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the case, it is expedient to restrain the injurious, and to deter others by their example: That, in some matters not of great consequence, we should rather "suffer wrong than angrily repel it, rather depart from our legal right than persist in litigious contention : That there were cases of unreasonable treatment in which * patience and submission ought to be shewn, and violence ought not to be returned for violence; particularly in the x case, which often occurred at that time, of being compelled to attend public messengers: That, in general, ' liberality should be exercised towards men ; and that Christians should y lend to the honest and industrious, as far as their duty to themselves and their families enables them; and in unusually compassionate cases, or such as usually occur, provided the loss be of small account, even hoping for nothing again : That the * love of our enemies is not such a love of affection as must rest on its proper object; nor such an indiscriminate regard to men as would confound all distinctions of character, and would be inconsistent with our natural sense of right and wrong and of moral beauty and deformity ; but consists in such actions as affection commonly dictates, and all can perform, in blessing them, praying for them, and “ doing good eyes on

offices to them, especially of common humanity :" That we should not be careful to "lay up unnecessary and abundant treasures on earth, so as to set our e heart on them, and d enslave ourselves to them :

w Matt. v. 40. Luke vi. 29. y Matt, v. 42.

z ib. 44. 393. b Matt. vi. 19.

* Luke vi. 30. Matt. v, 41. a Tillotson Serm. on Matt. v. 44. fol. cib. 21.

ib. 24.

and, That we should not be e anxiously solicitous for our present and future worldly subsistence, so as to imbitter life, and to make this solicitude an addition to our daily and unavoidable evils.

But most of the precepts now referred to seem te admit of a more easy explanation. Immediately before the divine lesson which contains them was delivered, our Lord had selected his twelve apostles from a great s number of other disciples; and when he had seated himself on the side of a mountain, - his disciples came near unto him. And he lifted

up

his his disciples, and began to teach them in the hearing of the multitude. We must next observe in what capacity the disciples were sometimes addressed. They were addressed as men to be 'reviled and persecuted and every way falsely accused, like the prophets before them; as professors and propagators of a new religion, who were the m salt of the earth, the light of the world, and like a city set on an eminence : as great in the kingdom of heaven, on condition of doing and " teaching Christ's commandments : aso guides to others : as obliged to be prudent in dispensing Pinstruction and reproof : as prophets, and workers of miracles, in the name of Christ. It must be allowed that a peculiar conduct might be required of such, on account of their singular circumstances at that period. It became such to display the power of religion by the most perfect

• Matt. vi. 25-34. fib. v. 34. & Luke vi. 17.

Matt. Luke vi. 20. * Matt. vii. 28. Luke vii. 1. I Matt. v. 11, 12 * ib. 13, 14.

ib. 19.

Luke vi. 39. Matt. v. 12. vii. 6. sib, 22.

y. 1.

acquiescence under those personal injuries, and temporal losses, which they would often endure on a religious account; when judicially spoiled of their goods, gladly to suffer still further injustice for the name of Jesus; and, when customary acts of oppression occurred, to shew mildness instead of reluctance; so as, after a "compelled assistance, to give a voluntary one to the oppressor, instead of resenting the wrong. Such might well be exhorted to v unbounded liberality ; and to * lending, not only without usury, as Moses directed, but without hope of receiving any thing again. Though y love of our enemies, as modified by Christ, is a duty at all times, yet it was peculiarly fit to inculcate it on such; when the profession of Christianity exposed them to hatred, curses, despiteful usage, and the fiercest persecution. The ministry of such would have been obstructed by attention to 'gain : having a received freely, they were to give freely: and if any thought that the gifts of God could be purchased by money, the dispensers of them were to say with St. Peter, “Thy money perish with thee. Such also might well be exhorted to take no care for food or raiment, and to make no solicitous provision for the morrow. The d labourer was worthy of his hire; and had a special assurance of God's protection: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things, which your heay

r Matt. v. 39. Luke vi 30. w ib. 42. Luke vi. 35. y Matt. y. 44.

Acts viii. 20. Matt. vi. 25, 34.

• Matt. v. 40.
2 Matt. vi. 19.
d Luke x. 7.

* ib. 41. •jb. X. 8.

• Matt.

enly Father knoweth that ye have i need of, shall be added unto you.” Whatever disciple of Christ, at that time and in those circumstances, literally obeyed these precepts, 8 built his house on a rock : his hope rested on the sure foundation of God's veracity and power.

In another of our Lord's discourses, somewhat later in point of time, one of these precepts is repeated. « Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.” And again : “Seek not what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink : and i live not in careful suspense.” Our Lord adds this further injunction: “ Sell that ye have, and give alms :” and he enforces it with the same 'reasons which he had formerly assigned for not laying up treasures on earth, the superior nature of heavenly treasures, and the danger lest earthly ones should engross our affections. But as this latter precept must be restrained to those particular times, we have a proof that the other commands naturally admit of the same restriction. Agreeably to this sense, we again find the promise of a special TM protection, and that the whole discourse is directed to our Lord's

disciples, his friends, his little flock, those whose apology the Holy Spirit was to dictate when they were brought before synagogues and magistrates for preaching the gospel, and whose lives would be so

n

f Matt. vi. 32. If men have need of these things, in the common course of human affairs they must use the natural means to procure them, such as economy, foresight, diligence.

& Matt. vii. 24. h Luke xii. 22. iib. 29. See the marginal rendering: 33. Comp. Matt. vi. 20, 21. Luke xii. 33, 34.

m Luke xii. 31. nib. 1, 4, 11, 12, 32.

kib. 9 Matt. vi. 31, 32.

exposed to danger on this account, that it was necessary to arm them against the fear of those who kill. ed the body.

It must be very carefully observed that our Lord's address to the people at large is different: “p Take heed and beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

Dr. Clarke in his discourse on the words, “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or wherewithal shall we be clothed ?" observes, “ that there was a particular time, and there were particular persons, when and to whom, and when and to whom only, this precept was given in its literal and strict sense. Our Saviour sent forth his apostles to preach the gospel from city to city, in such a manner as was altogether inconsistent with their attending to any worldly affairs. Accordingly he invested them with miraculous powers, and promised to afford them a miraculous support. And suitable to the circumstances of such a mission were the precepts he gave them to observe therein. Luke xii. 33. Matt. x. 8. In like manner the words of the text, considered as spoken to the apostles, during their preaching from one city to another, may well be understood literally.”

So also Tillotson quotes Matt. vi. 25, 26, 28. and says, “ This discourse of our Saviour's was not intended for a general and standing rule to all Chris.. tians; but only designed for his disciples, to take

• Luke xii. 4. P Comp. o. 15. with v. 22. : Serm. clix. p. 283. fol.

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