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concerning fasting 1.1.4981. anoint thine head, and wash thy || and thy Father which seeth in secret, A.M.4051. An. Olymp. face ;
shall reward thee openly. 18 That thou appear not unto men 19 Lay not up for yourselves to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret : treasures upon earth, where moth and rust
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a Ruth 3. 3. Dan. 10. 3.
• Prov. 23. 4. 1 Tim. 6. 17. Heb. 13. 5. James 5. 1, &c.
Cæsar caught him by the hand, and said, “ I have need of As the hypocrites, of a sad countenance] Exu9wo6, either thy presence still ;' and kept him a year longer. This was from oxulços sour, crabbed, and wf the countenance; or from excellent advice from a heathen ; but a Christian may pre- || Exuens a Scythian, a morose, gloomy, austere phiz, like that of scribe to himself a wiser rule. When thou art angry, an- a Scythian or Tartar. A hypocrite has always a very difficult swer not till thou hast repeated the fifth petition of our part to act: when he wishes to appear as a penitent, not Lord's prayer-- Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors ; having any godly sorrow at heart, he is obliged to counterfeit and our Lord's comment upon it-For if ye forgive not men it the best way he can, by a gloomy and austere look. their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive your Verse 17. Anoint thine heud, and wash thy face] These trespasses.”
were forbidden in the Jewish Canon on days of fasting and Prayer to God, is considered among the Mohammedans in humiliation: and hypocrites availed themselves of this ordia very important point of view. It is declared by the Mosli-nance, that they might appear to men, to fast. Our Lord, thereaan doctors, to be the corner-stone of Religion, and the pillar fore, cautions us against this: as if he had said: Affect nothingOf Faith. It is not, say they, a thing of mere form, but dress in thy ordinary manner, and let the whole of thy deportrequires that the heart and understanding should accompany ment prove, that thou desirest to recommend thy soul to God, it, without which, they pronounce it to be of no avail. || and not thy face to men. That factitious mourniny, which They direct prayer to be performed five times in the twenty- consists in putting on black clothes, crapes, &c. is utterly four hours. 1. Between day-break, and sun-rise ; 2. im- inconsistent with the simplicity of the gospel of Christ; and if mediately after noon ; 3. immediately before sun-set ; 4. in practised in reference to spiritual matters, is certainly forthe evening before dark; and 5. before the first watch of the bidden here: but sin is so common, and so boldly persisted night.
in, that not even a crape is put on, as an evidence of deploring They hold the following points to be essentially requisite its influence, or of sorrow for having comunitted it. to the eficacy of prayer: 1. That the person be free Verse 18. Thy Father which seeth in secret] Let us not be from every species of defilement. 2. That all sumptuous and afraid that our hearts can be concealed from God; but let us gaudy apparel be laid aside. 3. That the attention accompany fear lest he perceive them to be more desirous of the praise of the act, and be not suffered to wander to any other object. men, than they are of that glory which comes from Him. 4. That the prayer be performed with the face toward the Openly.] Ev T5 Pavegw. These words are omitted by nine temple of Mecca.—Hedayah. Prel. Dis. p. 53, 54.
MSS. in uncial letters; and by more than one hundred others, There are few points here but the follower of Christ may by most of the versions, and by several of the primitive seriously consider, and profitably practise.
fathers. As it is supported by no adequate authority, Bengel, Verse 16. When ye fast] A fast is termed by the Greeks Wetstein, Griesbach and others, have left it out of the text. vasac, from yn not, and sols to eat; hence fast means, a total Verse 19. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth] abstinence from food for a certain time. Abstaining from what blindness is it for a man to lay up that as a treasure flesh, and living on fish, vegetables, &c. is no fast, or may be which must necessarily perish! A heart designed for God rather considered a burlesque on fasting. Many pretend to and eternity is terribly degraded by being fixed on those take the true definition of a fast from Isaiah lviii. 3. and say things which are subject to corruption. “ But may we not that it means, a fast from sin. This is a mistake; there is lay, up treasure innocently?” Yes. Ist. If you can do it no such term in the Bible as fasting from sin; the very idea without setting your heart on it, which is almost impossible: is ridiculous and absurd, as if sin were a part of our daily and 2dly. If there be neither widows nor orphans, destitute food. In the fast mentioned by the Prophet, the people were nor distressed persons in the place where you live. to divide their bread with the hungry, ver. 7. but could they, there is a portion which belongs to my children, shall I eat their bread, and give it too? No man should sare by a distribute that among the poor :” If it belongs to your chilfast : he should give all the food he might have eaten, to the dren, it is not yours, and therefore you have no right to poor. He who saves a day's expence by a fast, commits an dispose of it. « But I have a certain sum in stock, &c. shall abomination before the Lord. See more on chap. ix. 15. I take that and divide it among the poor?” By no means;
IVe should lay up
treasure in heaven.
