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How dreadful will this be from the mouth of our compassionate Lord, and how piercing the conviction, “O thou wicked servant !”
33. Shouldest not ihon also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
It was not said before that he was wroth on account of the great debt, though he might justly have been so ; but now there was no room for remission or favour; the ungrateful wretch must be given up to his desert. And doubtless, you think he deserved the worst that could be done to him, and must be condemned by his own conscience. So will all one day, who are given up to punishment; they will be self-condemned, and see the reason of it in as strong a light as you now see it here.
35. So likewise sball my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
In the sense of thy love, O Jesus, we can receive this saying. Convince us of our sin, in the want of this temper, that we may come to thee for remission, and for the desire and power to forgive from the heart.
Chap. xix. ver. 1-15.
OF DIVORCE AND MARRIAGE.
1. And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these say. ings, he departed from Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judea beyond Jordan;
2. And great multitudes followed him; and lie liealed them there.
They knew that they needed healing, and therefore followed him. It is this sense which brings all to him. And he healed them there, that he might be trusted in for spiritual blessings, and healing, everywhere, and at all times. When we know that all want it, and that all may have it, who come to him for it, we understand the scripture and ourselves. If he was now present, and ready to heal us, as indeed he is, can we lay our hand upon our own sore ? What would we say to him ?
3. The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause ?
4. And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female.
5. And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and inother, and shall cleave to his wife : and they twain shall be one flesh ?
However they meant to entrap Jesus, he was proof against all their trials, by his perfect knowledge of what was right, and will to adhere to it. If we have the latter, upright wills, and honest hearts, and are faithful to what
may know of him, we shall not easily be baffled or ensnared by any opposers.
6. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
They are one flesh according to the original design of God, in the institution of marriage, as explained by him who best knew it, never to be separated, except in the one case here mentioned. Nay, more, according to the spirit and purpose of the sacred, mysterious union, to have but one heart and one will. Let husbands and wives attend to this.
The injunction in the latter part of the verse, may be applied to other cases, as well as to this in hand. Let none put asunder Christ and salvation, faith and holiness, holiness and the Spirit.
7. They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away?
8. He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives : but from the beginning it was not so.
Let it be observed, there is no allowance for this hardness of heart; we have such advantages for doing what is commanded, and so strict a call to it.
9. And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery:
10. His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry.
This kind of reasoning is common with us, and we easily find out something to object to what is enjoined us. An honest heart has but one rule, and by keeping itself to it, is freed from all perplexities; which is, that what Christ commands is best, and must be done.
11. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. Of not marrying; for that few have the gift of conti
He imposes no restraint on any, leaves all to judge in their own case ; but at the same time insinuates the advantage of a voluntary celibacy, for the sake of greater usefulness and spiritual improvement.
12. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb : and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of inen; and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake.
To be more at liberty to promote the salvation of souls and the interests of Christ's kingdom.
12. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
Here is no necessity laid upon the ministers of the gospel, more than others, to receive it. And perhaps as many peculiar reasons may be given for their marrying as against it.
13. Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should
put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked thein.
14. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
And, therefore, one would think little children are at least capable of being admitted into it by baptism, as well as adults, especially as there is such a precedent for it of God's own establishing, in receiving the children of the Jews into covenant with him by circumcision. But the main thing to be regarded is the important lesson of instruction here held forth to us.
" of such is the kingdom of heaven;" meaning, of such only; of men so teachable, so humble, so desirous of the sincere milk of the word, so void of guile, malice, and all aspiring thoughts. Go now, and ponder this deeply; and do not conclude at once, by the greatest of all mistakes, that you are what you know you should be; and what for certain you are not, if he has not made
15. And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.
With prayer and benediction he puts his hands on them. It is to be supposed that he did both, though only one of them is mentioned.
Chap. xix. ver. 16–30.
CHRIST INSTRUCTS HOW TO ATTAIN LIFE.
16. And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life ?
This person had conceived a high opinion of Christ's wisdom and goodness, if not of his divine authority; and seemed desirous that Christ should put him upon some great task, thinking nothing too hard for him. Our Lord saw him through and through. And it may be proper to observe, in order to understand what follows, that he does not give him the answer he gave to some others, “Thy faith saves thee,” or the same St. Paul gave to the awakened jailor, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved;" but such an one as his case required, and knowing that no other, at this time, would have suited him.
“ What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?" He spoke every natural man's thought; he was, and would be self-saved, and go to heaven with the price of it in his hands.
17. And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good ? there is none good but one, that is, God; but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Why callest thou me good, seeing thou dost not know who I am ? “ There is none good but one, that is, God.” Not thou, whatever thou thinkest. It was a home stroke, levelled at the pride of his heart; and might have darted a ray of light into him, as to man’s goodness, and the conceit he had entertained of his own.
“ But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” He did not question but that eternal life might be had by doing, nor suspecting any want of goodness in himself. Well then, says Jesus, “ If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Be good. Look to it, be sure that thou fail not in any one tittle of thy obedience.
18. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness.
19. Honour thy father and thy mother : and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20. he young inan saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
The young man made a wretched mistake, since he had