Page images
PDF
EPUB

&c.

Luke xii. 33, 34: xviii. 22.

[ocr errors]

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, h James v.1, where hmoth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves

break through and steal: 20 but lay up for yourselves i chun, 11:22. i treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust 1 Tim. vi. 19. doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through 1 Pet, i. 4.

nor steal: 21 for where your treasure is, there will j Luke xi. 34, your heart be also. 22 i The light of the body is the

eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 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, k how great is that k Luke xvi. 13. darkness ! 24 k No man can serve two masters : for either

I render, how dark is the darkness ! does not seem to be necessary; the one evil, i. e. perverse, as the eye which dims might afford just as much occasion for and distorts the visual images. full of ostentation as the other.

light, rather, in full light, as an object 19–34.] From cautions against the in the bright sunshine; full of darkness, hypocrisy of formalists, the discourse na- rather, as an object in the deep shade. turally passes to the entire dedication of If therefore &c.] Render, as in margin, the heart to God, from which all duties of If then the LIGHT which is in thee is the Christian should be performed. In darkness, how dark is the DARKNESS ! this section this is enjoined, 1. (vv. 19— i. e. if the conscience, the eye and 24) with regard to earthly treasures, from light of the soul, be darkened, in how the impossibility of serving God and much grosser darkness will all the passions Mammon : 2. (vv. 25 – 34) with regard to and faculties be, which are of themselves earthly cares, from the assurance that our naturally dark !' This interpretation is Father careth for us. 19, 20. rust] that of nearly all the ancient fathers and The word is more general in meaning than versions. Stier expands it well : “As the mere rust : it includes the "wear and body, of itself a dark mass, has its light tear' of time, which eats into and con- from the eye, so we have here compared to sumes the fairest possessions. The laying up it the sensuous, bestial life of men, their treasures in heaven would accumulate the appetites, desires, and aversions, which bebags that wax not old, a treasure that long to the lower creature. This dark refaileth not,of Luke xii. 33, corresponding gion-human nature under the gross domito the “rewardof ch. v. 12, and the nion of the flesh - shall become spiritualized, shall reward theeof vv, 4, 6, 18. See enlightened, sanctified, by the spiritual 1 Tim. vi. 19: Tobit iv. 9. break light: but if this light be darkness, how through] usually joined with “u house,” as great must then the darkness of the sensu. in ch. xxiv. 43, where the word in the ous life be !” The A. V., which agrees original is the same. 21.] The connexion with the usual modern interpretation, with the foregoing is plain enough to any makes the words a mere expression of the but the shallowest reader. The heart is, greatness of the darkness thereby occawhere the treasure is.' But it might be sioned, and thus loses the force of the replied, “I will have a treasure on earth sentence. 24.7 And this division in and a treasure in heaven also : a divided man's being cannot take place - he is and affection. This is dealt with, and its im- must be one--light or dark -- serving God practicability shewn by a parable from or Mammon.

serve7 Not merely nature.

22, 23. The light] as "serve,' as we now understand it, but in lighting and guiding the body and its that closer sense, in which he who serves members : not as containing light in it is the slave of, i. e. belongs to and obeys self. Similarly the inner light, the con entirely. See Rom. vi. 16, 17. for science, lights the spirit and its facul. either .... or is not a repetition ; but ties, but by light supernal to itself. the suppositions are the reverse of one

single, i. e. clear, utroubled in another : as Meyer expresses it, “He will vision, as the eye which presents a well- either hate A and love B, or cleave to A defined and single image to the brain. and despise B:' the one and the other your Father, not their their full meaning, or the depth of the Father :-thus by every accessory word saying is not reached : the sense love less, does our Lord wonderfully assert the disparage, for hate, would not bring out truths and proprieties of creation, in which the opposition and division of the nature we, his sons, are His central work, and of man by the attempt. mammon the rest for us of the air, and afterthe Chaldee word for riches. Mammon wards of the field, as Tholuck remarks, are does not appear to have been the name not superfluous, but serve to set forth the of any Syrian deity, as some assert.

