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should offend i them, go thou to mouth, thou shalt find ? a piece of the sea, and cast an hook, and take money : that take, and give unto up the fish that first cometh up ; them for me and thee. and when thou hast opened his! ? A stater, which was half an ounce of silver,
Rom. xiv. 21; xv. 1-3. 2 Cor. vi. 3. or about half a crown value.
VI. Christians should delight to be When men are suggesting plausible doubts where God has manifested his glory. about doctrine, or attempting to unsettle The feeling of Peter was natural. Ver. our minds by cavils and inquiry, we 4. His love of the glorious presence of should leave them, and apply by prayer, Christ and the redeemed was right. He and by searching the Bible, to Christ, erred only in the manner of manifesting the great Prophet, who is the way, the that love. We should always love the truth, and the life. house of prayer--the sanctuary-and the XIII. Parents should be earnest for place where Christ has manifested himself the welfare of their children. Ver. 15. a peculiarly glorious and precious to our It is right for them to pray to God in puls, or as peculiarly our Friend and times of sickness, that he would heal Deliverer.
them. Miracles are not to be expected; VII. We need not be afraid of the but God only can bless the means which most awful displays of deity, if Christ be parents use for their sick and afflicted with us. Ver. 7. Were we alone, we children. should fear. None could see God and XIV. Parents may do much by faith live; for he is a consuming fire. Heb. xii. , and prayer for their children. Here the 29. But with Jesus for our friend we faith of the parent was the means of saving may go confidently down to death; we the life of the child. Ver. 14-18. So may meet him at his awful bar; we may the faith of parents a faith producing dwell in the full splendours of his presence diligent instruction; a holy example, and to all eternity.
much prayer, may be the means of saving VIII. Saints at death are taken to their souls. God will not indeed save happiness, and live now in glory. Ver. them on account of the faith of the 3. Moses and Elias were not created parent; but the holy life of a father and anew, but came as they were. They mother may be the means of training up came from heaven and returned thither. their children for heaven. The spirits of all men live, therefore, XV. It is proper to pray to Jesus to in happiness or woe after the body is increase our faith. Mark ix. 24. We dead.
may be sensible of our unbelief; may IX. It is not unreasonable to suppose feel that we deserve condemnation, and that saints may have some knowledge of that we deserve no favour that is usually what is done here on earth. Moses and bestowed on faith ; but we may come to Elias appear to have been acquainted with him, and implore of him an increase of the fact that Jesus was about to die at faith, and thus obtain the object of our Jerusalem.
desires. X. The scriptures will be fulfilled. XVI. Our unbelief hinders our doing The fulfilment may take place when we much that we might do. Ver. 20. We Little know it; or in events that we should shrink from great difficulties, we fail in not suppose were intended for a fulfil-great duties, because we do not put conment, Ver. 12.
fidence in God, who is able to help us. XI. Erroneous teachers will endeavour The proper way to live a life of religion to draw us away from the truth. Mark and peace, is to do just what God requires ix. 14. They will do it hy art, and of us, depending on his grace to aid us. cantion, and the appearance of caim in- XVII. We see the proper way of inquiry. We should always be on our creasing our faith. Ver. 21. It is by guard against any teachers appearing to much prayer and self-denial, and fasting. call in question what Christ has plainly | Faith is a plant that never grows in an taught us.
uncultivated soil, and is never luxuriant, XII. Mark ix. 15. Christ, in his unless it is often exposed to the beams of word and by his Spirit, is a safe teacher. the Sun of righteousness.
CHAPTER XVIII. | Who is the greatest in the kingHumility and harmlessness taught, 1-14. dom of heaven ? How to treat offences, 15-20. For.
2 And Jesus called a little child giveness enforced by the parable of the forgiving king and inexorable servant,
unto him, and set him in the midst 23–35.
of them, AT i the same time came the 3 And said, Verily I say unto A disciples unto Jesus, saying, you, Except ye be converted, and be? Mark ix. 33–41. Luke ix. 46-50, xxii.
