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Ilow we are to deal

St. MATTHEW.

with an offending brother. 4, unto you, He rejoiceth more of that || 16 But if he will not hear thee, then A M. 405.

A. D. 28. An. Olymp. sheep, than of the ninety and nine take with thee one or two more, that An Olymp-- which went not astray.

in the mouth of two or three wit- 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father nesses every word may be established. which is in heaven, that one of these little ones 17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell should perish.

it unto the church : but if he neglect to hear 15 9 Moreover 'if thy brother shall trespass the church, let him be unto thee as a heathen against thee, go and tell him his fault between man and a publican. thee and him alone : if he shall hear thiee, 18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye thou hast gained thy brother.

I shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:

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attention to their present, or eternal well-being. This may li Reproving a brother who had sinned, was a positive combe also considered as a lesson of instruction and comfort to | mand under the Law. See Lev, xix. 17. And the Jews have backsliders.--How hardly does Christ give them up!

a saying, that one of the causes of the ruin of their nation Verse 13. Ile rejoiceth morc] It is justly observed by one was, “ No man reprored another.-On the word Church, see on this verse, that it is natural for a person to express unusual | at the end of chap. xvi. joy at the fortunule accomplishment of an unexpected event. Verse 18. Whatsoever ye shall bind, &c.) Whatever deter

Verse 14. It is not the will of your Father] If any soul be ninations ye make in conformity to these directions for your finally lost, it is pot because God's will or counsel was against convluct to an offinding brother, will be accounted just, and its salvation, or that a proper provision had not been made ratified by the Lord. See on ch. xvi. 19. and to what is there for it; but that though light came into the world, it prefer- | said, the following observations may be profitably added. red darkness to light, because of its attachment to its evil Occeson dront:x01 OR EQy Avonte. Binding and loosing, in deeds.

this place, and in Matt. xvi. 19. is generally restrained by Verse 15. If thy brother] Any who is a member of the same Christian interpreters, to matters of discipline and authority: religious society, sin against thee, 1. Go and reprore him But it is as plain as the sun, by what occurs in numberless alone,-it may be in person; if that cannot be so well done, places dispersed throughout the Mishna, and from thence ly thy messenger; or in writing (which in many cases is commonly used by the later Rabbins, when they treat of ritual likely to be the most effectual.) Observe, our Lord gives no subjects, that binding signified, and was commonly underliberty to omit this, or to exchange it for either of the follow stood by the Jews at that time, to be a declaration that any ing steps. If this do not succeed,

thing was unlawful to be done ; and loosing signified on the Verse 16. 2. Take with thee one or two more] Men whom contrary, a declaration that any thing may be lawfully done. he esteems, who may then confirm and enforce what thou Our Saviour spoke to his disciples, in a language which they sayest; and afterwards, if need require, bear witness of what understood, so that they were not in the least at a loss to comwas spoken. If even this do not succeed, then, and not prehend his meaning; and its being obsolete to us, is no manbefore,

ner of reason why we should conclude that it was obscure to Verse 17. 3. Tell it unto the church] Lay the whole matter |them. The words bind and loose, are used in both places before the congregation of Christian believers, in that place is in a declaratory sense of things, not of persons. It is o and of which he is a member, or, before the minister and elders, \ , in the neuter gender, both in chap. xvi. and here in as the representatites of the Church or assembly; if all this this: i. e. Whatsoever thing or things ye shall bind or loose. avail not, then,

Consequently, the same commission which was given at first Let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican.) To | to St. Peter alone, (ch. xvi. 19.) was afterwards enlarged to whom thou art, as a Christian, to owe earnest and persever- | all the Apostles. St. Peter had made a confession, that Jesus isg good will, and acts of kindness; but have no religious was the Christ, the Son of God. His confession of the dicommunion with bim, till, if he have been convicted, he ll vinity of our Lord, was the first that ever was made by man: ucknowledge lis fault. Whosoerer follows this thrcefold rule, llco bim, therefore, were given the keys of the kingdom of will seldom offend others, and never be offended himself. Heaven, i. e. God made choice of him among all the J. WESLEY,

|| Apostles, that the Gentiles should first, by his mouth, hear

Gracious promises

CHAP. XVIII.

to social prayer..

A M.-032. and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth, for them of my Father which is in A. M. 4132.

A. D. 28. An. Olymp. shall be loosed in heaven.

beaven.