1 Pet. v. 7.

cxivili..

he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. 'Ye cannot serve 1

1 Gal. i. 10. James iv. 4.

1 John ii. 15. God and mammon. 25 Therefore I say unto you, m 1 Take m Phil' iv. 6. no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment ? 26 Behold the n fowls of the air : for they sow not, neither Job pavili. do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly caly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking m thought can add one cubit unto his n stature? 28 And why take ye o thought for raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; '.

1 render, Take not anxious thought. m render, anxious thought. n render, age.

O render, anxious thought. keeping their individual reference in both anxious,"_be not in suspenseLuke members. hate and love must be given xii. 24).

wild and uncaring freedom of the birds and 25. Therefore] A direct inference from plants. I may add,-also to set forth their the foregoing verse: the plainer, since lower rank in the scale of creation, as be. the verb signifies to be distracted,' 'to longing to the air and the field. Who have the mind drawn two ways. The could say of all mankind, the men of A. V., ' Take no thought,' does not express the world ?Thus the à fortiori is more the sense, but gives rather an exaggera- . plainly brought out.

27.] These tion of the command, and thus makes it words do not relate to the stature, the unreal and nugatory. Take not anxious adding a cubit to which (= a foot and a thought, is far better. In Luke xii. 29 we half) would be a very great addition, inhave live not in careful suspense(A.V. stead of a very small one, as is implied marg.). Is not the life] The argu. here, and expressed in Luke xii. 26, “ if ment is, •Shall not He who gave us the then ye be not able to do that thing which greater, also give us the less ??

is least,”—but to the time of life of each 26.] The two examples, of the birds and hearer ; as Theophylact on Luke xii. 26, the lilies, are not parallel in their ap- “ The measure of life is with God alone, plication. The first is an argument from and each man cannot set the measure of the less to the greater; that our heavenly his own age.” So the best Commentators : Father, who feeds the birds, will much and the context seems imperatively to remore feed us: the second, besides this ap- quire it; for the object of food and clothing plication, which (ver. 30) it also contains, is not to enlarge the body, but to prolong is a reproof of the vanity of anxiety about life. The application of measures of space clothing, which, in all its pomp of gorge. to time is not uncommon. See Ps. xxxix. ous colours, is vouchsafed to the inferior 5: Job ix. 25 : 2 Tim. iv. 7. Mimnermus, creatures, but not attainable by, as being a Greek poet, speaks of “a cubit's length of unworthy of, us. Notice, it is not said, time." See other examples in my Gr. Test. Sor not, reap not, gather not into

28.7 Consider, implying more atbarns ;”- the birds are not our example tention than “Behold.” The birds fly by, to follow in their habits, for God hath and we can but look upon them : the flowers made us to differ from them—the doing are ever with us, and we can watch their all these things is part of our “how much growth. These lilies have been supposed better are ve," and increases the force to be the crown imperial, (fritillaria impeof the à fortiori; but it is said, “be not rialis,) which grows wild in Palestine, or 9 The Vatican MS. reads, His righteousness and kingdom : the Sinaitic, His kingdom and righteousness. r render, anxious thought. the amaryllis lutea, (Sir J. E. Smith,) whose withers from the heat, is still used in the golden liliaceous flowers cover the autumnal East for firing. See “ The Land and the fields of the Levant. Dr. Thomson, “ The Book," p. 341. the oven) “a covered Land and the Book," p. 256, believes the earthen vessel, a pan, wider at the bottom Huleh lily to be meant : “it is very large, than at the top, wherein bread was baked and the three inner petals meet above, and by putting hot embers round it, which form a gorgeous canopy, such as art never produced a more equable heat than in the approached, and king never sat under, even regular oven.” Wilkinson and Webster's in his utmost glory. And when I met note. 32. for your heavenly Father this incomparable flower, in all its love knoweth] This second “for" brings in an liness, among the oak woods around the additional reason. 33. seek ye first] northern base of Tabor, and on the hills of Not with any reference to seeking all Nazareth, where our Lord spent His youth, these things after our religious duties, I felt assured that it was this to which e. g. beginning with prayer days of avarice He referred.” Probably, however, the and worldly anxiety, but make your great word here may be taken in a wider im- object, as we say, your first care. port, as signifying all wild flowers.

iii. 11--13. Mark X. 20,

iv. 8.

they toil not, neither do they spin : 29 and yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore p take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ? 32 (for after all these things do the Gen

tiles seek :) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye o see 1 Kings het kind have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first 9 the. 3o. i'lim kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these

things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no

r thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take P render, take not anxious thought.

