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These lineaments divinely fair
deliver thee to the officer, and Our heav'nly Father shall proclaim ; And men, that view his image there,
thou be cast into prison. Shall join to glorify his name.
26 Verily I say unto thee, OLNEY H.
Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid
the uttermost farthing. § XVI.
27 | Ye have heard that it CHAP. V. 21-32. was said by them of old time,
9 Thou shalt not commit adulWhat it is to kill ;-to commit adultery.
tery : 21 Ye have heard that it was
28 But I say unto you, That said || by them of old time, a Thou
whosoever · looketh on a woman shalt not kill; and whosoever to lust after her hath committed shall kill shall be in danger of
adultery with her already in his the judgment:
heart. 22 But I say unto you, That
1 29 And if thy right eye || ofwhosoever is angry with his
fend thee, "pluck it out, and brother without a cause shall be
cast it from thee: for it is proin danger of the judgment : and
fitable for thee that one of thy whosoever shall say to his bro
members should perish, and not ther, || Raca, shall be in danger
that thy whole body should be of the council: but whosoever
cast into hell. shall say, Thou fool, shall be in
| 30 And if thy right hand ofdanger of hell fire.
fend thee, cut it off, and cast it 23 Therefore if thou bring
from thee: for it is profitable thy gift to the altar, and there | for thee that one of thy memrememberest that thy brother
| bers should perish, and not that hath ought against thee;
thy whole body should be cast 24 “Leave there thy gift be- | into hell. fore the altar, and go thy way; 31 It hath been said, 'Whofirst be reconciled to thy bro
soever shall put away his wife, ther, and then come and offer let him give her a writing of dithy gift.
vorcement : 25 ·Agree with thine adver
32 But I say unto you, That sary quickly, 'whiles thou art m whosoever shall put away his in the way with him; lest at wife, saving for the cause of forany time the adversary deliver
nication, causeth her to commit thee to the judge, and the judge adultery: and whosoever shall
marry her that is divorced com- | The Jews had an inferior court of mitteth adultery.
justice, called here the judgment, which was a body of twenty-three magistrates; and a superior court, here named the council, which was the great Sanhedrim, capable of inflicting a higher degree of punishment than the other. Our Lord here alludes to these courts, with a
view to teach us that various degrees READER. Ye have heard.—Our of enmity and malice will subject Saviour now proceeds to comment men to corresponding condemnation upon certain false glosses upon the at the hands of God. law, and some perverse maxims and “ The gehenna of fire” is an sayings prevalent in his time, tend image under which our Saviour often ing to weaken or obscure the real spoke of the future punishment of meaning of various moral precepts the wicked. But no language can contained in the Old Testament. describe, no thought conceive, the How prone is the mind of man to extent of their misery and woe! mar and corrupt even the true say. If thou bring thy gift to the altar.ings of God! And how plainly does To worship God with a heart full of it appear that our blessed Lord did ill-will and enmity against our brenot seek to destroy the law, but only thren, is an awful affront to the to remove those corruptions by which Majesty of heaven, the author and it had been darkened and dishonour | lover of peace. Such a sacrifice is ed! Oral tradition is a bad expositor indeed “an abomination unto the of the written record of God's will | Lord.”—We must do our part, all and ways; the words of the Lord that lies in our power, to live in a Jesus, “they are spirit and they are state of harmony with our brethren; life.”
using our best endeavours to accomThou shalt not kill.—The Jews modate differences, to allay animosiseem to have supposed' and taught ties, and to live in amity and peace. that this prohibition extends only “If it be possible, as much as lieth to the taking away of life; but our in you, live peaceably with all men." Lord shows that the spirit of the law Rom. xii. 18. is violated, in the sight of God, by It is a proof that the heart is not the indulgence of vain, unjust, or right with God, not purified by faith rash anger, and by the use of oppro- and fit for heaven, when it harbours brious and insulting language, occa- dispositions of hatred, rancour, or sioned either by natural infirmities contempt, or cherishes an implacaor the like (Raca), or containing the ble, unforgiving spirit. This unchaimputation of moral worthlessness ritable temper is ruinous and deadly (Thou fool).
to the soul. “No gifts, however costly, no devotions, however spe- clinations or desires, if we cannot recious, will prevail with God to pass tain or pursue these things without it by, while we live; and if we die transgressing the law of God. It is with hearts full of this rancour and our duty to avoid whatever may lead bitterness, we can never expect to to sin or become an occasion of it.be encircled in the arms of Him “The right eye and the right hand,” who is love. There is no ręcon says one, “are here used to point ciliation to God without our hearts' out those sins which appear most good will to all men. Nay farther, pleasing and profitable to us.— The the text here speaks of a prison, | right eye may be considered as dewhich is the dreadful dungeon of noting the darling idol; the right hell, into which the implacable and hand, the profitable enployment, unreconciled person must be cast, pursued on sinful principles; these and lie for ever without mixture of become snares and traps to the soul, pity: and it is not men's scoffing at by which it falls into the pit of perit that will secure them against the dition.—We must shut our senses horror of it.”
