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23. But if thine eye be evil, rather, “ disordered,” thy whole body shall be full of darkness, rather, " in darkness ;' if therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!
These two verses are wholly metaphorical: in them Christ is still pursuing the same subject which he had been treating of before, the importance of a right judgment concerning earthly and spiritual things. By the body is here meant the mind, and by the eye, the judgment, or understanding; the words may therefore be thus paraphrased: As, when the eye, which is the light of the body, is so vitiated as to give no light, the whole body is full of darkness; so, when the judgment, or understanding, which is the inward light of the mind, or the light within thee, is vitiated, the whole soul is darkened, and the darkness, being total, is, therefore, very great.
24. No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise,“ neglect," the other.-Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.
Christ is here obviating a secret objection, which, he was aware, would be made to what he was before saying; for the covetous man might reply, “ It is true that I apply my mind to getting wealth; yet I observe, at the same time, those duties which relate to the worship of the Divine Being. I am not therefore guilty of covetousness." To this Christ answers that a man cannot serve two masters, of opposite tempers, so as to devote to each all the affections of his heart, as well as all the actions of his life; yet such masters are piety and avarice; each of them claims the whole man. It is impossible that a man should apply himself, as
much as is necessary, to the exercise and cultivation of a pious disposition, and be distracted with a perpetual solicitude about obtaining and securing riches.---Mammon is a Syriac word, the language in which Je. sus Christ spake; it has been left untranslated in the Greek and the English; it signifies a treasure or riches, which Christ has here personified, as if they were in. telligent beings.
25. Therefore, “ for this reason," because the mind cannot, at the same time, be bent upon the love of piety and of riches, I say unto you, take no thought, rather, “be not anxious," 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 ?
Christ again solves a secret objection to what he had advanced; for some one would say, Be it so, that we are not to labour for superfluous things; yet I have not that plenty, which may suffice for future life, of those things which nature wants, of food and clothing, one of which is necessary for supporting the body, the other for defending it: when I have gained a competency of these necessaries, I will stop my labours: but Jesus shews, in this and the following verses, that this objection proceeds from the weakness of faith, which prevents us from thinking so nobly of the divine goodness and power as we ought to think: since God is both able and willing to provide necessaries for us, although we take care only of those things which present use requires, and apply the whole force of our minds to the duties of piety. This he supports by several illustrious arguments. The first is taken from the superior value of the gifts which God has already bestowed upon us: if God hath given you life and a body, will he not, think you, assist you in supporting them, with the less considerable gifts of food and raiment?
26. Behold, rather, “ consider," the fowls of the air ; for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than they?
If God provides against want for the fowls of the air, who have not the same industry which men have, and are of less value, how much more shall he provide for men?
27. Which of you, by taking thought, rather, “ by all his anxiety,” can add one cubit unto his stature, rather, “ unto his life," or,
age,” for that is the usual meaning of the word here translated stat
The word cubit is here applied in the same manner to age or life, as, in Ps. xxxix. 5, the word handbreadth or span is to days---" Behold thou hast made my days as a hand-breadth:” after the same manner, likewise, in our own language, we speak of an inch of time. If all our cares and Tabours cannot prolong life a moment, they are not necessary to its preservation.
28. And why are ye anxious about raiment ? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29. And yet
say unto you, that even Solomoit, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.
The robes of state of eastern princes were white; which seems to be the reason why the lily is chosen for the comparison. Such a robe did Solomon wear, when he sat upon his ivory throne overlaid with gold, giving laws to his subjects or answers to foreign am. bassadors: yet the splendour of his robes did not equal that of the lily
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?
The dried stalks of herbs and flowers are used in the cast for fire; fuel being very scarce.
To-morrow may mean in a short time, not literally the day after the present, when they certainly would be unfit for such a purpose. The meaning of our Saviour is this: If God cover with so much glory things of no further value than to serve the meanest uses, will he not take care of his servants, who are so precious in his eyes, and designed for such important services in the world? The word faith does not always signify the persuasion with which we believe things that are said to be true, but often, the confidence which we place in the power and goodness of any person; though no words or promises should intervene: in this signification does it seem to be used in this place; for although there are promises in the law, relating to the matter of which Christ speaks; yet he does not take his arguments thence, but from the inanifest testimonies of the divine bounty and power.
31. Therefore be not anxious, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed ?
32. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
Since God knows that ye have need of these things, for the preservation of life and health, he will not fail to bestow them.
33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
By the kingdom of God we are to understand, his kingdom set up in the world by the gospel of Christ, into which an attachment to the world prevented men from entering. The righteousness of God is that which is required in the followers of Jesus, and which is of a more perfect degree than that of the Scribes and Pharisees, whose righteousness consisted in living up to the law of Moses and the traditions of the eld
If they sought this kingdom and this righteousness, every thing else, so far as was really useful and proper, would be given them.
34. Be not anxious therefore for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought, “ shall be anxious," for the things of itself, or, for things of its own :" sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
The word here translated to-morror, signifies any future time of life. Christ concludes this
part of his discourse with a fresh argument against anxious solicitude about the future, namely, that every day has trouble of its own; it is therefore great folly to add to it, by encumbering the present moment with cares