet only in a lower and derivative sense; Christ Himself being " the true light which lighteth every man," John i. 9; "the light of the world," viii. 12. His ministers are "candles," John v. 35, and "lights," Phil, ii. 15, receiving their light, and only burn'mg for a time: lights lighted, whereas He is the Light lighting, as Augustine. And here too, light in this verse = candle in. ver. 15, where the comparison is resumed. So also Eph. v. 8:—light, as partaking of Mis Light: for every thing lighted (see note, ib. ver. 13) is light. cannot be hid] Of course it is possible that our Lord may have had some town before Him thus situated, but not Bethulia, whose very existence is probably fabulous, being only mentioned in the apocryphal book of Judith. Recent travellers, as Dr. Stanley and Thomson (Sinai and Palestine, p. 429: The Land and the Book, p. 273), have thought that, notwithstanding the fact shewn by Robinson, that the actual city of Safed was not in existence at this time, some ancient portion of it, at all events its fortress, which is ' as aged in appearance as the most celebrated ruins in the country ' (Thomson), may have been before the eye of our Lord as He spoke. It is 'placed high on a bold spur of the Galilaeun Anti-Lebanon,' and answers well to the description of a city 'lying on the mountain top.' 'The only other in view would be the village and fortress of Tabor, distinctly visible from the mount of Beatitudes, though not from the hills on the lake side. Either or both of these would

light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 10 Let your light so shine before men, that they may w see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. J7 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: x I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil, j Luke iri. iM8 For verily I say unto you, y Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the king

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suggest the illustration, which would be more striking from the fact, that th's situation of cities on the tops of the hills is as rare in Galilee, as it is common in Judaea.' Stanley, as above. But the Church Op God, the city on a hill (Isa. ii. 2: Gal. nr. 26: see also Heb. xii. 22), in allusion to their present situation, on a mountain, is most probably the leading thought. 16. do men light] literally, do they light: shewing, in the spiritual reference of the parable, that these lights of the world are 'lighted ' by Him for whose use they are. See above. 16. so]

i.e. like a candle on a candlesticklike a city on a hill; not merely, 'so ... . that,' as our English version seems rather to imply. By rendering in like manner, the ambiguity will be avoided. The sense of this verse is as if it were "that, teeing your good works they may 4fc." .... the latter verb, and not the former, carrying the purpose of the action. Thus the praise and glory of a well-lighted and brilliant feast would be given, not to the lights, but to the master of the house; and of a stately city on a hill, not to the buildings, but to those who built them.

The whole of this division of our Lord's sermon is addressed to all HU followers, not exclusively to the ministers of his word. All servants of Christ are the Bait of the earth, the light of the world (Phil. ii. 15). And all that is here said applies to us all. But a fortiori does it apply in its highest sense, to those who are, among Christians, selected to teach and be examples; who are as it were the towers and pinnacles of the city, not only not hid, but seen far and wide above the rest. 17—48.] The Secomd Part Op The SerMon, in which our Lord sets forth His relation, as a lawgiver, to the law of Moses, especially as currently interpreted according to the letter only. 17. I am come] more properly, I came. Observe how our Lord, through the whole sermon, sets forth Himself, in his proceeding forth from God, as truly "He that was to come." the law, or the pro

phets] It is a question whether our Lord includes the prophecies, properly so called,

in His meaning here. I think not: for no person professing himself to be the Messiah would be thought to contradict the prophecies, but to fulfil^ them. Neither, it appears, does He here allude to the sacrificial and typical parts of the law, but to the moral parts of both the law and the prophets; which indeed he proceeds to cite and particularize. If however we prefer to include both ceremonial and moral in this assertion, we may understand it iu its more general sense, as applying, beyond the instances here given, to His typical fulfilment of the law, which could not as yet be unfolded, to fulfil] This verb implies more than the mere fulfilling: it has the sense of filling oat or expanding: i.e. here, giving a deeper and holier sense to—fulfilling in the spirit, which is nobler than the letter. Theophylact compares the ancient law to a sketch, which the painter does not wipe out, but fills in. The gnostic Marcion characteristically enough maintained that the Judaizing Christians had altered this verse, and that it originally stood,—think ye that I came tofulfil, 4c.? I came to destroy, not to fulfil. 18. verily] literally, Amen: equivalent to "truly" in St. Luke, ix. 27; xii. 44; xxi. 3. jot (Iota) is the Hebrew Jod, the smallest letter in the alphabet: tittles, literally horns, horn-like projections, are the little turns of the strokes by which one Hebrew letter differs from another similar toit. The Rabbinical writings have many sayings similar in sentiment to this, but spoken of the literal written law. It is important to observe in these days how the Lord here includes the 0. T. and all its unfolding of the divine purposes regarding Himself, in His leaching of tho citizens of the kingdom of heaven. I say this, because it is always in contempt and setting aside of the 0. T. that rationalism has begun. First, its historical truth—then its theocratic dispensation and the types and prophecies connected with it, are Bwept away; so that Christ came to fulfil nothing, and becomes only a teacher or a martyr: and thus the way is paved for a similar rejection of the" N. T.;— beginning with the narratives of the birth

