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any of thy faithful ministers and ambassa- as well as of a spreading, nature ; it puffs dors meet with the like usage and treatment up the dough, and so doth hypocrisy the from a wicked world; when any lie in heart. The Pharisees were a sour and wait to catch something out of our mouth, proud sort of people ; they were all for that therewith they may ensnare us, give pre-eminence, chief places, chief seats, us thy prudence and thy patience, that we chief titles, to be called Rabbi, Rabbi; in may cut off occasion, from those that seek a word, as leaven is hardly discerned from occasion against us, and disappoint them good dough at first sight, so is hypocrisy of their purpose; or else furnish us with hardly discerned and distinguished from such measures of meekness and patience, as sincerity. The Pharisees outwardly apbecomes persons of our holy character and peared righteous unto men, but within were profession, that we may glory in reproaches, full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Observe in persecutions and distresses, for Christ's next, The argument which Christ uses to sake, and that the spirit of glory and of dissuade men from hypocrisy: There is God may rest upon us.
nothing covered that shall not be reveal
ed. As if he had said, The day is coming, CHAP XII.
when a rotten and corrupt beart shall no IN IN the mean time, when there longer pass under the vizor and disguise of
were gathered together an innu- a demure look. In the day of judgment merable multitude of people, inso- hypocritical sinners shall walk naked; God, much that they trode one upon angels, and men, shall see their shame. another, he began to say unto his Learn hence, That God will certainly, ere disciples first of all, Beware ye of which the hypocrite has put upon the face
long, wash off all the varnish and paint the leaven of the Pharisees, which is of his profession, and lay bim open to the hypocrisy.' 2 For there is nothing terror of himself, and the astonishment of covered that shall not be revealed; the world. neither hid, that shall not be known. 3 Therefore, whatsoever ye have Be not afraid of them that kill the
4 And I say unto you, my friends, spoken in darkness shall be heard body, and after that have no more in the light ; and that which ye have that they can do: 5 But I will spoken in the ear, in closets, shall be forewarn you whom ye shall fear: proclaimed upon the house-tops. In this chapter our blessed Saviour fur- killed, hath power to cast into belt;
Fear him, which, after be hath nishes his disciples with many instructions for the worthy discharge of their yea, I say unto you, Fear him, function in preaching the gospel ; par- The second duty which our Saviour ticularly he recommends unto them iwo presses upon his disciples, is that of holy gracious qualifications, namely, upright- courage and resolution: as if Christ had ness and sincerity, ver. 1, 2, 3. Se- said, The preaching of the gospel will stir condly, courage and magnanimity, ver. 4, up many, enemies against you, which will 5. 1. He recommends unto them the grace malign and oppose you, vex and persecute and virtue of sincerity: Beware of the you; but I say unto you, fear them not leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypoc- who can only kill the body; but fear him risy. Learn hence, that hypocrisy is a who, if you fail in your duty, can cast dangerous leaven, which ministers and both body and soul into hell. Here Dote, people are chiefly to beware of, and to 1. An unwarrantable fear condemned, and preserve themselves from. Hypocrisy is a that is, the sinful, servile, slavish fear of vice in vizor; the face is vice, the vizor is man : Fear not them that kill the body. virtue; God is pretended, self intended: 2. An holy, awful, and prudential fear of hypocrisy is resembled to leaven; partly the omnipotent God commended: Fear for its sourness, partly for its diffusiveness. him that is able to kill both body and Leaven is a piece of sour dough, that soul. 3. The persons whom this duty of diffuses itself into the whole mass or lump fear is recommended to, and bound upon ; of bread with which it is mixed. Thus disciples, ministers, and ambassadors, all hypocrisy spreads over all the man ; all his the friends of Christ. They not only may, duties, parts and performances, are leavened but ought to fear him; not only for his with it. Again, Leaven is of a swelling, greatness and goodness, but upon the account of his punitive justice, as being able by him at the dreadful judgment of the to cast both soul and body into hell. Such great day. Christ may be denied three a fear is not only lawful, but laudable; ways : doctrinally, by an erroneous and not only commendable, but commanded, heretical judgment; verbally, by oral exand not misbecoming the friends of Christ. pressions ; vitally, by a wicked and unholy The ministers of God may use arguments life: but woe to that soul that denies Christ from fear of judgınents, both to dissuade any of these ways ! from sin, and to persuade to duty. It is not unsuitable to the best of saints to keep word against the Son of man, it
10 And whosoever shall speak a in heaven's way for fear of hell; to bid a friend fear, when that fear tendeth shall be forgiven him: but unto him to his good.
