תמונות בעמוד

righteous judgment of God ;-and frequently to those who are judged, whose, hands hang down, who are weakened and hindered in their course, if not wholly turned out of the way, and caused to draw back even to perdition. Yea, how often, when this root of bitterness springs up, are many defiled thereby ;” by reason whereof the way of truth itself is evil spoken of, and that worthy name blasphemed whereby we are called.

6. Yet it does not appear that our Lord designed this caution only, or chiefly, for the children of God; but rather for the children of the world, for the men who know not God. These cannot but hear of those who are not of the world ; who follow after the Religion above described; who endeavour to be. humble, şerious, gentle, merciful, and pure in heart; who earnestly desire such measures of these holy tempers as they have not yet attained, and wait for them in doing all good to all men, and patiently suffering evil. Whoever go but thus far, cannot be bid, no more than “ a city set upon a hill.” And why do not those who “ see their good works, glorify their Father which is in heaven ?” What excuse have they for not treading in their steps ?-for not imitating their example, and being followers of them, as they are also of Christ? Why, in order to provide an excuse for themselves, they condempi those wbom they ought to imitate. They spend their time in finding out their neighbour's faults, instead of amending their own. They are so busied about others going out of the way, that themselves never come into it at all; at least, never get forward ; never go beyond a poor dead form of godliness, without the power.

7. It is to these more especially that our Lord says, “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye;”-the infirmities, the mistakes, the imprudence, the weakness of the children of God ;-—" but considerest not the beam that is in thinc own eye ? " Thou considerest not the damnable impenitence, the satanic pride, the accursed self-will, the idolatrons love of the world, which are in thyself, and which make thy whole life an abomination to the Lord. Above all, with what supine carelessness and indifference art thou dancing over the mouth of hell! And “how then," with what grace, with what decency or modesty, “wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;"—the excess of zeal for God, the extreme of self-denial, the too great disengagement from worldly carcs and employments, the desire to be day and night in prayer, or hearing the words of eternal lise?

"And behold a beam is in thine owo cyc!” Not a mote, like one of these.—“Thou hypocrite!” who pretendest to care for others, and hast no care for thy own soul; who makest a show of zal for the cause of God, when in truth thou neither lovest nor fearest bim! “ First cast out the beam out of thinc own eye:" Cast unit tlie beam of impenitence! Know thyself! See and feel thyself a sinner! Feel that thy inward parts are very wickedness, that thou art altogether corrupt and abominable, and that the wrath of God abideth on thee! Cast out the leam of pride; abhor thyself; sink down as in dust and ashes; be more and more little, and mcan, and base, and vile in thine an eyes! Cast out the bean of self-rrill! Learn what that cleanetli, “ If any man will come after mc, let him renounce himself.” Deny thyself, and take up thy cross daily. Let ihy whole soul cry out, “I came down from heaven,” (for so thou didst, thou never-dying spirit, whether thou knowest it orno,] " not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent Ine." Cast out the beam of lore of the prorld! Lore not the vorli), neither the things of the worki. Be tbou crucificd unto slie world, and the world crucified into thee. Only use the world, but enjoy Cod. Seck all thy happiness in Him! Above all, cast out the grand beans, that supinc carelessness and indifference: Decply consider, that “ one thing is pcedíul;” the one thing which thou hast scarce ever thought of. Kuow and bvel, that thou art a poor, vile, guilty worm, quivering over the great sull! What art thou? A simper born to die; a leaf ririven before the wind; a vapour ready to vanish away ; just appearing, and then scattered into air, to be no more seen! See this! “ Jud then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.” Then, if thou hast leisure trom the concerns of tly own soul, thou shalt know how 10 correct thy brother also.

S. But what is properly the meaning of this word, "Judge 2104?” What is the judging which is here forbidden ? it is not ibe same as cril-speakiug, although it is frequently joined therewith. Bil-speaking, is the relating any thing that is evil concerning an absent person; whereas judging way indiffercntly refer cither to the absent or the present. Neither does it necessarily imply the speaking at all, but only the thinking evil of avotier. Not that all kind of thinking evil of others, is crat judem wel our Lord condemns. 101sce onc commit kobbers or murder, or bicar biru blasphenke the name of Goul, i cannot refrain from thinking ill of the robber or murderer. Yet this is not evil judging: there is no sin in this; nor any thing contrary to tender affection.

9. The thinking of another in a manner that is contrary to love, is that judging which is here condemned; and this may be of various kinds. For, first, we may think another to blame when he is not. We may lay to his charge (at least in our own mind) the things of which he is not guilty; the words which he has never spoke, or the actions which he has never done. Or we may think his manner of aciing was wrong, although in reality it was not. And even where nothing can justly be blamed, either in the thing itself, or in the manner of doing it, we may suppose his intention was not good, and so condemn him on that ground; at the same time that He who searches the heart, sces his simplicity and godly sincerity.

