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Christ taking up a little Child, exhorts them to Humility. 19 fat down, and called the and observing the same Carnality and Emulation Sect. 93. Twelve, and faith unto to be still working there, when be was fate down, y them, If any Man desire to

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be first, the same thall be called all the Twelve about him
last of all, and Servant of all. them with great Seriousness and Earnestness, it is
(Luke IX. 47.-) Humility that is the Way to Honour in my King-

dom; and therefore if any one would be Chief there,
let him in all the Offices of condescending Friends
fhip to his Brethren, be as the last of all, and the

Şervant of all. Mar. XVIII. 1. At the And at the fame Time (c), when the Disciples Mat.XVIII. fame Time came the Disci- were thus called, they came to Yesus, and finding ples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the King

inoo that he knew the Subject of their late Debate, dom of Heaven?

some of them at length took the Liberty of fay-
ing, Lord, decide this Question, and tell us plainly,
who is intended to be the greatest in the Kingdom
of Heaven, and to whom wilt thou commit the

chief Management of Affairs in it ?
2 And Jesus called a little And when he had answered the Enquiry in the 2
Child unto him, and crook Manner related above, Fefus, in order to impress
and) set him (LUK. by him]
in the Midit of them, [and the important Maxim yet deeper on their Minds,
when he had taken him in having called to him a little Child, that happened
his Arms, he said unto them,] then to be in the House where they lodged, took
[MARK IX. 36. Luke
IX. -47.]

and set him by him in the Midst of them; and taking
kim up, and embracing him in bis gracious Arms,

in Token of his tender Regard, he said unto them,
3 Verily I say unto you, I assuredly declare it to you as a most folemn and 3
Except ye be converted, and important Truth, that except ye be converted and
become as little Children,
ye shall not enter into the

turned from these ambitious and carnal Views, and Kingdom of Heaven. become like little Children in Lowliness and Meek

nefs, in a candid teachable Temper, and an In-
difference to the great Things of the present Life,
(Psal. cxxxi, 1, 2.) you will be so far from having
any distinguished Rank among my Subjects, that ye
shall by no Means so much as enter at all into the

King

(6) Called all the Twelve about him.] It is natural to fuppose, that twelve Persons travelling together on Foot would form themselves into two or three little Companies, while some of them, no doubt, would be attending Chrift, and discoursing with him : But our Lord judged it proper, as he was now in the House, that all the Twelve should hear this Admonition, tho' they might not all have been engaged in the Dispute which occasioned it.

(c) At the same Time.] By these Words Matthew expressly fixes the Connection between this Story, and that which concluded his xviith Chapter. But Clarius seems to refine too much, when he supposes, that Chriff's having thus miraculously provided for paying Peter's Tribute with his own, gave Umbrage to the rest : Yet this precarious Turn serves the Church of Rome, as an Argument for the Supremacy of the Pope ; nor is it wonderful, that in so weak a Cause they should catch at such a Shadow.

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(d) Enter

quibute with an Argunuid catch

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20. He hews the Danger of offending any of his Little Ones. Sect. 93. Kingdom of Heaven, or be entitled to any of its y final Blessings. Whoever therefore Mall humble . 4. Whosoever therefore

shall humble himself as this 11. bimself even as this little Child, and act with such

little Child, the fame is

li Candor, Simplicity, and Modesty, as you see in greatest in the Kingdom of him, He is the Person, that hereafter will be re- Heaven.

garded as the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, 5 and will stand high in its final Glories. And 5 And [Luk. whosoever whosoever cordially mall entertain this Child, [or]

shall receive this Child,] [or

one of fuch] little [Children] Thall discover an affectionate Regard to any one of in my Name, receiveth me; such little Children, in my Name, and for my Sake, (and whosoever shall receive as one whom I love, and recommend to his Care. me, receiveth not me, but entertaineth me ; for I shall take the Kindness as for be that is leat among

him that fent me :} [LUK. done to myself : And I would have you to re- you all, the same Mall be member, that it fhall not terminate even there, great.] [MARK IX. 37 but (as I have formerly told you, Mat. x. 40.