that blasphemeth against the Holy 6 Are not five sparrows sold for Ghost
, it shall not be forgiven. two farthings ? and not one of them Christ did, yet there were those that spake
Although never man preached or lived as is forgotten before God. 7 But
against him; the person of Jesus was even the very hairs of your head contemned and reproached, for the meanare all numbered. Fear not, there- ness of his birth, for the poverty of his confore : : ye are of more value than dition, for the freedom of his conversation; many sparrows.
but this sin did not exclude the hope of
pardon : Whosoever shall speak a word Observe here, 1. The doctrine which our Saviour preaches to his disciples : and that against the Son of man, it shall be for.
him : all the reproaches cast upon is, the doctrine of the divine providence, Christ, as man, were pardonable: But which concerns itself for the meanest of whosoever speaketh a word against the creatures
. Even the birds of the air, and Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him; the bairs of our heads, do fall within the that is, whoever affirms that divine power compass of God's protecting care. Ob
by which I do my miracles, to be the power serve, 2. The use which our Saviour makes of the devil, such blasphemy will be unparof this doctrine : namely, to fortify his dis- donable, because it is io resist the last remeciples' spirits against all distrustful fears, dy, and to oppose the best means of men's and distracting cares. Learn hence, 1. That conviction ; for what could be done more the consideration of the divine care, and gra- to convince men that Christ was the true cious providence of God over us and ours,
and promised Messias, than to work so ooght to antidote our spirits against all distrustful fears whatsoever. If an bair from many miracles before their eyes to that
Now these miracles, though the head falls not to the ground without a evidently wrought by the power of God, providence, much less shall the head itself. the Pharisees ascribed to the power of the if the very excrements of the body (such devil, which our Saviour calls Blasphemy are the hairs) be taken care of by God, surely the more noble parts of the body, but against the Holy Ghost, and a sin unpar
donable. especially the noblest part of ourselves, our soul, shall fall under his peculiar regard.
11 And when they bring you unto
the 8 Also I
synagogues, and unto magissay unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, how or what thing ye
trates and powers, take ye no thought
answer, him shall the Son of man also con
or what ye shall say: 12 For the fess before the angels of God; 9 Holy Ghost shall teach you in the But he that denieth me before men,
same hour what ye ought to say. shall be denied before the angels of
Here our Saviour acquaints his apostles,
that for preaching his doctrine, and professNote here, 1. That not to confess Christ, ing his religion, they should be brought before is in his account to deny him, and to be all sorts of magistrates, and into all kinds of ashamed of him. 2. That whosoever shall courts; but advises them, when they should deny or be ashamed of Christ, either in his be so brought, not to be anxiously thoughtperson, in his gospel, or in his members, ful, or solicitously careful what they should for any fear or favour of man, shall with say, for it should be suggested to them by shame be disowned, and eternally rejected the Holy Ghost, what they should speak
in that hour. Thence note, That though continuance of man's life doth consist in the truth of Christ may be opposed, yet an abundance; for though something of the defenders of it shall never be ashamed; this world's goods is necessary to the comfor rather than they shall want a tongue fort and happiness of life, yet abundance is to plead for it, God himself will prompt not necessary. Here observe, 1. The manner them by his Holy Spirit, and furnish them of our Lord's caution: he doubles it; not with such arguments to defend the truth, saying, take heed alone, or beware only; as all their adversaries shall not be able to but take heed, and beware, both. This gainsay: In that hour the Holy Ghost argues that there is a strong inclination in shall teach
our natures to this sin ; the great danger 13 And one of the company said
we are in of falling into it, and of what unto him, Master, speak to my bro- this sin reigns. Observe, 2. The matter of
fatal consequence it is to them in whom ther, that he divide the inheritance the caution, of the sin which our Saviour
14 And he said unto him, warns his hearers against, and that is coMan, who made me a judge or a di. vetousness : Take heed, and beware of vider over you?