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A.M. 4031. doth corrupt, and where thieves break 21 For where your treasure is, there A.M. 4051. An. Olymp. through and steal:
will your heart be also. But lay up for yourselves trea- 22 • The light of the body is the sures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break | body shall be full of light. through nor steal :
23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body
*Ecclus. 29. 11. ch. 19. 21. Luke 12. 33, 34. & 18. 22.
1 Pet. 1. 4.
1 Tim. 6. 19.
Lukę 11. 34, 36.
for by doing so, you would put it out of your power to do Verse 21. Where your treasure is] If God be the treasure good after the present division-keep your principal, and de- of our souls, our hearts, i. e. our affections and desires will vote, if you can possibly spare it, the product to the poor, be placed on things above. An earthly minded man proves and thus you shall have the continual ability to do good. In that his treasure is' below; a heavenly minded man shews the meantime take care not to shut up your bowels of corn that his treasure is above. passion against a brother in distress; if you do, the love of Verse 22. The light of the body is the eye] That is, the God cannot dwell in you.
eye is to the body what the sun is to the universe in the Rust] Or canker, Bewors, from Bquoxw, I eut, consume. This day time, or a lamp or candle to a house after night. word cannot be properly applied to rust, but to any thing If-thine eye be single] Athous, simple, uncompounded ;that consumes or cankers clothes or metals. There is a saying i. e. so perfect in its structure as to see objects distinctly and exactly similar to this in the Institutes of Menu, speaking of clearly; and not confusedly, or in different places to what the presents made to Brahmans, he says, “ It is a gem which they are, as is often the case in certain disorders of the neither thieves nor foes take away, and which never perishes.” | eye; one object appearing two or more-or else in a different Chapter of Government, Institute 83.
situation, and of a different colour to what it really is. This Where thieves do not break through] Aloquorover, literally state of the eye is termed, ver. 23. mongos evil, i. e. discused dig through, i. e. the wall, in order to get into the house. or defective. An evil eye, was a phrase in use, among the
Verse 20. Lay up-treasures in heaven] “ The only way ancient Jews, to denote an envious, covetous man or dispoto render perishing goods eternal, to secure stately furniture sition; a man who repined at his neighbour's prosperity, from moths, the richest metals from canker, and precious loved his own money, and would do nothing in the way of stones from thieves, is to transmit them to heaven by acts charity for God's sake. Our blessed Lord, however, extends of charity. This is a kind of bill of exchange which cannot and sublimes this meaning, and uses the sound eye as a fail of acceptance, but through our own fault.” Quesnel. metaphor, to point out that simplicity of intention, and purity It is certain we have not the smallest portion of temporal of affection with which men should pursue the
supreme good. good, but what we have received from the unmerited bounty We cannot draw more than one straight line between two indiof God; and if we give back to him all we have received, visible points. We aim at happiness, it is found only in one yet still there is no merit that can fairly attach to the act, thing, the indivisible and eternal God. If the line of simple as the goods were the Lord's; for I am not to suppose that intention be drawn straight to him, and the soul walk by it, I can purchase any thing from a man by his own property. with purity of affection, the whole man shall be light the On this ground the doctrine of human merit is one of the Lord; the rays of that excellent glory shall irradiate the most absurd that ever was published among men, or credited mind, and through the whole spirit, shall the Divine nature by sinners. Yet he who supposes he can purchase heaven by be transfused. But if a person who enjoyed this heavenly giving that meat which was left at his own table, and that of treasure, permit his simplicity of intention to deviate from his servants; or by giving a garment which he could no heavenly to earthly good; and his purity of affection, to be longer in decency wear, must have a base ignorant soul, and contaminated by worldly ambition, secular profits, and a very mean opinion of the heaven he hopes for. But shall animal gratifications; then, the light which was in him becomes not such works as these be rewarded? Yes, yes, God will | darkness, i. e. his spiritual discernment departs, and his union take care to give you all that your cast victuals, refuse, and old with God is destroyed : all is only a palpable obscure ; and clothes are worth. Yet he who, through love to God and man, like a man who has totally lost his sight, he walks without divides his bread with the hungry, and covers the naked with direction, certainty, or comfort. This state is most forcibly a garment, shall not lose his reward; a reward, which the intimated in our Lord's exclamation, How great a darkness ! mercy of God appoints, but to which, in strict justice, he who can adequately describe the misery and wretchedness can lay no claim.
of that soul, which has lost its union with the fountain of all
No man can
serve two masters.