and infancy, as theocratic myths—advancing to the denial of His miracles— then attacking the truthfulness of His own sayings which are grounded on the O. T. as a revelation from God—and so finally leaving us nothing in the Scriptures but, as a German writer of this school has expressed it, 'a mythology not so attractive as that of Greece.' That this is the course which unbelief hat run in Germany, should be a pregnant warning to the deciders of the O. T. among ourselves. It should be a maxim for every expositor and every student, that Scripture is a whole, and stands or falls together. That this is now beginning to be deeply felt in Germany, we have cheering testimonies in the later editions of their best Commentators, and in the valuable work of Stier on the discourses of our Lord. [Since however these words were first written, we have had lamentable proof in England, that their warnings were not unneeded. The course of unbelief which has issued in the publication of the volume untitled " Essays and Reviews," has been in character and progress, exactly that above described: and owing to the injudicious treatment which has multiplied tenfold the circulation of that otherwise contemptible work, its fallacies arc now in the hands and mouths of thousands, who, from the low standard of intelligent Scriptural knowledge among us, will never have the means of answering them. 1862. To this it may now be added, that even a Bishop of the Church of England has come before the world as a champion of that unbelief, in its first phase as described above. We may hope that his work, judging from the blunders already detected in the renderings of Hebrew words on which his arguments are founded, will soon be added to the catalogue of attacks by which the enemies of our holy faith have damaged nothing save their own reputation and influence. 1863.] 19.] There is

little difficulty in this verse, if we consider it in connexion with the verse preceding, to which it is bound by the therefore and the these, and with the following, to which the for (ver. 20) unites it. Bearing tliis in mind, we sec (1) that break, on account of what follows in ver.

20 and after, must be taken in the higher sense, as referring to the spirit and not the letter: whosoever shall break (have broken), in the sense presently to be laid down. (2) That these least commandments refers to one jot or tittle above, and means one of these minute commands which seem as insignificant, in comparison with the greater, as the jot and tittle in comparison with great portions of writing.

(3) That shall be called least does not mean * shall be excluded from,' inasmuch as the question is not of keeping or not keeping the commandments of God in a legal sense, but of appreciating, and causing others to appreciate, the import and weight of even the most insignificant parts of God's revelation of Himself to man; and rather therefore applies to teachers than to Christians in general, though to them also through the "break" and "do."

(4) That no deduction can be drawn from these words, binding the Jewish law, or any part of it, at such, upon Christians. That this is so, is plainly shewn by what follows, where our Lord proceeds to pour upon the letter of the law the fuller light of the spirit of the Gospel: thus lifting and expanding (not destroying) every jot and tittle of that precursory dispensation into its full meaning in the life and practice of the Christian; who, by the indwelling of the divine Teacher, God's Holy Spirit, is led into all truth and purity.

