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Let us then lay aside anxious cares for future provision, and resolve to discharge every religious and moral duty, which is pleasing in the sight of God; not doubting but that, if, it be our lot to toil and spin, he will bless our industry; or whether to sow and reap, he will give an increase. Let us be liberal to our fellow-creatures in proportion to our circumstances; then we may depend on the promises of God declared by his beloved Son, that he will bestow on us all things needful in this present world, and inestimable treasures in the world to come.
CONCLUSION OF OUR SAVIOUR'S SERMON ON THE.
From Matthew, Chap. vii. Judge not, that ye be not judged.
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. own eye.
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye ; and behold, a beam is in Eline own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to çast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, least they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rent you.
Ask, and it shall be given you : seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth ; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
Or what man is there among you, whom, if his son ask bread, will be give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
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 ask himn ?
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them : for this is the law and the prophets.
Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat :
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Ye shall know them by their fruits: Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles ?
Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven : but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say unto me in that day, LORD, LORD, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name
have cast out 'devils ? and in thy name done many won} derful works? And then will I profess unto thee, I knew
you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock.
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house : and it fell not, for it was founded
rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand :
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house : and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
And it came to pass when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrines ;
For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. The Scribes and Pharisees were remarkably censo. rious ; they valued themselves on the strictness of their lives, and placed a great part of their religion in con. demning others. Our Saviour, to preserve his followers from this fault, cautioned them not to pass unnecessary or uncharitable censures, but to examine their own hearts, and root out from thence all evil, before they presumed to be severe on their brethren and neighbours.
The word here rendered mote, is hy some supposed to mean a splinter; others understand it of a small seed; and some imagine, that the words mote and beam signify different distempers in the eye: but whatever is the
right interpretation, we cannot well misapply the simile, which clearly teaches, “ that it would be as absurd for a bad man to set up for a reprover of others, as for one almost blind himself to pretend to perform operations on other men's eyes.''
Our Lord farther reminded his disciples, that how: ever unexceptionable their own characters might be, there was still caution to be used in the reprehension of others; that as they would not cast pearls before swine, neither should they enter into religious arguments with such' profane wretches as they knew would deride every sacred subject, and treat the name of God and his holy ordinances with contempt, and in all probability endeavour to injure them for their intended kindness. But, that they might have wisdom and fortitude to direct them in all difficulties, He encouraged them to seek Divine assistance by fervent prayer, and not to despair if they did not immediately obtain their petitions, but to repeat them; not doubting, but that if their prayers were agreeable to the revealed will of God, they would at length certainly be granted; though the SUPREME BBING, to make trial of their faith and patience, might delay his blessing. For God is as feady to grant good things to those who need them, as the tenderest father' is to supply the wants of a beloved son; but He requires that they should be sought with fervent and repeated prayer, not with vain repetitions of any form of words, but an earnest lifting up of the heart to Him.
If then God is so ready to satisfy our temporal and spiritual wants, we ought to do every thing in our power to promote the happiness of our fellow-creatures; and in order to do so, we should on all'occasions treat them as we should wish to be treated ourselves in their
would that' men should do unto you,
do ye even so unto them, is called the golden rule, and it ought to be deeply impressed on the mind of every Christian; for it is of general use, being calculated to restrain inordinate self-love, and promote universal charity and good-will. This short maxim is a sum mary of all the moral precepts contained in the Law and the Prophets.
To enter in at the strait gate, signifies to enter upon a Christian life : those who do so are certainly under many restraints in comparison of those who give way to the indulgence of a sensual life; but Christianity restrains its followers from no one thing which is really good for them, and its paths, though strait and narrow, lead to everlasting life; while the broad path, which is so full of allurements, leads us certainly to everlast. ing destruction.
It is melancholy to reflect, that of the numbers to: whom Christianity has been revealed, so few embrace it with sincerity: but since God has made known the conditions on which he will grant us eternal happiness, and has promised to give us strength to perform them, those who decline his grace must take the consequences, of their deplorable inattention and obstinacy.
Our SAVIOUR, knowing that many false teachers would arise, who, pretending to divine inspiration, would endeavour to obstruct the
of the Gospel, cautioned his hearers against their delusions; and gave them a rule to distinguish them, which was, to compare their words with their actions, and to consider whether their doctrine had a real tendency to promote piety to God, and humility, charity, and other Christian graces. If, on the contrary, it only served to give them a high opinion of their own righteousness, taught them to dei H.6