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25 Therefore I say unto you, “Take 24 *No man can serve two masters : for no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, either he will hate the one, and love the other; or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your boor else he will hold to the one, and despise the dy, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more
good, and in losing this, has lost the possibility of happiness cher mentions such an one in his Edip. Egyptiacus. See till the simple eye be once more given, and the straight line | Castel. once more drawn.
Our blessed Lord shews here the utter impossibility of lovVerse 24. No man can serve two masters] The master of ing the world, and loving God at the same time ; or, in other our heart may be fitly termed the love that reigns in it. We words, that a man of the world cannot be a truly religious serve that only which we love supremely. A man cannot be character. He who gives his heart to the world, robs God in perfect indifference betwixt two objects which are incom- of it, and in snatching at the shadow of earthly good, loses patible: he is inclined to despise and hate whatever he does substantial and eternal blessedness. How dangerous is it, to not love supremely, when the necessity of a choice presents set our hearts upon riches, seeing it is so easy to make them itself.
our god! He will hate the one, and love the other] The word hate Verse 25. Therefore] AIR TOUTO, on this account ; viz. that has the same sense here, as it has in many places of Scripture, | ye may not serve mammon, but have unshaken confidence in it merely signifies to love less-90 Jacob loved Rachel, but God, I say unto you; hated Leah; i.c. he loved Leah much less than he loved Take no thought] Be not anxiously careful, rem megtjevant; Rachel
. God himself uses it precisely in the same sense, Ja- | this is the proper meaning of the word. Meqsuva anxious solicob have I loved, but Esau have I hated ; i.e. I have loved the citude, from pipoteur toy Your dividing or distracting the mind. posterity of Esau less than I have loved the posterity of Jacob: | My old MS. Bible renders it, be not bysy to your liif. Pruwhich means no more than that God, in the course of his dent care iš never forbidden by our Lord, but only that providence, gave the Jews greater earthly privileges than he anxious distracting solicitude, which by dividing the mind, and gave to the Edomites; and chose to make them the progeni- drawing it different ways, renders it utterly incapable of at. tors of the Messiah, though they ultimately, through their tending to any solemn or important concern. To be anxiown obstinacy, derived no more benefit from this privilege ously careful concerning the means of subsistence, is to lose than the Edomites did. How strange is it, that with such || all satisfaction and comfort in the things which God gives, evidence before their eyes, men will apply this loving and and to act as a mere infidel. On the other hand, to rely so hating to decrees of inclusion and exclusion, in which neither much upon providence as not to use the very powers and fathe justice nor mercy of God are honoured !
culties with which the Divine Being has endowed us, is to Ye cannot serve God and mammon.) pro mamon is used tempt God. If we labour without placing our confidence in for money in the Targum of Onkelos, Exod. xviii. 21. and in our labour, but expect all from the blessing of God, we obey that of Jonathan, Judg. v. 19. 1 Sam. viii. 3. The Syriachis will, co-operate with his providence, set the springs of it word #sizo mamona is used in the same sense, Exod. xxi. 30. || a-going in our behalf, and thus imitate Christ and his followDr. Castel deduces these words from the Hebrew pax aman, to ers by a sedate care and an industrious confidence. trust, confide; because men are apt to trust in riches. Mam- In this and the following verses, our Lord lays down seve. mon may therefore be considered, any thing a man confides in. |ral reasons why men should not disquiet themselves about the Augustin observes, " that mammon in the Punic or Carthagi- | wants of life, or concerning the future. bian language, signified gain.” Lucrum Punicè mammox di- The first is, the experience of greater benefits already re. citur. The word plainly denotes riches, Luke xvi. 9, 11, in ceived. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than rai. which latter verse mention is made not only of the deceitful ment ? Can he who gave us our body, and breathed into it wAnMon, (tw adixw) but also of the true, (to aanbovor.) St. | the breath of life before we could ask them from him, refuse Luke's phrase, pouwva adixios, very exactly answers to the us that which is necessary to preserve both, and when we ask Chaldee per pro mamon dishekar, which is often used in the lit in humble confidence ? Targums. See more in Wetstein and Parkhurst.
The clause what ye must eat, is omitted by two MSS. most Some suppose there was an idol of this name, and Kir- l of the ancient versions, and by many of the primitive Fa.
