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Matthew Henry says very truly, lowers before we are his ambas" This will not justify the bold in sadors. We must learn Christ trusion of ignorant and unqualified before we preach him; otherwise men into the work of the ministry; we may fish for a livelihood, for extraordinary gifts of knowledge and honour and applause, but not for utterance are not now to be expected, souls; if we be not first enclosed but requisite abilities must be ob- ourselves in the net of the Gospel, tained in an ordinary way; and we can have but small hopes of without a competent measure of bringing in others." But when these, none are to be admitted to Christ's ministers faithfully preach that service.”

the Gospel, in sincerity, humility, Follovo me.—These disciples had

and love, they have many encouragalready become acquainted with ing reasons to hope that their labour Jesus; but now they are called to “will not be in vain in the Lord." devote themselves entirely to give at Still, however, the blessing and suctendance on his sacred person, and to

cess must be derived from Christ perform the work which he should himself. “Our labour,” says Bishop assign to them.-"Even those who Hall, “is only in the cast, Christ's have been called to follow Christ power wholly in the draught. Some have need to be called to follow on,

fish cleave to the rocks, others play and to follow nearer; especially upon the sands, and more wallow in when they are designed for the work the mud; and we shall labour all our of the ministry.” They must follow days and catch nothing, if Christ him in the way of faith, and in the doth not bring our fish to the net, exercise of patience, humility, self-de and enclose them in it, as well as nial, and all other graces of the Spirit. | assist us in the throwing of it.” I will make you fishers of men.

Let us pray that it may please "It is Christ that qualifies men for God to give his grace and benediction this work, calls them to it, autho to Christian ministers, that both by rises them in it, and gives them

their life and doctrine they may set success in it.” The call and teaching forth his glory, and set forward the of the Spirit within the heart, as

salvation of all men. well as an outward call and designa They left their nets-left their ship tion by the church, are needful to and their father, and followed him.make a good and faithful minister of Observe here the power of the Lord Christ.

Jesus, and the efficacy of his word.— Fishers of men.How beautifully Consider the obedience of his discicharacteristic are these words of the ples, as an act of faith, resembling real nature and effect of the ministe- that of their father Abraham ; Heb. rial office! See 2 Cor. xii. 14-19. xi. 8.- And remember also, that

“We must be Christ's disciples,” those who would follow Christ says a pious commentator, “before aright, must leave all to follow him.

are his ministers; his fol Every Christian must leave all in



affection, must sit loose to all, must Meditate


the last two verses hate father and mother' (Luke xiv. of this chapter, as containing, at once, 26), i.e. must love them less than proofs of divine power-instances of Christ, must be ready to part with divine mercy and compassion-pathis interest in them rather than with terns and spiritual motives to our his interest in Jesus Christ. But own benevolent care of the sick and those who are devoted to the work the afflicted,-in the benefits conof the ministry are, in a special man- ferred upon men by the Redeemer ner, concerned to disentangle them- and Saviour of their souls. selves from all the affairs of this life,

HYMN. that they may give themselves wholly to that work which requires the

Thou whose almighty word

Chaos and darkness heard, whole man. “Nothing but an in

And took their flight ; dispensable necessity in providing for Hear us, we humbly pray, a family can

a minister's And, where the Gospel's day entangling himself with worldly

Sheds not its glorious ray,

Let there be light. business.” A church ought not to encourage

Thou who didst come to bring

On thy protecting wing a worldly spirit in its ministers,

Healing and light, either by holding out offers of wealth Sight to the inly blind, and honour to those who seek such

Health to the sick in mind;

Oh, now to all mankind things ; or by withholding necessary

Let there be light. support from those who really seek

Spirit of truth and love, men's souls. It is awful to see some

Life-giving, holy dove, ministers seeking the patronage of

Speed forth thy flight; the great, suing for appointments,

Move o'er the waters' face,

Bearing the lamp of grace, and hunting for preferment, instead

And in earth's darkest place, of acting as fishers of men, and it is

Let there be light. sad to see others compelled, by dire

O holy and blessed necessity, to neglect, more or less,

And glorious Trinity, their proper and favourite employ

Grace, love, and might, ment, in order to earn a livelihood !