his righteousness) Not here the forensic 29.] We here have the declaration of the righteousness of justification, but the spi. Creator Himself concerning the relative ritual purity inculcated in this discourse. glory and beauty of all human pomp, com- His righteousness answers to His perfecpared with the meanest of His own works. tion, spoken of in ch. v. 48, and is another See 2 Chron. ix. 15—28. And the mean reference to the being as our heavenly ing bidden beneath the text should not Father is. In the - Christian life which escape the student. As the beauty of the has been since unfolded, the righteousness flower is unfolded by the divine Creator of justification is a necessary condition Spirit from within, from the laws and of likeness to God; but it is not the righte. capacities of its own individual life, so ousness here meant. shall be added must all true adornment of man be un unto you] There is a traditional saying folded from within by the same Almighty of our Lord, “ Ask ye for great things, Spirit. See 1 Pet. iii. 3, 4. As nothing and small things shali be added unto from without can defile a man, (ch. xv. 11,) you : ask for heavenly things, and earthly so neither can any thing from without things shall be added unto you." adorn him. Our Lord introduces with 34] literally, for the morrow will care “I say unto you” His revelations of om- for it, viz. for itself, the morrow men. niscience : see ch. xviii. 10, 19.

tioned above : i. e. will bring care enough 30. the grass) The wild flowers which about its own matters : implying,- after form part of the meadow.growth are all your endeavour to avoid worldly cares, counted as belonging to the grass, and are you will find quite enough and more cut down with it. Cut grass, which soon of them when to-morrow comes, about

1 Cor. iv. 3,5.

12.

thought for [s the things of] itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. VII. 1 p Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For p Rom. il.

xiv. 3, 4, &c. with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and James i it, 9 with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured a Mark iv. 24. to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothe 's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 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

somit. to-morrow itself: do not then increase sense then is, that you have not to anthose of to-day by introducing them before swer before God for your rash judgment their time.' A hint, as is the following and its consequences. The same remarks evil thereof, that in this state of sin and apply to ver. 2. 3-5.] Lightinfirmity the command of ver. 31 will never foot produces instances of this proverbial be completely observed.

saying among the Jews. With them, CHAP. VII. 1-12.] Of our CONDUCT however, it seems only to be used of a TOWARDS OTHER MEN : parenthetically person retaliating rebuke; whereas our illustrated, vv. 7-11, by the benignity Lord gives us a further application of and wisdom of God in his dealings with it, viz. to the incapability of one involved us. The connexion with the last chapter in personal iniquity to form a right judgis immediately, the word evil, in which ment on others, and the clearness given a glance is given by the Saviour at the to the spiritual vision by conflict with misery and sinfulness of human life at its and victory over evil. There is also no best ;-and now precepts follow, teaching doubt here a lesson given us of the true us how we are to live in such a world, and relative magnitude which our own faults, among others sintul like ourselves :- me. and those of our brother, ought to hold in diately, and more generally it is, the con our estimation. What is a mote to one tinuing caution against hypocrisy, in our looking on another, is to that other himself selves and in others. 1.] This does a beam : just the reverse of the ordinary not prohibit all jadgment (see ver. 20, estimate. 3.] beholdest, from withiand 1 Cor. v. 12); but, as Augustine, en out, a voluntary act: considerest not, joins us to interpret others charitably in apprehendest not, from within, that which all cases where doubt may exist as to the is already there, and ought to have excited motives of their actions. judge has attention before. The same distinction is been taken for “ condemn” here; and this observed in Luke. 4.] how wilt thou seems necessary, at least in so far that it say, is how canst thou say in Luke: should be taken as implying an ill judg. Luther renders it how darest thou say?" ment. For if the command were merely

5. Thou hypocrite] “ He calls this • not to form authoritative judgments of man a hypocrite, as usurping the office of others, the second member, that ye be a physician, when he really fills the place of not judged,would not, in its right in a sick man : or as in pretence busying himterpretation, as applying to God's judg- self about another man's fault, but in reality ment of us, correspond. And the con- doing it with a view to condemning bim." demn not,which follows in Luke vi. 37, Euthymius. shalt thou see clearly, is perhaps to be taken rather as an ad. with purified eye. The close is remarkable. ditional explanation of judge, than as a Before, to behold the mote was all-to climax after it.

judged] i. e. •by stare at thy brother's faults, and as people God,' for so doing ;-a parallel expression do who stand and gaze at an object, attract to ch. v. 7; vi. 15; not by others. The others to gaze also :--but now, the object bare passive, without the agent expressed, is a very different one-to cast out the is solemn and emphatic. See note on mote- to help thy brother to be rid of his Luke vi. 38; xvi. 9; and xii. 20. The fault, by doing him the best and most

r Prov. xxiii. 9.

