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and obedience,-such as that which is, be not over anxious about the was claimed by a master from a things of the present life,- let them slave ; and more complete, inasmuch not form the chief and absorbing obas it is voluntary. Is not this the jects of your care. kind of service which many a man Not that our Lord encourages us renders to the world ? Is it not that to be careless or improvident about which God claims from us when he our temporal concerns. Far from it. says, "My son, give me thy heart?" Slothfulness and improvidence are or when, upon the ground of the repeatedly condemned in Holy Scripgreat work of our redemption, the ture. And what says St. Paul ? Apostle says, “I beseech you there “This we commanded you, that if fore, brethren, by the mercies of any would not work neither should God, that ye present your bodies a he eat. For we hear that there are living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto some which walk among you disorGod, which is your reasonable ser derly, working not at all, but are vice?” (Rom. xii. 1.)- Now, we busybodies. Now them which are cannot serve both these masters at such we command and exhort by our once. The love of God must dis- Lord Jesus Christ that with quietplace the love of the world; or, if | ness they work, and eat their own our supreme affections be given to | bread.” 2 Thess. ii. 10–12. And the world, then we depart from the again, “If any provide not for his love and service of our God. But own, and specially for those of his we must make our choice. “Choose own house, he hath denied the faith, ye whom ye will serve.”—And the and is worse than an infidel.” 1 Tim. verse before us speaks to us, as it | v. 8. were in the language of Elijah on a But what our Saviour here so memorable occasion, when he “ came pointedly condemns is that spirit of unto all the people and said, How eager, anxious, overwhelming solilong halt ye between two opinions ? | citude concerning temporal affairs, if the Lord be God, follow him; but into which men of the world,—those if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings whose hearts are set upon earthly xviii. 21.
things, and who are without the He will hate the one, and love the comfort of a sure trust and confiother; that is, he will love one more dence in God,--are apt to fall. If than the other. The question is con- a man practically believes that the Cerning supremacy.—Thus it is said | things which are seen are his greatthat Jacob hated Leah; that is, loved | est good, he is of course most eager her less than Rachel. And God and anxious to possess them. If he says, “ Jacob have I loved, but Esau has no reliance upon the superinhave I hated;" that is, I have dis- tending providence of a heavenly tinguished Jacob by a preference, Father, and is persuaded that his atand peculiar tokens of my favour. tainment of earthly good depends Take no thought for your life ; that entirely upon his own skill and exertion, then he is likely to be speed- | among the highest of his creatures ily involved in distracting cares and upon earth.—Let us learn lessons of anxieties in the pursuit of his fa- confidence and comfort from consivourite object. And it is this dering the riches and bounty of Dicompound of eagerness and distrust | vine Providence bestowed upon even against which our blessed Saviour so the tenants of the forest and the air. affectionately and solemnly warns us “He giveth to the beast his food, in this passage. Oh what a mourn- and to the young ravens which cry;" ful spectacle in the sight of Heaven Ps. cxlvii. 9. “ These wait all upon is the care-worn, anxious, distrustful thee; that thou mayest give them spirit of an earthly-minded man! It meat in due season ;” Ps. civ. 27. is idolatry, with a sore part of its The hundred and fourth and hunpunishment already annexed to it! dred and forty-seventh Psalms form It is captivity, galled and encum- a beautiful commentary upon this bered with its chain !
part of our Saviour's discourse.How forcible are the arguments | Our Lord adds another argument with which our heavenly Teacher against worldly anxiety; he says, here seeks to arm our minds against Which of you, by taking thought, this kind of sin and misery! He can add one cubit to his stature ?says,
Hereby we are reminded of our Is not the life more than meat, i. e. weakness; and of the utter uselessfood, and the body than raiment? If ness of our most strenuous endeaGod has given you the greater, will vours, except so far as it may please he not also provide you with the God to bless and prosper them. less? If he has given you life and a How would it repress our painful body — wonderful beyond all mea- anxiety and laborious sorrow consure in themselves—will he not be cerning the things of this life did we ready to give you those things which but rightly believe and feel our total are inferior and subordinate? Will dependence upon the will and provihe not supply you with food and dence of God! “ This is the victory raiment, in the way of his provi that overcometh the world” in every dence, and according to the methods form, “even our faith.”—Hear anoof his own appointment? Again, ther argument; .
Behold the fowls of the air.—Con Consider the lilies of the field how sider how God provides for the they grow ; they toil not, neither do maller and weaker creatures of his they spin.—How easily can God, if hand. As the experience of God's it please him, bestow upon us all greater mercies may lead you to that we need, even although we hope for the less, so, on the other should be rendered unable to use hand, your observation of his care | any endeavours on our own behalf! for the lower parts of the creation, He clothes the grass of the field, may encourage you to hope for his which grows without any efforts of protection of yourselves, who rank its own ; although its beauty is shortlived, and speedily destroyed. The | and honour.” And in like manner tender plant, one day flourishing in he will give all his faithful servants its beauty, is found perhaps the next as much of this world's wealth as day, dried up and withered, and used may be really good for them. “Godfor the purpose of heating an oven. liness is profitable unto all things; What then if a servant of God be having promise of the life that now thrown upon a bed of sickness, and is, and of that which is to come;" 1 thus be unable to labour for his live- | Tim. iv. 8. lihood ;-will God forsake him? Let Take therefore no thought for the him not fear this, as long as a bird morrow : for the morrow shall take flies through the air, or a blade of thought for the things of itself. Suffigrass is growing in the field !—Once cient unto the day is the evil thereof. more;
Discharge the duties of every day After all these things do the Gen- with diligence, in their proper time. tiles seek.—It is argument against the These will provide you with suffiindulgence of a restless and worldly cient employment; and will bring spirit, that it agrees with the cha- with them abundant trials of your racter of the ignorant and idolatrous faithfulness and patience. But do heathen. And shall the children of not afflict your minds with needless God be like them ?- And lastly, fears or anxious speculations con
Your heavenly Father knoweth that cerning the time to come. ye have need of all these things.—It is | How intimate an acquaintance not pretended that food and raiment with human nature and the truth of are not necessary for you. The need things does our divine Teacher disis real ;-but then God knows it. play in the passage now before us ! Have you the faith of a Christian? How does he direct our attention to Then take the comfort of a Christian, some of the secret, but most fruitful, -"My God shall supply all your sources of human happiness and woe! need."
