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your undivided attention on those them all these blessings; to give practical truths which are so remark- them the privileges of his people here, ably prominent throughout these and to receive them to his glory in chapters.
the world to come.
Isa. lvii. 15. Blessed are they that mourn.
Not they who are oppressed with READER.-Our Saviour begins that sorrow of the world which workhis discourse by expounding to us eth death ;-not merely those who the principles of happiness; merci- are bent under the weight of some fully declaring to us in what dispo- heavy affliction, unless their grief be sitions and habits our real blessed- made a means of bringing them to ness, for time and for eternity, God;—but those who "sorrow after a consists.
godly sort,”—lamenting the sins and Blessed are the poor in spirit.- guilt of which they are conscious, True happiness must be built upon mourning over their own sins and the the foundation of unfeigned humility sins of others. and lowliness of mind. The poor in
. spirit are those who have a real, deep, Gospel, proclaiming the value of and practical sense of their own in- Christ's blood,—the infinite comnate corruption, the guilt of their passion of God, and the suitableness actual transgressions, and their state and efficacy of the scheme of redempof helplessness and spiritual destitu- tion,--shall speak peace to their tion; and who are hence led to re- souls. A balm has been provided nounce all confidence in self.--Now for their wound. They will find the it is true that this state of mind promises of pardon, and peace, and and feeling, if alone, does not make eternal life ; they will receive that a man happy ; but that, if it termi- word of consolation, which shall lead nate in itself, is, to say the least, im- them to exclaim, “This is all my perfect. Why, then, are the poor in salvation and all my desire." Isa. spirit happy? Our Saviour answers, Ixi. 1-3; Mat. xi. 28-30; John
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. xiv. 26, 27; Rev. xxi. 4. - These humble men are prepared to
Blessed are the meek.—The meek receive the Gospel of the grace of are they who easily and quietly subGod, to submit to divine teaching, mit to the will of God and the dis—to follow the leadings of the Holy | pensations of his providence, even Spirit,—to become members even when contrary to their natural innow of that kingdom of God which clination ; and who are gentle, kind, is righteousness, and peace, and joy and forbearing in their disposition in the Holy Ghost, and hereafter to
and conduct towards men. Meekawake
and behold the face of God ness is a submissive, patient, peacein righteousness, and to dwell with ful, quiet temper; opposed to a Him for ever. And the Most High proud, impatient, quarrelsome, or regraciously vouchsafes to bestow upon vengeful disposition. And the men who possess this temper--who "hum- labour for that which satisfieth not? ble themselves under the mighty Hearken diligently unto me, and eat hand of God," and are “gentle ye that which is good, and let your towards all men,” are happy; soul delight itself in fatness.” (Isa.
For they shall inherit the earth ;- lv. 1, 2).-“ As for me," says the they shall have the most real enjoy- Psalmist, “I will behold thy face in ment of the gifts of providence during righteousness: I shall be satisfied, this present life; and it is their pri- when I awake, with thy likeness,” vilege to regard their peace, tran- yes, finally, fully, everlastingly satisquillity, and sense of the divine favour fied and happy. Ps. xvii. 15. and blessing here below, as an earnest Blessed are the merciful: for they and foretaste of a better inheritance, shall obtain mercy. The merciful "incorruptible, and undefiled, and are those who, being penetrated with that fadeth not away." (Prov. xxii. a sense of God's great and unmerited 24, 25; xv. 1 ; xxv. 8–15; 1 Tim. goodness, compassion, and lovingiv. 8; vi. 3—6.)