10. But we may not only fall into the sin of judging, by condemning the innocent; but also, secondly, by condemning the guilty in a higher degree than he deserves. This species of judging is likewise an offence against justice, as well as mercy; and yet such an offence as nothing can secure us from, but the strongest and tenderest affection. Without this, we readily suppose one, who is acknowledged to be in fault, to be more in fault than he really is. We undervaluc whatever good is found in him. Nay, we are not easily induced to believe, that any thing good can remain in him, in whom we have found any thing that is evil.

11. All this shows a manifest want of that love, which ou aoy!SETA! XXXov,--thinketh no evil ; which never draws an unjust or unkind conclusion from any premises whatsoever. Love will not infer, from a person's falling once into an act of open sin, that he is accustomed so to do, that he is habitually guilty of it: and if he was habitually guilty once, love does not conclude he is so still; much less, that if he is now guilty of this, therefore he is guilty of other sins also. These evil reasonings all pertain to that sinful judging which our Lord here guards us against ; and which we are in the highest degree concerned to avoid, if we love either God or our own souls.

12. But supposing we do not condemn the innocent, neither the guilty any farther than they deserve; still we may not be altogether clear of the snare: For there is a third sort of sivful judging, which is the condemping any person at all, where there is not sufficient evidence. And be the facts we suppose ever so true, yet that does not acquit us. For they ought not to have been supposed, but proved ; and till they were, we ought to bare formed no judgment;-I say, till they were ; for nicirher are we excused, although the facts admit of ever so stroug a proof, unless that proof be produced before we pass sentence, and compared with the evidence on the other side. Nor can we be excused, if ever we pass a full sentence, before tle accused has spoken for himself. Even a Jew might teach as this, as a mere lesson of justice abstracted from mercy and hirotherly love: “ Doth onr law,” says Nicodemus,“ judge any man before it hear him, and know what he docth ? ” (John vii. 51.) Yea, a Heathen could reply, when the chief of the Jewish mation desired to have judgment against his prisoner, “ It is not the manner of the Romans to judge any man, before he that is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself, concerning the crime laid against him.”

13. Indeed we could not casily fall into sinful judging, were we only to observe that rulc, which another * of those heathen Romans affirms to have been the measure of his own practice. “ I am so far,” says he, “from lightly believing every man's or any man's cvidence against another, that I do not casily or immcdiately believe a man's cridonec against himself. I always allow him second thoughts, and many times counsel too." (io, thou who art called a Christian, and do likewise, best the heatheu rise and condemn thee in that lay!

14. But how rarely should we condemn or judge one another, at least, how soon vould that evil be remedicd, were we to walk by that clear and express rule, which our Lord himself has tanght us : “ If thy brother shall trespass against thec," (or if tbou hear or believe he batlı,] 6 go and tell him of his fault between thee ind him alone.” This is the first step thou art to take. " But if he will not hear, take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word may be establislied.” This is the second step. “If he neglect to hear then, tell it into the church;" cither to the overscers thereof, or to the whole congregation. Thou hast then done thy part. Then think of it no more, but commend the whole to God.

15. Birt supposing thou hast, by the grace of God, “ cast ilie beam out of thinc own eye,' and dost now “clearly see the mote or the beam which is in thy brother's eye,” yet beware thon dost not receive hurt thyself, by endeavouring to help him. Still “ Give not that which is holy unto dogs." Do not lightly account any to be of this number; but if it evidently appear that they deserve the title, then “ cast ye not your pearls before swine.” Beware of that zeal which is not according to knowledge. For this is another great binderance in their way, who would be “perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect." They who desire this, cannot but desire that all mankind should partake of the common blessing. And when we ourselves first partake of the heavenly gift, the divine “ evidence of things not scen,” we wonder that all mankind do not see the things which we see so plainly; and make no doubt at all, but we shall open the eyes of all we have any intercourse with. Hence we are for attacking all we meet without delay, and constraining them to see, whether they will or no; and by the ill success of this intemperate zeal, we often suffer in our own souls. To prevent this spending our strengtla in vain, our Lord adds this needful caution, (needful to all, but more especially to those who are now warm in their first love,) “ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

* Seneca.

16. “ Give not that wbich is holy unto the dogs.” Beware of thinking that any deserve this appellation, till there is full and incontestable proof, such as you can no longer resist. But when it is clearly and indisputably proyed, that they are unholy and wicked men, not only strangers to, but enemics to God, to all righteousness and true holiness ; " Give not that which is holy," To ayiov,the holy thing, emphatically so called, unto these. The holy, the peculiar doctrines of the Gospel, such as were hid from the ages and generations of old, and are now made known to us, only by the revelation of Jesus Christ, and by the inspiration of his Holy Spirit,--are not to be prostituted unto these men, who know not if there be any Holy Ghost. Not indeed that the ambassadors of Christ can refrain from declaring them in the great congregation, wherein some of these may probably be ; we must speak, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear; but this is not the case with private Christians. They do not bear that awful character; nor are they under any manner of obligation to force these great and glorious truths on them who contradict and blas pheme, who have a rooted enmity against them. Nay, they ought not so to do, but rather to lead them, as they are able to bear. Do not begin a discourse with these upon remission of sins, and the gift of the Holy Ghost; but talk with them in their own manner, and upon their own principles. With the

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