codetousness. Where, under the name and Whilst our Saviour was thus instructing notion of covetousness, our Saviour doth his disciples and the rest of his auditors, in pot condemn a provident care for the things appertaining to the kingdom of hea- things of this life, nor a regular industry ven; one of the company being more in- and diligence for obtaining of them, nor tent, as it seems, upon his temporal than every degree of love and affection to them ; his eternal concerns, desired him to speak but by covetousness, is to be understood an to his brother to divide the inheritance eager and insatiable desire after the things with him. Christ tells him, he would nei- of this life, or using unjust ways and means ther be judge nor arbitrator in any civil to get or increase an estate; seeking the affairs, or secular concerns. This work, as things of this life with the neglect of things if Christ had said, belongs to the civil ma- infinitely better, and placing their chief gistrate, to divide inheritances, and decide happiness in riches. Observe, 3. The reacontroversies betwixt man and man; but son of this caution : Because a man's life my work is of another nature, namely, to consisteth not in the abundance of the preach the gospel to a lost world, and to things which he possesseth. Human life direct men how to secure an inheritance in is sustained by a little; therefore abundance heaven, not to divide inheritances here on is not necessary either to the support, a earth. Teaching us, That matters of civil comfort of it. 'Tis not a great estate and justice do not belong to those whom Christ vast possessions that make a man happy in sends forth to preach the gospel ; that this world, but a mind suited to our conwork alone is sufficient for them: the pro- dition, whatever it be. per work of a minister is work enough ; one branch of which is to manage a per. them, saying, The ground of a cer
16 And he spake a parable unto suading task betwixt neighbour and neigh. tain rich man brought forth plentibour, to prevent differences, and to compose them: but as Christ's commissioners fully : 17 And he thought within and ministers of the gospel, they have no himself, saying, Wbat shall I do, authority to intermeddle in civil judgments: because I have no room where to Who made me a judge over you ? said bestow my fruits ? 18 And he said, our great Master ; that is, a judge in civil This will I do: I will pull down my affairs.
16 And he said unto them, Take barns, and build greater; and there heed, and beware of covetousness :
will I bestow all my fruits and my for a man's life consisteth not in
19 And I will say to my the abundance of the things which soul, Soul, thou hast much good's
laid he possesseth.
many years ; take thine Our Saviour, upon the occasion given ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 him in the foregoing verses, admonishes all But God said unto him, Thou rool! his disciples and followers to take heed this night thy soul shall be required and beware of the sin of covetousness, as
of thee: then whose shall those suring them, that neither the comfort nor things be, which thou hast provided : 21 So is he that layeth up treasure years, says he. God will not have us for himself, and is not rich towards think of rest in a place of disquiet, nor of God.
certainty in a condition of inconstancy ;
we are dependent creatures, and our time The design and scope of our Saviour in is in God's hand : This night shall thy this parable, is to show men the vileness soul be taken away from thee. Learn, 3. and vanity of the sin of covetousness, or an That the souls of ungodly men are taken eager and insatiable desire after the things from them by force and compulsion : Thy of this world. When men heap up riches, soul shall be required of thee. Good and lay up treasures in this life, taking no men have the same reluctances of pature care to be rich towards God in faith and which others have, yet they sweetly regood works, our Saviour illustrates this by sign their souls into ihe hands of God in the parable of a rich man, whom God had a dying hour ; whereas a wicked man, blessed with great plenty, yet his desire of though he sometimes dies by his own hand, more wealth was never satisfied, but he is yet he never dies with the consent of his projecting how he may lay up goods in store own will; he chooses rather to eat dust for many years. Where noie, 1. That the (with the serpent) than to return to dust. parable doth not intimate any indirect and Observe, 5. The expostulatory question : unjust ways of gain which this man used 10 Whose then shall those things be, which increase his estate, but condemns bis in- thou hast provided ? Intimating, 1. That satiable desire and thirst after more. So they should not be his : a man's wealth that hence we may learn, That an eager lasts no longer than his life, neither has he and inordinate desire after the things of any longer the comfort of it: lay up gold, this world, though it be free from injustice, and it perishes with thee; but treasure up and doing wrong to others, is one spe. grace, and it shall accompany thee : Whose cies, or kind, of the sin of covetousness. shall those things be ? Notihine, undoubtObserve, 2. How this rich man looked no edly. 2. As these things shall not be thine, farther than himself, not looking upon him. when thou art gone, so thou knowest not self as God's steward, but his own car- whose they shall be after thou art gone ; whever; he cries out, What shall I do, be. ther they shall fall into the hand of a child cause I have no room where to lay my or a stranger ; of a wise man or a fool : fruits ? Not considering that the houses of the wealthiest man cannot be certain who the poor should have been his granaries shall be his heir, and whose goods his for the abundance of his increase. Chari- shall be. Observe lastly, The application ty to the necessitous is the best way of which our Saviour makes of this parable to bestowing our abundance. God's extra- his disciples : So is every one that layordinary bounty is to be laid out for the eth up treasure for himself, and is not relief of others' necessities, not for the grati- rich