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No man can serve two masters.
The Pharisees reproved.
A. D. 99,
A. 1. 29.
A. N, 4083. in the least, is unjust also in much. Ivetous, heard all these things: and A.M.4033. An. Olymp. 11 If therefore ye have not been they derided him.
An. Olymp. CCII. 1. faithful in the unrighteous
mam 15 And he said unto them, Ye are mon, who will commit to your trust the true they which justify yourselves before men; but riches ?
God knoweth your hearts: for that which is * 12 And if ye have not been faithful in that highly esteemed among men, is abomination in which is another man's, who shall give you that the sight of God. which is your own?
16 : The law and the prophets were until 13 "No servant can serve two masters : for John : since that time, the kingdom of God is either he will hate the one, and love the other ; | preached, and every man presseth into it. or else he will hold to the one, and despise the
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. 14 And the Pharisees also, who were co 18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and
Or, riches. Matt. 6. 24. Matt. 23. 14.-eh. 10. 99.-e Ps.
7.9.- i Sam. 16.7.--- Matt. 4. 17. & 11. 12, 13. Luke 7. 90.
A Ps. 102. 26, 27. Isai. 40. 8. & 51. 6. Matt. 3. 18. 1 Pet. 1. 25.
Mait. 5. 52. & 19. 9. Mark 10. 11. 1 Cor. 7. 10, 11.
and conscience, in cases of high importance. Can we rea to come a little near it, we say, they turned up their noses at sonably espect, that a man who is continually falling by little him :-and why? because they were lovers of money, and he things, has power to resist temptations to great evils ? shaved them that all such were in danger of perdition. As
Verse 12. That which is another man's] Or rather, an- | they were wedded to this life, and not concerned for the other, other's, tw uslotgiw. That is, worklly riches, called another's, they considered him one of the niost absurd and foolish of 1. Because they belong to God, and he has not designed that men, and worthy only of the most sovereign contempt, béthey should be any man's portion. 2. Because they are con cause he taught that spiritual and eternal things should be pretinually changing their possessors, being in the way of com- ferred before the riches of the universe. And how many merce, and in providence going from one to another. This thousands are there of the very same sentiment to the present property of worldly goods is often referred to, by both sacred day! and profane writers. See a fine passage in Horace, Sat. I. ii.
Verse 15. Ye-justify yourselves Ye declare yourselves to $. 2. v. 129.
be just. Ye endeavour to make it appear to men, that ye can Nam propriæ telluris herum natura neque illum,
still feel an insatiable thirst after the present world, and yet Nec me, nec quemquam statuit.
secure the blessings of another :--that ye can reconcile God Nature will no perpetual heir assign,
and mammon; and serve two masters with equal zeal and Nor make the farm his property, or mine. Francis.
affection; but God knoweth your hearts : and he knoweth
that ye are alive to the world, and dead to God and goodness. And the following, in one of our own poets :
Therefore, howsoever ye may be esteemed among men, ye are “ Who steals my purse steals trash ; 'tis something, an abomination before him. See the note on chap. vii. 29. nothing;
Verse 16. The law and the prophets were until John] The "Twas mine, 'tis his, and has been slave to thousands."
law and the prophets continued to be the sole teachers till Thret which is your oren ?] Grace and glory, which God || John came, who first began to proclaim the glad tidings of has particularly designed for you—which are the only proper the kingdom of God: and now, he who wishes to be mad: a satisfying portion for the soul; and which no man can enjoy partaker of the blessings of that kingdom, must rush speedily in their plenitude, unless he be faithful to the first small mo- into it; as there will be but a short time, before an uiter des tions and influences of the divine Spirit.
struction shall fall upon this ungodly race. They who wi-lı Verse 13. No serrunt can serre two masters] The heart will to be saved, must imitate those who take a city by stor'11--rush be either wholly taken up with God, or wholly engrossed with into it, without delay, as the Romans are about to do into the world. See on Matt. vi. 24.
Jerusalem. See also on Matt. xi. 12. Verse 14. They derided him.] Or rather, they treated him Verse 17. For hearen and earth to passSee on Mait. v. with the utmost contempt. So we may translate the original 17, 18. words stuuxta avto", which literally signifies, in illon Verse 18. Putteth azuay (or dirorceth) his wife] Sce on einurreruni-but must not be translated into English, unless, Matt. 5. 31, 32. xix. 9, 10. Mark x. 12. where the question
The rich man
A. 11,4083. marrieth another, committeth adul- || was clothed in purple and fine linen, A. 1.4038. 1n. Olymp. tery: and whosoever marrieth her that and fared sumptuously every day:
is put away from her husband, com- 20 And there was a certain beggar mitteth adultery:
named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full 19 There was a certain rich man,
a which of sores,
A. D. 29. An. Olymp CCII. 1.
* Prov. 31. 22. 1 Mac. 10. 62. 1 Pet. 3. 3, 4.