LUKE IX. 48.] Vol. i. pag. 471.) whoever thus shall entertain and shew a Regard to me, entertains not me alone, but bim that sent me (d), even my Heavenly Father, who is honoured or affronted, as I am refpected or slighted. And this Regard to the meanest of my Servants, I must urge upon you, as of the utmost Importance ; for (as i jutt now told you,) be that by such a Condefcenfion is as the least among you all, He shall be eminently great in my Esteem, and be distinguished by peculiar Marks of the Divine Favour. But whoever shall deli- 6 But [whosoever) shall berately do any Thing to offend, and to occasion

Gion offend one of these Little

Ones which believe in me, the Fall of one of these Little Ones who believe in it were better for him, that me (e), or of any Disciple of mine, tho* he may a Mill-ftone were hanged feem as weak as this Infant, will expofe himself about his Neck, and that he

were [caft into the Sea, and] thereby to such Guilt and Punishment, that it were drowned in the Depth of the - better for him he should undergo the most certain Sea. (MARK IX. 42.] and terrible Destruction one can imagine, even that a huge Mill-ftone of fould be hanged about his

Neck, (d) Entertains not me alone, but bim that fent me.] Here Christ was interrupted by a Speech of John, related Mark ix. 38,—41. which is paraphrased and explained below, in: Seel. 96. See Note (a) there, pag. 34.

fel Shall offend one of these Lättle Ones, &c.] To offend a Person generally signifies, (as was. observed before, Vol. i. pag. 234. Note (c), laying a Stumbling-block in his Way ; so that any, who fhould by a scandalous Life lead others to think ill of the Christian Profession in general, or should by Persecution discourage the Weak, or by Sophistry, bad Example, or otherwise, pervert them from the Way of Truth and Goodness, would fall under the Weight of this terrible Sentence.

O A huge Mill-ftone.) So I render uwaos Ovilloswhich (as Erasmus, Grotius, Raphelius, and many others observe,) properly signifies a Mill-fone too large to be turned, as fome were,

21

. . Wee unto the World, because of Offences.

Neck, and be pould be thrown headlong into the Sect. 93.

Sea (8), [and] drowned in the Depth of [it.] 7 Wo unto the World Woe to the World, because of such Offences, or Mac. XVUL. because of Offences : for it Scandals as these ; for they will bring upon it the 7. must needs be, that Offences come : but wo to that Man most dreadful Judgments : Indeed considering the by whom the Offence com Corruption, and Weakness of Mankind, and the esh,

various Temptations with which they are sur-
rounded, it is humanly speaking necellary, or un-
avoidable, that Offences come ; but I may well say,
Woe to that Man, by whom the Offence cometh, who-
ever he be, that by Avarice, Ambition, or any
other vicious Affection, lays a Stumbling-block in
Men's Way, and makes himself accessary to the
Ruin of immortal Souls, tempting them either to
renounce, or to despise the Gospel ; for the Time

will come, when he shall bitterly repent it.
8- Wherefore if thy Wherefore let me renew the Exhortation, which 8
Hand-offend thee, (cut it I formerly gave you, rather to submit to the severest
off,] and cast it from thee: Mortifications. than to indulge your sinful Incli-
it is better for thee to enter
into Life-maimed, rather nations, to the Scandal of others, and to your own
than having two Hands, [to Ruin : And as I then told you in my Sermon on
go into Hell, into the Fire the Mount (b), (see on Mat. V. 30. Vol. i. pag.
that never thall be quench-
ed:] (MARK IX. 23.1 234.) If thy Right Hand offend thee, that is, if

any Thing dear unto thee as a Right Hand, should
be the Means of leading thee into Sin, rather than.
indulge it, cut it off, and cast [it] from thee, what-
ever Pain or Deformity, or other Detriment, might
follow from fuch a Loss; for it is much better
for thee to enter maimed into Eternal Life, than.
baving two Hands, to go down into the Prison of

Hell, even into that Fire which shall never be exMARK IX. m. Where tinguished : Wbere their corroding and up- Mark IX their

braiding 44. by the Hand, and which would require the Force of Asses to move it ; as it seems those Animals were generally used by the Jews on this Occasion. See Raphel. Annot. ex Xen. p. 46.