towards God. Learn hence, That fying of our own luxurious desires. Observe, such as are not rich in grace, rich in good 3. The brand of infamy which the wise works, shall find no benefit by, and take God fixes upon this covetous rich man : no comfort in, all their worldly riches in Thou fool, says God. Learn thence, That the time of their greatest need, at the hour it is an act and instance of the most egre- of death, and in the day of judgment. gious folly imaginable, for persons to spend Learn farther, How brutish and unworthy their time and strength in getting and of a man it was, for this person to cheer laying up treasure upon earih ; in the up his soul with the hopes of worldly promean time neglecting to be rich towards visions, to bid his soul eat, drink, and God in faith and good works : Thou fool. be merry. Alas! the soul can no more Observe, 4. The doleful tidings and threat- eat, drink, and be merry with carpal things, ening news brought unto him: This night than the body can with spiritual and inthy soul shall be required of thee. Learn material things : it cannot feed upon bread hence, 1. That a man's wealth is not that perisheth; but bring it to a reconciled able to preserve his life, much less to save God in Christ, to the covenant of grace, his soul and if wealth cannot save a man's and sweet promises of the gospel ; set belife, why should men endanger their lives, fore it the joys and comforts of the Spirit nay, hazard their souls, to get or increase and if it be a sanctified and renewed wealth? Learn, 2. That God takes away soul, it can make a rich feast upon these. men's lives many times when they least Spiritual things are proper food for spirisuspect it: This night, says God ; many tual souls ; deservedly then is this person life;
branded with the name of fool, for saying, fore I say unto you, take no thought for Soul, thou hast goods laid up for many your life, what ye shall eat or drink. years; eat, drink, and be
But if we understand the words in this sense,
we must look upon it only as a temporary 22 And he said unto his disciples, command, given to the apostles for that Therefore I say unto you, Take no time only; like that in St. Matt. x. 9. thought for your life, what ye shall Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor eat ; neither for the body, what ye
brass, in your purses: neither coat nor shall put on. 23 The life is more
scrip ; which no man ever understood than meat, and the body is more particular precept to the apostles at that
as a general law to all christians, but as a than raiment. 24 Consider the ra
iime. 2. Others understand these injuncvens: for they neither sow nor reap; tions of our Saviour to be consistent with a which neither have storehouse nor prudent and provident care for the things barn ; and God feedeth them. How of this life, not forbidding a regular inmuch much more are ye better than
dustry and diligence for the obtaining of the fowls ? 25 And which of you
them, but condemning only an anxious,
vexatious, tormenting care, and an overwith taking thought can add to his
solicitous diligence for the things of this stature one cubit ? 26 If ye then
and taking our Saviour's words for be not able to do that thing which a general and standing rule to all christians, is least, why take ye thought for the they only forbid distrustful thoughtfulness, rest? 27 Consider the lilies how distracting cares, which drive a man's mind they grow ; they toil not, they spin this way and that way, (like meteors or not: and
clouds in the air, as the word signifies.) That
you, Solomon in all his glory was not ar
Now against this vexatious care, and se
licitous thoughtfulness, our Saviour prorayed like one of these. 28 If then
pounds many weighty arguments or conGod so clothe the grass, which is to- siderations; four especially. He tells us, day in the field, and to-morrow is such cares are needless, fruitless, heathenish, cast into the oven, how much more and brutish. I. 'Tis needless : Your will he clothe you, O ye of little heavenly Father knoweth that ye hade faith? 29 And seek not ve what need of these things, and will certainly ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink,
provide for you; and what need you take
care, and God too ? cast your care upon neither be ye of doubiful mind. 30
him. 2. 'Tis fruitless: Which of you by For all these things do the nations taking thought can add one cubit to his of the world seek after : and your stature? We may sooner by our carping Father knoweth that ye have need care add a furlong to our grief, than a of these things.
cubit to our comfort. All our own care,
without God's help, will neither feed us There is a twofold sense and interpretation when we are hungry, nor nourish us when given of these verses. 1. Some take them we are fed. 3. 'Tis heathenish : After all as spoken only to the apostles, directing these things do the Gentiles seek, Matt. them absolutely to cast off all care for the vi. 32. The ends and objects of a christhings of this life, that so they might attend tian's thoughts ought to be higher and upon Christ's person, and wholly give up more sublime than that of heathens. Lastly, themselves to that work to which he had 'Tis brutish, nay, worse than brutish. The called them : and therefore St. Luke here birds of the air, the beasts of the field, takes notice, that after he had cautioned the ravens of the valley, all are fed and his hearers in general against covetousness, sustained by God, without any care of he applies himself particularly to his disciples, their own; much more shall his children. and tells thein, that he would have them Has God a breakfast ready for every little so far from this sin of covetousness, that bird that comes chirping out of its nest, they should not use that ordinary care, and for every beast of the field that comes and common industry aboạt the things of leaping out of its den ; and will be not much this life, which is not only lawful but ne- more provide for you? Surely, that God cessary for men in all ordinary cases, verse that feeds the ravens when they cry, will 22. And he said unto his disciples, There- not starve his children when they pray.