« PreviousContinue »
all that the Art of Man can invent, or even Solomon in all the Coft of the greatest Princes procure ;
his glory, was not so that all the Glories even of Solomon's
arrayed like one of
these. Court, were dull and mean in comparison of these.
30 Wherefore if
God so clothe the 30. If then God thus clothes the short- grafs of the field, lived Flowers, which are but of a few which to day is, and Days continuance : How unreasonable to morrow is cast inis it for you to distrust his Care and to the oven, fhall he Providence, whom he hath sent into the not much World for so much nobler Purposes !
clothe you, O ye of
little faith? 31. Be not therefore anxiously follicitous for the things of this present no thought, saying,
31 Therefore take World; for Meat, and Drink, and what thall we eat? Cloathing.
or what shall we 32. For upon these things do the drink? or whereGentiles, who know not the Greatness withal shall we be of God's Power and Goodness, and the clothed? Excellency of his true Religion, employ these things do the
32 (For after all their Thoughts. But God, who hath
Gentiles seek) for revealed to you far nobler things to be
your heavenly Fathe Objects of your Care and Medita- ther knoweth that tion, knoweth that these things are ne ye have need of all cessary for your present Subsistence, and these things. will provide them for you.
33. Make it therefore your first and 33 But seek ye principal Business, to understand true first the kingdom of Religion, and live according to the God, and his rightePrecepts thereof: And all these smaller ousness, and all these things shall be abundantly supplied to things shall be added you by the Providence of God. 34. And be not too eagerly concern
34 Take therefore ed to make provision of these earthly no thought for the
for the things against the Time to come: For morrow: 'tis time enough to take Care for these
morrow Thall take
thought for the things by a moderate Industry, as they things of it felf: are wanted. Sufficient to the present fufficient unto the
Time are the present Troubles of Life; day is the evil thereand God would not have you add to of. them by an unreasonable sollicitousness for the future,
CH A P.
CH A P. VII. Of Cenforiousness and rash Judgment, ver. 1. Of importu
nate Prayer, ver. 7. Of Equity, Ver. Of the difficulty of a Religious Life, ver. 13. Of false Teachers,
Of the Necessity of Obedience, ver. 21. The Conclusion of Christ's Sermon, ver. 28. I JUdge not, that " ye
BE not severe and cenforious in
your Judgment upon others, that ed.
ye provoke not God to use severity to
2 For with what 2. For in what manner ye judge, judgment ye judge, and deal with others; whether with ye thall be judged: Candour, Mercy and Charity; or with fure ye meet, it shall Severity and Rigour: in the same manbe measured to you
ner will God, when he comes to Judgagain.
ment, deal with you. 3 And why be 3. Be not therefore so rigid in passing holdelt thou the Judgment upon others, as the hypocrimote that is in thy tical Pharisees and Jewish Doctors are ; brothers
but be more strict in the examination of considereft not the beam that is in thine your own Lives. For how exceedingly
unreasonable is it, own eye?
to condemn the lighter Offences of others, while you
are guilty of greater Crimes your selves! 4 Or how wilt
4. With what ground and confidence thou say to thy brother, Let me puli their finaller Sins, while ye your felves are
can you undertake to reprove others for out ihe mote out of tine eye ; and be conscious of mere heinous ones ? Or with hold, a beam is in what Skill can you insiruct and direct thine own eye?
others to correct and amend their Faults, while ye have not Judgment or Inte
grity enough to be sensible of your own? 5 Thou hypocrite, 5. Lay afide therefore this foul Hyfirst cast out the beam pocrisy. First effectually amend and out of thine own eye; reform your own Lives : And then you and then shalt thou may with judgment direct, and with
Authority urge and press others to Re- see clearly to cast out formation.
the mote out of thy 6. And yet even in this Case there is a Discretion to be used. The wise
6 SGive not that Instructions and Admonitions of the the dogs, neither cast
which is holy unto Gospel, are not to be always caft away ye your pearls before upon obstinate and incorrigible Men, swine, left they tramwho probably instead of being correct- ple them under their ed and amended by them, will return feet, and turn again you only Scoffs, Reproaches and Con- and rent you. tempt.
7. S These are the principal Instru 7 Ask, and it Etions necessary to direct you in the hall be given you : progress of a Christian Life. All seek, and ye shall which that you may be able to practise, shall be opened unto
find, knock, and it you must apply your selves to God in
you. hearty Prayer for his Assistance. Which if you do with Faith, Constancy, and Importunity; ye shall certainly obtain whatever ye defire; at least so far, and in such manner and degree, as is need
ful for you.