(8) Thrown headlong into the Sea.) Casaubon, and Elsner, (Observ. Vol. i. pag. 85.) not to mention others, have shewn at large, that Drowning in the Sea was a Punishment frequently used among the Ancients, and that the Persons condemped had sometimes heavy Stones tied about their Necks, or were rolled up in Sheets of Lead. It seems to have grown into a Proverb, for dreadful and inevitable Ruin.

(b) As I told you in my Sermon on the Mount.] It wilt, I hope, be observed;. that Mata thew, who had before so largely recorded that Sermon, gives us again this passage of it on the present Occasion ; which is one Proof, among many others, that our Lord did not think i improper or unnecessary, sometimes to repeat what he had then said: (See Vol. i. pag. 296. Note (e).) And considering the Importance of these Maxims, and how little many of bis Hearers were disposed to receive and retain them, it was a valuable Instance of his Compaffion and Wisdom..

(4) Whera

22 Better to lose a Foot or an Eye, than suffer them to offend us. Sect. 93. braiding Conscience is as a Worin, which never their Worm dieth not, and dies (i), but with unutter

re the Fire is not quenched. Mark IX.

upon the Heart; and where the Fire of Divine 44.

Wrath, which shall penetrate into the very Soul
of the Sinner, is not, and (hall not, be quenched
throughout all the endlels Ages of Eternity.

And again, if thy Foot offend thee, cut it off 45 And if thy Foot ofwith as much Resolution, as thou wouldst part fend thee, cut it off : it is

better for thee to enter halt with a gangrened Member for the Preservation of into Life, than having two thy Life ; for something yet more important is Feet, to be cast into Hell, here concerned, and it is better for thee to enter into the Fire that never hall

be quenched:[MAT.XVIII. lame into the Regions of Eternal Life and Blessed- bog

-8.] ness, tho' thou wast ever to continue fo (k), than

having two Feet to be cast into the inextinguishable 46 Fire of Hell : Where their tormenting Worm 46 Where their Worm

dieth not, and where the Fire is not quenched, nor dieth not, and the Fire is the Violence of its Heat abated throʻ all the Ages not quenched.

of Eternity. 47 And, to repeat fo wholesome and necessary an 47 And if thine Eye of.

Admonition a third Time, if thine Eye offend thee, fend thee, pluck it out, (and ór would necessarily be the Means of leading thee ter for thee to enter into the

caft it from thee:) it is betinto Sin, chuse rather with thine own Hands to Kingdom of God, [or into tear it out of its Socket, and to call it away from Life, with one Eye, (rather) thee as an abhorred Thing, than by complying caftinto Hell Fire: sMar.

than having two Eyes to be with the Temptation, to hazard thy far more XVIII. 9.) precious Soul ; for it is far better for thee to enter into the Kingdom of GOD, [or] into Everlasting Life and Blessedness, with but one Eye, even tho the other were not to be restored at the Resurrection, but the Blemish were to continue for ever, than having two Eyes, and all the other

· Members

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(i) Where their- Conscience is as a Worm, which never dies.] There may indeed be an Allufion here to Ifa. Ixvi. 24. (compare Ecclus' vii. 17. and Yudith xvi. 17.) but the Expression had been juft and proper without it : And it is observable, that some of the Antients expressed the fame Thought by saying, that the Marrow of the Back-Bone did in a wicked Man turn into a huge and fierce Serpent; thereby intimating, (by a much finer Figure, than Ælian, who reports it, understood,) that their own Thought should be their Torment, and they should be unable to disarm it by those Artifices, which had prevailed in the present Life. See Ælian. Hift. Anim. lib. i. cap. 51. and Gataker. Antonin. lib. viii. §. 58.

