Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

234

Jesus bids him to keep the Commandments. Sect. 137. remember upon all Occasions, that none is per- but one, that is God : [But

if thou wilt enter into Life, w n fectly Good, but one glorious and immutable Being, 1

keep the Commandments.] Mark X. 18

Seven) the ever Blessed and Eternal GOD; nor MAT. XIX, 17. LUKE
can any Man or Angel deserve the Title of Good, XVIII. 19.)
in any Degree of Comparison with him, from
whom originally stream forth all those Rays of
Goodness, which are but imperfectly reflected
from them. But as to the Question thou hast
asked, If thou art refolutely determined to enter
into Life, it is absolutely necessary thou shouldīt
keep the Divine Commandments, the perfect Obser-
vance of which alone can give thee a Legal Claim
to it, and in the wilful Neglect of which thou

must never on any Terms expect it. .
19 Then the Young Ruler, that he might fully 19 (He faith unto him,
understand the Mind of Jesus, eagerly says to

Which? Jesus said, 1 Thou

knowest the Commandhim. Which are those Commandments, on the ments, Thou shalt do no Observation of which my Eternal Life depends ? Murther; Thou shalt not Yesus said, Thou undoubtedly knowest the Com- commit Adultery ; Thou

shalt not steal; Thou shalt manaments which God gave to Moses, written not bear false Witness: 1 on the Tables of Stone at Mount Sinai, among Defraud not ; Honour thy which those of the Second Table, however neg- Father and [Luk. thy) lected by the Pharisees, are by no means to be

Mother ; [and, Thou shalt

love forgotten ; such as, “ Thou shalt not kill; Thou shalt not commit Adultery ; Thou shalt not steal; Thou shalt not bear falle Witness against thy “ Neighbour ; Thou shalt not covet any part of “ his Property, or take any Methods to defraud “ him (d) ;” and that which indeed stands in the Front of all these, Honour thy Father and thy " Mother.These are the Six last Commandments, which I now recommend to thy Consideration ; "and they may all be summed up in that one comprehensive Precept, Thou shalt

" love

(d) Thou Malt not defraud.] As Mark seems to put this for the Tenth Commandment, Dr. Hammond (in Loc.) and Archbishop Tillotson (see his Works, Vol. ii. pag. 257.) suppose it a Key to the Sense of those Words, Thou shalt not covet ; the Meaning of which, they argue, is as if it had been said, “ Thou shalt not be so desirous of thy Neighbour's Poffel“ fions, as to be willing to injure the Owner by depriving him of them, that thou mayest “ secure them to thyself.” But the Apostle Paul strongly intimates, that the Sense of ibar Command is much more extensive; (Rom. vii. 7.) and as the preceding Commandments had forbid, to invade the Life, the Bed, the Property, or Reputation of another, so this requires a Guard on those irregular Appetites and Pations, which might by insensible Degrees lead Men to Murther, Adultery, Theft, or false Witness.

(1) I have

[ocr errors]

ПКЕ

He says he has done it; but is told, that One Thing was wanting. 235 love thy_Neighbour as thy- “ love thy Neighbour as thyself.(See Exod. xx. Sect. 137. self.] [MAT. XIX. 18, 19. 1

g. 12,-17. and Lev. xix. 18.) LUKE XVIII. 20.]

20 And the young Man And the Young Man, not apprehending the Mark X. 20. answered and said unto him, large Extent and spiritual Meaning of these PreMaster, all these [Things] cepts, replied with great Chearfulness and Confihave I observed from my Youth: What lack I yet dence, and said to him, Master, I have been early [MAT. XIX. 20. Lúké taught these Precepts ; and may venture to say, XVIII, 21.]

that I have conscientiously observed all these, even
from my Infancy (e), and have abstained from
each of the Vices and Immoralities condemned
in them : What then do I farther need, in order
to secure the glorious Prize after which I am

seeking ?
21 Then Jesus beholding And Yesus looking stedfastly upon him, loved him, 21
him, loved him, and (Luk. and felt the Emotions of Complacency mingled
when he heard these Things,
he) faid unto him, fluk. with tender Compassion, in Regard to so young
Yet) one Thing thou lack- a Person, who had maintained so honourable a

est : Character in such an elevated Station of Life, and

was under such Concern about another World,
yet at the fame Time, amidst all these hopeful
Circumstances, was governed (till by a secret Fond-
ness for the Possessions he enjoyed in this : And
as our Lord thought fit to manifest this Fondness
to himself and others, when he had beard these
Things which have been mentioned above, he was
pleased to call him forth to a peculiar Trial; and
therefore faid unto him, Thus far it is well ; but
yet, alas, One Thing thou still wanteft (1), in order
to prove that Integrity of Soul, and that prevail-
ing Love to God, without which none can be

intitled

(e) I have observed all these, even from my Infancy.) The Phrase apo veołnlos may indeed be very exactly rendered from my Youth ; but as he was yet but a Young Man, it is probably here put for Infancy, or Childhood. It is plain, he did not understand the spiritual Meaning and Extent of the Law, according to our Lord's Explication of it in his Sermon on the Mount ; or he would not have pleaded his exact Obedience to it. But the Jews in general seem to have thought, that if they abstained from gross Crimes, Sacrifices might atone for smaller Neglects or Offences. And this Compound seems to have been that Righteousness of their own, in which, to their final Ruin, they trusted for Justification before God, in the Neglect of the Righteousness which is of GOD by Faith. Compare Rom. x. 3. and Phil. iii. 9.