Boundless as ocean's tide,

Rolling in fullest pride They brought unto him all sick peo

O'er the world, far and wide, ple--and he healed them. The multi

Let there be light! tude of persons cured, and the great

MARRIOTT. variety of complaints from which they were relieved, are among many other striking attestations to the

§ XIV. reality and extent of our Lord's mi

CHAP. V. 1—12. raculous power; and to the divinity of him who wrought such wonders, Christ beginneth his sermon in the mount : by his own authority, and as an act declaring who are blessed. of his own omnipotence.

AND seeing the multitudes, 'he

a Mark iii. 13, 20,-) Luke vi. 20. See Psa. li. 17. Prov. xvi. 19,& xxix. 23. Is. Ivii. 15, & lxvi. 2.- Is. lxi. 2, 3. Luke vi. 21. John xvi. 20. 2 Cor. i, 7. Rev. xxi. 4.- Ps. xxxvii. 11-e See Rom. iv, 13.-f Is. lv. 1, & lxv. 13.-g Ps. xli. 1; ch. vi. 14. Mark xi 25, 2 Tim. i. 16. Heb. vi. 10. Jam. ii. 13.-h Ps. xv. 2, & xxiv. 4. Heb. xii. 14. i 1 Cor. xiii, 12. 1 John iii. 2, 3.-k 2 Cor. iv. 17. 2 Tim. ii, 12. 1 Pet. iii 14.I Luke vi. 22. m 1 Pet. iv, 14. + Gr. lying.-n Luke vi. 23. Acts v. 41. Rom. v. 3. Jam. i. 2. 1 Pet. iv. 13. o Neh. ix. 26. 2 Chr. xxxvi. 16; ch. xxiii. 34, 37. Acts vii. 52. 1 Thes. ii. 15.

went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him :

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 • Blessed are the poor in spirit; for their's is the kingdom Reader. We have now arrived at of heaven.

a very important portion of the sacred 4 ° Blessed are they that record, our Saviour's Sermon on the mourn: for they shall be com

Mount;-a discourse delivered by the forted.

great Prophet of the church, concern5 “Blessed are the meek: for ing whom it was said by the voice

from heaven, “This is my beloved 'they shall inherit the earth.

Son, hear ye him ;"—a discourse ad6 Blessed are they which do dressed not to any particular class of hunger and thirst after right- his disciples, but (as is plain from eousness: 'for they shall be ch. vii. 28, 29) to all the multitudes filled.

who followed him, and, through them,

to all men who should come within 7 Blessed are the merciful:

reach of his instructions. May our for they shall obtain mercy.

understandings and our hearts be 8 "Blessed are the pure in

opened to receive instruction dropheart: for 'they shall see God. ping like dew from those sacred lips

9 Blessed are the peace- into which grace was poured without makers: for they shall be called measure ! May we hereby become the children of God.

more wise unto salvation ; and be 10 Blessed are they which

enabled to grow in grace and in the

knowledge of our Lord and Saviour are persecuted for righteousness'

Jesus Christ! sake: for their's is the kingdom

In reading this heavenly discourse, of heaven.

I propose to adopt a method some11 'Blessed are ye, when men what different from that which we shall revile you, and persecute have hitherto pursued. We find you, and shall say all manner of here little room for critical inquiry, *evil against you * falsely, for my

or verbal explanation; so that few sake.

difficulties are likely to arise in the 12 “Rejoice, and be exceed way of interpretation ; and I hope to

be able to anticipate any questions of ing glad: for great is your re- this nature which may arise in your ward in heaven: for oso perse-minds, without our usual method of cuted they the prophets which expository discussion. I shall thus were before you.

have a better opportunity of fixing

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 For they shall be comforted.The 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, lxi. 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 up 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 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).


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