2 Ch. xx. 20-28. Rom. xii, 10. Phil. ii. 3. 24-27.
3 Pea. li. 10–13. John iii. 3.
XVIII. It is right to weep and mourn and prostitutes, and pickpockets, and over the death of Jesus. Ver. 23. It drunkards. No money is ever lost that was a cruel death. And we should mourn goes in any way to suppress these vices. that our best Friend passed through such
CHAPTER XVIII. sufferings. Yet we should rather mourn that our sins were the cause of such bitter 1–6. See also Mark ix. 33—41. Luke sorrows; and that but for our sins, and ix. 46--50. Who is the greatest in the the sins of the rest of mankind, he might kingdom of heaven? By the kingdom have been always happy.
of heaven they meant the kingdom which
they supposed Jesus was about to set up, "'Twas you my sins, my cruel sins, His chief tormentors were,
his kingdom as the Messiah. They asked Each of my crimes became a nail,
the question because they supposed, in And unbelief the spear.
accordance with the common expectation 'Twas you that pulled the vengeance down
of the Jews, that he was about to set up Upon his guiltless head.
a temporal kingdom of great splendour; Break, break, my heart! O burst mine eyes,
and they wished to know who should And let my sorrows bleed."
have the principal offices and posts of XIX. At the same time, we should honour and profit. This was a frequent rejoice that God made his death the subject of inquiry and controversy among source of the richest blessings that ever | the disciples. Mark, ch. ix. 34, informs us descended on mankind. He rose and that they had had a dispute on this subject brought life and immortality to light. | in the way. Jesus, he says, inquired of Ver. 23.
| them what they had been disputing about. XX. We should comply with all the Luke, ch. ix. 47, says that Jesus perceived requirements of the laws of the land, it the thought of their heart:-an act imply. not contrary to the law of God. It is ing omniscience, for none can search the important that governments should be heart but God. Jer, xvii. 10. The dissupported. Ver. 25. See also Rom. ciples, conscious that the subject of their xiii. 1-7.
dispute was known, requested Jesus to XXI. We should also be willing to decide it. Matt. xvii. 1. They were at contribute our just proportion to the first silent through shame (Mark), but persupport of the institutions of religion. ceiving that the subject of their dispute The tribute which Jesus paid here by a was known, they came, as Matthew states, miracle was for the support of religion in and referred the matter to him for his the temple. Ver. 24-27. Jesus under- opinion. stood of how much value are the institu- 2, 3. Ercept ve be converted. The tions of religion to the welfare of man. | word converted means changed, or turned. He worked a miracle, therefore, to make | It means to change or turn from one habit a voluntary offering to support religion. of life, or set of opinions, to another. Religion promotes the purity, peace, Luke xxi. 32. Jas. v. 19. See also intelligence, and order of the community, Matt. vii. 6; xvi. 23. Luke rii. 9, &c., and every man is therefore under obligation where the same word is used in the to do his part towards its support, If any original. It is sometimes referred to that mar doubts this, he has only to go to the great change called the new birth, or replaces where there is no religion-among generation, Psa. li. 13, Isa. lx, 5, Acts offers, and thieves, and adulterers, iii. 19, but not always. It is a general
come as little children, ye shall not 5 And whoso shall receive one enter into the kingdom of heaven. / such little 3 child in my name re
4 Whosoever therefore shall | ceiveth me. humble himselfas this little child, 6 But whoso shall offend 4 one the same is greatest in the king of these little ones which believe dom of heaven.
| in me, it were better for him that 1 Cor. xiv 20. 1 Pet. ii, 2. Luke xiv.. Ch. x. 42. Mark ix. 42 Luke xvii. 21. Jas. iv. 10.
