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see Gen. Xxxiv. 2.
e sec Pisa, : versary quickly, e whiles thou art in the way with him ;
lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. 26 Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means come out thence till thou hast paid the uttermost
farthing. 27 Ye have heard that it was said [5 by them of ExOvo old time], 'Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 but I say
& That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust 1 Sam, xi. 2. after her hath % committed adultery with her already in his Mark ix. 43– heart.
heart. 29 h And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, y omit.
2 render, adulterously used her. make up a matter with an adversary be. an unmarried woman with a view to for. fore judgment is passed, which may deliver nication (it being borne in mind that spia man to a hard and rigorous imprisonment, ritually, and before God, all fornication is so reconciliation with an offended brother adultery, inasmuch as the unmarried perin this life is absolutely necessary before son is bound in loyalty and chastity to his wrong cry against us to the Great Him: see Stier below)—yet the direct Judge, and we be cast into eternal con- assertion in this verse must be understood demnation.'— The adversary, in its abstract as applying to the cases where this sin is personification, is the offended law of God, in question. And, again, the looketh on... which will cry against us in that day for to lust after, must not be interpreted of all wrongs done to others; but in its con- the casual evil thought which is checked by crete representation it is the offended bro holy watchfulness, but the gazing with a ther, who is to us that law, as long as he view to feed that desire. And again, has its claim upon us.
The way, in the hath adulterously used her already in interpretation, is the way in which all men his heart, whatever it may undoubtedly walk, the “ way of all the earth” of imply respecting the guilt incurred in 1 Kings ii. 2, the “ way whence I shall not God's sight, does not directly state any return” of Job. xvi. 22. In the civil pro- thing; but plainly understood, affirms that cess, it represents the attempt at arbitra- the man who can do this-viz. gaze with tion or private arrangement before coming a view to feed unlawful desire'-has already into court. 26.] These words, as in in his heart passed the barrier of criminal the earthly example they imply future intention; made up his mind, stifled his liberation, because an earthly debt can be conscience; in thought, committed the paid in most cases, so in the spiritual coun- deed. But perhaps there is justice in terpart they amount to a negation of it, Stier's remark, that our Lord speaks here because the debt can never be discharged. after the 0. T. usage, in which, both in the We have “until he should pay what was
seventh commandment and elsewhere, adul. due,” in ch. xviii. 30, where the payment tery also includes fornication ; for marwas clearly impossible. The minister is the riage is the becoming one flesh,—and thereofficer of the court who saw the sentences fore every such union, except that after the executed. If we are called on to assign a manner and in the state appointed by God, meaning to it in the interpretation, it must is a violation and contempt of that holy orrepresent the chief of those who in ch. dinance. The rendering of the A. V., "hath xviii. 34, are hinted at by“the tormentors," committed adultery with her," is objectionviz. the great enemy, the minister of the able, as making her a party to the sin, which divine wrath. farthing, the fourth the original does not. 29.] Chrysospart of an as.
tom observes, that these cominands relate 27 – 30.] SECOND EXAMPLE. The law not to the limbs themselves, which are not of adultery. 28. whosoever looketh..] in fault, but to the evil desire, which is. An The precise meaning should in this verse be admonition, arising out of the truth ankept in mind, as the neglect of it may lead nounced in the last verse, to withstand the into error. Our Lord is speaking of the first springs and occasions of evil desire, sin of adultery, and therefore, however the even by the sacrifice of what is most useful saying may undoubtedly apply by implica- and dear to us. We may observe here, tion to cases where this sin is out of the that our Lord grounds His precept of the question-e.g. to the impure beholding of most rigid and decisive self-denial on the
and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
31 It hath been said, · Whosoever shall put away his wife, ' Demiri med: let him give her a writing of divorcement : 32 but I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for k chaise the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery : and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them
Luke xvi. 18.
considerations of the truest self-interest, tainly it would appear, from the literal it is profitable for thee. See ch. xviii. meaning of our Lord's words, that it 8, 9, and notes.
should not be allowed : for if by such 31, 32.] THIRD EXAMPLE. The law of divorce the marriage be altogether disdivorce. See note on ch. xix. 7–9. Light. solved, how can the woman be said to foot gives a form of the "writing of divorce- commit adultery by a second marriage ? ment” which was a divorcement a mensa or how will St. Paul's precept (1 Cor. vii. et thoro, and placed the woman abso- 11) find place ? for stating this as St. Paul lutely in her own power, to marry whom does, prefaced by the words “not 1, but she pleased. In Deut. xxiv. 1, the allow- the Lord,” it must be understood, and has able reason of divorce is some unclean. been taken, as referring to this rery verse, ness. This the disciples of Shammai in- or rather (see note there) to ch. xix. 6 ff., terpreted only of adultery ; those of Hillel and consequently can only suppose fornicaof any thing which amounted to unclean- tion as the cause. Besides which, the tenor ness in the eyes of the husband.