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CCI: 4. 19 « Again I say unto you, That if 20 For where 'two or three are ga- two of you shall agree on earth, as touching thered together in my name, there am I in the any thing that they shall ask, "it shall be done midst of them.

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the word of the Gospel, and believe. He first opened the ments set to the same key, and playing the same tune : heren Kingdom of heaven to the Genuiles, when he preached to it means a perfect agreement of the hearts, desires, wishes, Cornelius. It was open to the Jews all along before; but if and voices, of two or more persons praying to God. It also we should suppose that it was not, yet to them also did St. intimates that as a number of musical instruments, skilfully Peter open the kingdom of heaven, in his sermon at the great played, in a good concert, are pleasing to the ears of men, Pentecost. Thus, then, St. Peter exercised his two keys; that so a number of persons united together in warm, earnesto; for the Jews at the great Pentecost ; and that for the Gentiles, cordial prayer, is highly pleasing in the sight and ears of the when he admitted Cornelius into the Church. And this was || Lord. Now this conjoint prayer, refers, in all probability, the reward of his first confession, in which he owned Jesus to the binding' and loosing in the preceding verse; and thus to be the promised Messiah. And what St. Peter loosed, we see what power faithful prayer has with God! i.e. declared as necessary to be believed and practised by the It shall be done for them] What an encouragement to pray! disciples here, was ratified above. And what he declared even to two, if there be no more disposed to join in this heavunlawful to be believed and practised, (i. e. what he bound,) | enly work. was actually forbidden by God himself.

Verse 20. For where two-are gathered together in my name] “ I own myself obliged to Dr. Lightfoot for this interpre- There are many sayings among the Jews almost exactly tation of the true notion of binding and loosing. It is a similar to this, such as, Wherever even two persons are sitnoble one, and perfectly agrees with the ways of speaking ting in discourse concerning the Law, the Divine presence is then in use among the Jews. It is observable, that these l among them.-See much more in Schoetgen. And the followphrases of binding and loosing, occur no where in the Newing, among the ancient Hindoos, is like unto it: “ When Testament, but in St. Matthew, who is supposed to have writ-Brahma, the Lord of creation, had formed mankind, and at, ten his Gospel first in Hebrew, from whence it was translated the same time appointed his worship, he spoke and said, into Greek, and then the force and use of the expression will - With this worship pray for increase, and let it be that on better appear. Dr. Wotton's Miscell. Discourses, vol. ). p. 309, which ye shall depend for the accomplishment of all your &c. &c.

wishes. With this remember God, that God may remember " The phrases to bind and to loose were Jewish, and most you. Remember one another, and ye shall obtain supreme frequent in their writers. It belonged only to the teachers happiness. God being remembered in worship, will grant among the Jews, to bind and to loose. When the Jews set you the enjoyment of your wishes : he who enjoyeth what any apart to be a Preacher, they used these words,· Take hath been given unto him by God, and offereth not a portion thou liberty to teach what is BOUND and what is loose.” unto him, is even as a thief. Know that good works come Strype's Preface to the Posthumous Remains of Dr. Lightfoot, from Brahina, whose nature is incorruptible; wherefore, the page 38.

li omnipresent Brahma, IS PRESENT IN THE WORSHIP.”_See the Verse 19. Ayain I say unto you] The word any, terily, is Bagrat Geeta, p. 45, 46. added here, in ninety-eight MSS. (inany of which are of the In my name] Seems to refer particularly to a public profesgreatest antiquity and importance) seven editions, all thesion of Christ and his Gospel. Arabic, the Slavonic, and several of the Itala. The taking in There am I in the midst] None but God could say these. or leaving out such a word, may appear to some a matter of words, to say them with truth, because God alone is every indifference ; but as I am fully convinced Jesus Christ never || where present, and these words refer to his omnipresence. : spoke a useless or a needless word, my maxim is, to omit | Wherever-suppose millions of assemblies were collected in , not one syllable that I am convinced (from such authority as the same moment, in different places of the creation, (which i the above) he has ever used, and to take in nothing that he is a very possible case) this promise states, that Jesus is in, did not speak. It makes the passage much more emphatic- each of them. Can any, therefore, say these words, except that, Again, verily I say unto you, &c.