| 1, 2. Ford, meaning any change. The word 4. The greatest, &c. That is, snail be regeneration denotes a particular change the most eminent Christian : shall have -the passing from death to life. The most of the true spirit of religion. phrase, ercept ye be converted, does not 5. And whoso shall receive one such imply of necessity that they were not | little child. That is, whoso shall receive Christians before, or had not been born and love one with a spirit like this child; again. It means that their opinions and one who is humble, meek, unambitious, feelings about the kingdom of Messiah or a real Christian. In my name. As must be changed. They had supposed a follower of me; or because he is that he was to be a temporal prince. attached to me. Whoso receives one They expected he would reign as other possessed of my spirit, and who, because kings did. They supposed he would he has that spirit, loves him, loves me hare his great officers of state, as other also. The word receive means to approve, monarchs had. And they were ambi- love, or treat with kindness; to aid in the tiously inquiring who should hold the time of need. See Matt. xxv. 35--40. highest offices. Jesus told them they Mark, ch. ix. 38, and Luke, ch. ix. 49, were wrong in these views and expectations. add a conversation that took place on No such things would take place. From this occasion, that has been omitted by these notions they must be turned, Matthew. John told him that they had changed, or converted, or they could seen one casting out devils in his name, have no part in his kingdom. Such and they forbade him, because he followed ideas did not fit at all the nature of his not with them. Jesus replied that he kingdom. | And become as little children. should not have been forbidden, for there Children are to a great extent destitute of was no one who could work a miracle in atmbition, pride, and haughtiness. They his name that could lightly speak evil of are characteristically humble and teach him. That is, though he did not attend able. By requiring his disciples to be them, though he had not joined himself to like them, he did not intend to express their society, yet he could not really be any opinion about the native moral cha- opposed to him. Indeed, they should racter of children, but simply that in have remembered, that the power to work these respects they should become like a miracle must always come from the them. They should lay aside their am- same source, that is, God; and that he bijous views, and pride, and be willing to that had the ability given him to work a occupy their proper station-a very lowly miracle, and that did it in the name of me. Mark says, ch. ix. 35, that Jesus, Christ, must be a real friend to him. It before he placed the little child in the is probable from this, that the power of midst of them, told them that “if any working miracles in the name of Christ man desire to be first, the same shall be was given to many who did not attend ast of all, and servant of all.” That on his ministry. is, he shall be the most distinguished 6. Whoso shall offend. That is, cause Christian who is the most humble, and to fall, or to sin; or who should place who is willing to be esteemed least, and anything in their way to hinder their piety Last of all. To esteem ourselves as God or happiness. Note, Matt. v. 29. I These esteems us, is humility. And it cannot be little ones. That is, Christians, manidegrading to think of ourselves as we are. festing the spirit of little children. 1 John But pride, or an attempt to be thought of ii. 1, 12, 18, 28. T It were better for more importance than we are, is foolish, him that a millstone, &c. Mills anciently wicked, and degrading.
were either turned by hand, Note, Matt.
a millstone were hanged about his for thee to enter into life halt or neck, and that he were drowned in maimed, rather than having two the depth of the sea.
| bands or two feet to be cast into 7 Woe unto the world because everlasting fire. of offences ! for 1 it must needs be 9 And if thine eye offend thee, that offences come; but ? woe to pluck it out, and cast it from thee: that man by whom the offence it is better for thee to enter into cometh !
life with one eye, rather than 8 Wherefore 3 if thy hand or thy having two eyes 5 to be cast into foot offend thee, cut them off, and hell fire. cast them from thee: it is better 10 Take heed that ye despise
11 Cor. xi. 19. Jude 4. ? Jude 11. 3 Ch.not one of these little ones ; for I v. 29, 30. Mark ix. 43. 45.
Heb. iv. 11. Luke ix. 25.
xxiv. 41, or by beasts, chiefly by mules. 8, 9. If thy hand, &c. See Notes, These were of the larger kind; and the Matt. y. 29, 30. The meaning of all original words denote that it was this these instances is the same. Temptations kind that was intended. This was one to sin, attachments, and employments of mode of capital punishment practised by any kind that cannot be pursued without the Greeks, Syrians, Romans, and by leading us into sin, be they ever so dear some other surrounding nations. The to us, must be abandoned, or the soul meaning is, it would be better for him to must be lost. It is better to enter die, before he had committed the sin. To into life halt or maimed-or having one injure the feeblest Christian, or to cause eye, &c. It is not meant by this, that him to sin, will be regarded as a most when the body shall be raised, it will be serious offence, and will be punished maimed and disfigured in this manner. accordingly.
It will be perfect. See 1 Cor. xv. 42–44. 7. Woe unto the world because of But these things are said for the purpose offences. That is, offences will be the of carrying out or making complete the cause of woe, or of suffering. Offences, figure, or the representation of cutting off here, mean things that will produce sin : the hands, &c. The meaning is, it is that will cause us to sin, or temptations better to go to heaven, without enjoying to induce others to sin. Note, Matt. v. / the things that caused us to sin, than to 29. It must needs be, &c. That is, I enjoy them here, and then be lost. such is the depravity of man, that there Halt. Lame. Maimed. With a will be always some attempting to make loss of limbs. f Into hell fire. It is others sin; some men of wickedness en- implied in all this, that if their beloved deavouring to lead Christians astray, and sins are not abandoned, the soul must go rejoicing when they have succeeded in into everlasting fire. This is conclusive causing them to fall. Such, also, is the proof that the sufferings of the wicked strength of our native corruption, and the will be eternal. See Notes on Mark ix. force of passion, that our besetting sins 44, 46, 48. will lead us astray. T Woe to that man 10. Take heed that ye despise not one by whom the offence cometh. He who l of these little ones, &c. That is, one who draws others into sin is awfully guilty. has become like little children, or, a No man can be more guilty. No wicked | Christian. Jesus then proceeds to state ness can be more deeply seated in the | the reason why we should not despise his heart, than that which attempts to mar feeblest and obscurest follower. That the peace, defile the purity, and destroy reason is drawn from the care which God the souls of others. And yet, in all ages, exercises over them. The first instance there have been multitudes, who, by per of that care is, that in heaven their angels secution, threats, arts, allurements, and do always behold his face. He does not persuasion, have endeavoured to seduce mean, I suppose, to state that every good Christians from the faith, and to lead ! man has his guardian angel, as many of them into sin.