of our Lord's teaching in other places (see 32.] fornication must be taken to mean above) seems to set before us the state of sin, not only before marriage, but after it marriage as absolutely indissoluble as such, also, in a wider sense, as including adultery however he may sanction the expulsion a likewise. In the similar places, Mark x. mensâ et thoro of an unfaithful wife. Those 11; Luke xvi. 18, this exception does not who defend the other view suppose divorced occur; see however our ch. xix. 9. The
to mean, unlawfully divorced, not for forfigurative senses of fornication cannot be nication : and certainly this is not improadınissible here, as the law is one having bable. We may well leave a matter in reference to a definite point in actual life; doubt, of which Augustine could say, that and this, its aim and end, restricts the it was so obscure, that error on either side meaning to that kind of fornication im- is venial. mediately applicable to the case. Other- 33–37.] FOURTI EXAMPLE. The law wise this one strictly guarded exception of oaths. 33, 34.] The exact meanwould give indefinite and universal lati- ing of these verses is to be ascertained by tude. causeth her to commit adul. two considerations. (1) That the Jews tery] viz. by her second marriage, thus held all those oaths not to be binding, in put within her power. and whoso- which the sacred name of God did not ever] How far the marriage of the inno- directly occur :-see Philo and Lightfoot cent party after separation (on account cited in my Gr. Test. A stress is to be of fornication) is forbidden by this or the laid on this technical distinction in the similar passage ch. xix. 9, is a weighty quotation made by our Lord ; and we and difficult question. By the Roman must understand as belonging to the Church such marriage is strictly forbid. quotation, ' but whatever thou shalt swear den, and the authority of Augustine much not to the Lord may be transgressed.' cited, who strongly upholds this view, but (2) Then our Lord passes so far beyond not without misgivings later in life. On this rule, that He lays down (including in the other hand, the Protestant and Greek it the understanding that all oaths must Churches allow such marriage. Cer- be kept if made, for that they are all ultiVOL. I.
23. n James v. 12.
o Isa, lxvi. 1.
1 Leuit: 1.1.2. of old time, 'Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but mshalt m Deut. xxiii. perform unto the Lord thine oaths : 34 but I say unto
you, "Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is
• God's throne : 35 nor by the earth; for it is his ° footstool : t Psa. xlviii. 2. neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King:
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let
your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. 38 Ye have heard that it hath been said, u An eye
u Exod. xxi. 24.
LEVIT. xxiv. 20. DEUT. xix. 21.
mately referable to swearing by God) the the earth, by Jerusalem, by their own rule of the Christian community, which is heads, and these brought in on the not to swear at all; for that every such slightest need, or on no need at all; just means of strengthening a man's simple as now-a-days the same lingering halfaffirmation arises out of the evil in human respect for the Holy Name will often nature, is rendered requisite by the dis- cause men, who would not be wholly protrust that sin has induced, and is, there. fane, to substitute for that name sounds fore, out of the question ainong the just that nearly resemble, but are not exactly and true and pure of heart. See James v. it, or the name, it may be, of some hea12, and note there, as explanatory why, in then deity.'