Well may we be lost in admiration Seek first the kingdom of God and of his wisdom and his love as they his righteousness ;-- Make it your appear in the simple, but important, chief concern to retain an interest in instructions which he here vouchGod's favour, and to have a heart safes to give. May we have grace conformed to the divine will ;-and to receive and to act upon these holy then rest satisfied that all these things lessons ! They may be summed up shall be added unto you ;—they shall | in two short passages of the word of be given as an overplus ;—you shall | inspiration ;—"Having food and raihave that which you chiefly desire, ment, let us be therewith content;" and enough of worldly possessions 1 Tim. vi. 8; and, “Casting all your besides. Let us remember that So care upon Him; for he careth for lomon asked for wisdom; and then you;” 1 Pet. v. 7. God gave him wisdom and also that which he did not ask, “both riches
While men lie grovelling here !
And faith forbids his fear.
While peace and joy combine
Are hidden and divine.
His God in secret sees :
He dwells in heav'nly peace.
Beyond this world and time ;
Nor thoughts of sinners climb.
To raise his figure here;
Till Christ, his life, appear.
To meet that glorious day;
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye ?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
6 q «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.
READER. The habit of censo§ XXIII.
rious and uncharitable judgment is
an effect and a token of man's corCHAP. VII. 1-6.
rupt and depraved nature. It is a Christ reproveth rash judgment; and fruit of inordinate self-love; a symp
forbiddeth to cast holy things to dogs. tom of that evil state of mind in JUDGE « not, that ye be not
which a man becomes jealous of the
reputation of other men, lest it should judged.
detract something from his own cre2 For with what judgment dit and good name. Thus does the ye judge, ye shall be judged: idolatry of self set a man at variance • and with what measure ye with his neighbour, while it leads mete, it shall be measured to him astray, or keeps him at a disyou again.
tance, from his God. But the Lord 3 And why beholdest thou
Jesus Christ, by his teaching and by the mote that is in thy bro
his grace, opposes this corrupt na
ture, with all its evil tendencies. So ther's eye, but considerest not
here :-Judge not. Do not take pleathe beam that is in thine own
sure in detecting the faults of others;
do not be forward in condemning
them. And we are reminded by an common experience of life, but also, inspired Apostle that there is some- and more especially, to the righteous thing presumptuous and arrogant, as judgment of God, and what we may well as malicious, in this evil prac- expect to receive at his hands. How tice. “Who art thou that judgest solemn is that warning which we another man's servant ? to his own have received, “He shall have judgmaster he standeth or falleth ;" Rom. ment without mercy, that hath showxiv. 4. And St. James says, “ There ed no mercy!” James ii. 13.4"Why is one lawgiver, who is able to save dost thou judge thy brother? or why and to destroy; who art thou that | dost thou set at nought thy brother? judgest another?” (iv. 12.)
for we shall all stand before the judgWe are not forbidden to form an ment-seat of Christ;” Rom. xiv. 10. opinion concerning the conduct of “ Therefore judge nothing before the men, or to express that opinion time, until the Lord come, who both when circumstances may require it; will bring to light the hidden things but it is declared inconsistent with of darkness; and will make manifest our duty, and with a right state of the counsels of the hearts;” 1 Cor. feeling, to form an unfavourable opi- | iv. 5. nion hastily, rashly, or with satisfac- Why beholdest thou the mote, i.e., tion to ourselves, and to declare the splinter, that is in thy brother's such opinion unnecessarily, harshly, eye, but considerest not the beam that or with pleasure, and in a tone of is in thine own eye ?—How great is triumph or exultation. In one word, the folly, as well as the wickedness, every kind of judgment and censure of men, who not only censure their is unchristian and unholy which is brethren unjustly, but often coninconsistent with true brotherly love demn them for those very faults con
-with that charity which “thinketh cerning which they are ten times no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but more guilty themselves. Lamentrejoiceth in the truth;” 1 Cor. xiii. able blindness! And sometimes the 5, 6.
failings which they discover, or preThat ye be not judged.–Our Sa tend to discover, in other men, are viour warns those men who are prone of a nature less criminal and aggrato censure and condemn their neigh vated than those with which they bours, that they must expect to be are themselves chargeable. How exposed to the same kind of harsh offensive in the sight of Heaven must judgment and unfeeling calumny in | be the spectacle of a man busied in return. With what measure ye mete, denouncing the smaller offences of it shall be measured to you again. his neighbours, but ignorant or careThe world will act upon the same less of still more grievous wickedprinciples towards you, as those which ness committed by himself! And you have adopted towards your bre God knows what is in the hearts of
thren.—And our reflection on this all men. What said our Saviour to 1 head must extend not only to the the clamorous accusers of the woman