(k) Tho' thou wait ever to continue fo.] It is certain, no Man will enter into Life halt, maimed, or blind, as the Bodies of the Saints will be restored in the greatest Perfection. I know indeed, that, with some Latitude in the Expression, he may be said to enter halt, or maimed, into Life, whose Spirit pasies from a dismembered Body into the Regions of the Blefled; but it seems to me, that the Propriety of the Phrase is most exactly preserved, by taking it as in the Paraphrase, and the Spirit of the Thought is greatly increased by that Interpretation.

(1) Shall

Salt.

Offenders shall be falted with Fire, and not be consumed. 23

Members of thy Body in the greatest Perfection, Sect. 93.. to be cast into Hell, where they will all be full of m

unutterable Anguilh, being tormented with ever48 Where their Worm lafting Fire, In that dreadful Prison of Divine Mark IX. dieth not, and the Fire is

is Vengeance, where (as I have told you again and 48.

v not quenched.

again,) their Worm dieth not, and the Fire is not

quenched nor abated, but preys perpetually on the 49 For every one thall be miserable Sinner that is condemned to it. For 49 salied with Fire, and every

as the Flesh burnt on the Altar has Salt rubbed Sacrifice Shall be salted with

upon it, in Consequence of which it burns so
much the more fiercely, so every one of those un-
happy Creatures, the Victims of Divine Justice,
shall be (as it were) salted with Fire (l), and in-
stead of being consumed by it, shall in those
wretched Abodes continue immortal in the Midst
of their Flames ;. whereas every acceptable Sacri-
fice shall be seasoned with another Kind of Salt (m),
even that of Divine Grace, which purifies the

Soul, and preserves it from Corruption.
50 Salt is good : but if In Allusion to this, I have formerly called you, 50
the my Disciples, the Salt of the Earth ; (Mat. v. 13.

Vol.

(1) Shall be falted with Fire.] Grotius, Spanheim, Gataker, Le Clerc, and Dr. Mill, have abundantly answered the favourite Criticism of Scaliger, by which he would here read supra instead of auri, that it might be rendered, Every Offering made by Fire Mall be falted. The learned and laborious Wolfus has proposed a multitude of Interpretations on this Text. He, and Mons. L'Enfant, think it refers to the fiery Trial, thro’ which Christians must expect to pass : But this neither feems a natural Sense of the Phrase itself, nor does it so well suit the Context, by which it should seem to be a Reason why the Infernal Fire is never quenched, I know it may be answered, that it is however a Reason why the Disciples should practise the Mortification required above : But it seems desirable, where it can be done, to interpret: the Particles in their most usual Sense, tho' sometimes it is necessary (as we have elsewhere : observed, Vol. i. pag. 307. Note (i), ) to recede from it. To suppore, as Dr. Clarke, and fome others do, that here is a Reference to the Ambiguity of the Hebrew Word nos, which fignifies either to be falted, or consumed, seems very unwarrantable ; since annoklat: has no such Ambiguity ; not to say, how much it would impair the Force of the Sentence, leading to an Idea, the very contrary to what Christ had suggested above, no less than three Times.

(m) Every Sacrifice shall be feafoned with Salt.] It is well known, that the Mosaic Law required this. See Lev. ii. 13. — Heinfius thinks, that as Salt contracts and binds, it was therefore used as an Emblem of Friendship, which he supposes our Lord afterwards to refer to ; and that it was the Foundation of the Figure, by which a perpetual Engagement is called a Covenant of Salt. Numb. xviii. 19. I should rather think it intended, as a Circumstance of Decency, that the Meat of God's Table should be falted; and conclude, that if it had any Emblematical Meaning, it was to recommend to the Worshipper an incorrupt Heart seasoned with favoury Sentiments of Wisdom and Piety. Sinners are elsewhere represented, as the Victims of Divine Justice : (Isa. xxxiv. 6. 'Yer.. xii. 3. xlvi. 10. Ezek. xxi. 9, 10. and; xxxix. 17.) And good Men, (as in the End of this Verse,) are represented in another View, with regard to their Consecration to God, as acceptable Sacrifices. Rom. xii, 1. xy. 16. Compare i Pet. ii. 5.

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