of) One Thing thou wantes.] Our Lord does not say, he wanted but one Thing ; so that nothing can be concluded from hence against the Necessity of an Acquaintance with some Truths, of which this Youth, hopeful and amiable as he was, appears to have been ignorant. But it was to be charged on that Want of sincere Piety, which his Conduct presently dif. covered, that he did not come to the Knowledge of them by a continued and submissive Attendance on the Teaching of Christ. See John vii. 17. Sect. 99.

Gg 2

(8) Sell

which were lately fallen XVIII. 23.)

236 And being called to sell all that he had, he goes away forrowful. Sect. 137. intitled to future Blessedness : By me he now com- eft : (if thou wilt be perfea,] Mark X.

mands thee, if thou wilt be perfect, and determine thou 'baft,' and give to the W mands thee, if thou wilt be perfect, and determine go thy, way, tell whatsoever

1. to submit to all that he requires, to go thy Way Poor ; and thou shalt have

immediately, and fell all thy Posessions (8), valu- Treasure in Heaven ; and able as they are, and to distribute the Money

come, take up the Cross,

Y and follow me. [MAT. which arises from the Sale of them to the Poor ; XIX. 21. LUKÈ XVI. do this, and thou shalt have an infinitely more ex- 22.] cellent Treasure in Heaven : And in the assured Hope of this, I call thee, to come, and take up the Cross, and with Courage and Resolution to follow me as my constant Attendant, tho' it should be even at

the Expence of thy Life, as well as thine Estate. 22 But when the young Man heard that Saying, and 22 (But when the young

saw that all his gay and delightful Prospects for Man heard that Saying, 1 he Life must be given up in a Moment, be was ex- was. fad, and went away

[LUK. very sorrowful;) for ceedingly concerned and troubled at it : And he he Luk. was very rich. went away in great Sorrow; for be was very rich, and had great Polfeffions Tand) had great Poffesions, which were lately fallen (Mat. XIX. 22. LUKE into his Hands; and how desirous foever he was of Eternal Life, he could not resolve to secure it at fo great an Expence.

And when Jefus faw, that tho' he was very for- 23 And [LUK. when Je rowful, yet he chose rather to go away, than to fus saw that he was very part with his Estate in the Views of Eternal Hap- about, and faith to his Disci

sorrowful, he] looked round piness; he looked round on all that were about him, ples, How hardly thall they and said to his Disciples, Observe this instructive that have Riches enter into Incident, and learn to make this Reflection upon the Kingdom of GOD!

[Verily it; How hardly all they that possess the Riches of this World, enter into the Kingdom of GOD! Dwell upon the Thought, and repeat it, in order, if possible, to wean your Hearts-from these delusive Vanities, which often prove so fatal to the

Soul : (8) Sell all thy Polellions.). It is strange, that the learned and accurate Dr. Clarke should fuppose, that Christ did not demand this, in order to his being in a State of Acceptance with GOD, but in order to his giving a Testimony of exalted Piety; or at least as necessary at that Time to, his being a Preacher of the Gospel. Our Lord's Manner of proposing the Trial, and his Reflection on the Young Man's going away, plainly thew, that it was in those Circumstances necessary to his Salvation. And indeed it is most apparent, tha ho' GOD does not in Fact require every Man to difribute all his Goods to others, and so in effed to become only one Poor Man, among a Number of Poor to be relieved out of his Poffeffions ; yet Virtue and Piety demand an habitual Readiness, not only to facrifice our Pollifions, but our Lives, at the Command of God; and Providence does in Fact call some out to Trials as severe as this. His Refusal plainly shewed, he valued his Worldly Polesions, more than Eternal Life ; and our Lord with great Wisdom took this direct and convincing Method, of manifelting, both to himself, and others, that fecret Insincerity, and Carnality of Temper, which prevailed under all these specious Pretences, and promising Appearances.

(h) Eafier

[ocr errors]

The Rich shall hardly enter into the Kingdom of GOD. 237 [Verily I say unto you, that Soul: For verily I say unto you, so many Snares Sect. 137. a Rich Man (hall hardly eno attend such Circumstances, that a Rich Man will ter into the Kingdom of

M Heaven.] [Mat. XIX. 23.

enter into the Kinga lom of Heaven, or be "ark A. 23. LUKE XVIII. 24.] brought to such a Relish for the Gospel and its

future Blessings, as either to resign, or improve
his Worldly Poffessions, in such a Manner as the

Laws of that Kingdom require.
24 And the Disciples were And the Disciples were quite astonished at his 24
astonished at his Words.-

Words ; for they were ready to imagine, that e'er
long all the Rich and Great People of the Coun-
try would appear for their Lord, and fix him on

the Throne of Israel. - But Jesus answereth a. But Ye

But Jesus' answering again to that Surprize
gain, and faith unto them, which he saw in their Countenances, says to them.
Children, how hard is it for
them that trust in Riches, in the most condescending Manner, My dear
to enter into the Kingdom Children, when you consider the Meaning of what
of GOD!