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anxious care A.M. 4031. than meat, and the body than rai- 27 Which of you by taking thought A M. 4031. An. Olymp. ment?
add one cubit unto his stature ? An. Olymp. CCI. 3.
CCI. 3. 26 - Behold the fowls of the air : for 28 And why take ye thought for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: them. Are ye not much better than they? 29 And
say unto you, That even So
a Job 38. 41. Ps. 147. 9. Luke 12. 24, &c.
Luke 2. 52. & 12. 25, 26. — Luke 12. 27.
thers. Griesbach has left it in the text with a note of doubt- from distrust to apostacy is very short and easy : and a man fulness. It occurs again in the 31st verse, and there is no is not far from murmuring against Providence, who is disvariation in any of the MSS. in that place.
Instead of Is not satisfied with its conduct. We should depend as fully upon the life more than, &c. we should read, Of more value; so the God for the preservation of his gifts, as for the gifts themword Trior is used in Num. xxii. 15, and by the best Greek | selves. writers; and in the same sense it is used in chap. xxi. 37. Cubit unto his stature ?] I think naixo or should be rendered See the note there.
age here, and so our Translators have rendered the word in Verse 26. Behold the forels of the air] The second reason John ix. 21. autos nossas ex as he is of age. A very learned why we should not be anxiously concerned about the future, I writer observes, that no difficulty can arise from applying is the example of the smaller animals, which the providence anxvv a cubit, a measure of extension, to time, and the age of of God feeds without their own labour; though he be not man: as place and time are both quantities, and capable of their father. We never knew an earthly father take care of increase and diminution: and as no fired material standard his fowls, and neglect his children; and shall we fear this can be employed in the mensuration of the flecting particles from our heavenly Father? God forbid! That man is ut- of time; it was natural and necessary in the construction of terly unworthy to have God for his father, who depends less language, to apply parallel terms to the discrimination of upon his goodness, wi-dom, and power, than upon a crop of time and place. Accordingly, we find the same words indifcorn, which may be spoiled either in the field or in the barn. ferently used to denote time and place in every known tongue. If our great Creator hare made us capable of knowing, lov- | Lord, let me know the measure of my days! Thou hast. ing, and enjoying himself eternally, what may we not expect made my days HAND-BREADTHs, Psal. xxxix. 56. Many exfrom him, after so great a gift?
amples might be adduced from the Greek and Roman writers. They sow not, neither do they reap] There is a saying Besides, it is evident, that the phrase of adding one cubit, among the Rabbins almost similar to this—“ Hast thou ever is proverbial, denoting something minute; and is therefore seen a beast or a fowl that had a workshop? yet they are applicable to the smallest possible portion of time: but, in a litefcd without labour and without anxiety. They were created ral acceptation, the addition of a cubit to the stature would be for the service of man, and man was created that he might a great and extraordinary accession of height. See Wakefield. serve his Creator. Man also would have been supported Verse 28. And why take ye thought for raiment ?] Or, why without labour and anxiety, had he not corrupted his ways. are ye anxiously careful about raiment ? The fourth reason Hast thou ever seen a lion carrying burthens, a stag gather- | against such inquietudes, is the example of inanimate creaing summer fruits, a for selling merchandize, or a wolf tures: The herbs and flowers of the field have their beitry, selling oil? that they might thus gain their support: and nourishment, exquisite flavours, and beautiful hues from God yet they are fed without care or labour. Arguing therefore himself. They are not only without anxious care, but also from the less to the greater, if they which were created that without care or thought of every kind. Your being, its exthey might serve me, are nourished without labour and anxiety, cellence, and usefulness, do not depend on your anxious conhow much more I, who have been created that I might serve cern: they spring as truly from the beneficence and contimy Maker. What therefore is the cause, why I should be nual superintendance of God, as the flowers of the field do: obliged to labour in order to get my daily bread? Answer, and were you bronght into such a situation, as to be as utterly Sin.” This is a curious and important extract, and is highly incapable of contributing to your own preservation and supworthy of the Reader's attention.
port, as the lilies of the field are to theirs, your heavenly Verse 27. Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit Father could augment your substance, and preserve your unto his stature ?] The third reason against these carking cares being, when for his glory, and your own advantage. is the unprofitableness of human solicitude, unless God vouch- Consider] Diligently consider this, xatouchets, lay it earsafe to bless it. What can our uneasiness do but render nestly to heart, and let your confidence be unshaken in the aus still more unworthy of the divine care? The passage God of infinite bounty and love.