God who fills both heaven and earth? But Jesus says these : If two of you shall agree] Evu ww8,5wovy, symphonize, or harmo- !) words : ergo-Jesus is God. Let it be observed, that Jesus, nize. It is a metaphor taken from a number of musical instru- ll is not among them to spy out their sins, or to mark down the

Of forgiveness of injuries.

St. MATTHEW.

The cruel fellou-servant.

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A. M, 1032. 21 | Then came Peter to him, and 24 And when he had begun toreckon, A.
An. Olymp. said, Lord, how oft shall my brother one was brought unto him, which owed An. Olymp.
CCI. 4."

CCI. 4. ** sin against me, and I forgive him? him ten thousand talents. a till seven times ?

|| 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, lord commanded him'd to be sold, and his wife, Until seven times: obut, Until seventy times and children, and all that he had, and payment seven.

! to be made. 23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worunto a certain king, which would take account shipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with of his servants.

me, and I will pay thee all.

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imperfections of their worship; but to enlighten, strengthen, By servant in the text, we are to understand, a petty king, comfort, and save them.

or tributary prince; for no hired servant could possibly owe Verse 21. Till seven times ?] Though seren was a number such a sum as is here mentioned. of perfection among the Hebrews, and often meant much II Verse 24. Ten thousand talents.] Mugowy TodayTwy, a myriad more than the units in it imply ; yet it is evident that Peter of talents, the highest nuinber known in Greek arithmetical uses it here in its plain literal sense, as our Lord's words suf- | notation. An immense sum, which if the silver talent be ficiently testify. It was a maxim among the Jews, never to designed amounts to 4,500,000 sterling; but if the gold talent forgive more than thrice : Peter enlarges this charity more be meant, which is by far the most likely, then the amount is than one hulf; and our Lord makes even his enlargement 67,500,000 sterling, a sum equal to the annual revenue of the septuple, see ver. 22. Revenge is natural to man, i.e. man is | British empire! See the note on Exod. xxv. 34. The margin naturally a vindictive being, and, in consequence, nothing is above is incorrect. i. more difficult to him than forgiveness of injuries.

| Verse 25. Ile had not to pay] That is, not being able to pay. Verse 22. Seventy times seven.] There is something very | As there could not be the smallest probability that a servant, remarkable in these words, especially if collated with Gen. iv. // wholly dependant on his master, who was now absolutely 24. where the very same words are used—“ If any man || insolvent, could ever pay a debt he had contracted, of kill LAMECK, be shall be avenged seventy times seven.The more than 67 millions ! so is it impossible for a sinner, in. just God punishes sin in an exemplary manner. Sinful man, 1 finitely indebted to Divine Justice, ever to pay a mite out of who is exposed to the stroke of divine justice, should be the talent. abundant in forgiveness, especially as the merciful only, shall l Commanded him to be sold-his wife-children, &c.] Our find mercy. See the note on chap. v. 7. and on vi. 14, 15. The Lord here alludes to an ancient custom among the Hebrews, sum seventy times seven makes four hundred and ninety. Now ll of selling a man and his family, to make payment of conan offence properly such, is that which is given wantonly, ll tracted debts. See Exod. xxii. 3. Lev. xxv. 39, 47. 2 Kings iv. I. maliciously, and without ANY PROVOCATION. It is my opinion. || This custom passed from among the Jews to the Greeks and that let a man search ever so accurately, he will not find, that || Romans. he has received, during the whole course of his life, four | Verse 26. Fell down, and worshipped him] 11200EXU7EL AVTWA hundred and ninety such offences. If the man who receives | crouched as a dog before him, with the greatest deference, subthe offence, has given any cause for it, in that case, the half || mission and anxiety. of the oftence, at least, towards his brother, ceases.

Hure patience with me] Margobuproov sa' fuos, be long minded: Verse 23. Therefore is the kingdom] In respect to sing towards megive me longer space. cruelty, and oppression, God will proceed in the kingdom of The means which a sinner should use to be saved, are, heaven (the dispensation of the Gospel) as he did in former || 1. Deep humiliation of heart--he fell down. 2. Fervent prayer. times; and every person shall give an account of himself to 1 3. Confidence in the mercy of God-lave patience. 4. A form God. Every sin is a debt contracted with the justice of God; | purpose to devote his soul and body to his Maker--I will pay men are all God's own servants, and the day is at hand in thee all. A sinner may be said, according to the æconomy of which their Master will settle accounts with them, enquire ll grace, to pay all, when he brings the sacrifice of the Lord

k, and pay them their wages. Great Judge ! || Jesus to the throne of justice,, by faith ; thus offering an what an awful time must this be, when with multitudes no- ll equivalent for the pardon he seeks, and paying all he oues to thing shall be found but sin and insolvency!