8. For whosoever thus prays, with 8 For every one Faith, Earnestness and Perseverance; that asketh, receiGod, as a merciful and tender Father veth: and he that
findeth cannot deny him any thing that is ne
him that ceflary for him.
knocketh, it shall be 9 & 10. For if even among ✓ you opened. who are frail and Mortal Men,tenacious, 9 Or what man passionate, and froward, there is no one is there who when his Son begs of him any thing whom if his son useful or necessary for Life, can either ask bread, will give
him a stone ? deny to give it him, or give him any
10 Or if he ask a thing hurtful or useless in its stead : 11. If Men, I say, who are wicked fish, will give him
a serpent ? and peevish and ill-natured, cannot
11 If ye then but give good things to their Children; being evil, know How much more shall God, who is in- how to give good finitely good and merciful, the gra
* The words, rís šī opeão ar@gwr@, are very emphatical. What Man? Or who among you Men?
gifts unto your chil. cious Creator and Preserver of all things, dren, how much give such things as are needful to those more shall your Fa- who earnestly pray for them? ther which is in heaven give good things with Mankind, as to give them what
12. , And now if God thus deals to them that ask him?
ever they could reasonably expect 12 Therefore all from a most kind and loving Fathings whatsoever ther; Then ought ye also fo to deal ye would that men with one another, as that every one be ihould do to you, willing to do That always to another, do ye even fo
to which he can in reason expect another them: for this is should do to him.
This is that great the law and the pro- Rule, wherein is contained our whole phets.
Duty towards our Neighbour: This is the sum of true Religion, of Righteousness and Equity : This is what Nature and the Reason of Things teaches : And this is what all God's Revelations to Mankind, in the Law and the Prophets, tend ultimately to
eftablish. 13 Enter ye in 13. I These Precepts may perhaps at the strait gate; seem hard to Men that are covetous, for wide is the gate, sensual, and lovers of the World; and and broad is the way there are indeed but few who will be that leadeth to de. struction, and many at the pains to practise them fincerely. there be which go in But if ye will attain eternal Hapthereat:
piness, ye must resolve to be Imitators of those few, and to be content to follow them in the narrow Path of Virtue. The Way to Destruction is broad, soft and easie; and 'tis in This
that the careless Multitude walk. 14 Because strait
14. But the Way to Happiness is is the gate, and nar
narrow, and the Paths of Virtue are is the
way which leadeth unto
rough; and there are but few that can life, and few there deny themselves the unlawful Pleafures, be that find it.
and Vanities, and Gaieties of the World, that they may be able to walk there
in. 15 9 Beware of
15. S There are many indeed that false prophets, will pretend to conduct you in this Way VOL. I.
to Happiness. But take care that ye be which come to you not deceived by false Pretenders. They in sheeps clothing, will come to you with great shows of but inwardly they Piety, and specious appearances of Hu
are ravening wolves. mility and Innocence : But their secret Design will be to pervert you by false Doctrines, to serve their Lusts; and promote their own gain, by robbing and devouring you.
16. Ye shall know them from fincere 16 Ye shall knout Preachers of Righteousness, by the them by their fruits : tendency of their Doctrine, and by
gather their Works and Actions;' by their grapes of thorns, or Pride, or their Covetousness, or their figs of thistles? Sensuality, or their contentiousness, or the like. For as Thorns cannot bring forth Grapes, or Thistles bear Figs; so the Scope of a Man's Doetrine and the Actions of his Life, will discover themselves to be suitable to the Difpofitions of his Mind.
17. As every good Tree bringeth 17 Even so every forth good Fruit, and every corrupt good tree bringeth Tree bad Fruit; so every good Man forth good fruit: but doth good things, and every evil Man a corrupt tree bringevil things.
eth forth evil fruit. 18. A good Man can no more do 18 A good tree evil things, than a good Tree can bring cannot bring forth forth bad Fruit; And a bad Man, not- evil fruit : neither withstanding all his Hypocrifie, can no can a corrupt tree more really and habitually do good bring forth good
fruit. things, than a corrupt Tree can bring forth good Fruit.
19. Every Tree that bringeth not 19 Every tree that forth good Fruit, however it may look bringeth not forth fair and be full of Leaves, is yet by good fruit, is hewen Men counted good for nothing, but to
down and cast into
the fire. be cut down and burnt. In like manner every Man, whose Doctrine tends not to Virtue, and whose Works are not righteous, and just, and good ; whatever Pretences he may make to Piety and Religion ;, is certainly a bad