kindness toward themselves, cherish Blessed are they which do hunger a temper of pity and compassion, of and thirst after righteousness ;—that free, generous love, and active beneis to say, they who have a deep and volence, towards their brethren. ardent desire to be accounted right- In showing mercy and doing good, eous, and to be made holy; to be we imitate, at our humble distance, accepted of God as his children, and one of the most glorious of God's to be conformed to his image in their moral attributes. - Merciful as God mind and disposition, and enabled to is merciful." How exalted is this fulfil his will in their life and con- privilege! They shall obtain duct. The believer in Christ Jesus, mercy.” How great is this reward ! sensible of his want of these ines- God, in his providence, will cause timable blessings, and knowing that such persons to find favour with men, they are promised to those who seek so far as it may be for their good ; for them, is earnest and importunate and, what is more, He will grant in his desires and endeavours, with them that—which even the most beprayer, for the attainment of the nevolent man will need—mercy in good which is thus held out for his the day of judgment, according to acceptance.
his promise. If they have given For they shall be filled.—These de- proof of their love to God, the fruit sires, kindled by God's Spirit, shall of faith, God will finally fulfil his be satisfied. “Ho, every one that promises, so freely made to all who thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and shall then be “found in Christ, not he that hath no money; come ye, having their own righteousness, which buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine is of the law, but that which is and milk without money and without through the faith of Christ, the price. Wherefore do ye spend money righteousness which is of God by for that which is not bread, and your faith.” (Phil. iii. 9).
Blessed are the pure in heart.- Who known by their likeness to him in are the pure in heart? They, whose this distinguishing feature of his hearts, having been purified by faith, character. Let “ labour for are honest and sincere, without hy- peace;" and let our love of truth be pocrisy or guile,---and are free from combined with a love of unity and the love and dominion of sin, that concord. Whose children are we, if source of pollution which God hates. we are ready and willing to promote
For they shall see God ;--they shall quarrels in a family, to sow divisions enjoy the manifestation of his favour in a church, or to fan the flames of and his presence.
“ Not only shall discord in the state ? they see him perfectly hereafter, but, Blessed are they which are persecuas far as they can receive him, he ted for righteousness' sake ; for theirs will impart and make himself known is the kingdom of heaven.—In this unto them here. (John xiv. 23). verse, and the two following, our Whereas, on the contrary, what Lord sets forth the happiness of those makes the word obscure is, the filthy who meekly submit to sufferings at mists within. God will in just judg- the hands of worldly and wicked ment hide himself, and the saving men, on account of their religion,truth of his word, from those that on account of their dutiful, conscienentertain sin and delight in it; the tious obedience to the known will of very sins in which they delight shall God. It is not a blessed thing to obscure and darken the light of the affect singularity, or to overstrain Gospel to them, so that though it religious observances, and so to excite shines clear as the sun at noon day, opposition against ourselves ; much they shall be as those that live in a less is it blessed to make false predungeon; they shall not discern it.” tensions to personal piety, or to set -Let us dread this awful punish-up unwarranted claims on behalf of ment and loss; may ours be the religion or the church; and then to blessedness of those who shall indeed submit to sufferings which we have, see God, see him “spiritually and in fact, deserved. But it is a sign mediately in this life, gloriously and of grace, and an earnest of future immediately in the life to come!' glory, to submit patiently and meekly
Blessed are the peace-makers ; for to unmerited and unprovoked wrongs, they shall be called the children of arising not from our own misconduct God.—Where there is inward purity or indiscretion, but simply from the of heart, there will be a love of out- evil dispositions of men's hearts, ward peace, unanimity, and concord; their hatred of what is good, their -the man who is at peace with God, patronage of what is false and unholy, will study and delight to be at peace from the power of Satan in the with his neighbours, and to promote world, or the dominion of error, peace among all men upon earth. bigotry, and rancour in the professing God is the author of peace; and the Church of Christ. 1 Pet. iii. 13children of this heavenly Father are 18; Phil. i. 29.