| the Jews believed; but that the angels
say unto you, That in heaven their | and seeketh that which is gone angels I do always behold ? the face astray? of my Father which is in heaven. | 13 Aud if so be that he find it,
11 For the Son of man is come verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth to save 3 that which was lost. more of that sheep, than of the ninety
12 How think ye? if 4 a man and nine which went not astray. have an hundred sheep, and one 14 Even so it is not the will of of them be gone astray, doth he your Father which is in heaven, not leave the ninety and nine, that one 5 of these little ones should and goeth into the mountains, | perish.
1 Acts xii. 15. ; Psa. xvii. 15. 3 Ch. i. 21. 15 , Moreover if 6 thy brother Luke ix. 56; xix. 10. John iii. 17; x. 10; xii. . Tim. i. 15. Luke xv. 4-7.
5 2 Pet. iii. 9. 6 Lev. xix. 17. Luke xvii. 3.
were, in general, the guards of his follow. son why we should not despise them, he ers, and aided them, and watched over introduced a parable showing the joy felt them, Heb. i. 14. Do always behola| when a thing lost is found. A man rejoices the face of God. This is taken from the over the recovery of one of his flock that practice of earthly courts. To be ad had wandered, more than over all that mitted to the presence of a king, to be remained. So God rejoices that man is permitted to see his face continually, to restored, seeks his salvation, and wills that have free access at all times, was deemed not one thus found should perish. If a mark of peculiar favour, 1 Kin. x. 8 God thus loves and preserves the reEst. i. 14, and was esteemed a security deemed, then surely man should not for his protection. So, says our Saviour, despise them. See this passage farther we should not despise the obscurest Chris. explained in Luke xv. 4–10. tiang, for they are ministered to by the 15—20. Moreover, if thy brother. The highest and noblest of beings, beings who i word brother, here, evidently means a are always enjoying the favour and friend fellow professor of religion. Christians ship of God.
are called brethren because they belong 11. For the Son of man, &c. This is to the same redeemed family, having a a second reason why we should not despise common Father, God, and because they Christians, for the Son of man came to are united in the same feelings, objects, seek and save them. He came in search and destiny. Trespass against thee. of them when lost; he found them; he That is, injure thee in any way, by words sved them. It was the great object of or conduct. The original word means his life ; and though obscure and little in sin against thee. This may be done by the eve of the world, yet that cannot be injuring the character, person, or property. worthy of contempt which the Son of God Go and tell him his fault. This was suché by his toils and his death. Son required under the law, Lev. xix. 17. In of man. See Note, Matt. viii. 19, 20. the original it is go and reprove him.
That sohich was lost. Property is lost Seek an explanation of his conduct; and when it is consumed, mislaid, &c.—when if he has done wrong, administer a friendly we have no longer the use of it. Friends and brotherly reproof. This is required are lost when they die—we enjoy their to be done alone :--1. That he may have exciety no longer. A wicked and protii- an opportunity of explaining it. In nine is said to be lost to vi
st to virtue and cases out of ten, where one supposes he happines. He is useless to society. So has been injured, a little friendly converall men are lost. They are wicked, mi sation would set the matter right, and surable wanderers from God. They are prevent difficulty. 2. That he may have Jos to piety, to happiness, and heaven. opportunity of acknowledging his offence, These Jesus came to save by giving his or making reparation if he has done own life a ransom, and shedding his own wrong. Many would be glad of such an birod that they might be recovered and opportunity, and it is our duty to furnish
it by calling on them. 3. That we may 12-14. To show still further the ren-l admonish them of their error, if they