(5) That these words of our Lord are decisive against such persons, whether ancient or modern, as would set aside the Old Testament as without significance, or inconsistent with the New. See the preceding note, and the Book of Common Prayer, Article vii. On shall be called, see note on ver. 9. 20.1 An expansion of the idea contained in fulfil, ver. 17, and of the difference between break, which the Scribes and Pharisees did by enforcing the letter to the neglect of the spirit—and do and teach, in which particulars Christians were to exceed the Pharisees, the punctilious observers, and the Scribes, the traditional expounders of the law. righteousness, purity of heart and life, as set forth by example in the doing, and by precept in the teaching. The whole of the rest of our Lord's sermon is a comment on, and illustration of, the assertion in this verse. scribes] Persons devoted to the work of reading and expounding the law, whose office seems first to have become frequent after the return from Babylon. They generally appear in the N. T. in connexion with the Pharisees: but it appears from Acts xxiii. 9, that there were Scribes attached to the other sects also. In Matt. xxi. 15, they appear with the chief priests; but it is in the temple, where (see also Luke xx. 1) they acted as a sort of police. In the description of the assembling of the great Sanhedrim (Matt. xxvi. 3: Mark xiv. 53; xv. 1) we find it composed of chief priest), elders, and Scribes: and in Luke xxii. 66, of chief priests and Scribes. The Scribes uniformly opposed themselves to our Lord; watching Him to find matter of accusation, Luke vi. 7; xi. 63, 54; perverting His sayings, Matt. ix. 3, and His actions, Luke v. 30; xv. 2; seeking to entangle Him by questions, Matt. xxii. 35 (see note there); Luke x. 25; xx. 21; and to embarrass Him, Matt. xii. 38. Their authority as expounders of the law is recognized by our Lord Himself, Matt, xxiii. 1, 2; their adherence to the oral traditionary exposition proved, Matt. xv. 1 ft".; the respect in which they were held by the people shewn, Luke xx. 46; their existence indicated not only in Jerusalem, but also in Galilee, Luke v. 17,—and in Borne, Josephus, Antt. xviii. 3.5. They kept schools and auditories for teaching the youth, Luke ii. 46; Acts v. 34, compared with xxii. 3; are called by Josephus expounders of our patriarchal lams, Antt. xvii. 6. 2; sophists, B. J. i. 33. 2. The literal rendering is "shall abound more than the Scribes and Pharisees," i.e. more than that of the S. and P. Notice, that not only the hypocrites among the Scribes and Pharisees are here meant; bnt the declaration is, "Your righteousness must be of a higher order than any yet attained, or conceived, by Scribe or Pharisee." ye shall in no case enter, &c.] A very usual formula (see ch. vii. 21; xviii. 3; xix. 17, 23, 24: John iii. 5 al.); implying exclusion from the blessings of the Christian state, and from the inheritance of eternal life. 21 —48.] Six examples

dom of heaven. 21 Ye have heard that it was said by them *D"?:"i7*' of old time, 'Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 but I say unto you, That "whosoever is angry with his brother [w without a *1 J°hBUL

of the true Fulfilment of the law by Jesus.—First Example. The lata of murder. 21. Ye have heard] viz. by the reading of the law in the synagogues,

and the expositions of the Scribes, by them of old time] In this cose, Moses and his traditional expounders are classed together; but the words may also be rendered, 'to the ancients,'—which last interpretation seems to me to be certainly the right one. Meyer has well observed that "it was said to them of old time" corresponds to "but I say to you," and the "I" to the understood subject of "was said." He has not, however, apprehended the deeper truth which underlies the omission of the subject of was said, that it was the same person who said both. It will be noticed that onr Lord does not here speak against the abuse of the law by tradition, but that every instance here given is either from the law itself, or such traditional teaching as teas in accordance with it (e. g. the latter part of this verse is only a formal expansion of the former). The contrasts here are not between the law misunderstood and the law rightly understood, but between the law and its ancient exposition, which in their letter, and as given, were empty,—and the same as *piritualized,fulfilled, by Christ: not between two lawgivers, Moses and Christ, but between they of old lime and you; between (the idea is Chrysostom's) the children by the same husband, of the bondtooman and of the freewoman. The above remarks comprise a brief answer to the important but somewhat misapprehended question, whether our Lord impugned the Mosaic law itself, or only its inadequate interpretation by the Jewish teachers? There is no inconsistency in the above view with the assertion in ver. 19: the just and holy and true law Whs necessarily restricted in meaning and degraded in position, until He came, whose office it was to fulfil and glorify it. the judgment] viz. the

courts in every city, ordered Deut. xvi. 18, and explained by Josephus Antt. iv. 8. 14 to consist of seven men, and to have the power of life and death. But "the judgment" in the next verse (see note) is the court of judgment in the Messiah's kingdom. 32.] The sense is: 'There were among the Jews three well-known degrees of guilt, coming respectively under the cognizance of the local and the supreme courts; and after these is set the Gehenna of fire, the end of the malefactor, whose corpse, thrown out into the valley of Hinnom, was devoured by the worm or the flame. Similarly, in the spiritual kingdom of Christ, shall the sins even of

cause] shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever

shall say to his brother, b Raca, shall be in danger of the b^.fi<I^"«M.