36.] Thou hast no control both cases, swearing by the name of God over the appearance of grey hairs on thy is not specified as forbidden. In the head-thy head is not thine own ;-thou words, 'Swear not at all,' our Lord does swearest then by a creature of God, whose not so much make a positive enactment by destinies and changes are in God's hand; which all swearing is to individuals for- so that every oath is an appeal to God. bidden, e. g. on solemn occasions, and for And, indeed, men generally regard it as the satisfaction of others, (for that would such now, even unconsciously. be a mere technical Pharisaism, wholly at Yea, yea; Nay, nay] The similar place, variance with the spirit of the Gospel, and James v. 12, adınirably illustrates thisinconsistent with the example of God “ let your yea be yea, and your nay nay :”. himself, Heb. vi. 13–17; vii. 21 ; of the - let these only be used, and they in simLord when on earth, whose“ verily verily plicity and unreservedness. cometh I say unto you” was a solemn assevera- of evil] The gender of evil is ambiguous, tion, and who at once respected the solemn as it may be also in the Lord's prayer, ch. adjuration of Caiaphas, ch. xxvi. 63, 64; vi. 13: but see note there. It is quite of His Apostles, writing under the guid- immaterial to the sense, in which gender ance of His Spirit, see Gal. i. 20: 2 Cor. we understand it; for the evil of man's i. 23: Rom. i. 9: Phil. i. 8, and especially corrupt nature is in Scripture spoken of as 1 Cor. xv. 31; of His holy angels, Rev. x. the work of “th evil Öne," and is itself 6,) as declare -to us, that the proper state “ that which is evil.” See John viii. 44: of Christians is, to require no oaths; that 1 John ïi. 8. when evil is expelled from among them, 38—41.] FIFTH EXAMPLE. The laro every yea and nay will be as decisive as an of retaliation. 38.] That is, such oath, every promise as binding as a vow. was the public enactment of the Mosaic We observe (a) that these verses imply law, and, as such, it implied a private the unfitness of vows of every kind as rules spirit of retaliation which should seek of Christian action ; (6) that the greatest such redress ; for the example evidently regard ought to be had to the scruples of refers to private as well as public retri. those, not only sects, but individuals, who bution. Here again our Lord appears object to taking an oath, and every facility to speak of the true state and perfection given in a Christian state for their ulti- of a Christian community,--not to forbid, mate entire abolition. 34, 35.] Com- in those mixed and but half-Christian pare ch. xxiii. 16–22. Dean Trench states, which have ever divided so-called observes (Serm. on Mount, p. 55), “Men Christendom among them, the infliction had learned to think that, if only God's of judicial penalties for crime. In fact name were avoided, there was no irreve. Scripture speaks, Rom. xii. 4, of the rence in the frequent oaths by heaven, by minister of such infliction as the minister
v Rom. xii. 17.
see Prov. xx. 22.
40 And if any
w Isa. 1. o.
eye, and a tooth for a tooth : 39 but I
That ye resist not evil : but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, w turn to him the other also. man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. 42 Give to him that asketh thee, and * from him that would borrow of thee Deut. xv. 7– turn not thou away. of God. But as before, our Lord shews ticular form of his working (viz. malice us the condition to which a Christian com- directed against thyself) so as to revenge munity should tend, and to further which it on another. 40, 41.] See note on every private Christian's own endeavours ver. 39. This is of legal contention only, should be directed. It is quite beside the and is thus distinguished from the violence purpose for the world to say, that these in ver. 39. take away, i.e. in pledge precepts of our Lord are too highly for a debt: see Exod. xxii. 6. coat, pitched for humanity, and so to find an the inner and less costly garment; cloke, excuse for violating them. If we the outer and more valuable, used also by disciples of His in the true sense, these the poor as a coverlet by night (Exod. as precepts would, in their spirit, as indicative above). In Luke vi. 29 the order is inof frames of mind, be strictly observed ; verted, and appears to be that in which and, as far as we are His disciples, we the two garments would be taken from the shall attain to such their observance. body, that verse referring to abstraction Here again, our Lord does not contradict by violence. See the apostolic comment the Mosaic law, but expands and fulfils on this precept, 1 Cor. vi. 7. compel] it, declaring to us that the necessity for The original word is one derived from the it would be altogether removed in the Persian name of the post-couriers who carried complete state of that kingdom which He the government despatches: and is thence came to establish.
Against the notion used of any compulsory“ pressing” to go on that an eye for an eye &c. sanctioned service. «The Jews particularly objected to all kinds of private revenge, Augustine the duty of furnishing posts for the Roman remarks that the ancient precept was government; and Demetrius, wishing to rather intended to allay, than to stimulate conciliate the Jews, promised, among other anger; as a limit to vindictiveness, not things, that their beasts of burden should a licence. 39.] Here again, we not be pressed for service. Hence our Sahave our divine Lawgiver legislating, not viour represents this as a burden.' Josephus. in the bondage of the letter, so as to stul- The billeting of the Roman soldiers and tify His disciples, and in many circum- their horses on the Jews was one kind of stances to turn the salt of the earth into this compulsion.