against dangerous objects, to avoid Hath committed adultery with her the occasion of sin; and must deprive already in his heart.—Still our Sa ourselves of all that is most dear and viour employs his discourse in point profitable to us, when we find that ing out the spirituality and extent these dear and profitable things, howof the moral law; declaring that it ever innocent in themselves, cause us reaches even to the very intents and to sin against God.” imaginations of the heart. Wanton Let him give her a writing of dithoughts, lascivious looks, and im- vorcement.--Under the law of Mopure desires, are sinful in the sight ses, divorce was permitted in certain of God. “The thought of foolish cases, besides that here mentioned, ness is sin."—Remember the fall of on account of the hardness of men's David. And, if we have been mer hearts. But, as our Saviour elsecifully preserved from so flagrant a where teaches us, it was not so from transgression of the holy and perfect the beginning. It was the original law of God, still let the prayer of law of God, and it is his permanent the royal penitent be evermore our institution, that the marriage union own, “Behold, thou desirest truth should be sacred and indissoluble. in the inward parts.-Create in me a | And what a merciful provision for clean heart, O God, and renew a the real welfare and happiness of right spirit within me.” Ps. li. 5- mankind is here! How blessed are 10.
the love and faithful attachment of If thy right eye offend thee, i. e. husband and wife, living together cause thee to stumble or fall, pluck it according to God's holy ordinance, out and cast it from thee.—We must amidst the duties and comforts of a renounce whatever is most dear to Christian home, until God, in his us, or most agreeable to our own in- wisdom, sees fit to part them by the
wards man is not a gaipet swearings
hand of death! What a source of i. Heirs of the same immortal bliss,
Our hopes and fears the same, happiness to individuals, what a
Let bonds of love our hearts unite, means of preserving peace and good
Let mutual love inflame. order in the community at large !
So may the vain contentious world And how highly honoured by hav
Our peaceful lives approve, ing been treated as a figure of the And wond'ring say, as they of old, union which subsists between Christ See how these Christians love. and his Church !
In the portion of Scripture which we have at this time read and considered, we find various precepts af
$ XVII. fecting the great Christian duty of brotherly kindness and love. We
CHAP. V. 33–48. see that the divine command con
Against swearing. Christ exhorteth to cerning our duty towards man is not
suffer wrong; to love even our enesatisfied with even the outward ex- |
mies, and to labour after perfectness. pression of civility or respect; but that we must cherish real, heartfelt 33 Again, ye have heard good-will towards our brethren, if that "it hath been said by them we would be regarded as the child- of old time, Thou shalt not forren of our heavenly Father. “Love
swear thyself, but Pshalt perform is the fulfilling of the law.” Let us
unto the Lord thine oaths: heartily concur in the prayer of our
34 But I say unto you, 'Swear church, “O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without cha
not at all; neither by heaven ; rity are nothing worth, send thy Holy
for it is 'God's throne : Ghost, and pour into our hearts that 35 Nor by the earth; for it most excellent gift of charity, the is his footstool: neither by Jevery bond of peace and of all virtues, rusalem ; for it is 'the city of without which whosoever liveth is
the great King. counted dead before thee: grant this
36 Neither shalt thou swear for thine only Son Jesus Christ's
by thy head, because thou canst
not make one hair white or HYMN.
37 ‘But let your communicaOur God is love; and all his saints His image bear below:
tion be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: The heart with love to God inspir'd for whatsoever is more than With love to man will glow.
these cometh of evil. Teach us to love each other, Lord,
38 | Ye have heard that it As we are loved by Thee :
hath been said, "An eye for an None who are truly born of God Can live in enmity.
eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
39 But I say unto you, "That | than others ? do not even the ye resist not evil : "but whoso- publicans so? ever shall smite thee on thy 48 "Be ye therefore perfect, right cheek, turn to him the even 'as your Father which is in other also.
heaven is perfect. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also.
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh
READER. Swear not at all.thee, and from him that would
| Our blessed Saviour here gives a soborrow of thee turn not thou lemn admonition against the practice away.
of swearing, or lightly and irreve43 sYe have heard that it | rently appealing to the name, perfechath been said, 'Thou shalt love
tions, or works of God, in common thy neighbour, and hate thine
conversation. He does not intend
to prohibit the use of solemn oaths, enemy.
or formal affirmations in the presence 44 But I say unto you, 'Love
of God, and the calling upon him to your enemies, bless them that
witness our sincerity, in courts of curse you, do good to them that law, or on great occasions; as aphate you, and pray for them pears abundantly from his own pracwhich despitefully use you, and
tice (Mat. xxvi. 63, 64), and that of persecute you ;
St. Paul (Rom. i. 9; ix. 1; Gal. i.
20; Heb. vi. 16). 45 That ye may be the chil
It may not be necessary for me to dren of your Father which is in
describe to you the various refineheaven : for he maketh his sun
ments and false glosses of the Pharito rise on the evil and on the sees to which our Saviour more pargood, and sendeth rain on the ticularly alludes. Suffice it to say just and on the unjust.
that all profane language which we 46 For if ye love them which
now understand by common swearlove you, what reward have ye?
ing is here positively and for ever
forbidden, as inconsistent with the do not even the publicans the
majesty of God, and betraying a same?
want of due fear and reverence on 47 And if ye salute your bré- | the part of man.—The following rethren only, what do ye more marks of the son of Sirach are good,