” Job 2. 7. Eccl. 9. 2. Acts 3. 2. 1 Pet. 4. 17.
concerning divorce is considered at large. These verses, from intimate that this was carried to excess, or that it ministered the 13th to the 18th inclusive, appear to be part of our to debauch. He is not accused of licentious discourse, of Lord's sermon on the mount; and stand in a much better i gaming, of frequenting any thing like our modern plays, connexion there than they do here : unless we suppose our balls, masquerades, or other impure and unholy assemblies; Lord delivered the .same discourse at different times and of speaking an irreverent word against divine revelation, or places, which is very probable.
the ordinances of God. In a word, his probity is not attackVerse 19. There was a certain rich man] In the Scholia ed, nor is he accused of any of those crimes, which pervert of some MSS. the name of this person is said to be Ninite. the soul or injure civil society. As Christ has described this This account of the rich man and Lazarus, is either a parable man, does he appear culpable? What are his crimes? Why, or a real history. If it be a parable, it is what may be : if it 1. He was rich. 2. He was finely clothed. And 3. He feasted be a history, it is that which has been. Either, a man may well. No other evil is spoken of him. In comparison of live as is here described, and go to perdition when he dies : thousands, he was not only blameless, but he was a virtuous or, some have lived in this way, and are now suffering the man. torments of an eternal fire. The account is equally instruc- 4. But it is intimated by many that "he was an uncharitable, tive, in which soever of these lights it is viewed. Let us hardhearted, unfeeling wretch.” Yet of this there is not a word carefully observe all the circumstances offered here to our spoken by Christ. Let us consider all the circumstances, and notice, and we shall see I. The crime of this man; and II. | we shall see that our blessed Lord has not represented this man His PUNISHMENT.
as a monster of inhumanity, but merely as an indolent man, 1. There was a certain rich man in Jerusalem. Provided this who sought, and had his portion in this life, and was not at be a real history, there is no doubt our Lord could have men- all concerned about anotlier. tioned his name ; but as this might have given great offence, Therefore, we do not find that when Abraham addressed he chose to suppress it. His being rich is, in Christ's ac- him on the cause of his reprobation, ver. 25. that he reproachcount, the first part of his sin. To this circumstance our ed him with hardheartedness, saying, “ Lazarus was hungry, Lord adds nothing; he does not say that he was born to a and thou gavest him no meat; he was thirsty, and thou gavest large estate, or that he acquired one by improper methods ;! him no drink, &c.” but he said simply, Son, remember that thou or that he was haughty or insolent in the possession of it. Yet: didst receive thy good things in thy life-time, ver. 25.—“ Thou here is the first degree of his reprobation--he got all he could, hast sought thy consolation upon the earth, thou hast borne and kept all to himself.
no cross, mortified no desire of the flesh, received not the 2. He was clothed with purple and fine linen. Purple was salvation God had provided for thee-thou didst not belong a very precious and costly stuff; but our Lord does not say, | to the people of God upon earth, and thou canst not dwell that in the use of it, he exceeded the bounds of his income, with them in glory.” nor of bis rank in life : nor is it said, that he used bis superb There are few wbo consider, that it is a crime for those dress to be an agent to his crimes, by corrupting the hearts called Christians to live without Christ, when their lives are of others. Yet our Lord lays this down as a second cause of not stained with transgression. If Christianity only required his perdition.
men to live without gross outward sin, paganism could fur3. He fared sumptuously every day. Now let it be observed,nish us with many bright examples of this sort. But the rethat the law of Moses, under which this man lived, forbad no-ligion of Christ requires a conformity, not only in a man's thing on this point, but excess in eating and drinking : indeed conduct, to the principles of the gospel ; but also a conforit seems as if a person was authorized to taste the sweets of an mity in his heart, to the spirit and mind of Christ. abundance, which that law promised as a reward of fidelity. Verse 20. There was a certain beggar named Lazarus) His Besides, this rich man is not accused of having eaten food | name is mentioned, because his character was good, and his which was prohibited by the law, or of having neglected the end glorious ; and because it is the purpose of God, that the abstinences and fasts prescribed by it. It is true, he is said to righteous shall be bad in everlasting remembrance. Lazarus, have feasted sumptuously every day, but our Lord does not is a contraction of the word nippon Eliezar, which signi
The rich man
A. M. 4033
A. D. 29.
21 And desiring to be fed with the in torments, and seeth Abraham afar A. M. 4033 An. Olymp. crumbs which fell from the rich man's off, and Lazarus in his bosom:
Ao. Olymp. table : moreover the dogs came and 24 And he cried and said, Father licked his sores.
Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Laza22 And it came to pass, that the beggar rus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in wadied, and was carried by the angels into Abra- ter, and a cool my tongue; for I bam tormentham's bosom : the rich man also died, and was ed in this fame. buried;
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that 23 And in hell he lifted up his eyes, being thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things,
* Zech. 14. 14.-Isai. 66. 24. Nark 9. 41, &c.
« Job 91. 13. ch 6. 94.
fies the help or assistance of God--a name properly given to a Scarcely had he entered the place of his punishment, when man, who was both poor and afflicted, and had no help but he lifted up his eyes on high; and what must bis surprise be, that which came from heaven.
to see himself separated from God, and to feel himself torVerse 21, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs] And it mented in that flame! Neither himself, nor friends, ever is likely this desire was complied with, for it is not intimated suspected that the way in which he walked, could have led to that he spurned away the poor man from the gate, or that such a perdition. his suit was rejected. And as we find, ver. 24. that the rich 1. And seeth Abraham afur off, and Lasarus in his bosom, man desired that Lazarus should be sent with a little water to ver. 23. He sees Lazarus clothed with glory and immortality-him, it is a strong intimation, that he considered him under this is the first circumstance in his punishment. What a consome kind of obligation to him : for had be refused him a few trast! what a desire does he fecl to resemble him, and what crumbs in his life-time, it is not reasonable to suppose, that rage and despair because he is not like him! We may safely he would now have requested such a favour from him; nor conclude, that the view which damned souls have in the gulf of does Abraham glance at any such uncharitable conduct on the perdition, of the happiness of the blessed, and the conviction part of the rich man,
that they themselves might have eternally enjoyed this felicity We may now observe,
from which, through their own fault, they are eternally exII. In what the punishment of this man consisted. cluded, will form no mean part of the punishment of the lost. 1. Lazarus dies and is carried into Abraham's bosom. By 2. The presence of a good to which they never had any the phrase Abraham's bosom, an allusion is made to the cus- right, and of which they are now deprived, affects the misetom at Jewish feasts, when three persons reclining on their rable less than the presence of that to which they had a left elbows on a couch, the person whose head came near the right, and of which they are now deprived. Even in hell, a breast of the other, was said to lie in his bosom. So it is said damned spirit must abhor the evil by which he is tormented, of the beloved disciple, John xiii. 25. Abrahan's bosom was and deșire that good that would free him from his torment. a plorase used among the Jews, to signify the paradise of God. If a lost soul could be reconciled to its torment, and to its See Josephus's account of the Maccabees, chap. xiii. situation, then of course, its punishinent must cease to be
Verse 22. The rich man also died, aad was buried] There such. An eternal desire 10 escape from evil, and an eternal is no mention of this latter circumstance in the case of Laza- desire to be united with the supreme good, the gratificarus; he was buried, no doubt-necessity required this : but tion of which iş for ever impossible, must inake a second cirhe had the burial of a puuper, while the pomp and pride of cumstance in the misery of the lost. the other, followed him to the tomb. But what a difference 3. Son, remember that in thy life-time thou receivedst thy good in these burials, if we take in the reading of my old MS. things, ver. 25. The remembrance of the good things possessed Bible, which is supported by several. Versions : Sforsothe the in life, and now to be enjoyed no more for ever ; together tiche man is deed: and is buried in helle. And this is also the read- | with the remembrance of grace offered or abused, will form a ing of the Anglo-saxon, y pas on helle gebynged, and was third circumstance in the perdition of the ungodly. Son, rein hell buried. In some MSS. the point has been wanting meniber that in thy life-time, &c. after taon, he was buried ; and the following xas, and, re- 4. 'I he torments which a soul endures in the hell of fire, moved and set before cruzas, he lifted up : so that the passage will form through all eternity, a continual present source of reads thus, The rich man died also, and was buried in hell; | indescribable woc. Actual torment in the flames of the botund lifting up his eyes, being in torment, he saw, &c. But let tomless pit, forms a fourth cirçamstance in the punishment us view the circumstances of this man's punishment.
