« AnteriorContinuar »
Whereas the Scribes and Pharisees, after the tradition of the elders, stuck to the outward letter, and taught,, that nothing but the outward aft was a breach of this law. What our Lord said here was no new commandment, but what was implied in the tenth commandment—Thou Jhalt not covet (lust after) thy neighbour's wife. So Prov. xxiv. 9. The thought offoolijlmefs is fin.
Again. Ye have heard that it has been said by thsm of old time, Thou Jhalt not forswear thyself, but Jhalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths. But I fay unto yoit, Swear not at all, neither by heaven, for it is -god'j- throne, nor by the earth, for it is His footfiool, &c.—but let your communication be yea, yea, and nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Our Lord, by His—"but I fay unto you'—doth not enact any new law, but explains and restores the honour of the third commandment—Thou Jhalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. This evidently forbids all vain and ram swearing, and the use of God's holy name (Nlttfb) in vain, to no purpose, in men's communication with each other. Even swearing by the creatures, is an interpretative breach of this commandment; for, ,as Our Lord (hews, there is no creature but hath some relation to God. t ,. . Ye Te have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; but I fay unto you, that ye refisl not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also, &c. This refers to Exod. xxi. 24, where the law of retaliation was enacted, to be administered by the judges of Israel in a judicial way, v on the lawful conviction of offenders: but the Jews, who were taught to abuse every thing, made this a rule of proceeding in their own private acJs of revenge upon one another. Such a temper and disposition as this was very sinful to indulge, much more so to gratify; Our Lord therefore checks this, by teaching patience and forbearance, and doing good to, rather than injuring, their enemies. But still here is 'no new law, the Old Testament taught the fame. Exod. xxiii. 4, 5. If thou meet thine enemy s ass or his ox going astray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again. If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wtiuldjl forbear to help him, thou shah surely help with him.—Prov. xxiv. 17. Rejoice not nvten thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart -be glad when he slumbletb, lest the Lord see it and it displease Him.-^Prov. xxv. 21. If thine enemy hunger, give him bread' to eat -, if hei>e tbirfijr, give him water to drink.—Lev. xix. 17, 18. Tboufialt not batethy .brother in tftine heart s . —thou
-—thou Jhalt not avenge, nor Bear any grudge againji the children of thy people, but -thou jhalt love thy neighbour as thyself. -I'am the Lord. All this is but faying what CtfRiST fays-in other Words.—This doctrine is inforced by example, as well , as taught by precept, in the Old Testament. -See i Sam. xxiv. 17, 18, 19, with Ps. viiv-4, 'But what a bright example have -we, osrewarding evil -with good, in the character of Joseph? Gen. xlv. &c.
Give so him that afketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn thou not away. This is the very language of Deut. xV, io.1
Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou 'shalt love thy neighbour and hate thine enemy: they certainly had heard such a doctrine from the Scribes and Pharisees, but it was ■false; the law said, Thou JJjalt love'thy neighbour, but in no> part of it, Thou foalt 'hate thine enemy—directly the contrary, Lev. xix. 18. Yet what numbers of people are there, that believe it did allow hatred to enemies, and that the forgiveness^ them, and doing them good, was never kriown till Christ preached it! The-apoftle tells us—Love worketh no ill to his'neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Rom. 'Xiii. 10. What law is meant, appears ver. 8, 9 j not a new law of Christ, but the old law delivered from God Isy
Moses. Moses. As there is but one lawgiver (James iv. 12.) so there is but one law*.
More instances of the truth above contended for might be adduced, but I wiU refer the reader to but one more on this part of the subject, wherein, if Christ could ever have had the least intention of abrogating the old rule of life, given from God by Moses, and setting up a new one of his own, he had a fair opportunity of declaring it.—Matt. xix. 16. One came unto him, and said, Good master, what good thing Jloall I do, that I may have eternal I fe? He said unto him, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He faith unto Him, Which? Jesus said, Thou /halt do no murder—thou Jhalt not commit adultery —thou Jhalt not seal—thouJhalt not bearfalse 'witness—honour thy father and thy mother— and—thou JJja/t love thy neighbour as thyself The young man faith unto Him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, fell that thou haft, and give to the poor, and thou Jhalt have treasure in hea
* Nothing can be clearer upon this point, than our Saviour's summary of all He had' been faying on the subject of relative duties, throughout the whole of His divine discourse. Therefore, all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to
them, for—This Is The Law And The ProPhets.
•ven; and come and follow me. The use which I would make of this scripture, id to shew that every necessary requisite for entering into life, as far as the second table of the law is concerned, is here set down —but we find not a syllable of any new law, or one jot or tittle subtracted from the old. The old law is repeated word for word, and summed up in its spiritual sense and import in the last sentence, which occurs in the Old Testament in just the fame words. See Lev. xix. 18. Thou foalt love thy neighbour as thyself.—The proof which our Lord required of this man's sncerity, that of giving to the poor, was as much a duty under the Old Testament as under the new. See Deut. xv. 7—u, and Ps. xli. 1. The following Christ was so far from being a new law, that it was the only way to heaven which God ever revealed since the fall of man. Comp. Deut. xviii. 15, with Acts iii. 22, 23, 24, and Matt. xvii. 5.
But it hath been urged, that Christ declared Himself to introduce a new law, Johnx'm. 34. where He faith, A new commandment give I unto you. The context runs thus: A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.'—By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. It surelv cannot , Voi,. I. Z "fee