I divine justice, by presenting the blood of the Lamb.

How God resents cruelty

CHAP. XVIII.

and oppression in men,

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2. 27 Then the lord of that servant was 11 31 So when his fellow-servants saw 4, 11, 4042

A. D. 48. An. Olymp. moved with compassion, and loosed what was done, they were very sorry, An. Olymp.. COL.4.

CCI. 4.' - him, and forgave him the debt. and came and told unto their lord all 28 But the same servant went out, and found || that was done. one of his fellow-servants, which owed him a 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: that thou owest.

| 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compas29 And his fellow-servant fell down at hission on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity feet, and besought him, saying, "Have patience on thee? with me, and I will pay thee all.

34 And his lord was wrotli, and delivered him 30 And he would not: "but went and cast him to the tormentors, e till he should pay all that into prison, till he should pay the debt.

was due unto him.

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Verse 27. Moved with compassion) Or with tender pity.

But judge you as you are? Oh! think on that, This is tlie source of salvation to a lost world, the tender

And mercy then will breathe within your lips, pity, the eternal mercy of God!

Like man new made.Verse 28. A hundred pence] Rather denarii. The de

Tho' justice be thy plea, consider this, karius was a Roman coin, worth about seven-pence halfpenny That in the course of justice, none of us' English. The original word should be retained, as our word Should see Salvation : we do pray for mercy' ; penny does not convey the seventh part of the meaning: A

And that same prayer, doth teach us all to render hundred denarii would amount to about 31. 2s. 60. British,

The deeds of Mercy.--" or, if reckoned as some do, at seven-pence three farthings, the sum would be 31. 4s. 7d.

Verse 31. His fellow-servants saw what was done] An act Took him by the throat) KatnoCS AUTOV ETTVE. There is no of this kind is so dishonourable to all the followers of Christ, word I am acquainted with, which so fully expresses the and to the spirit of his Gospel; that through the respect they meaning of the original styys, as the Anglo-saron term owe to their Lord and Master, and through the concern they throttle : it signified (like the Greek) to half choak a person, feel for the prosperity of his cause, they are obliged to plead by seizing his throat:

against it at the throne of God. Verse 29. Fell down at his feet] This clause is wanting in se- || Verse 32. His lord, after that he had called hii] Alas! veral ancient MSS.Versions, and Fathers. Several printed editi- || how shall he appear?--Confounded. What shall he answer? ons also have omitted it; Griesbach has left it out of the text. -He is speechless !

Pay thee all.] Tlava, all, is omitted by a multitude of MSS. Verse 33. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion] Versions, and Fathers.

Oux de ras ce, Did it not become thee also ? What a cutting Verse 30. And he would not, &c.] To the unmerciful, God reproach! It became me to shew mercy, when thou didst will shew no mercy; this is an eternal purpose of the Lord, I earnestly entreat me, because I am MERCIFUL. It became which never can be changed. God teaches us what to do to thee also to have shewn mercy, because thou wert so deep in a fellow sinner, by what he does to us. Our fellow-servant's debt thyself, and hadst obtained mercy. debt to us, and ours to God, are as one hundred denarii, to l. Verse 34. Delivered him to the tormentors] Not only conten thousand talents! When we humble ourselves before tinued captivity is here intended, but the tortures to be enhim, God freely forgives us all this mighty sum! and shall || dured in it. If a person was suspected of fraud, as there was we exact from our brother, recompence for the most trifling reason for in such a case as thať mentioned here, he was put faults ? Reader, if thou art of this unmerciful, unforgiving to very cruel tortures among the Asiatics, to induce him to cast, read out the chapter.

confess. In the punishments of China, a great variety of “ All the souls that are, were forfeit once,

these appear; and probably there is an allusion to such torAnd he who might the vantage best have took,

ments in this place. Before, he and all that he had, were only Found out the remedy. How would you be,

to be sold. Now, as he has increased his debt, so he bas If He, who is the top of judgment, should

increased his punishment; he is delivered to the tormentors,

The punishment which cruel and

Sr. MATTHEW.

oppressive men may expect,

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4. 11,4032 35 - So likewise shall my heavenly your hearts o forgive not every one his AM,4032. Ancolymp. Father do also unto you, if ye from brother their trespasses.