council: but whosoever shall say, TThou fool, shall be in ,Bw,u*, s0

danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring c thy gift to c

the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath

ought against thee; 24 leave there thy gift before the altar,

and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and

then come and offer thy gift. 25 d Agree with thine ad- 4 {"*•*«•«•.

Jerome pronounces the words spurious: but x render, Moreh.

w omitted by tome of the oldest MSS. the ancient authorities are much divided.

thought and word be brought into judgment and punished, each according to its degree of guilt, but even the least of them before no less a tribunal than the judgment-seat of Christ.' The most important thing to keep in mind is, that there is no distinction of kind between these punishments, only of degree. In the thing compared, the "judgment" inflicted death by the sword, the "council" death by stoning, and the disgrace of the "Gehenna of fire" followed as an intensification of the horrors of death; but the punishment is one and the same—death. So also in the subject of the similitude, all the punishments are spiritual; all result in eternal death; but with various degrees (the nature of which is as yet hidden from us), as the degrees of guilt have been. So that the distinction drawn by the Romanists between venial and mortal sins, finds not only no countenance, but direct confutation from this passage. The words here mentioned must not be superstitiously supposed to have any damning power in themselves (see below), but to represent states of anger and hostility, for which an awful account hereafter must be given. Baca] i. e. empty; a term denoting contempt, and answering to "O vain man," James ii. 20. Moreh] Two interpretations have been given of this word. Either it is (1), as usually understood, a Greek word, ' Thou fool,' and used by our Lord Himself of the Scribes and Pharisees, ch. xxiii. 17, 19,—and "fools" (literally "senseless") of the disciples, Luke xxiv. 25; or (2) a Hebrew word signifying 'rebel,' and the very word for uttering which Moses and Aaron were debarred from entering the land of promise: . . . 'Hear now, ye rebels,' Num. xx. 10. In presence of this doubt, it is best to leave the word untranslated, as was done with Baca before. hell fire] more

properly, the Gehenna of fire. To the E.e. of Jerusalem was a deep and fertile valley, called 'the vale of Minnom' and

rendered "Gehenna," Jo«h xviii. 16 LXX. In this valley (also called Tophet, Isa. xxx. 33: Jer. vii. 31) did the idolatrous Jews burn their children to Moloch, and Josiah (2 Kings xxiii. 10) therefore polluted it; and thenceforward it was the place for the casting out and burning all offal, and the corpses of criminals; and therefore its name, "the Gehenna of fire," was used to signify the place of everlasting punishment.

23 f. Therefore] An inference from the guilt and danger of all bitterness and hostility of mind towards another declared in the preceding verse. thy gift, is any kind of gift—sacrificial or eucharistic. hath ought against thee is remarkable, as being purposely substituted for the converse. It is not what complaints we have against others that we are to consider at such a time, but what they have against us; not what ground we have given for complaint, but what complaints they, as matter of fact, make against us.—See the other side dealt with, Mark xi. 25. 24.] be reconciled i i. e. become reconciled —thyself, without being influenced by the status of the other towards thee. Remove the offence, and make friendly overtures to thy brother, first belongs to "go thy way," not to "be reconciled:" "first go thy way" is opposed to "then come," the departure to the return, not "be reconciled" to "offer." No conclusion whatever can be drawn from this verse as to the admissibility of the term altar as applied to the Lord's table under the Christian system. The whole language is Jewish, and can only be understood of Jewish rites. The command, of course, applies in full force as to reconciliation before the Christian offering of praise and thanksgiving in the Holy Communion; but further nothing can be inferred. 25.] The whole of

this verse is the earthly example of a spiritual dutv which is understood, and runs parallel with it. The sense may be given: 'As in worldly affairs, it is prudent to

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