Bless'd are the pure, whose hearts are clean
With regard to all these particulars of a holy temper, a truly religious frame of mind and course of conduct, let us not only remember the sayings of the Lord Jesus recorded in this passage for our learning ; but let us also consider how completely they were exemplified in his own most holy life. Let us consider his humility; how he mourned over the sins of men and suffered for them; his meekness; that it was his meat and drink to do the will of the Father ; his merciful and compassionate temper; his purity of heart; his peaceable and peace-making disposition ; his meek submission to reproaches, and persecution even unto death.—And, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may the same mind be in us which was in Christ Jesus our Lord. So shall we hereafter be made partakers of his blessedness
CHAP. V. 13-20.
Who are the salt of the earth, the light of
the world, the city on an hill, the candle. That Christ came to fulfil the Law.
HYMN. Bless'd are the humble souls that see Their emptiness and poverty; Treasures of grace to them are given, And crowns of joy laid up in heaven. Bless'd are the men of broken heart, Who mourn for sin with inward smart ; The blood of Christ divinely flows, A healing balm for all their woes. Bless'd are the meek, who stand afar From rage and passion, noise and war ; God will secure their happy state, And plead their cause against the great. Bless'd are the souls who thirst for grace, Honger and long for righteousness ; They shall be well supplied and fed With living streams and living bread. Bless'd who, instructed from above, Are fill'd with sympathy and love; From Christ the Lord they shall obtain Like sympathy and love again.
13 | Ye are the salt of the earth : Pbut if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted ? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
14 ?Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men "light a candle, and put it under || a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, 'that they may see your good works, and 'glorify your Father which is in heaven.
17 ( “Think not that I am | example, and influence, under the come to destroy the law, or the divine blessing, they keep the world prophets: I am not come to de- from universal corruption and ruin.
-May this honour be our own! stroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, spised or persecuted, if we are enabled
Well may we be content to be dew Till heaven and earth pass, one to be the instruments of so much jot or one tittle shall in no wise good ! pass from the law, till all be ful
If the salt have lost its savour. — It filled.
is a sad and disgraceful condition to 19 Whosoever therefore bear the name of Christians without shall break one of these least having the life of Christianity within
us, and without adorning the Gospel commandments, and shall teach
by our lives and conduct. I admire men so, he shall be called the
the following apposite allusion and least in the kingdom of heaven: remark of a commentator on this pasbut whosoever shall do and sage.—Maundrell, speaking of a certeach them, the same shall be tain rock in the Valley of Salt, says, called great in the kingdom of " I broke a piece of it, of which that heaven.
part that was exposed to the rain, 20 For I say unto you, That
sun, and air, though it had the sparks
and particles of salt, yet had perexcept your righteousness shall
fectly lost its savour : the inner part, exceed the righteousness of the 'which was connected to the rock, scribes and Pharisees, ye shall retained its savour, as I found by in no case enter into the kingdom proof.” “ A preacher, or a private of heaven.
Christian, who has lost the life of
may be likened to this salt. He may | The word in the original signifieth a measure con
have the sparks and glittering partiGal. iii. 24.-w Luke xvi. 17.-- Jam. ii. 10.--y Rom. cles of true wisdom, but without its
unction or comfort. Only that which
is connected with the rock, the soul READER. Ye are the salt of the that is in union with Christ Jesus by earth. Real Christians are made the Holy Spirit, can preserve its blessings to the world. Ministers, savour, and be instrumental of good by preaching sound doctrine, and all to others.” believers, by making confession of Good for nothing but to be cast out the truth and by leading a godly life, and trodden under foot.-Solemn and are compared to salt, which preserves awful truth; especially when we things from putrefaction and destruc- consider it as proceeding from the tion, and renders our food savoury lips of our merciful Redeemer.and pleasant. By their By their prayers,
It has been well said that “ a wicked
p Mark ix. 50. Luke xiv. 34, 35.- Prov. iv. 18. Phil. ii. 15.-r Mark iv, 21. Luke viii. 16, & xi. 33.
taining about a pint less than a peck.- 1 Pet. ii. 12. t John Xv, 8. 1 Cor. xiv. 25.-u Rom, iii. 31, & x. 4.
ix. 31, & x. 3.