42.] The proper a means of corrupting it, but in the understanding of the command in this verse freedom of the spirit, laying down those may be arrived at from considering the great principles which ought to regulate way in which the Lord Himself, who dethe inner purposes and consequent actions clares, If ye shall ask any thing in my of His followers. Taken slavishly and name, I will do it' (John xiv. 14), perliterally, neither did our Lord Himself forms this promise to us. It would obconform to this precept (John xviii. 22, viously be, not a promise of love, but a 23), nor His Apostles (Acts xxiii. 3). But sentence of condemnation to us, undertruly, and in the spirit, our blessed Re- stood in its bare literal sense; but our deemer obeyed it: He gave his back to gracious Saviour, knowing what is good the smiters, and his cheeks to them that for us, so answers our prayers, that we plucked off the hair, and hid not his face never are sent empty away; not always, from shame and spitting' (Isa. 1. 6): and indeed, receiving what we ask,—but that his Apostles also, see 1 Cor. iv. 9-13. which, in the very disappointment, we
evil] i. e. here the evil man; are constrained thankfully to confess is him who injures thee. Or, perhaps, in better than our wish. So, in his humble the indefinite sense, as before, evil, gene- sphere, should the Christian giver act. To rally, when thus directed against thee.' give every thing to every one-the sword Only, the other possible meaning there, to the madman, the alms to the impostor, • the evil One,' is precluded here. Resist the criminal request to the temptressthe devil,” James iv. 7: but not this par- would be to act as the enemy of others
y Deut. xxiii.
z Rom. xii. 14,
20. A Luke xxiii.
43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, y Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and y hate thine enemy.
44 But I say unto you, ? Love your enemies, [a bless them that 5.4. Acts 'tii. curse you, do good to them that hate you,] and pray for
them which [a despitefully use you, and] persecute you ;
45 that ye may be b the children of your father which is in b Job xxv. 3. heaven: for he maketh his b sun to rise on the evil and
on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same ? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye
more than others ? do not even the publicans so? c Gem evil...: 48 € Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is
b render, sons. C The oldest and best authorities have Gentiles the same.
and ourselves. Ours should be a higher unthankful and evil,—the more firmly and deeper charity, flowing from those shall we assure, and the more nobly illus. - inner springs of love, which are the sources trate, our place as sons in His family, as of outward actions sometimes widely di- having entered into the kingdom of vergent; whence may arise both the timely heaven. for] i. e. because, in that concession, and the timely refusal.
gives the particular in which the conboorrw] without usury, which was for- formity implied by
consists. bidden by the law, Exod. xxii. 25: Levit. There is a sentiment of Seneca remarkably xxv. 37 : Deut. xxiii. 19, 20.
parallel : “If thou wouldest imitate the 43-48.] SIXTH EXAMPLE. The law gods, confer benefits even on the ungrateof love and hatred. 43.] The Jews ful: for the sun rises on the wicked as called all Gentiles indiscriminately ‘ene- well as on others, and the seas are open for mies.' In the Pharisaic interpretation pirates' use.” 46. publicans] This therefore of the maxim (the latter part of race of men, so frequently mentioned as which, although a gloss of the Rabbis, is the objects of hatred and contempt among a true representation of the spirit of the the Jews, and coupled with sinners, were law, which was enacted for the Jews as not properly the publicans, who were a theocratic people), it would include the wealthy Romans, of the rank of knights, “ hatred for mankind,” with which the farming the revenues of the provinces; Jews were so often charged.
But our but their underlings, heathens or renegade Lord's fulfilment' of neighbourly love Jews, who usually exacted with recklessextends it to all mankind- not only foreign ness and cruelty. The Talmud classes nations, but even those who are actively them with thieves and assassins, and reemployed in cursing, reviling, and perse- gards their repentance as impossible.” cuting us; and the hating of enemies is, Wordsw. In interpreting these verses we in His fulfilment of it, no longer an in- must carefully give the persons spoken of dividual or national aversion, but a coming their correlative value and meaning: ye, out and being separate from all that rebel. Christians, sons of God, the true theo
45. sons] i. e. in being like Him. cracy, the Kingdom of heaven,-these, Of course there is allusion to our state of publicans” or “ Gentiles," men of this children by covenant and adoption ; but world, actuated by worldly motives,– the likeness is the point especially here what thank have ye in being like them ?' brought out. So imitators of God, Eph. 47. salute] Here, most probably in v. 1.
The more we lift ourselves above its literal sense, Jews did not salute Gen. the world's view of the duty and ex- tiles : Mohammedans do not salute Chrispediency of revenge and exclusive dealing, tians even now in the East. 48. Be ye] into the mind with which the righteous The original is Ye shall be: not altogether Judge, strong and patient, who is pro- imperative in meaning, but including the voked every day,' yet does good to the imperative sense : such shall be the state,