I said more attentively, you will not so much
wonder at it : You know the Generality of Rich
Men place their chief Confidence and Delight in
the Things of this present World ; and you know
that true Religion requires a Heart abstracted from
them, and placed on nobler Objects : Judge then.
for yourselves, how hard is, it for them, that thus

trust in their Riches, to enter into the Kingdom of
25 (And again I say un- GOD! And therefore I say to you again, in 25
to you,] It is eafier for a
Camel to go thro' the Eve yet Itronger Terms, that your common Proverb
of a Needle, than for a Rich may have its Place here, that it is easier for the
Man to enter into the King- huge Cable of a Ship, or even for a Camel, to go
dom of God. (MAT. XIX. thro' the Eye of a Needle (b), than it is for a Rich
24. LU KE XVIII. 25.)

Man to conquer the Snares of his Estate, and
the Corruptions of his Heart, so far as to enter
into the Kingdom of GOD, and become the faith-

ful obedient Subjects of his Son.. 26. And [when his Disci- And when his Disciples beard. [this] Repetition 26 . ples heard. it] they were and Illustration of what was before said, they were

[exceed- and wultration of what was

[ocr errors]

Struck

(3) Eaper for a Camel to go thro the Eye of a Needle.) Theophylaet, and after him some other Criticks, for xoeundou read xawuhov, which they explain of a Cable Rope, which might appear more fitly to be mentioned, as what could not pass thro' a Needle's Eye. Others very precariously assert, that there was near Jerufalem a low Gate called the Needle's Eye, thro' which a Camel could not pass, unless his Load were taken off. But I see no Reason for departing from the received. Reading, and Interpretation ; nor is there any thing in this Proverbial Exprellion, as it here stands, but what is very agreeable to the Eastern Taste, and may be parallelled in other Jewish Writers. See Dr. Lightfoot's Hor. Hebr. on Mat. xix. 24. where it is hewn, there was a Jewis Proverb to the same. Purpose, of the Elephant.

238

27

What is imposible with Men, is posible with GOD. Sect. 137. Struck into exceeding great and inexpressible Amaze- (exceedingly amazed, and] ment at it, saying one to another, And who then

aftonished out of measure, Mark X. 26.

saying among themselves, can be saved? Who that are Rich can ever get to Who then can be saved ? Heaven ? And what a Discouragement will it be [Mat. XIX, 25. Luke to others, to see the Rich and the Great neglect- XVIII. 26.] ing Salvation, and turning the Means of their Happiness and Usefulness, into the Instruments of their Destruction ?

But yesus looking stedfastly upon them, faith 27 And Jesus looking up. unto them, With Men it is indeed imposible, and on them, laith (unto them,}

With Men (this is) imposfithe Strength of corrupt Nature alone will not be ble

mup Nature alone will not be ble, but not with God: for sufficient to encounter such Difficulties as these ; with God all Things are but it is not impossible with GOD to animate possible, (LUKeven the their Hearts against them : For his Grace has an with Menj MAT. XIX.

5 Things which are impoffible Almighty Energy, and with GOD all Things are 26. Luke XVIII. 27.] possible; [even] the Things which are most impossible with Men, and seem so insurmountable to Human Strength, as to be reckoned utterly impracticable ; to him therefore let the Rich and Poor unite their Supplications, that each may be rendered superior to the Snares which attend their respective Cir

cumstances. 28 Then Peter replied, and with some Warmth and 28 Then Peter (answerConfidence began to say unto him. Well. Master. ed, and began to lay unto

him, Lo, we have left all, behold, we have done, what this Youth, hopeful and have followed thee as he seemed, had not the Resolution to do; for What shall we have there. tho' indeed we had not much, we have left all the

fore?] (MAT. XIX. 27.

LUKE XVIII. 28.]
little that we had in the World, and have at all
Adventures followed thee with the sincerest Zeal
and Affection : What Reward mall we therefore
have? For we persuade ourselves, thou wilt not

permit us finally to be Losers in thy Cause. Mat. XIX.

And Yesus answering said to them, You may Mat. XIX. 28. And depend upon it, that you shall not, but will be Jesus ( answered and ] laid found, upon the whole, to have acted the wisest to you, that ve which have

unto them, Verily I say unPart; for verily I say unto you, and assure you of it, followed me in the Regenethat you who have followed me in my Humiliation,

ration, shall at length be distinguished by proportionable Honours : And in the great Renovation of all Things (i), when all the Children of God shall,

28.

as .

(i) In the great Renovation of all Things.] I have given what appears to me the most natural Sense of this difficult Passage. Mr. Fleming agrees with our Translators, in connecting the Words, ev mn wenty Severią, with the preceding Clause, and paraphrafes the

« EdellinenJatka »