Acts xiii. 10.
see ch, xiii.
10, 11.

sch. Ii. 2

and parallels.
John xiv. 13:
xv. 7: xvi.
23, 24. James

brother's eye. 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 andparallels. you. 7 8 Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall

Vi find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 for every 1:50. 1 John one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth;

and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. 9 Or what
man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he
give him a stone? 10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him
a serpent ? 11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give
good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your
Father which is in heaven give good things to them that

iii. 22: v. 14, 15.

difficult office of Christian friendship. The beholding was vain and idle; the seeing clearly is for a blessed end, viz. (ch. xviii. 15) to gain thy brother. 6.] The connexion, see below. that which is holy] Some have thought this, in the Greek, to be a mistranslation of a Chaldee word signifying an earring, or amulet; but the connexion is not at all improved by it. Pearls bear a resemblance to peas or acorns, the food of swine, but earrings none whatever to the food of dogs. The similitude is derived from “the holy things," the meat offered in sacrifice, of which no unclean person was to eat (Lev. xxii. 6, 7, 10, 14, 15, 16). Similarly in the ancient Christian Liturgies and Fathers, the holy thingsare the consecrated elements in the Holy Communion. Thus interpreted, the saying would be one full of meaning to the Jews. As Dean Trench observes (Serm. Mount, p. 136), “ It is not that the dogs would not eat it, for it would be welcome to them; but that it would be a profanation to give it to them, Exod. xxii. 31.” The other part of the similitude is of a different character, and belongs entirely to the swine, who having cast to them pearls, something like their natural food, whose value is inappreciable by them, in fury trample them with their feet, and turning against the donor, rend him with their tusks. The connexion with the foregoing and following verses is this : Judge not,” &c.; " attempt not the correction of others, when you need it far more yourselves :still, be not such mere children, as not to distinguish the characters of those with whom you have to do. Give not that which is holy to dogs," &c. Then, as a humble hearer might be disposed to reply, if this last be a measure of the divine dealings, what bounties can I expect at God's hand ?'

(ver. 7), 'ask of God, and He will give to each of you : for this is His own will, that you shall obtain by asking (ver. 8),--good things, good for each in his place and degree (vv. 10, 11), not unwholesome or unfitting things. Therefore (ver. 12) do ye the same to others, as ye wish to be done, and as God does, to you: viz. give that which is good for each, to each, not judging uncharitably on the one hand, nor casting pearls before swine on the other.'

7.7 The three similitudes are all to be understood of prayer, and form a climax. 8.] The only limitation to this promise, which, under various forms, is several times repeated by our Lord, is furnished in vv. 9–11, and in James iv. 3, “Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss." 9.] There are two questions here, the first of which is broken off. See a similar construction in ch. xii. 11. The similitude of bread (a loaf) and a stone also appears in ch. iv. 3. Luke (xi. 12) adds the egg and the scorpion. 11. evil) i. e. in comparison with God. It is not necessary to suppose a rebuke conveyed here, but only a general declaration of the corruption and infirmity of man. Augustine remarks, in accordance with this view, that the persons now addressed are the same who had been taught to say · Our Father' just now. Stier remarks, “ This saying seems to me the strongest proof of original sin in the whole of the holy scriptures.” Reden Jesu, i. 236. good things] principally, His Holy Spirit, Luke xi. 13. The same argument à fortiori is used by our Lord in the parable of the unjust judge, Luke xviii. 6, 7. 12.] Trench (Serm. on the Mount, p. 143) has noticed Augustine's refutation of the sneer of infidels (such as Gibbon's against this precept), that some of our Lord's sayings have been before written by heathen authors.

« PreviousContinue »