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Exhortations to trust
in the providence of God. 4.M. 4031. lomon in all his glory, was not arrayed shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? A. 11.401. An. Olymp. like one of these.
or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed ?
An. Olymp. 30 Wherefore, "if God so clothe the 32 (For after all these things do the grass of the field, which to day is, and to-Gentiles seek :) for your heavenly Father morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much knoweth that ye have need of all these more clothe you, O ye of little faith ?
things. 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
a Luke 12. 28.-vch. 14. 31.
• See 1 Kings 3. 13. Ps. 37. 25. Mark 10. 30. Luke 12. 31. 1 Tim. 1. 8.
Verse 29. Solomon in all his glory] Some
that Your heavenly Father knoweth, &c.] The sixth reason the robes of state worn by the eastern kings, were usually against this anxiety about the future, is, because God, our white, as were those of the nobles among the Jews; that heavenly Father, is infinite in wisdom, and knows all our therefore the lily was chosen for the comparison.
It is the property of a wise and tender Father to Verse 30. If God so clothe the grass of the field] Christ provide necessaries, and not superfluities, for his children. confounds both the luxury of the rich in their superfluities, Not to expect the former, is an offence to his goodness; 10 and the distrust of the poor as to the necessaries of life. I expect the latter, is injurious to his wisdom. Let man, who is made for God and eternity, learn from a
Verse 33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God] See on flower of the field how low the care of Providence stoops.
Matt. iii. 7. All our inquietudes and distrusts proceed from lack of His righteousness] That holiness of heart and purity of faith: that supplies all wants. The poor are not really life which God requires of those who profess to be subjects such, but because they are destitute of faith.
of that spiritual kingdom mentioned above. See on chap. v. To-morrow is cast into the oren] The inhabitants of the ! 20. Fast, to this day, make use of dry strarv, withered herbs and The seventh reason against these worldly cares and fears is, stubble to heat their ozens. Some have translated the original | because the business of our salvation ought to engross us word x26xvov, a still; and intimate, that our Lord alludes entirely: hither, all our desires, cares, and inquiries ought to the distillation of herbs for medicinal purposes ; but this to' tend. Grace is the way to glory-holiness the way to is certainly contrary to the scope of our Lord's argument, ! happiness. If men be not righteous, there is no heaven to which runs thus : If God covers, with so much glory, things be bad; if they be, they shall have heaven and earth too; of no farther value than to serve the meanest uses; will he || for godliness has the promise of both lives. 1 Tim. vi. 3. not take care of his servants who are so precious in his sight, All these things shall be added unto you.] The very blunt and designed for such important services in the world ? See note of old Mr. Trapp, on this passage, is worthy of serious Harmer's Observations.
attention. All things shall be added. They shall be cast Verse 31. What shall we eat, or, What shall we drink ?] || in as an overplus, or as small advantages to the main bargairi; These three enquiries engross the whole attention of those as paper and packthread are given where we buy spice who were living without God in the world. The belly and and fruit, or an inch of measure to an ell of cloth.” back of a worldling are his compound god; and these he. This was a very common saying among the Jews: “ Seek Worships in the last of the flesh, and the lust of the eye, and that, to which other things are necessarily connected.” "A in the pride of life.
king said to his particular friend, Ask what thou wilt, Verse 32. For after all these things do the Gentiles seek] | and I will give it unto thee. He thought within himself
, The fifth reason against solicitude about the future, is, that If I ask to be made a general I shall readily obtain it.. to concern ourselves about these wants with anxiety, as if I will ask something to which all these things shall be added: there was no such thing as a providence in the world ; with he therefore said, 'Give me thy daughter to wife.'great affection towards earthly enjoyments, as if we expected This he did, knowing that all the dignities of the kingdom no other; and without praying to God or consulting his should be added unto this gift.” See in Schoelgen. will, as if we could do any thing without him. This is to To this' verse, probably, belong the following words, imitate the worst kind of heathens, who live without hope, l quoted often by Clement, Origen and Eusebius, as the words and without God in the world.
Qf Christ : αιτειτε τα μεγάλα, και τα μικρα υμιν προστεθησεται: Seck] Επιζητει from επι, intensive, and ζητεω I seek, to seek και αιτειτε τα επουρανια, και τα επιγεια προστεθήσεται υμιν. intensely, earnestly, again and again. The true characteristic great things, and little things shall be added unto you, ask. of the worldly man, his soul is never satisfied-give! give ! | heavenly things, and earthly things shall be added unto is the ceaseless language of his earth-born heart,