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CCI. 4.

* Prov. 21. 13. ch. 6. 12. Mark 11. 26. James 2. 13.

b Mark 11. 26. Lev. 19. 18. Ephes. 4. 2. Col. 3. 13. James 2. 13.

to the horrors of a guilty conscience, and to a fearful look- || in prison, and all their circumstances there are so many taring for a fiery indignation, which shall clevour the adversaries. mentors; the place, the air, the company, the provision, the But if this refers to the day of judgment, then the worm accommodations, all, all destructive to comfort, 10 peace, to that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched, are the tor- || health, and to every thing that humanity can device. If the mentors.

person be poor, or comparatively poor, is his imprisonment Verse 35. So likewise skall my hearenly Father do also unto likely to lead him to discharge his debt? His creditor may you] The goodness and indulgence of God towards us, is the rest assured that he is now farther from his object than ever; pattern we should follow in our dealings with others. If we the man had no other way of discharging the debt, but by take man for our exemplar we shall err, because our copy is his labour ; that is now impossible, through his confinement, a bad one; and our lives are not likely to be better than the and the creditor is put to a certain expence towards his maincopy we imitate. Follow Christ, be merciful as your Father tenance. How foolish is this policy! And how much do who is in heaven is merciful. You cannot complain of the ll such laws stand in need of revision and amendment. Imprifairness of your copy. Reader, hast thou a child, or serrant, sonment for debt, in such a case as that supposed above, can who has offended thee, and humbly asks forgiveness ? Ilast answer no other end than the gratification of the malice, thou a debtor, or a tenunt who is insolrent, and asks for a revenge, or inhumanity of the creditor. Better sell all that little longer time? And hast thou not forgiven that child or he has, and, with bis hands and feet untied, let him begin servant ? Hast thou not given iime to that debtor or tenant ? || the world afresh. Dr. Dodd very feelingly enquires here, How, then, canst thou ever expect to see the face of the " Whether rigour in exacting temporal debts, in treating just and merciful God? Thy child is banished, or kept at a without mercy such as are unable to satisfy them-whether distance; thy debtor is thrown into prison, or thy tenant sold this can be allowed to a Christian, who is bound to imitate up : yet the child offered to fall at thy feet; and the debtor his God and Father ? To a debtor, who can expect forgiveor tenant, utterly insolvent, prayed for a little longer time, || ness only on the condition of forgiving others ? To a servant hoping God would enable him to pay thee all; but to these who should obey bis Master ? and to a criminal, who is in things thy stony heart and seared conscience paid no regard ! daily expectation of bis judge and final sentence ?" Little O monster of ingratitude! Scandal to human nature, and did he think, when he wrote this sentence, that himself should reproach to God ! if thou canst, go hide thyselfeven in hell, be a melancholy proof, not only of buman weakness, but of from the face of the Lord !

I the relentless nature of those laws by which property, or Their trespasses.] These words are properly left out by rather money is guarded. The unfortunate Dr. Dodd was Griesbach, and other eminent critics, because they are want- | hanged for forgery, in 1777, and the above note was written ing in some of the very best MSS. most of the Versions, and by ll only seven years before! some of the chief of the Fathers. The words are evidently an The unbridled and extravagant appetites of men, someinterpolation; the construction of them is utterly improper ; || times require a rigour even beyond the law, to suppress them. and the concord false.

While, then, we learn lessons of humanity from what is be

fore us, let us also learn lessons of prudence, sobriety, and In our common method of dealing with insolvent debtors, moderation. The parable of the two debtors is blessedly calwe in some sort imitate the Asiatic customs : we put thein il culated to give this information.

CHAP. XIX. Jesus leares Galilee, and comes into the coasts of Judea, and is followed by great multitudes, whom he heals, 1, 2.

The question of the Pharisees concerning ditorce answered, and the doctrine of marriage explained, 3-9. The enquiry of the disciples on this subject, 10. Our Lord's answer, explaining the case of eunuchs, 11, 12. Little children brought to Christ for his blessing, 13—15. The case of the young man who wished to obtain eternal life, 16-22.' Our Lord's reflections on this case, in which he shew's the difficulty of a rich man's salcation, 2326. What they shall possess who have left all for Christ's sake and the gospel, 27-29. How many of the first shall be last, and the last first, .

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