of the lost. I am tormented in this flame, ver. 24.
forgiveness of injuries.
used or abused the blessings with which they have been en we have thus abused; and of being separated from God and trusted.
the glory of his power for ever. 4. That the goods which God has entrusted to our care, 9. That on hearing of the danger to which we are exposed, are goods of body and soul : goods of nature and yrace : of though we cannot dig to purchase salvation; yet we must beg, birth and education : His word, Spirit, and ordinances : goods incessantly beg, at the throne of grace for mercy to pardon all of life, health, genius, strength, dignity, riches ; and even po- that is past. verty itself, is often a blessing from the hand of God.
10. That not a moment is to be lost—the arrest of death 3. That all these may be improved to God's honour, our may have gone out against us; and this very night-hourgood, and our neighbour's edification and comfort.
minute, our souls may be required of us. Let us therefore 6. That the time is coming, in which we shall be called to learn wisdom from the prudent dispatch, which a worldlyan account before God, concerning the use we have made of minded man would use to retrieve his ruinous circumstances ; the good things, with which he has entrusted us.
and watch and pray, and use the little spark of the divine light 7. That we may even now, be accused before our Maker, which yet remains, but which is ready to die, that we may of the awful crime of wasting our Lord's substance.
escape the gulph of perdition, and get into some humble 8. That if this crime can be proved against us, we are in place of the hearen of glory. Our wants are pressing ; God immediate danger of being deprived of all the blessings which Il calls loudly; and eternity is at hand !
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CHAPTER XVII. Christ teaches the necessity of avoiding offences, 1, 2. How to treat an offending brother, 3, 4. The efficacy of faith, 5, 6. No man by his services or obedience can profit his Maker, 7–10. He cleanses ten lepers, 11-19. The Pharisees enquire when the kingdom of God shall commence ? Christ answers them, and corrects their inproper views of the subject, 20-37.
HEN said he unto the disciples, | trespass against thee, rebuke him; A. M. 10.S.
* It is impossible but that of- and if he repent, forgive him. CCII, 1,
fences will come : but woe unto him, 4. And if he trespass against thee through whom they come !
seven times in a day, and seven times in a day 2 It were better for him that a mill-stone were return again to thee, saying, I repent; thou hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, shalt forgive him. than that he should offend one of these little 5 And the Apostles said unto the Lord,
Increase our faith. 3 | Take heed to yourselves : "If thy brother 6 " And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a
A. D. 99. An. Olymp': CCII. 1.
a Matt. 18. 6, 7. Mark 9. 42. 1 Cor. 11. 19. Matt. 18. 13, 21.
• Lev. 19. 17. Prov. 17. 10. Jam. 5. 19.
d Mutt. 17. 20. & 21. 21, Mark 9. 23. & 11. 23.
The place in Aristophanes, to which the Reader is referred NOTES ON CHAP. XVII.
in the note on Matt. xviii. 6. is the following : Verse 1. It is impossible but that offences will come] Such
"Αραν μετέωρον εις το βάραθρον έμβουλώ, is the corrupt state of the human heart, that notwithstanding
'Εκ του λάρυγγος έκκρεμάσας υπερβολο, all the influences of grace, and the promises of glory, men will continue to sin against God; and his justice must continue to
"Lifting him up into the air, I will plunge him into the punish. See on Matt. xviii. 6.
deep : a great stone being hung about his neck.” Verse 2. A mill-stone] That drowning a person with a
Aristoph. in Equit. ver. 1359. stone tied about the neck, was an ancient mode of punish
Verses 3, 4. If thy brother trespass] See the notes on ment, see proved in the note on Matt. xviii. 6, 7. to which || Matt. xviii. 21, 22. let the following be added. To have a mill-stone hunged about Verse 5. Increase our faith.] This work of pardoning the neck, was a common proverb. “ Samuel saith, A man erery offence, of every man, and that continually, seemed so may marry, and after that addict himself to the study of the difficult even to the disciples themselves; that they saw; withJaw. Rab. Jochanan saith, No: shall he addict himself to out an extraordinary degree of faith, they shonld never be the study of the law with a mill-stone about his neck?" able to keep this command. But some think that this and